Weil Mclain oil boiler help please

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  #1  
Old 03-01-13, 03:44 PM
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Weil Mclain oil boiler help please

Some advice please

particulars
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I have a weil-mclain oil boiler model P-WGO-4 series #3 14 years old
supplied by a very old in ground 550 gallon oil tank installed in 1955.
as best as i can tell there is no evidence of leaking or water in the fuel etc.
i plan to have it removed soon and so i have been getting deliveries 150 gallons at a time as i prepare to have a 275 or 330 tank installed in the basement. the burner is a weil-mclain burner model QB-180 which i understand is no longer manufactured, every technician from the oil company
says this burner is junk and should be replaced by a becket burner.

since the last fill i find the boiler in a pattern of attempting to start sputtering and either going into a red light solid lockout mode or red light blinking recycle mode. the oil company has come twice over the last two weeks and replaced the filter,nozzle,light photo sensor and cleaned around the nozzle. however its still acting unreliable and locking out 50% of the time. my research tells me that this is usually a symptom of low fuel or a clogged line.

do you guys think that this could be caused by something else? perhaps only 150 gallons of fuel in an old 550 gallon tank that most likely has a lot of sludge in it? the "lousy" weil-mclain burner itself? could it be something electrical, relay, transformer, aquastat? additionally after i do install a new tank in the basement do you think a new becket burner will make a difference? as stated above the boiler is only 14 years old.

any advice will be much appreciated
 
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  #2  
Old 03-01-13, 08:40 PM
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When it was serviced, the oil filter would have given an indication as to how cruddy the inside of the tank was. Did someone bleed the oil to check for water and or air in the line. Is it a single or two line set up? Along with fuel delivery problems, it could also be a result of wrong nozzle and or improper set up of the drawer assembly.
Got any pics of the burner? Lets see the pics !!!
After installing a new tank, lines and fittings and a new burner, you certainly shouldn't have any problems with the furnace. Now considering that the techs can't seem to resolve the problem with your current burner, I don't believe I would trust that they could resolve a problem with a Becket burner in the future. Some folks can't seem to see past the name plate. Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge sort of thing.
 
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Old 03-01-13, 08:47 PM
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Throw a yugo in there and then you got his burner.lol.
 
  #4  
Old 03-01-13, 10:04 PM
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the filter did look pretty dirty but it was about 6 months old, did not see any evidence of water. it's a 2 line system feed/return. and no.... the technician did not bleed the system after filter change. it might work fine for a day or two but eventually has a choking start resulting in lockout.

is it necessary to bleed after a filter change?
i see the bleed valve by the pump. will try to get some pics up

thanks
 
  #5  
Old 03-02-13, 06:36 AM
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The two line system will bleed itself out. I still like to bleed out some fuel through a clear 1/4" tube and into a closed container so I can see what it looks like. Usually use a 3/8 wrench and crack open the bleed valve 1/2 turn at most. It should look like cherry wine. If it looks slimey ( think Italian salad dressing ) its water. If it's pumping clear fluid, its a lot of water. If it looks milky red, its air mixed in the fuel. If its no color, the fuel isn't there yet, just air. If it looks almost black, there is a lot of crap in the tank. The fuel filter will remove particles but the color will remain. If there is crap in the tank, when there is a delivery of fuel, it will cause the crap to mix about in the tank. There could be a dirt ball or piece of crud that would get sucked up to the oil supply line end and block the line. I know many customers that would not run their furnace for an hour after oil delivery so the crud would settle. With a two line system, the furnace would lite again after lock out and waiting a bit as the pump has stopped, the crud fell off the line and now there is a good fuel supply. The crud will settle again to the bottom of the tank and things should be fine until the next fuel delivery. Another thing is the supply line could be to long. It should be three inches from the bottom of the tank so it won't suck on the crud at the bottom. You could try pulling the line and cutting three inches off if that is the case.
If you put your hand under the burner body, is there any fuel residue there?
When the transformer is flipped back, is it wet inside the burner housing and or bottom of the air tube?
We could also be looking in the wrong place. If the fuel supply is good, new filter, nozzle and correct pump pressure usually (90- 100 psi). The problem could be lack of spark which could be a transformer or a set up problem.
 
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Old 03-04-13, 07:24 PM
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You could have a vacuum problem since you have a history of dirty filters. Install a vacuum gauge in the inlet port of the pump via a tee so you can reconnect the suction line. If you are pulling 10" or more of vacuum with the burner running, it's likely the lines are full of crud.
 
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Old 03-07-13, 08:30 PM
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yes, that assessment was right on!
the third technician in 3 weeks came and i explained the history to him. his first move was to install the vacuum gauge, it was reading 15. he indicated that based on my system configuration the gauge should be reading appx 5.
he blew out the lines with Co2 than hand pumped/sucked out the crud in the lines until the oil was clear and that solved the problem.

this guy seemed a bit more on the ball than some of the others, i cant understand why this wasn't done on the second call. concerning the weil mclain burner he suggested that it's a lot more finicky than a becket and that beckett would be a better burner overall but changing it out would not be immediately necessary. the oil company would charge about $1000 for a new beckett installed, is that price fair ballpark? i was considering pricing it on line finding someone experienced to install it as i don't feel comfortable attempting it myself as i am guessing it's a bit more involved than a simple parts swap.

next item to take care of is to get the 550 in ground tank out and put a basic 275 in the basement. any recommendations on specific tank models or are they all the same? (i will also post the tank question separately)

thanks for all the input
 
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Old 03-07-13, 08:43 PM
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See if they would put in a used one maybe a new blast tube if needed.They might be happy to so as not to have to work on that one.Your guy is on the ball and I should not have called it that much of a dog.A used becket is almost as good as new alot cheaper and better then what you got.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 10:56 AM
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All techs are taught the importance of checking vacuum but few actually understand it. If your system was pulling 15", an experienced ear should have been able to pick up on the unusual whine of the fuel pump.

You can probably pick up a used Beckett AFG on e-bay pretty cheap. As Guyold said, you may have to change the air tube assembly & end cone. If the burner you get has an "F" head type, you'd need an F4 end cone. If it is of the "L" head design, you'd need an L1 head.
 
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Old 03-10-13, 10:46 PM
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thanks
i will start doing my research on the beckett so i can get comfortable with the basics. is the burner swap a reasonable "DIY" project or is this something better left to the professional?
 
  #11  
Old 03-10-13, 11:01 PM
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Swapping depends on your DIY level. A couple bolts some flexible copper tubing and then the wiring. Not hard to do but could become a real PITA if not done right. Look at some of the Braided flex lines so it's easier to open the swing away door.

Check Craigslist also. Many people doing gas conversions in NY and almost giving away the old stuff.
 
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Old 03-11-13, 08:16 AM
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I certainly suggest having a pro do the swap. Burners need to be set up with instruments.
 
  #13  
Old 03-12-13, 09:33 PM
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besides beckett would the other burners by carlin or riello be any better for my particular system? if I'm going to do it i would like to make the best possible choice. other than better availability of parts and better familiarity for the technicians what what other benefits would i notice by swapping out the old weil-mclain burner?

thanks
 
  #14  
Old 03-13-13, 08:08 AM
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Probably no other benefits. I don't know if there are any factory set up specs for the Riello & Carlin or not.
 
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