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New LWCO installed with packaging

steam-rookie
steam-rookie Member Posts: 127
edited April 18 in Strictly Steam
Hello everyone,
I will tell you what happened, and I will ask advise on what to do next.
Not long ago, I had a new lwco installed in my 75 year old steam boiler.
The boiler service co. that installed it was not very good. The old cut off was refusing to come out. So, the decision to cut it out was made. I watched as the saws-all cut through the old one like butter. It was then very easily unthreaded from the opening in the boiler. the threads in the opening were slightly cut into. So, something called "liquid steel" was applied to the cut section of thread. Also, pipe dope was used, and the new lwco was screwed into the opening. It's been in there for quite some time now, and it does not leak. Not perfect, but it was a success. No leak, no drip, dry as a bone.
So now the bad part.
The service man was very fast. Why such a rush, I do not know. He was so fast, that I do not believe he looked at the part before he screwed it in. I can never understand why this guy is always in such a rush.
The two wires were connected correctly. The boiler was filled back up to the correct level. The boiler was switched back on. The boiler did not go on. The two wires were then removed from the lwco. The two wires were then twisted together. The boiler fired right up.
The service man then left the two wires twisted together. The new lwco was bypassed. So its installed, it's not leaking, it's also not working. The service man gathered up his stuff, and left. On his way out, he said the problem is most likely "packaging".
Well no f--king sh-t. If he had just taken the time to look at the part, before screwing it in. It would have been obvious that there is a small black knob that needs to be removed, before installation. That black knob is there to prevent the float from banging, rattling, around while it's in the box. It is supposed to be removed before installation. I have provided a photo at the end of this post.
So now my question:
I do not want to remove the sleeve, then remove the black knob, then reinstall. It's in there good, with "liquid steel", and does not leak.
The other option is to remove the 8 small screws, and pull the entire assembly, along with the float from the sleeve. This is something that is supposed to be done anyway every year. (yearly maintenance).

This will no doubt dislodge the packing black knob. I can then reinstall the two wires, and have a perfectly working, brand new lwco.
But.
Is this a good plan. What will happen to the black knob. Will it forever be floating around in my boiler water. Will this be bad for my boiler.
Any input on this problem would be most welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance for your thoughts on this.
steam-rookie

69, Float Type Low Water Cut-off, 4-1/8" Insertion (Steam)
73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.

Comments

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,141
    edited April 18
    Did you pay for the repair?

    I would have called the company and refused to pay for a part that was not operable.


    As far as removing the 8 small screws, that is the way I would go. The fact that the boiler tapping threads may be compromised, and there is a "patch" repair that is working, is a cause for leaving well enough alone.

    I would not operate the boiler without a working LWCO.... EVER!!!
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    mattmia2luketheplumber
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,479
    That story should be on the "wall of shame". Did he not leave a bill, or was he too much in a rush for that?--NBC
    luketheplumber
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,018
    I wouldn't touch it or run the boiler.

    Call the company that installed it immediately and talk with the owner.

    Go as high up the food chain as you can an blast him good.

    There is no excuse for this. It's a safety control you could loose the boiler and your house.

    Any tech (and I use that term loosely in this case)

    Should get fired and loose his license if he even has one
    STEVEusaPAmattmia2Canuckerluketheplumber
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,474

    Did you pay for the repair?

    I would have called the company and refused to pay for a part that was not operable.


    As far as removing the 8 small screws, that is the way I would go. The fact that the boiler tapping threads may be compromised, and there is a "patch" repair that is working, is a cause for leaving well enough alone.

    I would not operate the boiler without a working LWCO.... EVER!!!

    That story should be on the "wall of shame". Did he not leave a bill, or was he too much in a rush for that?--NBC

    I wouldn't touch it or run the boiler.

    Call the company that installed it immediately and talk with the owner.

    Go as high up the food chain as you can an blast him good.

    There is no excuse for this. It's a safety control you could loose the boiler and your house.

    Any tech (and I use that term loosely in this case)

    Should get fired and loose his license if he even has one

    My sentiments exactly. That guy should not be in the business.

    But I wouldn't depend on the original company to fix it, at least not right away.

    @steam-rookie , first job is to make it safe. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 127
    Thank you for the reply's. I am located on Long Island. As far as the bill is concerned. Yes. I did pay the bill. Somehow, he found the time for that before he left. I have used this service company for many years. The bill was paid in good faith, that he would return the next day and correct the problem. He never did come back, or call me.
    After reading all of your posts, I do feel foolish now for paying it.
    However, the bill is not my biggest concern. Getting this lwco to work properly is my biggest concern.
    This job was done the week before the pandemic hit. To be honest. I did not want anyone in the house at that time. I have a very serious health problem, and a completely compromised immune system.
    (every 3 weeks chemo). This past year has been a nightmare for me. I am now double vaccinated, and feel more comfortable and less stressed out. I am now open to having some work done inside the house. This lwco is my first priority.
    If you feel I should be in the wall of shame, than so be it. I'm sure I deserve it.
    I wish I had done this job myself. I am very handy, and feel I could have done it. Its just that my health is so bad, that's most likely why I decided to have it done by a "professional". Currently, my health is now worse. But I am not going to let that stop me from fixing this lwco. I have no intention to call the service company back to do it. I did give them a call about 2 weeks ago, explained, in detail, the situation. They said they would call me back, but they never did. After I fix this myself, my next phone call to them will to be asking for my money back.
    So, anyway, back to my problem.
    I am in total agreement that the sleeve should be left in. From: EdTheHeaterMan "The fact that the boiler tapping threads may be compromised, and there is a "patch" repair that is working, is a cause for leaving well enough alone".
    I am going to take those 8 screws out. I am then going to pull the entire unit out of the sleeve.
    This should dislodge any packing, and release the black knob out into my boiler water forever. I have no idea what that knob is made of. Hopefully, its not plastic. But it does look like it is.
    If any of you have a better idea, please let me know.
    If any of you think this will harm my boiler, please let me know.
    I trust all of you, and thank all of you for helping me.
    Steam-Rookie
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,318
    IMO, the plastic plug will not hurt your boiler. But when you drain it, the plug may find it's way into the boiler drain.
    If still the factory drain valve, it most likely has a small opening about the size of the plug.
    IIWM, I would get the boiler (hopefully) drained and then remove the little hose bib drain and replace it with a full port brass ball valve with hose adaptor and brass cap. I would use a brass nipple to go into the boiler.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,008
    The state licensing board may not be a bad one to contact with this.

    You shouldn't be on the wall of shame, the person that bypassed the LWCO and left should be. It is a critical safety device.

    Within the boiler water passages the plug should never get hot enough to melt or burn the plastic.
    ethicalpaulCLamb
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,474
    @steam-rookie , there are plenty of Steam Men on Long Island. Use the Find a Contractor page of this site to find one.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,190
    There is no need for you to feel responsible for any of this, the onus is on the tech that left that LWCO in an unsafe state. Find out who owns that company and send him a letter telling him how the system was left, maybe include a link to your post on this site.

    Tell him you don't feel comfortable having his company work on your boiler so your going elsewhere for boiler service. Next find a contractor with known credentials and have them fix the LWCO and put a full port drain valve on the boiler and chock this affair up as a learning experience and put it all behind you.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,993
    edited April 21
    As a homeowner I agree completely with the above three opinions. I would send a copy of that letter with photographs of the bypass to the local inspection authority. A crime was committed in your basement.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 1,989
    As a homeowner I agree completely with the above two opinions. I would send a copy of that letter with photographs of the bypass to the local inspection authority. A crime was committed in your basement.
    Unfortunately that could be any # of Towns, City’s and Counties. 

    What town is this. 
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 481
    @steam-rookie
    You said, "This job was done the week before the pandemic hit." Are we to conclude you have been operating the boiler without a LWCO for over a year?

    ethicalpaulmattmia2
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 127
    Steam-Mohawk. You have concluded correctly. The lwco has been bypassed for about a year. You can add me to the wall of shame. You should also know this is stressing me out. The more I learn on here, from experts like you, the more I worry about the lwco. I have made numerous phone calls to the service company that left it like that. But my calls are never returned. I thought for sure that I would be able to fix it.
    I attempted this yesterday.
    IT DID NOT GO WELL.
    First, I turned the boiler off, and cooled it down for about 5 hours.
    I then loosened the 8 small bolts around the clamping ring.
    nothing happened.
    I then removed all 8 bolts, and removed the ring.
    nothing happened.
    I was expecting the whole thing to just pull out.
    That did not happen.
    I looked further into the directions, and it appears the switch, and the float (bellows) is threaded into the sleeve.
    I tried to turn it out by hand, but its not moving.
    The switch is plastic, and has no place for a wrench to be used.
    I did not want to break it, so I just put the whole thing back together. I filled the boiler back up, turned it on, and now I am still back to where I was.
    I think its possible that the black knob is holding everything up, preventing the internals to be screwed out.
    From the looks of that photo attached to the beginning of this post, That black knob looks like its in there pretty good. It looks like it could easily prevent me from just screwing out the interior workings of this device.
    They do sell just the interior workings of this lwco. I will post a photo of this part at the end of this post.
    So, it does come out. I just don't know how.
    I have zero experience with this. Mostly, I am learning from all of you.
    I have zero confidence in the boiler company that installed this. This makes me hesitate to keep calling them.
    I do not want to spend more money on an already very expensive bill that was paid to install it wrong.
    There is a very reputable steam company on Long Island
    Unfortunately, they will not service a boiler that they did not install. I know this, because I called them first to do this job.
    So, I am left with having to get this lwco working on my own.
    I will need some suggestions from all of you on how to do this.
    Thank you in advance, for trying to help me.
    I don't want to have to be worrying about this any longer.
    Steam-Rookie

    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 127
    edited April 25
    These are photos of the lwco
    The first one is the entire unit. This is what was installed
    The second one is a replacement part, just for in interior workings.
    The third one is a parts breakdown diagram.
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 481
    Thank you for the compliment, but I am far from an expert; many of the others are.

    Judging from the information you posted and other photos on the internet, the plug appears to be installed on the bottom to support the bellows and keep it from moving during shipping/handling. Unless the plug has softened/melted and fused to the bellows, it seems removing the bellows should not be all that difficult. But read on...

    The unit has two switches, terminals 1 and 2 are one switch, 3 and 4 the other. Did anyone check the resistance between the terminals to see if there is electrical continuity after the boiler had been filled? If there is enough water in the boiler, you should have continuity (essentially no resistance). Which terminals were used by the Knucklehead?

    It is difficult to tell what effect, if any, the plug has on the orientation of the bellows. There is probably enough force on the bellows to keep it from moving too much, but that could raise it enough to make continuity.

    Here are two instruction manuals, D is dated 2015, F is dated 2019, you can see those years in small print toward the bottom of the last page.

    https://www.nationalpumpsupply.com/content/pdf/mcdonnell-&-miller-lwco-69-installation-manual.pdf

    https://documentlibrary.xylemappliedwater.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/22/files/2012/07/246753_MM-226F.pdf?_ga=2.103211264.1622478861.1619393634-1328489609.1619393634

    Both instruction manuals make it abundantly clear the unit has to be level, side to side. Is it?

    Neither manual says to remove the plug before installation, but I'm not surprised.

    Here are the instructions for replacing the bellows and switch assembly. The assembly works in more than one model of LWCO. Page 2 has the Preparation instruction for removing the assembly. If you haven't done those steps, the assembly is probably not removable.

    https://www.gothermal.com/PDF/SA67-2 CATALOG PAGE.pdf

    Bottom line, it's unlikely, but not impossible that the unit is defective. Without seeing the installation, I can't make any judgement. That being said, you might learn something if you do the things I suggested above, hoping you reassembled the unit properly, after trying to remove the assembly.

    Make sure power is OFF when you do anything, cold if you try to remove the assembly and good luck.

  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,320
    Shame shame and shame. We all mess up. That's normal. But grown ups take responsibility for their mistakes. I would not be so scared to unscrew the LWCO. Their are any number of sealants that can be used. 
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 481
    The installation manual calls for a torque of "about 150 lb-ft". That's a bit of torque, since wheel bolts on my van are spec'd at 95 lb-ft. Also, the hex is 2-1/2", which is not all that common a size for a homeowner's tool box.

    Add to it any additional friction with how it was put together and it could be a real challenge.

    I am fortunate in that I have several monkey wrenches handed down from my Dad, and some cheater pipes to get more leverage.

    Please, do not go into another heating season without a fully functional LWCO. The risk is not worth it in the long run.

    Again, good luck.
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 86
    Stop calling the service company and send them a certified letter. If you can get a friendly lawyer to send one on their letterhead even better.
    ethicalpaul
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 481
    Have you identified a suitable contractor?
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 481
    Where are you located?
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