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Should I stock a spare igniter and flame sensor for my Knight Boiler?

Llaves Member Posts: 6
I've got a Knight KB80 that's provided great service for about 10 years. However, I live almost 3 hours from the closest place that might have spare parts (Albuquerque), and I'm not sure anyone is stocking Knight parts there.Winter overnight lows are routinely in the negative teens (°F), and as low as -35°. On the other hand, the house is rammed earth, so it does have huge thermal mass and the hydronic system has glycol, so there's no risk of freezing.

The other slightly complicating factor is that I'm burning raw (unprocessed) well-head gas. I checked with Lochinvar before using the gas and they OK'ed it based on the gas analysis I sent. I've cleaned the sensor and igniter every year and there's no substantial buildup - just light surface deposits that I suspect occur with "normal" gas.

Given our remoteness I tend to keep spare parts on hand. Am I being paranoid to keep a spare igniter and sensor sitting around? Or are there other parts I should worry about more?


  • NYplumber
    NYplumber Member Posts: 503

    Due to the nature of the beast, murphys law dictates when the equipment goes down, it wont be either of those parts. There is a fan, board, sensors, etc. Better off having a whole separate heat source. Get a budget cast iron boiler, ductless heat pump, or a plain old wood stove.
  • Llaves
    Llaves Member Posts: 6
    Murphy's law? Really?

    Presumably some parts fail more frequently than others, either because they are more vulnerable to wear, are fragile, are subject to greater stresses, etc. If you could look at the Lochinvar's sales volume for various parts, you could even estimate failure rates. You don't stock your truck with every part for the units you service, but rather the parts you have to replace most often. And that's my question - do the igniter and the thermal sensor have higher failure rates? The fact that they are so accessible and called out for annual maintenance suggest they might be items of concern.

    And while I'm sort of belts and suspenders about a lot of systems around the house (ie, I even have a spare pump for the domestic water supply), I find your suggestion of a spare boiler a bit much. It's not like it's readily installed if something fails on the Knight, unless it's a duplicate. And having two installed - well, that's really too much unless it's a life-support critical situation.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,580
    Help yourself

    the spark igniter and sensor are not really something that goes that often. Taking them out once a year and cleaning is all that is usually required.

    You could contact Lochinvar and finds out if they have a pats kit available with parts that typically fail. A lot of companies make these available to service techs for truck stock. I am not sure if they would sell you one however.
  • Llaves
    Llaves Member Posts: 6

    that's what I wanted to know. Thanks
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 996
    edited June 2014

    We have installed hundreds of Knights. Typicaly, it is an air switch, flame rod or an ignitor that are replaced. The ignitors do wear! Enclosed is an example of massive wear!