Oil Burner stuttering after running for a few minutes


  #1  
Old 02-20-15, 02:58 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oil Burner stuttering after running for a few minutes

Hello All,

First I am brand new here and hope to be able to contribute to the community. But of course I am here because of a problem I am having currently.

I have an oil fired boiler with baseboard hot water heating, there is no domestic hot water (coil is installed but disconnected).

Boiler fires properly, shuts down properly and is giving heat. The problem I am having is after a few minutes into the cycle the boiler stutters like the flame is going to shut off and then back on, it does it very quickly and never loses the flame. It stutters like this for about 3 times and then continues on with the heat cycle until it reaches the 180 degree temp to shut off.

I have checked the cad light sensor and it is clean and seems to be fine. I haven't done anything else yet.

What are your thoughts?

Thank you all...
 
  #2  
Old 02-20-15, 04:08 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,538
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
Hi Phil, welcome!

Where is your tank located? Outdoors?

Does your burner have one, or two pipes between the burner and tank?

When was the last time the burner was serviced and the boiler cleaned?
 
  #3  
Old 02-20-15, 04:13 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the welcome!

My tank is in my garage (cold in there) and only one line going to the boiler. It hasn't been serviced recently so I was thinking it may be the strainer at the pump? But why would it happen only after a while burning and for only about 3 seconds and then all normal again?
 
  #4  
Old 02-20-15, 04:40 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,538
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
Maybe the strainer, the filter, but it could just be very cold oil.

Do you know the nozzle size? firing rate? or even the BTU output of the boiler...

Smaller nozzles are more problematic with colder oil.

Could be that there is a minute air leak in the lines and it's pulling air in.

Do you know if there's a 'Tiger Loop' oil deaerator installed at the burner? (looks like R2D2 from Star Wars)

How full is the tank?

Does the oil line come off the bottom of the tank? Or does it go overhead?

Where is the oil filter located?

But why would it happen only after a while burning and for only about 3 seconds and then all normal again?
Good question... don't know... could be lotsa reasons. Sorry for all the questions... hope they help to get a good answer!
 
  #5  
Old 02-20-15, 05:03 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BTU is 120,000 - Firing Rate 1GPH - Nozzle 085/80AR.

Not sure if that is actually the nozzle in there as I just took the info off the side plate of the boiler.

Tank is 1/2 full, line comes off bottom and oil filter is located at tank.

Not sure about the 'Tiger Loop' I will take a photo when I get back home later...

Thank you for all the questions!
 
  #6  
Old 02-20-15, 05:11 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,538
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
That nozzle is on the 'small-ish' size...

Yes, pics would help.

How long have you lived with this system?

No history of similar problems in the past?

Has the weather ever been this cold since you've lived in the home?

Trying to gather data to try and decide if this is possibly a cold oil issue.

It was about 2F here in central Joisey last night, imagine colder by you?
 
  #7  
Old 02-20-15, 05:51 PM
S
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 3,427
Received 127 Likes on 119 Posts
P,
I believe what you have is a cold oil situation. When your boiler starts it's using the oil from the line in the basement which is warm enough to burn OK. then after it uses that oil it starts pulling from the cold tank and especially that filter canister.
The filter is where the oil will gel.l in cold weather. Tanks aren't kept as full now because of oil prices and that allows for moisture and water is heavier than oil and it gets into the canister. This was common in outdoor tanks with filters attached. What people would do is build a little box big enough to house a light bulb and the heat from that bulb was enough to keep the oil from gelling.
Your sputtering ,I believe is that initial oil in the canister. Once it starts to flow it will smooth out.
What I would suggest is to move your filter inside the basement before the pump where let's warmer and that may solve your problem.
A little side bar. When I bought my house years ago the one thing the people hated was having to call the oil man all the time to thaw out the filter on the outside tank.
It was an elderly couple and instead of doing what I suggested to you he would come over and spend a few minutes and charge them a service call. Piece of S$$$.
This is just a suggestion given what you have told us.
Good Luck,
Edit.
Another little trick I used to do was leave a few added loops of oil line in the basement to give the oil more time to warm up.
 
  #8  
Old 02-20-15, 08:21 PM
S
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: canada
Posts: 567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A Tiger loop is a good investment as it helps to heat the oil , eliminates a service call to bleed air from the pump and may have an oil filter on it .
 
  #9  
Old 02-20-15, 08:24 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 14,403
Received 39 Likes on 37 Posts
I would start by changing the filter & adding a bottle of fuel treatment to the tank.

Does your fuel pump have a solenoid on it?
 
  #10  
Old 02-20-15, 09:32 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you ALL for your replies. I just got home and it is late tonight so I will come back and update tomorrow with answers to all your questions.

One thing I just noticed sitting here is that it is almost always the same time. I could probably time it and see.

So basically it runs, burns for a few minutes then off-on-off-on very quickly...

Could it be something electrical and not fuel related? What controls the blower? The Aquastat? Almost sounds like something is telling it to shut off but then changes its mind. Like a chattering relay...

Once again THANK YOU!
 
  #11  
Old 02-21-15, 10:26 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,538
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
One thing I just noticed sitting here is that it is almost always the same time. I could probably time it and see.
Possibly because the burner is always drawing fuel at the same rate when it runs. The amount of WARMER oil in the piping is always the same.

Could it be something electrical and not fuel related?
It could be, but not as likely as a fuel issue.

Please post pics and answer all questions:

How long have you lived with this system?

No history of similar problems in the past?

Has the weather ever been this cold since you've lived in the home?

Does the fuel line go overhead at any point in it's travel? or is it all 'downhill' to the burner?


Does your fuel pump have a solenoid on it?
 
 

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