Boiler not starting


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Old 12-19-11, 01:49 PM
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Boiler not starting

I have a burnham IN-5i nat gas steam boiler that is 13 years old. It has been working fine until yesterday. It will not kick on when the t stat calls for heat. I have jumped the tstat, replaced the transformer, damper, and controller all with no result. The boiler clicks when the tstat is thrown, but the damper does not open but did auto close when I Hooked the new one up... I have drained and filled the boiler, check the gas and igniter and the auto fill. I am stumped as is my plumber who I feel is systematically having me replace parts that may otherwise be fine. I imagine replacing the gas valve is next. Help please & kind regards
 
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Old 12-19-11, 02:25 PM
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Are you related to Zero Hedge?




Is there any sort of pilot that needs to light first?
Thermocouple issue?
Electronic spark ignitor not working
Other pilot related issues?


Peter
 
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Old 12-19-11, 03:05 PM
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I'm not sure what the ' i ' means in the model number... and can't seem to find on website. Perhaps that should be ' ei ' ? Check the model number again please.

There are a number of options ... two different types of Low Water Cut Off , then as Peter said, either standing pilot or spark ignition..

So we need a little more info on the boiler.

Your plumber is a 'tinker'tician. Just keep throwing money and parts at it until it works. Stop doing that.

The proper way to 'fix' a system is to FIRST diagnose, and THEN replace parts.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 03:07 PM
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First, quit throwing parts at it and draining/refilling the boiler. What is called for is systematic troubleshooting with a mulitmeter. Find out where the voltage to the gas valve is being lost. If you don't know how to do this, call somebody who does (obviously not your plumber).
 
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Old 12-19-11, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper
I'm not sure what the ' i ' means in the model number... and can't seem to find on website. Perhaps that should be ' ei ' ? Check the model number again please.
Hello NJT,
I found this:
8236072 - Burnham 8236072 - Gas Pilot Assembly for IN3-IN12 Boilers
There is an I in the numbers. We need RBeck's help.
Looks like a spark ignited pilot?

Peter
 
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Old 12-19-11, 03:27 PM
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Yes, it is a spark igniter - that is what I believe the 2nd I is for . The boiler Id tag says IN-5-I. I agree with the approach being off. I feel like there should be a better way to diagnose the problem. I have a multi meter but have no confidence in my skill analyzing the problem. Throwing parts at the problem seems insane but I think my plumber is just trying to help me out with a quick fix. Obviously it is not working. He already blew out the transformer attempting to jump the vent damper that I replaced today with one that is 10va more than the original. I am stumped as it should at least kick the vent damper open but I could be wrong.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 03:45 PM
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Tyler, do you have the manual for the boiler?

http://www.usboiler.net/products/boi...manual-ind.pdf

What type of LWCO is on your boiler? Probe type, or float type?

Can you follow schematic diagrams?

Do you know how to use the meter? We can guide you as to what to look for.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 03:57 PM
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More questions:

Steam systems have a PressurTrol, should be mounted on a 'pigtail' (siphon tube), and there should also be a pressure gauge mounted next to it.

What are the settings on the PressurTrol and what is the reading on the gauge?
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:02 PM
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Yes I have the manual and have read through the wiring schematics and understand the wiring. The boiler has a probe with a Honeywell lwco rw700a1080. I have a Greenlee DM-55 multi meter that I have yet to master. Thank you for your help.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:12 PM
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Pressure gauge is reading 0 and the cut in is set around .5psi. I took some pics that I could
send you.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:19 PM
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OK, you say the transformer was blown out... and that was replaced?

Are you sure that when he was f'ing around in there and blew out the transformer that he didn't also damage the vent damper?

it should at least kick the vent damper open
Not necessarily, and this should be a clue...

Figure 36 is I believe the diagram for your boiler... look at the 'ladder diagram' on the right side.

Notice that there are THREE conditions that must be met before the damper will open.

1. The LWCO must be satisfied that there is enough water in the system.

2. The PressurTrol must be satisfied that the pressure is below the 'cut-in' pressure.

3. The RELAY 1R1 contacts must be closed.

You say you can hear the relay click when the thermostat calls for heat, so let's assume for the moment that the relay is working.

This leaves only TWO things that can cause the damper to not even open.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:21 PM
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To post pics, set up a FREE account at Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket and upload them there. Come back here and post a link to your PUBLIC album and we can look at them.

I'm going to have to head out for a while in a bit.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:28 PM
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Is there a TEST and RESET button on the LWCO ?
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:31 PM
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Yes I replaced the transformer and the vent damper. I have drained the water until the auto fill kicked in and raised the level back up. This I did to make sure the probe was working. There seems to be no pressure in the boiler. What is this relay 1R? Is that the same thing as the spst relay?
Thanks again- I will get the pics up in a bit.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:34 PM
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There is a knock out labeled test and reset but no button ....
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:42 PM
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When a steam system is cold there should be no pressure, that's OK.

The relay 1R is the plug in relay ... yes, I believe that your system has an SPST (Single Pole Single Throw) relay. (a Honeywell R8222 of some 'flavor')

There is a knock out labeled test and reset but no button
What happened to the buttons?
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:44 PM
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Please get a pic of the LWCO with the cover off.

And please, IN FOCUS, WELL LIGHTED, and large enough for old dudes to see! Cellphone pics are generally not much good for this purpose.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:51 PM
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Pictures by Brandondiem - Photobucket
Here are he pics of the boiler.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 04:56 PM
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I've gotta step out for a couple hours...

Take the cover off the PressurTrol and also get a pic of the inside of that too... and see if you can tell what the DIFF dial inside is set at.

I'll be back...
 
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Old 12-19-11, 05:02 PM
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Yes it is a Honeywell r8222k1000. I attempted to buy a new one today and the parts counter gave me a r8222d1014 and said it would work. I am doubtful...
 
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Old 12-19-11, 07:46 PM
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It should work... even though the relay they gave you is a DPDT to replace a SPST, there is still a set of normally open contacts between terminals 1 and 3.

Take some more pics of the inside of the LWCO and the PressurTrol and I'll tell ya what to check.

One thing that comes to mind though... that pressurtrol is mounted on a SIPHON TUBE, and they can and do get clogged up. What can happen is that pressure gets 'stuck' in the tube and the control can't see that the boiler has dropped to below the cut-in pressure. It thinks there's still pressure and won't cut-in the burner. Sometimes it's as simple as taking off the siphon tube and cleaning it out. Bet yer plumber didn't have you try that!

Take a look at your meter and see if you can figure out how to measure CONTINUITY. What we need to do is check both the LWCO and the PressurTrol to see if they are open or closed. This will tell us exactly where the problem lies.

Here's the manual for your meter in case you've misplaced it:

http://www.mygreenlee.com/GreenleeDo...m1465rev01.pdf

Turn the power OFF to the boiler.

Set the meter to CONTINUITY.

Touch the probes to the two screw terminals in the PressurTrol.

If you have continuity, the beeper on the meter should sound and the display will read very close to 0.00.

I want to see a pic of the LWCO before I tell you what to measure there...
 
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Old 12-19-11, 08:30 PM
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Again thank you for your help..
I tested the continuity of the pressuretrol and it read .001. I also uploaded some pics of the inside of the lwco here. Pictures by Bdiem - Photobucket
The original album was not letting me upload new pics.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 09:12 PM
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continuity of the pressuretrol and it read .001
That's a good reading. What it should be with zero pressure.

Next, Check for continuity on the B terminals in the LWCO

It doesn't look as though there is anything wired to the A terminals (alarm) (which is OK, just not used)

I guess they made models without the test and reset? or they were asleep on the job that day?
 
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Old 12-19-11, 09:12 PM
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Clean the LWCO probe per directions... if you can find them!
 
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Old 12-19-11, 09:32 PM
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No continuity across the b terminals.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 09:41 PM
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One thing that comes to mind though... that pressurtrol is mounted on a SIPHON TUBE, and they can and do get clogged up. What can happen is that pressure gets 'stuck' in the tube and the control can't see that the boiler has dropped to below the cut-in pressure. It thinks there's still pressure and won't cut-in the burner. Sometimes it's as simple as taking off the siphon tube and cleaning it out. Bet yer plumber didn't have you try that!



I was just going to bring this up, and reading through the post I am glad trooper stated this fact.

I remember most of the limited steam calls I have went on the pigtail for the pressuretrol was almost always clogged or semi clogged. I always removed it completely, took it back to the truck and blew it out with a comppressor. Sometimes so caked up I needed to ream it out some. My roll of solder always did the trick to get around the bend...

Also not that its an issue, but I would pull the burner tubes out and clean them. They look pretty dusty and one looks ****-eyed.......


Mike NJ
 
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Old 12-19-11, 10:14 PM
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So I removed the lwco and disconnected the probe. I tried to remove the probe but that thing is stubborn. Is it normal to have to really wrench on it? I don't want to damage it. Also I notice there is some sort of putty around the threads. Is this something special?
On the pressuretrol, do I disconnect the leads to the terminals , unscrew the unit from the pigtail and clean the pigtail while attached to the boiler or try to wrench it off the boiler.
Thanks,
 
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Old 12-20-11, 06:30 AM
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I was able to remove the pigtail which is clogged and the probe which is pretty dirty. I cleaned them up the the pigtail was totally clogged and took some work to get it free. I shot black gunk 20 feet across my shop which the compressed air trick. It looks like there is pipe compound on the threads. Is that what I need to use when I reinstall? Fingers crossed.....
 
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Old 12-20-11, 06:42 AM
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It looks like there is pipe compound on the threads. Is that what I need to use when I reinstall

\



Teflon tape and a light coat of teflon paste over the tape should be fine. Sounds like they used a rector seal type product. Some of them dont stay permeable and you will never get them loose.


I shot black gunk 20 feet across my shop with the compressed air trick.
Happen to me also although I speckled the back of my truck. Some of thos spots never did come off....LOL

Mike NJ
 
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Old 12-20-11, 08:57 AM
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Ok, I picked up some Teflon paste and put everything back together. The lwco filled the boiler back up and then I turned the tstat up. The boiler clicked and the vent damper opened up. That was it. Trouble shooting and now think I should put the old controller back on the boiler. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 12-20-11, 09:46 AM
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I put the old controller back on the boiler and it fired up ! Running now for 10 mins. The water level dropped in the sight glass to about an inch above the lower valve. The boiler is reading 0 psi still and the radiates are just starting to get warm.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 09:47 AM
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I should put the old controller back on the boiler. Any thoughts?


How much was it? Sure if you can bring the new one back. or if it was not that much $$$ keep it as a spare.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 12-20-11, 12:21 PM
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Thank you all for your help! I am elated that WE got it up and running and it did not need any of the parts I bought...
 
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Old 12-20-11, 12:27 PM
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I am thinking it was the clogged pigtail the whole time????

This is what I thought a plumber should check first when they arrive. The trouble is a lot of plumbers probably know this but try to sell you something else that is expensive. And while they change that expensive part they clean the pigtail in the process. You would never know......

Sorry but its true that companys operate this way. Thats why I got out of the industry.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 12-20-11, 02:47 PM
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Yeah, either they don't know WTH they are doing, or they know all to well exactly what they are doing...

At this point, I'd still like to know what the dial inside the pressurtrol is set to... you might be running too much pressure and wasting fuel. Let us know.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 04:56 PM
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The pressuretrol is set to 2. When the boiler is running, the pressure gauge is barely moving past 0.
Also in my plumbers defense, he sent a guy out on a Sunday thinking that he would just need to jump the damper to get it started and gave me a short list of things it could be, that all required parts that I was going to get to trouble shoot the problem. I believe the intent was to have me attempt to fix it and save me money. They were also on another job this week so squeezing me in would have made things worse. I am glad I was able to do this work, as I feel more comfortable working on the boiler thanks to you guys!
 
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Old 12-20-11, 05:05 PM
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It's a good feeling having a certain amount of independence... I'm glad it all worked out for ya!

the pressure gauge is barely moving past 0
That would be pretty much normal. There is very little resolution down low on that gauge, it would be better if it was a 0-5 or 0-10 range.

With a cutout of 2 PSI (which is just fine), you won't hardly see a change.
And the 0.5 cut-in is fine too.

So sounds like yer in good shape then!

Happy Holidays!
 
 

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