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Old 10-13-2013, 09:32 PM   #1
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Gas boiler won't fire, circulator won't run


I am trying to troubleshoot a problem w/ my gas hydronic heating system.

I had the pilot shut off for the summer, pilot lit up ok.
however when I turn the knob to on it's not firing up which usually it will just fire right up to get the water up to the normal temp (180)

I also noticed that when I set thermostats to on I don't hear the zone valves open, usually i'll hear a click a few minutes after a thermostat calls for heat.

and if I manually force them open it doesn't turn the circulator on either.


I did some research on it and some people have said to look for a reset button on the controller (Honeywell) but i'm not finding any reset button.

Any ideas?

I have a multimeter but i'm not really sure where I should be looking for voltage.

One thing I should mention is we had an old heating unit in a garage area that had never worked since we bought the house, it has it's own zone valve. we remodeled the area and took the heating unit out of there, currently we don't have anything hooked up to that zone valve. I'm not sure if that would really matter or not. the zone valve is hooked up and the wire that was going to the thermostat of the broken unit was cut and has electrical tape around the end.

Also I had killed the power to the heating system when we were taking that unit out a few months ago and forgot to turn it back on. I did check that it is turned on now but when I was originally trying to fire it up the power was off.

this boiler is pretty old, I bought the house 4 years ago and it's the original boiler that was put in the house from 1984.

if it's an expensive fix i'm probably just going to buy a new boiler, I don't want to throw a lot of money in to an almost 30 year old system but if I can fix it for cheap I wouldn't mind putting off replacing the boiler if I can.

thanks!

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Last edited by mikenri; 10-13-2013 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
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Gas boiler won't fire, circulator won't run


I was able to get it to fire up.

I opened up the Honeywell box, it's a aquastat relay.
the line voltage checks out ok at 120v.

I reseated a wire going from that to the burner that has a slip-on type connector, that fixed it not firing up.

but the circulator pump still won't run.

if I hook up my multimeter to the leads for the circ. pump it doesn't show any voltage, t-stats are cranked up and calling for heat, also tried forcing the zone valves open.

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Old 10-13-2013, 11:11 PM   #3
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Gas boiler won't fire, circulator won't run


Post the make & model of the boiler, along with make & model of the thermostat. Also, what is the input & output voltage of the transformer, feeding the boiler control circuit. Also, is there a Edison type fuse protecting the circulation pump along with any other control circuitry.

Do you have 120 or 240 going into the control box, that feeds the circ. pumps? At this point, since it is going on year 3 that you have had issues with this system, may be time to pony up and have a licensed hvac tech come on site, to look over the system.

If you are in need of replacing the unit, there are more efficient units, that use remote sensors, that check outdoor temp, then adjusts the water temp going through the loop system, so that it is not too hot, when not needed.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:22 PM   #4
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Gas boiler won't fire, circulator won't run


Check if you have 24 volts coming from the transformer that powers the zone valves.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:26 PM   #5
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Gas boiler won't fire, circulator won't run


the boiler is a General Machine Corp, the model # on the label is unreadable.

When testing the T-stat connection within the aquastat relay that shows 24v
but the other end of that wire (shown in the photo) isn't reading anything.

the thermostats are Honeywell 5-1-1 programmable thermostats.

We had baseboard installed in the remodeled area with a new thermostat put in but the guy that installed the baseboard was confused about the wiring and didn't want to touch it.

I was planning on having a pro come out to hook up the wiring of the new thermostat to the zone valve of the previously broken unit.

I didn't think leaving that t-stat disconnected would break all the others but that might be the case?

Anyway thanks for your help.
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Last edited by mikenri; 10-13-2013 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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Gas boiler won't fire, circulator won't run


If you are getting no voltage at that step down transformer, you need to find out where the 120vAC wiring goes back to, to see if there is voltage at that point. As for the zones, can you show the setup, for how the zones are piped & setup with the zone controllers if any.

As for the person you had install the baseboard and they were "confused" about the wiring, I would be going back and finding a reputable company that knows hydronic heating, and also talk to the last person that messed with the system, if they can be on site, when a real boiler heating tech shows up, so that person or company can educate the person you had mess with it, how to fix the system, not make it worse.

Post a picture off the plate on the system, with a picture of the boiler itself. Any and all information you can find about that system, pictures of it can do wonders. If the system is ancient, as in well over 30 years, yes you can save money by having a more energy efficient unit put in place.
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:20 AM   #7
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Gas boiler won't fire, circulator won't run


If the thermostat wire to the disconnected zone wa cut with power to that transformer, the transformer may have burned out.
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:20 AM   #8
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Gas boiler won't fire, circulator won't run


if your not getting 24v at transformer..either no 120 going into transformer or transformer is fried..ben sr
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:46 AM   #9
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Gas boiler won't fire, circulator won't run


thanks guys.

i'm going to have a pro come out to replace the fried transformer and hook up the t-stat to the zone valve.

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