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Boom!.sssssss.....Dont leave a damper fan running

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by barnartist, Mar 30, 2008.

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  1. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    after loading my wood last night I failed to turn off my damper fan. Bout 630 this morning I woke to a boom. Man did I overheat. My pex finally gave out but it decided to break in the house rather than my outside boiler room. House filled with steam. Ran to the boiler and my water gauge indicator was well past the highest reading of 320. Of course all the sytem water was steam. I had to kill my water feed because my flat plate DHW had melted my regular water pipe, so then I couldn't put any cool water in the eko. So I shoveled out all the coals I could and let it sit with the pop off vave open. Its still bubbling, but down around 220 now. I don't see any metal damage to the eko, so I hope all will be Ok when it cools.
    Guess this is a good time to re-plumb my system!
    Don't leave your inducer fans run on thier own-hook them up to a sensor!

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  2. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    Hopefully everything will turn out alright! Sounds like a scary situation but you handled in right. Good luck on the rebuild and have you decided on how your going to hook up the other tank?
  3. sled_mack

    sled_mack New Member

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    I'm curious - did the relief valve blow before the pex? Seems like the relief should protect the PEX, too, unless the PEX was too weak from the heat?

    It may be worth your while to cap off the areas that you can - like the boiler, the PEX, the tank - and do some air pressure testing once everything is cooled off. Best to determine the extent, if any, before too long.

    Hopefully, the damage is no more than you see already. I can only imagine what a heart-sinking feeling you must have had this morning. Good luck getting it all back together.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I think it's the heat the blows out the pex--not the pressure.

    Good luck, Scott. I'm not clear on what fan you left on by mistake. Does this have something to do with the new induction fan you just put in?

    If the boiler plate isn't warped from overheating, I'm guessing you'll be OK with the boiler, but the wiring/controller might have been affected and I'm guessing your pump as well. Do you have underground pex? Might want to check that out as well.

    I guess if something like this had to happen, better this time of year than in the fall.
  5. trailhound68

    trailhound68 New Member

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    WOW! 320 deg. she was cookin'. I had a similar situation last year when I walked away from my boiler with the ash door open. Early in the morning, pipes a bangin', making steam, smoke detectors going off from the steam. What a rude awakening. My pex did not fail however, as I reached only 260 deg. But, I did find that the backflow preventer just before the automatic fill had a clogged screen, so she wasn't getting any cool make-up water. Might have helped? One of the big problems that I found only after the heating season was over was that my pex tubes SHRUNK considerably. They were so tight on each end of the installation. About 75' underground. I had to drain it, disconnect it, add extensions for the next season. Any one experience this one?
  6. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    That stinks Barnartist. Before I installed the timer, the fan used to run 24/7. I never had an overheat problem. Are all your Boiler dampers and dump zones working correctly? Then again the Greenfire needs a strong draft so I bet an overdraft does not effect it nearly as much...
  7. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Heres the deal on my failures- I don't have a water source that replaces the water lost when the PRESSURE relefe valve pops. The system may have been hot for quite some time. Im not sure why it decided to break the line in the house rather than out at the boiler except the house pex that broke was the green kind. I think I bought it from central boiler, but im not certain. The red pex finally melted at the boiler a few moments later.
    I am hoping my Laddomat, and my taco 011 will be Ok. My 011 might be toast as it was plumed at the supply line where the hottest water was-well i mean steam.
    Your right how scary it was, and I couldn't get my senses together too quick, I think I ran in a circle for a bit.
    I bought a timer for my draft inducer, the kind you simply turn clockwise and it tops out at 60 minutes. This should eliminate that from happening again.
    While driving home from a plumbing parts run, I got to thinking and hoping it did not do damage to my underground line. It had to weaken it some.

    Im going to plumb in only one more tank to my system, making it 1000gal, and if I need to I'll add another later. Im going to have them both standing upright side by side. For the rest of this season, im going to set it up to pump the heat to the tank, and i'll draw my demand from the tank. I can do most of this today I think.
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I just saw the episode of Myth Busters where they launched a couple of hot water heaters 500 feet in the air. Pretty impressive power there. Now I know what master of sparks means about a foot of pipe having an explosion potential similar to dynamite.
  9. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    iv'e seen only the Myth Busters commercial of that. I'm pretty sure my garage would go up with it...
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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  11. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    WOW! I wonder how far a 500 gal tank would go!
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Into orbit, I suspect. That ultra slow-mo footage at the end is really something. Looks like that old shot of the ICBM being launched from the submarine.
  13. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    Reminds me of the time when I was in the air force. I was a pneumatics and hyd tect on the Atlas missle sys. I was working with a guy out on the tank farm and a 20,000gal nitrogen tank had a very small leak at the relief valve. It was a 4000psi tank. The guy got out his pipe wrench and tightened it up just a little more. When the pipe wrench came out I was gone. If that had busted He would have been the first man on MARS.
    I also know a guy that was standing by a nitrogen recharger and the relief valve blew. It was a 4000psi valve and the blast blew him through the steel piping of which there wasn't any place larger than 8in. He bent up alot of pipes and was injured but recovered. They told us to NEVER leak check with our fingers as a pin hole leak at high pressure would cut the finger off and I saw a acident report of a leg amputation from walking by a pin hole leak.
    pressure does powerfull things.
    leaddog
  14. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    OK, to keep on this same thread, its related as I re asemble my system and plumb some things up a bit differently.
    Id like to tell my house loop pump to kick on when the furnace runs and also when I tell it to by using a temporary manual switch. I already have the furnace ready for this,it supplies power to an outlet when the furnace fan kicks on, thus the pump starts up. so I need to rig the manual switch up. I am looking at 3 way switch layouts on google images. I should be able to do this with a pump somehow, just take out the light and replace it with a pump.
    I am doing this so I can run the pump for the DHW until I get a side arm. I can use a timer switch, or guess with the timing and use a programmable timer for when we take showers here.

    How can I wire this? Any thoughts? I thought about simply adding another pump right beside the first pump, but there must be a way to wire this up and save a pump.
  15. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Don't know about that, but I would certainly wire that draft inducer (and maybe your other blower fans) with an aquastat that will open up once you reach a critical temperature and kill the power to anything that keeps the filre going. When doing this sort of design, you should pay a great deal of attention to making sure that you have redundant failsafes in order to ensure that any hardware, software or wetware (human) failures cause things to shutdown without major disaster...

    Gooserider
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