Pilot On Williams Millivolt Wall Heater Goes Out Every 8 To 16 Hours - HVAC - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 12-20-2009, 01:32 PM   #16
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


The placement is detailed in the owner's manual. Most are recommended to be mounted at shoulder height, but that looks tacky. Some are battery operated and a lot plug in an outlet and have battery backup.

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Old 12-20-2009, 01:45 PM   #17
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


There are no manuals for this thing, here in the house or at the property manager's office. And I haven't been able to find one online. Would you by chance know of an online repository of PDF manuals for Williams heaters?

I can deal with tacky if it means increased safety. I'll see if I can find a battery operated carbon monoxide detector today. There are very few plugs in this unit, all of which are far from the heater itself. Battery operated is the only way to go here.

We sleep on a futon that is close to the ground. Also, we sleep in a bedroom that is a foot lower than the rest of the unit. The heater is installed in a room next to the bedroom, right by the step down into our bedroom. Carbon monoxide settles, right? So it probably makes sense to install the sensor just inside the room not far from ground level. I have a place in mind that is inconspicuous.
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:20 PM   #18
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


Here is a link to the willams web site. http://e-wfc.com/ use the literature link at the bottom of the page and scrole to find your unit. The literature link at the top of the page is broken. FYI I heve never seen and willams product with no limit safety. Eather it has been removed or you just havent found it. If it has been removed I would not operate it. I am assuming this is a wall furnace. Is it a direct vent or chimney vent style?
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:40 PM   #19
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


Hi John,

It's a chimney vent. I'm looking through the PDF files now on the site you linked me to. I've been there before, but I didn't find my heater. So I'm looking now a second time.

Will you tell me how the limit safety works? I'm interested in knowing more about how I'm endangering myself at the moment.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:00 PM   #20
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


Hi again John,

I found the manual: http://www.wfc-fc.com/pdf/Monterey_Top_Vent_IOM.pdf

I didn't realize my heater was called a "Monterey" something. I just looked for "Wall Heater" something. No wonder.

Page 10 shows that the thermostat is wired to a vent safety switch. Would you be willing to explain to me how that works?

Page 21 shows the vent safety switch and where it's located. It doesn't seem to be accessible without taking the heater out of the wall. Is this right? If so, then it's no wonder the repairmen couldn't find it. They only looked for a limiter switch some place in plain site.

Next question. Was the pilot going out because the switch was going bad or because the switch was doing its job? I suppose there's only one way to find out, and that would be to have the repairmen come out, replace the vent safety switch, and rewire it correctly. There's certainly enough thermostat wire left over. And I certainly don't want to endanger my wife and myself by bypassing the vent safety switch.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:20 PM   #21
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


Limit switches are safety switches.
they only open because something is at the max safe temp/pressure/etc. And if they don't open and shut down what ever. An explosion or fire will occur.

Your switch either went bad because it was opening and closing doing its job. or because it was constantly just below its open temp. And finally got too weak to stay closed.


What caused the condition that weakened or worn out that switch should be checked for.
Operating your heater without it is a fire hazzard.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:17 PM   #22
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


The draft switch is to shut the unit down in the event the chimney is not venting correctly. The way it is wired in the diagram will not shut the pilot off. I also do not see any limit in the instructions you linked to. The way they show the wiring is different from what I would expect. I would have expected to see the draft safety in the pilot curcuit to shut the pilot down and also a hi limit in the control curcuit. Anyway the way they show the draft switch will not kill the pilot. It should be servicable it senses the temp in the draft hood. A shorted thermostat wire to ground will cause the pilot outage. Hopfully you now have the problem solved.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:20 PM   #23
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


The vent safety switch is a thermal switch.
So a gas that is over firing the burner can cause it to trip.
Or to weaken.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:30 AM   #24
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


Please correct me if I am wrong, but won't a hi-limit switch open if there is an obstruction in the exhaust impeding the flow of combustion gasses? If that happens, exhaust gasses and carbon monoxide can enter the home.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:34 AM   #25
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


Quote:
Originally Posted by log_doc_rob View Post
Please correct me if I am wrong, but won't a hi-limit switch open if there is an obstruction in the exhaust impeding the flow of combustion gasses? If that happens, exhaust gasses and carbon monoxide can enter the home.
Not always. Sometimes the combusted gas will just cause flame roll out. And the limit won't get hot enough to trip.
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:03 AM   #26
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


Everyone,

Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise with me. I've printed up the manual for my heater, and I've highlighted those areas necessary to convince the repairman that there's still more to be done, and that the assurance of safety is now the issue.

I'm also printing this entire thread, some parts of which I'll be highlighting for his reference. I believe that your collective assistance will lead to a proper solution to this longstanding heater headache.

I'm very glad I asked for an explanation of why bypassing the original thermostat wiring would cause my periodic pilot outages to go away. It rather sounds like a combination of some problem with the vent safety switch or the ventilation itself and a periodic grounding of the thermostat wire--perhaps through some kind of static electric buildup (ionization of dust or even dense or altered air particles to create an arc to ground). Bypassing the original thermostat hookup got rid of possible grounding problems to be sure, and it's stopped any vent safety switch related issues, but it's also left me with a heater that is categorically unsafe to operate.

I can plainly see now that for this matter to be properly resolved, the heater pilot needs to not not be going out while at the same time remaining hooked up to the vent safety switch--whatever this means. Initially, I'm guessing this is going to mean replacing the vent safety switch. But hopefully it will also involve a careful, professional analysis of this heater, its installation, its emissions, and its ventilation.

I'll be sure to report back after the next step has been taken.

My appreciation for your time and energy, individually and collectively, can't rightly be expressed. It's entirely possible that you'll have helped to keep my wife and I alive in this old house.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:24 AM   #27
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


Bad regulator.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #28
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


Actually, it turned out to be a pinched cord going from the heater to the thermostat. The heater itself was installed in such a way that as it settled over time, it slowly but surely pinched harder and harder onto to the cord. Eventually, it was through the cord enough for static buildup to arc to ground, causing the heater to shut off, including the pilot.

We bypassed the original cable, and everything worked fine from that point forward.

But this was months ago. I've since moved to another city and the old wall heater is now but a bad memory. I forgot all about coming back here and reporting the solution. Sorry about that.

It was impossible to test for because when you did a voltage check on the line, there was no problem. It only arced to ground intermittently.

Now that you've reminded me about this forum, I should post another mystery, with a central air conditioner unit, that has cropped up in my new rental.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:10 AM   #29
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


I believe the answer to the question here is that the burner was flaming on and dropping right back out due to the bad t-stat wire causing turbulence in the burn compartment and basically blowing out the pilot. Seen it many times. I do find it hard to believe that there is no hi-limit or roll-out limit on this unit. If the valve stuck open it would burn the place down. The limit would drop out the pilot if it opened. But sound like everything is good now.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:41 AM   #30
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Pilot on Williams millivolt wall heater goes out every 8 to 16 hours


It's a thing of the past now. I moved out of that place last August. Now I live in Reno with an HVAC unit that makes more noise than anything I've ever encountered before in my life. Particularly the air conditioner, which makes a never ending high pitched tick-rattle type noise that I can only briefly bring under control by just about hanging from the freon input pipe (from a condenser which is outside). Come spring, I might come here and try to get some help with this mad thing.

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