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Can't get Weil Mclain eg-40 restarted

JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33
edited October 3 in Strictly Steam
Hi, my first few years with this boiler i left the pilot going in the summer and just never turned it off. Then last year I did a lot of work to the boiler and felt I understood it well enough I could easily shut off the gas in the spring and then restart it in the fall.

However, I just tried to get it started and i ensured gas on, boiler switch is on and I turn the gas control valve to Pilot and depress and it seems no gas is moving. I dont hear gas, I dont smell gas even after holding the button trying to light with a bbq lighter many times.

I'm not sure what I could be doing wrong or what else I should try.... One thing I will mention I noticed the gas valve when I depress t he knob on pilot, if its not in the perfect position it doesnt go in as far, but i did wiggle it until it depressed all the way and it still wouldnt start.

Do I have a bad gas control valve or i noticed some crud on the pilot, could the pilot get clogged after sitting perhaps (would the gas not blow any dust out when its turned on?)

Also, is this a bad idea to normally shut these down (especially old ones that have never shutdown?)

Thanks much guys.

EDIT: i forgot to mention I did shut it down last yeaar to clean the burners and had no issue restarting it then. so i am 99% sure i am doing the procedure correctly. Also the low water cut off red light is OFF so its not that. (it lights up when its too low and off when its good i am 99% sure)


I was thinking of trying to adjust the pilot up a bit to see if that helps..... Should I smell gas if i hold the pilot down for a bit?


Here is a pic of the gas valve:



If I need a new one, does anyone know how I figure out a suitable replacement? can I order a similar one on amazon from like Honeywell? Or do I need to go to a heating place and bring that old one with me to get the exact same one? THanks

Comments

  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,872
    It may be difficult to get close enough to the pilot burner to smell gas before it dissipates. Is the valve before the boiler off? It is possible for pilot burners to clog but just sitting over the summer seems unlikely. you could unscrew the pilot burner fitting at the valve and see if there is gas there when you press the knob/button. even better yet hook a manometer up to it and press the button and see if you have pressure.
    JoeDi
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33
    edited October 3
    Yeah I confirmed the valve before the burner is ON. I also tried to turn the pilot adjustment screw out 2 turns to increase it and didnt matter. Shouldnt I hear some gas hissing at least?

    I dont have a manometer but i can get one cheap from amazon quickly it seems would this work? https://www.amazon.com/Manometer-Pressure-Differential-Diameter-Hti-Xintai/dp/B07R3J4ZJ4/ref=zg_bs_5006565011_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=VE46MH1R80B6J7QYC9K1

    the info of the valve is on the side i cant see i used my phone to snap this:



    i think its discontinued, old essex one ,i found a used one on ebay that was it.
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33
    edited October 3
    Is there a way i can check for 24v on the gas valve to rule out an electrical thing? there are 3 terminals, TH, TR and THTR. how should i check for 24v? I am going to try to hunt for a manual on it too.

    EDIT: i just took the pilot out and put my nose to it and smell nothing when i depress the pilot.
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33
    edited October 3
    my pilot must be clogged. i removed the pilot tube from the pilot assembly and smell g as instantly coming from the ferule. tried cleaning the top of the pilot where the white crud is (the pilot was WAY too high, i adjusted it last year) with a wire brush but no joy. gas smell goes away once i screw the line back in.

    can i poke something through the other end of the pilot? the pilot shield/flame diverter hood is in the way so i cant really clean it good from the top. thanks
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,872
    Might have to take the main burner out or whatever the pilot burner is mounted to to get to it.
    JoeDi
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33
    mattmia2 said:

    Might have to take the main burner out or whatever the pilot burner is mounted to to get to it.

    I did, i have it out just not sure what to do next. Cleaning the top of the pilot didnt help.

    Here is what it looks like:








  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,872
    You can try cleaning with something plastic. you should be able to blow through it when it is clear although at a very low volume.
    JoeDi
  • luketheplumberluketheplumber Member Posts: 88
    could it have rusted shut due to humidity over the summer? maybe soaking it in white vinegar would help.
    17 years old and wants to learn about steam and hot water heating
    JoeDi
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33

    could it have rusted shut due to humidity over the summer? maybe soaking it in white vinegar would help.

    very possible, had a very very humid summer. i will try soaking it.
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33
    mattmia2 said:

    You can try cleaning with something plastic. you should be able to blow through it when it is clear although at a very low volume.

    I dont think plastic will work, its pretty badly clogged. Could I use a thin piece of wire? I was thinking maybe finding a thin gauge wire and trying to poke a hole through the crud
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,193
    There are special nozzle cleaning wires in a sort of Swiss Army Knife arrangement of different sizes, for that purpose, and also replacement pilot light assemblies.—NBC 
    JoeDimattmia2
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33
    edited October 3

    There are special nozzle cleaning wires in a sort of Swiss Army Knife arrangement of different sizes, for that purpose, and also replacement pilot light assemblies.—NBC 

    EDIT: I went to the local heating supply place and found a replacement pilot assembly that looks like it will work. I also bought a new thermocouple because the existing one clips in to the old assembly and the new assembly has a large hole so I needed the holder that comes with a new thermocouple.

    New and Old Assembly:





    I had to use PB Blaster to remove the old pilot assembly, is that a problem to have PB Blaster on the burner? I have already brushed the main burner with a soft wire brush but its still loaded with crud from t he pilot being too high previously. Is there something I can use to safely clean the burner? This is what it looks like:






    Any idea what type assembly I would need based on my pictures? I bought a replacement one last year from the heating supply but its not the correct shape/orientation and i dont think i can adapt it to make it work. Looking online it seems there are various mounting bracket styles (A, B, C, etc). I think I need a B but i am not 100% sure.
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,872
    You should probably have someone that has combustion analysis equipment and knows how to use it clean and adjust the boiler at some point soon, it doesn't look like that has been done in a long time.

    The issue with using wire to clean the burner is that it can change the size of the orifice.
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33
    mattmia2 said:

    You should probably have someone that has combustion analysis equipment and knows how to use it clean and adjust the boiler at some point soon, it doesn't look like that has been done in a long time.

    The issue with using wire to clean the burner is that it can change the size of the orifice.

    Thanks, I am going to try and get someone in at some point to do a combustion test.

    The wire brush I used to clean the burner was really soft wire brush, it didnt do any damage but i was able to get a decent amount of the gunk off.

    I was able to get the pilot replaced and now the boiler is working again.

    My only concern is that the pilot seems a bit high to me, is this normal?

    https://youtu.be/87spCQZlTsw

    I tried to adjust it down but the adjustment screw on the gas valve isnt really making much of a difference.
  • mikeapolis mikeapolis Member Posts: 16
    I'm curious about the condition of that heat exchanger.
    Any chance you could put your phone underneath and snap a couple pictures?
    JoeDi
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 802
    edited October 7
    The pilot flame in the video is perfect. Do the main burners light properly? Smooth without a big puff and flame roll-out?

    You probably don't need it but, you can get the main burner with a pilot bracket from a Weil McLain distributer. Part number/description:
    512-200-001 Burner, Stainless Tube With Pilot Bracket: PI System (All Sizes)
    Burner w/o bracket is part number 512-200-000

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Weil-McLain-512-200-001-Burner-Steel-Tube-w-Pilot-Bracket-for-EG-EGH-Boilers
    JoeDi
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33

    I'm curious about the condition of that heat exchanger.
    Any chance you could put your phone underneath and snap a couple pictures?

    Unfortunately for me your hunch seems on point.....







    I'm guessing that is a leak? I've never noticed anything dripping or anything like that. Even all summer there was neever any water under the boiler. I know this cant be fixed, its going to require a new boiler right? I really hope it can make it until next year though, this isnt the ideal year to have to buy a new one for me.

  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,872
    Is ti steam or hot water? Does that actually feel wet or is it just something wet looking? If it is a leak it could be some fitting in to the boiler. If ti is between sections it is sometimes possible to disassemble it and replace the leaking gasket if it is a gasketed boiler.
  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33
    mattmia2 said:

    Is ti steam or hot water? Does that actually feel wet or is it just something wet looking? If it is a leak it could be some fitting in to the boiler. If ti is between sections it is sometimes possible to disassemble it and replace the leaking gasket if it is a gasketed boiler.

    It's a steam boiler. a Weil Mclain EG-40. Its I'm not entire sure its the original energy sticker on it because its peeling off and looks like it could have been removed from the previois boiler, but if it is it says this boiler was from 1991. So like 30 years old.

    I dont feel anything wet at all. I dont think its a fitting because from what I can tell there are no fittings in that area but i am not 100% sure.

  • JoeDiJoeDi Member Posts: 33

    The pilot flame in the video is perfect. Do the main burners light properly? Smooth without a big puff and flame roll-out?

    You probably don't need it but, you can get the main burner with a pilot bracket from a Weil McLain distributer. Part number/description:
    512-200-001 Burner, Stainless Tube With Pilot Bracket: PI System (All Sizes)
    Burner w/o bracket is part number 512-200-000

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Weil-McLain-512-200-001-Burner-Steel-Tube-w-Pilot-Bracket-for-EG-EGH-Boilers

    Thanks! I was wondering if I could get a replacement or not. Not too expensive either. If it gets any worse I will order one.

    The burners seem to light perfectly, no big puff and no flame roll out that i can tell.

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,412
    From the look of it I would hazard a guess that what you have there is a leak between sections. Weil-McClain uses an O-ring between sections (well, not really an O-ring; it's got a square cross section), and they can, over time, leak. You might be able to get someone to take the sections apart -- but it the leak has been going on for any length of time it's likely that the sealing surfaces are damaged.

    So...

    Keep an eye on your water usage. If it starts to really go up, it's time to change. Also, keep your pressure down -- that can help a lot.
    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
    JoeDimikeapolis
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