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Accuratejoe, Master Electrician
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 165
Experience:  I own Accurate Mechanical, A full service HVACR and electrical company, I have 25 years experience.
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Burnham Hot Water Boiler - Fires Up Ok, Runs Two Minutes &

Customer Question

Burnham Hot Water Boiler - Fires Up Ok, Runs Two Minutes & Shuts Off. No Heat at Any of Hot Water Radiators Up Stairs.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  UAFITTER693 replied 8 years ago.
Customer It could be a couple of things but related. It sounds typical of a bad cadcell eye, they will shut down the burner after 40 seconds or so if they do not sense the flame and the other could possible be a build up of carbon on the outside of the blast tube, just enough to block the eye from seeing the flame.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I am famliar with the Cat Eye but also watch the Temp. go from 140 th 180 F. and then shut down. The flame (looking throught the 2 inch peep hole) looks stong and burning properly. Also, I can resart the Boiler after about 15 minutes by recyling the thermosat.


Also, last year, I noticed a couple of the hot water covection rads. up stair were cold, some warm/ hot.


I see two electric controlled valves to the larger (outgoing) copper pipes (on the front of boiler system. I felt these pipes and one was hotter than the other one. One would (nearly) burn your hand ... the other one warm but not more than that. I see a lt of other piping as well and a accumaltor tank..etc.


I am a diesel mechanic by trade, have multimeter, heat gun and lots of other testing tools. I can give you all the _specs. fro the Burnham Hot Water Boiler. The Sysyems is about 8 years old. The Fuel Filter is New, Good Clean Fuel & Elec. Burner Contacts are Good.


Starts Up Fine (quickly) and Shuts off at 180 F. Everytime.



Waiting for New Instructions... Where & What to Check.



Avery Baker

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
New to this Service... Will You Reply.. Back or Not ?
Expert:  UAFITTER693 replied 8 years ago.
Customer If you had mentioned that before i can tell that those are zone valves and most likely they are burned out. Depending on what style you have (most have them) on the end of them is a brass lever sticking out from the cover, they are spring loaded and slide to the right usaly and you can lock them down but most important is that if they are not over there when the boiler comes up to temp and a thermostat is calling than the chanch of them being burned out are pretty good. With being there to physical check the controls, its pretty hard to pinpoint it but this is the most likely problem. PS you are going to want and delete the other questions, I noticed that you have more than this one
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

It is late now. I will look at them (tomorrow). I see several valves and will refer to the Owners Manual.. to describe things.


Can I send Photo's of the Valve's with my Digial Camera ? I will get all the Data from the Burnam Boiler and Valves & Controls.


Two of the Water Valves are Controled by Elect. Located, to the Right Front of the Boiler.. just above the boiler and connected to the larger out put pipe from the Boiler.


The ... Two Others are Controled Internally and Appear to Be Return Valving and Y'ed . Located ... Above the Boiler at the Bottom of the Floor Joists. I will be much more exact tomorrow... Valves , Routing, Controls, Names. etc.




I will delete all other questions (replys).

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Ok Then, I went to take a Picture of the System but My new Ditigal Camera had the battery out of it.... it's gone missing, will (slightly) kill 13 year old. !


I will describe the system & Label the Controls (brand names) as I go along.


1st the left side... Starting at the top of the floor joist, you have (2) 1 inch copper lines feeding into -- Red Box's with manual controls on top, then feeding into a Common Tee then feeding into (1) inch line into (brand name) Extrol, Model 30, 12 PSI .. Tank. on top of the gray Extrol Tank is -- another valve (brand name) American Air Purge.

from here, feeds down into the Top of Broiler, on the Left (top) Side and to Front of the Boiler as you stand in front of the Boiler where the Fuel Control , Ign., Blower motor and all that is located. Note: I just felt the copper lines coming up from the 9described above) and they were warm until I got to the Extrol Tank... Slightly warm on the Broiler Feed.. but Cold on the Output of the Tank... going to the red valves and on it's merry way... all cold.


Now, You have two lines coming in ...from the overhead floor joist above. (1) line (1 inch copper dia.) feeds down to a ( brand name) Taco, cartrigage circalator, Model 007-F4, 110 C. or 240 F. This Line feeds straight down with another valve tee'd in (will describe next) and into a larger 2 3/4 dia. (black) pipe and then into the Boiler (going into the Boiler on the Right Side, Bottom of Boiler and Feeding into the Front of Boiler.


The 2nd (1) inch copper line feeds from the Top of the Floor and tee's into the Line (mentioned above) into the larger 2 3/4 dia. pipe feed and just before the Tee-In..... this valve is installed (brand name) Grandfos, 115 Volt, Type 15-42 (this valve is Blue and was warm to the touch last night. Today, is just luke warm to the touch. The other valve on the (mentioned above) is cold and was (running straight down from floor joist) cold last night. last night the temp gauge was -- 180 degrees and 20 psi. Today, and I did not cycle it with room re-o-stat was - 140 Degrees and 20 PSI.


Other Information: Burnham (low pressure) Boiler, Model 4WFH, S/N 64410206; HTG CAP. = 165 MBA; MAX. TEMP.= 250 F.


Honeywell control box, mod. RA 832A


Again All Hot Water Radiators are cold ..both upstairs & down. It's no wonder when I do not feel heat pass the valves.


Let me know what you think, I can check volts & exact heat values with my heat gun.


and Goe

Expert:  UAFITTER693 replied 8 years ago.
Customer What yo have described sounds like the system is set up with circ pumps and not zone valves as I thought orgianly,(typical, its all a matter of preferance to the installer). The "Extrol Tank" is used to maintain a constant balnce of pressue on the system and its mounted under "air scoop" typicly with the smaller cylinder style valve is a automatic air vent to remove the air entering the system and on top of that is a needle type valve and a small cap screwed to the top, that cap should be loose. Turn your themostat up high and put a screw driver with a plastic handle against the circulator and your ear up to the other end of the circ and listen to make sure its running. I think the other possibilety is that your systen is "air bound" and wont circulate and needs to be bled off.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Ok Sir:


I will do these things tomorrow around 10:30 AM EST. I think your right, ot the Pump is Not Working.


I will Reply tomorrow, around Noon. Forgot to mention, we have the exact same model Burnham Boiler in my dad's house.


I was looking at it few minutes ago. His house is bigger & he has 3 more circuating pumps. Other wise, all the same brand name stuff as my furnace system & same set up. I did notice his water pressure was 30 psi and mine is reading 20 psi.


See ya tomorrow,




Customer: replied 8 years ago.

graphicHello Sir:


I took pictures of the Burnham Boiler System. I checked the Copper feed Lines Again.


The Line coming up on the left side of the Boiler is Hot to the One Side of the Gray Tank (Air Pruge (Gray) Tank and is Completely Cold on the Other Side of the Tank which goes to the Red valves in the Ceiling (located Under Floor Joist.


I saw No Sign of anything loose or leaking on the top of the Gray Tank.


I did make ... One Mistake.. on the Right Side of the Boiler there are the Two valves, one black and one gray. Also (2) Water Outlet Valves.... I opened each one of these valves & drained about -- 1 1/2 gal. of water out in a jug.


The Boiler was not warking... I thought that it might be air locked but No Air came out... only water ... No air.


I am asking... How to fully service all the (7) Water Radiators on the 2nd floor and bleed all the air out ?


Can I jumper the -- Blue Recirulating Pump or What... Is this System Self Filling (I see other valves & controls) and Purging. Remember, at the close of last year (winter), two of the radiators were cold, other ones were Ok (2nd floor of house). Also, this system has a Hot Water Circuit in it to Run Hot water from it to the bathroom and kitchen (flows in connection with electric water heater (I think I am right on this, I noticed (smaller copper line) that was hot this morning and everyone used hot water to get ready for school & work.


Ok, the Photos I Took are over 1 Meg. & will Not Transfer. I need to reformat the size of Photos & retake. I am sending my reply to .. Try to Work on the Written Response (less pic.'s for now)


Let me Know,



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Do You Have Any Other Guidance.... Checks to Make on this System. Is the Circlating Valve Bad (the Left Side One is Black, Rgt. Side is Blue). How Can I Check it ?


Avery Baker

Expert:  UAFITTER693 replied 8 years ago.
Customer Without physically being there and going through a digonstics on the controls, I am left at a loose so I am going to opt out.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I Understand Your Reason for Opt-ing Out.


I am going to try to find someone that will come out. I live out in the crountry side & always a problem to find someone.





Expert:  Accuratejoe replied 8 years ago.
You should have bleed valve on radiator.
Crack bleed valve till water runs with no air and try again.
Radiator need no serviceing other than keeping outside clean and clear.