P-WGO-6 Weil Mclain oil boiler not firing

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Old 09-05-06, 05:35 AM
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P-WGO-6 Weil Mclain oil boiler not firing

Hi,

We are having extreme bad luck with our boiler. In mid Aug, on the eve before going on a 2-week vacation, our backflow preventer broke. Now, our boiler is not igniting. My husband turned on the hot water this morning to take a shower and no hot water. He went to the basement and saw nothing wrong. He made sure the emergency switch is turned on and tried to press the red button on the boiler to restart the boiler. Nothing happened. The boiler won't fire.

According to the oil tank gauge, we have a little under 1/4 tank of oil. To make sure lack of oil is not the issue, I will called the oil company to come and fill up.

I don't know if this is related, but, this past Saturday, remenants of tropical storm caused a tree to fall on the electric wire. We were out of power. So, we hooked up our generator. When the boiler tried to kick up, it was not successful. It kept trying. We can hear the clicking and the attempt to start then dying. (This happens to us all the time in the summer when it is very hot and everyone in town have their AC on. To get the boiler to started, we have to turn off our AC. The electric company said they can't do anything about it.) When the power came back on, the boiler started right away. It has been working until this morning or sometime at night. It is not even attempting to start unlike when we don't have enought amps. What can we do????
 
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Old 09-05-06, 02:27 PM
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load imbalance?

It you have to turn off on appliance to get another to start, and given the storm damage, I suspect your neutral leg is open. That would cause a large imbalance on each of the two 110 volt legs of your house wiring. Best to have an electrician check it. You could lose a lot of appliances if that is what happened. My best guess on very limited information!

Pete
 
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Old 09-05-06, 04:34 PM
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No Hot water

If I had to guess, I'd say the primary control or the aquastat is fried paticularly if they are electronic as opposed to electro-mechanical. When people use generators they don't realize the load limitations of the generators. When too much load is applied voltage drops & you may not be getting full voltage or voltage at 60 hertz. Generators are fine for incandesent lighting but that's about all.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 05:31 PM
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Grady:
When we put in the generator, we told the electrician specifically what we need to be able to run: the water pump, boiler, refrigerator, and a couple of lights. He setup the box so that we can switch to the generator when we need to. He also told use the size of generator to use to support all the appliances. We had used the generator before with no problem. It has enough juice to power all of above. This is the first time we had problem with the generator not sending enough power to the boiler. It is also the first time we had a need to use it for more than a year. Maybe, the generator degraded???? Also, the boiler worked for 2 days before we encountered this problem.

Radioconnection:
It is only during the hot summer days when everyone in the neighborhood are using the AC that we have to turn off our AC in order for the boiler to fire. We had asked the electrican to look at this and he says the electric company is not sending enough ampage/voltage? After many tries, we got the electric company to admit there is a drop in ampage/voltage (in the past, they came to check when it was not hot and not everyone had their AC on). They claimed they fixed the problem, but, we still have to turn our AC off to get the boiler to start on very hot days.

Can this be a problem with not having enough oil in the oil tank? I noticed the gauge has been at the below quarter mark for a while. Is there anyway to check if the tank is empty. (I do have an oil delivery for tomorrow.)
 
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Old 09-05-06, 05:58 PM
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Oil in tank

If you hit the reset button & nothing at all happens, the problem is electrical. If when the reset button is pushed, the burner runs for about a minute then shuts off you could be out of oil. On most tank gauges the top will screw off. Remove the top, lift the little indicator all the way then drop it. If you hear a splash & the gauge indicator stops where it was, it is probably right. Some tanks only draw down to 4-6" from the bottom. On rare occasion I have seen the fuel pick up tube be farther than this off the bottom.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 06:39 PM
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Well Grady, you are right again. I unscrewed the gauge top, pull up the dip stick, and dropped it down. I have to really pull to get the stick up. It still points to a little less than 1/4. So, the tank is not empty. My husband pressed the reset button in the morning and nothing happened. So, I guess it is electrical. This time, I called a heating/cooling guy that someone recommended. Do you think it is better to have the boiler maintained by the company that delivers the oil or someone not tied to the oil company?

If the generator fried the electricals, why did it do it? The generator was put in to keep the water pump and boiler going in case of loss of power.

Will send an update after the fix. Thanks again.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 06:49 PM
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One more thing, house is about 8 years old. So, boiler should be about that age. We started having problems in January of this year. Is there something we are not doing? We have the boiler serviced by the oil company once a year.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 06:53 PM
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Choosing service company

Choosing a repair person for anything is a tough job indeed. I suggest you talk to friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, etc. to find out who they use for their oil fired boiler work. Word of mouth is the best or worst advertising a company can get. Find out how well others like their service companies & if they suggest any particular service person. Having been in service work for 20 years & worked with dozens of really good & not so good service people, I can honestly tell you it is more of a personality thing than an actual skill thing. I have worked with some of the best in my area but because of personality conflicts, customers did not like them. Others whom I would not let within sight of my boiler had customers who loved them. Go figure.

Good luck in your quest. If you have questions we are here to help.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 07:01 PM
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Problems

From here it is hard to judge. If you have the Weil McLain QB burner on your boiler, they can be quite temperamental & set up is critical. Weil McLain gave up on that burner & now uses Beckett as their standard burner. From what you have said about electrical problems, you could have had problems caused by low voltage. Complain, complain, & complain some more to the electric company. The squeeky wheel gets the grease.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 09:46 PM
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Exclamation

FWIW-
Grady is right.
While fine for powering lights and motors, most portable generators produce very "dirty" electricity, which solid state electronics do not like. Be careful to not use critical electronics with your generator.
 
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Old 09-06-06, 06:44 AM
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If the generator is not good for the boiler, what should we use instead? Our reason for installing the generator is to avoid freezing pipes if power goes out in the winter. The first couple of winters after we moved, the power was constantly out due to down trees etc. One time, it was out for about a week.
 
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Old 09-06-06, 10:08 AM
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Well Grady, it was the aquastat. The guy that came said that some part was getting electricity and some not. So, something got shorted. I told him the whole story from summer voltage problems to the storm this past Saturday. He does not know if the generator caused it or it was just time for it to go. I asked what else can go wrong. He said the summer voltage problem will decrease the life of the varies motors.

Anyway, almost 400 bucks later, we have hot water. I watched the whole process of what he did to replace the part. It was basically unscrew some wires, remove the box, put in the new box, screw on the wires.

I don't know, spending 630 within a month to fix things that you and this great site have pointed out just eats me. I think I need to take some classes to learn some basics (i.e. testing for shorts) so that I can test and replace parts myself. Any suggestions on what might be good to take?

Thanks for all your help. This site has helped me over and over again.
 
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Old 09-06-06, 03:53 PM
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Classes

Many local Vo-Tech schools &/or community colleges offer homeowner heater maintenance courses. One of the most important things you can learn, on your own or in school, is how to read & understand a wiring diagram & schematic. Honeywell's site is a bear to navigate but on it they have diagrams for all of their controls.
A wise boss of mine once said: You have to know how something is supposed to work before you can figure out why it doesn't.
 
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