Weil-McLain HE-4 gas valve switching on/off periodically

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Old 01-10-15, 03:55 PM
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Weil-McLain HE-4 gas valve switching on/off periodically

I have a ~30 year old Weil-McLain HE-4 cast iron gas boiler that has been acting up. The gas valve has been opening and closing rapidly (sometimes every 1-3 secs). I have replaced the relay, gas valve (ROBERTSHAW 720-402) and thermo fuse without any change. The system uses a pilot light instead of sparker.

These spurts of the gas valve opening/closing sometimes occur regularly each time the boiler cycles on. Other times the boiler runs fine for multiple hours and sometimes days without the problem occurring. I've checked all wires and connections for shorts and jiggling terminal connections for anything that might be causing this.

Is there any bad parts that could explain this behavior? This issue has been going on for months now. Any help would be much appreciated.

Here is a short sample video showing the valve acting up:
hxxp://tinypic[.]com/r/2ductub/8
 
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Old 01-10-15, 05:02 PM
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Why does the video require "Flash 9" to view? Nope, not gonna download it, sorry...

Is there any bad parts that could explain this behavior?
I would have to say yes. I mean, there must be something wrong, somewhere!

Have you tried troubleshooting by following the voltage with a multimeter?
 
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Old 01-10-15, 05:06 PM
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Is the boiler model correct? Is it an " HE series 3 " but a FOUR section boiler?
 
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Old 01-10-15, 05:18 PM
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Old 01-10-15, 05:27 PM
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Click on the black box for the video.

If the pilot light wasn't strong enough it wouldn't keep the gas valve engaged.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 05:47 PM
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Thanks Pete.

I heard a 'clicking', but didn't see the flame going out. Visual part doesn't seem to be in sync with the audio part.

Does the click occur without the flame outing?

Or is that little 'WOOF' after the click the burners relighting?
 
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Old 01-10-15, 05:54 PM
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It should be in sync, although dark and yes that "woof" is the burner relighting.
 
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Old 01-11-15, 09:04 AM
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Thanks for reposting the video. Here is some photos I meant to originally post along with it.

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The name plate shows model of "HE-4". I haven't tested the pressure switch yet. What is the easiest way to test it?

I have tried tracking voltage with a multimeter but haven't been successful in getting a good reading. Which areas should I check first and what type of voltage should I be expecting?
 
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Old 01-11-15, 09:56 AM
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The name plate shows model of "HE-4"
Yes, and it also says it's a SERIES 2.

I looked at the manual for the series 2 but it doesn't show a standing pilot model... but in either case, the pressure switch works the same.

You need to have your meter set to read AC VOLTS.

A digital display meter is not always the best for this kind of troubleshooting because they sometimes don't 'update' the display fast enough to catch fast events. It does sound as if the clicking is slow enough that even a cheap multimeter should be able to see something.

So, with the meter on AC VOLTS, and one lead on the " C " terminal of the terminal strip on the transformer/relay combo, and the other lead on the YELLOW wire at the pressure switch, check for CONTINUOUS 24VAC at that point when the burner is firing.

If you see that 24VAC drop out in sync with the clicking, the problem is with the pressure switch, tubing, or possibly a marginal draft from a failing draft inducer motor.
 
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Old 01-11-15, 09:58 AM
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Is that red wire on the pressure switch hanging on for dear life? It looks as if it may be pulling out of the terminal lug... is it?
 
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Old 01-11-15, 08:26 PM
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the info! The voltage did drop from 25.5 to 0 on the multimeter. I guess I will order a new switch and hope it fixes the problem. The red wire has a tight connection just the wire near the connector is a bit exposed. I'll report back once I get the new switch installed...
 
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Old 01-11-15, 08:31 PM
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Hopefully it's the switch, and not the fact that the inducer may be running slow... because if the blower is on the slow side it might be right on the 'edge' of the pressure switch setting.

Vacuum the dust out of that motor while you're there.

Do you have the manual for the boiler? I didn't check to see if that motor requires periodic oiling or not. Take a close look and see if there are oil holes.

You also might want to inspect the hoses while you've got it apart to make sure they are clear.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 08:25 PM
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I swapped out the pressure switch with a new one you posted earlier. It does appear to be working but I am not sure if the hoses are connected correctly. See the pic below. If I swap the hoses (red/white) then the valve never opens. It seems like I may have them reversed?

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Old 01-13-15, 09:18 PM
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You checked that the hoses were all clear I hope?

Are there no markings on the NEW part hose connections?

No instruction sheet came with the part ? (the supplyhouse.com site doesn't have downloadable instruction sheet for that)

Are there no markings on the OLD one to indicate which is which?

And the wires... how do you know you have them in the right place? Were there markings to indicate that?
 
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Old 01-13-15, 09:43 PM
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Jon, I believe you've got the wires correct.

RED to NC

YELLOW to NO

BLACK to C

is correct.

Can you show me where the other end of the red and white tubing connects?

Did you remove the tubing altogether from the both ends?

Are you sure you plugged them back where they came from on the boiler end?

Can you show me a picture of where they come from?

The manual says the RED goes " TO SIDE OF TRANSITION "

The TRANSITION is the square box between the blower and the boiler

and the WHITE goes " TO FRONT OF COLLECTOR HOOD "

The COLLECTOR hood is the bigger piece on top of the boiler sections.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 05:59 PM
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I contacted supplyhouse and they said they don't get any instructions with that part anymore. However, they said if it is working with the hoses connected then it is fine. I also found some instructions from Weil-McLain regarding installation of a similar pressure valve for high altitudes for the Gold GV boilers. Part number is 382-200-317 and looks very similar.

Here is the excerpt from the instructions:

"The hoses must be connected as shown in Figure 1 —white hose on front and red hose on back."

hxxp://www.weil-mclain[.]com/en/multimedia-library/pdf/weil-mclain-pdf/products/boilers/gas-boilers/gv/gv_high_altitude_instructions.pdf

I only removed the hoses from the switch and didn't fully remove them or trace them back to see how they were connected.

So far the boiler has run without a hiccup. I am going to watch it closely this week to be sure this fixed it but I am guessing it likely has. Thanks NJ Trooper for all the help!
 
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