Burnham Boiler, thermostat set to 72 F, house is 62

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Old 01-08-14, 12:57 PM
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Burnham Boiler, thermostat set to 72 F, house is 62

First time poster. Problem started early yesterday morning during this deep freeze (temp reached -10F, -25 with windchill). Boiler was replaced in 2005, it has a 50gal expansion tank in the rafters which we drain every year, and radiators in our 2 story house that we bleed twice a year. We never had any problems with the heat until now. Also wanted to say that I live in a 130 year old house with very little insulation and large single pane windows. Our boiler thermostat was set at 71 degrees and that's where the house temperature was at. During the early hours of Tuesday morning, while the thermostat was still set at 71, the house temp started to drop slowly. This started around 2 am and dropped a few degrees every hour. It went all the way down to 59 degrees while the same thermo setting remained. We went down to check the boiler and everything seems normal. All the burners are firing and there is still warm heat coming through the radiators just not enough to heat house to the proper setting. We bled all the radiators yesterday to remove any air in the pipes. Have tried to bleed once more since then and no air was present. Can't figure out why the house won't warm up. Any help would be appreciated!
 
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Old 01-08-14, 01:04 PM
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What is the boiler temperature and pressure?

If all the rads are getting nice and hot, then there might not be much you can do.
 
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Old 01-08-14, 01:22 PM
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Circulating pump maybe not running?

Can you post pictures of system?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 01:23 PM
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Also whats the make and model boiler? How many sq ft is the home?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 01:24 PM
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Just checked the boiler, the temp is 105 F and the pressure is 25psi. The radiators are warm but not hot.
 
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Old 01-08-14, 01:44 PM
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Make and model is Burnham series 2, model# 206NCL-TEI2. The house is apprx 2500 sq ft of old and drafty. If the circulation pump was not working, would there still be hot water flowing through the radiators? I will post pics of the system as soon as I finish charging my camera. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-08-14, 01:54 PM
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You sure the temp is 105F? If the rads are hot the boiler would not be 105.....Maybe the gauge is off?

PSI is on the high side... Keep your eye on it...Watch it dont go over 30psi... High pressure dictates expansion tank problems or water feed issues...



That boiler is 164k BTU... Big enough for your home....

Is the burner running?

We need more info...Pics would help..
 
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Old 01-08-14, 03:37 PM
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Ok, here are some pics. The burners are running. When the system "thinks" that it has reached the correct temp they have smaller flames and it cools down, then starts back up with larger flames, and so on... (sorry about the "child like" way I'm explaining this, I'm a total novice to working on this boiler)
 
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Old 01-08-14, 04:28 PM
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In the last picture, at the upper left, inside the front of the boiler, there is a thingy (high limit) with a temp dial on it.

What is that dial set to?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 04:35 PM
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Your pressure is too high.

a 50gal expansion tank in the rafters which we drain every year
When you 'drain' it every year, are you sure that you are getting ALL of the water out? How do you know?

Understand the 'drinking straw analogy'.

When you put a finger over the end of a drinking straw, and lift it out of the drink, the drink stays in the straw.

The SAME thing happens when you drain that tank. Water runs out until the tank 'pulls a vacuum' and the water stops flowing.

Unless you perform the tank drain properly, that white bucket under the safety relief valve piping will always have discharge in it...

By the way, white PVC pipe is not the correct material for that relief discharge.
 
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Old 01-08-14, 07:02 PM
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That Burnham boiler is not a "modulating" boiler..in other words the flames should not be getting smaller when it " thinks" it has reached temperature. ..the burners should be OFF when the aquastat is satisfied and on again when the aquastat has dropped to its differential (not sure what the differential is on that aquastat) sounds more like a gas valve problem to me.
 
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Old 01-08-14, 07:12 PM
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What possibly might be happening if that temp and pressure is correct, if the feed is overfilling then boiler can't keep up with heating all of the new fresh water. If it really is 105 degrees at 25 psi then the feed may be feeding causing the relief to blow off. Any water around the boiler area?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 08:23 PM
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So you are suggesting that I try draining the expansion tank again?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 08:33 PM
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So you are suggesting that I try draining the expansion tank again?
Eventually... It won't have any effect on current problem though, but going forward you will have better control over the pressure and won't have to worry about emptying that bucket and constantly feeding water to the system and all the minerals in the fresh water scaling up inside the boiler.

When the system "thinks" that it has reached the correct temp they have smaller flames and it cools down, then starts back up with larger flames
Please clarify this. The flames shouldn't get 'smaller', they should go OUT, leaving only the single small pilot flame lit. Is that what's happening?
 
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