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Old 11-18-2010, 02:47 PM   #1
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boiler won't light


I have a Lochinvar gas-fired boiler which won't fire up. At first, I couldn't get the pilot to stay lit, even after installing a new thermocouple. So yesterday, I replaced the gas valve. The pilot stayed lit, and the boiler kicked on, and I thought the problem was solved. The house was warming up, and I went down to the basement to double check for gas leaks. I noticed that the flames from both the pilot light and burner tubes were yellow, at which point I shut the boiler down. I tried to adjust the pilot flame, and no matter what, it still stayed huge and yellow. Now the main burners won't come on at all. Tried to call Honeywell for technical support, and was told that there was no technical support for gas valves!! I'm obviously not getting enough air in the fuel mixture, but the instruction manual that came with the valve gives no help as to how to adjust the mixture. I would think it would come preset from the factory, but I'm not so sure. Don't want to blow myself up, but at the same time, I can't afford to bring in an HVAC guy. I've been a remodeling contractor for 25 years, so I have a pretty good mechanical aptitude. What could I be missing? I don't think it's a gas pressure issue, since the other gas appliances in my home are working fine. Could it be a faulty valve? Any ideas??

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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boiler won't light


Is this a new installation or has the boiler been in use over the years?

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:56 PM   #3
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boiler won't light


Need a manometer to check gas pressure both incoming to the gas valve, and at the manifold.

Is this propane or natural gas.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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boiler won't light


Thanks for the responses. It's natural gas. The Honeywell replacement valve is suitable for both LP and natural gas, but I'm not sure how it's set up from the factory. It came with an adaptor kit, but I don't know whether it's to adapt from LP to natural gas, or vice versa. I don't think it's a gas pressure issue, because the hot water heater and stove work fine. The gas was shut off for a couple of days back in August, but I can't imagine how the pressure would have changed when it was turned back on. Before I replaced the thermocouple, I had a nice bright blue flame, and the tip of the thermocouple was bright red, but the pilot light wouldn't stay lit. Replaced the thermocouple, same thing. Then, replaced gas valve, and though the pilot stayed lit, and the boiler fired up, the flames from the pilot light and burner tubes were yellow and huge, compared to before when it was blue and about an inch and a half long. The thermocouple is obviously not at fault, since after I replaced the gas valve, the pilot stays lit. But the flame is too big, and yellow, and now the boiler won't fire up! When it did fire up, immediately after replacing the valve, the flames from the burner tubes were blue at the very bottom (maybe a quarter of an inch), but yellow above that. The temperature did come up a bit, and I think I can rule out the thermostat. I just can't figure out why the new valve would work once, and now nothing. The yellow flames would seem to indicate too much gas, or too little oxygen. Is it possible that the valve would come out of the factory without having been preset? I tried adjusting the pilot, with no luck. No matter how I turn the adjustment screw, the flame is yellow and bigger than it should be. Even if the pilot light was perfect, though, how would that affect the burner tubes from not igniting? Honeywell doesn't offer tech support for their valves!!
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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boiler won't light


You need a manometer to find out what is going on. guessing and just attempting adjustments without one. is a recipe for injury.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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boiler won't light


Did you actually look at the flame of the water heater. It may be too large also. Sounds like your incoming pressure is too high. Call the gas utility and have them come check the downstream pressure from their meter/regulator. All the valves I have ever seen come for nat gas with a LP conversion kit and not the other way around. Will tell you that on the box. Have never had a valve come out of the box set too high/overfiring.
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Last edited by yuri; 11-18-2010 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:18 PM   #7
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Well, the yellow flame has been resolved. When I removed the pilot gas tube, there was a reducing fitting which goes over the end of the tube that fell out. Found it, replaced it, and now the flame is good and blue, and about the size it was before the gas valve was replaced. I still can't get the boiler to fire up, though. Pilot stays lit, and there are fresh batteries in the thermostat. Now I'm thinking maybe it's an electrical problem. I still don't understand why the boiler would fire up once, even though the gas mixture was wrong, and then not fire up again, now that the gas is right. Has anyone experienced getting a faulty valve right out of the box?
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:35 PM   #8
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boiler won't light


Do you have 24 volts to the valve. It may have fired up once and burnt out the coil if there is a different problem.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:18 PM   #9
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I tried to test the 2 leads that connect to the valve, and got no voltage whatsoever. I assume the leads would be tested, rather than the terminals on the valve itself. Also took off the vent pipe to inspect the damper assembly, and noticed the damper is closed. It can be manually opened, and probably even removed, since the boiler is in an unheated basement in a 100 year old drafty house, so I doubt it's doing much good anyway. Could it be a faulty relay, or maybe a defective gas valve? Temperature is down to 48 degrees and dropping!!! I can't afford a service call, having been unemployed and starving for months! Yuri, what would cause it to fire up once and burn out the coil? Like I said, when it fired up, the flames were yellow, due to my not noticing a reducing fitting falling off the top of the venturi tube. Once replaced, the pilot once again looks normal, but the main burner tubes won't ignite.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapappy View Post
I tried to test the 2 leads that connect to the valve, and got no voltage whatsoever. I assume the leads would be tested, rather than the terminals on the valve itself. Also took off the vent pipe to inspect the damper assembly, and noticed the damper is closed. It can be manually opened, and probably even removed, since the boiler is in an unheated basement in a 100 year old drafty house, so I doubt it's doing much good anyway.

The damper is to save you gas. Manually opened, or removed, it increases your gas usage. It can be manually opened to allow the boiler to work until a new one is installed.

Good chance, that is what is preventing your heat from working.



Could it be a faulty relay, or maybe a defective gas valve? Temperature is down to 48 degrees and dropping!!! I can't afford a service call, having been unemployed and starving for months!
People that are starving. And still have internet service. Aren't starving.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:04 PM   #11
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boiler won't light


Yes, xxxxx, they do. The internet costs $15 a month, and without it I wouldn't be able to research this problem and try to get some heat. Or look for work. How many meals have you missed lately? Try eating 2 meals per week so that you can afford to feed your children 3 meals a day, then you can make any smartass comment you want!!

Last edited by beenthere; 11-20-2010 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Removed improper langauge
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:05 PM   #12
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boiler won't light


If you have a short in the circuitry and it sent 110 volts to the valve it may have burnt out the coil. Now you need a experienced tech who can do some advanced troubleshooting and find out why. Not much we can talk you thru without a whole lot of pics and a wiring diagram here.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:12 PM   #13
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boiler won't light


Beenthere, I just noticed that there was an actual reply to my post, highlighted in red, which I hadn't seen before. I'm an old tradesman, too, been a remodeling contractor for over 25 years. Didn't mean to fly off the handle, but you can't imagine how cranky one can get after more than a year of trying to find work, having your house foreclosed on, and then having no heat. I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars that I don't have, if this is something I can fix myself. I've rebuilt engines, tools, etc., and am pretty good at troubleshooting problems. It's pretty much required in the remodeling business, or what used to be the remodeling business. Anyway, I appreciate your advice, and anyone else's who wants to chime in.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:20 PM   #14
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Edit the xxxxx part from your post and last few sentences and you may get more help.
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Last edited by beenthere; 11-20-2010 at 04:16 PM. Reason: removed inappropriate name from quote
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapappy View Post
Yes, xxxxx, they do. The internet costs $15 a month, and without it I wouldn't be able to research this problem and try to get some heat. Or look for work. How many meals have you missed lately? Try eating 2 meals per week so that you can afford to feed your children 3 meals a day, then you can make any smartass comment you want!!
Your on the line of being banned for 7 days for that kind of language.

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