problem with oil boiler

Old 12-24-08, 04:21 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Belgium
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problem with oil boiler

My oil boiler is acting up; it ignites ok and then turns off and on again to maintain a conistent temperature, but after 3 or 4 ignites, it fails to light again.

tinkering with the cover over the flame inspection hole seems to get it going again, and so I suspect that there's something wrong with the mixture since uncovering the hole will be letting more air in. I might be wrong though.

this is an old house in Belgium, and so I have no idea what the make and model of the boiler is, and so I don't know if it has an air filter and if it does, where I would find it.

I know next to nothing about boilers, and I'm using my rudimentary knowledge of a two stroke combustion engine to try and understand the problem. Can anyone tell me if I'm thinking along the right lines, and offer any advice either way? I'm at a loss at the moment!

Would be on Christmas Eve!
Old 12-24-08, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Hello and merry Christmas to you folks on the other side of the pond!

Several things come to mind:

It could be a fuel problem: clogged oil filter, clogged nozzle, clogged pump strainer... If the tank is outdoors and it is cold, the oil line could be jelling up. Could be a failing pump too...

Or, it could be an ignition problem, where the spark across the electrodes is either weak or intermittent. That could be caused by bad electrodes, cracked insulators, bad transformer or electronic igniter...

Air flow to the burner is doubtful, and you'll need a combustion analyzer before you even consider playing with the combustion air settings!

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