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Can't make this up! or, Cut-and-Slide Gone Wrong

SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,649Member
Once in a while, the local Columbia dealer asks us to troubleshoot a problem job. Complaint on this one was that the low water cutoff continually called for water. It's a newly installed Columbia CEG-112E installed with the controls facing the wall. The installer replaced an older Columbia where the controls were on the front, rather than the side:

I told them to have the original installer turn the boiler around and follow the piping diagram before we could look at it.
All Steamed Up, Inc.
"Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.


  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,408Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Who gets to work in America? Everyone!
    Retired and loving it.
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 4,824Member
    You can't fix stupid!
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,946Member
    Lots of nice scrap copper there
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,408Member, Moderator, Administrator
    When it gets this wacky, I think of the job posted here once where someone installed the air separator on the cold-feed to the hot-water boiler. I guess he figured he would catch the air before it got in.

    What’s your favorite wacky?
    Retired and loving it.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,946Member
    Not my favorite but just today we are installing some Lochinvars for DHW in a nursing home. They have a water recirc pump that was installed with the original boilers in the 80s. Why this pump never exploded I don't know but it was installed backwards. I thought maybe someone replaced it and turned it around by mistake but the pipe insulation looked like it was never disturbed. A mystery. But we turned it around and it worked.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,408Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Good one!
    Retired and loving it.
  • Dave0176Dave0176 Posts: 1,018Member
    edited September 2018
    All that copper is just lovely............ :( Another lazy know it all plumber smh.........
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Posts: 2,168Member
    I ran into a ModCon boiler once. I bet you have too, but not like this one. It was piped primary secondary. That's not unusual. But they had the flow reversed in the boiler loop. Ok, I get it. Thats come up before. Only this guy did it on purpose, with the best of intentions. He claimed it would protect the boiler from thermal shock and prevent the heat exchanger from cracking! :)

    And then there was the job I designed in another state, that was installed by local plumbers. They got a notion to silver solder several 2" ball valves, because soft solder just wouldn't do. They totally scorched the valves, burned out all the insides, and turned them into useless pieces of pipe that leaked as fast as a hose bib. But by golly! They silver soldered those puppies. The leaks weren't that important if you asked them.
    Ramer Mechanical
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,408Member, Moderator, Administrator
    That’s hilarious. Thanks, Harvey.
    Retired and loving it.
  • johnlobbjohnlobb Posts: 9Member
    In the late '90's, my wife ran an apartment complex just south of Flint, MI. The whole place, (each building) was heated with a bank of boilers with domestic hot water coils. The original contractor had installed the boilers facing a basement block wall with about 2' of clearance in the front. Of course, there was no way to remove the coils to clean or replace them. And as a result, each building got about 1-5 minutes of hot water in the morning. When she pointed out to the owners agents what needed to be done, she was assured the problem would be fixed right away. Anyway, no such thing happened, and she tired of the excuses, so she just stopped leasing apartments in the worst buildings. Of course, she got fired for her troubles.
  • unclejohnunclejohn Posts: 1,353Member
    The worst I saw was a mod con that the home owner bought on line and had his buddy installed in a crawl space in a rental house. I was called just to get the bugs out, you know it worked but not quite right. The boiler layed on it's back on the floor of the crawl space . I ran to my truck. Probably still skids marks on the street.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,408Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Good one, U.J.!
    Retired and loving it.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 1,817Member
    > @unclejohn said:
    > The worst I saw was a mod con that the home owner bought on line and had his buddy installed in a crawl space in a rental house. I was called just to get the bugs out, you know it worked but not quite right. The boiler layed on it's back on the floor of the crawl space . I ran to my truck. Probably still skids marks on the street.

    Maybe he read the thread about the G.E. downfire.
    I keep saying I've seen everything so nothing surprises me, but holy socks, theres some bad stuff out there.
  • LanceLance Posts: 102Member
    Chiming in. We found a steam boiler with the supply and returns backward connected to the boiler. We switched them. We found a furnace front facing 4" behind a wall. We opened the wall. We removed water heaters to get to boilers and vice versa. Job security I say. We found three working natural draft water heaters working in the same basement. Yeap, no vent pipe installed. Pumps pushing against check valves. The one I liked best, a well known mfg, made a heater on legs with a removable coil that faced the floor per engineered specs and installed correctly but the coil could not be removed until the unit was disconnected and turned sideways. We installed a new coil. It was optional to mount it for service but why bother, they were not coming back and the Fed Gov't was the customer.
  • JohntJohnt Posts: 2Member
    Not boiler related of our maintenance mechanics installed a device in the men's room that shot out some deodorizer every few minutes. The complaint came in fairly soon thereafter....he installed it at eye level, centered over the urinal. Yep, an employee was sprayed in the face...although he smelled nice, he couldn't see too well for a brief time.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,408Member, Moderator, Administrator
    That's funny! I was doing a seminar at a hotel once. They had two of those towel dispensers that react to motion. They installed them in a corner, each facing the other. When one of the dispensers spit out a bit of towel, it set off the other dispenser, and so on and so on. The towels were unspooled all over the floor. I often think about the guy who put the new rolls in the machine each day.
    Retired and loving it.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 1,817Member
    How many times have we seen a hi boy furnace 2 ft from a foundation wall and you need 3 ft to slide out the blower assembly?
  • JackmartinJackmartin Posts: 129Member
    edited September 2018
    I had one like this ,the gauges faced the wall and I had to wrap myself around the boiler to see it. The complaint was only partially heating rads. They had three hvac guys there , one was going to solve the problem by installing a fresh air duct, charge$ 500. The next guy said it was dirty cleaned out that sucker $300. The last guy drained the expansion tank that will fix it $340. The problem: leaking relief valve, changed the valve filled the system ,I drained the tank first of course, the system works what do you know, cost$ 310, valve included. They do not teach hydronics in school and it is a shame, let alone steam heating does this person not own a power threader copper on steam not good. All the best Jack
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,946Member
    Every two years the electrical code gets thicker and thicker. They never had to prohibit installing electrical panels in a ceiling......they do now because someone was stupid enough to do it. When I saw @unclejohn post of the mod con on it's back it reminded me of the horror
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