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Burnham Steam Boiler 1979

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RonCar
RonCar Member Posts: 3
Hey guys,

   We have, what I believe to be, a 4 series unit that is in pretty decent shape. We just bought the house a year and a half ago and just hit our first issue. It has 2 pilot lights, and the one on the right has gone out. It doesn't connect to the box that has the button to push gas through it to get it lit. It passes to a 2nd box that just has the switch and what I'm guessing connects to the thermostat. I'm assuming that the thermostat would trigger the other pilot to kick on in order to heat.

I'm sure you have noticed there are a lot of.. assume and guesses going on in this process. Outside of purging the water to keep it clean, I don't know how this works.

Any pointers?

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  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,844
    edited March 7
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    The red button on the box that is not the gas valve is the button that you push to light the other pilot. Hold the red button down for 30 seconds after you light the pilot.

    If the pilot does not stay lit after you release the red button, then you may have defective thermocouple.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    RonCar
  • RonCar
    RonCar Member Posts: 3
    edited March 7
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    That was my assumption also. But what's interesting is the gas line to the right pilot light doesn't run to that box. It runs underneath the box with the gas valve. They don't appear to be connected otherwise. The center photo shows where the gas line to the 2nd pilot connects. The first photo, you can see the gas line in, and 1 gas line out to the 1st pilot that is lit.

    I had held down that button and tried lighting it on several attempts with zero flame. 
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    @RonCar , that must be a fairly large boiler to need 2 pilots. The box with the red button is a BASO pilot-safety switch that only controls the left pilot. It interrupts the 24-volt current to the main gas valve (to the right in the pic) so the burners cannot come on if that pilot is out.

    The pilot safety for the right-hand pilot is built into the main gas valve. At the top of that valve is a beige knob that is marked "off, "pilot" and "on".

    Turn off the power to the boiler. Rotate the knob to the pilot position and press down on the same knob. This should feed gas to the pilot so you can light it. Once it is lit, hold the knob down for 1-2 minutes. When you release it, the pilot should stay lit.

    If it does, put the roll-out shield back on (that you removed to get to the pilots) and turn the knob on the gas valve to the on position. Turn on the power and the boiler should run normally.

    If this procedure does not work for whatever reason, it's time to call a pro. Gas is not a DIY thing.

    It's probably best to have a pro take a look at that boiler anyway, since you're relatively new to it. I also noticed some rusting on the base to the right of the burners, which may mean the boiler has leaked. The Series 4 was a very good boiler, but it could be 40 years old or so. No boiler will last forever. If you tell us where you're located, we might know someone who could help you.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • RonCar
    RonCar Member Posts: 3
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    Finally called someone in. Needed a new coupler.