Lubing the oil pump?


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Old 02-25-03, 04:53 AM
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Lubing the oil pump?

Hello,
Is it possible to lube the oil pump? Here's the background on our setup: Before we moved in, the previous owner removed the inground tank (per Connecticut Law) and installed a new tank in the garage. The oil now has to travel through a good distance of piping to get to the boiler. The problem is, this creates a rather loud "whining" noise when ever the boiler kicks on. The only time it's quiet is after the filter is changed. Then, about a later, it's back to making that noise. Also, any area subject to "foot trafic", the copper tubing is "cemented to the floor/foundation. This allows for that nice "whinning" noise to reverberate throughout the the house.

Any ideas on how to quiet the noise?

This Becker unit looks similar to our setup:

(copy and paste to see the picture)
http://www.kerivanlane.com/Graphics/afg.jpg
 
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Old 02-25-03, 06:00 AM
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Glenn J:

The pump may be cavitating due to being starved of oil or the pump could be worn out.

How long and what size is the line and what capacity is the burner?
 
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Old 02-25-03, 06:33 AM
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Thanks Greg!

It's hard to say how long the line is. It's run from the garage and along the permeter of the foundation. I would guess (accounting for all the "bends") that it's a good 50 feet of tubing between the tank and the burner pump. Also, the oil filter is mounted on the tank. Another note: The whine occurs in all seasons...even when the weather is very hot.

I'm not sure what size the copper line is. What's the easiest way to tell? Also, how do I find the burner capacity? Would you like me to take a picture of it? I'm pretty sure it has a 1.25 nozzle on their right now...
 
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Old 02-25-03, 07:36 AM
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Oil pumps

No noise for an hour after change the oil filter. Could it be that the filter is full of oil now that you bled it out after the new filter is put in? Do you have a leak there at the filter that it sucks air in?
How old is this set up? Can you have pin holes in the copper line that has the cement over it?Put a psi gauge there on the pump and see what it does. Is this still a 2 pipe set up from when they had an in ground tank? ED
 
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Old 02-25-03, 07:45 AM
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The pump will start whining about a week after the filter is changed. The tech's answer was: "Well, the filter probably has just enough "stuff" in it to cause that."

I can see the old lines from the burried tank...indeed, there are two. I'm not sure how old the set up is. Tech's have given me a range from 10-15 years old.

I don't think there's any leak by the filter, the cement is bone dry. Also, I don't beleive there's any oil leak. There's no smell of oil whatsoever.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 08:17 AM
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Oil pumps

Ok ????? If the pump had 2 lines did they change the pump back over to one stage when they put this new line in or do you have 2 lines to the new tank?? Did they use a 3/8 line and new flare fittings on it?Id put a gauge on the pump and see what its doing ED
 
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Old 02-25-03, 08:28 AM
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That I'm not sure of. The tank was removed and replaced before we even saw the house. I'm not sure if the pump itself was replaced, but the burner looks to be original. There is only one line leading from the tank to the pump currently. Based on how the copper tubing looks, the line from the new tank is brand new.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 09:08 AM
TheZman
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Hello Glenn,

I had similar problem in December with a whining pump.

Look for air entering the oil line.

Check that the filter assembly is in good condition with no corrosion or rust.

I would check that the rubber gasket at the filter bowl is in good coniditon and is making a solid contact with the filter assembly (any piece of dirt or sand on it would create an opening for air to enter).

Also check the gasket on the main bolt that secures the filter bowl to the top assembly as well as the gasket for the small bleeder bolt on the filter assembly.

My whining was caused by a disintregated bleeder bolt gasket on the filter that the oil burner technicians never bother to change.

I had no leaking present near my filter. I guess the hole was too small to leak, but when the pump starting running it was enough to pull air through.

Regards TheZman

P.S. If you change your own filter; the filter cartridge kits come complete with a filter, a rubber bowl gasket and several bolt gaskets.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 09:33 AM
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Very interesting! I guess I'll have to poke around the filter. I notice that when the unit is serviced, they only change the paper element and reuse the rest of the filter.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 09:46 AM
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Oil pumps

Like zman said you have to put all new parts there when you change the oil filter. The pump can pull air in and not leak oil out. Try the top vent screw first and see that its tight ED
 
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Old 02-25-03, 09:55 AM
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I'll give that at try this evening. I thank everyone for their input. If you could only hear the noise, you would understand my frustration with it.

I will take a picture of the filter unit and a picture of the pump/burner and post a link here so you folks can see the set up.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 11:00 AM
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Glenn:

I don't do much oil work but I tried a trick to diagnose my own noisy pump in a moble home I once owned.
I brought a small container of oil into the house and just clamped a couple of hoses to the pump fittings. Fired up the furnace to find it as noisy as before.
Changed the pump and got some piece and quiet.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 11:07 AM
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Hey, that's an interesting idea! I just have to figure out how to properly disconnect the lines before attempting that.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 11:20 AM
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Exclamation

Glenn:
I would first determine that the oil filter is ok and you don't have any other potential vacuum leaks.
You also should figure out if maybe the tubing is pinched, undersized or should have a return line.
My idea is only suggested as a last resort.

If you choose to try my suggestion you must use caution.
Spilled oil is a serious hazzard not to mention that if spilled on a carpet, you will shortly be the owner of a new carpet.

Proceed in that direction with caution!
 
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Old 02-25-03, 11:49 AM
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Greg,
That's what I'm going to do. I'll look at the filter first, then the lines. I'm pretty sure the lines are OK, but I'll double check. the problem is, 90% of the line is covered by 3/4" of cement per building code. Finding a problem with the line could be very difficult. I will also try to determine the size of the line.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 12:01 PM
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They did use flare fittings there on the new line I hope. And they did change the pump or changed the old pump back to 1 stage ED
 
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Old 02-25-03, 01:26 PM
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Unless I read something wrong, you shouldn't have any vacuum at all on the line. If the tank is at an equal or higher level than the pump, you don't have to worry about air after the initial bleed from changing filters. I would tend to suspect a bad pump with worn gears from when the old tank was in and had an air leak on the suction line and constantly ran air through the pump. Eventually, you will score the gears and they will whine forever. An old trick was to partially close the oil valve until the whining stopped but I never really liked that trick. If something blocks the already restricted valve, you will have a burner lockout. A new pump (A2VA7116) is less than $50 and could be a good investment.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 04:00 PM
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How can I tell if it's a one or two stage pump? I'll go take some pics.

Hmm, I never knew gears could wear out like that. I assume the fuel oil is used to lube the gears? UNder $50 would be a good price to get rid of the noise...
 
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Old 02-25-03, 06:29 PM
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Ok folks,
Pics as promised!

(copy and paste the URL)

Side shot of the pump:
http://pages.cthome.net/glenn_j/Furn...ump%20side.jpg


Top/side shot of the pump:
http://pages.cthome.net/glenn_j/Furn...Top%20Side.jpg

Burner unit:
http://pages.cthome.net/glenn_j/Furnace%20Burner.jpg

Old pipes from the old (now removed) tank:
http://pages.cthome.net/glenn_j/Furn...ld%20Pipes.jpg

Let me know if you folks need any additional pics.
 
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Old 02-26-03, 05:06 AM
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You know what else can make a fuel pump noisy? Teflon tape. Is that what is on the inlet where the firomatic valve goes into the pump? Just for reference, don't use teflon tape on the new pump. If a manufacturer sees it inside a pump returned for warranty, they will not honor the warranty. It is very easy for a piece of teflon to get into the gears and it screws them up somehow. If you had a 2 stage pump its model number would start with a B not an A. 2 stage pumps are only helpful in high-lift applications using 2 pipes. It would not be an advantage for you at all in this application.
 
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Old 02-26-03, 05:29 AM
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I should have mentioned this last night when I posted the pics.

I noticed that when I touch the feed line (about a foot away from the pump), it's really vibrating. You can't see it vibrating, but you can feel it.
 
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Old 02-26-03, 05:47 AM
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Just change the pump. It isn't worth the aggravation to try anything else. It will take you about 15 minutes. The only trick will be. Turn off the valve at the pump and remove the pump and then unscrew it from the valve. Otherwise you will have to turn the oil off at the tank and take the flare nut off the valve and mess with the oil in the line. Use a good sealer other than teflon tape.
 
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Old 02-26-03, 06:15 AM
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Do I need a specific make and model to fit onto that burner unit?
 
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Old 02-26-03, 07:39 AM
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Suntec model A2VA7116 just like what you have. It is probably the most popular pump in the industry.

Another tip. You will have to remove the nozzle line adapter from the old pump. Loosen the bolts that hold the pump to the burner chassis and when you have clearance for that 90 degree fitting to turn, loosen it then. If you take the pump off, it is hard to hold to get that little fitting out. They are unbelievably tight from the factory. Don't grab it and smash the threads either or you will never get the line back on. The brass is soft. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all but I do want your job to go smoothly.
 
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Old 02-26-03, 10:15 AM
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Oil pumps

I still like to use good old shellac on all of the thead fittings on a oil job. Take the pump with you and say I want one like it single stage ED
 
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Old 02-28-03, 05:26 AM
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Thanks again folks! For some reason, the board stopped e-mailing me when people responded to this!

One more question...there's an empty "coupling" or "fitting" on the lower front side of the pump. Any idea what this is for? You can kind of see it in the pic I posted of the pump.
 
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Old 02-28-03, 05:36 AM
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If you are talking about the small barb nipple, that is for bleeding the air from the fuel system. Haven't you ever done that before? If not, you might consider trying that first. Air makes a pump noisy too. Just start the burner and put a 3/8" wrench on the hex and open it about 1/4 turn. Catch the oil in a pan and take notice if it starts out foamy.
 
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Old 02-28-03, 05:39 AM
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Interesting, I've never done that before. I'm a boiler newbie! This is our first house and we've been here just about two years.

I'll take a better pic of what I'm taking about and show it to you folks.
 
 

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