Gas fired hot water boiler not burning (Pilot light on)

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  #1  
Old 10-21-12, 09:09 PM
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Gas fired hot water boiler not burning (Pilot light on)

Hello,

I bought the house earlier this year, and i was pretty sure the heat was working when the prev owner "flick" the switch to On. I had a contractor which was helping me doing some renvoation, and i know he also turned on the heat to bleed the system, and install some additional baseboards, and it was working.

I have a hydrotherm HC 145 hot water boiler with 2 zones. (1st and 2nd floor). Today i turned the boiler on, and turn on the thermostats to 80 to make sure heats are working. I can hear the boiler is 'running' as i hear noises once i turn the thermostat to 80. The gas valve is also set to ON position. The water is also flowing thru becuase i hear water noises. (And also when i release water thru the come back pipe - i can hear the incoming water line are filling the system.) The pilot light is also On as i can see it.

However, the boiler does not "fire up" as there is no flame. the only noise i keep hearing is the "spinning" component next to the boiler (Its the RED component in the picture below - I think that is a circulator) After leaving it running for an hour, the water pipes coming out from the boiler are all cold. I tried turning the "fast fill" switch, and i can hear water are filling into the tank. I tried pushing the manual level on the zone valve, it just went to the manual side (Right), and it just goes back to the Auto side (left) slowly. The zone valve is made by honeywell.

THe PSI gauge at the side of boiler read 20 when themostat not calling heat. about 30 when thermostat is calling for heat. The other read in the gauge reads about 70F. (I think this the water temperature inside - but not sure)

I am posting a picture of my setup and hoping someone can light me to the right path on what needs to be fixed/checked. This is the first time i am using this boiler, so any help is appreciated.
 
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Old 10-21-12, 09:44 PM
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I was getting dizzy looking at your pics.

You've got an older standing pilot unit there. There is a thermocouple that is mounted next to the pilot light and is actually a cylindrical device with two wires and sits right in the flame. This part tells the gas valve that it's ok to open. If it goes bad the gas valve thinks the pilot is out.

With a model number we should be able to determine a part number.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 10-21-12 at 09:49 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 10-21-12, 11:49 PM
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Hi,

The model number is hydro therm hc 145.

I have another question, will not bleeding the system cause this? How do i confirm that it is the thermocouple?

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 12:16 AM
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If your pilot is burning there is nothing wrong with the thermocouple.

Several more pictures, some close ups (in focus, please) of the gas valve and please have them oriented in the proper direction.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 01:13 AM
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Thanks furd. The thinking cap was on crooked

Not only was my diagnosis incorrect this looks to have a lit on demand pilot.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 06:52 AM
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Hello.

Thank you for all of your kind comments. I am at work now, and cannot take the pictures yet. I will do that as soon as i get home.

I read the online documentation from Hydrotherm website for my boiler - and found the location of the gas valve. I will take pictures and re-attach.

Is there a On/Off switch at the Gas Valve?

Thanks
 

Last edited by takkie; 10-22-12 at 09:15 AM.
  #7  
Old 10-22-12, 10:28 AM
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Sorry to tell you this but your boiler was poorly installed and has received poor maintenance over the years. While it could be something fairly simple to get the heat on you really need to spend some money on this system next spring/summer.

The knob on the gas valve should have three positions, OFF, PILOT and ON. It appears to be in the ON position. In the PILOT position it will align with the cut out section of the valve body and be able to be pressed in. This is the position used when lighting the pilot. It should turn easily between PILOT and ON but need to be depressed to turn it OFF. DO NOT TURN OFF AS THAT WILL REQUIRE RELIGHTING THE PILOT!

I'm pretty sure the reason why the main flame won't fire is electrical but I need close up (in focus) pictures of the wiring on the gas valve, the control on the front of the boiler immediately right of the pressure gauge and the control on the side immediately below the main power switch. I may need additional pictures later.

This IS a fairly simple system and we should be able to get your heat on.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 10:42 AM
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Thanks. I will get right on the pictures tonight. And yes, i saw it last night that the setting was at ON position. (ON / PILOT / OFF)

One thing i should mention - Zone#1 (1st floor) has a honewell dial type thermostat and Zone#2 HAD a left/right adjustment honeywell mercury thermostat , but i changed Zone#2's thermostat to a honeywell last time when the heat was working, it was using a honeywell older style mercury thermostat. I asked my contractor a few months ago to replace it with a Honeywell 7 day programmable thermostat (Model: RTH7600D).

Last time the heat was on, i believe it was Before the zone#2 thermostat replacement. I also found out last night that the thermostat was not programmed correctly as it was programmed as a Heat / Cool type of system, but it really should be programmed as HEAT Only, and Hot Water Heating System. After i change the programming mode of the thermostat - the boiler still didnt fire up even with 80+.

The Zone#1 thermostat was not changed and last time it worked was about 6 months ago. But i still cannot get the boiler to fire up after setting it to 80+.

I wanted to mention these facts since you mentioned that its likely to be electrical. I dont know if my contractor wired it wrong and which may have caused this?

Also, one more piece of info. I have cast iron baseboard heat all around the house. Not sure if that matters or not.

Side Q: in the honeywell manual, it asked me this question:

--> Select System Type: I chose "5) Hot water heat only (no fan): Gas, oil or hot water heat without central air conditioning."
--> Heating Cycle Rate: At first I chose "3) Hot water or high-efficiency furnace: Hot water system or gas furnace (more than 90% efficiency)."

I think I chose teh right answer based on my setup, correct?

Thanks again.


Thanks.
 

Last edited by takkie; 10-22-12 at 11:00 AM.
  #9  
Old 10-22-12, 03:06 PM
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I think this is the first time I've seen a paper towel and toilet paper holder screwed to the side of a boiler!

--> Heating Cycle Rate: At first I chose "3) Hot water or high-efficiency furnace: Hot water system or gas furnace (more than 90% efficiency)."
What were your other choices? That does not appear to be correct, but not the cause of no heat.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 07:03 PM
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https://customer.honeywell.com/resou...0s/69-2721.pdf

Page 2, section 12a.

I tried to pick the one that best suit my situation.

I will post pictures of gas valve, relay in a bit.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 07:13 PM
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Yeah, on second read, that would seem to be the correct one. The first two are hot AIR systems, and clearly the last doesn't fit... so HOT WATER it is then!

But, you can adjust up or down from the initial setting in order to 'tweak' it after you get it going again and see how it performs at that cycle rate.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 07:26 PM
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Thermostat Wiring

Hello.

On the new honeywell 7 day programmable thermostat that was installed a few months ago. I opened it up and see if it could be wiring problem (if it is, i still dont know why the other zone cannot make the boiler fire up since that thermostat hasnt been changed).

It seems like there are only 2 wires coming out from the wall. One of them is Black, and one of them is White/Black.

This is the user manual of how the wiring should go.

https://customer.honeywell.com/resou...0s/69-2721.pdf

Does it look like the wiring is correct? Posting other pictures very very soon.

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 07:44 PM
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Hi,

I have a similar boiler...HC 85.

You have a power pile system there.

In believe you need to change that. ( Powerpile/thermocouple) I believe on those systems the pilot will stay lit but not enough millivolt to open the gas valve.

Please turn up the t stat and tell us if you here the zone valves open. Check the lever. It should have free movement if its open. This will eliminate the transformer.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 07:50 PM
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i have check that yesterday - the zone valve did not open. Other than the circulator pump running - i dont get any other reaction when i turn up the thermostat.

what is power pile system please? About 5 months ago - my contractor was able to just flip the main on/off switch, turn on thermostat, and voila, heat is on... i called him today, he told me he didnt do anything special, nothing else was tweaked when he tried to turn it on. (the only difference bewteen him turning it on, and me turning it on yesterday, is the thermostat itself. At that time, it was the mercury based thermostate, and i asked him to change to a touch screen programmable honeywell one.)

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 08:01 PM
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Hello,

Here are the pictures of the Gas Valve, Aquastat, Relay, and circulator pump. Pleas let me know if you need more pictures, of pictures are unclear.

the circulator pump was very very noisy when i turn on the heat. Its almost like the motor running with, tick tick tick tick tick.... with a bunch of humming noise.

I educated myself with a generate heating system component last night and today. I dont believe the circulator was serviced or lube at all for past whatever number of years.

What would be some of the things i can do to get rid of the noise?








Thanks.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 08:08 PM
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I would say you need to check the voltage from the transformer in your last pic in post #1. 24volts.

But then again if the circ is running it would seem the end switch in the zone valve is operating. The end switch would go the the control on the side by the boiler with the toilet paper roll.

Both zone valves do not open?????
 
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Old 10-22-12, 08:12 PM
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Slide that manual auto switch on the top of the relay back and forth a few times. Then put it back. Then try it. What happens?

Sometimes the contacts get dirty.

Also put in manual mode and try it.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 08:28 PM
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Update

Update at 11:27PM.

I turned both thermostate to 80 degrees. And i slide the relay from AUTO/MAN a few times. The boiler itself remains teh same - no flames.

BUT, both zone valves are opened. the lever can be moved left/right without any resistence.

What should i test next? I dont have DMM Leads with me, i have a DMM, but no leads.... so i cannot test the voltage.

The circulator remains very noisy. But i think it has been like this.
 

Last edited by takkie; 10-22-12 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 10-22-12, 08:44 PM
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Not sure about the power pile staying on without enough power to open the gas valve.. I would say change that first, but they are pricey.

I am inclined to say the gas valve itself may be the issue. ( But more $$$)


But please wait for other input. I see trooper is on and he knows controls better then I.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 08:35 AM
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Trooper / Furd...

Any input please.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 09:03 AM
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Its odd that the zone valves open on manual and not on auto. It sounds like a seperate issue from the boiler not fireing.

Put in manual should of fired the boiler.

If the aquastat was bad it would not fore. You can try jumping those two wires as a test.

The wires also at the gas valve look corroded somewhat. These millivolt systems need clean connections.


Also on the hydrotherm there is a lead/wires that run in the boiler jacket from the gas valve to a terminal strip on the back of the boiler. This strip cracks and/or the wire frays and breaks internally.

A simple continuity test will troubleshoot those.


I will try to locate a schematic I have somewhere.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 11:25 AM
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>>Its odd that the zone valves open on manual and not on auto. It sounds like a seperate issue from the boiler not fireing.

What did you mean by open on manual but not auto? It was opened by itself. All I did was flip the manual/auto switch on the relay a few times, and put it back on Auto.

I tried to put the zone valve lever to the Manual position and lock it - but it would not lock since the zone valve itself is open - there is no resistence of pulling the lever back to the left side. (Know what i mean?) it was just hanging there that could move freely left/right.

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 11:34 AM
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What did you mean by open on manual but not auto? It was opened by itself. All I did was flip the manual/auto switch on the relay a few times, and put it back on Auto.
You said this.....

i have check that yesterday - the zone valve did not open. Other than the circulator pump running - i dont get any other reaction when i turn up the thermostat.

So with the switch on auto and the t stats up do the zones open and circ runs?

If so perform the tests on the gas valve.










 
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Old 10-23-12, 11:35 AM
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If the aquastat was bad it would not fore. You can try jumping those two wires as a test.
Can you let me know how to jump the 2 wires please? Just take a wire and connect the + and - together?
The wires also at the gas valve look corroded somewhat. These millivolt systems need clean connections.
Is now a bad time to find professional to do a boiler cleanup? (take apart, clean burners..etc..) At the mean time, if i unwire everything, and get rid of dust, and put it together, will that help?


Also on the hydrotherm there is a lead/wires that run in the boiler jacket from the gas valve to a terminal strip on the back of the boiler. This strip cracks and/or the wire frays and breaks internally.
This wire, is only visible after i take the boiler cover , correct?
 
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Old 10-23-12, 11:39 AM
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What did you mean by open on manual but not auto? It was opened by itself. All I did was flip the manual/auto switch on the relay a few times, and put it back on Auto.
You said this.....

i have check that yesterday - the zone valve did not open. Other than the circulator pump running - i dont get any other reaction when i turn up the thermostat.
So with the switch on auto and the t stats up do the zones open and circ runs?

If so perform the tests on the gas valve.
Yes - the switch on AUTO, and tstats Up -- the zones were opened last night. It was not the night before, after you asked me to slide Manual/Auto back and forth a few times, it worked. So i posted an update last night about this.

For performing the test on teh gas valve, i am unable to open the link of the PDF.

http://www.keatingofchicago.com/medi...llvoltGasV.pdf

Can you tell me what needs to be tested on the Gas Valve please?

Thanks,
 
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Old 10-23-12, 11:44 AM
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Try this. Can you open it?
 
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Old 10-23-12, 12:14 PM
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Yes. I can open the PDF. I will buy a DMM Lead and try to read the resistence and voltage.

If the aquastat was bad it would not fore. You can try jumping those two wires as a test.
Can you let me know how to jump the 2 wires please? Just take a wire and connect the + and - together?
Can you let me know the correct way to jump start aqaustat pls?
 
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Old 10-23-12, 01:33 PM
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I actually cannot see clearly which terminal is TH, TP, THTP or ground in my picture.

Can you advise pls?

ImageShackŪ - Online Photo and Video Hosting

Thanks,
 
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Old 10-23-12, 02:57 PM
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The big thick red wire (saftey magnet) and the white of the aquastat should be THTP

The red wire of the aquastat should be TH

The powerpile should go to THTP and TP

Hope that helps.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 03:30 PM
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I've been loosely following this thread...

Just a couple observations:

IF the circ is running (albeit noisily) AND it is wired to run from the aquastat, THEN the zone valves are more than likely making the call for heat and Mike may be on the right track, continue on that.

The circ being very noisy... is it like a HAMMERING when it runs? Or just a constant ticking?

Either way, you may have a COUPLER either broken, or on it's way out.

But don't worry about that just yet, get the heat going first.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 03:38 PM
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Before you do anything else disconnect X1 and X2 from the relay and clean these wires thoroughly. Then touch the two wire together and see if the burner lights. If it does then the problem is at the relay and I will advise you more.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 09:04 PM
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Before you do anything else disconnect X1 and X2 from the relay and clean these wires thoroughly. Then touch the two wire together and see if the burner lights. If it does then the problem is at the relay and I will advise you more.
Good news.

I did exactly that - and the burner fired up. I am letting it touch together for now, and then make sure the baseboard cast iron has heat coming out. I think it should be out in 10 minutes or so.

So, is it the relay?
 
  #34  
Old 10-23-12, 09:08 PM
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IF the circ is running (albeit noisily) AND it is wired to run from the aquastat, THEN the zone valves are more than likely making the call for heat and Mike may be on the right track, continue on that.

The circ being very noisy... is it like a HAMMERING when it runs? Or just a constant ticking?
Its a constant ticking / humming noise. not hammering. I googled a bit, and found that for the BG circulator, the alighnment may be out of whack, and need some parts to replace them. I will follow that route unless there are other suggestions.

this is where i got the info from:

How to Oil Series 100 Pump : Xylem Applied Water Systems: Web-Site Help Desk
 
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Old 10-23-12, 09:16 PM
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The big thick red wire (saftey magnet) and the white of the aquastat should be THTP

The red wire of the aquastat should be TH

The powerpile should go to THTP and TP

Hope that helps.
I didnt get a chance to buy dmm leads, so i cannot measure the voltage and resistence yet.

I was able to get the burner started using Furd's method, by touching X1 and X2 together. Would this still be the isue with the gas valve if the burner is firing?

thanks,
 
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Old 10-23-12, 09:25 PM
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Good!!!

Just a note: Leaving those wires together I believe will cause the boiler to work off the aquastat only. Meaning it will constanly kick on and off from high limit and differential.

As far as the issue with the relay IDK. You will need to wait Joel to answer that.

Note: Also I bilieve those controls were an issue. Mine was changed in 1984 to a regular unit without the manual/auto switch. I would say the switch is bad but not sure.


I do know the contacts fail and the reason I stated to slide it back and forth a few times.

Again wait for Joel.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 09:32 PM
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for the BG circulator, the alignment may be out of whack, and need some parts to replace them.
Because its an energy hog I replaced mine with a taco 007.... No oiling or maintenance.

 
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Old 10-23-12, 09:36 PM
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Would this still be the isue with the gas valve if the burner is firing?
No... Apparently as Joel stated its probably the relay.


 
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Old 10-23-12, 09:51 PM
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Just a note: Leaving those wires together I believe will cause the boiler to work off the aquastat only. Meaning it will constanly kick on and off from high limit and differential.

As far as the issue with the relay IDK. You will need to wait Joel to answer that.
I finished my test with both zones. All baseboard has heat, other than somehow 2 baseboard on 1st floor is controlled by 2nd floor. (not sure why, but thats a seperate piping connection issue)

So i returned to boiler room - shut off the switch, and the circulator stopped, but the burner is still firing.

So i took the 2 wires apart and the fire stopped. A few minutes later, i was planning ot take the pictures of the flame, so i put the wires together again. This time, it did not fire up anymore. I looked at the temp gauge, and it is at 200 degrees. The Aquastat also has it set to 200. Is this the reason why it did not fire up? I didnt try again, and screw the 2 wires back in.

Is the X1 on the side of the boiler suppose to go to X2 on the relay switch? I noticed that thats how it is wired. X2 on relay goes to x1 on burner. X1 on relay goes to X2 on burner.

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 10:05 PM
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The Aquastat also has it set to 200. Is this the reason why it did not fire up? I didnt try again, and screw the 2 wires back in.
Yes.... With out the circ running you get a heat soak. The boiler temp will rise much above the aquastat setting.


Now that's a whole other topic. Your setting should be around 180, but the aquastat may be inaccurate. You will need to check and adjust that when the boiler is operating correctly.

Additionally your gauge may be off. ( Mine stuck some and I changed it out.)

Is the X1 on the side of the boiler suppose to go to X2 on the relay switch? I noticed that thats how it is wired. X2 on relay goes to x1 on burner. X1 on relay goes to X2 on burner.


Dont think it matters.




 
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