Beckett burner, lousy services? w/pics!


  #1  
Old 03-19-07, 08:45 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 16
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Angry Beckett burner, lousy services? w/pics!

Hi, I finally got down to my Mom's house and listened to the boiler. It seemed fine, so I was hesitant to open it up, but since her CO detectors went off back in the Fall, and due to her complaining about strange noises and smells, and so many "fouled nozzles" that got replaced on this unit, I decided to tale a peek at the gun.

You'll see from the pics that there was a small amount of carbon/crud at the top of the nozzle. I decided to break out the camera. And then I wondered about "why". So I took a closer look down the gun's bore. I thought I needed a mirror, but the photos show otherwise. I was amazed, shocked and PISSED OFF to see a clogged air/swirl plate and a HUGE GLOB of carbon right about where the electodes sit.

It was cleaned this past June. August, they put new fire brick/liner (in the 12yr. young boiler!)

Can this amount of crud build up this fast? Grady?

The CO det. went off in October...

I'm going to be there this coming w/e, and I plan to take the gun out to see for myself how much crudola forms in 30 days....

Hope this photo site works:
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/stolicnym/album?.dir=/42bdre2&.view=t


No wonder the nozzled foul? Do these guys ever look in there when they diagnose a fouled nozzle? I feel like ramming a used nozzle where sunlight doesn't venture.

Conflict of interest? The same place she buys the oil, does the "service".

They're going to get these pics, and a letter from me, and I'm not sure how to end it, but I'm probably going to allow them to try to redeem themselves by giving her the next clean for free, and I get to supervise. Otherwise it's off to find an independant service person.

BTW, after I cleaned up this mess, my mother says it never run so quiet and well...

Stick

Oh, about 1.5 years ago, my Mom was complaining about oil/exhaust odors from the boiler...right after a "clean". The stack pipe was totally rotted out, but it was the rear of the pipe (side facing the concrete wall), so you could not see it. It was obvious when I yanked it out of the base of the chimney, and then LOOKED. Makes me wonder what they hell these gents do when they come down there?
 
  #2  
Old 03-19-07, 10:13 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 17,505
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Wink

Is that a 80o 1.75 nozzle?? Or a .75 cant make it out. Id say first they didnt set the nozzle in the gun right to the cone head. Bad flue pipe and bad draft can screw it up also.
looks like a wide gap on the electrode.
due to her complaining about strange noises and smells, and so many "fouled nozzles" that got replaced on this unit,
Is there a oil filter in the line??? " noise and smell " transformer weak , electrode.not set right. Pump screen ok.

You have a Lots of IF'S IF'S here
Good pic's
 
  #3  
Old 03-20-07, 02:26 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 19,710
Upvotes: 0
Received 8 Upvotes on 6 Posts
In photo 6 ...

Is that photo upside down ?

I think that hole in the face of the head is supposed to be on the bottom ?

Wouldn't hurt to throw a new set of electrodes on that one.
 
  #4  
Old 03-20-07, 05:39 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Thumbs up Good Shots

A whole bunch of things jump out at me.

I don't think you nozzle fouling is due to a dirty fuel system but just to make sure, do a new filter & pump screen, flush the system WELL, THEN put in the new nozzle. May as well throw in a new set of electrodes while you are at it.

Set the electrodes as follows: 5/16 to 7/16" above the center of the nozzle (new specs call for 5/16 old specs say 7/16 so anywhere in between is OK), 5/32" apart, & 1/16" ahead of the nozzle face.

When you install the drawer assembly (photo #5), the face of the nozzle should be 1 1/8" back from the outside face of the burner head (photos 6 & 7). To do this use a ruler across the end cone & another (or tape measure) to check the 'Z' dimension. Naturally before installing, clean the end cone (if it is not clean enough to eat off of, it isn't clean enough).

While you are working on the burner, get rid of that damned spring loaded air inlet shut off damper (see sticker on left side of burner in photo #8). This will require replacing the coupling with a new one.

Set the pump pressure per manufacturers specs. This is 100# unless otherwise spec'd by a sticker on the left side near where the drawer assembly goes thru the burner body.

On this burner/boiler I also suggest replacing the R8184G primary control with a R7184P or R7184U and installing a fuel solenoid. Obviously, the primary & solenoid are optional.

Once the burner, boiler, & vent system are clean & set up properly, I suggest getting a PROFESSIONAL to come in & adjust the burner with instruments.

Trooper: Most Beckett end cones now have a hole top & bottom.

END OF RANT
 
  #5  
Old 03-20-07, 06:10 PM
KField's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 3,015
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I still think you are better off getting your service from the same source as your fuel. Maybe you need to change both.

Ken
 
  #6  
Old 03-20-07, 07:00 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 424
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Its the same with any business. It all depends who you get stuck with. Sometimes you get the guy who knows everything and doesn't want to come back so he does it right the first time. Then there's the other guy who doesn't give a rats ass. I personally don't like going back to the same customers house for the same problem because we lose money that way(why pay someone a second time to fix the problem they should have fixed the first time?). Altho, there are times when its a odd problem and it takes a time or two to fix it.

There isn't anything wrong with going with someone who doesn't deliver your oil.
 
  #7  
Old 03-20-07, 07:13 PM
KField's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 3,015
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
The negative side of getting your fuel from one company and your service from another is the same problem you have when load Windows XP on a computer you put together yourself and then have software problems. Microsoft says its the hardware and Intel says its the software. Either way, you have a computer that gives you trouble and nobody really cares. If you start having clogged oil filters and plugged nozzles, your service man will just keep coming and fixing it and giving you a bill every time. Why shouldn't he, that's what he does for a living. But if it is a fuel problem, why shouldn't the fuel company help out? Because you don't use their service and they aren't about to pay your service company's bill. If their own service person had determined that it was a fual problem, they could have treated the tank when they delivered the fuel and possibly cooperated on the repair bill. That's what we do anytime we find sludge in one of our customers tanks. In addition, I have seen fuel companies who don't start the burner when a customer runs out. So you can then call a service company and pay a service call too. Not a good scenario in my eyes.

Ken
 
  #8  
Old 03-20-07, 07:43 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 424
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
We know who has good fuel and who doesn't in our area. We will tell our customers if they have a good oil company or not. I don't really see a company saying their oil is to blame tho. Junk in the tank is something that happens over the years and its easy to say thats the problem(over the years and not the last delivery). You are a rare bunch to offer a soultion to dirty oil(or even admiting to it!).
 
  #9  
Old 03-21-07, 05:04 AM
KField's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 3,015
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
We treat our oil when we load the transport at the pipeline but as you say, over time tanks have growth in them. It is only a small percentage but if it is your house the percentage doesn't matter. Just that it gets cleaned up. We repair the fill and vent pipes at our expense too and take whatever action necessary when we see biological growth in the tank.

Ken
 
  #10  
Old 03-21-07, 04:02 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 424
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I've never seen it happen but it is a great idea.
 
  #11  
Old 03-21-07, 04:37 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Service Provider/Fuel Provider

Like most other types of companies who deal both in a product & a service, oil companies differ in the quality of product & service. In my experience over the past 20 years, I have found that generally the local little guy who offers both fuel & service is your best bet. His prices are usually a bit higher than Mr. Big Oil Company's but if he looses a customer it hurts him more than it does Mr. Big therefor he tends to offer a higher level of service & often takes more care of the product he sells. Having worked for both, I can tell you there is a difference.
 
  #12  
Old 03-21-07, 04:54 PM
S
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: upstate New York
Posts: 373
Received 3 Upvotes on 3 Posts
service provider

I've had poor experiences with both. I used to use a small, local oil company with a service dept. Each year they sent a different service man to take care of my boiler. I always hung around, hoping to learn something useful. One year they really did a good job- cleaned everything, replaced all the right parts, and adjusted everything using instruments. The next year a different service man showed up and just replaced nozzle- said everything was working so well it didn't need any adjustments. Later in the year the burner started to get noisy. I started investigating and found the end cone in the same condition as the one in the picture. I cleaned it and the burner worked much better. Now I use a different, bigger oil company and find that they, too have good and not so good service techs. I guess it's that way all over, and not just with oil burners. I've been using a great auto tech lately, but there are plenty of not so good ones out there. Once you find a good one, treat him well and stick with him. Steve
 
  #13  
Old 03-21-07, 05:56 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 16
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Ed:
Yes, it’s a 0.75 nozzle. I didn’t measure the gap. I had a manual from another Beckett series, and it looked “normal” to me. I’ll need to verify this. Since there was so much carbon up in that area on the inside of the burner head, I assumed the arc might be tracking thru the carbon, and causing both misfires, and the carbon blobs interfering with the nice atomized cone-spray of oil. Also the louvers on the head were corked up, so the air flow would not have been nice either.

Typical filter at the tank shut-off. About 20 feet of copper line from the tank to the boiler. I doubt the transformer is suspect, but I might give it an arc test from a screwdriver if I do tear into it this weekend.
What’s the best way to energize just the xfmr? Remove the AC wiring into it, and hot-wire it with a cheater cord? Obviously I don’t want the burner to spool up if I just need to check the strength of the 10KV.

Oh, all the photos are in the “upright mode”, except the close-ups of the nozzle/gun assy.

Grady:
I believe the service co. does the filter and screen once a year. When I was down over Christmas, I did talk to a few P&H fellows at a party, and they all said that the oil lately is lousy. Lots of sludge and stuff to cause fowled nozzles and needing additional (repeat visits for) filter and screen services (this is what they said).

I just obtained the AGF manual this week, and I see that the electrodes are supposed to be pointed, 5/32 gap, and verifies your Z dimension…and I can see that they’ve been bent a bit to compensate for wear over the last 12 years. They’re not quite centered in the ceramic anymore. Actually, if they did it right, they could have bent the electrodes where the 45 deg. bend is, and then loosen and slide the ceramics forward, but it appears they merely tweaked them without sliding them fwd.
I just added 2 more pics. One to show this, the other to show both holes at 12 and 6 o’clock on the F head.

I’ll verify the Z dimension. I had only put it back where I had found it (scribe/ref. marks on the escutcheon plate).

I wiped the head/cone assy. clean, but not clean enough to eat off of. I guess I should remove and immerse in a solvent?

I did see the sticker of the spring loaded air inlet shut off damper. Not sure if it’s in there. It looks like a centrifugally actuated gizmo? Where is it located? Should it be near the squirrel-cage fan, and actuated by shaft speed? Should it make a snap sound when the motor spools down?

A gent at work recommended a couple of things…he does his own burner servicing. He has his own instruments that he purchased (smoke/static pressure/temp/CO2 instruments).
He recommended a solenoid shutoff in the oil line.
He also recommended a higher quality burner (like a Burnham or Weil McClain) with the solenoid feature. He said he has one that’s not made anymore…I guess the company wasn’t profitable enough (because they made too high-of-quality burner, and they got out of the burner business, but they still make boilers?) He seemed to think they can be bought relatively cheaply (like for around $300). I think he said when his boiler was replaced about 15 years ago, he started with a Beckett, and because he was having issues right away, they allowed him to switch to this other brand. He claims the quality was like going from a Yugo to a Mercedes or BMW.

One other thing: My cousin lives 2 homes away from my Mom’s house. He’s got his own instruments. The gent at work says (after the electrodes, Z dimension, etc) the most important settings to check are:
1) static pressure/damper settings (after the unit is running and hot for a while). And
2) proper flame (via air inlet), and confirmed by the measured smoke. Obviously, too much smoke = a dirty exchanger too quickly. And too much air yields less efficiency (lower flame temp, too much flow (more N2 and O2 in the flow stream) which would raise the stack temp, etc.
I guess I should borrow my cousin’s instruments?

Thanks a ton for the f/b, sorry it took so long for me to RE,
Stick

PS: Great inputs on the service/oil supplier being the same. I can’t stand it when one place points the finger at the other, and visa-versa

PPSS: It just really bugs me that a person like myself (just a decent handy-man, and electrical engineer), not trained on burners, can go in there, see some crud on the nozzle, go the next step to find all that cruddy carbon on the head, and know that it needs to be cleaned up to even think it’ll run decent… And these service people can’t?
 
  #14  
Old 03-21-07, 06:59 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Burner, etc.

I like to see a "primary" filter at the tank & a secondary or polishing filter as close to the burner as possible.

Cleaning that carbon off is not difficult with a small screwdriver, a good cleaner such as Spray Nine, & a small wire brush. Another option if it doesn't want to co-operate is replacement. End cones are not expensive, just be sure to get the right one. There is a number stamped on yours somewhere. I think it should be an F3 but don't hold me to that.

Do replace the electrodes.

To test the transformer, you can just point the small copper nozzle line into a container for the amount of time it will take to test. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, you can check pump pressure at the same time by screwing a gauge onto the nozzle line. (3/16" flare)

I mentioned the fuel solenoid in a previous reply & a different primary. The primary controls today (R7184 series & similar) all shut off the spark after about 15 seconds. This prolongs electrode life, reduces electrical consumption, & should prolong transformer life.

The air shut off damper will be evident, if it is there, if you remove the pump. If you can see all the way into the squirrel cage, the damper has already been removed. It has been a while since I took one out but as I recall, it will come out with the motor. Yes it is operated by centrifical force & you may or may not hear it as the motor winds down but usually you can.

Thankfully, Weil-Mclain no longer makes their QB burner. Of the dozens I've seen, only two have worked well & you talk about something touchy, get it just slightly off of perfect & it's soot city. A Riello works quite well in the Weil-Mclain but they are a bear to retro-fit.

Something you might want to think about is a burner head protector. This is an insulator which slips over the end cone to protect it from heat radiated back from the combustion chamber.

Proper test equipment & the ability to interpret the results are a must.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: