Hydrotherm Boiler won't light

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Old 03-02-16, 09:43 AM
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Hydrotherm Boiler won't light

Let me say straightaway I have never worked on a boiler so even though I want to attempt this repair myself this is all new information. We inherited this boiler 2 years ago when we bought the house. It is old (maybe 45 years) but we have had no problems so far apart from some squeaking at the blower which is remedied with some turbine oil that was nearby. Anyway, here's what happened:

I Woke up this morning to a clunking sound in my heating vent. Sounded cyclical and then stopped altogether. I heard the boiler try to kick on several times but didn't. The pilot light was out when I looked. I attempted to relight it by turning the on/off/Pilot dial to pilot and held it down for 5-10 seconds. I can hear the gas but there is no clicking sound.

I turned off the power switch at the wall and turned off the gas then unscrewed the housing for the pilot and thermocouple and pulled it out for better access. I cleaned off the pilot as there was some gray ash in the holes. I remounted it and tried again to light it but again only hear gas.

So my first question is, how can I tell if this is a manual or electric ignitor? I see no obvious signs for manual (spent matches etc...). I don't want to put a flame to it unless I am certain.

And then if the issue may be the ignitor where is that? I'm not sure what to look for. There is a Honeywell box. Is that it?

Any other thoughts on how to proceed?

Thanks! Kelly

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Old 03-02-16, 10:21 AM
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It doesn't appear that you have any type of electronic ignition. You have a standing pilot and a thermocoupler. You must light the pilot while holding down the gas valve, allow the TC to get hot then release the valve. It the pilot immediately goes out, the TC probably needs to be replaced.

You mention a blower, is this a forced hot air system? If so, you have a furnace, not a boiler.
 
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Old 03-02-16, 11:21 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Looks like boiler but a boiler wouldn't have a blower. That looks like an older two wire thermocouple or maybe even a powerpile. You'd need to follow the metal jacket to where it connects.

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Old 03-02-16, 11:59 AM
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Thanks for the replies. My mistake calling it a blower. I believe it is a booster pump.

So this is where my inexperience and nervousness comes in. I don't want to blow myself up. Is there any risk of that happening? The gas has been off.

If no, then as I understand it I just need to turn the gas back on, turn the dial to pilot and hold it down while lighting the pilot directly with a match. And how long do I continue if it doesn't light immediately?
 
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Old 03-02-16, 12:47 PM
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You have an older powerpile system there.. This needs to be manually lit.

Yes hold down the pilot knob and light the pilot. Continue to hold for say 30 sec or so..

After you release the pilot button the pilot should stay lit.. If it does not stay lit try again and hold it longer. After its lit turn the knob on the gas valve to on, and operate boiler normally..

If it just will not stay lit then a new powerpile will be needed..


Shop Honeywell Water Heater Thermocouple at Lowes.com
 
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Old 03-02-16, 03:08 PM
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I was able to get it lit, thank you! I did not explode. And it stayed lit so it may have just had some build up in it. It took awhile to get it heated back up, however, after running for a couple hours the booster pump started make a very loud noise like an air compressor. Since we've heard the squealing in the past I'm thinking this could be a broken belt?

Any reason to think these two issues are related?
 
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Old 03-02-16, 03:23 PM
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Can you take a pic of said booster pump?

Does it look like this?

Can you take pic of boiler wide angle?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]63544[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 03-02-16, 03:30 PM
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It is properly called a circulating (or circulator) pump, not a booster pump. If it is a typical three-piece pump it is probably the bearing squealing from lack of oil.
 
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Old 03-02-16, 03:42 PM
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Yes it is a circulating pump. It stopped squealing several weeks ago after we oiled it but now it is making a noise I can only compare to an air compressor. The sound is coming directly from the location in the close up.

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Old 03-02-16, 03:50 PM
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Oh, you mean a repeating clap-clap-clap noise? Probably a broken coupler.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]63548[/ATTACH]
(Image courtesy of Amazon.com)

We would need the pump model number to specify the exact replacement.
 
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Old 03-02-16, 03:53 PM
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my opinion would be not to fix that pump but replace with a taco 007.. Youll be better off..


1/25 HP Cast Iron Circulator Pump-007F5 - The Home Depot
 
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Old 03-02-16, 03:55 PM
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Now may be a good time to replace that circulator with a new Taco circulator.

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Old 03-07-16, 08:30 AM
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Thanks again for all the advice. We were away for the weekend so I'm just getting around to this. Interestingly the very loud noise has mostly subsided, not completely but it's certainly tolerable. That said, we do want to replace the circulator before it goes out for good. The only label on it says Bell and Gossett Booster 118844 F09 and then some info about max temp. Can anyone tell me what the replacement would be for this?

When I search B&G 118844 it shows the bearing assembly. Should I just replace that portion? If I should replace the entire thing, what am I looking for?
 
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Old 03-07-16, 08:31 PM
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Bell &Gossett Series 100 pump repair

State Supply: Bell & Gossett Series 100 Repair [youtube]
Bell & Gossett 189134LF for bearing assembly with impeller or 118844LF w/o.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 03:46 PM
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Thanks. How do I know if I need the impeller?
 
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Old 03-09-16, 10:45 PM
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The impeller is a couple of dollars and you only know when you don't need it.
 
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Old 01-11-17, 03:28 PM
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Pilot Assy no?

Does anyone know the part number of the round pilot and the thermopile assy shown in the pic above? I have an old Hydrotherm HC-145B boiler and I am looking to purchase the pilot/thermopile assy. The gas valve is a Honeywell VS820A1054

Thanks!

Also, does anyone have a link to a manual/parts list for this very old unit? Hydrotherm told me that they do not have any information for such an old unit.
 
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Old 01-11-17, 03:37 PM
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Whats wrong with the pilot tube?

If you need a new power pile then that gets replaced by itself..

Honeywell Replacement Thermopile Generator - 750 mV-CQ200A - The Home Depot
 
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Old 01-11-17, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

I am starting to see that the pilot flame is orange and higher on the left side. I am concerned that the pilot tip may be rusting away.

Although the boiler is working, I am concerned that the thermopile may be going bad, because I have to hold down the pilot buttton longer for the light to stay on. In prior years it took about 20 seconds, this year it takes about 60 seconds.

I am also thinking I should keep a spare, just in case!

I also would like to purchase 2 burners, but I could not get a part number from Hydrotherm! I was surprised that they would not give me an alternate part no. I have 4 cast iron burners.
 
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Old 01-11-17, 04:50 PM
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I also would like to purchase 2 burners, but I could not get a part number from Hydrotherm! I was surprised that they would not give me an alternate part no. I have 4 cast iron burners.
Youll never get them. Take a pic of your boiler. My hydrotherm is 50+ years old. You will not get any info from hydrotherm on boilers this old. I tried already many times...

Clean the tube best you can. Holes may be plugged up..

Yes get a spare power pile. I have one always handy..
 
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Old 01-11-17, 05:25 PM
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This is about 35 - 40 years old, but it heats the house fast! It has 2 zones, 3 floors: I have a basement baseboard, first/second floor with a total of 10 original 1950's radiators.

I like these old boilers without all the electronics which go bad. I just vacuum the burners to get rid of the spiders and I paid someone 4 years ago to clean and vacuum it inside. It was not in bad shape he told me. I just saw some rust but no black junk. I Plan to do that myself next year. I just need to find the right wire brush I guess.

I never adjusted the gas valve; the flames are very high but I think it is normal for this old unit. I am afraid if I try to adjust it down, it may go bad or affect the combustion.

The right burner is rusty but no issues yet. What do you use to plug it if need be? The other burners are like new!

I just like to keep spare parts when it comes to make sure my family stays warm in the middle of the winter.

Last question
In the even I decide to get a similar unit, do you think the Slantfin S-150 is a good replacement?
 
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Old 01-11-17, 05:57 PM
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Should be the burners...

https://www.patriot-supply.com/produ...OTHERM_03_7114

burner with pilot bracket..


https://www.patriot-supply.com/produ...OTHERM_03_7118


Im looking for pilot assembly... Make sure you verify all #'s
 
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Old 01-11-17, 06:10 PM
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RS has a 203 and 204 power pile pilot assembly. Ones vert mount and one horizontal..


https://www.amazon.com/Robertshaw-Re.../dp/B01BVS6G70
 
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Old 01-12-17, 10:51 AM
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Thanks for the info.

I am curious where is the pilot adjustment screw on this valve shown in the pic above?

I assume the main gas adjustment is under that big round cap shown in the pic above? I do not plan to adjust it, I am just confirming.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 03:41 PM
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Pilot adjust on left above wires.. It says pilot adj. lol
 
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Old 01-12-17, 05:12 PM
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I saw that but I was not sure how!

Do I remove that screw completely and there is an adjustment screw behind it?
It makes no sense that the screw can be used for adjustment.

I also wonder, is it a good idea to make any adjustments on such an old unit? or am I going to create a leak.
 
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