Carrier Oil Furnace 58HU100101CA Ignition not Smooth


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Old 01-01-14, 01:18 PM
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Carrier Oil Furnace 58HU100101CA Ignition not Smooth

Installed all new in 1983 with Ducane Oil Burner, Webster fuel pump and Carrier Heat pump by licensed Carrier installer. Underground oil tank with two pipe system. In summary I would say this system has always run on the sooty side. I have an oil fired hot water heater also splitting off from the main oil supply line. Start up is generally flawless for the Brock water heater running a Beckett burner and 1.00 gph nozzle.

I do not get a clean furnace ignition at start up and ignition generally worsened as the heating season progressed and the nozzle and electrodes got sooty or oil soaked.

When I clean out the heat exchanger tubes at beginning of heating system I estimate there is 1/16 to 1/8 soot buildup (if memory serves me right). I've had whining at start up and suspected a failing pump or air leak. The pump tested at a steady 100 PSI but I replaced it suspecting maybe bad fuel cutoff. I also replaced the fuel pump to nozzle line which was all brass and sometimes leaked, with one with steel lugs. No visible oil leaks with the new line and no more whining although the new Webster pump is noisier than the old one in spite of the advertising of a quieter pump and quicker fuel cutoff.

The serviceman installed a new Delavan nozzle (I had been cleaning the old one and it was bad) and we reduced it to .75 gph from .85 and made little or no air adjustment. I also added a Delavan Protek valve which acts as somewhat of a fuel solenoid since the pump has to reach certain PSI thresholds before the Delavan nozzle/valve combo will open/close. Oil filter cleaned and replaced also - not the spin off type.

Furnace runs smoothly and no rumbling or stumbling at start up and shut off is clean and quiet. But the ignition delay ranges from none to occasionally a 7-8 second delay. I think there are less delays or none when the furnace runs more frequently. Most often there is a momentary delay and the ignition is somewhat loud like maybe there was some oil in the chamber, delayed ignition, or is that the maybe protek valve's behavior? But there is no consistency in the duration of the ignition delay though somewhat more consistent now after the upgrades.

The firebox glows orange/red for 30 secs or more after shutdown which I thought the protek valve would eliminate but I don't know if this is from flame coming off of a "peeing nozzle" or if the fire box/materials actually glow that long. I don't know how the Protek valve is supposed to be behave and whether it has a momentary delay at start up and if just minimizes the nozzle peeing at shut down. I thought it was supposed to improve both ends. I'm not sure if there is really any difference at shutdown with or without the Protek valve but then the nozzle is not visible from the viewing window.

My flame is basically orange yellow with occasional blue tips here and there.

Symptoms above are after the equipment upgrades and are an improvement from before. Generally I think we've eliminated any rumbling/stumbling and the achieved smoother running after ignition. We'll see as the season progresses.

I pulled the electrode/nozzle gun after several days of running and the nozzle was clean and dry even though the metal electrodes already had a thin coating of soot. I had disassembled and thoroughly cleaned the electrode /nozzle assembly and maintained the clearances we had before: 1/8 gap and 1/8, and 1/2 inch clearances. No cracks in the electrodes. I filed the tips to a point since they had become blunt. Before it seemed the nozzle and electrodes were wet with oil. We'll see if any deterioration after a few more days. What is normal?

I also noted some binding when reinstalling the new Delavan nozzle as I tried to hand tighten it into the gun. Weird. I never experienced any binding with the old nozzle. The nozzle tip sets 1 inch back from the flame retention ring face. The flame retention ring has a small 1/8 wide crack on the bottom of the ring beginning at the perimeter where it looks like there is and oil drain hole in the ring. Also there is no more oil wetness at the bottom of my air tube when I open the transformer.

So I'm wondering do I have still some air in the nozzle line that expands after shutdown and pushes the oil out the nozzle into the chamber.

Should I wait and see what develops over time, does the delay get worse or better. If it stays like this and the nozzle does not soot up I suppose I can live with it.

Is there a solenoid valve I can install for the Webster? I was tempted to buy a Suntec and solenoid but was afraid the dimensions of the Suntec would not line up nicely with my line connections. Would a solid nozzle pattern improve ignition.

Thoughts?

Mike
 
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Old 01-01-14, 04:01 PM
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I'm not one to off handedly belittle a piece of equipment but what you have is a Ducane furnace with a Carrier label. It was in no way, shape, or form made by Carrier. One could buy that very same furnace under any of a dozen or more names with the only thing changing, other than the label, might have been the color.
Especially with the furnace being 30 years old, let alone the fact you have a Ducane burner on a notoriously poor piece of equipment, I would cut my losses & eliminate the source of the frustration by replacing the furnace or at a very minimum, the burner.
 
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Old 01-01-14, 08:48 PM
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Well, I pretty much figured it was a Ducane furnace with Carrier label since UT had bought Ducane and Ducane no longer exists now to no surprise. I've read a little, yet enough to indicate this equipment is flawed. I guess when I decide to update my heat pumps, if I still choose Carrier, hopefully it doesn't need to be with a Carrier furnace.

I figured a new fuel pump and solenoid valve are a small investment if that would help the ignition problem so any advice on what to check or look for to maybe solve the ignition in the meanwhile until I upgrade the entire system.

What burner, model and size would you recommend? The furnace only heats the first floor, so only about 1500 sq feet. I believe this model is 100000 BTU. Could I carry the new burner over to a new furnace setup when the time comes?

I suppose I can replace the furnace without replacing the heat pumps?

Thanks
Mike
 
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Old 01-02-14, 01:36 PM
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Yes you can replace the furnace without replacing the heat pump. As for a burner, I would probably suggest a Beckett AFG. You may or may not be able to carry the burner over to a new furnace. Many furnaces come with a burner as a package some don't .

I would be surprised if the end cone on your burner is still intact. If it is, check the electrode settings. Here are some I've always had good luck with: 7/16" above nozzle center, 1/16" in front of the nozzle face, & 5/32" gap.

Has anyone checked the ignition transformer? It should pull a blue spark 1/2 way from one terminal to the other.
 
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Old 01-02-14, 03:30 PM
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Thanks Grady.

The serviceman checked the transformer by simply placing a screwdriver across the contacts and seemed happy with the spark. No sophisticated tests performed in case there is something that proves the transformer doesn't put out consistent voltage.

What are you referring to by the "end cone"? The air tube and flame retention ring? They appear intact except for the small crack in the ring.

Your suggested clearances are slightly different than what's in the Carrier documentation so I will try those as it sounds like you have had some success with those.

Can I buy and install the Beckett AFG? It's the electrical connections that I'm weak on but can noodle thru it. Or is a licensed installer mandatory? I'll probably chicken out and have the serviceman install anyway.

Thanks
Mike
 
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Old 01-02-14, 06:11 PM
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What you are calling the flame retention ring & I am calling an end cone are probably one and the same. It is surprising how much ill effect a small crack in it can have.

You could install the burner yourself but there are several things you have to know including, but not limited to, such as: Selecting the correct air tube combination, setting the 'Z' dimention, setting the insertion depth, & as important, or more so, is setting the air.

Before spending a bunch of money on a burner, I would suggest calling in a local pro with electronic combustion test equipment & ideally a fiber optic inspection device. I'd hate to see you spend money on a burner only to find out the heat exchanger is cracked or is on the verge of doing so.
 
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Old 01-03-14, 06:38 AM
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Thanks Grady,

I think a good, professional inspection is overdue. How do I find a qualified service technician? Is there a certification that requires the equipment that you described or shall I just ask if they have this equipment and trust they know how to use it properly.

Will I do better with an HVAC installer/contractor or an oil company for inspecting?

Would a dab of furnace cement on the 1/16 wide crack help or make any difference (good or bad) as a temporary band aid?

Can the flame retention ring be replaced being its an obsolete Ducane? The service man said yes and all I need is the number stamped on the ring but a plumbing supply place said only a licensed technician can buy and install. I have removed and cleaned the flame retention ring in the past (removed the current burner). I've only been able to find the Beckett air tube/ring or head combo's on line for about 35 bucks and wondered if they could be fitted.

Thanks
Mike
 
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Old 01-03-14, 06:41 PM
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As far as finding a good tech, I suggest checking with friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. about who they would recommend then call the various ones & ask about the equipment. Some states &/or localities require certifications & some don't. My experience says a servicer from a relatively small oil company is your best bet but that is by no means carved in stone.

A Beckett end cone won't fit the Ducane air tube. I've been told by supply houses Ducane retention rings are not available but other service guys have told me they are.???

Furnace cement won't stay on.
 
 

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