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Steam Boiler Wont Turn On

IMS47IMS47 Posts: 23Member
Ok, so my steam boiler has been working well up until last night. My boiler is only 2-3 years old. It was working yesterday and at some point during the night, it decided to not turn on any more. So, here is what I did in the 15 minutes before i left for work:
Cycled the thermostat - it clicked off, then on again, but boiler didnt fire
Drained enough water out to force the Water Feeder to kick in - nothing happened.

I am thinking it might be something electrical. Its too new that it shouldnt have any internal problems, at least i hope. Anybody else experience this, or have any idea what to test/try next? I am able to work on this, but i need some direction. I attached the IOM of my boiler in case that helps.

Thanks!

Comments

  • EzzyTEzzyT Posts: 834Member
    Have you had the boiler serviced this year?
    Creative Solutions Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Lic #12683
    Co-Owners: Fred Drescher, Jr & Eliezer "Ezzy" Travis
    Marketing & Operations: Dawn Drescher
    201.499.0223
    Follow us on Facebook.
    Check us out on Instagram: creative_solutions519
  • IMS47IMS47 Posts: 23Member
    I had it serviced during the summer, tech said everything looked good. It has been working great since i started using it in October.
  • EzzyTEzzyT Posts: 834Member
    edited November 2016
    What exactly did the tech do as his service?
    Creative Solutions Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Lic #12683
    Co-Owners: Fred Drescher, Jr & Eliezer "Ezzy" Travis
    Marketing & Operations: Dawn Drescher
    201.499.0223
    Follow us on Facebook.
    Check us out on Instagram: creative_solutions519
  • IMS47IMS47 Posts: 23Member
    it was just a basic inspection to make sure all systems were working correctly.
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,972Member
    It could be the vent damper safety switch, the LWCO, the pressuretrol, or the ignition control. Are there any blinking LEDs on the ignition control?

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • IMS47IMS47 Posts: 23Member
    There are no blinking LEDs on the ignition control. I have a vaporstat with a pressuretrol backup that i installed a few months ago that has been working perfectly. How should I go about checking the vent damper safety switch and the LWCO?

    Usually when the thermostat kicks on, i hear the vent damper open up, then i hear the ignition kind of buzz 3 times and the boiler fires up. Right now, when the thermostat kicks on, nothing happens at the boiler.
  • adambnycadambnyc Posts: 258Member
    If the vent damper isnt even moving, sounds like the power to the boiler is off. Did you check the breaker? Maybe the transformer blew out. Do you have a multimeter?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,913Member
    If the feeder kicked on I would assume the boiler has power.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • adambnycadambnyc Posts: 258Member
    whoops. OP comment about "nothing happened" made me think the feeder didnt kick in either
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,913Member
    adambnyc said:

    whoops. OP comment about "nothing happened" made me think the feeder didnt kick in either

    What the crap man? You missed a tiny comment on a public forum while trying to help someone for free? I can't believe you.

    :)

    It happens.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • IMS47IMS47 Posts: 23Member
    Actually, the feeder did not kick on. I feel like there is no power to the boiler, but non of the breakers in my box are tripped.

    Yes, i do have a multi meter
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,913Member
    edited November 2016
    IMS47 said:

    Actually, the feeder did not kick on. I feel like there is no power to the boiler, but non of the breakers in my box are tripped.

    Yes, i do have a multi meter

    If you've got a meter I'd start at the transformer and make sure you've got 120VAC on the primary side and 24-28VAC on the secondary side.

    You probably already know, but be careful, you're dealing with lethal voltage and current levels on the primary side. If you're not confident in being able to do it safely please don't do it.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • IMS47IMS47 Posts: 23Member
    That was my plan of action when i get home. I am comfortable dealing with voltage at this level, anything more and i leave it to the pros
  • adambnycadambnyc Posts: 258Member
    I guess I didnt misread it :p . One last basic thing to check. Is the switch to the boiler on? Some homes have two switches controlling power to the boiler, one on the boiler and one near the top of the stairs? Check the switches.
  • IMS47IMS47 Posts: 23Member
    Yes, i do have two switches, one on the boiler, and one up on a wall behind my washing machine, which is right next to the boiler (dont ask me why). I checked both, and they are both on. There is an odd small box right next to the second switch, that i have not opened. There may be breakers in there that flipped. I will check that as well.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,781Member
    Could that second switch be a SSU device with a plug fuse under a small lid?

    You also might check the blocked flue safety in the draft hood and flame roll out safety above the burners.

    Those may require a manual reset........if so that would indicate some other, possibility serious, issue.
  • skimmerskimmer Posts: 32Member
    Check the damper, there is a switch on it (usually its recessed and easily passed over)... anyway turn the switch to off to bypass the damper and then see if it will start
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,781Member
    Page 14 of the I&O manual show that. Manually opening of the damper for testing purposes.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,913Member
    You would still need to open the damper by hand, that switch just keeps it from closing on it's own.

    Personally I'd meter things out and not play games with the damper until I found out if it's where the voltage stops.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • adambnycadambnyc Posts: 258Member
    Would the damper or any other safety switch keep the LWCO/Autofill from working?
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,127Member
    No, unless the boiler was miswired. Sounds like it's time for a pro. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • FredFred Posts: 7,918Member
    Did you check that small box next to that second power switch? It should swing open and it probably has a fuse inside.
  • j a_2j a_2 Posts: 1,796Member
    Was this a converted boiler and is there a fireomatic and is there a c o detector on the same circuit.....
  • j a_2j a_2 Posts: 1,796Member
    Fyi. No power pretty much has nothing to the recent service of the boiler imop
  • IMS47IMS47 Posts: 23Member
    Ok, so this ended up being an easy fix. I check the two switches, they were good. Opened the small box next to the second switch, and when i did, the boiler kicked on. So i pushed around the wires and the boiler kick off and on. Turns out it was a loose wire. I turned off the breaker, snipped now and stripped the wires, and reconnected it. Everything worked perfect from there on out.

    Thanks for all the help guys!
  • IMS47IMS47 Posts: 23Member
    Steamhead, I am located in Easton, PA. I have a house built in 1900 with the original steam system. Its a Tudor style, two pipe system, with a new boiler installed about 2 years ago (before we bought the house). I think i am in need of your expertise to get it running tip top. Send me a message if you can help.
  • MilanDMilanD Posts: 1,107Member
    edited November 2016
    Bummer on such a day, one before Thanksgiving. Sounds like, from what you are saying, you have no power coming to the boiler. Check electrical connections. If you have nothing on the 120 side, and all your switches are on, check the switches, then check if the breaker didn't go bad. Also, if you are operating off of a sub panel, check it too. You may have had a weird power surge overnight that fried something. I once had 1/2 of my rental unit circuit board go bad and had the HVAC guy figure it out, and not the electrician as AC didn't work and 1/2 of the plugs in the apt. also. I also had a 3 year old pushmatic breaker trip whenever the fridge kicked in... point being, even new breakers can go bad.

    As to servicing, after a few years, even if you blow-down the boiler weekly, gunk can build up in the float-type low-water pump switch. Make sure that is openend up and cleaned at the next service.

    How's your water level now? If the boiler ran low on water, your low water limit switch may have kicked in. But for this, you'd have something led-like blinking somewhere.

    Same goes for the damper. I dealt with this exact thing on one of my hw boilers yesterday. Damper was stuck, and the call for heat was never answered with the flue blocked off. This too would not result in total power loss.

    Do post what it was when it's figured out and good luck!

    (Haha, I just now saw the resolutuon post! All this happened as I was typing. Glad it was a loose wire at the switch. I'm leaving the rest as others may find it helpful when troubleshooting their own issues.)
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