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Burnham Independence...chattering relay. What gives?

JohnNYJohnNY Member Posts: 2,541
edited December 2018 in Controls
Just got my third "chattering relay" in about a month. All newer boilers. Does anyone know what causes this? I'm on my way to go check it out but it seems more common lately yet it's such simple wiring.
For troubleshooting and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
"72°F Mechanical, LLC"
Or email John at [email protected]
John is the Boilers and Hydronic Heating Systems Course Instructor at NYC's Mechanics Institute, a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
For residential service and installations in New Jersey, please see Toro Plumbing & Mechanical and fill out our contacts page, upload pics, and submit, or call (973-672-1000).

Comments

  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 6,115
    What are you using for a switch?
    Does it chatter if you jump the switch?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,799
    Check all your voltages, @JohnNY -- most times when I've hit a chattering relay it's because the voltage isn't quite up to what it should be when the relay is trying to draw in. It can be a transient thing.

    And it may well be new, and real -- it's possible that the relay was changed and requires a slightly higher voltage or has a higher pull in current draw.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    JohnNY
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,659
    The power goes into the low water cut off then through the limit and then to the relay term.#3 and waits for the tstat to call. When that happens power goes through relay via term. #1 to damper and then to spark ign. The only thing talking to the relay is the tstat.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,799
    Which leads me to wonder -- is there any relationship to the thermostat? Or to look at it another way -- if you short the thermostat wires, does the relay still chatter?
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,332
    edited December 2018
    Did you meter out the relay? Is it getting a respectable voltage to the coil? Is the coil rated for AC?
    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
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,356
    edited December 2018
    I would jumper the t-sat connections at the boiler.....also with the t-stat calling, IIWM, put an ohm meter on the disconnected R-W at the boiler. Something there could be substandard.

    Or when the vent damper engages it drops the 24V so much that the relay drops out, recovers and tries again.
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 6,115

    Which leads me to wonder -- is there any relationship to the thermostat? Or to look at it another way -- if you short the thermostat wires, does the relay still chatter?

    That is what I meant by switch. Is the t-stat wired to the boiler or is a zone valve, zone controller?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,605
    Yeah, check for low voltage, especially when lots of loads are trying to start; but also look carefully at any electronic stats, the kind with SCRs instead of relays. You'll know them because they don't click. Electrically, they're two back-to-back diodes that can be turned on & off. What I've found once or twice is one of the diodes failed shorted, resulting in pulsing DC being applied to the contactor. Sounded horrible!
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Member Posts: 1,289
    Do you have a wire tie straped around it @JohnNY?
  • JohnNYJohnNY Member Posts: 2,541
    Thanks a bunch, guys. This one turned out to be the insulation on one of the wires to the spill switch was torn and it was making contact with the boiler jacket. Oddball problem. Caught it and spliced it back together.
    Annoying....
    For troubleshooting and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F Mechanical, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is the Boilers and Hydronic Heating Systems Course Instructor at NYC's Mechanics Institute, a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
    For residential service and installations in New Jersey, please see Toro Plumbing & Mechanical and fill out our contacts page, upload pics, and submit, or call (973-672-1000).

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