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Burnham gas boiler pilot not sparking or lighting w/ Honeywell electric Ignition Control Circuit Boa

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allanfan
allanfan Member Posts: 19
Hi,

I have a Burnham Series 2 (Model B) natural gas boiler that stopped working a few days ago. The pilot is not sparking or lighting.

The gas boiler uses Honeywell S8610M electric continuous retry Ignition Control Circuit Board. The Ignition Control Circuit Board is fed by a Honeywell R8285D 5001 low voltage transformer.

When I turn the thermostat to call for heat, I can hear the vent damper turning, so the electricity in is clearly working. But I don't hear any pilot sparking sound and pilot is not lighting.

When I use my multimeter to test voltage on the transformer output, I see only 12V between R terminal & Y terminal. Not detecting any voltage between R & C terminal. Is that normal? Does that mean the Honeywell R8285D 5001 low voltage transformer has likely gone bad?

Thank you.



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Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    You should have 24 volts between R &C on the transformer at all times. Something is funny as the damper works.

    Would like to see a wiring diagram of the boiler if you can post it. Could be a limit or switch in the line voltage wiring.
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    thanks for the reply. I think figure 12 or figure 13 in the attached pdf is likely what I have.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited February 21
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    Not the correct manual. That wiring diagram indicates that you have a Honeywell SV 9500 series valve. That uses a hot surface ignition system to light the pilot. Your are showing us an S8610M ignition system that is not used on the SV9500 series valves. Can you take a picture of the wiring diagram sticker on the boiler itself?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    Here you go. This is on the back of the boiler cover.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    I believe you may be experiencing a problem with the vent damper actuator. Need the actual diagram to determine the problem. You may be getting 24 VAC to the proper terminals until the damper opens. Once the damper opens toy should get 24 VAC to the S8610M at 24 V Gnd and 24 V. If that is not happening then the voltage in the damper is not getting past the circuit board properly. It is getting to the circuit board properly since the damper motor is working. All the controls after that are not working.

    So I would start with your meter on R and C on the transformer with no call for heat. then watch for a voltage change when the call for heat happens, then look for a change when the motor stops and the end switch is supposed to engage the S8610M.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    There is always 24 VAC at R and C on the transformer
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    Let me know what happens with that test from above
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    It also might be the roll-out or blocked-vent switch. Both are wired between the damper and the ignition module.

    Follow the circuit back from the module's 24V terminal and see where you get 24 volts between the circuit and the C transformer terminal. If you get 24V on one side of one of these safety switches but not the other, that switch is open. DO NOT BYPASS EITHER OF THESE SAFETIES!

    If the blocked-vent switch is open, have the chimney checked by a licensed chimney contractor.

    If it's the roll-out, there is a blockage inside the boiler. Call a pro.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    ok, i tried a few times, and here is what I observed:
    When no call to heat, voltage between R & C is < 0.1V.

    When the call to heat happens, there is a change/surge of voltage for a split second, and vent damper motor is clearly working, and damper changes from closed position to open position.

    When I turn off the thermostat, there is another change/surge of voltage for a split second, and the vent damper closes properly.

    Outside of those split seconds (when call to heat first happens and when I turn off thermostat), the voltage between R & C is always < 0.1V
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    Sure your voltmeter is on the proper scale?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    Steamhead said:

    Sure your voltmeter is on the proper scale?

    Yes, showing 1.5v for my AAA battery.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited February 21
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    If you are using the proper R and C terminals on the R8285D 5001 (as indicated in the diagram) low voltage transformer then there is something wrong with the meter. As shown in the diagram, the R and C terminals always have ≈24 VAC when ever there is 120 VAC to the primary side of the transformer. Without the 24 VAC there, the other parts will not work. Not even the damper motor.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • yellowdog
    yellowdog Member Posts: 157
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    Thats DC voltage on a battery. You need to be on the AC scale.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited February 21
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    24 VAC

    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    ar.. you guys are right, i was on DC scale. Fixed now.

    Now I see 27V between R & C when not calling heat.
    And I see 27V between R & 24 V Gnd on S8610M after calling for heat & damper opened.
    and see 27V between R & 24 V on S8610M after calling for heat & damper opened.

    However, seeing 0V between 24V Gnd and 24V on S8610M (after calling for heat & damper opened).

    I have a new S8610M coming this Friday, hopefully replacing S8610M would fix this? Thank you!
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited February 21
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    allanfan said:

    ar.. you guys are right, i was on DC scale. Fixed now.

    Now I see 27V between R & C when not calling heat.
    And I see 27V between R & 24 V Gnd on S8610M after calling for heat & damper opened.
    and see 27V between R & 24 V on S8610M after calling for heat & damper opened.

    However, seeing 0V between 24V Gnd and 24V on S8610M (after calling for heat & damper opened).

    I have a new S8610M coming this Friday, hopefully replacing S8610M would fix this? Thank you!

    Wrong part ordered. The S8610M needs 24 volts to operate. You just tested the voltage to 24V and 24V (GND) and said there is no voltage. That means the new S8610M will also have no voltage. So that control will also not make a spark or open the gas valve.

    I believe you have a defective end switch on the Damper actuator https://www.supplyhouse.com/Field-Controls-46491600-Vent-Damper-Motor-Assembly-Plastic-Base. To test this all you need to do is to connect a temporary jumper between R on the aquastat and the pink wire on the Roll Out Fuse that looks like a porcelain tear drop near the burners.
    . You will find that the S8610 will probably work once it gets 24 VAC to the proper terminals.

    That jumper will eliminate the Damper from the safety circuit. You can leave that temporary jumper in place IF and ONLY IF you can make sure the damper is locked in the OPEN position. If you can not guarantee that the damper will stay open then DO NOT leave the jumper in place unattended


    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    I found the porcelain tear drop thing. Sorry for the dumb question -- By jumping, you mean just connect a temporary wire between R on the aquastat and the pink wire on the Roll Out Fuse, correct? And leaving all other connections no change?

    Also, see attached picture. I see a "Hold Open Damper" switch in my Damper, so I should switch it to "Hold Open Damper" position while I'm waiting for a new Damper to arrive, correct? Thank you very much!
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    Correct and correct
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    en... still not getting voltage between 24V & 24V GND after adding the black jumper... I'll order a new Vent Damper Motor Assembly regardless.

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited February 21
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    What is the voltage reading at the R on the aquastat to the C on the transformer?

    Still have not found the cause yet... is there a Low Water Cut Off installed on this boiler?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    I am not a fan of using the Parts Cannon. I am a fan of, after you replace those parts and you still have the same problem, what will you check next?
    [Answer]
    Then check first.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    You can check the S8610M by using a jumper wire from R on the transformer to 24 V on the S8610M and the C should already be connected to the 24V GRD by a yellow wire.

    That will eliminate all the limits and safety devices. Then if the S8610M still does not spark, then that is a bad control.

    REMEMBER TO REMOVE ALL TEMPORARY JUMPERS AFTER TESTING IS COMPLETED.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    What is the voltage reading at the R on the aquastat to the C on the transformer?

    When not calling for heat, R on the aquastat to the C on the transformer: 0 V
    When not calling for heat, R on the transformer to the C on the transformer: 27 V
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    Still have not found the cause yet... is there a Low Water Cut Off installed on this boiler?

    Don't know. What shall I look for?

    The boiler was in place when we bought the house 11 years ago, never had any issue until last week.
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    You can check the S8610M by using a jumper wire from R on the transformer to 24 V on the S8610M and the C should already be connected to the 24V GRD by a yellow wire.

    REMEMBER TO REMOVE ALL TEMPORARY JUMPERS AFTER TESTING IS COMPLETED.

    I added this jumper, all burners are firing now.... at least I won't be too cold tonight.
    But I still would like to fix the root cause. Any further thoughts?
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    Now that I'm certain S8610M is working, and looking at my diagram again, could it be that I have either a bad flame roll-out switch, or a bad "blocked vent switch"?

    Any way to test either? Thank you!
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    allanfan said:

    Steamhead said:

    Sure your voltmeter is on the proper scale?

    Yes, showing 1.5v for my AAA battery.
    needs to be on an AC scale.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    Think I found the issue.

    When calling for heat, 24V from transform C to one side of this switch, but 0 V on the other side. Do I need a new "blocked vent switch" or a chimney cleaning? Looks like we've never done a chimney cleaning since we moved here about 11 years ago..

  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 975
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    Yes you need to check your chimney. you need to make sure its not plugged and your drafting. You also after making sure its safe to operate (ABSOLUTELY SAFE) reset the switch by pressing the reset button in between the two wires.
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    After removing all temporary jumpers, I pressed the reset button on the blocked vent switch, then the system worked normally for 5 minutes, then it shuts off again. Fair to assume boiler vent needs a cleaning?

    One puzzling thing is that my gas water heater works just fine the whole time. I assume my water heater & the boiler shares the same chimney. Maybe the chimney is fine, but only the boiler vent is blocked?
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 975
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    Could be blocked before it enters the chimney. Does your water heater enter at the same level as the boiler?
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    pedmec said:

    Could be blocked before it enters the chimney. Does your water heater enter at the same level as the boiler?

    water heater exhaust enters the chimney at a slightly higher level.
    Is boiler vent cleaning a DIY or really needs a pro for that? Thanks.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    allanfan said:

    pedmec said:

    Could be blocked before it enters the chimney. Does your water heater enter at the same level as the boiler?

    water heater exhaust enters the chimney at a slightly higher level.
    Is boiler vent cleaning a DIY or really needs a pro for that? Thanks.
    CALL A PRO!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    See my setup w/ water heater & boiler.
    Since water heater worked fine the whole time, so probably blockage is somewhere in the yellow rectangles in the picture?

  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 975
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    Better off with a pro. if you are having a chimney problem your better off having a pro look at it. It could be really bad or it could be minor but the consequences for a real bad chimney could be catastrophic. If your handy you can take the elbow off the top of the draft hood and look in. if its clear then you definitely need a pro

    The reason why your water heater might not be affected is because there is no spill switch on a natural draft water heater. i have had a couple of the instances where animals have nested on top of the chimney. A pro would see something like that. you should put your hand under the draft hood to see if its drafting. trick is to take a lighted match and blow it out so it smokes. put it under the hood to see if it goes up the chimney or back into the room


  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    allanfan said:

    You can check the S8610M by using a jumper wire from R on the transformer to 24 V on the S8610M and the C should already be connected to the 24V GRD by a yellow wire.

    REMEMBER TO REMOVE ALL TEMPORARY JUMPERS AFTER TESTING IS COMPLETED.

    I added this jumper, all burners are firing now.... at least I won't be too cold tonight.
    But I still would like to fix the root cause. Any further thoughts?
    All this proves is that you have a working S8610 control. YOU MUST NOT OPERATE YOUR HEATER THAT WAY OVER NIGHT. That was a test only. That test only proves that your ignition control works. Now remove the jumper and start to find out what is stopping the electricity from getting from the R to the ignition control.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    allanfan said:

    Think I found the issue.

    When calling for heat, 24V from transform C to one side of this switch, but 0 V on the other side. Do I need a new "blocked vent switch" or a chimney cleaning? Looks like we've never done a chimney cleaning since we moved here about 11 years ago..

    Looks like you found what the electrical problem is. The Spill Switch is tripped. So you need to find the cause of the spill switch being tripped.

    The best thing to do in this case is to get a professional Chimney company to find out why the vent is blocked or down-drafting.

    If you have a large exhaust fan in your home (or several exhaust fans operating at the same time (kitchen Draft Hood, Bathroom exhaust fan(s), clothes dryer all operating at the same time that can cause a downdraft. Maybe you had some smoke from your spouse's cooking disaster, or a fire, and you placed a large fan in the window to get the smoke out. I have a woodworking shop with an exhaust fan that pulls all the saw dust outside.

    Think about it like this: Your house is a bottle... if you have a bottle with a hole at the top. (that would be the chimney in your house) and you cut a hole in the side of the bottle (that might be a kitchen fan or a window with a fan) and put an exhaust fan in that hole, then turn it on... What would happen to the air in the bottle? The fan would suck the air out of the bottle. But the bottle would not collapse (a plastic bottle might but a glass bottle would not) Where would the air come from that replaces the air that the fan removed from the bottle? Do you think it might come down the hole in the top of the bottle?

    So you may have a downdraft as a result of mechanical exhaust fans. There are other problems that a good chimney professional can find. I had a customer that never has a downdraft problem for over 30 years. Then the tree next to the house (near the chimney) grew to be 15 feet above the chimney. That caused a downdraft whenever the wind blew from the north west and was blocked by the tree, making the wind blow straight down the chimney.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    allanfan said:

    Think I found the issue.

    When calling for heat, 24V from transform C to one side of this switch, but 0 V on the other side. Do I need a new "blocked vent switch" or a chimney cleaning? Looks like we've never done a chimney cleaning since we moved here about 11 years ago..

    Looks like you found what the electrical problem is. The Spill Switch is tripped. So you need to find the cause of the spill switch being tripped.

    The best thing to do in this case is to get a professional Chimney company to find out why the vent is blocked or down-drafting.

    If you have a large exhaust fan in your home (or several exhaust fans operating at the same time (kitchen Draft Hood, Bathroom exhaust fan(s), clothes dryer all operating at the same time that can cause a downdraft. Maybe you had some smoke from your spouse's cooking disaster, or a fire, and you placed a large fan in the window to get the smoke out. I have a woodworking shop with an exhaust fan that pulls all the saw dust outside.

    Think about it like this: Your house is a bottle... if you have a bottle with a hole at the top. (that would be the chimney in your house) and you cut a hole in the side of the bottle (that might be a kitchen fan or a window with a fan) and put an exhaust fan in that hole, then turn it on... What would happen to the air in the bottle? The fan would suck the air out of the bottle. But the bottle would not collapse (a plastic bottle might but a glass bottle would not) Where would the air come from that replaces the air that the fan removed from the bottle? Do you think it might come down the hole in the top of the bottle?

    So you may have a downdraft as a result of mechanical exhaust fans. There are other problems that a good chimney professional can find. I had a customer that never had a downdraft problem for over 30 years. Then the tree next to the house (near the chimney) grew to be 15 feet above the chimney. That caused a downdraft whenever the wind blew from the north west and was blocked by that tree acting like a giant air scoop, making the wind blow straight down the chimney.


    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • allanfan
    allanfan Member Posts: 19
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    Thank you for the reply. Think i'll need new chimney liners, etc. Feels a costly project...
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    So the Spill switch saved you from running the heater with a blocked vent.

    Make sure you remove all temporary jumpers used for testing.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics