Oil burner pump noise

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  #1  
Old 09-29-20, 01:14 PM
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Oil burner pump noise

I have had this issue for about 3 or 4 years now. When the oil burner starts up, it fires fine, then about 10 or 20 seconds later the flame will sputter for a few seconds and the pump will whine. After that it runs fine for the rest of the cycle. It will then repeat the next time it fires. This problem only happens if the oil tank is half full or less, never happens if above half full. Even with the air/pump noise the safety has never tripped out.

I have had the oil company out to check it. He took the oil tube off that feeds the nozzle and saw air in the line during the time of the misfire. He thought there was a pin hole in the pickup tube in the tank at the half way point. I ended up changing out the pickup tube but the problem was still there. Checking the old pickup tube there did not seem to be any holes in it. I have also blown out the supply and return oil lines on multiple occasions and it did not help.

My system is Becket burner with a 2 stage Webster pump (2M24DL-3), delay oil valve. 275 gal tank in the basement near the furnace. 2 pipe system with the pipes coming out of the top of the tank. Oil filter is at the tank, at the top where the supply line comes out of the tank.

Again only happens if the oil tank it at the half full mark or less. Never happens if I have a full tank or above half full.

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 09-29-20, 01:23 PM
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Oil filter is at the tank, at the top where the supply line comes out of the tank.
My opinion is the filter is leaking and allowing the fuel to drop back into the tank. The burner starts and needs to purge the air that gets into the line from the oil level in the tank to the filter. The higher the fuel level.... the less air will get in and less to purge.
 
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Old 09-29-20, 04:07 PM
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Would I see oil leaking at the filter, because I don't see any. Is there anything I could do to verify this?

The filter and gasket have been changed many times over the years. Usually twice a year, once when the oil company does that annually cleaning and then 6 months later when I do it just to avoid any dirty filter issues.
 
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Old 09-29-20, 05:19 PM
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No.... you wouldn't see a leak since that line is not under pressure.... just vacuum.. It would only take a minute leak to let enough air in for the tank line to drain. Any leaking fitting up there could cause the same problem.
 
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Old 09-30-20, 04:01 AM
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The setup at the top of the tank is:

3/8" pickup tube out of the tank - compression fitting to thread adapter screwed into oil shutoff valve - oil shutoff valve threaded into filter housing input - filter housing output with thread adapter to compression fitting then tubing continues to the pump.

Could the issue be the compression fittings? Although its been this way for years, ~30 years since the filter was added at the tank.

I think I will start by converting the compression fittings to flare. Do you know what adapter I need? Flare to thread that will screw into the oil shutoff valve and filter housing? They are the same size thread.

Thank you for your input.
 
  #6  
Old 09-30-20, 08:16 AM
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Diagnosing fuel oil issues is easier with vacuum gauge in line from filter to pump.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Westwood...-Hg-1-8-NPT-LM

Also helps to have a liquid filled pressure gauge on line from pump output to nozzle .

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Westwood...-Hg-1-8-NPT-LM

Observing gauges when burner is running shows status of filter and makes diagnostics easier. Seeing 150 psi on nozzle line and no spray should indicate something.

On cold winter nights want reliable heat and quick solutions to problems, not diagnostic challenges.
 

Last edited by doughess; 09-30-20 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 09-30-20, 09:11 AM
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Converting from compression to flare is a good idea. I'm not sure exactly what you have there.
You could post a picture..... How-to-insert-pictures.
 
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Old 09-30-20, 09:36 AM
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Picture attached. As luck would have it just got an oil delivery yesterday, so tank is full. It will take a while to see if anything I do fixes the problem.



 
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Old 09-30-20, 09:57 AM
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The compression fittings at the top of the tank are probably not joints. They are normally slip fittings allowing the copper to slide thru and simply using a compression ring to keep the line in place. The one at the inlet side of the valve is an actual joint. Compression joints are notorious for leaks (particularly vacuum leaks).

To change to a flare you would need a 3/8" flare x 3/8" male pipe thread adaptor and a 3/8" flare nut. Obviouly, the line would have to be cut & flared.
 
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Old 09-30-20, 11:07 AM
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Thanks guys for the help. I will get the parts together and change out the compression fittings at the valve input and the filter output.
 
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Old 10-02-20, 08:08 AM
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From the picture, it would appear the filter outlet fitting is a flare. You might want to check before buying parts for that side.
 
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Old 10-02-20, 09:17 AM
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The filter output connection is also compression. Just a very old style. I think that one is original to the house, 1962 time frame.
 
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Old 10-03-20, 02:42 PM
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I changed out the compression fittings for flare at the oil filter. Too bad I have a full tank of oil, so I will not know if this fixes my issue till I am down to 1/2 a tank. Thanks all for the help, and I will update when I know.


 
  #14  
Old 10-03-20, 02:56 PM
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Those are flair nuts, not compression nuts.
Hopefully you didn’t put a compression ring in there.
The pipe needs to be flaired with a tool.
 
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Old 10-03-20, 03:07 PM
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Yes, they are flare nuts. I cut the pipe and compression ring off, and flared the pipe with a flaring tool..
 
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