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Pilot light won't stay lit

We have a Slant Fin natural gas boiler which is about 10 years old. The pilot light will not stay lit at this point. Recent repairs beginning at the start of the heating season include 2 new thermocouplers, cleaning the pilot unit and bypassing the electric damper. Our gas bills were extremely high this year even allowing for the colder temperatures. The repair service indicated that we may now need a new valve for $300. I am wondering at this point if we would be better to replace the boiler with a more efficient unit or to continue to try to repair the old one.

Re: Pilot light won't stay lit

I can't see replacing a relatively new boiler & spending several thousands of $$ if the problem is only in the gas valve---if using a different compatible gas valve won't solve the problem, try a new service tech.

Could you provide more info as to the model # of the boiler, the total square footage of your building, your general location, & the rated btu output of the boiler---this would be on the nametag somewhere on the boiler & will say something like "output: 100,000 btu/hr"---we can then do a rudimentary heat loss caculation to see if you're wasting fuel---do the exterior walls & attic have insulation now??

Re: Pilot light won't stay lit

It is a Slant Fin model # S-90 DP. For the rated btu, I saw AGA input 90,000; DOE Capacity 76,000 and Net I=B=R Water 66,000. I hope that helps

The sq footage of the house is 1,854, we added isulation to the attic last year with blown in cellulose on top of the 4" of exisiting insulation. Most of the exterior walls are isulated but we still need to work on a few rooms. Our gas bills tripled this year despite turning the thermostat down. My biggest concern is that we had 4 service calls this winter and now I cannot light the pilot at all.

Re: Pilot light won't stay lit

I do not know if you can afford to replace the valve or not, or your financial condition. I do know that many trades people like myself are banding together under an overall church council to help those who need it.

(Folks think I am an animal here. Truth is I love everyone.)

Re: Pilot light won't stay lit

Thanks for the added info---I would still try to work with your present boiler---a rudimentary heat loss calc of assigning 40 btu/sq.ft. to the 1854 sq.ft. of your building seems to indicate they put in the right size boiler---I can't provide a clear answer as to why your gas bills are so high--standing pilot valves tend to burn more gas---I assume you don't have a separate gas-burning hot water heater for the tap water (this would also burn a lot of gas unnecessarily).

The Slant/Fin website states this boiler model can take an optional electronic ignition (pilot spark ignition) gas valve instead of the standing pilot gas valve you have now.

This may solve the problem for you---by all means you should talk by phone to someone at the Slant/Fin site (below) in their technical service dept. at 1-800-873-4346---my experience in the past has found the people at Slant/Fin to be very supportive & responsive to owners of their equipment.

The site below has additional contacts & an e-mail address to the technical dept--click onto "technical dept" on the left hand side of the page.

They would be able to advise you of the best way to go on this problem---I'm sure this same problem has cropped up with other owners of this model boiler so it is important that you call them.

Please let us know if you have any resolution to the problem.


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