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Joined on February 27, 2010

Last Post on April 20, 2014

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@ October 19, 2011 6:29 AM in Barometric Damper Upgrade to Atmospheric Gas Steam

You only need a barometric damper if the boiler is drafting too much. I would do the combustion analysis first to decide if one is necessary.


@ October 17, 2011 5:15 PM in IBR baseboard ratings

Not exactly what you're looking for, but I have this graph...

Just a few calculations get you the same numbers.


@ October 17, 2011 6:36 AM in Buderus keeps water hot, even with both zones OFF

Starting at page 22. Specifically on page 37.

You might have the boiler set up to maintain a minimum temperature for optional DHW use.


@ October 16, 2011 2:24 PM in Hot water boiler sizing question.

Did you convert your SqFt. radiation for steam or hot water?

If you did it for steam, then the conversion comes out to require about 110 Btuh per sq.ft. You would then only need to run your boiler at 145F maximum.

I wonder

@ October 15, 2011 6:36 AM in What do you think of

Does this unit need to be drained? Are they really allowing you to run colder flue gas through non-rated material?


@ October 12, 2011 10:35 PM in Pilot Orifice Sizes

The pilot adjustment made no change to the pilot flame, so a turndown test could not be completed in full. Even fully front seated, the pilot did not change. I did cycle the burners several times, both cold and at peak temperature.

Theoretical question...Could you pinch down one side of a pilot hood to allow the flame to favor the side nearest the thermocouple? Assuming the main burners light properly...


@ October 12, 2011 9:15 PM in Pilot Orifice Sizes

Just found this service bulletin from Utica...

They upgraded orifice sizes from 0.014 to 0.018 in 2007. My boiler was a 1998.

So, now my other question. Is there any harm in using different pilot sizes if you're having issues, as long as they operate correctly (proper flame and coverage)?


@ October 12, 2011 8:45 PM in Pilot Orifice Sizes

I replaced the original valve because the circulator pump leaked oil all over it, and caused it to short out and burn up the aquastat transformer.

I also thought that the drop out number was too high. After I made the orifice adjustment, the mV stayed the same but without shutting the valve down.

I don't have the model numbers right now.

The pilot seemed very weak. It didn't fully engulf the thermocouple. That's what lead me to the orifice sizing.

By the way, this was a Utica MGB175HD.


@ October 12, 2011 8:20 PM in fielpiece sox2 combustion analyzer

I just bought the Testo 327-1. The kit with a printer is on sale all month with a manufacturer's rebate until the end of the year. Very happy with it. I was looking at the SOX2. Glad I went with the Testo. It offers a lot more. Of course you pay more, but it's worth it.

Pilot Orifice Sizes

@ October 12, 2011 7:44 PM in Pilot Orifice Sizes

I replaced a faulty gas valve today. New thermocouple. I was having trouble getting high enough mV under load. The pilot would intermittently drop out. Adjusting the thermocouple made no difference. Pilot adjustment made no difference. Gas pressure in was 5.5 " WC. It would start out at 13 mV, then the burners kick on and it drops out at 8 mV.

I wound up (very carefully) reaming out the pilot orifice a little bit. I know it's not proper practice but it worked...for now.

So I'm just wondering what you would use to check the orifice size, and how you would determine the correct size for a replacement. Is it just trial and error?

This reminds me...

@ October 10, 2011 8:42 PM in Weil McLain Steam Boiler Failure

I need to buy a PH meter.

It probably goes without saying that you'll be checking EVERYTHING before installing a new boiler.

Water quality, fresh water usage, steam leaks, proper piping, etc...

Can't wait to hear what the problem is. Want to avoid that myself!


@ October 10, 2011 6:27 AM in Main burner blowing pilot off.

Tech support said they require a minimum of 350 millivolt. I asked if that number was under load, or just the pilot. Their response...."(long pause) Ummm, both...I think."

I changed the thermopile placement and did not get any higher mV's. The heater would fire up a number of times, then fail either mid cycle, or during burner light off.

The air screen is clean like brand new.


@ October 8, 2011 4:20 PM in hydronic heat

Sounds like you need a professional real bad.


@ October 8, 2011 7:53 AM in Another one bites the dust!

Ohhh, I misread that part.

Understanding hydronic-flow is guaranteed job security.


@ October 8, 2011 7:43 AM in MPO 84 replacing oversized V8 has a higher cold return

You should be moving the circulators to the supply side of the system, anyway.

Otherwise, rerouting a return pipe is not a big deal.


@ October 7, 2011 11:01 PM in MM #67

They can be tricky. All piping has to be close to dead on perfect to give you the least amount of trouble. The instructions can be a little washy, too. I've had the best luck with loose fitting the gauge glass valves, and LWCO body. Cutting the equalizer. Socking the gauge glass close to finished (measure the distant off the boiler to have a straight glass), leaving enough swing space to get the equalizer tubing in place, then lining it all up with two wrenches at the same time.

That probably sounds more confusing than the instructions that came with it!


@ October 7, 2011 6:24 PM in Honeywell electronic tstat not working with new gas-fired boiler

You can't use those Tstats on boilers with vent dampers because the damper will open the control circuit for a split second, shutting down the thermostat (loss of display), then recycle continuously. You can look for that resistor. I would rather not deal with the extra needed part. Especially since it could short out and destroy the boiler transformer.


@ October 7, 2011 6:21 PM in Another one bites the dust!

So...what was wrong?


@ October 7, 2011 6:15 PM in vacuum steam

Looks like an open swing check. But for what? Did this used to have a return going to it? Maybe someone thought this would act as a vacuum breaker?


@ October 7, 2011 6:34 AM in Main burner blowing pilot off.

This water heater does not allow any adjustment of the pilot or main burner.. And yes, it does require 4" WC. I repositioned the thermopile in the pilot flame and did not have any changes in mV readings. I did not check the orifice size.

I ordered a new burner assembly and gas valve to be safe.


@ October 7, 2011 6:27 AM in Cant figure out how to work this thing!!

Looks like that TRV air vent has a lockable set screw. You might have to take that screw out a few turns to adjust it, or sometimes you can pull the entire white handle out before turning. The number 0 represents "no or little venting". You'll want that number to be higher than that.


@ October 6, 2011 8:36 PM in Am I just plum crazy.....or will this work???!!!

Installing traps on the mains isn't an option?
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