Another tripping Beckett burner


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Old 03-03-09, 03:50 PM
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Another tripping Beckett burner

I have been reading threads here for a few days, and the amount of knowledge and helpfulness is very impressive. I find myself in need of some of that knowledge.

The problem is a very intermittent tripping of the safety switch. The "when" is always at the beginning of the cycle. The relay on the primary is closed, I hear the oil pump working, but there is no attempt at ignition. After the 30 sec the switch trips. Sometimes it will happen in 3 hours, other times it will run correctly for 3 days.

The equipment - Burnham RS110 boiler and Beckett RWB burner. There is a power vent on the system The heating system was installed when the house was built in 1991. The system is serviced each fall, with the cleaning and filter replacement.



First attempt at fixing the problem was a call to the service technician. He replaced the nozzle ( Delavan .85 80 W ) , checked fuel pressure, and tested the transformer by laying a screwdriver shaft across the "springs" and watching the arc. He declared the spark to be "pretty good". He also inspected and adjusted the electrodes, and observed Cad cell was soot-free.. All these things did not fix the problem.

I replaced the Cad cell, as it was inexpensive and easy to do. The system ran flawlessly for 3 days, and just when I was about to declare victory, it tripped.

Now I suspect the primary control to have a problem. It is a Honeywell R4184.



It fails the checkout procedure. With the cad cell leads disconnected, safety switch reset, and controller calling for heat, the burner does not start. With a jumper across F-F the burner will not start. If I remove the jumper, the relay in the primary immediately snaps closed. If I reconnect the cad cell and press the safety switch the burner immediately fires up.

So my question...is my troubleshooting diagnosis valid? I'm concerned there could be some other reason the checkout fails. Also, what would be a replacement for this primary? I can't find numbers on it. The paper tag with the checkout procedure on it says R4184D, but I don't see that on the Honeywell website. I see R4184G on the website - are they equivalent?

Thanks for reading all this. I can't afford to throw alot of money at this, so I need to approach this as intelligently as I can.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 04:12 PM
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Checkout Procedure

There are two possible causes for your problem, both of which would exibit the same symptoms.
It is possible the primary control is bad but also the burner motor is suspect.
If you can hear the arc from the igniton transformer when you reset but the motor does not run, the strongest probability is a bad motor. A quick & dirty way to check is rap the motor firmly with a screwdriver handle or hammer handle. If the motor then starts replace the motor.

If you can't hear the ignition it's likely the primary. If you replace the primary I suggest a Honeywell R7184A. You will have to install a jumper between the terminals marked T & T (instructions come with the control).
 
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Old 03-03-09, 05:20 PM
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Grady - Thank you for your fast reply, and for setting me straight on the fact it was the arc I was hearing, not the oil pump.

I need to catch it not starting again and try the tap-the-motor-trick. Good trick to know.

Thanks
 
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Old 03-03-09, 05:36 PM
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Arc

If you can hear the arc there is a 99+% probabiliy the problem is with the motor UNLESS that primary is a 4 wire primary. Most only have 3 wires (Black, White, & Orange) but some have 4 (Bk, W, Or, & Blue) with the blue being for ignition only. If yours is a 4 wire you could possibly get power to the ignition (blue) but not the motor (orange). Only a meter would tell you & with an intermittent problem......
I'd still try the screwdriver/hammer handle thing.

I found the R4184D which seems to be obsolete & replaced by the R8184G which can be replaced with the R7184A.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 06:22 PM
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Grady - You are the man! I just heard the power vent start and the burner not start...my clue it will trip in 30 seconds. I rapped the motor...and it started up!!!! Replacing the motor is a job I know I can handle.

And yes, this is a 3 wire primary. Which leads me to another question. I found the schematic for R7184A - it looks like a 4 wire primary. So I run the orange and blue of R7184A to where the orange presently goes? ( black from motor cable and one side of transformer ) That seems the only logical way of doing it, but seems prudent to ask.

Thanks so much for getting me on the right track with this.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 06:40 PM
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Motor

Good job, Artty. You had the advantage of being on site when it acted up. As a service guy I don't often get that luxury.

When installing an R7184A the wiring should be as follows:
Primary Black to Incoming Black
Primary Orange to Motor Black
Primary Blue to Transformer
Primary White to Motor White, Incoming White, & other side of transformer

If you elect to replace the primary don't forget to jump T-T. A small piece of bell wire, 14 gauge solid, or even a paper clip will work.

When replacing the motor I suggest a PSC motor like the Beckett 21805U. BTW, that motor might have an orange instead of a black wire making wiring almost goof proof.
 

Last edited by Grady; 03-03-09 at 06:48 PM. Reason: More info.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:52 PM
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Power Vent???

I just saw the part about the power vent. Could you hear the arc from the transformer? Whacking the motor could be coincidental. If the venter is wired right, it has to prove there is a draft before allowing the burner motor to come on.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 06:53 PM
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Great info, thanks again. I will heed your advice on the new motor. I like goof proof.

I owe you adult beverages. Beer 4U2
 
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Old 03-03-09, 06:56 PM
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Talking Adult Beverages

I like adult beverages but let's not celebrate yet. Did you see my post about the power vent?
 
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Old 03-03-09, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Grady
I just saw the part about the power vent. Could you hear the arc from the transformer? Whacking the motor could be coincidental. If the venter is wired right, it has to prove there is a draft before allowing the burner motor to come on.
What I thought was the oil pump is likely the arc.
The venter does come on, and will stay on forever, when the switch trips. So I think it has proven there is draft, but not starting due to the starter switch on the motor.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 07:04 PM
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Power Vent

All depends on how the venter is wired. Sometimes people will wire them so the venter & transformer come on together while holding out the motor until draft is proven. Other times they will hold out both the motor & transfomer until proving draft. I need a picture of what's under the primary. Separate the wires without disconnecting so I can see what goes where.
Also if you get a 7184A, make sure you get one with at least a 30 or 45 second safety. Some have a 15 second safety which may be too quick with a power vent.

Thanks
 
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Old 03-03-09, 07:14 PM
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Hope this is clear enough. Let me know if you need more detail.

 
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Old 03-03-09, 07:20 PM
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Excellent

With pics like that it's almost like being there. Great Job.

The ignition & motor are wired to come on together. Now the bad news: From what I could see of the rest of the boiler & the aquastat wiring, I seriously doubt the venter is wired right.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 07:29 PM
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Does this help?

 
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Old 03-03-09, 07:46 PM
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Sure Does

I couldn't see that red wire before. It looks like power goes to the venter on Red & comes back to the burner on Black but unless there is another constant hot to the venter from elsewhere you can't have any post purge (venter runs a while after a call for burner is done). What's the make & model of the venter? I'll try to find a wiring diagram for you.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 07:57 PM
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The venter is a Field Controls Sidewall Power Venter Model SWG-4HD.

The venter does continue to run for a bit after the burner satisfies the call for heat.

Grady, I deeply appreciate all the time you have spent helping me tonight. I need to get to bed soon as the morning arrives too quickly. I will check back tomorrow. I learned alot tonight.

Again, thank you.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 08:04 PM
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Field Controls

OK if it runs a while after the burner shuts off, we are probably good. I too have to get some shut eye. Gotta work tomorrow.
Sleep Well.
 
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Old 03-04-09, 05:28 AM
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Temperature went down to 8 F last night, and the burner still ran flawlessly. This is why I have been with this thing. Maybe the smack with the mallet helped!

Guess I was just "lucky" last evening when it acted up when I was watching. This has been an education.
 
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Old 03-04-09, 03:17 PM
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Lucky

You betcha you got lucky. I think I'd get a motor on the way.
Here's a place I've heard a lot of good things about.
Patriot Supply -
I'm sure they would have the 7184 as well if you so choose.
 
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Old 03-06-09, 05:58 PM
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The new motor is in!!!!

Update - the new motor is installed and working. It took me about an hour, because I don't do it for a living, and I can go slow if I want. The majority of time was spent cleaning the gerbil wheel blower and the burner housing of a thick, heavy greasy dirt. I post photos and details as inspiration to fellow DIY'ers.

I went to my local wholesaler for the part because I like to support local business when I can. The Beckett motor recommended by Grady was not available, so with some trepidation I accepted the offered substitute. So I got a GE Commerical number 4779 with the same specs as the Beckett except the amps are 2.4 instead of 2.0. It is working so I think my decision was acceptable. Your opinion, Grady?

Here is the motor with blower mounted ready for install.



I was disappointed with the amount of dirt I found in the housing. Is this an area the seasonal cleaning should address?
This photo does not show all the dirt, but gives an idea.



Here is the housing cleaned up, ready for the new motor. This is not a difficult job, so if you find yourself in the same situation, proceed with confidence.



I choose not to replace the primary control at this time. By buying local I avoid shipping charges, so I don't feel I must order everything at once. Plus if there was a problem I wanted only one changed component as the issue, not two possibles. I will replace the primary in the near future.

Many thanks to Grady and this great website for the guidance.
 
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Old 03-06-09, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Artty
The majority of time was spent cleaning the gerbil wheel blower.......
A little Friday night.... humor?: My sister was just up for visit and told me her hamster died on her. It got it's foot caught in the wheel and couldn't get out. My sister tried to free it, but got freaked out by all the yanking the hamster was doing, so she just let the poor pet die, in it's wheel. I never thought to ask her why she did not get someone to help her. Hmmm. I'll have to ask her that if I can remember.
 
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Old 03-06-09, 06:19 PM
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Motor, Dirt, etc.

That motor wil work just fine, just more expensive to run but we're only talking the equivilent of an extra 40 watt light bulb over the old motor. You'll never notice the difference in your electic bill.

Dirt: NO WAY IS THAT ACCEPTABLE Work like that gives the trade a bad reputation.

I'm sure you cleaned the blower wheel while you were at it.

Good to hear you prefer to deal locally & a supply house will sell to homeowners. Most around here won't & most DIYers want to get away as inexpensively as possible. Thanks for supporting your local economy.

Thanks for the pics & it's always good to work with someone who doesn't mind doing a bit of unconventional troubleshooting with a hammer.
 
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Old 03-06-09, 06:47 PM
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A couple thoughts on your last post, Grady.

With the advent of the internet, I think supply houses/wholesalers who don't want to sell to the public really need to rethink that. With so many sources online for parts of all descriptions, they are cutting their own throats. There was a time they could do that, but no longer. My local guy asks if I have an account. I say no and pay in cash.

I thoroughly cleaned the wheel. The first photo shows a huge inprovement over the way it was when removed. The cupped edge of the vanes were full of dirt. The oil company I have been dealing with has had a large turnover of people. I am considering what my next move should be.

This next point may reveal too much of my personality, but who cares. I experimented with how light of a tap I could give the motor and get it to start. Obviously, I can't quantify it, but if I gave it a very light tap I could make it do a "staggering start", meaning it started but sounded like near death as it did. It was definitely the motor.

Thanks
 
 

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