Gas Boiler Problems...PLEASE HELP!!

Old 12-17-05, 06:32 AM
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Unhappy Gas Boiler Problems...PLEASE HELP!!

I have a 3 year old boiler (Peerless). It has been great until now. When I turned it on for the season, it started to trip the electrical breaker. It is on a dedicated circuit and nothing about the electrical configuration has changed since I bought this house. Here is what has happened so far:
1. I called an electrician because I thought the breaker was bad. He tested the circuit and all the wirings and said nothing was wrong. Checked the readings when the system was just turned on (normal) and then noted the spike that occurred before the breaker trip. He replaced the breaker just because and said "Call the boiler guy."

2. I called the boiler guy (Boiler is still under warranty). He said "Nope, its electrical. The only thing electrical here is the brain box and it can't be that."

3. Electrician came back (annoyed with the boiler guy), re-checked the circuit; Didn't really do anything. The boiler ran on cycle for about a week and then it started to trip the breaker again.

There is nothing going on in the house when this breaker trips (nothing that would cause an overload).

My dilemma: Is the boiler guy in over his head? I'm pretty confident in the electrician. The boiler guy says, its not the boiler system; its the electrical. The electrician says the boiler guy is jerking me around.

How the heck do I resolve this? Right now, I've got electric oil filled radiators providing heat and we're not uncomfortable because this is a small house. But winter is just beginning and I don't want to have to deal with the expense of burst pipes, etc.

Please, please, please give me some advice.
Old 12-17-05, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,731
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who's at fault?

To insure the wiring is not at fault, I'd have the electritian remove the CB from the panel and the service switch on the side of the boiler and meg ohm the wiring. If there is an occasional short that barely touches it will jump to ground because of the high voltage from the megohm meter if it's close. He can also meg the two wires to see if there is any wire to wire shorts. Aside that, the boiler is at fault and I would suspect the burner fan motor. These motors often run fine till they get warm then they slow down and overload. Many have resets on them some don't. You gave the installer a chance to rectify the problem, now get another tech to fix it, and you can get the installer to pay that bill. It could just be his skills are limited. At worst, he pays from a small claims court decision. He was given the opportunity to fix it, and that was fair enough. Keep in mind though, the next guy just might try the shotgun replacement parts method...
Intermittant problems are tough because they don't trip when your how does one prove this or that is the problem, if one can't prove it with test instruments. Be patient. One thing the electrician could also do, is temporarily install a voltage recorder. My Fluke meter can do that, and I only paid about $100.00 for it 5 years ago....Electricians (good ones) have recorders for this purpose. Good Luck!

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