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Tim McElwain

Tim McElwain

Joined on August 17, 2009

Last Post on April 17, 2014

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The Liberty conversion burner

@ November 12, 2010 5:20 PM in Any solution to really high carbon monoxide test results?

was problems when it was new. At the point you found this equipment it should be made inoperative and a new modern high efficiency unit installed. Get away from the chimney as a flue and go side wall or use the old chimney as a chase.

I have tons of this old equipment up here in the north east and it really does not make sense anymore to spend time and money to rebuild them. I never thought I would be saying that as most of my life has been dedicated to refurbishing the old and getting it as efficient as I can.

JDB and others

@ November 12, 2010 2:11 PM in CO Detector

I have manuals that are very easy reading on gas combustion and combustion related topics. As for homeowners reading them and then doing there own adjustments I do not think so, however if you have read up on a subject you will at least know if the contractor you hire knows what he is doing relative to combustion adjustments and testing on your equipment.

I have rarely found a vocational school program that knows what needs to be known as far as combustion testing and Carbon Monoxide related concerns.

If you are interested contact me at and I will send you a catalog.

Pod I am not one to walk away from a

@ November 12, 2010 9:43 AM in weil mclain gv gold lockout problems

problem. There is always a solution I am here in RI give me a call at 437-0557 and we can talk. I also have the WM rep living right up the street from me and I have alerted him to your situation and hopefully he will drop by and read this posting. Manufacturers typically do not like to post here as they from time to time catch some abuse from posters. If he does happen to drop by let us all be polite and respectful of his willingness to help out.

The worst scenario I can ever

@ November 12, 2010 9:39 AM in CO Detector

imagine is someone with a combustion analyzer testing there own equipment and not knowing what to do with what the analyzer reads.

Having said that I would suggest purchasing a good CO detector and install it in you house for you and your families safety.

To answer your question concerning high efficiency furnaces it depends on the furnace as to adjustments available. Those adjustments should not however be made by untrained professionals.

There is a posting

@ November 12, 2010 9:33 AM in IBC Boilers

over on the "Wall" section of this site titled "IBC Technologies VFC Series Boiler" take a look it may help you out.

Something is definitely

@ November 11, 2010 6:38 PM in weil mclain gv gold lockout problems

out of sorts here as you claim that when in lockout the TSTAT/CIRC led and the LIMIT led are blinking and that the flame light is lit that should not be happening EVER. The flame light lit is an indication that the gas valve is open and the burner is lit.


Answered by e-mail

@ November 11, 2010 6:08 PM in Triple aquastat relay question

yes B1 and B2 can power the primary side of the trnasformer to give 24 volts on the secondary of a tep down transformer,

Thanks Joseph for the

@ November 11, 2010 6:04 PM in Triple aquastat relay question

e-mail it is an L8124A as you indicated in the e-mail so yes you can add a step down 120 to 24 volt transformer and wire the primary from B! and B2.

Typically they are as follows

@ November 11, 2010 5:59 PM in side wall termination

A mechanical draft venting system shall terminate at least 3 feet above any forced air inlet located within 10 feet.

A mechanical draft venting systems of other than direct vent type shall terminate at least 4 feet below, 4 feet horizontally from, or 1 foot above any door, operable window (Not secure picture windows) or gravity air inlet into any building .The bottom of the vent terminal shall be located at least 12 inches above grade.
My addition here  not in code is to allow for snow accumulation.

The vent terminal of a direct vent appliance with an input of 10,000 BTU's or less shall be located at least 6 inches from any air opening into a building, and such appliance with an input over 10,000 BTU's but not over 50,000 BTU's shall be installed with 9 inches vent termination clearance and inputs over 50,000 shall be 12 inch clearance.

In most jurisdictions they also have to be 7 feet above a public walkway.

In addition read the venting requirements from the manufacturer of the equipment.

The L8124E

@ November 11, 2010 1:29 PM in Triple aquastat relay question

has a 24 volt burner circuit so it can be used without adding a transformer, The transformer in the relay provides the 24 volts to B1 and B2. Look up the internal diagram of the relay at Honeywell's web site

In addition to what

@ November 11, 2010 1:25 PM in overpressure

Mike gave you do you have a tankless domestic water system (get hot water from the boiler) if so the coil could also be leaking and causing overpressure. Shut off the cold water feed to the coil and leave it and see if prressure increase stops, if so the coil is leaking.

Get a hold of

@ November 11, 2010 1:22 PM in Figuring fitting EL on gas line.

NFPA 54/ANSI Z223.1 National Fuel Gas Code there is an entire section on the three methods of determining pipe size and Table C I believe gives equivalent lengths for fittings.

If you have problem finding that code e-mail me at and I will send you a copy of table C.

I also have a complete section in one of my manuals on pipe sizing.

All products of combustion that

@ November 11, 2010 1:17 PM in flue gas question

vent out of the flue are not visible, the only thing that becomes visible is the water vapor which is created in the combustion process. Type "B" double wall pipe has much higher insulating qualities than say a clay tile liner chimney. That is why B vent is better for venting. The B vent takes less time to develop temperature difference called "Delta T" which along with the height of the vent is what creates draft. That may mean many times that no visible vapor can be seen escaping the vent. Wait for a real cold morning and then go look you then may see some vapor or Plume as it is often called.

Ice sailor

@ November 11, 2010 1:09 PM in Well McLain Gold GV-4 Series 1 misfiring?

I went to the Weil-McLain site looking for that service bulletin and could not find it. I assume you are talking about the thermostatic control which functions to prevent thermal shock to the boiler.

It looks like the person who posted the original question has not returned. 

With the Weil McLain Gold series we have to be careful when we talk about them as there are several different versions they have had over the years. I was actually involved with the testing of the original GV series many years ago. I also have one in my training center at Gas Training Institute.

The Integrated boiler controls have been changed over the years and the United Technology version 1013-200 has more diagnostics available, that was why my original request from the poster was to find out which control they have. That way there should be flash codes that will direct us to the particular problem area.

Your LP expert I am sure is very good, do me a favor and ask him what he is screwing up and down on the gas valve? Also ask him which gas valve he is doing this on. The reason I am asking is that system uses a negative pressure gas valve.

It is a Buderus

@ November 10, 2010 8:18 AM in Cold stack slugging...

atmospheric boiler.

Why would you be screwing down

@ November 10, 2010 8:14 AM in Well McLain Gold GV-4 Series 1 misfiring?

on the gas valve? I assume you are talking about the regulator? The term mis firing may have been incorrectly interpreted as the burner mis firing it is actually not firing at all on occasions if I read the post correctly.

I really do not understand your posting ice sailor as any of these systems can be corrected if you know what you are doing.

What is the issue with the "thermostat" I am really confused by your answers.

What make are the thermostats

@ November 9, 2010 4:10 PM in Thermostats aren't reading correctly

and model numbers? Are they all the same? Are they mercury thermostats? If so they may need to be leveled. A picture would help also if you can.

Mike I saw your question

@ November 9, 2010 3:55 PM in All of these reports are great,but....

and have not forgotten you. I have an Insight at my training center and I wanted to look at the instruction book to see exactly what it said I will do that in the next couple of days.

I think it is referring to the old formula we used to use by measuring with a wet kit either O2 or CO2 and % CO and by using the formula we could come up with air free CO. In the old days most of the CO testers were just an tube that changed colors and you matched it up with a chart to get a % reading you then had to use the formula to get actual CO air free. Typically you would never see over 15% O2.

Jim this BPI thing has come up several

@ November 9, 2010 3:47 PM in carbon monoxide detector setting

times recently with inspectors doing energy audits and shutting off Mod/Con equipment with over 35 PPM air free. Now the National Grid people are doing the same thing. I have had several calls from factory reps wanting to know what I teach. I tell them 100 PPM or less is still my standard. Is someone mistakenly using the OSHA workplace standard for an eight hour period rule?

What is your location

@ November 9, 2010 3:37 PM in Waking up from a steam dream

maybe there is someone around that you do not know about that may be able to help you.

While we are taking about this

@ November 9, 2010 3:32 PM in Cold stack slugging...

I had a conversation over the phone with a contractor concerning a boiler sooting up in a brand new installation. The boiler room was way undersized for this application and is definitely a confined space that would only allow 48,000 BTU's worth of equipment to be installed. The boiler is over 200,000.

The contractor installed a "fan in the can" to as he put it cool the boiler room which was getting very hot and the customer complained concerning this typically in the summer time as this also has a 100 gallon indirect. This is $3,000,000 house.

Apparently this also covered the need for air in addition to cooling the boiler room (I will evaluate that when I go take a look at this job). It was controlled by the thermostat however or aquastat wired in parallel. It was not interlocked with the equipment.

Well someone shut of the switch controlling the "fan in a can" and the rest is soot city. Soot for those who don't know is Carbon Monoxide. So my instructions to the contractor was to shut everything off until the situation can be corrected. They are hesitant to do this as the customer is "very fussy" also very rich. I advised them they could have a "very dead fussy" customer.

All mechanical means of getting air into a boiler or furnace room must be interlocked with ALL of the equipment.

The other scary thing about this job is that there is an air handler for the AC in this same mechanical room.

I have seen a similar

@ November 9, 2010 3:17 PM in Cold stack slugging...

thing happen with side wall vented equipment here in Rhode Island along the ocean. When venting terminates on the ocean side with many times 25 knot sustained winds the draft inducers or power venters will actually stall out and fortunately the pressure switches typically shut things down.

I didn't mention it in my other post but I have also seen inducers placed on the roof at the chimney termination that run continuously and are interlocked with boiler or furnace room equipment so if they stopped running equipment would shut down. Those also should be set up with a barometric on the equipment for draft balance.

Jim mentioned devices do not create draft they only assist the process as we still typically need height and delta T to create draft. There are however many things that affect draft.
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