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Those parameters tripped me up (no touchy homeowner)!

STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,106
Not a question, just a story. But the first time it happened to me.
Get a call from a Will-Call, I already know he's out of oil. Says the heater doesn't work, tried resetting it a dozen times (he was 'properly instructed' about not doing that) keeps reading 'Hard Lockout' (Honeywell R7284U I installed 3 years ago). I asked him if he did anything other than just try to reset, he said no (I forgot George's first rule-Never Assume). Told him he's out of oil, I'll come fill him up.
Go over put oil in, prime and go. Calls late last night, burner reads 'Hard Lockout', says it's fine until the morning.
Go over today, burners intermittently locking out about 3 seconds after light off. Set up as 3 wire, no pre/purge, no oil valve.
Gotta be loose wiring, maybe bad motor. Check all the wiring, ohm out the split-phase motor, check start winding. All on the higher end of the range, but ok. All wire nuts tight. Voltages good. Ohms fine. Still doing it.
I decide to go into the installer menu and check the parameters. I guess (didn't ask, but I knew) while trying to reset the burner himself, he went in and changed the parameter to pre-purge, and turned off the diagnostics. So it was basically seeing flame during what it thought was pre-purge, and shutting down.
Fixing the parameters, fixed the 'problem'.
Hopefully the bill will keep him from touching the control. I told him to not reset the burner if it locks out because it won't fix the burner & clears the fault history (it doesn't, but that's probably the only thing that will keep him from touching it).

Lesson learned, or better yet lesson reminded.
steve
Solid_Fuel_ManBillyOkcoppZman

Comments

  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,333
    I've had more than one owners training session where I basically go around pointing out everything they shouldn't touch.
    Solid_Fuel_Mankcopp
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 1,954
    Yes, we've all been there more than a few times haven't we? "Kmows enough to be dangerous" comes to mind.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 480
    OK, so I'm in my Rookie Year as a helper, listening to the stories from the techs and installers. (Circa 1970) In order to diagnose the problem, the Tech set the thermostat to 80°. Also, the company wants combustion tests on all oil burners on all service calls... Especially Smoke and Draft. (an insurance thing)

    This customer is in their 70's and on a fixed income. As the Diagnosing and testing were being completed you could hear the floor creaking as homeowner walk to the thermostat. He turned the thermostat down to save on fuel. Frustrated, the Tech went back upstairs and asked the customer to leave the thermostat on 80°.

    Again the floor creaking and the burner stopped.

    Again the Tech went up and asked the customer to leave the thermostat alone.

    Again the floor creaking and the burner stopped.

    Again the Tech went up and asked the customer to leave the thermostat alone.

    Now, this Tech was a little annoyed and decided to teach the customer a lesson. He connected 120 V from the burner circuit to one side of the thermostat wire and was ready to connect the other wire to the Common Wire.

    Again the floor creaking and just before the customer reached the thermostat, the Tech connected the common to complete a short circuit through the thermostat. POP went the mercury bulb.

    Again the Tech went up and asked the customer to leave the thermostat alone, and now he needs to buy a new thermostat. A little unethical in my opinion, but the Customer followed the instructions from then on.

    Sometimes it has to cost a customer $$$ to learn.






  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 6,935
    I have told a few customers "Do this again and you will be getting another service company"
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,333
    I've recommended firing customers to the office more than once. They don't listen until a truly awesome amount of money has been pissed away.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,768

    Not a question, just a story. But the first time it happened to me.
    Get a call from a Will-Call, I already know he's out of oil. Says the heater doesn't work, tried resetting it a dozen times (he was 'properly instructed' about not doing that) keeps reading 'Hard Lockout' (Honeywell R7284U I installed 3 years ago). I asked him if he did anything other than just try to reset, he said no (I forgot George's first rule-Never Assume). Told him he's out of oil, I'll come fill him up.
    Go over put oil in, prime and go. Calls late last night, burner reads 'Hard Lockout', says it's fine until the morning.
    Go over today, burners intermittently locking out about 3 seconds after light off. Set up as 3 wire, no pre/purge, no oil valve.
    Gotta be loose wiring, maybe bad motor. Check all the wiring, ohm out the split-phase motor, check start winding. All on the higher end of the range, but ok. All wire nuts tight. Voltages good. Ohms fine. Still doing it.
    I decide to go into the installer menu and check the parameters. I guess (didn't ask, but I knew) while trying to reset the burner himself, he went in and changed the parameter to pre-purge, and turned off the diagnostics. So it was basically seeing flame during what it thought was pre-purge, and shutting down.
    Fixing the parameters, fixed the 'problem'.
    Hopefully the bill will keep him from touching the control. I told him to not reset the burner if it locks out because it won't fix the burner & clears the fault history (it doesn't, but that's probably the only thing that will keep him from touching it).

    Lesson learned, or better yet lesson reminded.

    This is why I like the Beckett GeniSys- most HOs won't spend the money for the tool you need to change the programming.
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,269
    > @Steamhead said:
    > (Quote)
    > This is why I like the Beckett GeniSys- most HOs won't spend the money for the tool you need to change the programming.

    Agree. But anyone can Google how to get it out of a Hard Lockout.

    Eliminate reset buttons on all boilers, burners, and furnaces.
    Oil and gas.
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,525
    They way I was taught to get rid of helpful customers that won't leave you alone is to tell them to see where the smoke and sparks shoot out when you go and reset the breaker. The normal response is I think my wife needs me.
    icy78
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,269
    I can remember an old timer, when he wasn't happy with present company, would start the burner and close a rag around the air gate for a few seconds. That would usually scatter them.
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 480
    edited March 20

    Why didn't the tech just jump it out at the burner from the git go?

    I remember asking that same question... I believe he was testing the low voltage circuit, including the thermostat performance.

    Steve... you have a lot of comments for a rhetorical post B)
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,106

    Why didn't the tech just jump it out at the burner from the git go?

    I remember asking that same question... I believe he was testing the low voltage circuit, including the thermostat performance.

    Steve... you have a lot of comments for a rhetorical post B)
    It was only one comment (now 2), and I think the post was more anecdotal than rhetorical.
    steve
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