New Boiler Continually Shutting Off - I'm freezing......!
Hi, I've recently had a new boiler installed and had the exhaust lined with 6" flexible liner to update the heating in my home. The safety on the doiler keeps tripping every 20-30 minutes. My HVAC guy has no answer other than he thinks the exhaust liner needs to be increased from 6-7"
Bottome line is I've done what I could and I'm still not able to heat my house. Let me provide the details. Please give me some honest advice if you can. Thanks.
I live in an 1850 row house in Baltimore that was in pretty sad shape when I purchased it a few years ago. The boiler was circa 1930 and the exhaust dumped into an unlined chimney. Well the chimney collapsed, causing the smoke to vent into the 1st floor instead of up and out of the chimney.
I had the chimney lined and the contractor used a 6 inch flexible liner. It is about a 35 foot run up from the basement to the top of the chimney. A new furnace was installed a few weeks later, so now I have the following pieces of equipment exhausting up through this 6" liner.
Smith Boiler Model# GB 100-W-5-INTO
Normal Input 100,000 BtU/hr
Normal Output 83,000 BtU/hr
Rheemglas Imperial Water Heater Model # 22A1-402-1
Normal Input 38,000 BTU/hr
Normal Output - Not available
So after the new boiler was installed in late Feb last year everything went well. The boiler did shut off a few times for some unknown reason, but by an large everything ran smoothly through the latter half of the winter and the spring.
Within the last 3 months, the safety on the boiler has begun to trip out regulary. I would reset the boiler, and it would run for a day or longer at first, and more recently, it trips out every 20-30 minutes.
My HVAC guy suggested that the problem is that there are too many BTU's exhasuting out of my boiler and water heater. I countered with if that was the case then it should have occured last year as well.
To test this theory we shut off the water heater and the the boiler ran for about a day before it again tripped the safety. I am now back to resetting the boiler every 20-40 minutes in an effort to get the house to stay at even 60 degrees.
HVAC then suggested that their is a constriction of some sort in the exhaust tube, such as a bird etc or an internal collapse which has kinked the flexible exhaust piping. The top of the exhaust is capped so there is no opportunity for anything such as a bird to fly into the liner. I checked from the top down and I can see a collapse so I'm assuming the liner is undamaged.
Could this be a cause for a larger liner. If yes, why wasn't this a problem for 3-4 months last year.
If this is not the case, does anyone have any suggestions as to what could potentially be the cause of the safety continually tripping on this 1 yr old boiler?
Last edited by gojojo67; 04-03-2008 at 10:36 AM.
"I checked from the top down and I can see a collapse so I'm assuming the liner is undamaged."
What exactly do you mean by this statement? The chimney has collapsed but the liner hasn't? There are a number of reasons the boiler will trip out. High temp, low water, flame failure, just to name a few. Am I correct in assuming your tech has considered all of those possibilities before he blames the stack?
How are you resetting it.
Turning power off then on, or a reset button.
If a button, what button.
A 6" Z Flex liner is listed as capable of handling your boiler and water heater total BTU.
Thanks for your response.
I am positive that the integrity of the liner has not been compromised. The bricks had collapsed and prior to the liner being installed were reset. So I don't think that that is the problem.
What the technician has checked I am not sure of. I will ask him if he has check any or all of these items. Its almost to the point where I am not sure of exactly how interested he is in pursuing this much further
I am by no means mechanical with regard to HVAC, but what I find so puzzling is that the funcationality of the boiler has dwindled to almost nothing.
So how are you resetting it?
I'm resetting a button on the lower front of the boiler. Its set back about 6 inches into the unit. I have to reach in and up a bit to find the button. Do you suggest resetting the entire boiler? If so, I'll have to check the manual for that process.
I wouldn't just keep resetting that switch all the time, there is a reason it is tripping and although it may be safe enough to reset once or twice it sounds like it is doing its job and something is not right. Get an experienced set of eyes on the unit.
Is it a button thats about in the middle of a plate that is angled out toward you?
If so, its the flame rollout switch.
Cold be that its burning dirty and the boiler is clogged.
The spill switch usuaslly trips before the roll out if its the chimney becoming restricted.
And I think on your boiler, your spill switch is non resettable.
Your contractor should check the boiler to see if it needs cleaned.
He should also check the draft with a draft guage.
You may have to call another contractor, it doesn't sound like youor current one, knows a lot about repairing/correcting boiler problems. JMO
I see that you're in Lancaster. I'm in Baltimore. Why don't you drive down and help me out. Haha.
Yes, it is the button that is angled out towards me.
Anyway, is it really possible that it could become clogged in less than 4-5 months of constant usage?
Unusal, but more then possible. NG doesn't usually have this problem, but LP does it quick.
Burners may never have been set up right. It doesn't take impingment long to cause trouble.
Anything else done recently in the home.
New bath fan, windows, doors, weather stripping.
Anythin, even if you don't think it could effect the boiler.
It can become clogged over night.
The switch is there to protect the lives of the people living in the building when a boiler or furnace that isn't correctly adjusted makes soot and plugs up.
Look at the test results on the paper that he left, that shows CO2, CO, Draft, Gas pressure (inlet and outlet), and maybe O2.
Let us know what the numbers are.
I installed a couple of new windows a few weeks on the 3rd floor but this problem was already well established by then.
I appreciate you input. Any last advice? It sounds as if my current guy is not the right guy to address this issue any longer.
One last comment. My HVAC keeps saying it must be the liner. He indicates that per his calcualtions and everything he has read, the exhaust ducting need to be increased for runs in excess of 20 feet. Any vailidy to his claim based on the original BtU outputs I listed int he original posting?