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Weil-McLain Ultra 80 gas boiler ignition cuts out, hard lockout E02

Nick111 Member Posts: 1
Running on natural gas. The only issue my tech had found previously with this Weil McLain Ultra 80 boiler was a tiny slow leak in the flue condensate tube.  Hadn't gotten to fix it yet.

The last few days, when I come home to turn up the heat I've found the boiler blinking E 02, ignition failed 5 times lockout.  Taking the cover off and doing a manual reset I've gotten it going again, but it seems to be happening more frequently and taking longer to get going again.

Every time it ignites, I get a spark and a flame, but then it generally cuts out after a second or two, then goes into another purge cycle.  Sometimes the flame sputters a bit before it cuts out, but usually it just cuts out.  Once it gets going again, it runs fine all night until I turn the thermostat down again.  Nothing wrong with the gas flow.  I thought the blower might be a little louder than the other ones, but I checked the info on the blower and it looks fine.

I pulled off the flue condensate tube, emptied it out, ran the ignition cycle with it disconnected.  I did smell a bit of gas coming out but it still wouldn't light.  I put it back on, turned everything off, powered back on and tried resetting again.  After two more tries it started again and is running happily now.

So, any ideas what I should check next, given that I am getting a flame every time it ignites, and when it runs it runs fine?  I don't think it could be related to a tiny leak in the condensate tube; shouldn't it ignite even with it disconnected?  Check something electric?

I've read it could be the gas valve but would that be the case when I am reliably getting a flame, that cuts out, and when it runs fine once it does ignite?

Any ideas would be appreciated.  Thanks!


  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669

    The flame is being snuffed out.

    Look for a blocked intake or exhaust pipe.

    Also when was the heat exchanger cleaned last.
  • Boiler wrestler
    Boiler wrestler Member Posts: 43
    Ultra 80

    Sounds like you need "maintenance". I would bet on a flame sensor which comes in the maintenance kit for your boiler. Clean the heat exchanger and change the sensor and your back in action.
  • Nick112
    Nick112 Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for the suggestions.  I had used a plumber referred by an older owner in our building to do annual maintenance on the boiler just a couple months ago.  We all have the same boilers.  If I can't take care of this myself in short order I hope he will make it right.
  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669

    If he didn't pull the front cover off and clean the heat exchanger it NEEDS to be done.
  • Nick112
    Nick112 Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for the advice. I wasn't here to watch what he was doing, so unfortunately I can only ask and take his word for it.. I was charged for 1.25 hours of cleaning/service + combustion test.  Presumably that should include the heat exchanger.  I hope I can assume good faith and maybe the flame sensor just failed since then. We shall see.
  • Nick112
    Nick112 Member Posts: 3
    couple more notes

    Again, I had a complete maintenance done on two months ago on this boiler.  I like to assume good faith and that professionals are doing the right thing and not crooks.  Taking a look at the cover on the heat exchanger it looks like the bolts and screws will come off with pliers and a regular screwdriver so I can take a look myself sometime, but it's a cold night and it's running happily so I'm not touching it right now.

    Regarding the flame sensor, the ignition electrode is the flame sensor on this model.  I know he replaced the ignition electrode, because he left the old one in a bag. It didn't look too bad although it was showing some wear, and the new one is immaculate.  And I'm getting a spark and a flame every time.  So, unless it's somehow the wrong part (unlikely) or defective it shouldn't be an issue.

    So, I'm back to square one for now.  Listening to it run again I am wondering about the blower.  I think the diagnostic I was looking at before was for a different failure mode (I was reading in the manual: Is blower running on low?  From Standby mode, press “Mode” twice and display will change to “Info”

     - Press “Step” until display shows #6.

     -If #6 value displays as 32, replace the blower assembly -- I am not getting 32, I am getting a larger number).

    The blower is running noisy compared to the other units.  Almost like a bearing is out or something, sounds to me as if it could be going bad.  That doesn't seem to match the fault code though, and it seems to be be working when it's running so I'm not sure if it could be the culprit? Not gonna spend a few hundred to order that unless I know it's bad.

    I guess the answer is to call back the plumber and see if I can get a mutually-agreeable time, but if anyone has any other ideas of something quick to check that would be welcome.  Depending on my work schedule and when I can get out of bed maybe I'll try opening up the heat exchanger and seeing how it looks.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Taking a look at the cover on the heat exchanger

    I am not a heating professional, so keep that in mind. I have an Ultra-3 80k but/hr unit. I have also read the installation and maintenance manual.

    I urge you not to take the heat exchanger cover off with pliers and a screw driver. For one thing, like a car with an aluminum cylinder head, you need to use a torque wrench to put it back together, and will want the maintenance kit that comes with all new gaskets, a new igniter that does double duty as a flame detector. There is sometimes a delay in getting these kits, especially in late fall when all the contractors who maintain these units are ordering theirs.

    When done cleaning the fire side of the heat exchanger is done, clean out the bottom of the exchanger, replace the igniter, and replace all the nuts, tightening them in the order specified in the I&M manual to between 50 and 60 ounce-inches. It is not a lot, and you will probably not get them right if you use channel locks. I have a torque wrench for this, and an 11 (or is it 12?) socket just for this; My contractor does not have one. You will then need to clean out the condensate trap.

    Since I have an Ultra 3 that puts out its codes in plain English, I do not know the mystery codes the Ultra-2 puts out.

    My old igniters look just as good as the new ones. I can barely tell the new ones from the old. But since they come with the kit, my tech routinely replaces them each year.

    If you had an authorized contractor, they could get help from the W-M technical representative. I had a problem and their tech came out and helped -- even giving me a new control board (the old one had gotten under water). I do not know if a plumber could get this service.
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
    edited January 2013

  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,460
    Re: Ultra boiler

    I highly doubt in an hour and quarter he could have cleaned heat exchanger. Verify with him but that just is not enough time. It sounds like you got what you pd for but he may have needed to go a bit further.  Good luck, Tim
  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669

    I agree with Tim - unless the heat exchanger was clean and all he had to do was put the cover back on - no way it was properly serviced in 1  1/4 hours.

    It took me 4 hours to clean one of these boilers that had not been serviced in 6 years.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    that just is not enough time

    It generally takes my contractor about two hours for the annual service of my Ultra-3 80K BTU/hr boiler.  It has received its annual maintenance just before the heating season starts each ear.

    First year there was some stuff in the condensate trap that he had analyzed for too much aluminum, but it was OK. There has not been much since. Cleaning the heat exchanger does not take long once it is apart. Checking the pH and the Sentinal X-100 concentration is fairly quick, but this year I needed another dose of the x-100 (replaced a noisy circulator and they then had to purge part of the system) which is a pain: turn off lots of valves, drain the boiler some (a couple of quarts), take the top off a valve to dump the stuff in, replace the top of the valve, open the other valves, etc. Well over 15 minutes. I wish they made an adapter from the caulking gun gizmo that attached to a drain valve to squirt the stuff in. Then it would be less than 5 minutes. Some time for combustion test...

    So I think an hour and 15 minutes is not enough to do an annual service, but it should be plenty for cleaning the heat exchanger if the boiler has not skipped previous maintenance annually.
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