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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    34

    Confused 3 wire pilot burners

    For the last few years, all the 3 wire pilot burners Ive replaced on the older BDP spark ignition furnaces have been failing within a few days to a few months after installing them. Anyone else having the same problem? Am I possibly overlooking something thats causing them to fail prematurely? Ever since the totaline parts distributor left my town, I've had to buy my non totaline BDP pilot burners from Johnstone Supply. Is the different manufacture the problem?
    Also, can the BDP spark ignition system be replaced with HSI?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    823
    Quote Originally Posted by kirwinjd View Post
    For the last few years, all the 3 wire pilot burners Ive replaced on the older BDP spark ignition furnaces have been failing within a few days to a few months after installing them. Anyone else having the same problem? Am I possibly overlooking something thats causing them to fail prematurely? Ever since the totaline parts distributor left my town, I've had to buy my non totaline BDP pilot burners from Johnstone Supply. Is the different manufacture the problem?
    Also, can the BDP spark ignition system be replaced with HSI?

    Thanks!
    I've had problems with the 3 wire pilots from Johnstone. I use them as a two wire. I've had two over the last couple of years that were DOA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Puget Sound area, Wa
    Posts
    130
    That's why I don't like using aftermarket parts. we found out that a 3/4 HP universal motor(also from Johnstone) doesn't last long in a Carrier furnace.

    Edit: not all aftermarket parts are bad but in my experience they have caused more problems but they are handy if your in a pinch

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    north suburbs of Chicago
    Posts
    513
    I bought one from Johnstone (yeah partly cause they were half the oem cost) and it gave problems. It was short cycling the gas valve off and on. Johnstone said they had a bad batch. The one I had was probably picked up near the end of last winter.
    I have also heard of problems with the off brand boards.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    5,000 ft
    Posts
    2,181
    The Robertshaw replacement is problematic. I believe this is the one Johnstone supply is providing.

    Most of the time the spark gap is hard to get correct and if it does lite, the switch doesn't always close for the hot junction.

    You will have to get the OEM part somewhere.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    34
    Ok thanks. Of course Johnstone keeps claiming that I'm the only one having a problem with them. FYI: Johnstone was using Robert Shaw but now I see they are selling the pilot burners made by Mars.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    562
    I've had problems with them, but it was my fault when I dropped the orifice and didn't realize it. Oops! Once, the guy before me damaged the bottom of the combustion chamber and air was entering through and blowing the pilot off the sensor. Bent it back as best as possible and sealed it with RTV.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    petaluma,ca
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by kirwinjd View Post
    For the last few years, all the 3 wire pilot burners Ive replaced on the older BDP spark ignition furnaces have been failing within a few days to a few months after installing them. Anyone else having the same problem? Am I possibly overlooking something thats causing them to fail prematurely? Ever since the totaline parts distributor left my town, I've had to buy my non totaline BDP pilot burners from Johnstone Supply. Is the different manufacture the problem?
    Also, can the BDP spark ignition system be replaced with HSI?

    Thanks!
    Those red,white,blue ones from johnstone don't last very long, i went back to the oem bdp burner to prevent call backs

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    north suburbs of Chicago
    Posts
    513
    Quote Originally Posted by kirwinjd View Post
    Ok thanks. Of course Johnstone keeps claiming that I'm the only one having a problem with them. FYI: Johnstone was using Robert Shaw but now I see they are selling the pilot burners made by Mars.
    Hey they told me I was the only one!
    Kidding. They did say they had a bad run. I tried one cause I was in there for something else and needed one for truck stock. I'll have to go back to the OEM style. That's the one where you feel like you should be wearing a ski hood when you present them with the invoice.

    What is surprising is that it seems three companies manufacture these things. Not the simplest thing to begin manufacturing for a fairly limited demand.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,716
    If it has a 3 wire or standing pilot, it needs to be replaced...
    It's likely the pick coil is starting to fail. If you think the pilot is expensive, you should price the oem gas valve.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" Socrates

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,826
    I used to carry those pilot assemblies but the last one went out the door about 2-years ago and it had been on my truck for 5-years. IMO those old furnaces are in need of replacement just due to age! Not energy efficient by today's standards and in our area, the numbers are so thin that it's not worth stocking repair parts. That can leave the customer with no heat in cold weather (just like a lot of other things, admittedly) when it could have been avoided.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    34
    Thanks for all the input. But can anyone answer my second question: can I convert the BDP spark ignition furnace over to HSI? Is there a kit out there that the existing wire harness can plug into the new control board?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    north suburbs of Chicago
    Posts
    513
    Quote Originally Posted by kirwinjd View Post
    Thanks for all the input. But can anyone answer my second question: can I convert the BDP spark ignition furnace over to HSI? Is there a kit out there that the existing wire harness can plug into the new control board?
    Is it just a spark pilot without an inducer?

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