Old Floor Furnace Burner Won't Ignite - B60 Gas Valve?

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  #1  
Old 01-12-06, 05:49 AM
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Question Old Floor Furnace Burner Won't Ignite - B60 Gas Valve?

I have an 80 year old floor furnace, manufactured by Ward in Los Angeles. It originally had two valves, operated with metal risers to the floor vent, controlling the gas for the pilot light and the burner. The pilot light valve still needs to be manually turned on and off and the pilot lit with a match on a coat hanger. Some time in the distant past a B60 gas valve, operated with a pilot generator and a milli-volt thermostat, was placed in the gas line in series with the burner valve. (The old valve remains in the line, locked in the open position.)

The furnace has worked well for over 17 years (I only have it on about 3 months each year). This winter I lit the pilot light successfully, but the burner would not light. There is a small amount of gas coming out of the burner and if a burning match is placed next to the burner the first 3 openings will ignite and burn weakly. These openings are at the opposite end of the burner from the pilot.

Operating the thermostat will turn this "flow" of gas on and off with a characteristic "click".

I have been told that it must be the gas valve.

I have also been told if I am getting any gas the valve must be okay (“they don’t partially open”) and the burners must be clogged. From the top of the furnace, I have cleaned all the gas burner ports with a piece of thin metal spring steel. They are clear. From the basement, I have probed the venturi tube through air intake. The tube seems clear up to the burner.

Can anyone help me with this problem: Is it the gas valve or could there be some other blockage between the valve and the burner?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-12-06, 06:39 AM
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Hello Sir and Welcome to the Do It Yourself Web Site.

The B60 gas valve is passing (allowing) gas to flow out in the closed position. The valve needs to be replaced. The valves are non repairable. Only replaceable. Not all that expensive of a part, if the rest of the floor furrnace is in good physical and working condition.

Any gas valve and all gas control valves wearout. The seat that stops the flow of gas is prone to wearout just likel any other part or componet. Replace the B-60 valve and the problem is solved, if all parts are working properly.

Cleanout the pilot assembly during the valve replacement too. Which can be done without any disassembly. Blow the assembly out using a can of compressed air, which can be purchased at any electronics parts store.

Use the reply button to add additional information or questions. Using the reply button keeps or moves the topic back up to the top of the list automatically.
 
  #3  
Old 01-12-06, 08:25 AM
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Question B60 gas valve

Actually, the gas does not come out of the valve when the thermostat is turned "down", only when it is turned "up". The problem is that only a little gas comes out when the valve should be fully open.

Do you think a faulty valve could open only partally and then close completely?

Thanks for your help.
 
  #4  
Old 01-12-06, 02:28 PM
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I believe you will find the problem to be a spider nest in the burner orifice..I have clear hundreds of these little pests. Do not replace any parts until you have investigated the orifice..Does your local gas co provide service calls?
 
  #5  
Old 01-12-06, 07:13 PM
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Unhappy Burner orifice?

Please advise: what do you mean by "burner orifice". As discussed, I have already cleaned all the openings in the top of the burner.

Is there also a small opening in the gas pipe at the other end of the venturi tube, where the gas mixes with air? I suspect that there may be an obstruction there, but can not see or feel that end of the pipe.

Thanks for any help!
 
  #6  
Old 01-12-06, 07:17 PM
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The burner slips over the orifice...It has a small hole and spiders crawl inside and make a web
 
  #7  
Old 01-12-06, 08:24 PM
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Hello: oldfloorfurnace

As we discussed in a PM, based upon your better explanation of the problem description, a spider could be the cause. I agree with mbk3 a spider could be the cause and as I mentioned in my PM reply back to you.

My intial understanding was a small flame appeared when you attempted to light the burner while the furnace was OFF. Such was not correct. The small flames appeared while the burner was suppose to be ON. The B-60 valve would than be opened and not closed in that case.

A spider is the more likely cause based upon the correct facts and my better understanding of the question. Excuse me if I confused you. My error.

The orifice is located exactly where described. You will need to remove the burner and very likely unscrew the brass or bronze orifice out of the gas valve.

Than cleanout the orifice hole and the hole where the orifice screws into. The spider web may be in both the orifice and or the hole where the orifice screws into. The point here is to be sure you have gotten all the web out.
 
  #8  
Old 01-14-06, 10:31 AM
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We have ingition! (and a new problem).

Success!

Many thanks for the suggestions from Sharp Advice and mbk3 that the gas orifice might be clogged or restricted. I was able to run a thin metal wire through the opening. Now the burner ignites fully within seconds!

Cleaning behind the orifice was not practical, as it would have required the removal of the entire furnace from the floor for disassembly. Lets hope the blockage was limited to the orifice and will not become replugged. I will keep a close eye on it.

New Problem:

Now that the burner is working I am noticing the flames at one end are substantially higher than the other - about 6 inches! These are the same three burner openings that were "lighting" when the oriface was clogged, so it looks like they tend to get more than their fair share of the gas. The flames are blue with a small amount of yellow. The rest of the burners have flames about 1 inch high and are blue.

It is possible that this has always been the case, and I am only now noticing because of all the attention I have lavished on the furnace this week. But I am concerned this is not normal.

I did not change the air intake openings and the furnace is level.

Can anyone suggest a cause or cure for this burning pattern?

Many Thanks!
 
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Old 01-14-06, 05:03 PM
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Hello: oldfloorfurnace

The burner is cast iron. Therefore subjected to rusting, corrosion and oxidation. Which will narrow the openings of the slots. Wire brushing the entire burner across the top surface where the slots are cleans them out.

Sometimes, using a hacksaw blade as a slot cleaner works too. The intent is to clean the slots out so each is of equal distance opening for each slot. Doing this creates even flames. Problem now is, that would require you to once agin remove the burner, clean it as described above and reassemble it.

Slightly yellow tipped burners on a floor furnace is not out of tolerances nor likely to produce sooting and/or odors. Simply because there is so much space above the burner in the firebox.

Some such floor furnaces simply burn in that manner and not much of any adjustment will make it different. Okay to leave it as such, if all the slots are cleared out of debris. Some newer model wall furnaces burn exactly the same. Slightly yellowed tipped and all is well.

CO levels are still well within tolerances for these types of newer model wall furnaces, even though visual flame appearances would suggest otherwise.
 
  #10  
Old 03-09-08, 02:02 PM
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Question Similar problem & furnace, different person

I'll call this to the attention of Sharp Advice and mbk3, but any guidance anyone provides will be greatly appreciated!

My husband and I have a 1940, almost 800 sq ft home with the original natural gas floor furnace, made by Ward (my understanding is they don't exist anymore). When we first used the furnace late last fall (we bought the house in April 07), we lit the pilot using the original long handled match holder (not a McGyvered metal coat hanger!), turned on the burner using the original burner/pilot light "adjustment" key, and were warm and cozy through the winter.

The furnace worked until last weekend -- the pilot light is still on, but now when you use the key to "adjust" (open) the valve for the burner, the key turns, but the burner does not come on (leading me to think it's not actually opening the valve for the burner anymore, or? --what else?) In researching this problem, I came across the following words that stand out: Thermocouple, gas valve, B-60 valve, burner orifice, pilot light assembly, spider, spider nest, clean out, gas company, service call. I'll add 2 more: home warranty.

We live in Long Beach, CA, and I know I can call the gas company (which functions under the umbrella of the city of Long Beach services -- Long Beach Gas and Oil) for a service call, which I'm inclined to do before using the home warranty still in effect.

We are starting to see more spiders right now, so the spider nest idea seems plausible, but the problem came on so quickly, I'm not so sure-- one night it worked, the next it didn't (after months of regular use). We do not have a basement, but we do have a raised foundation with a crawl space -- I'm not sure if gas company service personnel would go there (or need to go there?) to diagnose the problem.

My brother owns/runs Climate Control, a heating/AC company in Portland, OR -- I discussed this with him to get help, and he said it would be difficult at best to find parts, which may make repair potentially impossible. He did mention a company that might be able to help -- Williamson; they are still in business and made gas floor furnaces.

Suggestions, comments? Any help or direction you can provide would be great. Thank you! Amy
 
  #11  
Old 03-09-08, 08:14 PM
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If I understand you, this is a manually operated furnace? Correct? If yes, might be the rod is slipping in the valve and not actually opening valve. Or, the appliance regulator may have a plugged vent. Or, just might be a spider in the orifice. And yes parts are still available. Just might be a getting a co to work on this old a furnace. If the answer was no, it does have a thermostat, then we're in another area of troubleshooting.
You may want to consider calling the gas co
 
  #12  
Old 03-11-08, 09:30 PM
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This is a manually operated furnace -- no thermostat. I agree with your inclination to call the gas co. I truly have been under the impression that parts are no longer available. That's good news. How does one go about locating a company that will work on this relic?
Thanks -- Amy
 
  #13  
Old 09-08-08, 10:16 PM
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Similar Old furnace with similar problem except Thermostat

We have a similar old furnace to the original post here and have issues with the B60 gas valve. Our furnace has given us many eons of service without much complaint until last Thanksgiving when we had to huddle much closer together due to no heat being produced. We are able to get the pilot light lit and stable with no problem. However, when we moved the lever from pilot to burner there was a momentary flicker of the burner but no further flame. After a bit of inspection it appears that there is an issue with the thermostatic control. I checked the function of the thermostat switch. It closes and opens appropriately. However, when it closes there is no click at the furnace gas valve when the pilot is lit. I expected this could be due to a thermocouple issue. On inspection of the furnace B60 gas valve I found what appears to be very small hollow copper pipe leading from the side of the B60 valve towards the main burner and pilot valve. However, the pipe was so old and corroded that there was nothing on the other end and I could not locate exactly where it went. My bet is that this is the source of my failure to light issue, a defective thermocouple. Now the question ... Where can one find a replacement thermocouple? I took the remnants to my local ACE hardware and could not find a direct replacement. This seems like the other area of troubleshooting that MBK3 suggested in the previous post.

Am I on the right track? Does anyone know where I can get a replacement thermocouple?
Thanks, drdan_007
 
  #14  
Old 09-09-08, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by drdan_007 View Post
We have a similar old furnace to the original post here and have issues with the B60 gas valve. Our furnace has given us many eons of service without much complaint until last Thanksgiving when we had to huddle much closer together due to no heat being produced. We are able to get the pilot light lit and stable with no problem. However, when we moved the lever from pilot to burner there was a momentary flicker of the burner but no further flame. After a bit of inspection it appears that there is an issue with the thermostatic control. I checked the function of the thermostat switch. It closes and opens appropriately. However, when it closes there is no click at the furnace gas valve when the pilot is lit. I expected this could be due to a thermocouple issue. On inspection of the furnace B60 gas valve I found what appears to be very small hollow copper pipe leading from the side of the B60 valve towards the main burner and pilot valve. However, the pipe was so old and corroded that there was nothing on the other end and I could not locate exactly where it went. My bet is that this is the source of my failure to light issue, a defective thermocouple. Now the question ... Where can one find a replacement thermocouple? I took the remnants to my local ACE hardware and could not find a direct replacement. This seems like the other area of troubleshooting that MBK3 suggested in the previous post.

Am I on the right track? Does anyone know where I can get a replacement thermocouple?
Thanks, drdan_007
The small copper line you mention is a "bleed tube". It's function is to carry the very small momentary gas that is relieved from the B-60 valve to the pilot, so it is burned and no odor is noticed. To verify the bleed tube is plugged: loosen the tubing at the valve and if that is the problem the gas will pass to the burner.
 
  #15  
Old 09-18-08, 09:23 PM
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Thank you MBK3,

Actually, the bleed tube was highly corroded and broken in places. Thus, there was no blockage in the original installation. I unscrewed it from the gas valve and took a look at it and attempted to replace it. However, while attempting to replace it I stripped the threads on the smaller end of the male adapter. Based on the information you have given me I will need to replace this tube with sufficient length such that one end lays close to the pilot light. However, I need to locate the a replacement male-male adapter with the larger end that goes to the gas valve and the smaller end that the bleeder pipe attaches to.

Since, I was not under the house when the operation I described in my original post I do not know if the bleeder tube was properly in place. My guess is that it might have been because the bleed most probably occurs with the manual operation of moving the valve from pilot to burner on. Do you concur with this assumption?

Up to this point the furnace has operated faithfully. I seemed to recall that in the past if the propane tank was low there was an issue with getting the furnace to light. What do you think about this as a possibility? It does sound like a cleaning of the burner orifices could be useful.

Thanks, Drdan_007
 
  #16  
Old 10-14-11, 09:34 AM
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General Controls B-60 replacement

Can anyone recommend a replacement part for a General Controls B-60 valve
(catalog part number B60Y27)?

https://picasaweb.google.com/1126529...80874244634978
 
  #17  
Old 10-14-11, 09:47 AM
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Are you sure the valve is faulty? The old style b-60 we are used to is no longer available. If you need to replace, use either the one below or a combination valve. The combo valve has the "pilot safety, operator and regulator in one. The b-60 does not have a 100% pilot safety or regulator. I would troubleshoot the system very carefully before condemning the gas valve

American HVAC Parts: Privacy Policy
 
  #18  
Old 10-14-11, 09:51 AM
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Please don't revive an old thread with a new problem. It rapidly causes confusion.


Start a new thread, and describe the problems you are having and the reasons you propose for replacing the valve.

And I agree with MBK3 --- the gas valve is rarely the problem. Could be, of course.
 
  #19  
Old 11-06-11, 07:43 PM
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Thanks for the good advice - you guys are a lifesaver

I had the same problem as the original poster here.
My old floor furnace would not fully ignite.
So after reading these posts I pulled it all apart to find spider egg sack and a dead spider up inside the fitting with a little pinhole where the gas comes through..
hard to believe a spider could even get in there.
The guy from the gas company told me I needed a new pilot generator and control valve.
sure glad I found this thread before buying a bunch of unneeded parts..
Many thanks
 
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