Light Triggered Auto Reset Button Pusher for Boiler




Introduction: Light Triggered Auto Reset Button Pusher for Boiler

About: I build stuff because it isn't available to buy, or is too expensive, or the ones you can buy don't do what I want them to. Sometimes I don't have a reason, I just want to build something. For me it's about...

When I moved into my house, it had an old boiler. This boiler needed resetting occasionally. At first it was only once a month, eventually it was a few times a day.

I got a plumber in, and he said it was old, and that was normal. Just leave it until it dies then replace it.

I checked the manual. It said that it happened when it tried to light several times and failed. But it always lit when the reset button was pressed.

Going upstairs to reset it all the time was a pain. Especially when it tripped while you were trying to shower. Or when the heating didn't come on.

I need an auto reset button!

Step 1: The Solution

The reset switch has a light indicator to tell you it needs resetting.

The plan is to use a light sensor and schmitt trigger to turn on a solenoid which hits the reset button.

I bought a light sensor circuit off the net:

And a 12v push type Solenoid off ebay.

I used a big lead acid battery to power it. Mounted them on a piece of wood using wood screws and strong double sided tape. This piece of wood was held on the front of the boiler by two magnets. This was so that if the solenoid was over powerful, it would knock the device off the front, rather than break the switch or boiler. It would also be easy to fine tube the placement.

Step 2: The Results

It worked perfectly!

This worked for me, and will probably work on other similar devices, but I can't condone the use of this on safety critical devices like boilers. At least without thoroughly checking what the failure modes are prior to installation.

My boiler needed resetting more and more frequently, until it eventually permanently failed. This isn't a permanent fix. As soon as your boiler starts doing this, Get quotes for a replacement, because it's most likely only a matter of time until it dies, leaving you with no heating, and no hot water.

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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago

    This is ridiculously dangerous. It probably needs a new thermocouple, or whatever senses the flame, or the amplifier for same. Get some professional assistance; your plumber is not a boiler or HVAC tech, more than likely. This is Russian Roulette with a bomb in your house.


    Reply 21 days ago

    I was thinking the same.
    It would have been simpler to remove all safeties or shut the reset button.
    Just throw the damn thing away.


    4 years ago

    Clever idea, but seems super dangerous. That controller is tripping for a reason and the fix isn't an auto-reset. What happens when its several times a minute and its not igniting them suddenly it does? You could be making a bomb. I don't normally comment, but as an engineer, I couldn't pass this by without one. Good luck.