some 'thing' different

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Old 12-04-08, 01:11 PM
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some 'thing' different

Iíve searched this site looking for someone who has had a similar problem with a Burnham hot water furnace as I have but have not found anything quite like this.

My heater was installed in 1977 by the previous owner. It has worked pretty well till now. A few years back I had a problem with the circulator pump but was able to replace it and it has been fine since.

Iím pretty sure it is working now as I can hear the sound of water moving in the baseboard pipes.

My problem is the damper in the chimney pipe cycling all the time. When the thermostat calls for heat the little synchronous motor spins and opens the damper and the boiler lights. After just a few minutes the burner goes out and the little motor will run and run causing the damper to close till it snaps open again several times.

Iím pretty sure this damper was made by Honeywell but the cover was removed sometime before I bought the house and I can not locate it. The control box on the side of the furnace is Honeywell so I figure this damper is also Honeywell.

After this cycle goes on for a while the little motor will stop if I spin it manually in the other direction the burner will come on right away and the boiler will heat for a few minutes again. I think there is supposed to be a cover over this wheel but if there is supposed to be one it is also gone.

This is a new problem this year for me anyway. Always before if I wasnít getting the heat I thought I should I would just add water with a valve in the system.

Now we did have a lightning strike down the block and some of my neighbors lost TVís, VCRís, DVD players and stuff but not here. Iím wondering if perhaps I did get damage somehow in my furnace from this.

I cleaned the contacts on the large solenoid relay I found in the big Honeywell box and found a little 24 volt relay in the damper box that I also took apart and cleaned even tho they did not appear to be dirty.

There is a wafer switch mounted on the damper that the shaft that turns the blade in the damper goes through and I cleaned it too.

Iíve look on the net a lot for replacement damper controllers but havenít found any that even look much like what I have. Several seem to be for forced air not chimneys.

The only local furnace guy that would even talk to me about it doesnít like hot water furnaces much, and his advice was to rip the thing out and put in forced air.

Not an option for me.
 
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Old 12-04-08, 03:41 PM
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Stack Damper

If you can supply the model of the boiler, I might be able to find out something for you,
 
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Old 12-05-08, 10:37 AM
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Inside the front cover/door of the furnace are several metal plates with information stamped into them.

Mine says it is a model P-204-WI another tags says it may be used with an automatic vent damper and there is a list of various other Burnham furnaces and the dampers that should be used with them, for the 204 it says the SPG-05-14 should be used.

As I said the cover for the one in place is missing and I havenít managed to find it but, that is probably what is on there. Iíve looked what is there over and can find no model number on it at all.

I did find another website that mentions that it is no longer in production and an alternate part number is listed but when I went to the site the part is supposed to be sold on, I could not find that particular device.
 
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Old 12-05-08, 11:03 AM
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Vent Damper

Your local furnace guy doesn't know much about comfort if he wants you to rip out hot water & install scorched air.

That SPG number looks more like a Burnham part number than Honeywell. I can't find the P-204-WI on Burnham's site. Maybe I can find the replacement part if you would be kind enough to supply the manufacturer & part number.
 
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Old 12-05-08, 05:24 PM
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Grady,
First of all thank you for reading my post and answering.

Unfortunately you have as much information as I do on the damper thing.

One of the fellows at work has a older steam heat system at his house, it uses the big iron radiators so it is a little different than what I have here but, he said the expansion tank on my system might be water logged.

He suggested I drain the system and remove the pressure tank and see how much air pressure is in it. I would rather not do that as the thing is working minimally now and it is darn cold out.

When I got home this morning it was only 45 degrees in here that beat the heck out of the 17 degrees it was outside but really not what I consider comfortable shirtsleeve weather inside.

Iíve been twiddling the little servomotor all day and have only got the inside temp to 59 degrees so far.

I did go get my good tire gauge and tested the tank for air pressure and it was only enough to barely move the stem on the tire gauge so I went and got my little air compressor and put in 15 pounds.

I looked at the pressure gauge on the furnace and it had gone up a bit, I think, maybe, but the water relief valve didnít let any water out of the boiler.

I let the air out of the tank again and listened closely while I put 15 pounds back in from the tank on the compressor with the motor on it shut off. I couldnít hear any bubbling so I think the diaphragm is intact. Since no water came out the relief valve I opened the input valve on the water and almost immediately water came out the over flow valve. This leads me to believe the system is full and the expansion tank is working properly.

Iím beginning to wonder if the hydrostat is bad. The temperature gauge shows real close to 190 degrees and the pressure gauge shows between 25 and 30 pounds before the burner kicks in and doesnít seem to go above 30 when it turns back off.

Could it be that the circulator pump is bad and causing the hydrostat to kick the burner off because the return water is still hot enough?

I put a little stick on thermometer on both the return and output pipes and there is little difference between the temps you might think the return would be considerably cooler than the output. I mean if both are so darn close the rest of the house should be near the same right?
 
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Old 12-05-08, 05:38 PM
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Vent Damper, etc.

It sounds like the burner is shutting off due to the water being hot enough to do so.

What kind of heat emitters do you have (fin tube baseboard, cast iron baseboard, convectors, etc.)? Are both pipes hot where they connect to the emitters? Any bleeders on the emitters?

Maybe the numbers off the Honeywell control into which the damper plugs will help. If I look up the control, maybe it will say to use this or that damper.
 
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Old 12-05-08, 06:17 PM
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There are finned tubes inside steel baseboard ‘radiators’ I can understand why the hydrostat might be shutting down the burner but not why the motor in damper controller would keep cycling.

The Honeywell control that the damper plugs into says it is an
AQUASTAT RELAY TYPEL9148E

There is a tag on one of the thermostat connections that says “Remove jumper to use optional vent damper“. There is also a jumper which only plugs into this connection one way. I unplugged the wire that goes to the vent damper and pluged in the jumper but the burner does not just run with the jumper in place.
 
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Old 12-06-08, 08:43 AM
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Aquastat

I presume the L9148E was a typo & should have been L8148E?
If so, as I suspected, it has an internal fuse which blows the first time there is a call for heat with a damper connected. When that happens, the control will only work with a damper. See figure 6, page 5 here: http://customer.honeywell.com/techli...it/95-6940.pdf

I did have some luck with the vent damper. It would seem the D896 would fill the bill.
Product
 
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Old 12-06-08, 11:04 AM
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Yes, I got the model number wrong there is a blemish on the plastic tag inside the box where I got the number but there is another place on the tag that the number is clearly printed. And yes it is L8148E.

The product you linked to is obsolete and no replacement is listed in their cross reference.

So,Ö if I find and replace this fuse shown in the PDF then not hook the damper up again, just use the supplied jumper, the furnace might work closer to right again?

Iíve looked and can not see the fuse indicated in the schematic and Iím guessing it is located on the back side of the circuit board.
 
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Old 12-06-08, 01:12 PM
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Damper

I guess Honeywell got out of the damper business. I finally remembered the name of the other manufacturer, Effikal. Here is a link to their installation manual. From there I think you will be able to figure out if this is the right model for your application.
http://www.effikal.com/rvgppc_manual.pdf
 
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Old 12-06-08, 04:05 PM
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I took the circuit board out of the box it lives in and could find no trace of any fuses in it.

I also donít seem to be able to find anyone who offers the Eiffikal damper on line.

I guess Iíll have to bite the bullet and just call someone to come and do this for me. Was hoping to save the expense.
 
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Old 12-06-08, 04:19 PM
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Hi,
**********************************************************


(Sorry for shouting but that's kind of an important point)
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-06-08 at 05:30 PM. Reason: sorry OldGrouchy, that's dangerous!
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Old 12-06-08, 05:24 PM
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Finally

Finally found the Effikal dampers online here:
Downriver Refrigeration Supply - Carrying Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration

It seems Effikal is now part of Field Controls.
 

Last edited by Grady; 12-06-08 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 12-06-08, 05:28 PM
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Hold on fellas... yer messing with and bypassing stuff that shouldn't be messed with and bypassed.

What was being suggested is dangerous advice.

If that boiler fires up with the damper CLOSED... someone (maybe more than one) is gonna wake up dead ... either from fire or carbon monoxide poisoning... ...please don't wake up dead based on bad internet advice.

I believe the reason your system is malfunctioning is due to a defective damper... the damper should be replaced.
 
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Old 12-07-08, 12:58 PM
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Well, I may be crazy but not really stupid. {although you might find some locals and family members who could give you a good argument on that.}

Currently waking up dead is not on my ‘short list of things to do’. but being dead might not be all that bad. Everyone I have ever know who tried it is still doing it, some for most of my life.

Its simple enough to make sure the blade is open on the thing and I could always just remove the damper blade completely. When the damper reaches the end of its travel it snaps open. I can see the end of the shaft on the other side of the cast iron ring it is mounted in so being able to positively tell if it is open or not isn’t all that hard to do.

Since I can not find where the fuse indicated in the schematic is anyway I can’t do what I wanted to anyway.

I would be happy if the burner would just stay on till the thermostat stopped calling for heat. The documentation I can find on the damper says it is only good for about 5% heat savings anyway. I could live with that until such time as I can fix it properly.

As you might have heard on the news lately we are in an economic recession. I have had my own economic problems for a while before the rest of the country seemed to notice much.

In other words I’m not cheap {again, you might find some locals and family members who could give you a good argument on that.} just broke, trying to do the best I can with what I have to work with which ain’t much.
 

Last edited by uncletom; 12-07-08 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 12-16-08, 10:08 AM
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I didn't mean to offend anyone or run anyone off. If I did I appoligize.

Well, there have been some developments here.

No, the furnace still isnít working correctly. The little motor on the damper still runs to close the damper but doesnít return to where the burner will come on like its supposed to.

A fellow at work told me he used to work with an uncle in the Chicago area as a furnace repairman. He is sure he has just what I need if he can dig it up in his garage.

Its been a week or so and he hasnít found anything I can use but, he says his garage is the cleanest and most organized it has been since he moved in.

I bought a 1500 watt ceramic space heater that is keeping it well above freezing in here even with the below zero temps we have had the last few days.

When Iím home and can go down in the basement and spin the little servomotor on the damper the boiler will heat. In enough time I can get it well above 60 degrees in here. Iíve gone to several heating and air conditioning places, that have been in business for many years, fairly close to here hoping to find a new old stock damper that will be an exact replacement for what is here.

So far no luck.

One shop in Sterling says they have several servomotors and I can come in and look for a close match so I probably will do that this weekend.

Iím also planning to replace the cartridge in the water pump. Its probably alright but it canít hurt.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 01:17 PM
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Tom, I'm sure you didn't offend or run anyone off ... it's just that there really isn't much more to tell! The damper obviously needs replaced ... for safety and liability reasons, we really can't recommend otherwise.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 05:11 PM
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You don't need to drain the system to read the pressure! Post a photo of the tank so we know what kind of tank it is: bladder or pressure.

Pete
 
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Old 12-17-08, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by radioconnection View Post
You don't need to drain the system to read the pressure! Post a photo of the tank so we know what kind of tank it is: bladder or pressure.

Pete

The tank has a rubber bladder inside it says so on the outside. The tank says to inflate to no more than 20 psi. it had around 4 psi in it when I first checked it with my tire gauge.

I let all the air out and refilled it with my little diaphragm compressor. Then let the air out again and refilled it to 12 psi with the compressor off and just used the built up air in the tank while listening for bubbling.

There was no bubbling so I figure the tank is working alright. No water came out the air valve in the bottom of the tank either so Iím pretty convinced that part is OK.
 
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Old 12-17-08, 05:20 PM
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Tank Pressure

Unless there is a valve between the tank & the system and it was closed, you've pressurized the whole system. You need to relieve that pressure by draining a little water while watching the boiler's pressure gauge & re-check the tank pressure.
 
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Old 12-17-08, 06:56 PM
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You don't need to drain the system to read the pressure!
No? If you've got a 12 PSI pre-charge in the tank, and the system pressure is 15 PSI, what pressure will you read on the air valve on the tank? Will you not read 15 PSI?

Or, did you mean that you don't have to COMPLETELY drain the system and remove the tank? I think that's what you meant.

Close the manual feedwater valve to the boiler. Open the drain and let only enough water out of the boiler to drop the pressure in the boiler to ZERO. THEN check and adjust the air charge in the tank. If after adding air to the tank you find that the boiler pressure has increased somewhat, open the drain and get back to zero on the boiler... re-check the tank and adjust if necessary... repeat until you have proper air charge in tank and boiler is at zero. Then open manual valve and re-pressurize boiler.
 
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Old 12-20-08, 08:21 AM
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I donít know what changed but yesterday the house finally got warm. I had the thermostat set to 90 and had my little electric heater going too like I have for the last few weeks.

When I went to bed around noon, it was around 60 degrees in here. I woke up around 5 PM and it was so hot in here it was difficult to breath. I shut down the electric heater and set the thermostat to 70 degrees.

Things cooled down to a more breathable temp and have stayed there.

It probably started working because I went and bought a new old stock damper from that outfit in Sterling this morning on my way home from work.

Iím still gonna swap the old one out but I just have to wonder why it started working again now. Just had to spend the money I guess. Seems to be the story of my life.
 
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Old 12-20-08, 08:59 AM
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Stack Damper

Sometimes I think equipment knows what's going on & decides to behave for the time being.
 
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Old 12-20-08, 08:39 PM
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