Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

You got to be kidding

STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,965
Got a call from a customer. Said that he had some issue with his boiler and some guy came down and bypassed a bad sensor. Homeowner he's a very nice guy but not very mechanically inclined. He said the repair person said he would come back and take care of the sensor in a few days. Homeowner got a bit wary and decided to call me instead. I come down and take a look at the very ordinary residential steam boiler. And now we have to figure out which sensor the repair guy meant. I check the wiring to every senser. The Spill switch, the rollout switch, the pressure troll, the low water cut off. Nothing seems to be by bypassed. Glass gauge was clogged up so I could not determine water level. I drained out boiler and cleaned out glass and valves. Reinstalled and try to fire up empty boiler. Fired right up. Defective low water cutoff. I determined that what happened was that the low water cutoff was not cutting out and the repair guy bypassed the low water cutoff by overfilling the boiler with water. Mind you this was supposedly a reputable highly recommended fellow. Who in their right mind would run a steam boiler without a functioning low water cutoff. Sheesh


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,272
    I'm glad your customer was uneasy...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,623

  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,048
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,512
    That's bad, real bad.

    But I have something worse if that's possible. One of our guys went on a call and found an oil burner with the cad cell control removed and bypassed.

    This burner had been running for who knows how long with no safety control.

    Talk about installers that put steam boilers in and won't read the manual and pipe it wrong. That's a minor problem compared to this.

    Technician shortage?? You bet. But you can't really call THEM technicians. I don't even know what to say.

    I have bypassed controls to run a boiler in an emergency if the building is in danger of freezing but I won't take my eyes off it or leave the room. Won't leave to go to the bathroom with it running. And when I leave the job it's running with the right controls or is completely disabled, fuel off, hidden wiring disconnected etc
    DZoroIronmanDouble Dadasilva
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,826
    You can't fix stupid!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,285
    Hello, I'm thinking "You Can't Fix Stupid!" could be a book title and we have enough examples from The Wall to make a decent sized book. Clearly Steamhead should be the author! B)

    Yours, Larry
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,122
    Double YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!