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Steam Boiler Keeps Burning Out Roll Out Switch

My steam boiler “Slant Fin GXH” keeps having a fire and causing the roll out switch to burn out. The chimney has been cleaned and the boiler was recently de-carbonized. I have replaced both the roll out switch and the thermocouple. Something is causing the flame to come out within the bottom of the burner, causing the roll out switch to burn out. Could the gas pressure be adjusted? Perhaps it is too high? Appreciate the help in advance...


  • ratioratio Posts: 1,881Member
    You should have it looked at by someone who can find out what is causing that dangerous condition before it causes a fire or poisons you with carbon monoxide gas.

    Click the blue link at the top of the thread and see if there is anyone nearby who could help you.

  • RyanNYCRyanNYC Posts: 2Member
    I just had the boiler cleaned in January. Could there be some type of back draft causing this? I just had the boiler guy come in to check and he says he thinks it’s the boiler not being cleaned...But i don’t understand if i just had it cleaned at the beginning of year. I am aware of the dangerous conditions, just looking for insight here. thanks in advance
  • ratioratio Posts: 1,881Member
    There are many possible reasons why it's rolling out. Did it just start happening? Look for what changed.

    A new service company? Maybe the cleaning wasn't quite as through as needed. Did you get a new cloths drier/range hood? It could be interfering with the combustion air to the boiler. Is this an oil burner or gas? Maybe a few pics would help, from far enough back to see the bigger picture.

    Is this the same boiler guy who cleaned it a few months ago?

  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,451Member
    If there is a door on the boiler room and it is left open for testing and observation, then closing it may change the available combustion air.
  • GBartGBart Posts: 753Member
    How do you feel? Headaches? Flu like symptoms? Tired? Sometimes a touch of nausea?

    I will be the third person to say get a real pro, rollout is a serious condition and whatever is causing it needs to be found because you are getting carbon monoxide, maybe not much, hopefully.
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Posts: 1,096Member
    edited April 2018
    @RyanNYC, you observed the boiler being cleaned? And by cleaned I mean each cast iron section being brushed and vacuumed out. Has anyone used a combustion analyzer?
  • newagedawnnewagedawn Posts: 549Member
    have you cleaned the heat exchanger ????, its probably plugged
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • unclejohnunclejohn Posts: 1,356Member
    Some techs think cleaning the boiler means wiping off the top with a damp rag. It takes a few hours to clean a boiler.
  • SteamingatMohawkSteamingatMohawk Posts: 93Member
    I have a gas steam boiler that kept tripping the rollout switch, which does not reset automatically because tripping is a serious problem. Don't think you can replace it with one that does reset, I tested one while watching the boiler and it's a bad, really bad, idea.

    Cleaning the boiler flame side means disconnecting the vent pipe, moving the draft damper (if there is one) out of the way and taking the top sheet metal off the boiler. Then a long boiler brush can be used to clean between the heat exchanger sections. Then remove all the soot and vacuum the whole thing as best as you can.

    Air quality is a fairly big deal with gas boilers and just walking around on a dusty floor can make yellow flames. Also, if you read manufacturers directions things like volatile liquids (paint, solvents, cleaners) can affect air quality. Somewhere in my banging around the internet I found a guy who said his kitty litter box was close to the boiler. He moved it away and the flame changes.

    Checking the gas pressure going to the mixing tubes is for a professional with the right measurement devise. The label on the boiler should state the required pressure, probably 3.5 inches water column. High pressure could be overfiring the boiler.

    If you have the manual read it. If not, get one and read it. If you can't find one let me know in this thread and I will see if I can find it.

    Finally, read my blog under Converted Two Family, it will give you some insights.

    Good luck and be safe!
  • SuperTechSuperTech Posts: 934Member
    It probably wasn't thoroughly cleaned. If a gas boiler soots up and the flame rolls out, I would consider replacement. They can be extremely difficult to clean. For some reason you aren't burning cleanly, the more it operates, the worse it will get.

    Please shut it down and don't turn it back on until a professional technician is familiar with combustion analysis can confirm the cause of the malfunction. Your life is in danger if you operate that boiler.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,264Member

    In addition to the above advise have your chimney checked. You could have a broken flue tile or other obstruction
  • PhilDavidPhilDavid Posts: 63Member
    Your situation is life threatening and needs to be remedied immediately. If your going to run that boiler in the interim please please please have a carbon monoxide detector as close to the boiler as possible and another outside the boiler room at least. Flame roll out is very bad very dangerous
  • JohnNYJohnNY Posts: 2,190Member
    @RyanNYC, if I can help you, please let me know. It sounds like you're not being properly advised by your service provider.
    For installations, troubleshooting, and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F Mechanical, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,451Member
    An old boiler I worked on did not have a roll out switch.
    The owner came home and saw the fire coming out the front of the boiler. It melted the bottom of the ignition transformer, cooked on the gas valve and wiring.
    Your boiler may not have any components inside the cabinet but certainly has some wiring that could be damaged.
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,896Member
    Also check that its the correct roll out switch/fuse. They come in different activation temps.

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

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