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Burnham P209 electric/intermittent pilot igniter replacement?

discman017
discman017 Member Posts: 16
edited May 25 in Gas Heating
Hello all! We have an ancient (30+ year old) Burnham P209 boiler. We figure it has to be on its last legs, but it's been super reliable for us. We woke up this morning to the boiler clicking, trying to ignite, and a smell of gas, but no heat.

I took out the burners, cleaned everything out, checked the orifice. Everything looked fine, but I couldn't get it to ignite. This time, at least it tried for a few seconds and then shut off, rather than clicking away.

The igniter rod was bent so I took a shot at bending it back, figuring I probably needed to replace the whole assembly anyway. It snapped, and now I need to replace the assembly.

Trouble is, I can't figure out what the replacement part is. Mine looks like this, with a separate igniter rod and sensor rod:


I pulled out the ancient instruction manual and found the part:


It's supposed to be Honeywell Q348A1002:


But that part number just has a single igniter/sensor: http://www.myerscontrols.com/products/page/hon.q348a1002

I also see a Honeywell "universal" intermittent pilot, but it also has the combined igniter/sensor:
https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-Q345A1305-Target-Pilot-Burner/dp/B008HOXJ40

Is there some way to make one of these work with my separate igniter and sensor wires? Or is there a different igniter assembly that I haven't found yet?

I do see the Honeywell Q3481B1206, which at least looks like it has space where I might fit my existing sensor rod: https://www.ebay.com/itm/283464582447

Would this one work, or do I need something else?

Thanks so much for any help!

Comments

  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    edited May 24
    If it helps, I have the Johnson G600AX-1 controller, which has separate connections for the igniter and sensor. So it seems I'm looking for a two-rod pilot assembly.

    I called up both Burnham and SupplyHouse and gave them the serial number of my boiler, and both told me that 106125-01 is the part number I need, but this seems to be a single-rod assembly. Is there some way to make the two connections that I need to the controller?

    Thanks again for any help!!
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,321
    edited May 24
    This may be your only alternative
    http://bostonheatingsupply.com/q3452c2082.aspx

    otherwise you may need to use the one one wire type and redo the control system with new controller(s)

    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    edited May 24

    This may be your only alternative
    http://bostonheatingsupply.com/q3452c2082.aspx

    Thank you so much!!! I see one of that part on eBay for $50: https://www.ebay.com/itm/203958348578

    I definitely would like to avoid buying a new controller, so this looks great!

    I see the orifice on that part is .018 whereas mine is .022. Does that matter?

    And do I need some sort of adapter to connect it to the spark-plug-style connector on my Johnson G600AX-1 controller?

    Thanks again! You're a life saver!!
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    Now I'm rethinking this. If these two-rod pilots are so hard to find, maybe it's time to modernize my controller. Also I'm concerned that when I woke up in the morning, the gas was running while the pilot was continuously trying to light. It seems that behavior could indicate a controller failure.

    I'm looking at the Honeywell S8610U controller. Looks like page 7 of the manual has a clear diagram on that maps the G600 series wiring to the S8610U: https://documents.alpinehomeair.com/product/S8610U3009 Installation Instructions.pdf

    So rewiring doesn't seem hugely complicated. And then I can use the recommended 106125-01 pilot assembly or one of the other single-rod assemblies that seem to be standard these days.

    Does this seem like a better route than replacing the two-rod assembly?
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 198
    what ignition control module are do you have? depending on the module. on non-100 percent shutoff modules, the igniter continues to spark and pilot gas continues to flow as long as there is a call for heat.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,726
    Poke around in what Baso has too, might have a suitable assembly.

    Most likely the pilot burner was dirty so it wasn't flowing enough gas to light or mixing it with air right. It is also possible that the gas valve is bad. Could be an issue with the gas system in your house not having enough pressure from the utility too.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,425

    Now I'm rethinking this. If these two-rod pilots are so hard to find, maybe it's time to modernize my controller. Also I'm concerned that when I woke up in the morning, the gas was running while the pilot was continuously trying to light. It seems that behavior could indicate a controller failure.

    I'm looking at the Honeywell S8610U controller. Looks like page 7 of the manual has a clear diagram on that maps the G600 series wiring to the S8610U: https://documents.alpinehomeair.com/product/S8610U3009 Installation Instructions.pdf

    So rewiring doesn't seem hugely complicated. And then I can use the recommended 106125-01 pilot assembly or one of the other single-rod assemblies that seem to be standard these days.

    Does this seem like a better route than replacing the two-rod assembly?

    The S8610U can be used with either single-rod or 2-rod pilots. No need to switch pilot types.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    pedmec said:

    what ignition control module are do you have? depending on the module. on non-100 percent shutoff modules, the igniter continues to spark and pilot gas continues to flow as long as there is a call for heat.

    It's the Johnson G600AX-1 module.

    When I turned off the power to the boiler and turned it back on, it sparked for maybe five seconds and then shut down. That's what made me think it was supposed to shut off if the pilot couldn't light.
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    Steamhead said:


    The S8610U can be used with either single-rod or 2-rod pilots. No need to switch pilot types.

    Yeah, I was thinking of switching to the S8610U so that I could replace my broken 2-rod pilot with a single-rod, since those are more readily available. But maybe I'm just better off to go with a 2-rod pilot for simplicity. I've lived in the house for 11 years and replaced a lot of parts of my boiler system, but never the pilot, so hopefully it's another 11 years or more before I'm doing this again.
  • G Averill_2
    G Averill_2 Member Posts: 48
    If you would like to, list the serial number of your boiler. I will look it up on the Burnham website and if available yet it will list both the Burnham part number and many times the OEM name and their part number.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 198
    the g600ax is a non 100% lockout. explains the pilot gas still coming.

    doesn't this ignition control sit directly on the gas valve? had a bunch of furnaces that i use to service and if i remember right ( lennox, i believe) would use these due to limited space inside the burner. mounted on the gas valve protected it from the heat of the burners. its been a long time.

    never saw a Johnson ignition control on a Burnham boiler i have been doing this a long time. wonder if somebody mongrel the ignition system with the johnston ignition control.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,726
    Is this your card. Er pilot assembly?
    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Baso-Gas-Products-J992LYW-7125-Pilot-Burner-Assembly-w-L-Shape-Bracket-Y-Tip

    You can buy the flame rod to screw in there separately.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,726
    ER, the catalog
    https://reader.mediawiremobile.com/BASO/issues/207705/viewer?page=146
    crosses your number to this:
    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Baso-Gas-Products-J991LYW-7225-Pilot-Burner-w-025-Dual-Orifice-Natural-Gas

    I don't think that is a picture of the actual part because you can see that part is like your burner in the catalog. It looks like you have to buy the flame rod separately. Try looking for the part number of 11h in the catalog.
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    mattmia2 said:

    Is this your card. Er pilot assembly?
    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Baso-Gas-Products-J992LYW-7125-Pilot-Burner-Assembly-w-L-Shape-Bracket-Y-Tip

    You can buy the flame rod to screw in there separately.

    Yes! That looks just like mine. AFAIK, nothing's wrong with my flame rod, so I could just reuse that.

    Based on a previous recommendation, though, I just ordered this one on eBay this afternoon: https://www.ebay.com/itm/203958348578

    That should work fine too, right?
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    pedmec said:

    the g600ax is a non 100% lockout. explains the pilot gas still coming.

    doesn't this ignition control sit directly on the gas valve? had a bunch of furnaces that i use to service and if i remember right ( lennox, i believe) would use these due to limited space inside the burner. mounted on the gas valve protected it from the heat of the burners. its been a long time.

    never saw a Johnson ignition control on a Burnham boiler i have been doing this a long time. wonder if somebody mongrel the ignition system with the johnston ignition control.

    Thanks for explaining the pilot gas continuing to run.

    Your theory that this isn't the original controller makes sense. That probably explains why Burnham is giving me a pilot assembly part number that's incompatible. They're assuming the original controller.

    Here's a snapshot of the controller, along with the gas regulator. It doesn't seem like it was installed due to space constraints:

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,726
    edited May 25
    I don't see why that wouldn't work. might have to adjust the pilot regulator to get the right flame size. I would unplug the main valve until you get the pilot lighting reliably. You can try lighting it with a bbq lighter if the spark doesn't light it. disconnect the main valve so it doesn't light the main burner with your hand in there.

    The insulator could be cracked so the spark is shorting to the frame through the ceramic instead of jumping where it will light the pilot

    you can reuse the flame rod but they are a wear item so it is best to replace it when you replace the rest of it

    I think the way that spark control works is the spark coil is always on during a heat call and once the pilot lights the flame conducts and shorts the spark out
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 198
    damn, dont know whats going on there. never seen that set up. maybe take the pic from further away
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    pedmec said:

    damn, dont know whats going on there. never seen that set up. maybe take the pic from further away

    Sure, here's another one. You can see that I removed the pilot burner and the wiring to the pilot, but otherwise, this is the operational setup, which worked until a few days ago:


  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    mattmia2 said:

    I don't see why that wouldn't work. might have to adjust the pilot regulator to get the right flame size.

    Adjust the pilot regulator? These things have adjustments? I had no idea! Thanks! Maybe I should have tried that first, before breaking the igniter. :)

    The adjustment is on the gas regulator somewhere, I assume?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,726
    Find the instructions for the gas valve, it is on there somewhere. My guess is that the old pilot either had the orifice partly clogged or part of the pilot burner itself was dirty. you could have low gas pressure to the house too. are there other gas appliances and are they operating correctly?
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    mattmia2 said:

    are there other gas appliances and are they operating correctly?

    Nothing else runs off gas. The boiler has run fine for the 11 years that I've lived here, and decades before that. I do smell gas when it's trying to ignite, so some gas is getting released. I also checked the orifice, and it was completely clean. Maybe something else was dirty, but I tried to clean everything thoroughly, and it still wouldn't ignite.

    So I don't know. Now that I broke it, I need to replace it anyway, so at this point I'm hoping that the new assembly corrects whatever the issue was. Just glad this is happening in May and not January. :)

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,726
    Could be a problem with the service regulator and you don't have enough gas pressure in the house too.

    Did you see the spark at the end of the electrode? If you have good spark in the right place then it is time to start checking pressures or find a good tech.
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    mattmia2 said:

    Could be a problem with the service regulator and you don't have enough gas pressure in the house too.

    Did you see the spark at the end of the electrode? If you have good spark in the right place then it is time to start checking pressures or find a good tech.

    No, I didn't see a spark at the end of the electrode. I did hear the clicking like it was trying to spark. So I'm hoping the new pilot assembly fixes it. I'll let you know! Thanks for all your help!
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16

    This may be your only alternative
    http://bostonheatingsupply.com/q3452c2082.aspx

    Hi again Ed! I wanted to say thank you for finding that part for me! Ordered one from eBay and it arrived today. The spark and sensor connectors were pretty easily modified to work with my controller. Pilot lit up perfectly first try! We now have heat! My whole family thanks you!!
    mattmia2Erin Holohan Haskell
  • discman017
    discman017 Member Posts: 16
    mattmia2 said:

    Could be a problem with the service regulator and you don't have enough gas pressure in the house too.

    Did you see the spark at the end of the electrode? If you have good spark in the right place then it is time to start checking pressures or find a good tech.

    The new pilot assembly fixed it. Thanks again for your help!!
    mattmia2