Oil burner help


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Old 10-26-07, 08:42 PM
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Oil burner help

I've got a Beckett AFG oil burner that won't stay lit. We let our oil tank get low, and after refilling it, the burner wouldn't stay on. I replaced the filter, and attempted to bleed the pump - but there's no oil coming out of the line from the (in-ground) tank. Thinking some sediment might have been stirred up and clogged the line, I blew it out with compressed air. My wife heard bubbles in the tank, so the line's clear - but when I opened the valve in the basement, nothing came out. The line runs through a crawlspace above the oil level, and my suspicion is that there's air trapped in that part of the line, and that the pump doesn't generate enough suction to get the flow started. Should I use a vacuum pump? Any other ideas?

And on a related note, is a 90 degree ball valve a bad idea here? The current shutoff valve (the one between the tank and the filter) is a gate valve and takes forever to open and close. I'd like to replace it with a ball valve before attaching a vacuum pump, should I take that route, to prevent a huge gush of oil once the siphon is started.

thanks,
Andrew
 
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Old 10-27-07, 09:40 AM
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First: The valve that should be there is a firomatic valve. If there is a fire, the valve handle will melt and close the line. You can ADD a valve but don't remove the one that is there.

Second: If your tank is in-ground then you need to bleed out the pump. The pump will not run if there is air in it or the oil line. There should be a 3/8" bleeder valve under the oil front towards the front. Open that a few turns and run the furnace. It will prime that way. Once the oil starts coming out clean and without air, close the bleeder. The furnace should kick on after that.
 
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Old 10-27-07, 06:55 PM
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Okay, I can get a fusible globe valve, so I'll go that route.

Secondly, the problem was that I couldn't bleed the pump, because I wasn't getting any oil to it in the first place. I hooked up the vacuum pump I use to change the oil in my car, and it pulled the oil from the tank and through the line (above both the tank oil level and the burner, which is in the basement) which the pump on the burner couldn't do. Then I could bleed the pump. Next I'll replace the nozzle, just to be sure it isn't partially clogged. The flame is sometimes a bit irregular, and there may be something clogging the nozzle. Is there anything else I should check?
 
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Old 10-27-07, 07:24 PM
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No heat

Depending upon the brand of fuel pump you have, there could be a screen in the pump housing. Suntec & Danfoss pumps have screens, Webster does not. If there is a screen, it should be changed when ever the filter is changed.
 
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Old 10-27-07, 07:28 PM
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If you replace the nozzle, go ahead and clean up the electrodes as well. Since you were having irratic burning you should remove the flue pipe and make sure the furnace, chimney and flue is clear of soot. You may have sooted up your furnace running your oil level low. You should really do a draft test as well as a combustion analysis, but you probably don't have the equipment to do this with.

If your burning doesn't stabilize bring in a professional to straighten out your problems and perform the combustion testing.
 
 

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