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Buzzing/vibrating flue damper

Zipper13Zipper13 Member Posts: 33
The damper is buzzing. I suspect something shorted or broke.

Is this an emergency call to a plumber? is it dead? Something I can replace on my own?

Gas Burnham steam boiler. field controls gvd - 6
New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch

Comments

  • Zipper13Zipper13 Member Posts: 33
    I ended up 'helping' the damper rotate with a pair of pliers and now it cycles fine - though perhaps a little slowly - on its own. Maybe there was some crud stuck in there that just needed a little push to clear.

    My plan is to buy a spare to have on hand when it fails for good. Looks like it's a straightforward plug and play swap out, no?
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 1,734
    Yes you can get a Fields Controls direct replacement.
    In the meantime, once the damper is open, flip the little switch on the damper motor to stay open.
  • Zipper13Zipper13 Member Posts: 33
    Oh ok I'll lock it open with that switch. Thanks for suggesting that for peace of mind while we get out of town for a few days and will be unable to help it open/close if it got stuck again.

    Does locking the damper open come with any risk or potential for damage? At least as a short term work around.
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 1,734
    The damper is an efficiency thing. Keep heat it the boiler rather than up the chimney on the off cycles.
    It's not really needed but will lose some efficiency without it.
    If the boiler has a standing pilot, make sure the hole in the damper is NOT plugged. Only use the plug cap if electronic ignition.
  • Zipper13Zipper13 Member Posts: 33
    Thanks all for your input. After locking it open last week while I waited for the replacement, I swapped the unit out yesterday and its working fine now.
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
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