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Grandpadave52

Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This...

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So some where early this AM one of the little voices inside my head spoke to me saying "it seems awfully cold in here." One of the other voices in there said, "Sharon turned the furnace back last night, remember?" Just go back to sleep!" Another voice said, "OK..." Somewhere seemingly not too much later, my alarm went off and all the voices were screaming "shut that thing off and It's freezing in here!" Hopped up, checked the thermostat and sure enough it was below 55...Turned the T-stat WAY up, headed to the back porch,...no flames in the burner...boiler lines cold except right at the boiler and circulating pump...Rot roh...

 

Headed to the bathroom to take care of some business, changed clothes and back to the porch. First step, remove front panel, yep the pilot light is burning (old boiler with standing pilot via thermo-couple. Back to the pantry to wife's tool box, grabbed a screw-driver, back to the boiler, jumped across the thermostat wires from the transformer (24VDC) to manually fire (test)...nothing (yes, I've had to do this a few times over the years; picked it up for very reliable and knowledgeable HVAC repairman).  Out to check LP tank...yep 65%, A-OK...All signs are pointing to a bad gas valve, BUT just seems odd it would just quit....although that gas valve is probably 20-25 y/o???

 

OK, rules have changed, I can't just go in anywhere anymore and get a gas valve across the counter and it's Sunday...so...called one place who sends me emails and USPS mail "wanting my business" Emergency number 3x...each time, it rolled to an automated service which rolled me to nice music...I waited each time about 7-8 minutes...3 strikes, you're out!:angry: "No soup for you!" Called another place...Emergency service not available. I finally reluctantly called a company I trusted and who had installed a completes forced air system for me, but they are pretty pricey...they also have gotten to be a moderately large regional company from the small home town business they once were...Anyways, left a message on their emergency number...about 30 +/- minutes later she called back, we discussed the issue...serviceman could be there (service call $130 + parts and labor) in ~3 hours...he had two other calls after he finished his current one...OK, not much choice right now...

 

So, some quick checks on-line revealed none of these local anywhere, but TSC in next county had ONE...so off I went. We also have an Eden Pure and an electric oil filled radiator type with blower so I was able to keep house ~50-55o in most rooms. It had warmed up from -4 to about 15 above during this time but a strong wind from the South. We set in open farmland...

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A couple of detours for some other business including taking my wife's cell phone to her at work (Yep she had to work today trying to close out year end business), then to Lafayette TSC. A couple hours later, back home, grabbed an extra full grill tank, placed inside on piece of cement board I'd pigeon holed, just about to get it going...repairman shows up pretty close to right on time...He looked a little older than my oldest grand-daughter, but after talking with him, he seemed to be pretty sharp. Good news, after some testing, he concurred the gas valve has to be bad...bad news he doesn't have one on his truck and pretty sure they do not have one back at the main office...he'd check, but had other calls to make...he told me, "we can get you one and you can install it yourself if you want...save you lots of money and you obviously know what you're doing." I said, let's see about getting the valve first, then we'll take it from there...He was here about 20 minutes.

 

Back to the propane heater...got it fired up...30.000 BTU on high...placed in the center of the house...began to get toasty in the middle rooms and warming up else where with Eden Pure running...My daughter fixed us a some braughts for lunch...I had turned the t-stat back to about 60 to shut-off the circulating pump...I'm working at the computer, eating my braughts, when what sounded like the furnace kicked on...quickly headed to the back porch, sure enough, furnace is working:blink::wacko:...checked all the baseboard units, yep they're all warm/hot, return line is hot, discharge line is hot...WT@#&*% or something similar...finished eating...furnace continues to cycle as it should...temperature keeps coming up in the house...I finally turn off the "new" temporary heat source to keep from roasting...Cat sits up and frowns at me from my chair (where she had resided since I first left)...gets down and lays next to tank & heater still frowning.

 

OK, if you've followed this far, kudos and thanks...IDK...boiler is still operating like nothing ever occurred...house is toasty...I'm thinking I'll still get the gas valve for just in case...Not the way I had planned to spend the day. If any good came from all this it did not occur during the past two weeks with lows 5-20 below and highs topping out 10-12 above when we had a rare day above zero.

 

BTW, cats back in the chair...as long as we maintain electricity + the new gas infra-red we'll be OK if it fails again during the night. Bigger concern now is the ice and snow getting ready to cross out of Illinois to WC Indiana...at least we saw temperatures in the low 30's for the first time in 13 days. Might see upper 40's by Thursday....

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so what was the encore???

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Still some brauts left...they all had chicken-noodle caserole

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Glad you got heat Dave.  Don't know why a gas valve would malfunction and begin working again - but then I don't have to work on those systems either.

 

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Sounds like a fun day !  :angry:  Might have been condensation in the fuel line.

Edited by It Was Al B

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2 minutes ago, It Was Al B said:

Is your fuel tank outside? Might have been moisture in the fuel line.

Yes, 500 gallon...That thought crossed my mind too Al, but H2O heater is fed by the same gas line and it worked fine...everyone is appreciated their hot showers.

IDK...maybe a piece of sediment??? had voltage going to the gas valve, but would not completer the loop...weird, but it's still working perfectly.

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41 minutes ago, Grandpadave52 said:

Yes, 500 gallon...That thought crossed my mind too Al, but H2O heater is fed by the same gas line and it worked fine...everyone is appreciated their hot showers.

IDK...maybe a piece of sediment??? had voltage going to the gas valve, but would not completer the loop...weird, but it's still working perfectly.

,,,, of all the things there are, ones don't work right will

p me o quicker that anything else. glade ya didn't have a flat in all of this!!

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54 minutes ago, Buck Nall said:

glade ya didn't have a flat in all of this!!

Funny you should mention that Buck...I've been watching one tire on my truck real close...when I had checked them after changing the oil a couple weeks ago, LR was about 15 psi lower than the other 3...filled them all up to winter setting...after I got back from one of my trips today thought  I'd better check that tire...down about 4 psi from where I'd filled it but that was before all the sub-zero temps and it was only about 25 when I checked it today plus sitting in the snow...I'll keep you posted.:P

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You had quite a day.

Glad to hear the boiler is running again. Are you still going to replace the gas valve?

Even though it's suppose to get a little warmer this week, they are calling for colder temps this weekend.

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23 minutes ago, LarryS said:

You had quite a day.

Glad to hear the boiler is running again. Are you still going to replace the gas valve?

Even though it's suppose to get a little warmer this week, they are calling for colder temps this weekend.

Thanks Larry...Yes, once I (they) find a gas valve, I plan to at least have it at home on the shelf...I'll see how the week goes...should only take about an hour in dog years (which will translate into 3 hours or more):P to replace. It's pretty straight forward depending on what conversion needs to occur from Natural to LP...usually just an orifice or spring.

 

21 minutes ago, Cal said:

The question might be - do you still have heat this morning?  Hope so!

Thanks for asking Cal. Yep worked perfect all night and yet this AM. We even had to turn t-stat back with this +30 degree heat wave we're experiencing. Mid 50's by Thursday...Of course it is Indiana weather.:o 

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