Sparker Flame Does Not Catch on my Natural Gas Boiler


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Old 01-12-14, 07:14 PM
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Sparker Flame Does Not Catch on my Natural Gas Boiler

Carrier Model bw2an000105aaaa - about 13+ years old.

I have a lovely video of my sparker igniting the pilot flame which promptly goes out.

Sparker Flame Does Not Catch - YouTube

My guess is that it is not getting enough gas for some reason. I have removed and checked the pilot line that feeds the gas and it seems OK. Perhaps the part that attaches to the pilot line and guides the gas to the sparker is not opening up properly.

I welcome any thoughts on the problem. Also on where to get good parts at a reasonable price.
 
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Old 01-13-14, 09:47 AM
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From 0:00 to 0:45 the ignitor is sparking but there is no flame in the pilot.
At 0:45 your pilot lights up.
At 0:47 the burners light up.

Then what happens? Everything shuts down?

I am not a furnace technician. When my pilot was not working correctly I used a long barbecue lighter to supplement the pilot and found out that the thermocouple was working but the pilot orifice was blocked and produced a weak flame. Your pilot flame looks strong to me (non expert). I wonder if you put a flame to the pilot would it ignite earlier rather than sparking over and over. Again be careful as my advice is as a homeowner not an expert.
 
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Old 01-13-14, 12:19 PM
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At the end of the video, the furnace burners light up and runs normally.

If I stick a BBQ lighter in there while the sparker is running, it starts the furnace without problem.

It think the you may be right that the pilot orifice is not functioning properly. Did you clean it or did you have to replace it?
 
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Old 01-13-14, 05:21 PM
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I was unable to find a manual for your furnace. You should attempt to enter model and serial numbers into search engines to find the manual. It will help you as it has maintenance information and troubleshooting info.

I do not know what your pilot looks like so maybe if you posted a clear picture. On my furnace there is a "carrier three wire pilot assembly" (many pictures online) which I had to remove the pilot assembly as the orifice could only be accessed from the bottom. I cut about 2 inches of bicycle brake cable and peeled a single strand from the cable. The strand was just thin enough to fit in the orifice hole, and I swished it around. After that the pilot was much larger. I did actually buy online, a replacement orifice for $5 or so but have not installed it yet, and probably never will.

Off topic but your furnace may have an old style motor with oil ports that require oiling every 5 years or so. I don't know, my furnace was from 1993 and had oil ports, new furnace motors are sealed and cannot be oiled. I have no idea what you have. Clean the blower wheel while you are at it. Additionally you can remove the burner tubes and dump whatever is inside out, and clean with a wire brush and pipecleaner, I would take the tube outside to do it. You might also inspect the burner orifices with a mirror to see if they are clogged. Another exciting project would be to disassemble the flue and inspect your chimney to see if it is blocked by years of falling masonry from the liner. Put pencil marks across the joints to help you figure out how to reassemble it the way it was.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 06:57 AM
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>I cut about 2 inches of bicycle brake cable and peeled a single strand from the cable.
>The strand was just thin enough to fit in the orifice hole, and I swished it around.
>After that the pilot was much larger.

You just saved me about $330!! Plus I have that lovely feeling of fixing a real problem and learning more about a rather important device in my home. THANKS A MILLION!!

I found that there was a little cone shaped part inside the nozzle that feeds the gas to the pilot. I cut a piece of wire off a wire brush and was able to clean the orifice with it. Afterwards the hole was at least twice the size. Now when the sparker starts, the pilot starts instantly. A thing of beauty to behold.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 08:54 AM
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Experts Grady and someone with the word Texas in their handle told me the secret of cleaning a pilot light.

I hope it wasn't too cold in Canada. With my old furnace I try to run it in September just to see how it works over a cold night so I can get a heads up on maintenance problems. FWIW if you have an older oven it too may have a pilot light. Consider the other maintenance advice I posted, as your furnace probably has other deferred maintenance issues ready to crop up next heating season.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 11:19 AM
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Well I am very glad of the info that has been passed around.

During the ice storm we had late last year I noticed that the pilot was clicking too long so I called in the folks that had been here in early Dec to clean the furnace. They came and said it needed a new electrical cable for the sparker - which it did then because the excessive sparking had cooked it and the spark was all over the place. (The cable was fine in early Dec because I had watched the cleaning carefully. But I now know that the gas orifice on the pilot should have been cleaned and was not.)

Then they forgot about me and I had to keep calling and they finally showed up with the part over 2 weeks later (OK it was New Years and with the ice storm I bet they were swamped), but as you know this did not solve the root problem.

This is when I thought I better dig a little deeper myself and discovered this forum. Silly me, I should have started here!

Now you are inspiring me to clean my own furnace.

>it too may have a pilot light

While I have a gas stove top (with one burner that does not light w/o a BBQ lighter BTW - separate job!) my oven is convection electric. But my gas water heater has a pilot.

Yes indeed I will have another look at the other maintenance info you mentioned.

>try to run it in September just to see how it works

Yes, I have tickler to do the same. This year I looked into a 'high efficiency' unit and concluded that it would be 7-8+ years to pay back because I have radiators and need the more expensive boiler. Anyway, this delayed my maintenance effort. [One question that I never properly answered was, "Does a dirty furnace use more gas?". I know it produces more CO which is not good. Anyway, if I can clean my own furnace then I don't have to debate when to spend the $$ to get someone in to do it.]


Thanks again.

P.S. Perhaps I should post some more photos etc. for others with similar parts...
 
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Old 01-14-14, 11:28 AM
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You have a boiler? I know it's right there in the title....but I never saw it I guess. I think people assumed you had an actual forced air furnace. Not that I'm an expert, but when I saw the Carrier name, thats what I assumed. Didn't know Carrier made boilers...maybe just in Canada?

Down here furnace and boiler aren't interchangeable words.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 11:43 AM
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>Didn't know Carrier made boilers...maybe just in Canada?


It turns out that it was made by Dunkirk, in Dunkirk, NY.

And, now of course, the replacement parts are coming from Mexico.

Cheers.
 
 

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