beckett oil burner will run for hours but trips aquastat during night time

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Old 11-16-12, 08:12 PM
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beckett oil burner will run for hours but trips aquastat during night time

I have a Fiesta by Burnham boiler with a Model AFG Beckett oil burner and a R8182H Honeywell Aquastat.

I have cleaned and serviced everything on this unit (to my knowledge) and it seems to run fine for hours cycling on and off but sometime during the time I am sleeping the aquastat reset trips. To turn the system back on I turn off the power switch, push down the reset button, turn the power switch back on and the system comes right back on and seems to work fine.

I have replaced the oil filter, nozzle, electrodes, cad cell, some gaskets that were in need of replacement, cleaned all the passageways out and vacuumed the burner section, resealed the plenum on top of the boiler as the cement was all cracked and broken, cleaned out all

I do not use the tankless coil for hot water it is just installed and does not have water flowing through it. I have the lo on the aquastat turned all the way down because I am not using the coil.

The fuel tank is in the same room (in the basement) as the tank-less tank-less burner and has been sitting for some time. I have treated the fuel with something that I cannot think of the name at this time but I can provide that if necessary.

Any ideas why the system trips the reset in the middle of the night?

Thank you.
 
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Old 11-16-12, 08:46 PM
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I'm not familiar with the operation of a combination control like the R8182H, but many primary control "trips" are a result of a lack of proper flame recognition.

If there is a cad cell flame sensor used with this control, then you can start by cleaning it.
 
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Old 11-16-12, 09:43 PM
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I have replaced the cad eye but before that I tried just cleaning the eye even though I felt it was not dirty
 
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Old 11-16-12, 10:02 PM
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No strainer [inside the oil pump] or is it a Webster oil pump? If you replaced Strainer did you check for gravity flow at same time? Was there a problem before you did all the work? Check ohms with the leads from the eye while flame was on? For starters anyway.
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-17-12 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 11-16-12, 10:05 PM
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The coupling [between the burner motor and the fuel pump] also needs to be checked,look for white powder.
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-17-12 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 11-17-12, 08:23 AM
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After all the work was done, how was the burner 'set up' for proper combustion?
 
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Old 11-17-12, 08:29 AM
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In addition to the excellent suggestions by others:

You mention that it only trips off at night...

Do you steeply set back the thermostats at night?

My thinking is that you may possibly have an issue with air leaks in the fuel supply. Here's my reasoning:

If the system starts and runs fine normally, and is calling for heat on a regular basis, any small amount of air that creeps into the fuel supply will flow through and be spit out the nozzle.

If after a steep setback at night, the boiler cools and is idle for say hours, these air bubbles may collect and cause fuel delivery failure and a lockout on the burner.

How is the fuel line run from the tank? Does it go 'overhead' at any point in it's travel from tank to burner?

Is the burner set up with a ONE pipe, or TWO pipe fuel supply?
 
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Old 11-24-12, 12:06 PM
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I have a suntec oil pump with one fuel line going to it. The fuel line travels about 20 feet with no more than a foot in line height difference. When I cleaned the pump I believe there was a screen in there that I cleaned out. I do not see any powder in where the fan is located. I've tried reading the readouts of the cad cell eye. I had replaced the cad cell after I cleaned the old cad cell and there was no difference there. I cleaned the old cad cell even though it did not appear to be dirty. It looked just the same way as my new one does now after running with it a few weeks. I have my reader on 2k ohms and it fluctuates between say 1.050 and 1.990 and then just says 1. I am not totally sure on how to read that. We ran the furnace the past two days running at 120 set on the lo on the aquastat but we never called for heat at the thermostat. I have bled the fuel line a few times from the bleader screw near the fuel pump. Any other thoughts? Thank you.
 
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Old 11-24-12, 04:15 PM
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After all the work was done, how was the burner 'set up' for proper combustion?
Do you steeply set back the thermostats at night?
When you did the work, you must have had to disconnect some fuel lines, yes?

Consider adding a TigerLoop to the system.
 
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Old 11-24-12, 07:26 PM
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This is not meant to be funny, but would it be helpful if ineed just sat down by the system in the middle of the night and observed what happened? In other words, get a big pot of coffee and some snacks and just sit there and see if some extra information could be obtained?
 
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Old 11-24-12, 08:19 PM
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Near 1500 and higher ohms is n/g imo.I like below 500 to 1000.Aim that eye,paint blast tube w/high temp.spray paint if you have to.Got to take off motor and couplings end caps to see powder.Need to open up strainer cover then open all oil valves with pan under pump to check gravity.Should flow free.Should be pretty much right on with electrols,oil pattern(good nozzle),spark and air(need smoke tester)Good luck.
 
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Old 11-24-12, 08:58 PM
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For what it's worth, I really doubt it's a CAD cell problem, but since you brought it up...

I have my reader on 2k ohms and it fluctuates between say 1.050 and 1.990 and then just says 1. I am not totally sure on how to read that.
Well, if you left it connected to the control and tried to read the resistance, that's a no-go.

Here's how Beckett says to test:

To troubleshoot this problem, start the burner and before the safety lock-out timing period ends, disconnect the cad cell wires from the F-F terminals on the control. Next, jumper the F-F terminals with a piece of wire or use a 1500 ohm resistor. This will allow the burner to continue running so that you will be able to check the cad cell resistance during the run cycle. If you did not get the F-F terminals on the control jumpered before the burner locked out, wait 3-5 minutes before attempting this again. With the burner running, connect the ohmmeter across the cad cell leads. Use the chart above and the resistance you measure on the cad cell to find the cause and the appropriate action recommended for solving the problem.
To read the whole paper, go here:

TROUBLESHOOTING THE CAD CELL

There's lots of other good info on the Beckett site... poke around and learn.
(hint: register as a contractor to get access)
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-25-12 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 11-25-12, 07:09 AM
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I had the same problem, wake up in the AM to cold showers. changing the transformer fixed it.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 11:09 AM
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Not sure that this should be a new thread, so here goes:

The coupling [between the burner motor and the fuel pump] also needs to be checked, look for white powder.
What does the white powder mean? I think I had some there a few years ago when I uncoupled the motor but I just cleaned it out? (At least I think it was whitish or very light.) Googled but I canít find any reference anywhere to the white powder.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 11:34 AM
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The end caps and coupling are splined and when worn cause plastic powder.Doesn't spin as well.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 11:41 AM
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Gotcha guyold! Itís time for re-inspection of some things anyway, so Iíll look out for that!

Thanks.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 02:38 PM
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What do you mean "set up" ? I only disassembled and cleaned basically. I replaced the nozzle and the electrodes and the cad cell.

We turn the thermostat down at night. It is rarely even that we are calling for heat from the thermostat.

I did have the fuel line off. It has only one line going to the pump? How would I install a TigerLoop?
 
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Old 11-25-12, 02:41 PM
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Does the motor need to be replaced in order to inspect the coupling?
 
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Old 11-25-12, 02:47 PM
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My cad cell wires look pretty permanent on my aquastat. I have a R8182H Honeywell. Should I cut them to do this test and repair them later?
 
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Old 11-25-12, 03:01 PM
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No to first question,if leads don't unsrew cut and wirenut.Your system is more likely to leak oil then suck air.We all get in a hurry sometimes.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 11:37 AM
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Hi ineed Ė

Iím a newbie, canít help you much.

I have replaced the oil filter, nozzle, electrodes, cad cell, some gaskets that were in need of replacement, cleaned all the passageways out and vacuumed the burner section, resealed the plenum on top of the boiler as the cement was all cracked and broken, cleaned out all
That is exactly what I do yearly, except I havenít changed the cad cell. I also have the Beckett AFG, one oil line and the tank in the basement about 20 feet from boiler. Just thought, have you double checked the electrode settings? I know I have some trouble with that because of the 3 dimensions, even though they give you a gauge with the new electrodes.

Just got another thought, if you just put in a new nozzle maybe an inspection of the nozzle might tell you something? I think (not sure at all) the look of nozzle can be correlated with certain problems.

I have bled the fuel line a few times from the bleader screw near the fuel pump.
My oil filter is at the tank about 20í from the burner. When I change the oil filter and the fuel strainer in the fuel pump air is introduced into the fuel line and then I bleed at the fuel pump as you did.

But Iím pretty sure this is correct, and you probably have already made the observation, but I donít think when you go back and bleed at the fuel pump again you should see any air bubbles coming out of the bleeder valve.

I have a little clear plastic hose connected to the bleeder valve and after filter changes when I bleed I definitely see some air bubbles coming out in the tube. But once you get a steady oil stream with no bubbles I donít think you should ever be able to go back at random times and find more air bubbles.

At least it seems that way to me! Just thought Iíd mention that but sounds like you were already suspicious of air in the line and thatís why you did multiple bleeds.

I have treated the fuel with something that I cannot think of the name at this time but I can provide that if necessary.
That struck me and I but I guess the experts here donít think that is a likely culprit.

Well anyway good luck!
 
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Old 11-26-12, 03:34 PM
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Don't get stuck on thinking the problem is the CAD cell. It probably is not.

I don't want you cutting wires and stuff only to find out that it wasn't the problem and you've caused other problems.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 04:05 PM
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What do you mean "set up" ? I only disassembled and cleaned basically. I replaced the nozzle and the electrodes and the cad cell.
The burner needs to be ADJUSTED for proper combustion after any work is done. To do this correctly, instruments are required.

There are very precise measurements that the electrodes need to be set up for... exactly so far above, so far apart, and so far in front of the nozzle face.

I did have the fuel line off. It has only one line going to the pump? How would I install a TigerLoop?
Those pumps can be configured for ONE or TWO pipes. TigerLoop is a fuel oil DEAERATOR which will remove air from the oil before it gets to the burner.

See:

Tigerloop Piping

The pump would need to be modified to run a TWO PIPE between the Tiger Loop and the burner and typically flexible fuel lines are used for this. There will still be ONE pipe from the tank to the Tiger Loop device.

cad cell wires look pretty permanent on my aquastat
I suggest that you don't fool with the CAD cell anymore. Don't booger stuff up that ain't already boogered if you don't need to.

more likely to leak oil then suck air
I'm not sure I agree with that statement Guy... since the fuel system operates under a vacuum when it's drawing oil, why wouldn't it be likely to suck air in? It's a VERY common problem and one of the hardest to find.

Fuel oil molecules are BIGGER than air molecules. A very small leak at a connection is capable of sucking air into the system, but not capable of leaking oil OUT.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 06:05 PM
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Agree about cad cell but its nice to be able to adj.ohms a couple hundred if cocked and borderline like me.Also agree about small leaks but head pressure of oil usually finds pretty tiny leaks on shut down.If there's enough oil.I am betting my 2 cents with mrbizness a ing. trans.w/out lookig at it.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 06:13 PM
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Meant to say cockeyed.Not there yet.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 06:19 PM
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Fuel oil molecules are BIGGER than air molecules. A very small leak at a connection is capable of sucking air into the system, but not capable of leaking oil OUT.

That is a priceless piece of information Trooper!!! I always wondered why (and was reminded again with ineed's problem) why you could suck air but not leak oil?

I never heard anyone explain it before. Great stuff!!!





 
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Old 11-26-12, 07:21 PM
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I am betting my 2 cents with mrbizness a ignition transformer w/out looking at it.
I do to Guy... but I'm also not 100% confident that the electrodes are adjusted properly either.

That's the hard part about troubleshooting over the internet... we can't SEE what we're working on. It's like a blind guy relying on a seeing eye dog to fix your system!
 
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Old 11-26-12, 09:57 PM
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I think Trooper nailed it in post #7---it could be something else, but any time a troubleshooter hears that an oil-fired unit is crapping out overnight the first thing to troubleshoot completely is the fuel line & associated piping (pump connections, , oil filter csonnections/gaskets, fuel line couplings/gaskets, how & where the fuel line is connected to the fuel tank----step 1 is to take out the wrenches & tighten all connections in the fuel line chain, including everything just mentioned.

This in itself is often enough to find the culprit; most servicemen then take out a co2 fuel line blow out gun to clear the fuel line of any gunk that may have been sucked into the line at the tank side bottom---all kinds of crap accumulates at the tank bottom, including water & rust & the gooey stuff that is a combination of water, rust & fuel---every tank holding #2 fuel must have a bleed faucet for cleaning out the bottom 2" of corrupted fuel that always accumulates there & eventually fouls the line e & rots out the tank bottom-----if there is no co2 gun, an automotive tire pump can be connected to the fuel line at the pump end & the line blown out.

I was always taught to visualize the fuel pump/line as like (the pump) sucking on a 20' straw of Dr Pepper---the slightest pinhole leak anywhere in the line (straw) due to a loose gasket, loose connection, will let a ton of air in & shut down the fuel line & flame completely.

If troubleshooting the fuel line doesn't find the culprit by this time, I always make up a small fuel canister out of an empty coffee can (all steel type) by punching a hole in the center bottom, dressing the surfaces with emery cloth & flux & soldering a 1' length of right-angle curved 3/8" copper line & attach THAT to the fuel pump, leaving the fuel line temporarily aside & see what happens overnight.

This is the only way I know of isolating the fuel line to determine if it is or is not the problem.

If the system STILL shuts down, I then go on to check out the fuel pump psi that it is in normal limits of approx 100 psi.
 

Last edited by Dobbs; 11-26-12 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 11-26-12, 10:51 PM
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Don't know Dobbs,alot of people turn down heat at night.Colder denser air for longer works it way in,might be enough for harder start.Gravity flow tells alot about restrictions in line.Strong new spark goes along way.Just my guess.
 
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Old 11-27-12, 03:38 PM
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I always make up a small fuel canister out of an empty coffee can (all steel type) by punching a hole in the center bottom, dressing the surfaces with emery cloth & flux & soldering a 1' length of right-angle curved 3/8" copper line & attach THAT to the fuel pump,
What for a top? So this can is supported only by the tubing? I'm seeing an accident... besides, would that hold enough oil for overnight?

I would much rather use a yellow diesel container sitting on the floor... just seems safer to me, less chance for accidental spillage and probably holds a lot more oil too!
 
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