Oil fired steam boiler - Can't restart

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Posted by Richard Bradley on October 17, 2001 at 06:21:35:

I'm back with more questions. I started up my old boiler for the first time (for me) last night. I already had the thermostat all the way up to 80 degrees, & turned the boiler by use of the exhaust reset button. It fired up fine and took about 1 1/2 hours to start heating the radiators. There was no gurgling, hissing, or banging - very quiet. But the steam gauge did not work - stayed at 0. The differential was set at about 3/1. The water in the glass gauge was originally 1/2 full and went down slighly below this as the water reached maximum heat, showing some up and donwards movement, but it never rose above 1/2 full. As the house heated up, I turned the thermostat down to 70 degrees. When the temperature in the house reached about 70 degrees, the boiler automatically shut off. So far every thing was great except the worrisome steam gauge not working. But later as the temperature dropped below 70 degrees to 65 or so, the boiler did not automatically restart. I pushed the exhaust reset button once and the pump worked for a few minutes but it did not fire. I did not try resetting any more. My questions are 1) What caused it not to refire & what do I need to do to correct 2) Is the differential set properly 3) Can I safely replace the steam gauge myself and 4) Since I have spurted some oil into the bottom of the boiler with the attempt to refire, do I need to celan this out or will it burn off OK when I do get the burner to fire?

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