Intermittent lighting on Victory Slant Fin Hot Water Heat...

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Old 09-25-14, 03:36 PM
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Intermittent lighting on Victory Slant Fin Hot Water Heat...

I'm trying to help my parents get their heat working. I have troubleshot the electrical and everything is working as it should however the pilot will sometimes not light. The electronic ignition is zapping, and there is 24vac on the PV. I took a long wooden match and the pilot lit just fine. and the MV opened like a champ. Got heat. It would work properly 4 or 5 times in a row, then suddenly no lightum upum. Could the propane valve for pilot not be opening all the way?

One other thing. How the heck does this thing know the pilot lit?
 
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Old 09-25-14, 04:08 PM
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Last edited by gilmorrie; 09-25-14 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 09-25-14, 04:18 PM
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No thermocouple, that would be obvious. That's why I mentioned it. There is nothing there to detect heat. The MV comes on fast, as soon as the flame is lit.
 
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Old 09-25-14, 05:05 PM
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There is nothing there to detect heat
That's correct, if it's electronic ignition. You will have a Honeywell S86xx series ignition control.

So it doesn't sense HEAT... how does it know?

By the process known as 'flame rectification'. The same electrode that sends the spark to light the pilot works as a 'flame rod' after the pilot lights. A small current flow is sensed when flame surrounds this rod. No flame, no current. Flame on, small current. This is what the control uses to sense the presence of pilot flame.

Google "Flame Rectification" for more information.

It appears that the sensing circuit is in fact working from what you've said.

If the boiler has been off all summer it's possible that the pilot orifice is dirty...

Don't try turning any screws on the gas valve. Those need to be set with instruments called 'manometer'.
 
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Old 09-25-14, 05:26 PM
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Thanks Trooper!

There is a good solid thud when the PV is engaged, and the sparks are nice and long and strong. It looks like there is no way to adjust the sparker or pilot output position, so I have to assume that they aren't misaligned. So if we remove the pilot feed line from the gas valve and shoot some air through it, and it still acts up, then replace the gas valve?
 
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Old 09-25-14, 06:56 PM
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No, one doesn't replace the gas valve without KNOWING that it's bad. That's an expensive way to troubleshoot. That's what a 'tinkertician' does, throws parts at something until it works, or it's REALLY broken!
 
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Old 09-26-14, 06:01 AM
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Thanks Trooper for putting a ridiculous spin on my attempt to apply logic to my parents problem, They're in their 70's and I would like to fix the problem. I don't understand why you didn't offer another line of logic if you think my method is flawed. I'm an electronics engineer, I present what I thought was a sound logical progression and you call me names? wtf
 
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Old 09-26-14, 06:30 AM
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Wow - Jim, Trooper gave you pretty clear instructions. Did you Google Flame Rectification like he told you to? Plenty of technical information pops up including detailed explanations on how the system works, troubleshooting advise and replacement parts. As an electronics engineer, the troubleshooting steps should be a piece of cake for you. Five minutes of work tops to see exactly what's going on.
Replacing the valve would be senseless, it's most likely not your issue.
 
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Old 09-26-14, 07:35 AM
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Tom, The flame detection was never questioned as a source of the problem, it was merely my curiosity. The problem is the pilot does not light reliably. Trooper has not presented me with any troubleshooting advise other than check to see if the pilot orifice is dirty.

I provided additional information and a logic progression to follow if the orifice is NOT clogged, and I get called names. I repeat what would be the likely suspect if in deed the pilot orifice is not dirty?

I will be going over there to work on it today, and I was hoping to have additional information as to the possible cause of this problem, but I just get belittled instead.
 
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Old 09-26-14, 08:01 AM
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Jim... nobody is calling you names. You haven't done it yet, have you? If you had changed the gas valve due to speculation rather than due to known troubleshooting, I would have probably called you names... but it would have been constructively... jeeeze Jim, lighten up ...

If anything, you should have taken that as "Don't be a tinkertician", not as "You are a tinkertician".

I'm sorry if you took offense...

I don't understand why you didn't offer another line of logic
Because it was 10 PM, I've got a chest cold, and I wanted to go to bed.

Yes, remove the pilot assembly. When you have it out, carefully inspect the orifice. If it appears clogged, clean it. I just don't think it's a good idea to stick an air nozzle into it and blow.

The orifice is very small. Run a strand of wire into the orifice but don't get agressive, you don't want to enlarge the orifice. If you do have an air nozzle, blow it out from the orifice end.

If this doesn't work, the next thing I suppose is to measure the voltage on the gas valve.

You may have a bad spark wire, or it may be too close to a ground and 'leaking' through the insulation. Try rerouting it so it's clear of other items.

The control module may be giving you weak spark output.
 
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Old 09-26-14, 08:18 AM
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I would also check to see if there is good ground all the way back to the panel. The screws that clamp the wires in place can become loose due to copper wire being soft .
 
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Old 09-26-14, 08:24 AM
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Good point saves...

Ya know, I'm wondering if Jim has actually stuck his head down there and visually saw that there was no pilot.

WHAT IF:

The pilot IS lighting but the flame rod is dirty, loose/leaky cable, weak ground, whatever

And the control does not actually sense that the pilot is lit?

The control would shut down on lockout.


So if you haven't already, verify visually that the pilot is in fact not lighting when the control times out.
 
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Old 09-26-14, 01:31 PM
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It's almost as if you guys aren't even reading my input. I did in fact... look at the pilot. I even stated...

There is a good solid thud when the PV is engaged, and the sparks are nice and long and strong. It looks like there is no way to adjust the sparker or pilot output position, so I have to assume that they aren't misaligned.

The spark is fine, "it looks" implies I looked at it. lol

When I say the pilot isn't lighting, I mean that the pilot isn't lighting, cause I looked at it, and the sparks, and yeah, I'm repeating myself...

I do appreciate the help, but jeesh I'm well beyond rookie mistakes on forum posting. I stated only facts and went into detail about the facts.

Again, Voltage on PV and is 24vac.
Solid thud when engaged.
Long strong sparks.
Lit with a match at least once when sparks could not ignite the pilot. Everything points to not enough gas. If the orifice is clean then the next LOGICAL source of trouble is the gas valve. That's all I said from the beginning.
 
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Old 09-26-14, 03:24 PM
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I don't agree that the next logical source of trouble is the gas valve. It COULD be the gas valve but it certainly is not as likely as a weak spark.

You said that when it was sparking, you were able to light it with a match, didn't you? Was the flame the right size and color when you lit it? If so, I would rule out a problem with the gas valve, at least move it much lower on your six sigma fishbone.

Many times a spark can 'look good' but it's not of enough energy to properly ionize the air and obtain a high enough temperature to actually ignite the gas.

CHECK THE GROUNDS and check the wire itself.

Don't underestimate the value of a good ground with spark ignition gas burners.

By the way Jim you're copping an attitude that certainly isn't going to help you. I'm sure sorry that I don't 'hang on your every letter'... if you want our (my) help, let it go. If not, well, good luck.
 

Last edited by NJT; 09-26-14 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 09-26-14, 03:44 PM
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I also sense an attitude and demanding expectations. If I didn't think I was getting the help I was entitled to from a free website, operated by volunteers, I would call a professional service person.
 
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Old 09-26-14, 03:45 PM
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So you are talking about pilot and spark ignition? Which one is it?
If the pilot doesn't stay lit it's either the gas valve or the thermocouple. Most likely the thermocouple. If it's spark and it's not lighting it's the gas valve or the spark
 
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Old 09-26-14, 04:54 PM
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Jim Fry stated there is no thermocouple ,its electronic ignition.
 
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Old 09-26-14, 06:35 PM
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Hi Trooper, It was the pilot light orifice. Once cleaned it started reliably over and over. Sorry for the attitude, was just trying to help out my parents. So thanks for the help.
 
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Old 09-26-14, 07:05 PM
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No prob Jim, glad ya got it fixed up!
 
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