Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Replace or repair old boiler

Options
This beast has been fairly reliable for past couple decades my family has been in this house. It was here probably decades before that. Some repairmen have ventured to guess it was converted from coal to gas. 
Well, we had to have the gas shut off and back on this week and gas company worker couldn't get our old beast relit. I'm sure it's an easy fix once I can get hold of a repairman on Monday. But I'm wondering if it's time to just finally replace this beast with something more efficient and easier to run. 
One friend is guessing the thermocouple needs replacing. I'm almost certain that was replaced last year. More new parts, or time for new boiler?  Any guesses as to how old this might be? 

Comments

  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
    Options
    Can you post a picture of the nameplate on the top left corner in the front? Also the piping around the boiler.
  • rconkling
    rconkling Member Posts: 50
    Options
    Wonder how much money in electricity you could save just by swapping out that pump!

    MikeAmann
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
    Options
    It was always oil or gas. Is the pilot staying lit when you press the knob and hold it until the thermocouple heats up? The pilot won't stay lit if the thermocouple is bad. Are you sure it has been purged after the gas work?
    MikeAmann
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,950
    Options
    It was converted from oil, not coal, to gas.

    What make is that burner? Never seen one like it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,767
    Options
    I would guess late60s-early 70s on the boiler

    Might be a Roberts-Gordon burner. They make Infared heaters now , think they got out of the residential gas burners

    @Tim McElwain would probably know the burner.

    @BoilerBeast are you aware of the gas is shut off at the burner?
    MikeAmann
  • BoilerBeast
    BoilerBeast Member Posts: 5
    Options
    Here are more pictures of it. 
    The person from the gas company wasn't able to help me relight it. We tried pressimg and holding the pilot for a minute. Maybe needed to hold it longer. There are no instructions of where to put a match for ignition. 
  • BoilerBeast
    BoilerBeast Member Posts: 5
    Options
    I'm nervous to try restarting the burner again myself. It's going to be a cold couple days until i can get someone out here to look at it though.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
    edited October 2022
    Options
    follow the thermocouple(that thin copper colored tube coming out of the valve), that is where the pilot burner is and where you have to hold the match. a bbq lighter or long match will make it easier

    Did you smell gas when you held the knob down (with it in the pilot position)
  • BoilerBeast
    BoilerBeast Member Posts: 5
    Options
    I would guess late60s-early 70s on the boiler Might be a Roberts-Gordon burner. They make Infared heaters now , think they got out of the residential gas burners @Tim McElwain would probably know the burner. @BoilerBeast are you aware of the gas is shut off at the burner?
    The gas is shut off to the burner. There is a lever above where the pilot switch is that is in off position now. Earlier today when the gas company tech was here we turned it off (while gas line was restarted) and then on for a bit while we tried getting burner relit.  After we gave up, we switched lever back to off.
  • BoilerBeast
    BoilerBeast Member Posts: 5
    Options
    mattmia2 said:
    follow the thermocouple(that thin copper colored tube coming out of the valve), that is where the pilot burner is and where you have to hold the match. a bbq lighter or long match will make it easier Did you smell gas when you held the knob down (with it in the pilot position)
    The gas company tech had some sensor probe thingy that clicked to indicate presence of gas. (Not sure I smelled it) 
    The thin copper colored tube went into an opening in the green part that juts out from of boiler. Do i put a match through that small opening the copper tub goes into? Or into round opening on bolier just above that green jutted out thing? Somewhere else?
  • rconkling
    rconkling Member Posts: 50
    Options


    mattmia2 said:

    follow the thermocouple(that thin copper colored tube coming out of the valve), that is where the pilot burner is and where you have to hold the match. a bbq lighter or long match will make it easier

    Did you smell gas when you held the knob down (with it in the pilot position)

    The gas company tech had some sensor probe thingy that clicked to indicate presence of gas. (Not sure I smelled it) 
    The thin copper colored tube went into an opening in the green part that juts out from of boiler. Do i put a match through that small opening the copper tub goes into? Or into round opening on bolier just above that green jutted out thing? Somewhere else?

    Follow the copper line into the burner, when you reach the end you will find the thermocouple and pilot.

    Then follow the instructions.

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
    edited October 2022
    Options
    If you shine a flashlight in that hole at the bottom on the boiler itself, can you see where the end of the thermocouple is? You can open that view port at the top, the little door above the burner and look in with a flashlight and maybe see where the pilot is. Those small aluminum tubes and the thermocouple should end inside there somewhere.

    The end of the thermocouple is a bulb something like this:
    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Baso-Gas-Products-K16BT-36-36-Husky-High-Performance-Thermocouple-25-35mV

    This might be a burner that only @Tim McElwain or maybe @captainco has seen before.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,876
    Options
    It's quite possible the thermocouple is bad again. A test should read between 25-30 millivolts. They're not expensive and shouldn't be too hard to replace. 
    Do not attempt to light it manually. 
    It's also quite possible the tech never saw such an animal and couldn't get out fast enough.
    An upgrade to something like the boiler in the background would be nice. Something at least late twentieth century. 


  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 796
    Options
    It is also possible the gas valve is bad. But that can't be determined until the millivolts of the thermocouple are checked. That could be an old Barber burner or possibly a Sunray.
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 922
    edited October 2022
    Options
    To insure that my next statements are correct I should be there to actually see the burner and related piping. Let me take a stab at lighting this unit. Normally, to light the pilot on that burner, you hold down that button on the larger pilot line, the line to the left as it penetrates the burner housing and hold a match at the bottom of that line right at the burner. If you look closely, that line should have small holes punched into the bottom of that line just after the connection fitting. So, referring to the 2nd picture down, you would hold down that button, just to the right of the automatic gas valve, and light the gas which emanates from that tubing just as it enters the burner where the holes are and at the same time hold down the lever on the gas valve (set to pilot). It will probably take 2 people to light that pilot unless you were born with 3 hands. As soon as the pilot lights, you can let go of the pilot lighting button but continue holding the gas valve lever for at least 1 full minute. That automatic Honeywell gas valve is not what was originally supplied with that burner. It originally had a standing pilot which was easy to light using that "pilot runner", a Baso switch, a single seat auto gas valve or solenoid valve and an individual gas regulator.

    I do not know where that pilot runner gets it's gas supply but it should not be from the gas valve pilot connection. It should have it's own gas supply ahead of the gas valve and be equipped with it's own manual gas cock so you could control the gas supply.

    Hope this helps.
    mattmia2