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.

Ignition Control Module vs Ignitor / Cable

ironslice
ironslice Member Posts: 5
How do I know if my steam boiler Ignition control module (Honeywell S8600M) is bad, or if it's the Ignitor/cable? The module is getting 24V but I sometimes randomly don't get a spark. The weird thing is when it happens, if I give the module a bit of a knock/tap, it'll send a spark and the boiler will fire right up.

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,412
    inspect the cable and inspect the electrode. If the cable is chaffed or cracked or burned it can short to ground, the porcelain in the electrode can crack and the spark can follow the crack. If it is old it wouldn't be a bad idea to just replace the cable and possibly the electrode if the electrode can be replaced without replacing the whole pilot burner.
  • ironslice
    ironslice Member Posts: 5
    edited February 3
    So I'm still dealing with this problem intermittently. I replaced the high voltage cable, and also got a new (used) S8600M control module. Neither really seem to have fixed the problem. Actually the new S8600M seemed to work even worse than the old one, could I have gotten a bad module? Everyone online seems to say these are super reliable. And still sometimes I knock on the module or mess with the wires and the boiler fires right up. It'll work for a few days without issues and then it'll happen again.

    The electrode itself seems fine honestly, so I don't think that's it? How do I know if I have a good ground wire?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,914
    You have a loose connection or a bad ground -- or both -- somewhere. May be hard to find, but check all connections and wiring.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,557
    ironslice said:

    How do I know if my steam boiler Ignition control module (Honeywell S8600M) is bad, or if it's the Ignitor/cable? The module is getting 24V but I sometimes randomly don't get a spark. The weird thing is when it happens, if I give the module a bit of a knock/tap, it'll send a spark and the boiler will fire right up.



    Are you related to Arthur Fonzarelli?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    GGross
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,412
    the metal parts back to the control all have to be in good contact or you can run a bare copper wire between the module and the pilot burner.

    if there is a crack in the porcelain of the electrode it will follow that crack to ground instead of jumping through the air.
    Alan (California Radiant) ForbesEdTheHeaterMan
  • ironslice
    ironslice Member Posts: 5
    edited February 6
    Alright I'm starting to agree it's a grounding issue. I just now heard it start up twice (Main Valve fully open and boiler lit) and then immediately shut off. But I went down there and checked and there's still 26V everywhere there's supposed to be. That being said it seems like once it's running it runs reliably, this only seems to happen right at initial startup or shortly after.

    Everything seems connected just fine, and I recently had a technician come here and he checked all the wiring too... I don't see any cracks on the Ignitor, where would the ground be failing a few seconds after main valve ignition?
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,341
    Hello @ironslice,
    ironslice said:

    So I'm still dealing with this problem intermittently. I replaced the high voltage cable, and also got a new (used) S8600M control module. Neither really seem to have fixed the problem. Actually the new S8600M seemed to work even worse than the old one, could I have gotten a bad module? Everyone online seems to say these are super reliable.

    " new (used) " ??? You probably bought someone else's intermittent problems. They all work great until they don't. Probably poor aging solder joints in the module.

    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,412
    Does it fail to spark or does it fail to prove flame once it lights and lock out?
  • ironslice
    ironslice Member Posts: 5
    Two separate issues - the main one is that sometimes it will just not be on and going down and turn the power on and off doesnt restart it, until I mess with the S8600M and then it'll fire.

    Second issue is that sometimes it'll start up fully, run for 10sec and then shut off (this seems to be more rare), but I was wondering if they could be related.

    I ordered a new S8610M, we'll see if that helps this time.
  • ironslice
    ironslice Member Posts: 5
    edited February 18
    Just an update in case anyone else is having the same problems - a brand new S8610M finally fixed it!
    109A_5