Noisy Boiler Transformer

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Old 10-02-12, 09:37 PM
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Noisy Boiler Transformer

I have a clicking/humming noise coming from the transformer in my boiler.
Before I noticed it only occured occassionally but now it is steady.
So I have in the meantime turned the power off to it to.

My questions are:
-can this transformer be replaced by another one by soldering it into the board or do I have to purchase the whole assy including the circuit board?

-Any extra precautions that need to be taken other than just turning the power off and making sure all the wires go in their respective places?

- Where do I find the model # of this boiler?

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Old 10-02-12, 09:51 PM
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Transformers do that from time to time and if you can live with the noise, it generally will not cause any other problems.

-can this transformer be replaced by another one by soldering it into the board or do I have to purchase the whole assy including the circuit board?
It could be replaced... IF you could find the correct one... and IF you have the skills and tools to de-solder and re-install the new. Finding an exact replacement is not likely.

-Any extra precautions that need to be taken other than just turning the power off and making sure all the wires go in their respective places?
None that I can think of... but don't take anything apart until you have the exact replacement in hand and are confident that you will be able to complete the job.

- Where do I find the model # of this boiler?
There's no dataplate on the boiler that gives it's model number?

That control board is not likely to actually be a 'part of' the boiler. It is most likely that it is from another manufacturer and was placed in that location by the installer of the boiler. It's a 'multi-zone' panel ... perhaps an " Argo " ...
 
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Old 10-02-12, 09:58 PM
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You don't have the manual for the boiler?

Here is the installation manual and I'll be darned... that panel IS a part of the boiler! (see page 25)

http://www.alliedboilers.com/pdf/mg_...ion_manual.pdf

It can't hurt to call them and see if they'll sell ya one.

Here is the product page for your boiler:

Mini-Gas Boiler - Features and Components - Products for Hydronic Heating Systems - Allied Engineering Company

There's other literature to download, read, etc.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 10:13 PM
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Wow, that is great information, thank you for the links.
Yes I will call them and ask if they will sell me one.
I did find the dataplate and it is model# MG-100-N-PS(you gave me the correct link even without this data).
Now I can make sure I get the correct part.
It is good to know that there is no harm in this noise so that we can use it in the meantime. I would like to replace it cuz it is very very noisy and can be heard upstairs and my tenants room is right beside the boiler so it must be pretty annoying for her.
Again, thank you so much for your help, much appreciated.
 

Last edited by Gordy77; 10-02-12 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 10-03-12, 11:43 AM
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Just to update: I called the boiler manufacturer and found out that the transformer is not sold separately, only with the zone control board and costs about $180. I will try an electronics store and see if they can get the transformer itself. I will also try searching online to see if I can get it online cheaper.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 12:31 PM
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Replacing just the transformer will void any UL listing that may apply to the control board. If that doesn't bother you look closely at the board and see if you cannot connect an external 24 volt AC control transformer to existing (or your) installed connectors.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 03:20 PM
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As long as I can find a transformer of the exact same rating I dont have a problem with voiding the UL listing. Yes, I shall check to see if I can connect an external one.
Thanks for your input.
 
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Old 10-04-12, 12:57 AM
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It doesn't need to be "the exact same rating", only the same voltage and equal to, or greater the VA rating. Most likely this is a 24 volt transformer with a 20 VA rating. 24 volt 40 VA rated control transformers are common and inexpensive.
 
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Old 10-04-12, 03:37 PM
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Thanks, that is good to know.
I tried couple local sources but cannot find one that has the same connections, ie this one has 8 connections to the board, 4 on each side. Their's only had one with 4 connections. The schematics diagram indicates it is rated 120Vac/24Vac.

Here are couple more pics, I do have couple more questions:

- Even if I were to find one external mounting one, it should still have 8 connections, correct?
- Can you suggest any online sources where I can find this from, please.
Thanks
 
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Old 10-04-12, 04:05 PM
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I am willing to bet that this is the company that manufactures the transformers for them, in fact, I'm certain of it:

MCi Limited

If I were you I would try a phone call to them. If you get really lucky, you might be able to get through to engineering and ask the VA spec and pinout of the transformer. If you get REALLY REALLY lucky, a sympathetic engineer just might be inclined to send you one. It's been known to happen!

it is rated 120Vac/24Vac
Aside from the voltage rating, you would also need to determine somehow what the VA (or CURRENT) rating of the transformer. I believe that board is set up to run four zone valves? If so, you can probably get by with a 40 VA transformer. There are higher VA available...

Is the PC board SINGLE or DOUBLE sided copper? That is, are there copper tracks on BOTH sides of the board, or just one?

You can look at which pins are terminated to copper tracks on the board to get some clues. Try posting a pic of the bottom of the board showing the copper tracks.

Tracing the copper out should give you information on which side is the PRIMARY (120VAC) and which side is the SECONDARY (24VAC).

If you can determine which of the pins are which, then no, you don't need a transformer with 8 pins on it if you are mounting it externally. All you need to know is where to wire the 120 side and where to wire the 24 side. If you mess that up (backwards) you are smokin' the whole thing for sure.

If I were to do this, I would mount a double row terminal strip next to the board and run wires from the board over to one side of the terminal strip. Mount the transformer at a convenient location and wire the transformer to the other side of the terminal strip.

You don't HAVE to take the 120 VAC from the board by the way... if you get one of those transformers that mount on a 4" utility box, you could mount that on the wall, run 120 from the SAME CIRCUIT that powers the boiler up to the box, then only run the 24VAC from the transformer back to the board.

You could also take the transformer off the board, dunk it in a can of dipping varnish, let it sit for a few hours, hang it up to dry, scrape the varnish off the pins, and reinstall... because what you describe sounds like a 'loose lamination' and the varnish will get in and tighten that up.
 
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Old 10-04-12, 04:13 PM
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OK... here we go...

Take a look at this MCI page...

MCi Limited - Products: Series C-01 & C-02 - Horizontal PC Transformers

Pretend that the " 4 " at the beginning of that part number is the letter " C "

Scroll down to the specs on the C-01-7-024 ...

I am willing to bet that what you've got on that board is a transformer with SINGLE 115V primary, and DUAL secondaries wired in series.

It's a size 7, making it a 36 VA part.

Dimensions are all there to compare it to, external HxWxL , dimensions between the pins, etc.

I'm almost sure this is what you've got there.



images courtesy mci-tran.com

By the way, this transformer appears to be SYMMETRICAL, so if you remove it, make ABSOLUTELY SURE CERTAIN! that you reinstall the proper orientation! if not, there WILL be smoke... maybe fire... :NO NO NO:
 
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Old 10-04-12, 04:35 PM
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I tend to agree with Trooper that xfmr noise is usually not a problem (unless it bothers you.)

Usually xfmr noise is caused by loose iron lamintations. Are there through-bolts that you could tighten? Probably not. So get a couple of C-clamps that fit, at the hardware store, and pinch the laminations together.
 
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Old 10-04-12, 04:46 PM
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gilmorrie's right!

And there ARE holes for mounting screws but they aren't being used.

I think if you purchased some 6-32 screws and nuts, of a length long enough to fit through the laminations only (NOT through the board!) you could put some screws and nuts through the core material and tighten it up. I bet this would fix it. It's the simplest thing to try, and that should always be the first thing!
 
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Old 10-04-12, 05:47 PM
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Great input guys, thank you so much.

Trooper: that tranformer link you gave is a hit, the dimensions match exactly.
So I will give MCI a call in the morning and see if I can get one from them.
As requested here are few more pics from the bottom side etc
The board appears to have copper tracks only on the bottom side not the top.

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and yes, there are through holes, so I could try your suggestion and get some screws and try tightening the lamination only.
I will let you know how I make out.
Thanks for all your input, great info, much appreciated.
 
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Last edited by NJT; 10-04-12 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 10-04-12, 08:08 PM
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Excellent response by Trooper. Of course this is what his day job is all about so I would expect nothing less than what he wrote.

(What,you thought he was a residential boiler/heating system technician?)
 
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Old 10-04-12, 09:40 PM
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From what I can see of the copper under the solder mask, it looks as though 6 and 7 are jumpered together while 5 and 8 go out to the circuitry. This would mean that the split secondary is in fact wired in series. Yes, I think it's a winner.

If you can fool them into thinking that you are a designer and are thinking about putting this into a new design, they may actually 'sample' you one or two... for free...

(What,you thought he was a residential boiler/heating system technician?)
Well, he is , but only as a hobby!

He's also a plumber, electrician, carpenter, mason, roofer, exterminator, auto mechanic, computer repairman, photographer, tin knocker, telegrapher, soundman, and banjo picker. Also, a puppet, a pirate, a poet, a pauper, a pawn and a king...

He: I am the KING, and you are Nothing!

She: Yeah, the great big King of NOTHING!

But he digresses...
 
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Old 10-05-12, 11:42 AM
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LOL, good stuff Trooper!!

To update: MCi tells me that this transformer is only made for Allied (boiler manf) or try cross referencing with Digikey. I contacted Digikey and they do have one that will work so I will be placing an order with them. FYI - this is the link:
164J24 Hammond Manufacturing | 164J24-ND | DigiKey
Also to let you know, tightening up the laminations with screws seems to have helped a little so atleast I can use it while I wait for the replacement.

You guys have helped me save a lot of money.
Thank you so much for your time, much appreciated.
Cheers
 
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Old 10-05-12, 03:29 PM
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Great! let us know when you get it installed...

I've used Hammond products quite a few times in the past. They have a nice line of small project cases as well.

How's your skill level in un-soldering components? Do you have a 'solder sucker' or de-soldering braid? You want to be very careful when removing that old transformer that you don't apply too much heat and lift the copper pads. They WILL come off if you do.

Maybe you know this already, but in case not.

This is what I use, but there are numerous manufacturers :


image courtesy antiqueradios.com

Solder 'braid' is fluxed braided wire that you lay on top of the joint you wish to remove solder from. Apply heat to the braid and as the solder melts it 'wicks' up the braid.


image courtesy photonage.com

Radio Shack may have this stuff...

Keep us posted!
 
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Old 10-05-12, 04:38 PM
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Yep, I got the same solder sucker, and will be careful not to over heat it.
I will let you know how it works out, probably be a week or so.
Thanks again.
 
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Old 10-09-12, 10:45 AM
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More news on the zone control board.
While I was waiting to get the transformer, I had reconnected the zone control board last Friday to get some heat in the meantime. On saturday I noticed a very loud clicking/buzzing noise coming from the same area. Upon closer examination I traced it down to the relay that is right beside the transformer, I could actually feel it when touching the relay. It sounds like one of those remote door buzzers, completely different from the transformer sound.

So I went to my local electronics store and surprisingly found the exact same brand relay and soldered it in. Reconnected the board, that noise was gone, only the transformer noise was present.

Then last night I got the relay noise back, this time it was twice as loud, and definitely the relay as I could feel it. Now I am abit confused, not sure if I just happened to get a bad relay or is there something else causing the relay to go bad.

I think I will install both a new relay and a transformer at the same time.
Any thoughts on this?

I dont think this matters being AC but please confirm:
The 120VAC input to the board on the schematics shows that L1=black, L2=white
but this was hooked up opposite by the original installer L1=white, L2=black
should this be corrected or leave it the way it was?

here is the image of the relay:
 
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Last edited by Gordy77; 10-09-12 at 12:35 PM.
  #21  
Old 10-09-12, 03:22 PM
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h04n9, at this point I think it best to move your posts to a separate thread so as not to confuse. I'll put your screen name in the title...
 
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Old 10-09-12, 04:24 PM
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Gordy, there may be another problem going on that replacing the transformer and relay at the same time won't cure... I doubt that you got a bad relay. I mean it's possible, but not likely.

Going all the way back to pic 1 way up top there....

Obviously you only have one zone.

I see one cable with one white wire on the first terminal, then three other wires ...

But in the pic of the boiler I see two cables going into that connector I think.

You should have the two thermostat wires on the left two terminals, and then the wires to the zone valve on the right 4 ... (or perhaps 3, depending on the zone valve used). Are you sure it's wired properly?

Wait... if you do not have multiple zones, why would you have a zone valve? Do you?

If not, where is the wiring going to / from on that connector?

I'm going to look at the diagram in the manual again to see if I can determine a reason for this relay to chatter. You may have an intermittent short in one of the wires...
 

Last edited by NJT; 10-09-12 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 10-09-12, 04:39 PM
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Was the thermostat calling for heat when the relay was chattering?

Take a look at the back of the PC board where the Jumper1 and Jumper2 block is. Is there corrosion around those jumpers? If there is, use some alcohol and a small brush and clean it up. Is the solder OK? Carefully examine ALL of the solder connections for cracks or cold solder joints.

Pull jumper1 off and push on a couple times to clean the contact surfaces. Do the same for the fuse.

What does the 'Boiler on' LED do when the relay is chattering?

While the relay is chattering, pull jumper1 off. Does the relay stop chattering?
 
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Old 10-09-12, 04:45 PM
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OK, let's say you have single zone then... this is what the manual says about that:

D: Jumpers
Jumpers J1 and J2 are factory set for a multi-zone installation.
E: For Single zone Applications
Install jumper J2 and connect 24 Vac thermostat leads to terminals TH1 and TH2 on Zone 1 plug-in
terminal block.
So how exactly is this wired?
 
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Old 10-09-12, 04:48 PM
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I dont think this matters being AC but please confirm:
The 120VAC input to the board on the schematics shows that L1=black, L2=white
but this was hooked up opposite by the original installer L1=white, L2=black
should this be corrected or leave it the way it was?
I don't believe it's a problem, but correct it anyway.

AFTER you check to make sure that the BLACK wire is really HOT. One meter lead on GROUND , one meter lead on BLACK. If it's the HOT wire, you will measure 120 VAC. If you measure 120VAC from the WHITE to GROUND, you know the installer reversed the wires somewhere else also.
 
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Old 10-09-12, 06:48 PM
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Trooper you are correct, there are two wires (2 strand) going into the zone board.
I have 4 thermostats 2 up and 2 down (so 4 zone valves).
The installer was not very clean and there is a bundle of connections above the boiler. It does not seem to be connected according to what you have mentioned, is stated on the sticker and schematics, but then it has been working for over 10 years. So here are how the wires from the zone board are connected from what I can gather.
1)white wire on the far left from TH1 goes to white of all the thermostats.
2)black wire from ZV2 goes to yellow wire from the zone valves.
3)white wire from ES1 goes to red wire from the zone valves.
3)black wire from ES2 goes to another set of red wires from the zone valves.
It is a mess so it is abit confusing.

When I heard the loud chattering from the relay last night I just turned the power off and did not make note of whether the thermostat was calling for heat or the status of the boiler led.

Today I removed the board and recleaned with contact clean especially the jumpers as you have suggested, there was originally corossion on some spots but I had cleaned all that before I installed it friday. The fuse is soldered in.

As per AC input to the board I measured 120V on the black wire.

Now I have had this board connected for about an hour with the heat on and I have not yet heard any relay noise at all. It was very loud last night and can be heard in all parts of the house.

So I dont know what to make of it, but if the relay noise does come back I will make note of the things you asked for, whether thermostat is calling for heat, status of boiler led, and try removing the jumper.
 
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Old 10-09-12, 07:27 PM
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1)white wire on the far left from TH1 goes to white of all the thermostats.
2)black wire from ZV2 goes to yellow wire from the zone valves.
3)white wire from ES1 goes to red wire from the zone valves.
3)black wire from ES2 goes to another set of red wires from the zone valves.
1) being used as 24VAC HOT supply to the thermostats.

2) being used as 24VAC GND return from ZV motors.

And the red thermostat wires are each tied to the other yellow on the zone valves.

So what he's done here is tapped the 24VAC out to run your zone valves rather than simply use the panel for it's intended purpose which would be one thermostat and one zone valve on each plug.

Perhaps the wires weren't long enough to reach? It would have been more work to extend all the wires so they reached than to do it that way... which in fact might be what I would have done. Nothing wrong with his approach really. In fact, it shows that he actually UNDERSTOOD what he was doing!

This was a replacement boiler connected to existing zone valves, yes?

3) Endswitches from all zone valves in parallel to endswitch input on one 'channel'... again, no problem, functionally the same.

If I had to guess, and I do, I would suspect a weak connection in one of the wire nuts in what is probably a rats nest of red, yellow, and white wires... I might start by putting on my strongest pair of readers, grab a bright light and remove each wire nut, one at a time, and inspect for crappy connections.

Also, carefully inspect the solder connections on PC board at the connector with the wiring.

By the way, that relay runs your circ pump, so I suspect that a zone might have been calling... and couldn't quite get through.
 
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Old 10-09-12, 07:31 PM
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The fuse is soldered in
Probably not. The fuse CLIPS are soldered in but that fuse should pop right out of the clips. When I said that, I thought it was one of those automotive type fuses but looking closer I see it is a standard 3AG glass fuse. I'm sure that's not the problem anyway.
 
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Old 10-09-12, 07:53 PM
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Thanks Trooper, good to get a confirmation from you to understand the wiring job abit more. yah I wouldnt be surprised if the problem lies in the 'rats nest', tomorrow I will inspect/repair each connection as well as the solder connection on the board as you have advised. Thanks, your input is greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 10-09-12, 08:04 PM
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Let us know if ya find anything Gordy...

A mentor long ago once told me:

"Troubleshooting is 99% VISUAL"

Every day I remember that comment. Proves itself time and time again.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 09:21 PM
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I have checked the board for cold or bad solder joints, seem to be ok.
I have actually resoldered the connector where the AC input and output to the pump is as well as the zone 4 connector which is the only one being used.
I have also removed all the caps connecting the wiring above the boiler, checked for loose connections and re-tightened them, no culprit found.
It has been in use since yesterday and I have not had any relay chatter etc.

As per the original issue, the transformer, Digikey tells me that it will be several weeks before they can get this transformer in for me. Since you have helped me quieten it down by screwing down the laminations I think I will just live with it for now.

I will monitor it for a while and provide update.
Thanks for all your help.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 04:30 PM
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To update: I have found the culprit, it is the zone valve motor for one of the zones.
The noise was back and so having a better understanding of the wiring (thanks to Trooper) I disconnected each zone motor one at a time and found that one of them is faulty.
It is definitely confirmed as soon as I disconnect the power to the motor, the noise is gone upon connecting the noise comes back.
Strangely it causes the transformer to make that humming type of noise and causes the relay to click/chatter intermittently.

I have removed the zone valve from the system, and removed the motor itself from the assy.
I dont think there much we can do to repair the motor is there?
So I will buy a motor iteself for about $30 and install that instead of the whole assy which is about $70. The PN for the zone valve is Honeywell V8043G1018.

Anyways, thats what I have found and hopefully this thread will be helpful to others. And most importantly, I would like to thank you for your input as it was very helpful understanding the system, hence the confidence to tackle it further.
Cheers
 
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Old 10-18-12, 04:36 PM
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No, if the motor has a shorted winding, there's nothing you can do. That motor was drawing too much current and causing a heavy load on the transformer, dragging the voltage down to a point that the relay coil couldn't hold itself in. I bet that transformer was also running quite hot!

You mean $20 don't you?

802360JA - Honeywell 802360JA - Replacement Motor for V8043 Zone Valves
 
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Old 10-18-12, 04:48 PM
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Thanks for the explanation, and Yes, you are correct, over the past week or so while I have been trying to find the problem I have noticed the transformer was running quite hot, I thought that was normal.
Do you think this has damaged the transformer and maybe safte to replace it or just leave it?
Ahh, $20 is even better, thanks for the link.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 04:56 PM
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Do you think this has damaged the transformer
Did you order the spare? If so, keep it on hand. If not, just run it for a while and see what happens. If it got hot enough to damage it, you would have smelled the burning varnish on the windings. It's a stinky smell, like burning oil base paint.

Ahh, $20 is even better
Unless you have to pay duty!
 
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Old 10-18-12, 05:11 PM
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Trooper, I didn't notice that smell at all. But as shown on the image of the first post, there is that apoxy type of material on the windings, not sure if that is normal or caused by overheating.
I have boiler running for the last couple hours now without the bad motor, and the transformer feels like room temp, it is not hot at all.

I have not yet ordered the transformer. as per motor order yes I will look into the details before ordering online. Thanks
 
  #37  
Old 11-09-12, 06:09 AM
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Relay Replacement

Great thread - I have the same boiler & the zone control board relay was sticking, so that I had to tap it to get the circulation pump to come on.

No local source of the relay, so ordered a relay and socket from canada.newark.com.

My relay is now socketted so that in 5 years when the relay goes again, I can just pop it out & plug in a new one. It is tight, but fits tucked right up against the transformer.

Relay: Omron G2R-24-AC24
Socket: Omron P2R-08P

Photo Without and With the relay socket.

Name:  Boiler_wi_RelaySocket.jpg
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Last edited by NJT; 11-09-12 at 10:21 PM.
  #38  
Old 11-09-12, 10:22 PM
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Nice! And did you order a 'spare' relay while you were at it ?

Thanks for the tip!
 
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