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burner problems???

db32 Member Posts: 4
Forgive me I'm not a heating tech (master plumber) but know a little. Boiler is peerless direct-vent glowplug igntion 165K btu , 4 zone with 1 being storage tank no priority.

Seems that approx 1x month, becoming more frequent now, boiler fires for storage tank and it sounds that all safeties are being prepped(blower, etc), the glowplug ignites but burners dont fire. After turning off/on boiler @ switch it resets and fires normally.

Theres probably an easy check with my mult-meter but my troubleshooting knowledge ends here. Fault in venting? Gas valve?


  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,487
    edited July 2011
    What is the Model

    number of the unit and its Make?

    Is the hot surface igniter also the sensor for microamps?

    It may be that the igniter is all that is wrong, it will light the burner but if it is being used for sensing it may not be sensing properly. If it is not the sensor and you have a separate flame rod, then pull the rod and clean it with some soft clean emory cloth. I am not sure if you know how to check microamps so let us know and we will walk you through it.
  • db32
    db32 Member Posts: 4

    Thanks for the reply Tim. I don't have model or serial # as I'm not on-site at the moment. i am not well-versed with how to check with my meter. I will try to inspect the rod in the meantime and clean if necessary. Thanks again

  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997

    If the burners fail to ignite at all it could be that there is an issue with the gas valve, gas pressure's or the control not opening the valve. Is this a new system or an older system with a problem showing up now?
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    I agree with Ichmb

    I would start with the gas valve.
  • db32
    db32 Member Posts: 4
    The boiler is fairly new

    5-7 years old I think. I didn't think gas valve because it works normally sometimes, then not at all other. All gas valves I've needed to replace comepletly stopped working.

    Was thinking if there was a way to test gas valve for power at the time when it is not working? Wouldn't that eliminate or reveal if the gas valve is at fault? Again I haven't been trained to troubleshoot controls with meter, but have one.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,487
    It makes it a lot easier

    for us to help you if we know exactly what Model we are talking about. Some equipment has negative pressure gas valves some conventional. Everything today is different so once we identify the system on the boiler we can give you proper diagnosis.

    The reason I alerted you to the igniter is that with some control boards in addition to microamps (after the burner fires) the igniter by design when heated will drop in resistance over the warm up time either 17 or 34 seconds. The electronic board needs to see this drop in resistance or it will not allow the gas valve to be powered. The igniter is not that expensive so change it and see what happens. Just make sure you get the correct igniter. I felt because you said it fires sometimes that perhaps you had a chance to check microamps when it was running.

    The other thing I would imagine this system may have a combustion blower and a pressure switch. Get a digital manometer and check your suction/differential pressure across the pressure switch with the blower running.
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