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Boiler Firing Often..

Well I just bought this house and it has a Edwards Engineering low pressure boiler system with baseboard heating elements. It is a three zone system. It constantly fires all the time. It fires on for about 5-10 seconds and turns off, only to fire right back up for another 10 seconds or so. Is this normal? I would think that it should just kick on until the water heat gets up to temp and then kick off, but not every 10 seconds or so. The pump continually runs and pumps the hot water around, my only problems is the constant cycling and the smell of gas that comes with it every time it fires.

Thank you for your time..



  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    edited October 2012

    That is not normal! Something is wrong. I'm not completely familiar with that system, but there could be a faulty control or safety.
  • Michaelwhit83
    Michaelwhit83 Member Posts: 11
    edited October 2012
    Here is what it does.

    I have included a video for you to see what it is doing. Thanks for the quick reply by the way..

    You can view the video at at http://www.indianaoutside.com/myvids/VIDEO0029.3gp
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    That does not look healthy. Lots of roll out on the initial firing. Is there any record of maintenance. Looks like there is a lot of debris under the burner.

    Is there a model number? Can you take a few more pictures of the gas valve and controls?
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    edited October 2012

    I'm still thinking a faulty limit or safety. Trouble is...which one?

    Could be a dirty or weak aquastat. The spark module may be getting a weak signal.

    Where are you located? A boiler tech could disgnose this easily in person, by checking all of these things.
  • Michaelwhit83
    Michaelwhit83 Member Posts: 11

    I live in Indiana, luckily I have a home warranty, I think I will see what they can do for me before anything, maybe I can get a new boiler out of the deal haha, or at least some new replacement parts, until I can afford to put a more efficient boiler in the house. Any recommendations for a good but affordable system because I believe this one will need updated?
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    Be Careful

    With home warranties, the guy is usually the cheapest and least experienced plumber around. Not saying always but generally. Your system needs a complete service period.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,467

    J-star is on the right track with the cycling.It is likely an inexpensive electrical issue. The flame roll out also needs to be addressed.

    You are correct  that you should be shopping for a new boiler. If not now, you will need one soon enough.

    On the budget side of things a small cast iron unit  should serve you well. If you can swing it, a mod/con would pay off in the long run.

    Your existing boiler is almost certainly over sized. Be sure your installer does a heat loss calculation. If you are looking for a rough maximum boiler size, add up your lineal feet of baseboard and multiply by 600. Compare this number to the output rating on the boiler.No matter how big a boiler you put in that is the maximum you  can distribute to the house. The design calculation will likely be less.

    Sizing the boiler bigger than this is kind of like picking up groceries in a dump truck. You can do it, it's just not very practical.

    Best of luck,

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Michaelwhit83
    Michaelwhit83 Member Posts: 11

    Thanks for the information guys, I will take all of it into consideration and I will probably be buying a newer more efficient boiler mainly because we just moved in and plan on living here for a long time and it will give me piece of mind. The house is 2400 sq ft. and the boiler now is pushing 155,000 btu. When I did my measurements I came up with something like 106,000 btu but I want to leave that to a professional on the size I need. I have a guy coming to look at it tomorrow and I will let you know what the verdict is.

    Thanks again,

  • HeidiH
    HeidiH Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2013
    Old system, maybe air and dirty sensors

    We just bought a house too (1960's). We got baseboard and radiant floor mix. What I first noticed was a loud gurgling noise coming from the radiators (air in system) and then I noticed the boiler firing constantly like yours and that the flame pattern looked off. Also noticed the smell of gas like you did. I also noticed there was some corrosion near the air eliminator valves.

    Because I wasn't that familiar with hydronic systems I ordered a boiler tune up. I got an Angie's list deal for it, so it didn't cost me that much, and the guy who showed up knew what he was doing. What was wrong with the system was that air was trapped due to faulty air eliminators (I have two), and by replacing one the sound is gone from the radiators ---> air is purged out automatically. The guy charged me extra for the eliminator (and by extra I mean EXTRA), and when I saw him replace that I felt a little taken for a ride. It is really simple to replace it. Watch a youtube video. You just pop it out and put in a new one.

    With the boiler he cleaned the sensors basically. And that fixed all the problems with that. The benefit of having a pro to look at is, that you learn to do this on your own, it is not that hard to do this either and that you can ask dum questions for his amusement, like where is the filter located. ;) You cannot do that with youtube.

    I hope this helps.

This discussion has been closed.