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7am Christmas morning> My Lochinvar WH55 has flame fail!

schreib
schreib Member Posts: 125
Of all things Christmas morning ! Boiler is down. Big red screen, Flame Fail.

Propane tank is fine, water feed shows 55 psi, Tried reset twice and she tried 3x to ignite each time and failed. Cond. drain is fine.

Not a pro. Not sure how to get in and find more info and local plumber who did a check in the fall does not answer his emergency number but just called. . . maybe he will soon!

THIS is Murphy's law. and true.

Comments

  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 320
    No error codes displayed?

    what type of boiler?
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    No error code, as said above it is a Lochinvar model WH55 Knight boiler, hang on wall type. Only error explanation is "Flame Fail". Propan tank has 65% full, outdoor regulator screen is open. . .
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,567
    Most likely a bad ignitor.
    You could try pulling it out and cleaning it with something slightly abrasive. A dollar bill works well.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,567
    Do your other gas appliances operate?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,367
    If you're sure that you have gas at the boiler, make sure the vent isn't blocked.

    After that, I'd clean the ignitor and flame sensor using a dollar bill.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    schreib
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 320
    “ as said above it is a Lochinvar model WH55 Knight boiler, ”

    Ha ha, not fair editing after question asked!
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    edited December 2020
    just getting back after working on this goofball thing:
    -- yes, got gas, LP gas range works fine
    -- was just starting on the troubleshooting list from mfr manual when read above. . .
    SO, checking ignitor now. . . what fun on Christmas! GEEEZ.

    It would NOT be the ignitor if I see flame in the window, right?
    see images below

    More important symptoms:
    It ignites, flame shows in the body of the boiler, lots of little white hot areas show in middle of mass of blue flame on surface, like it was a bunch of iron filings burning up on the surface of blue area, then I hear, when it is trying to run up to full 100% burn, modulating vibration at the inducer blower; modulates up and down and the blue flame modulates in synchrony with it. Seem like it can't control the burn. . . ???

    any ideas?
    not sure if these images are showing up, format HEIC from iPhone:






  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 320
    Take it from me, it’s not any more enjoyable on a work day when trying to get kids up and out to school too!
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,318
    Once you have gas there and the air pipes in and out are open, then the drain hose connected to the bottom of the heat exchanger may be plugged, filling the boiler with condensate water not allowing spark.

    Then remove spark and flame sensor and clean, check for cracks on insulators and gap on spark ignitor.
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    I checked and the ball is floating in the cond drain valve, opened the cond. drain valve, removed emptied the water, and re-installed. It was all fine. Have not checked the vent per Ironman. . .doing that now. . .
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    vent appears fine, but will get a ladder and pull the cap and check directly. . . it is a fresh air inlet vent combo with specialized cap.
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    do the images show up??
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    Ironman found it: The vent was NOT plugged but I found the combo inner pipe was laying loose, shoved it back in hard and the tabs engaged the outer pipe and then I fired her up again, after reset.

    We have LIFTOFF Houston!!

    Wooohoooo!

    Thanks to you all, and a Merry Christmas it will be for us and you!

    You guys are GREAT!
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,567
    You should be able to scroll through the and read the "flame ionization current" and compare it to the spec in the manual.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,567
    Is it running and then cuts out at some point?
    Has a combustion analysis ever been done? On original startup?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    I GUESS this says it all.

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,567
    You need to turn the knob and scroll down to see flames sensor.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    Oh, yeah, that is simple forgot. by the way, yes, multiple comb. analyses have been done, all show fine, most recent less than 3 mo ago. . .
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,367
    I’m glad you got it going. That inner pipe is the exhaust and it should be properly primed and glued.

    Merry Christmas.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    Thanks again Iron man. Merry Christmas to you too!
  • schreib
    schreib Member Posts: 125
    I have to add this in. . . The REST of the story.

    Last night, Christmas eve, Brenda and I went to bed and expected not much for Christmas. We have stopped going to church these days after the pandemic hit, not gone out much all year being retired. Brenda hits the grocery store to meet and talk with other random strangers and a couple times a week I head over to support Menard’s and get my 11% rebate cashed for various projects around the farm.

    So, I woke up this morning to a dark house and, as usual, she's still fast asleep. Got up and immediately knew something was afoot. Hey, colder than usual. What’s going on? The fireplace stopped putting out because I never get up in the middle of the night to re-stoke it but hey, we have a boiler?! SO? Got to the utility room and there was a big read screen, like many PC users have seen, called the red screen of death. (Mac’s don’t get those.) So, it is telling me “flame failure”. It normally tries 4 times and if it can’t get a full blown flame it shuts down. OK. Push the reset button. Well, after a few times resetting and having it “seem” to take off I quickly concluded I needed actual professional help. So, I spent Christmas morning calling radiant heating companies to no avail and getting on the Heating Help Forum to ask for help. The guys there guided me to the problem as it turned out. I found a loose intake pipe preventing sustained combustion air flow into the boiler so it could not get correct pressure sensed and shut down. This took till about 10:30 am, just minutes before Chris(son) and Rachel(fiancé') showed up. . . . an auspicious start, huh?

    Not done yet.

    took a shower finally now that there was some, and about an hour later Chris thinks he sees a . . . Moose. . . a what?! no. . . a, a, a, COW?!

    Well, mid way through my troubleshooting fun a neighbor a half mile away had texted me a photo of a "bull" loose in his yard. I guess this must be him.

    I called 911 and found out yep, a farmer is out and about looking for . . . one of those. We were just ready to sit down for Christmas dinner and there the cow was again, bedded down 150 yards from our deck near the river. So, figuring the farmer was on his way I called him(her, actually) and she got straight up and came towards me. Just call me Dr Doolittle. The farmer showed up with his F350 and the cow’s baby in a trailer. . . about 30 seconds after this big black cow heads over the hill into the forest. . . He never found her, well no so far.

    I was just out calling again and left some cracked corn in the yard. . . We will see.
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