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This weeks case ??

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RayWohlfarth
RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,555
Sorry Im late this week. Crazy day. I can't tell you the name of the case without giving out what happened. Suffice it to say, it was one of scariest job sites I ever saw. My friend with gas company asked me to visit one of his customers to see if I had any ideas on how to lower the gas bills. The medical building was past due and in danger of having their gas shut off for non payment. When I walked inside the boiler, I saw a 4x4 electrical box on the front of the boiler with the wires hanging out of the box. The boiler was an old Kewanee Type C boiler. The customer was on credit hold with every vendor. Can you guess what I witnessed? I'll let you know Friday at 6am EST
Ray Wohlfarth
Boiler Lessons

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,963
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    I'm sure they were hot wiring it and bypassing the safeties that prove flame but I can't say exactly how.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,701
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    Hot wired the gas valve to keep it on & lit it with a match. It ran non-stop since no one else wanted to light it.
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 930
    edited September 2023
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    I have to agree with @mattmia2. It is surprising to see just what a customer will do to keep a boiler system running. They do not realize that every boiler is a potential BOMB just waiting for someone to light the fuse.

    Years ago, there was a customer that rewired a Honeywell primary control on a 300-400 HP fire tube steam boiler so they did not have to spend the money for a control up-date. They were having a problem getting the boiler to fire and hit the reset one too many times. One man died (decapitated), and another lost most of his hearing. All this just to save a few bucks. By the way, this was a very large and well known utility company. What a loss.

    My greatest fear was going to a new customer where I was told that the other guys could not get the boiler to fire (especially on fuel oil which I called "liquid dynamite") and they had worked on it for many days. On those jobs I would not allow anyone to be in the boiler room until I had it working normally.
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,555
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    You were all correct. The guy wire the gas valves open and when they needed heat, he opened the manual gas valve and stuck a burning broom inside. It started with a loud whoosh and flames shot out the open door. Believe you me, that scared me a lot. The gas company decided to shut off their gas because of non payment but I think it was because they didnt want to get sued when this thing exploded.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    GGrossCLamb
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,701
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    The mind boggles
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,701
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    I mean, why didn't he stick the flaming broom in first, & then open the gas valve???
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,963
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    ratio said:

    I mean, why didn't he stick the flaming broom in first, & then open the gas valve???

    Maybe they had the broom in the wrong place for it to light smoothly.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,840
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    The old Honeywell RA890E primary control which most of you won't remember when they went off on flame safety people use to stick a matchbook which fit perfectly to hold the flame relay in.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,010
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    All together now..............

    You can't fix stupid!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    SlamDunk
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,109
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    I have an old RA890E (or 2) that was removed from a demo if anyone wants to play with one.

    Even have the vac tube for the earlier version.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,840
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    @JUGHNE

    Reminds me that I was told that if an insurance adjuster looked at an RA890 the first thing they would check was the vacuum tube. If it wasn't a "Honeywell" vac tube (and none of them around here were) they would not pay a claim. Around here we bought them at the local TV supply store.

    They also had those old vacuum tube testers all over the place like drug stores.

    If I remember right the "E" control didn't have a tube it had some kind of thermistor?? that groaned when the control started up and the older controls had the vac tube. Don't hold me to that.
    ttekushan_3
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,963
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    Reminds me that I was told that if an insurance adjuster looked at an RA890 the first thing they would check was the vacuum tube. If it wasn't a "Honeywell" vac tube (and none of them around here were) they would not pay a claim. Around here we bought them at the local TV supply store.

    Well that sounds productive so then you have to drag a ee in court as an expert witness to testify that honewell buys them from sylvania or tung sol or eimac or rca and slaps their name on it.
    ttekushan_3
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 930
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    Geeze ED, you probably remember the RA190 now that was old and the R478A or B.
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,555
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    Isn't it scary how people responsible for this equipment and they have no training or understanding. I have seen more plugged and capped relief valves in my career than I care to admit.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    CLamb
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,600
    edited September 2023
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    I used to travel around the country from july thru august repairing burners in grain driers for harvest season. Nothing will stop a grain drier operator from drying grain. If they couldnt light their burner the normal way, with an estblished pilot on a flame rod, they would fill the blast tube with kerosene, light it, then open the Maxon valve(s).

    And the driers along the Mississippi, they always had fish remnants on the burners. While the grain was drying, the operators would be fishing for lunch.

    I always thought farmers were ingenius.
    PC7060CLamb