reset pops


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Old 05-31-06, 03:17 PM
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reset pops

I have been fighting an intermittent problem with my oil burner for the past two weeks. It is a Beckett fired cast iron Peerless boiler. What happens is overnight when the burner doesnt come on for hours the reset will sometimes pop when the burner goes to turn on. I will hear a click when the burner should come on and then no burner motor operation for 4-5 seconds then the burner motor will turn on and it will be good from then on throughout the day. It seems longer periods of inactivity trigger this. Sometimes when I hit the reset it will pop back up immediately, other times it will click then the 4-5 second delay and then work. I have had the service company out several times and they have changed filters, nozzles, flushed the line, transformer. i never experience that 4-5 second delay at anytime during the day, it lights off immediately. I have left the reset popped at their request so they can see what is going on. What concerns me is that the fact that there is a delay from reset to burner motor operation after long periods of inactivity. My background is automotive so to me it feels like a motor that has a bad spot/high amp draw or a voltage drop to the motor. From what I read these Beckett burner motors are almost bulletproof. The fact that we dont have burner motor operation immediately upon the click tells me that we are not dealing with flow or ignition. It never pops while running as well. I would love to help the service people out and would be willing to take some voltage readings. Any information very much appreciated.
 
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Old 05-31-06, 07:09 PM
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Trips reset

This sounds like a classic burner motor problem if it is a split phase motor. If the motor is black, it is almost certain of the split phase type. If you have an ohm meter which will read down to fractions of an ohm & want to check the motor, post back & I will tell you how to do it.
Another problem could be the oil solenoid if your burner has one.
If you could host some pics of the burner & controls on photobucket or similar photo hosting web site & post a link here, it would be a help.
 
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Old 06-01-06, 03:26 AM
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Thanks for the reply. the unit is a beckett "AFG" series. The motor is black and from what I can see on the motor schematic and on the Honeywell R8184G ignition control it is a 2 wire motor. I am well versed in ohmmeter usage so fire away with suggestions.
 
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Old 06-01-06, 03:27 AM
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Forgot to say it looks like this doesn't utilize an oil solenoid.
 
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Old 06-01-06, 07:18 PM
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Ohm meter

Kill power to boiler (sorry have to say that). Disconnect motor from primary control. Remove motor from burner. Place motor on floor or bench, shaft end up. Connect meter to each motor lead & set meter on lowest ohm scale. Read ohms. While watching meter, gently & evenly lift motor via the fan. If reading changes when shaft is lifted there is a real strong chance the start switch is bad. If it is, get a new PSC motor as a replacement. Questions?
 
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Old 06-05-06, 04:19 AM
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My neighbor who is a HVAC guy had a spare burner motor. We changed that, found a loose connection to the primary controller, found the fire valve for the oil flow into the filter assembly was only half open, and he replaced the photocell as gp. Has been good for 2 days we will see. I did your ohm test and it seemed to fail about once every 15x depending where shaft was rotated. I will keep you posted, thanks again for all the help. I do have another question though about sludge. My tank is outside and bottom fed. I know there are companies that come in and suck up all the sludge out of tank. Is it worth it? Should I just use readily available sludge treatment and change filters 4x a year like I have been doing? My worries about sucking out the sludge is when they clean it they may disturb the inards of the tank and I will have more problems. I do not know the age of my tank. It is at least 10 years old-metal tank. Thanks again.
 
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Old 06-05-06, 08:27 AM
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Tank Sludge

In my experience, the tank "cleaning" is not worth the money. I do suggest having the fuel tested. Sludge is generally a product of bacteria & water. If there is a Sid Harvey (chain of HVACR supply houses) near you, they sell a sample kit which includes the cost of analysis & suggested treatment. With an outdoor tank, I like to see an empty filter can, for use as a sediment bowl, at the tank outlet & two sucessively finer filters indoors. The tank should be pitched toward the outlet at the rate of aprox. ¼" per foot of tank length. The easiest way to do this is by making the legs on the tank 1" longer on the end opposite of the outlet or shimming with a piece of patio block.
If you are concerned about the integrity of the tank, some fuel/service companies offer an ultra sonic testing service.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 03:57 AM
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Well it made it 2 days and then this morning I came down to check and sure enough reset tripped. However this time when reset pushed-no delay burner fired up and has been running ever since-no problems.Again, it seems like after a long layoff-overnight the reset pops. Could I have a problem with the Honeywell primary controller. Could we have like a bad solder joint on the board or a sticky solid state relay. Your thoughts?
 
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Old 06-06-06, 06:55 PM
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Dang

At this point I'm leaning toward a weak ignition transformer. Before we go changing parts, I need you to do something: Shut the boiler off at the service switch & leave it off for about 30 minutes. Turn up the thermostat. Turn on the service switch & within a few seconds look at the flame & watch it for 15-30 seconds paying particular attention to the color & size of the flame.
The next time you have to reset it, promptly observe the flame as above. If the "reset" flame is bigger & more yellow-orange, you are getting a shot of fuel & it is not igniting on the first try. This can be caused by a lot of things from air adjustment, to improper electrode adjustment, to weak transformer, to a minisule particle in the nozzle, & the list goes on & on.
 
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Old 06-13-06, 01:44 PM
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Well I figured I would give an update; I was fortunate to watch it happen one night. I heard the relay in the controller trip and then no operation. I smacked the controller and it went off. I ran out and got a controller. It has been good (cross fingers) now for 6 days. I think we have this solved. Thank you for all the help. Intermittents are a pain in the .... Learned alot from this one.
 
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Old 06-13-06, 03:28 PM
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I think you got it

Bad contacts in the primary control can be a tough one to catch. Good job. Just for future reference, a crude but effective way to check the coil in the primary is to rap the side of the primary firmly with a screwdriver handle while the burner is running. If the burner drops out, bad primary.
 
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Old 02-02-07, 08:52 PM
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Question Lousy Spark?

Hi, I just joined this forum tonight. Did a bit of reading in here, searching for “Beckett noise”, this looks like a great forum! My Mom's house, where I grew up is about 100 miles from me, so I won't easily be able to shut off, verify color/shape of flame, etc.

She has a Well Mclain boiler, and a Beckett oil gun, about 8 years young. The house is 40+ yrs. old, and she had the original one replaced. She's been plagued over the past 4 or 5 yrs. with misfire type starts, a lot of soot and blockage at the entrance to the chimney, I found a rotted through pipe on her exhaust (I replaced it right away), and this Fall, her CO detectors alarmed in the house.
Luckily, she was on the phone and that person knew it was best to get herself + pets out of the house, and also call 911.

Because it was a 911 call and the F.Dept. responded, the service people were forced to respond. The tech checked the draft, soot in the exhanger, etc. He came up with "replaced the nozzle" (they always seem to replace the nozzle!). I found it tough to believe that enough CO could have even set those detectors off. I could understand it more if it were a gas flame... Even if CO were being produced, wouldn't it go up the chimney if the draft was OK, as the tech checked and said it was OK?

Mom still occasionally hears the thing WOOF when it fires up.
My sister visits more often than I do, and she says that she heard the boiler fire up, run for a minute, shut off, and then start again about 1 minute later.

Anyway, a gent at work suggested that I look at the gun’s electrodes to make sure they were positioned correctly and also sharp. He feels that the gun is atomizing oil, and then there’s a delayed ignition due to this. I haven’t seen this mentioned in here yet. But I know that sharpened tips of electrodes will produce a discharge (spark) easier than dull or rounded ones. He claims that they wear like anything else (spark plugs electrodes). Do any of you experienced guys in here ever sharpen them? Or do you just get new ones as needed?

Thanks in advance,
Mike
 
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Old 02-03-07, 09:02 PM
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Electrodes

I often take a file & pinch the electrodes tight to the file. While pinched, push the file thru them a number of times. This cuts the tips to an angle. Not as good as a "pencil point" sharpening but works pretty well. I work on so many different burners, having electrodes for all of them on the truck is almost impossible.
 
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Old 02-04-07, 08:22 PM
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Thanks, Grady.

One other ? . Would it have been more in-line to start a new thread in here for "sharpening electrodes" ?

Stick
 
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Old 02-04-07, 08:33 PM
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Stick2it

No problem. Your question was along the same vein as jwr's in that it seemed to be an ignition related problem. We're not real fussy about that sort of thing. If you want to pick up a new set of electrodes, the biggest thing to watch for is the total length of the electrodes & to some degree, the length of the porcelains. Each different air tube length uses different length electrodes. If you go to a Weil-McLain distributor & give them the model number of the boiler, they should be able to give you exact replacements. Hang on to the old ones to get you out of a jam.
 
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Old 02-05-07, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for the heads-up on the different lengths. I downloaded a 12MB "training course" from Beckett, for the Beckett "M" series (I'm not even sure if it's an M Series or not, I'll have to check).

http://training.rwbeckett.com/modules.html

But I am pretty amazed at this module, and the different features/lengths even within this one M-series of guns! And the details of how to use the Beckett gauge to set up the electrodes/nozzle!
 
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Old 02-05-07, 06:55 PM
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Beckett

If this is a residential application, your burner would most likely be a model AF, AFG, or AF II.
 
 

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