Oil Furnace Fires for only 20 seconds


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Old 10-28-09, 11:24 PM
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Oil Furnace Fires for only 20 seconds

Our Oil Furnace (Beckett AFG with Honeywell R8184G controller) fires and runs for about 20 seconds, loses flame, and the safety trips.

We routinely replace nozzle and oil filter about 3 times each heating season. Just replaced last week.

There is a good inch plus hot spark from the transformer (checked across contacts). Electrodes are in fair shape, but are a few seasons old.

Cad cell is showing about 450 ohms with bright light, 100,000 ohms in dark. It was replaced last year.

If I push the reset, the furnace fires quickly and without rumble or smoke. 20 seconds later the flame stops; but the pump continues to run. I have been tripping the reset after about 2-3 seconds to avoid putting a lot of oil into the combustion chamber.

Had the same problem three days ago. After checking everything I could, I gave the oil pump a light rap with a crescent wrench (theory of the bigger hammer). It worked great for two days! I do not recommend this as a repair technique, but I thought that there might be a clog that could be freed up.

We are back to the 20 second flame! I disconnected the cad cell from the controller. Started the furnace (it fired) and immediately jumped the cad terminals (F terminals). In theory, the furnace should continue to run. Nope20 seconds, fire out; pump still running.

According to the Oil Controller manual, this indicates a faulty controller. I also understand there was some sort of a recall on Honeywell R8184G units.

My questions are:

1. Should I check anything else?
2. Any concurrence that the Controller is the culprit?

I have the techs with the measuring devices come out to do fine adjustments after the furnace has been in use for a month or so for "shakedown". We live out in the country, and service calls are expensive, so I try to take care of all I can to better use the service tech when they get here!

Your help is greatly appreciated,

Pat
 
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Old 10-29-09, 05:19 AM
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Sounds like an oil flow issue, could be a clogged pump strainer or slipping coupling, have you checked pump pressure?
 
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Old 10-29-09, 06:41 AM
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I found a little information about oil burner pressure:

WikiAnswers - What is the typical pressure on a residential oil burner
 
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Old 10-29-09, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Two Pats
Our Oil Furnace (Beckett AFG with Honeywell R8184G controller) fires and runs for about 20 seconds, loses flame, and the safety trips.


Pat
Does it lose flame and trip the safety at the same time, or does it lose flame and then run for 30 seconds or so and then trip?
 
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Old 10-29-09, 02:56 PM
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It does continue to run for 15 to 20 seconds after it loses flame. I do have some update info:

I disonnected the oil line to the burner. When I trip the safety, it only pumped oil for 2 or 3 seconds. The Pump strainer was very dirty, so I cleaned it and put it back. Still only get about 2-3 seconds of oil.

I put a pressure gauge on the pump. I really don't have a pressure gauge, but I used an engine compression gauge. It read a little over 90 lbs (which is low...shouldn't it be about 100?) However, it is probably not real accurate at that range.

Does this pump use a spring loaded stop valve that could be shutting off the oil because the pressure is too low?

I will also check the coupler, although I would have thought the pumping would have been more erratic if the coupler was slipping.

More suggestions??

Thanks to all.

Pat

I have not yet tested the vacuum side. What should the vacuum be?
 
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Old 10-29-09, 04:10 PM
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Replaced inline filter (was only a few days old, and looked clean) and have increased oil pressure to 100 psi. Still same problem.....runs for 20 seconds, then cuts off. When I disconnected the oil line from the burner, I would get a stream for only 2-3 seconds. Could it be that, because there is no back pressure from the nozzle, that a spring loaded valve is shutting down the oil flow? If so, does that take me back to the controller?

Is there anyway to modify the innards of the controller to test it.....bypass timer? I would only do that to see if I can get more than 20 seconds operating time.....not for continuous operation (that would be idiocy!!!!!)

Again, thanks for any help!

Pat
 
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Old 10-29-09, 05:42 PM
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oil valve

Is the pump a clean-cut?

R. W. Beckett Corp. | Products

Or is there a delayed oil valve on it? Like the pic below..

Amazon.com: Honeywell V4046A1074 delay oil valve 3-8 second delay, maximum pressure 300PSI: Home Improvement
 

Last edited by pfd27; 10-29-09 at 05:49 PM. Reason: oops
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Old 10-29-09, 05:55 PM
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Nope, no oil delay valve; and is not a "clean-cut" pump.

Pat
 
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Old 10-29-09, 06:03 PM
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If there's no valve on the pump, then you should get oil from the nozzle line until the burner goes on safety.
After you get the 2-3 seconds of oil, what does the pump pressure do?
 
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Old 10-29-09, 06:33 PM
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The 2-3 seconds only happened with the oil line feeding into a container. The oil line is now hooked up to the burner. When I press the reset, the burner fires immediately, no delay, and shows 100 psi. When the flame stops, the pressure drops to zero.

The pressure gauge I am using has a pressure hold feature, and I have to press a relief button. Here is how I tested it:

Press Reset button. Pressure 100 psi.

Press gauge release button. Flame stops, gauge drops to zero (because of release button) then jumps back ot 100 psi.

Flame stops, Press gauge release button, gauge drops to zero, stays at zero.

Thanks for your help.

Pat
 
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Old 10-29-09, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Two Pats
Press Reset button. Pressure 100 psi.

Press gauge release button. Flame stops, gauge drops to zero (because of release button) then jumps back ot 100 psi.

Flame stops, Press gauge release button, gauge drops to zero, stays at zero.
So - one time when the flame goes out you still have 100 psi? Yet another test when the flame goes out it is 0? And the pump is going the whole while, in both cases?
 
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Old 10-29-09, 07:42 PM
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Not exactly. If I give a quick push to the gauge release button, it immediately bleeds all pressure from the burner for a split second. The flame drops way down (because there is no pressure to the burner), and then immediately goes back to 100 psi because the gauge no longer is bleeding all pressure from the burner. Once the flame stops (at 20 seconds), there is no pressure. The pump is going all the time. It may be easier to forget about my pushing the release on the gauge. I have 100 psi while I have flame, 0 psi with no flame, but pump continues to run.

Pat
 
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Old 10-29-09, 07:46 PM
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Oil Flow

If I understand correctly, with the 3/16" nozzle line just pointed into a container, you only get 2-3 seconds of oil flow. To me this sounds like a bad pump coupling. That coupling looks like this: http://www.pioneerproducts1.com/index.swf
and is between the pump & motor. You have to remove either the pump or motor to get to it.

Something else it could be is a clogged fuel line, including the valve at the tank.
 
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Old 10-29-09, 08:14 PM
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Hi Grady:

I will check the coupling. If I let the burner run for about 15 seconds, then trip the reset, then hit the reset it fires immediately. I can do this a few times before I totally lose flame.

I do appreciate the help from all!

Pat
 
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Old 10-30-09, 03:46 PM
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Hi Again:

Removed the oil pump. Coupling appears good and does not slip on either the pump or motor ends. I am not sure how much torque it has to handle, but I could definitely not make it slip!

There is no valve at the tank, as my tank is buried outside. There is a valve in the house just before the oil filter. I disconnedted the supply line to the filter, checked it to be sure it was clear (it was). Removed filter (again) and checked to make sure passages were clear. Applied air pressure to line to tank (to blow it out) and then vacuum. Steady stream of oil for as long as I held vacuum.

I didn't mention before that when I ran the pump and directed the oil stream into a container and got only 2-3 seconds of oil, the stream was strong. It shut off almost like a valve had been turned off. No dribble or slowing.

I should point out that this is a two-pipe system. Does that make any difference? Is there a way to check suction for the pump (do I just disconnect line to pump and hook up a vacuum gauge)?

After my 20 seconds of flame, the motor does continue to run for about 25 seconds (45 second control timer). However, I do not believe that oil is being pumped into the combustion chamber. I would assume that I would get a big whoosh and smoke if there was residual oil; that does not happen.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Pat
 
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Old 10-30-09, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Two Pats
I didn't mention before that when I ran the pump and directed the oil stream into a container and got only 2-3 seconds of oil, the stream was strong. It shut off almost like a valve had been turned off. No dribble or slowing.
So by no intent by you, the pump stops pumping? Instantly? Without the stream slowing first?

And I presume you are letting the stream come out the bleeder?

This has to be a huge clue. How many things can it be that would not first allow it to dim down to a trickle?

Are you the one who put on a new pump, or not?
 
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Old 10-30-09, 05:27 PM
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Correct, the stream stops without a slowing or trickle, more like a valve shutting.

I was not getting the stream out the bleeder. I disconnected the line to the burner and redirected it to a container. Could it be air in the pump causing a drop in pressure to 80 psi and closing the spring loaded valve.....is that even possible (sort of like vapor lock but without the heat)?

This is not a new pump; it was installed by the original installer about 10 years ago. The only parts I replace are nozzles. filters, and electrodes.

Pat
 
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Old 10-30-09, 07:06 PM
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Pump vacuum

You can check the running vacuum by screwing a vacuum gauge into an unused intake port on the pump.

If the pump is a Suntec A2VA-7716 the intakes are on the right side and on the bottom (left port).

If your vacuum is very low, you might have an air leak.
 
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Old 10-30-09, 08:08 PM
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It is a Suntec B2VA 8216. I am going to have to find an adapter for my vacuum gauge.

More info:

Opened the bleeder. Kinda hard to get to because of the routing of the oil line and electrical. I got a steady stream for the entire cycle of the oil controller. Definitely a lot longer than the 2-3 seconds I got from the burner supply line.

Pat
 
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Old 10-31-09, 10:37 AM
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So doing it at the bleeder, it works? But doing it through the burner line it quits? So then it IS most likely a backpressure issue?, where when nozzle is in play, the pump can't handle the backpressure? If so, that is why I think I mentioned about the impeller slipping on a shaft? And you have some theory about some spring device inside that has to be overcome?

I'm not really an oil burner guy. But my mechanical prowessness kicks in any way. There is a certain logic with many things mechanical.

Grady?

This is one of these interesting oddball problem threads.
 
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Old 10-31-09, 02:08 PM
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I understand that oil pumps have a spring loaded valve that triggers at 80-85 psi. The purpose is to cut off the oil flow when the burner is cut off to avoid dribbling oil into the combustion chamber.

I think this is the correct schematic for the oil flow, but I am not sure:
http://www.suntecpumps.fr/Suntecus/P...%20Diagram.pdf

Two possible trouble points that that I see are the cone valve and the pressure valve piston assembly. Either point would allow a continuous stream at the bleeder but could cut off the flow to the burner.

Their is no cone valve access. There is a hard plug that would have to be drilled out to get to where I think the cone valve is located.

That leaves the Pressure/Piston assembly, which appears to be spring loaded. Ideas on how to proceed?

Pat
 
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Old 10-31-09, 02:25 PM
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Flow from bleeder

If you are getting flow from the bleeder but not the nozzle line & the fact your have a pressure gauge, I would suggest installing the pressure gauge & cranking the pressure up all the way then back down to 100#. When you do this, it would be best to screw the gauge directly into the nozzle line port. That thread is 1/8" pipe thread. You could have a sticky pressure regulator but I suspect in the end you are going to have to replace the pump.
 
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Old 10-31-09, 02:58 PM
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Thanks Grady:

Actually I am using an engine compression checker as a pressure gauge, and it has a hold feature, so I can't really adjust pressure except by "relieving" the pressure hold button. The gauge has a 1/8" npt.

To make sure I understand, I should disconnect the burner line and install the gauge (no oil to burner). That right?

Thanks, Pat
 
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Old 10-31-09, 05:33 PM
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Compression Gauge

Another type of gauge would be far more preferable since you could watch for needle flutter or pulsation & see how steadily the pressure changed as you adjust the screw. When I check a pump I have a gauge with a 3/16" flare adaptor on it so I can dead head the line to the burner, but you do not want fuel being supplied to the appliance when doing this test nor do you want to discharge the fuel into a container since the flow out of that tube FAR exceeds that which would be going thru the nozzle. That much flow would give you grossly inaccurate readings.
 
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Old 10-31-09, 06:10 PM
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I agree. However, it is a 40-mile trip to go get one. The pump is about 16 years old, going by what I think is the manufacture date. What should be the life expectancy? I might just want to order a new one. I have to go out of town for a few days, and I would just as soon order it and be done with it.

Pat
 
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Old 10-31-09, 06:18 PM
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40 mile trip

I understand. I'm wondering if you need a two stage pump. The use of 2 stage pumps in a residential application is pretty rare. Normally they are only used in high lift or very long fuel line runs. A single stage would be a lot cheaper. Did you ever check the vacuum?
 
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Old 10-31-09, 07:28 PM
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Two-Stage Pump

Grady:

It has always been a two-stage pump. My tank is burried, but the furnace is in the basement. Can't be too high a lift. It is probably 50-60 feet to the tank. Are there any other reasons to use a two-stage pump? Disadvantages?

Thanks for your help!

Pat
 
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Old 10-31-09, 07:33 PM
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OOPS! missed the vacuum. I don't have a adapter to check the vacuum. I do know that after replacing the line filter, it fires right up after 10 seconds.

Pat
 
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Old 11-01-09, 12:28 PM
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2 Stage Pump

The only disadvantage is cost & sometimes the local availability of strainer screens.

The pump inlets are 1/4" pipe thread.

Something that MIGHT help if the pump is gunked up is to get a gallon of kerosene & run it thru the pump for 15-30 minutes. You would have to divert the return line back into the kero container as well as the nozzle line.
 
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Old 11-01-09, 02:26 PM
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Grady:

Thanks for the info. I don't have a 1/4 x 1/8 npt adapter to fit my vacuum gauge. I may just try flushing the pump, but I am not expecting a lot! I have been checking on replacement pumps, and if I don't get it fixed by tomorrow, I will order a new one (going out of town and want to have it when we get back). Our house sitter will have to do with electric space heaters......

By the way, I have not been able to find an online source for a new coupler. I might as well replace it while I am at it......I think they are pretty cheap. Any recommendations?

Pat
 
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Old 11-01-09, 06:34 PM
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Pump & Coupling

Don't know what kind of prices you've found online but here is a link to Patriot Supply with additional links to the pump & coupling.
Patriot Supply - Industrial, Commercial & Residential HVAC Parts & Equipment
Patriot Supply - B2VA-8216
Patriot Supply - KK100HK

The coupling comes with a tool for cutting the coupler to length.

I have no intrest in Patriot Supply nor have I ever delt with them but quite a few of the guys, particularly on the boiler forum, have & were quite satisfied with the prices & service.
 
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Old 11-01-09, 07:12 PM
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Grady:

Thank you so much for all your help. The great thing about the Web is that I can order while I am out of town, and install when we get back. Fortunately it is not dropping below 45 for the next week, and our wood stove keeps things somewhat toasty!

Will post again after I get back!

Again.....Thanks to all!

Pat
 
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Old 11-01-09, 07:18 PM
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Out of Town

While gone, if you get a chance, you should pick up some adaptors & a different pressure gauge. Keep me posted on the progress.
 
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Old 11-14-09, 06:22 PM
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It Was the Oil Pump

Grady:

Sorry I did not post sooner. Returned home Wednesday, installed new oil pump Thursday. Has worked perfectly since then!

Thanks to all.

Pat
 
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Old 11-16-09, 05:53 PM
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Fuel Pump

Good job. Glad you got it fixed. Did you replace the coupling as well?
 
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Old 11-16-09, 09:21 PM
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No, not yet. Shipping is more than the coupling costs! I will get one soon and install it. I can find one in a nearby town that I have to go to next week.

Pat
 
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Old 11-18-09, 04:41 PM
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Coupling

If it is running well. I wouldn't worry with the coupling unless you just want to have a spare.
Usually they are not sold with the cutter but couplings are easy to cut with a pvc pipe cutter. You can use a saw if you can make a precise & straight cut.
 
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Old 11-18-09, 09:28 PM
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Picked up the coupling today. Next time I replace filter and nozzle I will probably replace the coupling. It was a little sloppy on the pump side. Not bad, but starting to "round out".

Thanks again for your interest and help.

Pat
 
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Old 12-06-09, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Two Pats
Nope, no oil delay valve; and is not a "clean-cut" pump.

Pat
Can't you simply take some pictures from 2-3 angles? It would be much easier to help you.
 
 

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