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Cycle Guard Issue

Davidho Member Posts: 30
Last night was hanging out in the basement and all of a sudden I hear my auto fill kick on.  Boiler been off all day.  It does level check every 15 minutes and I was downstairs for a couple hours at this time. I noticed the green light was on but not the low level light.  It ran 10-15 seconds.  Then the orange light came on too and auto fill turned off. I thought strange.  15 minutes went by did same thing.  This time I flipped my switch to boiler off.  Turned back on auto fill kicked on just green light.  I flipped it off opened my boiler drain for couple seconds.  I turned switch back on, both lights turn on and off like normal and all has been fine since.  I ran boiler for half a hour, just to heat up that little bit of water and check everything out. Just some stuff settled on my probe? I took off the cover for the first time ever.  Boiler was installed back in November; wiring looks good.  


  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
    It seems very strange that the auto fill would kick on when the low water level light was NOT on but although I do have a cyclegard I no longer have an autofill connected to it so I can't say for sure.

    Was the water level low at the time the autofill came on?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Davidho
    Davidho Member Posts: 30
    @ethicalpaul. I thought so strange too that it was only green light it was filling and than when it kicked off the orange fill came on.  The water level was right under the “normal water level” line. I purchased vxt-24 water feeder to install this summer when I can replace some piping too. I have a Mcdonnel no.101-a on it now.  I am really not trusting this thing and considering closing the ball valve so it can’t add water.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,833
    edited March 29
    I have worked on the M&M 101A feeder in the past, that can only operate if there is power to the solenoid. That said, If the LWCO is properly wired, the cycle guard can not provide power to the feeder unless there is a low water condition. The different models of CycleGard have different delay times for powering up water feeders. I believe most of them are adjustable as to the timing before, and the amount of time water can be added at any one low water event. Proper wiring is also important. Can you offer up the model number of your CycleGard. That information can help with the diagnosis of your concern.

    Since the boiler is fairly new, you may be experiencing foaming. This can cause the condition you experienced. This is the actual text about foaming and the way the probe may be fooled from that foam.

    How do you know if the boiler is foaming?
    Even when water in the gauge glass appears calm and stable,
    water in the boiler can be experiencing significant foaming and
    If you have ever drained the boiler water to the bottom of a
    gauge glass and the low water cut-off did not shut down the
    burner, you were likely experiencing a foaming condition inside
    the boiler. To determine if that is the case, end the call for heat
    (but keep power to the system) after lowering the water level.
    Odds are, the Low Water light will come on in about 30 seconds. You can then re-establish the call for heat; the control
    will remain in low water and prevent the burner from firing.
    This simple test proves two things. First, it proves that something (foam) prevented the low water cut-off from detecting the
    water level when the burner was running, but not when the burner was off. Second, it proves the effectiveness of the Intermittent Level Test equipped on all CycleGard cut-offs. The CycleGard gets an accurate
    reading at regular intervals and protects the boiler like no other low water cut-off.
    Despite the unprecedented level of protection offered by CycleGard controls, Hydrolevel still strongly recommends that you clean the boiler when a foaming condition is discovered. Proper cleaning of the boiler
    – following the boiler manufacturer’s instructions – will greatly reduce or eliminate foaming and provide for
    optimal steam performance

    Was your new boiler properly "Skimmed" a few weeks after the installation? There may be a lot of floating junk on the steaming surface of the water in the boiler. If you experience surging and/or foaming, the manufacturer recommends skimming the boiler water surface. That process can take several hours, depending on the condition of the water in the system.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • Davidho
    Davidho Member Posts: 30
    @EdTheHeaterMan The city called me because our water usage jumped up so much they wanted us to be aware and look for a leak. I had to skim and skim and skim and skim some more.  I skimmed in January sometime was the last time and didn’t look like it needed it at all but I did anyways.  Water line doesn’t do anything but just move a little up move a little down when running. My sight glass is brownish speckled on the bottom crystal clear up top and stays dry when steaming with an occasional droplet of water that may come over the top.
    When this happened boiler had been off a probably close to 16 hours.  It is a CG-450-1560 came with the Peerless boiler.  

    So I was getting ready to type something else and a dug out the manual.

    This is a big READ THE FREAKIN MANUAL moment for me.  
    Guess my question now is.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,833
    Those droplets falling from above the sight glass is an indication of turbulence in the boiler. Was the skimming completed properly? The surface of the boiler water must be kept at the center of the skim tapping for the entire time you are skimming the boiler. The idea is to have the equivalent of a pond (the boiler water surface) spilling over a waterfall (the water pouring out of the pipe). Too high and the surface of the boiler water will be above the opening and the surface scum will just stay on top, too low and the waterfall will stop flowing.

    Here is an accurate way to skim a steam boiler. The actual skimming happens near the 6 Minute and 40 seconds time stamp on the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x1CCcXWLgw
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics