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Photographs of a potential killer...

Mark Eatherton1
Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
One of our best contractors wanted me to swing by a JIP (job in progress) and show his master finish carpenter where the radiant floor tubing was located to make sure that he didn't hit it when he set his Newell posts for the hand railings at stairs.

I show up, and when I walk in, I notice the house is cooler than usual. In fact, it's down right chilly, and my IR thermometer confirmed that there's no heat in the floor. A quick trip to the boiler room and I find the Logamatic in "Heating Error". A little sleuthing with the ol' electrical meter later, and I discover that the lower roll out thermal link is open. Hmmmm....

The mechanical room had been wrapped in plastic to avoid the burner seeing construction dust, but I noticed it had been violated. I jumped out the tripped spill switch, and immediately knew what the problem was. Carboned up boiler from contruction dust syndrome.

I was not prepared to de-carbon a boiler, and it got up to 75 today, so no big hurry other than showing the carpenter the exact location of the tubes. I ran around and gathered the necessary tools required to clean up the boiler and returned later in the afternoon to accomplish the task. What a nasty mess...

After I got it to fire, I was able to show the carpenter the EXACT locatin of the tubes to avoid an inadvertent hit. He said "Thanks", and I said back, "No, THANK YOU For having the common sense to ask before drilling."

Here's the pictures.

I want to state outright, that this is NOT a condemnation of Buderus or their products. In fact, their product did EXACTLY what it was supposed to do under these circumstances, it SHUT DOWN.

Under these conditions, I don't care WHOSE boiler (atmospheric natural gas) was installed, it TOO would have locked up.

Live and learn...



  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    nice job

    Good to see the unit worked exactly as it was supposed to. Nice job on your part but I would want to bet you were a little dirty after leaving that one..:) Have to love what a little construction can do to a unit...:(
  • Darin Cook_3
    Darin Cook_3 Member Posts: 389
    When a gas boiler goes to the dark side

    they go all the way. I am quite sure ME looked like he came out of a foundry when the cleaning was complete. There is nothing like that fine soot a screwy gas burner can produce.

  • B. Tice
    B. Tice Member Posts: 206
    Gas soot

    Yes, gas soot is brutal.Not a good situation at all.
  • Jaitch
    Jaitch Member Posts: 68
    Just another example of

    curing the problem instead of the symptom. Great Job! Looking past the thermal link in an effort to find out WHY it tripped. A minor problem could've turned into a major problem, but once again looking beyond the obvious problem led to the underlying cause of the trouble! We are investigators! Good sleuthing!

    Thanks JOHN
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    I looked like

    a coal miner, and I was trying to be as careful as I could be.


  • Boiler Guy
    Boiler Guy Member Posts: 585

    Wow, it's a wonder there wasn't some distortion in the burner tray components. Any warpage of the burners? I am sure it got hot enough in the combustion zone. I am not familiar with this boiler mfg - so - where is the rollout located?
  • Good Job Mark as usual

    Many times a sooted up boiler seems to the technician to be the problem. Soot is the result of the problem.

    Construction site damage is a big issue and a difficult one to solve. I guess it requires us meeting with all the contractors at the site and educate them.

    I recently had a different situation at a construction site. People going home sick and me finding the furnace running with no flue and sawdust, drywall dust and everything else had plugged it up. Contractor says no problem this is the heater we set up at all our sites and then move it to the next site. Carbon Monoxide reading was off the scale, the only good thing was a lot of air infiltration but still folks went home sick. I was there as my son was subcontracting several of his workers to this contractor. That furnace is now in the dumpster.
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884

    Did you brush it out ? I had a plugged G124X and the fluw ways where so tight I could'nt get a coat hanger thru it. I has to spray it down with Simple Green and flush it with a hose and suck it up with a wet vac. Actually was pretty neat. We used a tray to replace the burners.

    Good catch.


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  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    wow! and i am always complaining about dust and paints

    primers sheetrock and sawdust...sheesh. maybe i ought to be thanking them for not fornicating the burner and boiler up that bad....
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    I'm afraid...

    that's what I'm going to have to do here as well Scott. Waiting to hear back from the factory as to recommended method and manner,


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  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Thats the word Mark.

    Thats what I did also, called for the factory procedure.

    I was told Simple Green or Fantastic. We pulled the burner tray and bought a aluminum roasting pan. We soaked the exchanger from the top and let it drip down. Then flushed it with a hose and used the pan to wet vac it up. It actually worked very well with only a little bit of spillage. We used a coat hanger to get the big chuncks.


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  • They stole my cleaning procedure

    Fantastic is the best it really cleans boilers. when you are done rinse with 50% water 50% white vineger.
  • tommyoil
    tommyoil Member Posts: 613

    Why the vinegar? And also, is Fantastic as effective on oil fired equipment?
  • The vinegar acts as a netralizer

    on the cast iron or steel sections and removes and residuals from the sections. My experience with not using the vinegar is that it leaves a residue from the fanatastic. I use vinegar to clean everything on boilers and furnaces and have done so for years. When you fire up the boiler it will burn off and does not leave any odor.

    I have never tried it on oil systems as I have never cleaned an oil boiler except to convert it to natural gas. I do use the procedure then and it really cleans the oil residue off the sections and eliminate "White Fly Ash" that is the usual result of converting oil to gas. You have to go back a year later and clean it again. With my method it only needs cleaned at time of conversion.
  • Dan_15
    Dan_15 Member Posts: 388
    Cleaning procedure

    The cleaning procedure is a as Scott described. Remove burner tray, spray a large amount of Fantastic in between the sections to throughly soak them. Then use a fine brush and brush the flue passage ways. It may require two or three soakings. Rinse with a hose from the top and bottom of the sections till they are clean. The use of a roasting tray is a good idea to help contain the mess.

    The flame roll out switch is located just above the burner manifold on the front of the boiler.

    Thanks for the "disclamer" about the boiler. Best of luck with the cleaning job. Thanks
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    Yo, Joe...

    Where might one find a "fine brush" small enough to fit inbetween the sections on these fine atmospheric boilers?

    As Scott said, it's even difficult getting a bare coat hanger in between the sections, much less something with wire fur on it.

    Got resources??

    Thanks for replying.

  • Dan_15
    Dan_15 Member Posts: 388
    G234 Boiler Brush

    We offer a brush to clean the gas boilers. Part number 163620. Please ask the local distributor to order one for you. These brushes are from the Mill-Rose Company. The brushes are 2.0" in Diameter, 1" long with soft bristles. The handle of the brush is about 18". Our part number is the same as Mill-Rose. Thanks,
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