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Posted by Brian Spolarich on October 14, 2007 at 21:21:49:
We've had an intermittent problem with our Burnham boiler (we have a radiant heat in-ceiling system in our 1948 home), which has been in operation and trouble-free for 15 years or so. Last January we noticed that the boiler was cycling on and off rather rapidly, and the heating efficiency wasn't very good. The boiler would turn on, ignite, heat for a minute or two, and then shut off, close the damper, and start up again. Over time one could smell a bit of gas smell in the basement.
The guy who installed the system came out and did a bunch of troubleshooting and was kind of stumped. He wound up replacing the ignition wire and the valve assembly, and the problem went away for a while (I noticed it a couple of times in the winter, but then it went away again).
In using the furnace for the first time this season, the problem occurred immediately. He came back out, somewhat at a loss. He had bypassed all of the controls to make sure there wasn't a problem, measured voltages, etc. We did notice rather low gas pressure which was dropping considerably from the boiler demand (which he said it shouldn't do given the size of the boiler), so I called the gas company, who came out and replaced the meter and manifold, and the pressure was a bit better and the problem seemed to have improved (it ran for several minutes and heated to temperature, but it was a hot day so we didn't run it for very long).
Tonight it is doing the same thing again. Our heating guy is at a loss, and we're starting to pull our hair out. The next theory according to the heating guy is perhaps a grounding problem.
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