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The case of that time the boiler blew up with Ray inside the boiler room, this Friday's case.

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RayWohlfarth
RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,491
This weeks video doesn't have a problem to solve. It's me sharing a dumb thing I did when starting a boiler. The installer was offended that I offered to meet him on the job site to go over the installation. He felt I was insulting him. The tech told me he has been installing boilers for thirty years and didnt need help from some out of town rep. When I started the boiler, I didnt bother checking the electrical connections. The installer connected the line voltage to the gas valve terminal rather than the L1. I check the wiring on every startup Let me know what you think of the video this Friday
Ray Wohlfarth
Boiler Lessons

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  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 906
    edited March 28
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    Can't find the video. However, I have been in the boiler room on a few occasions when a boiler blew up. Let me change the wording as was explained to me by a Pa State Boiler inspector. When there is an explosion caused by the fuel in the boiler that is called a "furnace" explosion and when the pressure vessel explodes that is a "boiler" explosion. All my events were "furnace" explosions and all were eye openers. The first explosion was with an Erie City water tube high pressure steam boiler that was cold and needed to be started. With out my knowledge, the gas/oil selector switch was replaced by the head electrician. I arrived at the site, did a visual check of the boiler and turned on the on/off switch to fire gas. The mis-wired switch put 120 volts directly to the 2 gas valves when the on/off switch was actuated, and after the burner purged and the pilot lit, there was a big bang, and that was the event. All the windows were blown out of the boiler room onto the street, the front burner mounting plate was buckled, and a lot of the internal fire brickwork was shifted a lot. This happened on Friday the 13th I believe in 1974 or 1975. Of course the company I worked for was charged with the mishap and their insurance paid the bill. I had trouble hearing for days and I still blame that event on my hearing deficiency. There were a few others but this was my worst.
    ScottSecorIntplm.Waher
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 856
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    @retiredguy Wow! I've had a few "boiler explosions' years ago, but nothing like you are referring to. I'm surprised you did not look for another career after that day.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,703
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    This weeks video doesn't have a problem to solve. It's me sharing a dumb thing I did when starting a boiler. The installer was offended that I offered to meet him on the job site to go over the installation. He felt I was insulting him. The tech told me he has been installing boilers for thirty years and didnt need help from some out of town rep. When I started the boiler, I didnt bother checking the electrical connections. The installer connected the line voltage to the gas valve terminal rather than the L1. I check the wiring on every startup Let me know what you think of the video this Friday


    Next time just tell him that's ok it's never too late to learn the right way.
    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
    WMno57EdTheHeaterMan
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,491
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    @retiredguy OMG Thats way worse than what I experienced. Just the same, it scared me and I never wanted to do it again. The installer wired the gas valves to the 110 volt in mine as well.
    @ChrisJ I hear that lol
    Here is the link for the video https://youtube.com/watch?v=HCEOMo2rQVY
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    CLamb
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,841
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    That is scary.
    Whenever I first commission a system (and they're never the size you deal with, Ray), I do a quick visual. Then I shut off the gas supply (or rather its usually off on arrival) and put a heat demand on the boiler to make sure it goes through the proper sequence and goes into lockout due to no flame. Then I'll repeat and check other safeties, like pressure switches. Make sure the circulators are running and whatnot. Only then do I turn the gas on. And never stand in front of the burner during ignition. Be to the side, or near the Emergency switch. 
    I learned to be careful with gas in the beginning. When I was 16 and my first summer doing HVAC, I of course knew it all before I even started. I thought the evaporator coil on my own (my parents) CAC needed cleaning. The coil sat on top of an upflow gas furnace. I cut a hole in the supply duct above the coil and proceeded to spray cleaner on the coil. After a minute or so it dawned on me and I turned to my brother and said, "I probably shouldn't be doing this because this suff is flamma"💥!
    Standing pilot on the furnace. Mommy told me she drowned the dumb ones, but I guess I passed the first audition. For some reason LILCO (Long Island Lighting Company) wouldn't cover the repairs, and they covered everything back then.
    It turned out the company I worked for was doing a project in a building that was revamping and there was a small furnace with AC newer than what we had that was being removed. A weekend project with the bosses son (still my best bud) and we were back in business. 
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,491
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    @HVACNUT How else are you supposed to learn? LOL
    On my case, I am grateful the manual gas valve was off until I started the boiler. This could have been really bad. It was only open for the 90 second pre-purge and that was enough to knock me down and blow off the flue pipe.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons