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AQUASTAT SETTINGS FOR HONEYWELL L4006A ON A WM GOLD STEAM OIL-FIRED BOILER

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Hi all-I believe I am having some issues with my boiler firing too often. I have a domestic coil on the boiler for hot water. Today the boiler was firing intermittently to maintain temp, which is normal but it ended up raising the temperature in my house significantly. (From like 67-74 degrees). This was at the end of my thermostat window I have it set for 63 when we leave for work.

Is it possible that because there were less calls for heat throughout the day, hence not heating the boiler, that the aquastat would trigger firing so often that it would raise the temp that much??? I don't think so. Its not THAT cold here. it was maybe 20 degrees outside

Currently the aquastat is set at 120, with a differential of 10. This 120 I would think would be the LO setting?? This model of Honeywell aquastat I think can be set for LO or HI, but I think mine is set for LO. I have had to lower it several times. Plumber had it at 150, then i went to 130, then 120. Each time it worked for about 7-10 days.

So my question is why do things keep changing? And what should the aquastat be set at?

Here's another stupid question. Why do I even need to set this aquatstat in the winter??? Obviously when there is a call for heat, the water temp rises, and when there is a call for hot water the boiler should kick on and make hot water from the domestic coil. correct?

Comments

  • JeffM
    JeffM Member Posts: 182
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    The aquastat is what triggers your boiler to come on as a call for domestic hot water. Without it, if you ran the hot water for a few minutes the boiler would cool off and hot water would deplete unless the thermostat was calling for heat in the house.
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Jeff, thanks I understand that. The problem is that every so often, it seems like the aquastat gets like overridden or something. The setting is ignored. I keep having to lower it just for the boiler to stop firing. I have it set at 105 now, and 100 is the minimum. Originally it was set at 150, then I lowered it to 130, 120, 110, and now 100. Each time it will work fine for a few days maybe even a week and then the aquastat just goes haywire and continues to run for long period of time when there is no call for heat. I know for a fact that the boiler water temp must be way above the setting if it is running for 15-20 minutes...... Any ideas?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited January 2015
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    "" I know for a fact that the boiler water temp must be way above the setting if it is running for 15-20 minutes...... Any ideas? ""

    How do you know that for a fact? That's a steam boiler, there is no temperature gauge installed on that boiler from the factory?

    Perhaps Sparky wired it wrong. The 4006A is just a switch in a safety circuit to start and stop the burner.

    If it is a steam boiler, the thermostat tells the burner to run until the boiler explodes or the thermostat is satisfied. The boiler pressure just says "No, you're not going to explode. STOP right now!! and it does.

    That 4006A is telling the burner to run but there is no High Limit to tell it to stop. By interrupting the power to the burner. Those 4006@'a usually get wired as a low voltage "switch to the "T-T" terminals on the burner control and tell the burner to run. If it seems like it is running too long, it would make steam and start heating the house, building pressure in the boiler, and the pressure control on the boiler will shut it down. Futzing with the setting on the 4006A isn't the answer. Do you have a tankless/indirect coil on the boiler?

    I think that Sparky has a wiring issue.

    I just looked at your OP again. You have a SGO-3 with a Tankless coil. The 4006A is screwed in to the plate on the left side of the boiler on the front? And has a small diameter wire that runs down to the burner control on the burner, connected to the "T-T" terminals? When you turn the dial inside the 4006, up, does the burner start when the control faintly clicks? When you turn it down, does it stop the burner when it clicks again? The control should be set for a minimum of 150 degrees. Or higher. You should have a gauge glass on the steam boiler showing the water level inside the boiler. Looking at a horizontal reference, is the water in the gauge glass correct and at the manufacturers recommended height? Will that cover the element/well of the 4006A? When you have this problem and the house gets hot, because there is no call for heat but the burner is running, is the water level in the boiler still correct and the 4006A is still covered with water? Because if the well isn't covered with water, it won't sense steam.

    If you are going to play with your boiler and play with electricity, you need to buy a quality "Tick Tracer" that will sound in the presence of current/voltage. Don't get a cheap one. They suck. You need to figure out if the Click on the 4006A will start and stop the burner. When the well is covered.

    Maybe you need a Steamer. IMO, the SGO3 is as close to being bomb proof as any quality steam or hot water boiler out there on the market and installed.
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Thank you guys for your responses.

    Ice Sailor, what you are describing is much closer to my answer I believe. Yes when I turn down the dial, there is a click, and the boiler turns off. When I turn it back up, it clicks again and the boiler will fire. Just as you describe

    I have not taken note of the water level when this happens, but I will.

    The one thing that I do know is that the water in the glass is pretty dirty, and the water level bounces considerably (2-3 inches) when firing. This is a new boiler, with new piping and I know that new boilers must be skimmed to ensure that there is no oil or crap in the water. My plumber did "squick" the boiler, and installed a skim tap. I have used this tap to try to get the oil and crap out. The one thing I noticed is that he did not install the skim tap according to the WM manual, he put it lower and to the left which may not be getting all the oil out.

    Do you think that if I had a skim tap installed at the very top of the boiler, skimmed it several times, to alleviate the surging in the sight glass this would help? I am also getting some decent water hammer which I have read is common with a dirty boiler.

    Perhaps since the water level is surging so much, the well for the 4006A is not staying covered?


    Hatterasguy-thanks, I am definitely familiar with the different air vents on the radiators. I have Gorton vents on all radiators, and I believe they are sized properly (largest vents are placed furthest from the boiler, and vice versa) The house heats up reasonably balanced.

    The thermostat is not defective, it is a year old and functions properly. The issue that I am having is that the house is being heated when there is no call for heat.

    Thanks again for your responses, Ice Sailor I believe you are understanding my issue better.
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Yes, the boiler is definitely heating up enough to produce steam. Last night, I had my thermostat to set to 63 degrees starting at 11:00PM. Typically it is set to 67 throughout the day. I woke up at 1:15 AM, and the boiler was firing for such a long time, with NO call for heat that it raised the temperature on the thermostat to 72. Also this plumber replaced the aquastat. It is about 3 weeks old. He thought the old one was defective......Now I am wondering if I just paid for a new aquastat and labor when I didn't need it. Thanks
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    I can take some pictures of the wiring and the system as a whole when I get home for you guys to maybe see if you can pinpoint the wiring error?
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    Pictures are always helpful.

    Getting that skim port in the right place is important. You might be able to skim through the pressure relief port untill that skim port gets moved.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Hatteras I believe it is a HONEYWELL L4006A .

    Bob -if I lower the water level to couple inches below the tapping that the plumber installed, then slowly raise the water level into a bucked would this work? I suppose its the same process, as having it higher its just that the water/oil/crap level would be lower....? then again there may be a bunch of oil and crap on the sides of the boiler that I would not get if it was lower...
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Ok I will look and post. Thank you for the quick responses
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    You will get some of the oil out using the lower port but there will be oil on the sides of the boiler that you don't get. Try skimming from that port for now and see if it helps the surging and do it again when you can use the right port.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Skimming:

    Have you ever cooked a turkey and went to make gravy? There's oil floating all over the top of the potential greasy gravy. If you put a gravy skimming ladle in to the gravy, and submerge the ladle, you won't get a lot of fat/grease. Most of the steal boilers I have seen that are modern steam boilers have the skim port at or near the normal water line.

    There are a lot of wise installers here. I don't think they use a lower port as a skim port unless there is a reason for it.
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    I agree icesailor.

    Besides the skimming, you and hatteras both seem to think that the aquastat may be wired incorrectly?

    I will post pictures, like I said so you guys can see what I am working with.

    Btw this talk of turkey and gravy is making me hungry
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    I'm not necessarily saying that the L4006A is wired wrong. I think you might have a water level problem if the control was already changed, the water is dirty, and it is surging 2 or 3 inches in the gauge glass.
  • mercedes
    mercedes Member Posts: 67
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    As a DYI, my thoughts:
    Could we isolate the aquastat wiring and thermostat wiring so we can determine who turning on the boiler.
    Page 36 of the SGO-3 installation recommend
    "Tankless water heater Weil-McLain tankless heater ratings are based on 200°F boiler water temperature. To get rated output, set tankless heater control to 200°F. Control can be adjusted to meet system hot water requirements Burner . Follow the piping for tankless page 23 and use mixing valve to prevent scalding."

    Steam will not be produce until 215 degrees at 1 lb of pressure.

    Possible the thermostat wiring is shorted to each other? Could we ohm out the wiring from the thermostat to the boiler or run temporary wires from the thermostat to the boiler?
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Here are pics. I think I covered everything...Icesailor I took a look at the water level surging, and it doesn't seem to go below the level of the aquastat...but I only was watching it for about 2-3 minutes. Also I do have an automatic water feed which I don't believe would let the water level go below the level of the aquastat.

    Image 70 shows a good picture of the valve that the plumber installed to skim, but I think the port that is directly to the right of the sight glass at the top should be the one used correct? The one he installed looks way to low
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited January 2015
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    Really nice copper piping. Did they replace all the steel mains in the cellar with copper?

    All I can say is that no matter how much you know, or how much you think you know, always read the I/O manual. You might learn something.

    Let's define the term or word "Skim"

    skim
    /skim/
    verb
    gerund or present participle: skimming
    1. remove (a substance) from the surface of a liquid. "as the scum rises, skim it off"
    synonyms: remove, cream off, scoop off "skim off the scum"

    That big black square headed plug directly over the service disconnect to the boiler is where the skimming is supposed to be done from.

    Others here will say more, But IMO, once the boiler is well and properly "skimmed", you can then see how it operates.

    Nice copper piping job though.

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    Steam boilers should NEVER be piped in copper...yikes.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    SuperTech
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited January 2015
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    OBTW:

    Give the installer the web address of this site. www.heatinghelp.com and tell him to specifically read the posts in "Strictly Steam". Trades Person's should always be open to learning.
    KC_JonesSuperTech
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    icesailor said:

    Really nice copper piping. Did they replace all the steel mains in the cellar with copper?

    I was wondering the same thing...if so they did no favors that's for sure. What is it that Steamhead always says......? As far as the skim tapping yes the one the plumber installed is incorrect, you want that larger plug removed and a proper skim tapping installed. Judging by that site glass you still have a fair amount of skimming to go. That sight glass should stay crystal clear above the water line if you have skimmed enough. Every time I skim I clean the sight glass to monitor my progress. I recommend you do the same, it's a simple exercise. Also to mention the copper again...if it was mine I would want the entire piping job redone in black pipe which is what it's supposed to be. Copper is going to be a problem, it eats the cast iron boiler and will leak over time due to expansion and contraction. It's just not right.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Unfortunately, I was not aware that copper is not really supposed to be used for the mains. This is why I left it to the professional.... This piping was actually just re-done by this same plumber about a month ago. So all this copper is brand new, and I have no plans to re-do it in the near future.

    I will however get that skim tapping in the correct location, skim several times, and see how the boiler operates from there. Thanks for the advice all.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    It's your house your decision and I won't tell you what to do. That being said in my opinion the contractor screwed up and should fix it on their dime not yours. Again just my opinion.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    icesailorSuperTech
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    'Nuff said.
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Guys-to install this skim tap on the boiler, what exactly do I need? Is it just a simple 1ft long 1.5" diameter nipple? Does material matter? Steel, PVC? I suppose PVC would be better so that I can see the color of the water more clearly as it comes out??? I have read to skim when the boiler is warm, and simply raise the water level very slowly until it comes out of the tapping clear.

    Also-I called this plumber again, and I am pretty sure he is useless. He wants to change the thermostat wiring?
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    NEVER PVC on the boiler. You want a steel pipe long enough that you can put a bucket underneath of it to catch what comes out. When you aren't using it put a cap on the pipe. This should all be steel pipe and fittings. As far as the procedure you are on the right track. Open the manual fill valve and bring the water level up until it is just barely flowing out the pipe roughly the size of a pencil. Let it run like that for hours and dump the bucket as required. After you skim it for several hours put the boiler back into operation and monitor it's operation. You should keep a clean sight glass and have minimum "bounce" to the water (1/2-3/4").
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    ok thanks KC I will do that. It did cross my mind that it would not be the smartest to use plastic on a potentially hot piece of equipment. I guess I just figured that since the boiler would be "warm" not boiling that it would be ok. But I will take your advice and use steel. Thanks again
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    The reason to use steel is this should be a permanent installation. You will cap the pipe when done. When you do have the boiler repiped in steel you will have to skim again. In all likelihood you will have to skim more than one time now as well. I did mine like 4 times after the install before I got it to behave. Patience is required here.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Is there a good contractor in the Northern New Jersey area (Morris or Sussex County) that anyone recommends? I have seen the name @clammy a lot on here. I have found that no one in this area really knows anything about steam heat, and the plumber I am using is not really cutting it. Thanks in advance
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • hopatcongtim
    hopatcongtim Member Posts: 20
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    Thank you again. I have left a phone message for Joe.
  • Anthony_A
    Anthony_A Member Posts: 1
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    Hello I am new here and I know this is An old thread. But what was the outcome? I am experiencing the same issue
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,860
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    > @Anthony_A said:
    > Hello I am new here and I know this is An old thread. But what was the outcome? I am experiencing the same issue


    Explain your issue or start a new thread please.
    What type and brand of equipment do you have and what exactly is happening?