Oil Furnace, Buss Bar Pitting and Arcing


Old 12-10-07, 04:44 PM
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Oil Furnace, Buss Bar Pitting and Arcing

I have an old Amana oil furnace that I've nursed along for many years. Early last winter, the electrode buss bars were looking worn, so I replaced them, along with the usual nozzle and filter replacement. I also polished up the transformer terminals.

However, I was surprised to find that the new buss bars very quickly began to pit and show arc markings, to the point that the furnace actually shut down, with lots of soot on the nozzle and a general mess of unburnt oil in the combustion chamber. I repolished the bars and reset their angle relative to the transformer terminals, but the same thing happened again.

Any suggestions about why this could be happening and how to prevent it from happening again?
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Old 12-10-07, 06:34 PM
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There needs to be a small but positive amount of pressure from the buss bars to the transformer terminals. You may have to bend them slightly to get that contact to be more positive. Also be sure to clean all the carbon tracks off so there is good clean metal to metal contact. Spring terminals on the transformer seem to be more forgiving because they can compress to give the pressure necessary. There is no magic and you may have to play with it to get it right but I would suggest keeping at it until it works properly. It is no fun to have a lockout or a sooted up boiler. Although, I'm not entirely convinced that your carbon problem is rwlated to the arcing. It could easily be a nozzle or setup issue too.


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