Oil burner is not burning at a steady rate

Old 12-16-06, 07:21 PM
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Unhappy Oil burner is not burning at a steady rate

I have a burnham boiler with a beckett burner. Live in the Northeast where the temps are usually in the 30's in December, however it has been in the 50's this year. The burner starts fine but it hesitates several times a minute causing a thumping sound. The flame never goes out but the chimney flue bangs due to the change in draft. The colder it is the better the burner runs. Does anyone know what can be causing this?

Last edited by subby2000; 12-16-06 at 07:46 PM.
Old 12-16-06, 07:30 PM
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I also live in the Northeast. I assume you've had the burner professionally serviced recently. Has the filter been changed on the oil tank? I had over $600 of parts installed a couple years ago only to find a clogged oil filter. This filter clogged in two months! It caused all sorts of problems....

Also, check your flue for obstructions. Since it's the start of the season, perhaps some critters got into your flue this year...

Good luck and don't try to mess with the burner too much unless you are real familiar with these complex machines! Professional service is a must for oil burners, in my opinion.

Scott Hooker
Old 12-17-06, 01:17 PM
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as brutus said professional service is a must, however there are a few things you can do without any harm:
1. make sure you have over a 1/4 tank of oil
2. make sure your filter and nozzle have been replaced this season
3. if you have a single pipe oil feed then be sure to purge your oil line, there is a 3/8" bleeder fitting on the fuel pump to the left of the burner, with small clear hose, (1/2" vinyl tubing usually works best)and a bucket, crack the bleeder fitting open and run the burner. some new burners have a pre purge of about 10 sec before it will engage the pump, you will know when the burner comes on if this is the case due to the oil automatically feeding into the tube or a delay. in either case you will eventually see oil feeding into the hose either in a foam state (indicating air)or a solid stream of oil which you want and at which point when you see this you will shut the bleeder fitting and your done.(note, if there is a substantial amount of air the burner will shut down as your bleeding it due to it not firing after 30 seconds, in which case you will need to wait a second or 2 and then press the reset to start over.

thats about as much as you can do without having the proper test instruments and knowledge of fuel oil.

if your oil feed is a single pipe and you get the pulsation every season intermittently ask your service company about installing a tiger loop to help reduce air, pulsation and to reheat the oil. shouldnt cost too much and may be a good addition to your furnace.

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