american standard 1bj1 aquastat control

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Old 12-10-13, 02:51 PM
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american standard 1bj1 aquastat control

So I have purchased and moved into my grandparents old house, built around 1961, with its original 1bj1 water boiler. Runs baseboards and a panel on a split level. I have replaced the relief valve and auto fill regulator as well as added an anti back flow preventer per code in our city as it us only used for heat. Right away i noticed problems with the relief leaking from time to time. So I ran it through a cycle and watched it, noted a few problems as well. First was the relief is OK, pressure in the boiler would hit about 29psi on the gauge and the relief would dribble a bit. So its relieving as it should. Cold pressure is set at ~12psi. The air tank on top I updated to a bladder type, also set as 12psi. Problem comes in that the water hits 220+ degrees and starts boiling. Burners never turn off and will keep cooking till the relief blows. The pump seems hardwired to the main power and literally runs at all times. Thermostat seems to run the relay (though there's nothing actually hooked to it, I can manually cycle the relay and it seems to control nothing) the burners seem directly wired to the thermostat, so its either on or off. I looked all over for an aquastat And I come up with nothing. My grandpa was pinched pennies so tight that he'd squeeze snot out of Lincolns nose, is it possible he wired this thing up without an aquastat to about replacing it? As you could imagine this makes me a tad nervous. There are a couple wires coming out of the boiler itself into the box mounted to the side, but I can't find any control. It wouldn't be under all the covers and thusly under all that fancy 60's insulation would it?
 
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Old 12-10-13, 03:22 PM
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that aged boiler maintains the water within from the temperature control above the burn. then the room stat runs the circulator until it reaches setpoint.if the circ doesn't run the boiler will make its temperature mounted above the burners...220F is too high drop it to 150F-170F range.need to separate that hi limit for the water and the call of the stat.looks like the hi limit isn't in series with the gas valve to break at setpoint on that water..hi limit has nothing to do with the circ or stat up in the space... is I a standing pilot?
 
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Old 12-10-13, 03:40 PM
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Is this your boiler?


 
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Old 12-10-13, 03:47 PM
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Maybe this round style?

 
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Old 12-10-13, 04:17 PM
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I'm thinking more like this one?


image courtesy nachi.org

Is there a wiring diagram inside the front cover?
 
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Old 12-10-13, 06:44 PM
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None of the above actually. I have pictures, but all I have for internet is my smart phone as I literally moved two days ago. Give me a couple minutes here and I'll play around with posting pictures.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 07:19 PM
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So my phone felt it should erase my whole reply with all the picture urls instead of post them, so to avoid d that this time, I'm going to kinda spam post one picture at a time. But its only 4 or 5 pictures. Anyway, here's the furnace
 
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Old 12-10-13, 07:25 PM
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Here is all the electrical mounted to the side. For reference, my fingers on the wire going to the wall, presumably to the thermostat. Second curly goes to the relay box that seems to only click in and out with the thermostat, but not actually control anything. Metal convoluted out the top is 110 power source, and the two blacks go straight to the gas valve.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 07:33 PM
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And In the interest of condensing pictures, the last one is the box under the inverter. No aquastat to be found. Pump is wired straight to the 110 power source, not the relay. Couple wires go into the bodywork of the boiler, I assume are the temp sensors themselves, but I can't tell for sure without tearing the insulation around the boiler itself up. Would seem a silly place to put an adjustable control. Hi-lo toggle switch does nothing as well. Not even sure it hooks to anything. That concludes my photo tour, but I'll take more if needed.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 07:37 PM
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I wish it was as simple as a diagram under a cover, electrical diagrams are simple for me to follow plus it would give me an idea if anything was missing as well. I'd live to get my hands on an original manual for this thing. Would save lots of headaches.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 07:47 PM
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Take the cover off the front of boiler...Lets see whats in there.....
 
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Old 12-10-13, 08:05 PM
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I'm a little nervous about this... looking at the front cover the paint appears to be badly scorched. OK, the boiler has been running real hot... but even so, there should not be enough heat behind that cover to scorch paint like that. You may have a 'rollout' condition and it's unlikely that old boiler has a 'rollout safety switch' still in place (if it ever did).

You should really investigate that condition!

Mike said: Take the cover off the front of boiler...Lets see whats in there
Ditto.

Cold pressure is set at ~12psi. The air tank on top I updated to a bladder type, also set as 12psi. Problem comes in that the water hits 220+ degrees and starts boiling
Tank updated from what? Steel tank in the joists above the boiler?

What type of heat emitters are in the home?

It's clear that the 220+ temperatures are probably the most contributing factor to the overpressure and relief spewing, but it's also possible that the tank (looks to be a #30 size?) is too small for the application. If there are any cast iron radiators it means that you have a lot of water volume which would require a larger tank.

At some point in time you should mount the relief valve in a vertical orientation as per manf specs.

Is there any provision on the system for air removal? i.e. an air scoop and air vent?
 
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Old 12-10-13, 08:24 PM
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The sheet metal has looked like that as long as I can remember (20+years) possibly a condition my grandpa dealt with long ago. Also running simple base board heat. Plus a panel in the downstairs living section. No joists to speak of, house is split level with the boiler on the lower level between the basement and ground level. So the boiler might as well be on ground level of a two story. Old tank was maybe 3 times tallest than the one currently mounted on it. Same width. Non bladder and mounted in the same place. I'll take a picture shortly of cover off.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 08:31 PM
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Just an observation.
Besides all the mechanical things wrong, the discoloration of that door is telling me deffinetely overheating, not from hot water but from lack of proper venting. You either have a plugged boiler or very poor draft. I would be be more concerned with carbon monoxide. Unless it was there and is now fixed.
You might want to remove that cover and see what's in there. My bet is that fire might even be coming back at you.
As Trooper mentioned if you had a rollout switch it's probably toast by now or disconnected.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 08:52 PM
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Here's the cover off

And here's a closeup of the hotspot.

Like I said, that's been discolored for decades now, so I'm assuming fixed by my grandpa. Just for the hell of it, I ran a cycle while watching it with an ir thermometer. Highest temp at the cover was ~100 degrees or so. Even across the cover, no hotspots to speak of. Burner looks nice and healthy with no stray flame.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 09:06 PM
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Must admit, I feel better now.
There isn't much that can't be fixed as long as you're around to do it.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 09:12 PM
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No wiring diagram on inside cover?

That 'hot spot' looks more to me like there had been water leaking at one time.
 
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Old 12-11-13, 08:31 AM
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Yeah there must be an aquastat somewhere???
 
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Old 12-11-13, 10:30 AM
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Ya, I agree, but where is the question. Nowhere can I find it on the outside, and it would seem silly to put it inside. To gain access to the wires going inside the body, I would have to disconnect the furnace water supply pipes it would seem. On top of disconnecting the electronics.
 
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Old 12-11-13, 10:35 AM
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Its probably in a well somewhere external.. Take more pics of piping all around...

Back of boiler?
 
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Old 12-11-13, 10:39 AM
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There are these two switches/sensors? inside the electrical box???


 
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Old 12-11-13, 10:41 AM
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Closer pic.............................


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Old 12-11-13, 10:45 AM
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If the boiler constantly shuts off at the same temp. something must be controlling it.
 
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Old 12-11-13, 11:48 AM
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Spot, the only control is the thermostat. Flame is on as long as the thermostat is on.

Lawrosa, I didn't even realize those were switches back there. Due to obstruction, the only way I can really see in there is with my camera. I may have to move the wife's washer now do I can really get up close to it. No other spots on the piping where a sensor could be installed. All of the wiring is in that little area on the side. Is there such thing as an aquastat that's non adjustable? More akin to a thermo vacuum switch on old cars? Simple preset on and off points preset and non adjustable that in this case may have been miswired?
 
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Old 12-11-13, 12:05 PM
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Im still trying to find info on them.. They may just be a conductive type swith.. Such as a crude low water cut off....Possibly one is a high limit???

I would still like to see many more pics all around the boiler. Possibly out trained eyes may spot something....
 
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Old 12-11-13, 12:13 PM
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Looks like a thermal swith... Yes pre set temp...

Like on this mini beer brewer/boiler...



 
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Old 12-11-13, 06:32 PM
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So after finding out those are thermal switches, I went to testing them. Found one (presumably the low) stuck closed. Didn't matter how hot the boiler got, it still did nothing. The other would open at 200 and close again at 150. Seems a pretty big gap to me, but as you guys have said before, the gauges on the front of these things aren't always the most accurate. So I wired the 24v inverter solid to 110 power, as it already was, eliminated the faulty thermal switch. Wired the second thermal switch (and thusly the burner) in parallel with the pump relay (after wiring the pump correctly to the relay) and those two in series with the thermostat. Everything now seems to turn on, pump, and cycle just as I'd expect a boiler should. This seem correct to you guys? Also if so, my next question is if I can retrofit this pup for an auto igniting pilot light to save a couple bucks a month on natural gas?
 
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