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A day in the life of a gas engineer......

Old Hamworthy

Dangerous stuff Posted on Sun, February 19, 2012 13:40:57

Client sent me this in video format….. An old Hamworthy, burning in the primary air ports……. Not good! I advised it was shut down till I arrived.

On arrival, I found nothing wrong, flue flow fine, gas rate, burner pressure, slow start rate, ventilation, heat exchanger, all fine………

Unfortunately, if I couldnt find the problem the boiler would have to be left off – burning in the primary ports produces huge amounts of CO……………. so what to do?

Looking at it from first principals the speed of the gas flow through the burners would have to be below 36m/s to burn back into the primary ports. Even under slow start this wasnt happening……

I questioned the client, and he mentioned the timer ‘chattered’ as it fired the boiler…….

I set the timer to start in 5 minutes and waited………..

As the timer activated the boiler, it chattered…… pulsing the gas valve on/off……. and hey presto, the flames jumped back into the primary port……..

Never seen that before!

Keston flue tube – attempt 3!

Dangerous stuff Posted on Fri, September 16, 2011 21:45:27

As per my previous posts – c55 / c45 / c40 flue tubes were degrading – the corrugated version split and the modified rubber version degraded….. this new one looks the absolute business. I think this will be ‘problem solved’ mind u, I said that last time too!

Electrical issues

Dangerous stuff Posted on Thu, June 16, 2011 21:22:32

If you dont tighten your electrical connections properly, this happens…. you must use a professional engineer….

Keston flue tube problems

Dangerous stuff Posted on Sun, April 10, 2011 00:12:04

some of you may remember the problem that used to occur with the old corrugated flue tube fitted to the keston c40 / c55…… well there was a new type issed, unfortunately this one degrades too……….

Burst pipe – Jumbo size!

Dangerous stuff Posted on Sun, February 27, 2011 21:30:13

ok, so on arrival, i see this.

no problem you think…… 10,000 sq ft wharehouse……….

as i got close, i realised there was a deep base rumble coming from the unit, water pouring out of the vents half way up the building…………

I forced the door open and walked into what felt like a set from predator. the entire 10,00 sqft of wharehouse was 6 – 8 inches deep in water, every single thing that could float, was floating, it was pitch black save for random sparks were coming from one room, ……. and water was pouring down from everywhere. the sound was indescribable. A mind numbing crashing roar, that went on and on.

I had a look for an external stopcock, found it, it was rusted solid, and very very big.

I went back in, and frankly it was a bit scary…… my torch wouldnt reach to the end of the warehouse, and stuff kept bumping into me as it floated by……..

As water was running from above, i decided to investigate the upper mezanine……. heres what the stairs looked like …. sorry about the picture quality – bit ‘blair witch’!

(picture is on its side)

Anyway, there was an absolute waterfall from the mezzanine, from under the door. i shone my torch throught the window, and could see nothing. a judicious shoulder to the door produced no response. thinking thbe door had swelled i pushed my crowbar into the gap and levered the door open…………….


the water poured out to a level of about 3 foot, filling my wellies instantly, and washing me across the stairs and into the handrail…. the room was full to about 3 foot…… 12 by 20 room……

consider …… 10,000 square foot wharehouse, 6 inches deep………… big water bill……

by this point i realised ‘fixing the leak’ was not the first priority…..

on investigating i found the stopcock. as you can see i now realised why the flow was so high….. 50mm thin wall copper incomming main……. WOW!

Needless to say, is was very stiff! You can just see the water level…….

Long story short

I switched it off, and it took 24 hours to empty the room above, 3 weeks to stop leaking out from the walls……. 2 months and its still not dry!

Used oil burners

Dangerous stuff Posted on Mon, November 08, 2010 22:49:33

A quick test to used removed burners before they were split for parts. Flame pattern not great.

Plz help, my cat is Possessed!

Dangerous stuff Posted on Mon, November 08, 2010 22:42:49

As you can see, my cat has issues. not only is he either Radioactive or possesed, he also thinks he is part of a flute. Any suggestions?


Dangerous stuff Posted on Sun, November 07, 2010 23:02:39

oh dear ………………………. this clogged up while full of about 100 duck carcasses. had to unload with a shovel before i could repair……. smiley

Understanding wiring….

Dangerous stuff Posted on Tue, July 20, 2010 23:08:42

This is why you need to know what your doing….. if you dont tighten wires correctly, it WILL catch fire.


Dangerous stuff Posted on Fri, July 16, 2010 21:29:27

ok, cant show pictures on this one, not allowed………. anyway, lets just say i was in the uk, but not on british soil…….

So, the complaint is, gas valve not open to commercial kitchen, ……..

On investigation the fan was showing on the panel as running, but no flow detected……. went to investigate…. and found a bathroom extractor and plastic vent pipe located in the commercial hood……. the old system having been disconnected. I investigated further and found that the flow sensor was still attatched to the old vent fan, but where was the fan… (this ‘classified’ building is about the size of an american city block by floorplan) i had a look and located a locked room, where i suspected it should be… but the door bore the omninous label ‘CHUBB’….. fortunately the old safe room was actualy the new staff linen closet, so the key was found, and inside was a fully equiped and silenced vent extractor system, complete with silencers, filters etc, that had been running, with a blocked inlet, for 2 years, …….. as you might imagine the motor was pretty much on fire……

The time line seems to be

1) Kitchen installed

2) 4 years later the extractor performance is considered poor, contractor is called who disconnects the main extraction, (cost £20k when installed), and rigs up a bathroom extractor and a length of flexi ducting (price? £2000, plus vat!!)

3) 2 years later the fan running on a closed circuit, (like a cars wheels turning but not moving/ ‘spinning’) seizes enough to trip the no flow sensor.

incedentaly, the bathroom extractor had seized about 6 months after installation…..

AND its an internal underground room……



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