The title of this article (and idea) was actually inspired by Eric Stromquist. As an antique motorcycle restorer one thing I am very aware of when I am finished with a restoration and crank it up the first time is this motorcycle is an antique and I must be completely be aware of how the functions of this motorcycle are not of the same quality, safety, or reliability, of current motorcycles now being made. MY SAFETY DEPENDS ON MY UNDERSTANDING OF THIS!
Over my 30 plus years as a controls supplier the topic of rebuilt controls has reared its ugly head upon several occasions. I will say in all honestly, I participated at one time with a different employer the selling of theses controls. The mind set of this employer was purely profit orientated and not of the best interests of the client/consumer involved and one of the reasons I am no longer associated with that employer. Boy…. that lifted a heavy burden off my shoulders.
If I am making tons of profit and my client is saving money what’s wrong with selling rebuilt controls? Un-like the first paragraph of this article where I use the example of my restorations, the safety, quality, and reliability are being shared by OTHERS at a client’s facility and the risks are usually unknown to all involved (even the purchaser of the control).
Facts and knowledge are the best ways of understanding the decision making process so let’s look at a couple of facts…
FACT: Rebuilt controls rarely meet industry safety standards.
New burner controls must pass rigorous safety and operational tests to receive important industry certification, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approval. Many states have adopted their own codes such as CSD-1 issued by ASME. CSD-1 clearly states:
“The use of rebuilt or remanufactured flame safeguard equipment shall not be allowed. All boiler controls shall be listed as UL (underwriters laboratories), FM (factory mutual), or AGA (American gas association). (Authorized by and implementing K.S.A. 1999 Supp. 44-916; effective May 1, 1987; amended April 28, 2000.)”
Some of the above groups are NOT willing to approve rebuilt controls they are NOT willing to take the risk.
FACT: Honeywell has NOT authorized ANY independent facility to repair or rebuild Honeywell controls.
A recently updated FM standard allows independent rebuilding or repair of controls with the requirement to meet OEM standards.
TAKE NOTE: Honeywell has NOT authorized ANY independent rebuild or repair facility to repair or rebuild Honeywell burner-boiler controls. As such, there are NO rebuilt Honeywell authorized boiler-burner controls certified by ANY nationally recognized testing agency.
FACT: YOU could be responsible for the losses when a rebuilt control breaks down.
Most insurance companies offer liability coverage only when the controls used are approved by a nationally recognized testing agency such as UL. Over half the states will NOT provide CSD-1 approval for rebuilt controls. Without the possibly insurance protection, you could be responsible for substantial losses if a component fails and causes a boiler-burner breakdown.
FACT: Rebuilt controls do NOT incorporate new code requirements or design specifications.
Rebuilt controls can ONLY reflect the original requirements and requirements as their original date of manufacture. Other words OLD technology and safety requirements are the best you could hope for.
How do you recognize a rebuilt Honeywell boiler burner control?
As stated NO repair rebuild facility is authorized by Honeywell to repair or rebuild a Honeywell boiler-burner control. By law ALL rebuilt/repaired Honeywell boiler-burner controls MUST have ALL identification originally placed on the control by Honeywell REMOVED including Honeywell logos. The control must have a label placed on the control stating the control is re-manufactured NOT by the original controls manufacturer (Honeywell).
Another perspective regarding the negative ramifications of using rebuilt burner – boiler controls in manufacturing processes can be found in this article in the September 2003 issue of Plant Engineering.
BE WISE BUY AUTHORIZED
One way to protect yourself from a possible litigious situation is to only buy your flame safeguard burner boiler controls from an authorized Honeywell Flame safeguard distributor.
Think about it, does it really make sense to buy insurance to protect yourself in case of a boiler explosion only to find out that you have negated your protection because you are using controls that are not approved by your safety insurer?
If you are not sure if you have factory approved flame safeguard controls and you are in Georgia or Florida you can contact Stromquist & Company for an on site survey. Others can find an authorized Honeywell Flame safeguard distributor at Controls Group North America.
Here is one last scary fact that I used to make sure all the technicians I used to teach about steam boilers to, was aware of….
By volume steam is 1600 times more than water. What does this mean to you? When a boiler that has 50 gallons of water in the boiler to make steam out of, the steam under pressure is 1600 times the volume of the water in the boiler. 1600 x 50 equals 80,000 gallons of water by volume. If a boiler-burner control fails without the proper safety precautions the expansion of the steam is more than the boiler shell can handle and the explosion can and will be devastating.
These controls are NOT playing with toys. You NEED TO BE AWARE of the consequences and understand why not to be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish. Please be safe out there I truly enjoy you as clients and readers.