Slant/Fin household heater - Blocked Vent Safety Switch- issue

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Old 11-13-12, 08:26 PM
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Slant/Fin household heater - Blocked Vent Safety Switch- issue

Hello everyone, The issue am having with my Slant/Fin household heater is that the "Blocked Vent Safety Switch" keeps opening every few weeks. Slant/Fin is in my basement, that has no windows, and only has Draft hood exhaust vent, without vent damper, that leads into old chimney which leads straight up to the rooftop and has one 7" 1/2 x 7" 1/2 opening with no vent cap.

At first I thought that the chimney was blocked so i took apart the pipes and stack a light into the basement end and went up to the roof to see if it was the case, but no such luck; the chimney was clear. after some more troubleshooting i came up to the conclusion that there was not enough updraft and maybe in some instances the wind caused backdraft which caused the heat to pore out of draft hood and trip "Blocked Vent Safety Switch" which mounts directly under the Draft hood.

How do i go about making more updraft?
should i install some sort of intake vent in the basement to help with updraft?
Will the vent cap on the rooftop help me with backdraft issue?
Another idea was to get a turbine vent ( spinning vent cap) to help with updraft. Is that a good idea or will it feed the Natural Gas Flames and cause fire?
 
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Old 11-13-12, 09:14 PM
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How long has the boiler been there? Have you ever had this issue before or is it a new occurrence?

Was this just recent because of hurricane sandy?

Answer this first then we can help you further.
 
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Old 11-13-12, 10:18 PM
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I cant say exact age of the boiler but it has been there for over 10 years.
I would say that the issue started about a week or two before hurricane sandy, right about the time it started to get cooler and we started to use it again. well last winter it worked fine, we did not use it during summer.
 
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Old 11-13-12, 10:30 PM
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Could you tell use the model of the boiler?


You may just need a cleaning. Burners get dirty and such and create draft issues. The sections need to be cleaned too in some circumstances with gas from what I know.


You have working CO detectors in the home right???? Very important...
 
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Old 11-13-12, 10:39 PM
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Yes we have Carbon Monoxide detectors.
i believe its a Slant/Fin Cast-Iron Boiler Galaxy GG -75 HEP with intermittent pilot, honeywell gas valve and L8148E Control.

I guess ill take another look. i personally newer cleaned it before, but its newer too late to learn.
i will give it a shot.
 

Last edited by alexmex; 11-13-12 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 11-14-12, 05:35 AM
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The brick chimney you're venting in is it going up the side or center of your home? One or two story? Does the top of the chimney terminate two feet above the highest ridge of the roof within 10ft? Maybe some pictures would be interesting

Another thing to check, at the base of the chimney in the basement there may be a clean out door...make sure that door is closed tight and make sure you clean out the debris in there if there is any. Any air leaks around the clean out will reduce the amount of draft the chimney can create.

Any bricks missing in the chimney anywhere? Does the tile liner that exits the roof go all the way down to where the boiler connector pipe is inserted?
 

Last edited by boilernut; 11-14-12 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 11-14-12, 03:41 PM
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in my basement, that has no windows,
Have you done any work over the past year that might have decreased the amount of combustion air available to the boiler?

For example, caulking air leaks, etc...

What do the flames look like when it's firing? describe shape, color, etc...

It IS possible that the BVS is simply getting 'tired'. They do get 'soft' over the years. It's easy enough to change out with a new one and not too expensive, so you might consider that as a diagnostic step.
 
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