Published at Monday, March 25th, 2019 - 00:22:59 AM. wiring. By Harriette Buisson.
One time I had a buddy with 90 “defective” boilers; this was the guy who forgot to check the gas meters. The next time he called me he had 265 defective boilers. Of course, my first question was, “Do you have gas?” After I got called some nasty names, we proceeded with the questioning. I asked him if he had 110 V to terminal L1 and L2. This is always our starting point, making sure the electricity is turned on. I got the classic answer: “How do I know, I’m only a plumber.” I asked to speak to the electrician, who confirmed that he had power to L1 and L2. I asked what the voltage was; sometimes you have lower voltage and the system won’t work. He confirmed that he had 120 V. Next, I asked him if he had continuity through the control circuit. His answer was, “I’m a union electrician, I put power to the boiler and hook up thermostats; I don’t know about boiler wiring.” It was time for a field visit.
Another problem I ran into with probe-type LWCOs is foaming. Remember I said that probe-type LWCOs use the water in the boiler to close a circuit? Well, if you didn’t clean the boiler water according to the manufacturer’s instructions, instead of water, you can have foam in the boiler. Oil and dirt are in the water and as it boils, it sends the water rushing into the steam pipes; what’s left in the boiler foams up and the boiler thinks it has water and keeps running. This usually leads to a cracked boiler. The moral to this story: No matter what kind of LWCO you use, clean the boiler or get the homeowner to clean it. Personally I like float types, but either LWCO works if the boiler water is clean.
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