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Burnham Independence...chattering relay. What gives?

JohnNY
JohnNY Member Posts: 2,917
edited December 2018 in Thermostats and 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.
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Comments

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,330
    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 Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,931
    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
    JohnNY
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,757
    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 Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,931
    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
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,836
    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
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,760
    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.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,330

    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
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,174
    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 Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,334
    Do you have a wire tie straped around it @JohnNY?
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,917
    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....
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber for Consulting Work
    Or for plumbing in NYC or in NJ.

    Or take his class.