Boiler won't fire

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Old 06-25-07, 12:37 PM
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Boiler won't fire

Hi all-

House has oil-fired boiler for baseboard heat and auxiliary domestic hot water tank that is heated by circulating boiler water. Seldom stay at this house, and ran out of oil (during warm weather). After getting more oil, would normally just prime and everything would be fine. However, if power is turned on, circulators are running because the unit is wanting to heat the domestic water, but the burner won't come on. Tried turning thermostats in the house to 95 degrees but didn't do anything either.

The boiler has a Honeywell intermittent ignition primary # R4184 D 1027 that has been replaced by an R8184 G 4009, according to Honeywell's site. The R4184 had no lever to allow you to trip the unit off, and it is not currently tripped!! Because of running out of oil, I expected to find it tripped and to have to bleed it, but that is not the case. Does that point to a defective Intermittent ignition primary? Is there any other reason why the circulators would be calling for heat but the burner wouldn't try to fire up??

Thanks.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 12:59 PM
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Are you sure you have a R4184D? According to my book that particular unit has a constant ignition and a safety switch timing of 45 seconds. It also has line voltage control.

It is possible that the oil burner power supply is from a different circuit than are the circulator pumps.

And that control most certainly has a reset button.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
Are you sure you have a R4184D? According to my book that particular unit has a constant ignition and a safety switch timing of 45 seconds. It also has line voltage control.

It is possible that the oil burner power supply is from a different circuit than are the circulator pumps.

And that control most certainly has a reset button.
Yes, that is exactly what is on the boiler; R4184 D 1027. Yes, the 4184 has a red restart button, but what I was saying was that it doesn't have the little lever next to the button that will shut down the power like the 8184 replacement box.

The safety shut-off switch shuts down the circulators and the boiler simultaneously, so I don't know what else to tell you.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 02:19 PM
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The R4184D does NOT have "intermittent" ignition. The R4185A does have what Honeywell calls intermittent but what is really called interrupted ignition in the controls industry. The R4184D has the ignition transformer connected in parallel with the burner motor and thereby has the ignition energized the entire time the burner is running.

I have no idea of what you are referring to when you write:

"it doesn't have the little lever next to the button that will shut down the power like the 8184 replacement box."

Some Honeywell controls have a pushbutton reset and others have a trip lever reset. I have never seen both on the same control.

Your problem is that either the R4184D is not getting any power or that the R4184D is toast. This unit is line-voltage controlled and there should be line-voltage limits such as a high temperature cutout and possibly a low-water cut out in series with the power supply. More likely than not in your case the power supply is from the circulator control panel(s).

Without seeing exactly how your particular installation is wired I cannot offer any more help.

Hopefully Grady (who is far more experienced with these controls) will see your problem and add his expertise.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
The R4184D does NOT have "intermittent" ignition...........

I have no idea of what you are referring to when you write:

"it doesn't have the little lever next to the button that will shut down the power like the 8184 replacement box."

Some Honeywell controls have a pushbutton reset and others have a trip lever reset. I have never seen both on the same control..

Forgive me for not understanding the tecnical verbiage, but the box comes from Honeywell labled "Intermittent ignition primary." Whether it actually is or isn't is of no concern to me. I am just trying to identify the GD thing.

Also, go to: http://www.drillspot.com/products/52246/HONEYWELL_R8184G4009_Oil-Primary-Control?s=1

There you will see the red reset push-button and the manual trip lever equipped R8184G.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 07:23 PM
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R8184g/r4184d

It has been many years since I've seen a 4184 but am very familiar with the 8184. The 8184G-4009 does indeed have a manual trip lever (primarily for service person's use), a red reset button, & a red lockout indicator light.

If you have tried to push the reset button & the burner motor fails to run, you really need to use a voltmeter to troubleshoot before just changing parts.
One thing you could do without a meter is to remove the fuel pump & try to reset the control. If the motor now runs, the pump is probably seized. If it does not run, check the burner motor for a small (usually red) reset button on the motor itself. This button could be near the end which attaches to the burner body or the opposite end. In any case it will be near the end of the motor if present at all.

If you have a voltmeter, know how to use it, & want some help toubleshooting, we'll be glad to help all we can.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Grady View Post
It has been many years since I've seen a 4184 but am very familiar with the 8184. The 8184G-4009 does indeed have a manual trip lever (primarily for service person's use), a red reset button, & a red lockout indicator light.

If you have tried to push the reset button & the burner motor fails to run, you really need to use a voltmeter to troubleshoot before just changing parts.
One thing you could do without a meter is to remove the fuel pump & try to reset the control. If the motor now runs, the pump is probably seized. If it does not run, check the burner motor for a small (usually red) reset button on the motor itself. This button could be near the end which attaches to the burner body or the opposite end. In any case it will be near the end of the motor if present at all.

If you have a voltmeter, know how to use it, & want some help toubleshooting, we'll be glad to help all we can.
Fantastic, thank you!! Tell me if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming that neither the pump nor the motor is seized, because I can turn the motor by spinning the squirrel cage with the usual very litle resistance. Also, I pushed the red button on the motor, with no effect. Had no idea there was such a thing as a control to reset if you remove the fuel pump. Never had to go that far.

Now, I had 2- R8184G(s) in storage from previously used burners, and I tried putting one of them on in place of the R4184 tonight. Because it was used and stored for several years, tomorrow I will try the other one, because nothing changed, and in fact the little red light didn't even illuminate when I tripped the manual trip lever.

All I can tell you about that is that when I turn on the safety switch to send power to the boiler, there is 110 volts getting to the box (over the motor, where everything connects), because I tested it tonight. And that is the extent of my knowledge and talent from previous experience! Fortunately, in the past, my problems have always been more obvious.....like 18" of water in the basement, so you take the burners off the boiler and oil-fired hot water heater when the water subsides, disassemble them, dry them out and reassemble. Annual nozzles, filters, and chamber cleanings, etc.

However, I do have a test meter, so if you haven't run out of patience yet, I'm up for coaching!

Thank you so much. I'd love to find a training manual of sorts if such a thing is made. I just enjoy being able to fix my own problems immediately when they occur.
 
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Old 06-26-07, 05:40 PM
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Voltage

I hope you checked for line voltage across the hot & neutral wires. Checking from hot to ground will tell you if the "hot" side is good but nothing about the neutral. More than once I've found a bad neutral to be the culprit.
After confirming 120 volts between hot & neutral, connect the primary control as follows: Hot to black on the primary, neutral to white. Leave the orange from the primary & cad cell (fire eye) disconnected.
Energize the control & check voltage between orange & neutral. If 120 volts are present, kill the power, connect the cad cell wires to the terminals marked F&F or S&S as the case may be, make sure the cad cell is not seeing light, re-energize & check voltage between orange & neutral again. If no voltage is present, the cad cell assembly is at fault. Let me know.
 
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