... This is Attic Rat reporting to you live, from the very bowels of hell inside the "heart" of any home,...the Boiler Room.
Yours truly was summoned to this house to actually replace light fixtures,and had NOTHING at all to do with this "room of doom"..After we had finished,and the place was cleaned up,CB panel checked and made sure that any circuits we turned off were now back on,invoice paid,we left,..the end of yet another arduous day of dealing with over-crowded boxes,cracked,peeling wiring,(see my other thread,concerning this phenomenomenen)and assembly of fixtures that would have an M.I.T.grad pulling his/her hair out..
The next day,I get a call from the new owners of "hell house" and was asked if we had disconnected the boiler for any reason..I replied that we hadn't touched anything remotely close to the boiler,but told her I'd be back out to check it out..
I get there,and check the service switch,and found no power,..I then took off the panel cover,and checked each breaker for power,..all on and fine... I then went to the dreaded room where the heating plant was located,and checked power at the control xfrmr....no power.. upon closer inspection,I see that the feed comes in at the opposite end of the boiler,and a length of greenfield was run INSIDE the boiler between the tank,and the outer skin..
Finding power at this feed end I opened the box mounted directly on the boiler and moved some wires around..
There was a flash,and a sizzle,coming from inside the greenfield,..I checked the box again and STILL had power,..the breaker never tripped..I then found the breaker,killed it,and proceeded to pull the offending wire out of the greenfield..The black leg had completely burned through,and came out in two carbonized pieces...
OK,I then re-routed the feed externally,and brought my new wire directly in the control box...Turned the system back on,..and she came on,..no problem..
Shortly ater that,the H.O. had called the local POCO,that services the boiler(maintenance contract) to have it checked out,because we saw a bit of water on the floor...Turns out that the "low water cut-off" switch failed some time ago,and the boiler was operating with close to no water in the system,..hence overheating the cast iron tank,and burning up the wiring..The POCO guy said that the cast iron tank was cracked,and refused to re-fill the water to the boiler..so,..if the wires hadn't burned up,..the boiler would've either exploded,or at very least caused a fire...Now the poor H.O. has to shop for another steam boiler... I felt bad,so I gave her a break in my service call price..The following story is true,cuz,of course ya can't make this stuff up!!
[This message has been edited by Attic Rat (edited 04-30-2005).]