Boiler doesn't come on until I strike it with my foot

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-06-12, 01:12 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Boiler doesn't come on until I strike it with my foot

I have a gas boiler, RA823a relay, and circulator pumps.

The boiler is hooked up to X X, the circulator is hooked up to 2 and 3.

when the room thermostat calls for heat, the boiler doesn't always light ( I have a standing pilot light).

If I rap on the relay, the boiler lights each time ). Should I start by replacing the relay?

I checked between x and x for resistance when the system works, and it closes when the boiler lights and opens when the boiler doesn't light. I havent caught the system not lighting where i could get the probes on without triggering it to go.... I haven't been able to check if the circulator goes on but the boiler does not.

Can I clean the relay somehow? Something else I should measure?

valve is Whitte-rogers 365c03 433 (millivolt only)

thanks,

dan
 

Last edited by zarfus; 01-06-12 at 03:35 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-06-12, 04:03 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Those millivolt valves are fairly sensitive to dirty relay contacts... it doesn't take much contact resistance to cause a problem.

Pick up a small can of "De-Oxit Gold" and give the contacts a little spritz of that first. Do NOT use anything abrasive, such as emery cloth, on the contacts, you will damage the plating on the contact points.

You could use a small strip of 'shirt cardboard', a matchbook, a cereal box... and saturate a small strip of that with the cleaner and pass it between the contacts while holding the relay closed with a finger.. OF COURSE YOU SHOULD TURN THE BOILER OFF BEFORE YOU DO THIS!

I think cleaning is the first step...
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-12, 04:10 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Long Island
Posts: 769
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Clean the top of the gas valve points where the wires connect. Use a Q-TIP with rubbing alcohol. Check all the screw points... millivolt signals need to be clean and tight... keep that foot handy. Might check the millivolt generator, light steel wool cleaning couple of turns... might be getting weak. The relay has to be 24V to run the circulator. Was the stat updated into a digital lately? or generic non-programmable 2 wire
 
  #4  
Old 01-06-12, 04:17 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
It would seem to me that tapping on the relay means that the problem is in the relay box...

Only do ONE THING at a time... if cleaning the relay contacts doesn't work, then go further.

Don't mess with something that may not be causing a problem!
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-12, 05:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
where to I spray

I am going out to buy some de-oxit from radio shack...

I looked at the relay, I cant see the contacts too easy.. are they bbehind the plastic on the vertical plane or underneath the relay ?

thanks,

dan
 
  #6  
Old 01-07-12, 05:54 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
so far, so good

sprayed the relay with the oxi cleaner ( 2 solutions, one cleans and one protects I guess)... $16 for the set of 2 small spray cans from Radio Shack...

So far, the boiler seems to work right now... each time the boiler needs heat it lights up. I'll keep you posted, and thanks for the help.
 
  #7  
Old 01-07-12, 10:26 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Long Island
Posts: 769
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
that relay on the contacts takes the amperage hit on starts could be pitted if its enclosed reference this site for a idea of future change out or keep that kicking routine handy thru the winter...local Grainger carries controls and relays also...just in case...if you have a relay unit mounted controller for the boiler and pump then its a total replacement so you know....good luck and it's nothing you can't do yourself...just shut the power and flip the controller in...
 

Last edited by NJT; 01-07-12 at 11:03 AM.
  #8  
Old 01-07-12, 11:06 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
The problem with millivolt controls is not an 'amperage hit'. It's the fact that there is TOO LITTLE current through the contacts to keep them clean... and 'pilot duty' relays, which the X X contacts on the 832 are, have a different plating material that is intended to reduce the contact resistance that builds up over time.
 
  #9  
Old 01-18-12, 06:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I believe it is fixed

Cleaning the relay must have worked, no more problems. thank you all!
 
  #10  
Old 01-18-12, 08:02 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Great! don't lose track of the contact cleaner, you might need it again in a year or two!
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: