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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    8

    Default Boiler making a buzzing sound

    First time homebuyer and first time poster. I'm looking for some guidance with a fairly loud buzzing noise our boiler is making. We've been in the house about 2 months. The boiler is pretty ancient but it still heats the house quite well.

    It's always made a bit of a buzzing sound, but either the sound has gotten louder or now I'm more aware of it. Either way, I wanted to get some thoughts on what it might be and cost to fix it.

    We made a video of the part that is buzzing.

    youtube.com/watch?v=MZIA3Px6cXc

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    7,760

    Default Re: Boiler making a buzzing sound

    I couln't find your video.

    More info is needed: what kind of noise, when it appears, how long does it last, etc.

    BTW, if it's an old boiler, start planning a replacement. Fixing old units rarely comes out cheaper. And they always quit in the wrong time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Boiler making a buzzing sound

    Thanks for the reply. If you cut and paste this link into your browser you should find the video - youtube.com/watch?v=MZIA3Px6cXc

    It's a buzzing sound from the thermostat box that is mounted on the wall behind the boiler. It seems to make the noise when the unit kicks on and will continue buzzing until it reaches the preset temperature. That said, once it reaches the desired temp it maintains the temperature pretty well, and will only kick back on for a minute or two to keep at the set temperature. The unit is definitely old but it's working fine, just mainly want to figure out if a cheap part would fix the sound. But yeah, we won't be spending much to keep it running and would look to replace at some point in our ownership.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by firstand10bluehens; 12-02-2012 at 02:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Boiler making a buzzing sound

    Yes, I saw the video.

    When you say a "boiler" do you have hot water/steam radiators/baseboard to provide heat, or do you have forced hot air, which would mean you have a "furnace".

    The device in the video looks like a switch controller that switches the 24v T-stat voltage to turn on the 120v furnace/boiler components.

    Where is the COVER to the controller???---the cover would have the important identifying mfgr, model #, etc. for the controller---please post back with this info.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Boiler making a buzzing sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelton View Post
    Yes, I saw the video.

    When you say a "boiler" do you have hot water/steam radiators/baseboard to provide heat, or do you have forced hot air, which would mean you have a "furnace".

    The device in the video looks like a switch controller that switches the 24v T-stat voltage to turn on the 120v furnace/boiler components.

    Where is the COVER to the controller???---the cover would have the important identifying mfgr, model #, etc. for the controller---please post back with this info.
    Thanks for the reply. We have a boiler with radiator heat, so
    'furnace' may have been mentioned in error. I took the cover off to take the video, but here are two pictures with the cover on - as well as the label on the side.

    flickr.com/photos/23820215@N04/8242104133/in/photostream
    flickr.com/photos/23820215@N04/8242104241/in/photostream/

    Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Boiler making a buzzing sound

    Was unable to get either one of those flickr sites to work on my system----but it doesn't matter---if you can just post the manufacturer/model # & any other info contained on the covers, I can look it up in my manuals to get the electrical specs & a ballpark price.

    Generally, the buzzing can be caused by a) dirty contacts, or b) a minor short in the electromagnetic windings that gets worse as time goes by.

    You can try shutting the system down temporarily & rubbing the contacts with a regular white envelope/dollar bill, etc. to get the thin layer of crud off the contacts.

    If THAT doesn't work, go to Home Depot or a heating parts house in your area & get a VERY FINE NONMETALLIC sheet of sandpaper & apply to the contacts (by moving the envelope or sandpaper back & forth slowly).

    If sanding the crud doesn't work, it's probably a short in the windings.

    Theory of Operation: When the contacts close on the 24v room T-stat, the wires close a circuit in the 24v t-stat wires that have a small electromagnet at the metal relay (the part that's chattering) the metal strip is "pulled in" to enable contact between the 120V line to enable a component such as a pump or burner motor to activate to provide heat or pump hot water (or both) thru the heating system.
    Last edited by Pelton; 12-06-2012 at 03:36 PM.

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