Burnham Fiesta Boiler

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  #1  
Old 06-15-10, 03:44 PM
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Burnham Fiesta Boiler

Our boiler is not turning off after reaching hi limit,honeywell r8182 aquastat. Our hvac guy suggested new control,however we decided to pull the old one out and put the temp bulb in hot(200 degree)water,and the control worked as it should,and shut down the flame.when removed from the water for a time,the boiler refired.So,why wouldnt the temp bulb not get the proper temp from inside the well? there was no heat conductive grease on the bulb,also,we lost about 1.5 gallons of antifreeze out of the system the previous fall.would either of these be the culprit? it is a 2 story house. Thank you for any advice!!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-16-10, 07:49 AM
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Try adding heat xfer grease and make sure that the bulb is physically touching the wall of the well.

Why do you have the temp set so high, 200 deg? There will be a temp drop across the wall of the well, added on to the 200 deg.
 
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Old 06-16-10, 08:39 AM
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Thanks mike speed,we have the high limit at 180,but used 200 degree water to make sure it got past the hi limit. I suspect it never had any of the heat xfer grease,and it has worked for a long time.But i agree that should be ruled out,and will try to ensure it is contacting the wall if possible. So you do not think the reduced coolant would be an issue? I imagine that well is at a low spot in the system anyway. Thanks again!
 
  #4  
Old 06-16-10, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by crappiejig View Post
So you do not think the reduced coolant would be an issue?
How did you lose 1.5 gal of liquid? Was the loss made up from an automatic fill valve (pressure reducing valve) tied to your domestic water supply?

What is your system pressure when hot and when cooled down to room temp?

Do you live in an isolated area or is your house often unattended in the winter? I ask because you are running antifreeze in the system.
 
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Old 06-16-10, 11:22 AM
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Mike,yes its a summer home in northern wi.While draining water between the hot water heater and prv,system coolant drained out past the prv.(my first time doing it,thought the prv had a check valve,and left it unattended for a while!).Well we do have an excess psi issue,but wanted to get the boiler cycling right first.That problem is the pressure keeps rising along with the temp all the way past the 30psi relief valve.I suspect the expansion tank on that issue,but you know much more than me.Could the 2 issues be related? Thanks so much for your time and expertise.cooled down psi is about 12 psi i think not sure,and we have since broke into the system to try and replace the missing glycol,which was unsuccesful.
 

Last edited by crappiejig; 06-16-10 at 11:25 AM. Reason: more info
  #6  
Old 06-16-10, 02:15 PM
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To add anti-freeze, a special purge cart is typically used. Probably a service person in your area will have one. Or you can build your own using the guidance in Siegenthaler's Modern Hydronic Heating. The freeze protection can be checked with a hydrometer. DON'T use automotive anti-freeze!

The pressure problem that you describe is likely due to a waterlogged expansion tank. Do you have a bladder type tank (looks like R2D2) or a conventional steel tank? The pressure problem shouldn't have anything to do with the 200-deg hi-hi-limit issue. Until you get the pressure problem solved, your relief valve will lift at 30 psi, causing even more loss of anti-freeze.

Fixing the expansion tank problem will likely require draining at least some of the system, depending upon your valving. A purge cart can help drain the system without losing anti-freeze. Whenever you go to work on a system containing anti-freeze, there is a good chance of making a mess - even your tools get gummy from the anti-freeze. As a DIYer, I think I would rather go with electric heat before installing a hot-water system that had to be protected with anti-freeze.

I like hot water heat, but would worry about it if left unattended during the winter in northern Wisconsin. You never know when something will shoot craps. I suppose you drain your plumbing system and rely on the anti-freeze to avoid freezing the boiler, etc.? Do you shut down the boiler during the winter?
 

Last edited by Mike Speed 30; 06-16-10 at 02:35 PM.
  #7  
Old 06-16-10, 02:32 PM
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Mike,we have a fill trol 110 expansion tank.Seems to be holding water,just by the sound of it.We drain all our water lines etc and rely on the proper strength of glycol to protect the heating system from freezing. This afternoon we were able to add the glycol back,but not suprisingly to my brother and me,didnt cure the firing past the hi limit.My dad was certain the missing glycol was responsible.We are going to get the heat conductive grease tomorrow and retry the test.Thanks Mike, I will post an update tomorrow,and start shopping for a tank also.UPDATE just checked the lower schrader valve on the tank,only got air coming out,only let out a bit. Measures12.5 psi with my gauge.
 
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Old 06-16-10, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by crappiejig View Post
This afternoon we were able to add the glycol back, but not suprisingly to my brother and me,didnt cure the firing past the hi limit. My dad was certain the missing glycol was responsible.
Most hot-water boilers have pure water, no anti-freeze at all - and they work fine.
 
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Old 06-17-10, 07:50 AM
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My dads theory was that the missing liquid,whether water or glycol,was enough to prevent the well from being submerged in liquid,thus preventing the sensor to reach temp and shutdown the furnace.I might add that we covered a thermometer in alum foil tightly,and created a friction fit with the well,and fired the boiler.Temp on thermometer never got over 115 degrees,but the coolant temp said 160 on the gauge,for what its worth.going now for the grease.Thanks Mike
 
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Old 06-17-10, 12:57 PM
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Burnham Fiesta

If the loss of 1.5 gallons of water left the well out of the water there's a serious issue. Heat sensing paste becomes just that over time - paste. It can make it impossible to remove the bulb from the well. More likely, since the thermometer didn't rise in agreement with the gauge when you used it in the well it would seem more likely that the outside of the well was coated in gunk and acting as insulation.
 
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Old 06-17-10, 02:44 PM
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we covered a thermometer in alum foil tightly
I wouldn't trust that reading at all...
 
  #12  
Old 06-17-10, 06:46 PM
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Why not just lossen the damn thermowell and see if air hisses out.
Do it slow, and you should not get wet.
if air hisses out, you have some issues to deal with.
 
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Old 06-17-10, 08:12 PM
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Thanks to all for your input.We couldnt get any paste anyway,and talking to a hvac wholesaler,he says he puts them in dry.My "vacation" is now over and its back to work.So the boiler will have to wait till august now.The boiler is about 50 years old, so we are going to get some quotes on a replacement boiler just in case. I would still like to fix this one though.
 
  #14  
Old 06-18-10, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by crappiejig View Post
we are going to get some quotes on a replacement boiler just in case. I would still like to fix this one though.
The poblems you describe should be readily fixable.
 
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