Who knows the sequence of events? Forced Air Oil Furnace w/Power Venter


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Old 10-16-09, 07:00 PM
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Exclamation Who knows the sequence of events? Forced Air Oil Furnace w/Power Venter

Hi folks,

I'm having the dreaded "intermittent lockout" problem. Lately, even a reset doesn't take and my family is getting a bit chilly. Been having the problems for about a year, now.

Concord RLUF80C112/125D20-1A Furnace
Beckett AWG Burner
Honeywell R7184B Primary
Tjernlund SS2 Power Venter

What's been tried:
furnace cleaned
filter is clean and nozzle is fresh (old one looked clean/clear)
new primary
new CAD cell
ignitors tested
pump pressure tested

I'm about to install a Tigerloop tomorrow but something was brought to my attention.
Sequence of events when locked out and reset button does NOT work:
1. strong buzz generating from around the ignitors.
2. Power Venter never turns on.
3. "click" comes from Primary.
4. lockout ... denial, acceptance, depression, beer.

Sequence of events when locked out and reset DOES work:
1. strong buzz from around the ignitors.
2. Power Venter turns on.
3. Burner fires up and green "flame" LED illuminates.
4. Blower motor engages and glorious heat is delivered.

Sequence of events when I jump the Primary while not locked out:
1. Power Venter turns on.
2. Burner fires up and green "flame" LED illuminates.
3. Blower motor engages and glorious heat is delivered.

My main question:
What's the strong buzz? I assumed it was 10,000 ticklers going through the electrodes but those shouldn't fire until the vacuum switch is tripped in the Power Venter, right???


Is it just the pump priming the chamber?
Is there a test that has to be satisfied before the Power Venter triggers? because I'm really wondering why sometimes it doesn't turn on and I'm wondering if that's the problem.

Thanks!
Steve
 

Last edited by extremerider; 10-16-09 at 08:19 PM. Reason: added make/model info
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Old 10-16-09, 07:34 PM
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What kind of power venter and furnace is it?

The burner shouldn't be powered until the venter
detects the proper amount of air movement.
How long do you hear the buzz before it locks out?
 
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Old 10-16-09, 07:37 PM
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Forgot to ask what honeywell primary do you have?
 
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Old 10-16-09, 08:05 PM
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Furnace: Concord RLUF80C112/125D20-1A

Venter: Tjernlund SS2
Tjernlund Products, Inc.

Primary: Honeywell R7184B
http://customer.honeywell.com/techli...it/69-1233.pdf
(previous primary was "R7184B 1032")

I don't have the exact time lapse, but I want to say it takes 15(?) seconds of buzzing before I hear the "click" in the primary. When I hear the "click" the buzzing continues but it always locks out in another ~5 seconds.

If the power venter goes on, the primary doesn't "click" and the burner fires.
 

Last edited by extremerider; 10-16-09 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 10-16-09, 08:31 PM
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Do you have a voltmeter and know how to use it and are you comfortable working around electricity?

Assuming everything is wired properly...Could the buzzing be coming from the primary and not the electrodes?
It's early in the diagnosis, but I'm suspecting there's a problem with the primary or a loose wire in the box underneath the primary.

Sequence goes, Call for heat> primary sends power to the venter > venter starts up> sail switch detects proper air movement> switch closes and powers burner.

"very basic"

If you have anyway to take some pictures of the wiring on the bottom of the primary it would be useful. I'm going to try to find a wiring diagram.
 
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Old 10-16-09, 09:19 PM
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Here's a couple links for you to look at.

http://www.tjernlund.com/Tjernlund_8504105.pdf
http://www.tjernlund.com/Tjernlund_8504105.pdf

Look's like the buzzing could be the transformer, but
we'll have to do some diagnosis to figure out why the venter motor isn't coming on.

Time for bed now
 
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Old 10-17-09, 08:59 AM
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Hey pfd27,

Thanks for the good will.

voltmeter - I have one and know how to use it. I'm 'ok' around electricity but my day job is as a cubicle monkey.

As you know, it's difficult to troubleshoot an intermittent issue. Of course, the furnace has been working properly for the the last 24 hours even though it was locking out multiple times a day previous to me posting for help.

I turned the furnace off to take the following pics and when I turned it on, I listened for that buzz ... it's definitely the same buzz coming from within the burner. Can't really hear the transformer.
It fired up correctly. Sequence:
1. The venter and the buzz were pretty much simultaneous. I can't really confirm that the venter went on first. It was so close.
2. Burner fires up.
3. Blower engages.

It's different from when I reset from lockout. Sequence:
1. The buzz definitely comes first and for a distinguishable amount of time before the venter kicks in.
2. Venter comes on.
3. Burner fires up.
4. Blower engages.

I'm not trained, but I think that buzz is the electrodes. What do you think?

Pics... All connections and wire nuts looked and felt secure.

Overview


Primary


Wiring Overview


Valve


... goes into the Burner (sorry, I should have popped that up and chased all wires to terminations)


L2 (the common, right?)


... goes to the common
 

Last edited by extremerider; 10-17-09 at 09:07 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 10-17-09, 09:02 AM
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L1


... goes to the limit switch


BURNER/MOTOR


... goes to the workbox/switch and then to the Firomatic


... and finally to the Power Venter


INTRPT/IGNITER


... goes into the burner
 

Last edited by extremerider; 10-17-09 at 09:07 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 10-17-09, 09:06 AM
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CAD CELL


... goes into the burner



While I have some questions regarding the wiring, I have confidence in the installer and servicemen that they ensured everything is correct.
 
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Old 10-17-09, 09:49 AM
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I just read this again
"Sequence goes, Call for heat> primary sends power to the venter > venter starts up> sail switch detects proper air movement> switch closes and powers burner."

I kinda figured that's why my "BURNER" connection on the Primary was wired to the Power Venter.

So the Venter should *always* come on, first, right?
If it fails, it never closed the switch for the burner and the burner never turns on ... CAD Cell never sees flame ... lockout.

Still leaves me with 3 questions:
1. Is there any test that must be met before the Venter turns on?
2. Would a lockout change anything (ie - is the Venter locked for a period of time and this is why a reset doesn't work?)
3. What is that buzz? I really think it's electrodes ... are they firing and just waiting for the burner?

edit:
regarding question #3 - that makes sense. It probably is the electrodes. Since the Primary just sends a signal to the Venter, it really doesn't know if/when the burner is going to come on. So it just charges the electrodes the whole time and waits for the CAD Cell Eye to confirm.
... SO ... it would appear that my problem is around the Venter. The Venter is either:
A. not getting a signal
or
B. failing to start even though it has received the signal

Questions #1 and #2 still apply.
 

Last edited by extremerider; 10-17-09 at 10:50 AM. Reason: more thoughts
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Old 10-17-09, 11:15 AM
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I'm guessing the buzz is from a relay that has a time delay resistor in it or coil that is buzzing, because it cannot properly 'make' the 120 volt conversion there, due to bad internal contacts or whatever - or the ventor is froze up.

You can easily eliminate the latter by ohms testing and even making the proper 120 volt connections, to try to run the ventor direct, bypassing any circuitry - to see if the ventor is bad or not. Or, if you disconnect the 120 volt wires for the ventor, you can also test for 120 volts across the two, when the ventor should be coming on.

I do not suspect the electrodes as I believe, logically, the ventor should have to come on first. They even often have it run a number of seconds first so it can clear out(purge) any unburned oil vapors first(say you reset it and extra oil gathered in the furnace), and start the draft.
 
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Old 10-17-09, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for jumping in, ecman51'.

Pre purge is set to 15 seconds - it's over a 12' run. But the primary doesn't really know about pre purge time, does it? Wouldn't it just send signal to the burner and the igniter at the same time (burner signal being intercepted by the venter)?

When jumped, the venter comes on. It's also been working for the last 36 hours. I didn't test voltage, though. I know it *can* run. I just don't know why sometimes it *doesn't* run.

Just thought of something else that should've been obvious:
It might not run because of a time out period from the primary, right?

So if the primary has an extended time out period, it locks out the burner signal ... which is actually the venter signal.

and so we're potentially back to what my builder said, "possible air leak in the line" and what my service professional recommended, "install a Tigerloop".

I guess I really need a lockout right now so I can test for signal and voltage after hitting that reset button.

I could use a little affirmation or correction from any willing folks.

Thanks!
Steve
 
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Old 10-17-09, 12:25 PM
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If the ventor and pump let's say do not run when it is caught in the act of not working right, then I couldn't see what anything about air in the line would have anything to do with anything. But if the ventor and pump ran and then there were no burner fire, then it could be.

I have no answer unless you catch it in the act and know exactly what it does or doesn't do.
 
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Old 10-17-09, 05:00 PM
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I suspect the buzz is the ignition & the click is the oil solenoid. Beckett has had a problem with oil solenoids. Most of the time it is an intermittent problem & hard to catch. I replaced 5 or 6 last winter. How about some pics of the wiring at the venter?
 
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Old 10-17-09, 05:50 PM
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I was looking at the wiring diagrams today as I had to replace a water heater with a SS1C this morning. The diagrams show the transformer is wired to come on with the call for heat.
My next place to go if you can get it to mess up long enough would be to check for power at the venter motor when you reset the primary.

Still leaves me with 3 questions:
1. Is there any test that must be met before the Venter turns on?
Should start as soon as there's a call for heat

2. Would a lockout change anything (ie - is the Venter locked for a period of time and this is why a reset doesn't work?)
Normally, if everything is working ok and the burner locks out
because of a nozzle or something, the venter should stay in post-purge for up to 5 minutes. I'm just guessing, but I'm thinking the venter motor may have a dead spot in the start winding or something like that. You're going to have to check for power going into the venter motor once you can get it to crap out again or maybe give the motor a rap with a screwdriver handle while the burner is buzzing.

3. What is that buzz? I really think it's electrodes ... are they firing and just waiting for the burner?
While it's buzzing, flip back the transformer and see if the buzzing goes away. Be careful to not touch the terminals or springs on the bottom.
 

Last edited by pfd27; 10-17-09 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 10-17-09, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pfd27
I'm just guessing, but I'm thinking the venter motor may have a dead spot in the start winding or something like that. You're going to have to check for power going into the venter motor once you can get it to crap out again or maybe give the motor a rap with a screwdriver handle while the burner is buzzing.
This may be a crazy coincidence, but I did that during a 4:30 in the morning reset one night and the venter came on.

Grady - solenoid definitely makes sense for the "click" sound but I'm positive the sound comes from the primary. My guess is a loud trip in the primary, initiated by the CAD cell not detecting flame. feasible?

I buried my nose in the manuals and wiring for a few hours today. Afterall, I was blown away at you folks volunteering your help. So I wasn't about to slack off on my end. Plus, it's cold and I have a baby!

I confirmed a few things, too:
1. yes, the buzz is the igniter. I believe it's called the "carry over time", when the igniter runs for 10-30 seconds.
2. yes, the primary calls the venter (burner call) & igniter at the same time. venter calls the burner after the fan prover switch switch has been satisfied.

Originally Posted by pfd27
Normally, if everything is working ok and the burner locks out because of a nozzle or something, the venter should stay in post-purge for up to 5 minutes.
Yep - my post purge is set for 4 minutes. Thing is, the venter is really just called with a "BURNER" call, right? So, if for some reason, like a "Restricted" burner lockout, the primary will refuse to call the burner, then the venter will never receive a call. Leads me to my next question:
If there is a "Restricted" lockout at the primary, will the primary still call the igniter? If so, I believe this is the scenario we are dealing with.



We're over 40 hours from the last reset, now. I'm really hoping it runs properly overnight and locks out in the morning so I can run some tests.
 
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Old 10-18-09, 01:55 PM
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Primary/venter

There should be no sound from the primary since it is electronic not electro-mechanical.
If the primary goes into lockout, no power should come out of it, to the venter or elsewhere.

Personally, I think you'd be better off with a R7184A than the 7184B. I believe you may be compounding delays & causing the primary to trip when nothing is really wrong.
 
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Old 10-18-09, 06:17 PM
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just checking in, guys. Nothing to report. Still no lockout.
I'm sure it's waiting for 3:00 AM on a work night.
 
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Old 04-09-10, 06:49 PM
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pdf27 was correct

Long time no talk, folks.

I had to come back here to report since you folks were really great at sharing your knowledge with me.

I'd been watching my lockout problem for a long long time. There were no obvious answers and the fact that it was intermittent really had me guessing. Of course, the problem rarely shows up when you're watching ... but all it takes is once (or a few times):

As pdf27 mentioned, there might have been a dead spot in the motor and when I rapped on it one night, it spun up. I didn't trust my brain at 4:30am. I 2nd guessed myself a bunch.
Then it started happening more frequently (motor was getting worse). The primary would call the venter, you could see the LEDs fire up, but no motor. Bang away at the SS2 and it would spin up. Wiring appeared to be fine.

My suspects were the universal controller (not as likely), a very hidden/obscure wiring failure (not as likely), or a bad motor (likely).
I could have changed the motor, but I'm sure if I did that, it would have been the control board. Plus, I didn't know if slight updates in SS2 design would allow for a direct swap. So I swapped out the entire SS2.

Everything's been great so far. Knock on wood.

I thank all of you folks once again. It really was awesome of you to spend time with my problem. Thanks, pdf27, ecman51`, and Grady!
 
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Old 04-09-10, 07:08 PM
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Thumbs up Good Job

Glad you got 'er fixed. Not exactly an inexpensive fix but fixed none the less. If you still have the old venter hang on to it for spare parts (especially the blower wheel & control board). If it will come off, remove the wheel from the motor shaft ASAP. Generous & repeated doses of PB Blaster often help.

We are always glad to help when & where we can. Should any other problems crop up we'll do our best to help you fix it yourself.
 
 

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