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Utica PEG112DID Steam Boiler Not Firing Super Loud Buzzing

Hi all. My parents Utica PEG112DID steam boiler is not firing. When the thermostat is turned up the damper opens and then a load buzzing noise is heard inside the boiler. The sound is super loud like an alarm almost. As soon as the thermostat is turned back down the noise instantly stops. The same thing happens if the thermostat wires are jumped. It doesn't appear to be coming from the gas valve outside the unit but from within. In looking at the forums, it seems possible that it could be the isolation relay. According to the manual a Honeywell R8222A equivalent. It happens every time the thermostat is turned up, so it's currently not intermittent. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks all!


  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,385
    Hello @heatkev,
    You probably have to take the cover off and see what is making the buzzing sound. Keep in mind the device that is buzzing may be a symptom of some other defect.
    These devices are probably inside the boiler jacket.
    Isolation Relay (if used)
    120V / 24V, 50VA TRANSFORMER

    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • dabrakeman
    dabrakeman Member Posts: 552
    Gas valve going bad can make a real loud buzzing noise. Sometimes will still fire other times won't.
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,833
    Its probably the R8222 relay coil making the noise. It could be a bad coil, or it could be a short or back feed. If you don't have an electrical meter, it's just a guess. 
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,832
    I've heard stack damper motors do this too.

    @heatkev , gas is not a DIY area. Time to call a pro. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • heatkev
    heatkev Member Posts: 3
    Thanks all. I have a meter so can test for a bad electrical component. I'll be by today again to see if I can pinpoint where the noise is coming from. When I was there yesterday it didn't seem to be coming from the valve on the outside of the boiler. The damper open and it also didn't seem to be coming from there. If it was a bad electrical component like the relay, I would feel comfortable replacing it, but definitely not looking at doing anything else.

    My parents have a service contract with Pivotal but the contractor called and never showed up and it's been going on for about a week now. The next option is to have another contractor called in, but that begins the process again which could take up to 4 days for them to show up. If it was something simple was hoping to get them going. Last year they had an issue where there was no power to the furnace and the same thing happened with the service company. It ended up being a bad power switch to the furnace and I was able to replace and get them going again. Thanks for the help everyone.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,637
    If the damper isn't opening all the way the current from the stalled motor could be making the transformer make noise.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,834
    I agree that the noise you describe is probably from the relay, but the relay may not be defective. The wiring to the relay may need some attention. It is possible that there is a dead short in the low voltage circuit. @109A_5 is the self proclaimed "Short Circuit Expert" on this site..

    Consider this. As soon as the relay is energized there is a set of contacts that close on a wire that has melted insulation causing a short circuit. At that time the 24V transformer powering the relay coil then releases the relay coil as a result of the short circuit. Once released the relay energizes closing the circuit to the short circuit again. Then the relay coil is de-energized again and the relay contacts are released. This happens in very fast progression similar to a buzzer or alarm bell. Look for a wire with the insulation melted or chaffed.

    I believe this might help, However, @109A_5 has more insight into this type of problem, so I yield to his superior knowledge on this subject.

    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • heatkev
    heatkev Member Posts: 3
    Thanks everyone for the insight and help today. Stopped by again this evening and it did end up being the gas valve. Swore it initially sounded like it was inside the furnace. It did fire up but the valve just continued to make the loud buzzing/alarm sound and vibrating. Have a professional coming in to look at it tomorrow evening. Thanks again everyone.