Draft Meter on Oil Burner says I need a new Burner

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  #1  
Old 05-04-05, 09:06 AM
jrrepairman
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Draft Meter on Oil Burner says I need a new Burner

Hi,

A repairman just checked out my faulty oil furnace, when he hooked up the draft meter it moved very slightly ( I mean BARELY ) to the left; he said this indicated I need a new furnace because there was a crack or hole somewhere. He did this procedure a few times because he said sometimes other factors like wind for example can cause the draft meter to shift left. He said the company's policy is to NEVER even service an oil burner if it is cracked.

Is he telling me the truth?

There is a vast difference between the cost of a new furnace and tuning up my furnace.

Thank you,

jrrepairman
 

Last edited by jrrepairman; 05-04-05 at 01:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-04-05, 05:31 PM
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Is he telling you the truth? Maybe, maybe not.
Where was the reading taken?
Did the draft gauge move left right away or when the fan came on?
Did he check the draft with just the fan on (no burner)?
 
  #3  
Old 05-04-05, 07:18 PM
jrrepairman
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Hi Grady,

Thanks for the reply, here’s what I got.

Where was the reading taken?

He pried off a small circular clip at the top of the unit

Did the draft gauge move left right away or when the fan came on?

When the fan came on

Did he check the draft with just the fan on (no burner)?

He jumped it so ONLY the fan would come on.

I believe he is telling me the truth, but I want to be sure. Here’s the furnace history

Large build up of globs of soot on the nozzle about every four days or so, he said this is caused by a crack or hole that allows this to happen by blowing the soot back onto the nozzle; BUT, can this be caused by something else?

Around the edges of the plate behind the motor there were areas of black carbon type marks which seemed to seep out, when he took off the metal cover that was the FIRST thing he noticed and said” That doesn’t look good”.

Another thing he noticed was the burner didn’t IMMEDIATLEY ignite, the unit would turn on and then about a second or two later the burner would kick on.

He also said that these furnaces crack because of not being serviced PROPERLY, which is EXACTLY my problem; the people that serviced this thing for the last TEN years NEVER did anything but:

Clean soot out of the pipe to the chimney

Vacuum dirt from the area where this pipe is connected to the furnace – he said the WHOLE area where the piping is connected should be removed so as to access the interior of the unit, this was NEVER done.

Vacuum dirt from inside by the motor

Replace the nozzle

Replace the filter

THAT’S IT.

Hurry up, take their $80 and get out to the next cleaning.

These people were VERY highly recommended to me and I DO trust them, I just want to be sure that none of the above problems can be caused by something costing only a few hundred dollars.

Thanks again Grady,

Joe
 
  #4  
Old 05-05-05, 07:28 AM
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With Grady here. its a YES and No when your not there.
Is there any like black on the walls upstairs or the heat registers. Wipe them with a white rag and see. Did he check out the draft on the flue and its all ok. the barometic damper ok and working
Another thing he noticed was the burner didnít IMMEDIATLEY ignite, the unit would turn on and then about a second or two later the burner would kick on.
This can be where you get some of that blow back there in the burner. You could run the furnace a bit to warm it up .Then put a smoke bomb into the furnace and see if you do have a cracked heat exchanger.

ED
 
  #5  
Old 05-05-05, 12:01 PM
jrrepairman
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Hi Ed,

"Is there any like black on the walls upstairs or the heat registers. Wipe them with a white rag and see. Did he check out the draft on the flue and its all ok. the barometic damper ok and working"

No black anywhere except behind the motor where I mentioned, he DIDN’T check anything else; when the draft meter millimeter’d it’s way to the left he stop dead and said; “it’s cracked, we don’t service units that are cracked”.

More furnace recent history.

The unit has ceased it's every four day soot build up and I only replaced the nozzle TWICE over the winter, and a third time last week; this is when the unit began shutting down again only this time with NO build up on the nozzle. So, that's why I decided to call some REAL service people into action; I'm wondering if maybe the nozzle is BAD, someone said once that this can sometimes happen. The unit has been running for two full days now with no problmes except that slight hesitation upon start up.

Joe
 
  #6  
Old 05-05-05, 12:43 PM
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The unit has been running for two full days now with no problmes except that slight hesitation upon start up.
You cant just change a nozzle and say it works. This is a new nozzle I hope
Is the burner clean inside? Is the fan wheel in the burner clean ?
Are the electrodes clean and set right? Is the transformer there good?? Is the nozzle set right in the cone? Is the nozzle the right size and Deg. what is the pump psi???Is the oil filter new or clean?? Is the flue ok and good ?? How about the barometic damper? Do you have a draft there??

No black anywhere except behind the motor where I mentioned, he DIDNíT check anything else; when the draft meter millimeteríd itís way to the left he stop dead and said; ďitís cracked, we donít service units that are crackedĒ.
I think Id get some one that knows oil burners and go over it all First before a new furnace.

ED
 
  #7  
Old 05-05-05, 04:05 PM
jrrepairman
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Well Ed,

First of all , thanks for your and Grady's replies.

I thought that's what I was getting when these people were recommended, a GOOD serviceman.

It just seems odd that he WOULD NOT continue with the service, I can see their point of being responsible for the furnance after servicing. I WANT to get good service, I don't care what it costs; geez, at least give it a try if it doesn't work correctly so what. I'm willing to spend the $150 to find out, if it's going to cost 3 G's for a new furnace with installation what's another hundred or so dollars.

Yes, the entire gun assembly is set correctly; I know, because I take this thing apart all the time. As a matter of fact when I install the new electrodes I wanted to purchase a entire new gun, but the counter person said that was not needed, just the electrodes.

As far as the rest goes, I haven't a clue; I THOUGHT this person would CORRECTLY set EVERYTHING but he shut me down cold. No service because HE says it's cracked.

I'll try to find another serviceman and have him tear the unit apart and do a visual check, if it's cracked it's cracked; that's just the way it goes.

Thanks again Ed, I appreciate your input.

Joe
 
  #8  
Old 05-05-05, 04:28 PM
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You say you got parts for the burner. They should have the smoke bombs there to put in the furnace and see if it leaks. Why the delay on light up?????????

ED
 
  #9  
Old 05-05-05, 04:58 PM
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Joe

There is a LOT more to setting up an oil burner than adjusting the electrodes.
Numerous things can cause crud on the nozzle. These include, but are not limited to: Nozzle set incorrectly in relation to the burner end cone; Warped or cracked end cone; Wrong end cone; After drip due to poor pump cut off; etc.,etc.,
The late ignition can be caused by a weak ignition transformer or improper air/fuel mixture. Believe it or not, too much air will soot a heater faster than too little.
I am a little surprised the service person didn't even look for a crack. More than once I've seen a bad $2 gasket give an indication of a cracked heat exchanger. Can you give me a make, model, & serial # (or aprox. age) of the furnace? If it is one I am familiar with, I might be able to tell you where to look for a crack. Certain furnaces have a tendency to crack in the same place(s). Make & model of the burner would also help.
 
  #10  
Old 05-05-05, 06:28 PM
jrrepairman
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Hi Grady,

Here is the info:

On the front metal cover it says: UNI -CELL under that is CENTURY, apparently the Century model of Uni - Cell

The paperwork from the sale states:

Sept. 14, 1991

Gas fired furnace, same as above with 58HU-124 CARRIER OIL FURNACE. I guess that means it is a gas furnace adapted for oil.

Plate on inside of furnace says:

Model Number: OBU130-DHS

Serial Number: AN132 M2291 6113

168,000 BTU

Joe
 
  #11  
Old 05-07-05, 09:36 AM
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Model Number

That model number looks suspiciously like a Ducane number. Ducane was one of, if not THE, largest manufactures of oil fired heating equipment. They have a terrible reputation for cracking.
I would get a second opinion or at least ask your servicer to show you where the crack or hole is. Bad draft readings can also be caused by having an open return vent too close to the furnace.
If memory serves me right, it is not difficult to pull the heat exchanger out of the OBU model. Usually would take 2 people 1-1Ĺ to do. By doing this, they could completely examine the heat exchanger.
Since you have the original sale paperwork & presuming the seller installed the equipment, you might want to check with them about warranty.
 
  #12  
Old 05-08-05, 10:38 AM
jrrepairman
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Thanks Grady,

I have already decided to get a second opinion, but this serviceman WILL tear the unit down and inspect it; and he will service it also, crack or not.

The return vent's center is 20 inches from the furnace; 16 inches from where the center of the piping goes into the furnace, is that too close?

Joe
 
  #13  
Old 05-09-05, 06:50 PM
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Any open return vent in the same room as the furnace is too close. Many times I've seen open returns cause problems when they are in the same room as the furnace. Even a loose fitting blower compartment door can do it.
 
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