Oil burner will not fire up

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Old 11-10-07, 08:45 PM
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Oil burner will not fire up

I have an old furnace with the honeywell box on it. I can't get the furnace to fire and I will give more info.
The burner is American Standard Arcoflame Series T-1
The boiler is an AP one I think, it is oil with a water circulator
The transformer is 10000 volts, I think 60 AMPS
Heres the story.
At times the reset button had to be reset. Then the furnace would fire up. At times I could hear it trying to fire, sputtering almost then I would shut the switch off, back on and it would fire.
Now it is different.
Now the pump is pumping, oil is flowing but no ignition.
I took the transformer off, did a bench test with the points connected to the transformer and I get a good spark. I know theres oil, theres spark too.
Why wouldn't it fire. Like I said, the pump is pumping.
Can it be the CAD cell?
I was hoping it was just the transformer but I got good spark every test, 20 times or so or can it be a faulty tranny, just not always?
Hope to hear soon from ya.

DanO
 
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Old 11-10-07, 09:34 PM
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Transformer

The easiest way to bench test a transformer is to use a well insulated screwdriver. Lay the blade across both terminals & pull it back away from one side. The spark should hold untill the end of the screwdriver is at least 1/2 way back to the other terminal. Another possibility is a dirty nozzle. Nobody as adjusted the air to the burner have they?
 
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Old 11-11-07, 04:08 AM
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I actually pulled the nozzle assy out, pulled the tranny off, reassembled the assy on the bench, hooked the wires from the tranny to an electrical cord and plugged the cord in, I had a great spark arcing across the points
 
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Old 11-11-07, 02:07 PM
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Transformer

Let's presume for the moment the transformer is good even if your method is not a great way to test it.

Your problem could be a partially fouled nozzle creating a poor spray pattern. I suggest changing the fuel filter, pump screen, & flushing the fuel system. THEN install a new nozzle & give it a try.
 
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Old 11-11-07, 03:31 PM
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I have heat, furnace seems to be working fine as of now, I am not confident though. I pulled the nozzle off, soaked it in a cleaning fluid, blew out the lines, changed the filter but not the screen filter yet, bled the system and was happy with the spray pattern. I did all this with the burner off of the furnace, on the floor. So, I had air in the line, I had a real dirty filter and I have good working furnace for today. I will get into the pump to find the screen, clean it, get a new nozzle soon and clean out the chimney pipes also. I should mention while I had the burner off, I cleaned out the bottom of the heater box, all the buildup sitting at the bottom. I just need to find out the way to find the perfect flame and I will be happy.
 
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Old 11-11-07, 03:52 PM
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Cleaning/Testing

Glad you got it going. There is more to cleaning the boiler than the chamber & vent pipe. The passageways in the boiler need to be brushed & vacuumed as well. I think that boiler has a panel on the side you can remove to do this. You most likely have a Suntec "J" pump on that boiler. If on the end of the pump there are 8 hex head bolts (7/16") it is a "J" pump. Trying to clean the screen is a real job. You can buy a new one for about $5.

Adjusting the flame is not a DIY job. Improper adjustment can result in major carbon monoxide production. This is something best left to a pro with the proper test equipment.
 
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Old 11-12-07, 04:00 PM
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I have left the sliding air mixture adjuster at where it was. The pump is a Suntec pump with 4 hex bolts on the outside. I will dive in to that this week to see what the screen is like, and I vacuumed out the bottom of the heat box area. I noticed that the inside walls that appear to have a cement liner are cracked in areas and crumbling apart at the top and the crumbling material ended up on the bottom of the heat box.
I do intend to have a new furnace installed next year, so I really just want this one to make it one more year, that's what I am hoping for.
Grady, thanks for the info and for your safety concerns. I am very safe myself when it comes to everything and I can see that a heating system such as mine is not complex as one would think. I guess if I could rebuild my Ford 289 and I can rebuild a Saginaw 4 speed transmission and other numerous projects, working on my second old boiler and burner is really easy and in some ways, fun.
 
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Old 11-12-07, 08:50 PM
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4 hex bolts

If those bolts have a 5/16" head, you have an "A" pump. The screen & gasket come together & are readily available.
If the heads are 7/16", it's an OLD "A" pump. Takes the same screen but you may have to make a gasket. Tag stock works well if you get both surfaces good & clean.
 
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Old 11-14-07, 07:50 PM
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Oh yeah, they are the 7/19 bolts. I have gasket material here, I will have to get a screen though at the heat and plumb store. Hey, Grady, thanks for inputting.

DanO
 
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Old 10-11-08, 03:29 PM
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Arrow oil burner will not fire

Help please, I have a miller heater, and it will not fire up...We have oil, we have cleaned lines , new pump, what is left to do? Please help , no money for repairs.. Thank you :GI2
 
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Old 10-11-08, 03:38 PM
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Miller

There are numerous reasons for an oil burner not to fire. The nozzle could be fouled, the electrodes worn or out of adjustment, the ignition transformer could be dead or weak. These are the most common but there are several others.

You say you've installed a new pump. Did you get all of the air out of the fuel system by using the bleeder port on the pump?
 
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Old 10-12-08, 03:09 PM
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Yes we did bleed the system, we got the heater used and it work fine after is was put in, but we ran out of fule, The oil man brought 100 gals and now it will not work. Can't win for losing.. looks like there may be water in the tank, when we were bleeding it looked like it was laying on top of the oil. so we started again by clean all line again, pump is working but no fire
 
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Old 10-12-08, 03:14 PM
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Water

The oil should float on top of the water.

How many times have you pushed the reset button without the furnace firing?
 
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Old 10-13-08, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Grady View Post
The oil should float on top of the water.

How many times have you pushed the reset button without the furnace firing?
we put new nossel on heater and got it to fire up, but now we are getting a cloud of smoke coming out of stack. worried that it will catch fire...what now
 
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Old 10-13-08, 04:38 PM
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Smoke

If you are afraid of it, find the money & make the call. Again I ask, how many times did you push the reset button & the burner did not fire?
 
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Old 10-14-08, 05:03 AM
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many , many times , does this matter? , I can't call anyone my hrs have been cut down to 22 a week, trying to keep our head above the water here
 
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Old 10-14-08, 02:48 PM
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Two Choices

The way I see it is you have two choices. Either take a chance on burning the house down & possibly killing yourselves or call a professional. If you choose to make the call, be sure to tell the service person how many times you pushed the button. Honesty on that point could literally be the difference in life & death.
 
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Old 10-14-08, 03:26 PM
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Sounds like you need tips on how you can clean your entire fuel system, as running it out of oil sounds like it caused this.

I was standing next to a guy, one time, who was servicing a fuel oil furnace where the lady of the house had pushed the reset several times. And when the guy got it running, a scary run-away inferno developed in the combustion chamber. It just roared in there, the furnace shook, and was quite scary. I envisoned fire going all the way up the chimney, wondering if the flue was in decent enough shape to handle that. I was ready to run for it. Not to scare you or anything, but I think you needed to hear what can happen.
 
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Old 10-16-08, 05:03 AM
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Debbie, what the others are saying is true. When you hit the reset button on those numerous times without it firing, oil may have built up in the bottom of the furnace, in the firebox. What you should do is take some rags, old towels, whatever and get in there and clean any oil sitting on the bottom out of there. That may have and probably caused the smoke. Don't be scared ! A furnace is really a simple machine after you dive in there. Yes, it can be a dangerous one also if you are not careful and not informed.
Clean the oil out, don't run out of oil anymore and keep changing the filter every year and hopefully your problems will be minimum. Good luck with the heat, your job and stay warm this winter, safely.

DanO
 
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