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Switching to electronic ignition

Tolik Member Posts: 73
Are there savings to converting atmospheric standing pilot system to an intermittent pilot ignition?


  • Captain Who
    Captain Who Member Posts: 452
    I can see my gas meter moving slowly on the 4 revs per 2 cu ft dial with just the pilot light running. How much savings I don't know, but the boilers with the electronic ignition have higher efficiency ratings ........maybe 1 -1/2 percentage points higher.
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Do you leave your car running overnight, because you'll use it in the morning? I sure don't.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
    If the cost of the natural gas is your issue, then by all means look into the possibilities of changing over to an electronic ignition…Contact the manf. of the boiler, for any info they may have….I know Burnham sells kits for some of there appliances...
  • rrwitherspoon
    rrwitherspoon Member Posts: 104
    My standing pilot is great.It leaves me not dependent on HVAC pros in my area who seem more interested in replacement parts than maintanence.Treat consumers like fools. They arrogantly come in and on a purely maintenance call and say oh you need a new gas valve with no rhyme or reason. They just want money for replacement parts. They use fear and ignorance to controI consumers into replacement parts. I have learned to take care of my own system. They are not interested in maintanence.Also my basement is humid so boiler prone to rust and,standing pilot prevents condensation and rust formation. That standing pilot really does not utilize that much gas maybe 2o dollars a year.
  • ToddAK
    ToddAK Member Posts: 4
    The cost of a Honeywell conversion kit (Y8610) is around $600.00 that alone takes awhile to get your payback and does not include installation. If your looking at just saving gas your only looking at around 1% during the heating season. Is your boiler "hot" or "cold" fired, meaning is the boiler always up to operating temperature or does it only heat up when there is a call for heat? This with a basic outdoor reset is where the real savings come into play for a lot less money.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,420
    It also depends on what you have for fuel. If you are running propane and live up here, you could be paying over $6.00 per gallon. That 1000 btu pilot will cost a lot to operate. If you have natural gas, not so much then.
    Also, with a standing pilot, depending on what you are running, which I assume is a water heater, and your chimney height, it does help the draft when it fires.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
    A true pro would not be as you described….Please don’t think all are like that...
  • rrwitherspoon
    rrwitherspoon Member Posts: 104
    I am still looking for good pro like you but in
    Westchester County New York that is the situation
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,232
    edited December 2014
    I love my standing pilot and bimetal strip safety. Well past 60 years old now - a truly zero maintenance Item. I calculated the gas cost once and I don't think it would cover one service call/10 years. Don't want an electronic gadget for this function. I leave it run all summer to keep the moisture out.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    PMJ said:

    I love my standing pilot and bimetal strip safety. Well past 60 years old now - a truly zero maintenance Item. I calculated the gas cost once and I don't think it would cover one service call/10 years. Don't want an electronic gadget for this function. I leave it run all summer to keep the moisture out.

    Are you still driving a 1954 Automobile? I had a 55 Ford V-8 that got 10 0r 11 MPG. Above 60 MPG, it felt dangerous to drive. My old 2001 BMW 325IX got 28 MPG on Interstate Highways. as long as I kept it around 75 MPG. My new 2014 BMW 128I X-Drive with a 4 cylinder turbocharged motor gets 32 MPG if I turn on the Eco-Boost. 29 MPG if I leave it off. Eco Boost shuts off at 80 MPG.

    Just because it is old, doesn't mean it is more efficient and cheaper to run.
  • Binnacle
    Binnacle Member Posts: 126
    edited December 2014
    If the existing control is millivolt (aka thermopile or Honeywell PowerPile) don't even think it. Elegant simplicity incarnate, these controls will keep you warm when the lights go out for the coldest week of the year. Just turn off the pilot in the summer to save the $5-7 a month it costs to run. In the winter pilot heat is absorbed by the boiler (assuming you have hydronic) and is not entirely wasted. With millivolt stick with the original thermostat and skip fancy-but-hackable smart thermostats unless you are up for installing a relay and keeping the original in parallel for the day an ice-storm or hurricane takes out the electric.

    The millivolt here is 50-years-old and appears to have never required service. Bought a spare gas valve and two therompiles in case of failure as parts are gradually become scarce.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
    Myself I would keep that boiler as is for as long as it lasts…I would suggest you have, as all boilers require a working c o detector…Check the chimney periodically, due to the fact there is most likely no spill switch…One other thing you should check is for flame roll out…Thats about all I would worry about…If your safe and comfortable, thats the bottom line
  • pblanton
    pblanton Member Posts: 3
    I know this is an old thread but I was researching this recently and thought I'd chime in.

    My boiler is a four year old Burnham with electronic ignition, which I like for that appliance, because it is used year round for both radiant in-floor heat and hot water. Also the basement room where the boiler is located doesn't really need to be heated more than it is naturally by the ambient heat of the boiler.

    I was however, thinking about converting my 50,000 BTU garage heater to electronic ignition in order to save the natural gas usage from the pilot light. My calculation is that the pilot costs me about $6 per month to run, but I only run it during the winter. Let's call that $36/year for easy cipherin'.

    The electronic conversion kit is currently $240 (https://www.supplyhouse.com/Honeywell-Y8610U4001-Intermittent-Pilot-Control-Conversion-Kit). That'd mean that it'll take about seven years to break even.

    Since the pilot light's heat isn't really wasted seeing as it's in the garage where the heating is needed, I think I can consider about half the cost of running the pilot to be used heating the garage, which pushes out my savings to ~14 years. So no, I won't be converting the pilot light to an electronic ignition but when I replace the heater, then I will definitely get one that has electronic ignition.