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Newbie here

ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
Hi,
As the title says I’m new at this. I have a problem which I’ve sort of worked thru. Up to a point anyway. We have. Weil-Mac boiler. The vent damper a johnson controls unit is stuck in the open position(which is OK for now). But the burner is not venting properly... there are some blue flames coming out from under the front of the burner. How do I adjust to reduce/eliminate these?
Sorry I don’t know all the proper terms to ask this directly.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP
«1

Comments

  • SuperTechSuperTech Member Posts: 1,344
    Please shut down the boiler and call a professional. Open the windows, if your boiler isn't venting properly you are risking carbon monoxide poisoning. The work you need done requires special tools and extensive training on how to use them correctly.
    HVACNUTSTEVEusaPA
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,412
    Turn off the electric and gas to the boiler.

    What you're seeing is called Rollout. And it's not good. There should be a safety fuseable link there.

    Are you able to remove the flue pipe and check the chimney base and the boiler flue passages?

    Post some pics. But shut the system down first.
    STEVEusaPA
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    HI again,
    I have some add’l info on the system components and better description of the problems.
    Weill-Mac gas boiler. Model# EG 45 PI; face plate hard to read; Johnson cont. Vent damper syst. Which “...consists of a Y15 damper assembly, M15 damper operator, and a Y84 wiring harness.
    ‘Origins’ of the problems: vent damper system broke in closed position(which SHOULD have shut down whole system) allowed system to continue working. It was a bit inconsistent- for example I occasionally heard the sys kick-in and saw fine small blue flames.
    A while ago there was a slight funky smell in the house, but we couldn’t identify it nor the source. More recently the smell got worse and somehow became vaguely familiar. When I checked it out I found the damper problem.
    That was the damper was in closed position with system churning out heat. After allowing it to cool down I looked into the damper and saw that it was shut; so I tried pushing it to the open position. In doing so I broke a part on the motor assembly. I wedged the blade in the open position and got the electric to work. I fired up the system and discovered the new Rollout problem.
    Now that the system is cool and I just finished breakfast/supper I’ll check the flue system for obstructions as you’ve suggested.
    I’ll be back (read that with Arnold style accent.)
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,091
    @ApolloT

    This is a serious situation. I urge you as have the others above to not run this boiler.

    You need a professional to clean the boiler , flue pipe and check the chimney.

    What happened is your vent damper failed close it allowed the burner to continue to run (so you have a failed safety control....probably a roll out switch that needs fixing as well) because the boiler ran without enough air is sooted up the heat exchanger and plugged the flue passages. That's why the flame is rolling out.

  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,489
    Shut it down and call for service. This is not a DIY repair, and operating it in this condition can be deadly.
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,166
    Thank the high heavens that you are still alive. You are talking about catastrophic failure. Shut the boiler and call a professional
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    Yes I shut down the system before my second post. I got to the point a while ago that this is beyond. We don’t have a reg hvac service so looking for recs from our neighbors.
    Thanks everybody.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,412
    The burners fired even though the damper was closed? And continued to run?
    Someone has been playing with wires.
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,166
    @ApolloT. Where are you located?
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    HVACNUT said:

    The burners fired even though the damper was closed? And continued to run?

    Someone has been playing with wires.

    More probably poor install
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    Called a usually well regarded plumbing hvac comp. Guy that just left. Didn't even walk up to boiler before he said that they won't clean/repair system...only replace. He said the carbon was too much... from 6' away. Took info will get back to me. I believe we had system installed late '80's.
    Does this sound reasonable?
    Can the boiler have gotten so damaged, by what happened, that it's beyond repair? beyond cleaning?
  • SuperTechSuperTech Member Posts: 1,344
    > @ApolloT said:
    > Called a usually well regarded plumbing hvac comp. Guy that just left. Didn't even walk up to boiler before he said that they won't clean/repair system...only replace. He said the carbon was too much... from 6' away. Took info will get back to me. I believe we had system installed late '80's.
    > Does this sound reasonable?
    > Can the boiler have gotten so damaged, by what happened, that it's beyond repair? beyond cleaning?

    Its possible that when you consider age and conditions of the boiler that it's not reasonable to try to repair it. Cast iron gas fired boilers aren't designed to be brushed and vacuumed out like an oil fired boiler. Its much more difficult to clean, and likely won't be the same as before it became plugged up ever again. Even after cleaning it up and making a mess in the process you still have to fix the issues that caused the boiler to become plugged.
    Get a few more opinions on this from other HVAC service providers and make a decision on the options you are given.
  • EzzyTEzzyT Member Posts: 995
    @ApolloT I own and operated a plumbing & heating company in NJ feel free to reach out to us and we would be glad to give our own assessment on the issue you have going on with your boiler.
    Creative Solutions Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Lic #12683
    Co-Owners: Fred Drescher, Jr & Eliezer "Ezzy" Travis
    Marketing & Operations: Dawn Drescher
    201.499.0223
    Follow us on Facebook.
    Check us out on Instagram: creative_solutions519
    SuperTechHVACNUTkcopp
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,947
    @ApolloT -- not only does @EzzyT own and operate a plumbing and heating company, he's one of the best in the business and a nice guy and good to work with to boot. Give him a call.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    kcopp
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,091
    @ApolloT ,

    Call @EzzyT , if he does not do your area there may be others in NJ that do. Such as @clammy or check "find a contractor" on this site
    SuperTech
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    Put in a couple of calls this afternoon since guy #1 was here about 3:30. we're awaiting call backs tomorrow AM. I'll add ezzy to list depending on other proposals.
    @Super Tech Thanks for your time and thoughts on my questions. I've heard some strange 'ideas' from contractors. I'm a bit skeptical when someone comes in and tells me I need a home-run job from across the room.
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,166
    Was that first guy joking? Can't clean soot from s gas boiler? Bunch of hogwash. It's debatable if it's worth the expense. Boiler is 30 something years old. But that's for you to decide. Don't "add" @EzzyT to your list. @EzzyT is your list. He is the Cadillac man. Man knows his boilers. Fwiw, I don't know ezzy and wouldn't recognize him if he bit me on the nose. Just seen lots and lots of his work on the Wall.
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,166
    Boiler might be leaking. Often leaks will create rust which will in turn cause soot. But you need to get up and close with the boiler. That is not a determination that can be made from the door of the boiler room.
    kcopp
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,166
    You also mentioned boiler had run with damper closed. That also could lead to combustion issues and soot
  • SuperTechSuperTech Member Posts: 1,344
    I've seen some of the work @EzzyT has done on here and you can't go wrong with him.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,412
    What model and Series Weil McLain boiler?

    From a safety standpoint as well as age and condition, it probably is time to upgrade.

    I see a minimum repair of, cleaning the boiler, chimney base, burners. Replacing the vent damper and wiring harness. Possibly the aquastat. Adding a Rollout switch to the circuit. Then the full test. Combustion, gas pressure, draft.

    That very well could add up to a down payment for a new, more efficient system.
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    Ezzy is 1 hr. away so I'm hesitant because of any follow-up. Local guys are scheduled and I have put in a call that I hate to have made. Relative is a landlord/ RE developer in NYC with plumbers on staff.
    We're just interested in a trusted opinion.
    This was orig typed about 2:30.

    Now 4:30- Just finished with cons 2 & 3... each has given more info AFTER an inspection.
    All have said, for their individ reasons, that system must be replaced. Both 2+3 showed demoed the causes for their conclusion. All agree 150K btu from following mfrs.
    #1- WM
    #2- Uttica
    #3- Williamson
    Your opinions re: making a selection will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks- big time
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,166
    Selection of installer is more important then selection of the boiler. How did the proposed installers come up with 150k? You will be living with this boiler for a long time. What's your rush? Get the right installer. Relative with plumbers on staff is a lousy way to pick an installer.
    SuperTech
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,166
    What happens when the plumbers mess up the installation (as 75-90 percent of plumbers do on steam installations)?
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,091
    @ApolloT

    You already have the best advise your going to get. What you choose to do with it is up to you. You can get the right job or you can get the (maybe wrong) job. It's up to you
  • EzzyTEzzyT Member Posts: 995
    @ApolloT Where exactly in NJ are you located?
    We cover a 2 hours range from our shop.
    Creative Solutions Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Lic #12683
    Co-Owners: Fred Drescher, Jr & Eliezer "Ezzy" Travis
    Marketing & Operations: Dawn Drescher
    201.499.0223
    Follow us on Facebook.
    Check us out on Instagram: creative_solutions519
  • PerryHolzmanPerryHolzman Member Posts: 127
    @ApolloT

    I'm a homeowner who also has a lot of experience dealing with industrial, to 1000 MW power plant sized boilers as I became an Engineer and worked in Industrial and power plants (and used to clean and repair coal fired boilers in my youth).

    Having a contractor who knows what they are actually doing - and does it right from an hour away is VASTLY better than having a local contractor who does a so-so or bad job.

    It's your house and your heating system. You get to live with the results.

    I sure wish I had a Heating Help contractor within even a 2 hour drive of me (I don't).

    At least let EzzT look at it and let him tell you what he would check out and do for you. I assure you that this will virtually certainly be of value to you in the end.

    Its late spring - you have time to address this without freezing the house. I know how inconvenient that can be because last year at this time my wife was sleeping in a cold house and I took cold showers for several weeks as I was caring for my mother during her last days) until I could fix my system because there is no one in the area who can do it).


    Perry
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    @PerryHolzman
    Sorry for your loss.
    SuperTech
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    @STEAM DOCTOR
    I was thinking about how we went about our oil to gas conversion- late '80s- for any lessons.

    The local gas supplier Pub. Srv. Elect + Gas had a program that helped customers thru the process. We went that route. A guy came to our house to count and measure the rads. A few days later I rec'd suggestion for 150k- (someone else thought larger), and a list of approved contractors. We picked a local individual who did the work. This is the first trouble we've had since then.

    Recalling this I've decided to call for their current list of approved installers.
  • PerryHolzmanPerryHolzman Member Posts: 127
    @ApolloT

    Thank you. She lived a full life for 89 years, and did not linger in a nursing home for years when things really went south. Best for all involved and my time commitment was just months and not years.

    I wish you the best in your choice and hope you get a decent contractor. While there are contractors who are really up on things and do things right; they are typically outnumbered by the ones who don't.

    Also, don't just "accept" that just because a contractor recommends replacement - that is your best option. Also, demonstrations of certain things may or may not even apply (lots of consumer devices are sold using fake demonstrations that have nothing to do with how the unit actually works in real life). You likely don't have the knowledge to know what is a valid demonstration or not.

    In my case, 3 local contractors would replace my boiler on sight for any issue; even though its still a state of the art boiler and likely better quality than most of what's available on the market.

    They don't know the boiler (even though they know the brand name and its quality reputation), and are not interested in doing the work required to troubleshoot and fix a boiler they don't know. Other experts in the industry on this site say the same.

    My lesson is that if a contractor looks at the boiler and says "project" in their mind (be that we don't know this boiler, or we do but it's going to be work); they will just recommend replacing the boiler.

    I have no idea if you need a replacement boiler or not. My personal experience was that I could rebuild my own 12 year old boiler high efficiency boiler at about 1/3 the cost of even the cheapest and most inefficient replacement boiler (it cost this much because the very expensive main control card on a Mod/Con boiler- was actually the part that failed after 12 years, although I replaced other parts too); except I had to do the work myself (and I'm a rare homeowner to have the technical expertise to do so); and I expect this boiler to last another 20-30 years with occasional part replacement (the Mfr is known for having parts available for decades - even if they are not cheap parts: But, that is a lot cheaper than replacing the boiler).

    I do trust Ezzt to give you a proper answer of if the boiler can be repaired (and likely run for many more years) at about 1/x the cost of a new one, or not (or that its a gamble). If Ezzt installs a new one - it will be done right.
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    Thanks again for everyone’s time.
    I will call EzzyT; PSEG now installs systems using their own staff plumbers, so there’s NO approved list as before. It’s a very big comp. that’s well respected. So they’ve been called. For appt. Also, got names of 2 other respected local guys from satisfied customer.

    Demo of problem(s) included pointing out that plastic controls on front panel were distorted/damaged by flames that had come from under the boiler. Another guy reached to take pix with his phone. He also removed a plate in front for a better view. Finally, #3 thought 150k seemed too big for our house. He counted & measured all rads. Used a program to check and called his boss to verify the results. He said 150k is right.

    I must say I’m a bit skeptical, though. Our old system was installed ‘80s. I’m surprised that new efficiency standards haven’t changed that calculation.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,060
    edited May 11
    ApolloT said:

    Thanks again for everyone’s time.
    I will call EzzyT; PSEG now installs systems using their own staff plumbers, so there’s NO approved list as before. It’s a very big comp. that’s well respected. So they’ve been called. For appt. Also, got names of 2 other respected local guys from satisfied customer.

    Demo of problem(s) included pointing out that plastic controls on front panel were distorted/damaged by flames that had come from under the boiler. Another guy reached to take pix with his phone. He also removed a plate in front for a better view. Finally, #3 thought 150k seemed too big for our house. He counted & measured all rads. Used a program to check and called his boss to verify the results. He said 150k is right.

    I must say I’m a bit skeptical, though. Our old system was installed ‘80s. I’m surprised that new efficiency standards haven’t changed that calculation.


    Call EzzT.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Canucker
  • PerryHolzmanPerryHolzman Member Posts: 127
    ApolloT said:

    Thanks again for everyone’s time.
    I will call EzzyT; PSEG now installs systems using their own staff plumbers, so there’s NO approved list as before. It’s a very big comp. that’s well respected. So they’ve been called. For appt. Also, got names of 2 other respected local guys from satisfied customer.

    Demo of problem(s) included pointing out that plastic controls on front panel were distorted/damaged by flames that had come from under the boiler. Another guy reached to take pix with his phone. He also removed a plate in front for a better view. Finally, #3 thought 150k seemed too big for our house. He counted & measured all rads. Used a program to check and called his boss to verify the results. He said 150k is right.

    I must say I’m a bit skeptical, though. Our old system was installed ‘80s. I’m surprised that new efficiency standards haven’t changed that calculation.

    1st demo: Showing that the plastic was melted... only shows that there is a burner/combustion issue (which you knew already). Not what is causing it; and fixing the damper, chimney, or burner (or a combination) is more likely the issue than the boiler casting and casing being bad.

    2nd demo: Taking a picture of the combustion chamber... shows what exactly? Again, the issue is most likely in the damper, chimney, or burner as I doubt that a combustion issue has damaged the boiler casting or casing itself. Fixing those things are most likely to solve your problem.

    I'd cross both of those contractors off of your list.

    If the issue is the draft damper and/or chimney - you will have to fix those even if you install a new boiler (although perhaps a new direct vent boiler will prevent the cost of relining and repairing a degraded chimney).

    Burners most often can be repaired; and in many cases totally replaced if the base boiler is in good condition (some boilers do not have replacement burners available).

    The only likely question relates to the overall condition of your boiler casting and casing, and is it likely worth the cost of perhaps changing the entire burner assembly if that is what needs to be done?

    Perry
  • ApolloTApolloT Member Posts: 12
    @EzzyT
    Check your inbox above.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,867
    EzzyT said:

    @ApolloT I own and operated a plumbing & heating company in NJ feel free to reach out to us and we would be glad to give our own assessment on the issue you have going on with your boiler.

    @ApolloT -- not only does @EzzyT own and operate a plumbing and heating company, he's one of the best in the business and a nice guy and good to work with to boot. Give him a call.

    @ApolloT ,

    Call @EzzyT , if he does not do your area there may be others in NJ that do. Such as @clammy or check "find a contractor" on this site

    A bit late to this but I'll say it as well: THIS^^^^
    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
  • EzzyTEzzyT Member Posts: 995
    I did take a look at @ApolloT boiler and it’s done for and needs to be replacement.
    Boiler not being maintained properly and age is definitely the over all causes of boiler to fail.
    I did vacuum out a ton of debris out of the chimney (leaves, twigs). Chimney is an exterior chimney and most definitely needs a new liner.
    Creative Solutions Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Lic #12683
    Co-Owners: Fred Drescher, Jr & Eliezer "Ezzy" Travis
    Marketing & Operations: Dawn Drescher
    201.499.0223
    Follow us on Facebook.
    Check us out on Instagram: creative_solutions519
    SuperTechJellisHVACNUT
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,412
    @EzzyT , does it even have a Rollout Switch? How was it even running in that condition?
  • EzzyTEzzyT Member Posts: 995
    This is the condition that the boiler was, is in upon arrival and after leaving.
    Creative Solutions Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Lic #12683
    Co-Owners: Fred Drescher, Jr & Eliezer "Ezzy" Travis
    Marketing & Operations: Dawn Drescher
    201.499.0223
    Follow us on Facebook.
    Check us out on Instagram: creative_solutions519
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,412
    Good luck. Hopefully we'll see some "after" pics from you.
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