Peerless Purefire Boiler shutoff

Discussion in 'Boiler Forum' started by tigger13, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. tigger13

    tigger13 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    PA
    I have an issue with Purefire automatically shutting down by itself. Has happened few times. Is this normal? Only had it about 2 yrs. Does anyone have experience? And the last time it shutdown I was out on business for few days came back and quickly hit the reset button. Then was told it does take 4.5 hours to climb 13 degrees. Help!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,997
    Location:
    New England
    There are all sorts of reasons any burner device might shut down, and these are only a few: overheat, low water pressure, no fuel, fail to detect flame, obstructed flue, obstructed air intake. Many have an electronic controller and give some sort of error code. Would need more info to diagnose. Look for a flashing LED or some code and the troubleshooting section of the user's manual to help isolate the problem.
  3. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,172
    Location:
    Maine
    What does the error code say when it shuts down?
  4. tigger13

    tigger13 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    PA
    It says "Ignition error" then something like "Lock out". My educated guess is that the boiler shutdown due to either sensor cannot detect flame or there really is no flame and so it is unable to restart itself. I have read somewhere that if the outside temperature is too high this can happen. However it is like zero degrees at night. Isn't the heating unit supposed to have automatic restart?

    Sometimes we are out on business for days so this is really a problem. This has happened 8 times. And the reset button does not work every single time. We started having problems just months after installation. What the heck is going on?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,997
    Location:
    New England
    If you registered the complaint with the installer, I'd call them back and they should address it since it appears to have been happening since installed. It could be as simple as a loose connection. Many have a flame sensor. If that is not positioned properly, it may not detect the flame, even if it is turning on. Or, it could be dirty. If dirty, it may be because they did not adjust the burner's fuel/air properly and it is producing more soot (and it would not be as efficient and could be producing more CO than it should). It could be starved for fuel, either a (partially?) clogged line (water?) or too small, or maybe a valve is not fully opened (clogged filter, if oil?). The igniter could be bad, and not producing the required spark, or glow (depending on the type of igniter). My last system used a combination glow stick/flame sensor. None of these should fail in less than 2-years unless the burner was not setup properly and it either overheated or got covered in soot or unburned fuel.
  6. tigger13

    tigger13 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    PA
    Yes, very good points. I downloaded Purefire Training powerpoint presentation file and saw this:

    Dual Sensing –
    Flame sensor sends small electrical current through burner flame back to the ignition control. Control must read the correct signal to prove flame.
    After Ignitor has lit the burner and turned off, it also sends the same signal through the flame as a back up for the flame sensor.
    As long as the control reads the correct signal through the flame from either source it proves the flame and keeps the boiler from locking out.


    Yes, we have been complaining to the installation company and they suggest we pay for yearly maintenance plan for these "maintenance" issues. But these are not maintenance issues. We're looking into contacting Consumer Affairs if they don't fix this. I will forward your suggestion and point out to them that an "Ignition Error" requires fixing. In the last several months, we had 3 gas leaks, if you could believe this. Unbelievable!

    thank you all for your feedback.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,997
    Location:
    New England
    Was a permit pulled, and the system inspected? If so, (and it should have been!), a call to the inspector about the gas leaks and problems might get the installer more interested in doing things correctly. there is no excuse for gas leaks.
  8. tigger13

    tigger13 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    PA
    You mean the installer's company permit? Who should I have inspect my gas boiler, the gas company? The last time they came to fix the gas leak, the very next day we smelled gas again and called the company. Then they wanted $60 for coming. We refused to pay and they said we had to sign a yearly service agreement with them which we did. This company is a big one in our town, with advertisements all over the place. You would think they have service technicians who know what they are doing.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,997
    Location:
    New England
    In most places, when a system like a boiler is installed, you need a building permit. This is followed up by the town/city inspector to verify it was installed properly. Since this costs some money (depends on where you live how much), people often fail to have this done, but it is both against code, illegal, and not in your best interests, since it would give you an unbiased review of the install, and less hassle if you ever do need to get something done in the house that needs a subsequent inspection. Assuming that the company has a valid permit, they should know this.

    If you have documentation on the problems and service calls starting when it was installed, a call to the better business bureau may also help. You might also call the manufacturer and get their guidance. A call to the state licensing bureau may also help if they aren't more accommodating. It's one thing to provide optional maintenance on a properly working system at extra cost, but not to fail to make it work right from the start.
  10. tk03

    tk03 New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Harrisburg, pa
    Before I did anything I would contact the local rep or the manufcaturer. Give them a chance before anything else. They have an intrest if making this right.
  11. tigger13

    tigger13 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    PA
    Yes, I'm hoping the manufacturer and the installation company will make it right because we paid $7600 two years ago. Or we will go through with contacting BBB/Consumer Affairs and take the installation company to court. We thought we were paying a company licensed to sell and trained to install Peerless Purefire gas boiler. We didn't say hey let's find someone cheaper who could install this. So far in our experience with this installation company (who by the way is listed on Peerless Purefire's website as their installation company in our area) we've found they don't have an interest in "solving the problem". They suggested we buy Homeguard so when a shutdown occurs we call them (of course we would need to pay per incident) to turn it back on for us when we are out of town. That's not solving the problem.

    They did agree to contact the manufacturer at our request. Apparently Peerless said they would get back to them in two weeks. Meanwhile we could have another shutdown. We are getting more angry as time goes on.

    Come on, 8 shutdowns. And the installation company did not say, hey this is a problem, we need to address it. This is the middle of winter! How do we know it was installed properly? We had to write emails and with that many shutdowns, the last one was the final straw. The installation company kept ignoring the fact this needed to be addressed and everytime we had to call them they wanted to keep charging us money. That's why we have an interest in taking them to court.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,997
    Location:
    New England
    FYI, on many fired appliances, they have logic to attempt to ignite the burner at least a couple of times in succession, and after appropriate purge cycles to vent any unburned fuel, try again a specific number of times. After failing that many times (depends on the design, could be 1, could be three, or some other number which should be described in the manual), they then will lock-out any attempt to restart the burner until manual intervention (often, pressing the reset). Failure to detect a flame could be because it actually didn't ignite, or the sensor that determines if it did is not working, or the circuit that it feeds isn't working. Could be a simple loose connection, a bad part, a misaligned part, or, it could be a hiccup in the fuel supply, the valve that turns it on, or (depending on the type of fuel), a pump, a nozzle, a jet, or a fuel line. Since you said it was gas, it could be that the gas line is undersized, or your gas meter has a problem. It might only happen when the unit tries to turn on, and there are other users, and the meter and regulator can't provide enough fuel. So, the unit itself might be working fine. There are tools that can measure that. If the size and length of the gas line are not per spec, there may not be enough gas to properly light the system. Since you also indicated that you'd had a couple of gas leaks, their workmanship is also suspect and there could be a pipe that has crud in it, and blocking the flow. The pressure in a gas pipe is normally quite low, and it may not move an obstruction.
  13. gas boiler

    gas boiler New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    NY
    My Peerless purefire PF-210 after now 2 years has the ignition failure problem.

    The unit tries 3 times to re-ignite and after that it locks out for a period of time and then tries again. It seems in time it comes back to life after a lock out however when you run out of hot water and reset does not always work you are stuck. They cleaned the unit and replaced the flame sensor, now they are replacing the igniter................ Anybody have any more on this issue?





  14. BadgerBoilerMN

    BadgerBoilerMN Master Hot Water Mpls,MN

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    All condensing boilers must be serviced every year. While "researching" homeowners should start with the user's manual. Regardless of who installed it, the service must be done. I recently worked on a condensing Knight boiler installed "improperly and without permit or inspection". I was contractor #13. I fixed the immediate problems...over-fired, leaking fittings, over-pumped, sub-standard unworkable piping, short zone. The end result? Customer upset with the bill. Apparently--most definitely--wanted Lochinvar to pay for their poor choice of contractors. Still needs to be re-piped and rewired, but since they can't remember who installed it five years ago, who's to blame?

    All condensing boilers must be set up with a combustion analyzer and the flame signal confirmed. Almost all condensing boilers have a start-up sheet. I ask to see it on every call. I haven't seen one properly filled out for over 5 years...

    The rep is the way to go if you can't find another contractor to fix the problem. Frankly, a good percentage of my customers would rather fix the blame.

    Enforced codes and licensing, particularly for HVAC contractors is rare in all but urban areas. Inspection does not insure proper installation, since only reading, understanding and following the manufacturer's installation manual will suffice.

    Instead of trying to force the apparently indifferent installer to do what is right, I would advise finding a competent condensing boiler service company to take a look. Armed with a resolved issue and well written diagnostic you may find some satisfaction with the various entities you have enlisted. I would look for a good tech that installs similar products such as Munchkin, Alpine or Lochinvar. Any good condensing boiler tech can fill out the start-up sheet for you.

    Our customers get one reset and then know to call us for service, or more often, a delayed annual clean and check.
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
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