Almost there! Beckett burner stumbles

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Old 03-01-15, 07:55 AM
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Almost there! Beckett burner stumbles

Good morning all!

I have a Beckett "A" "AF" series oil burner. It started acting up by me coming home and it would be cold in the house. At first I could hit the reset and it would fire. Then it got so it would take a couple times hitting the reset. I then called for help. A technician came out and looked at it and changed the nozzle and did a general clean up. It worked for a few hours and then stopped. I went back to hitting the reset. A heater repair guy told me a couple years ago my pump would need replacing. So I went out and bought a pump and installed it myself. That wasn't the problem. I installed a filter unit and that didn't help. I called for another technician to come out and he fixed a few of the problems I caused and when he left it was running normal for about 2 hours then stopped again. I then went out and bought a new transformer and voila that seemed to fix the problem of it not firing. It has fired each time it has supposed to for the last 18 hours. But I have one last problem that I'm not sure what to do.

When the thermostat gets down to the proper temp it kicks the furnace on. It fires automatically exactly like it should. It will give me the nice rumble of fire in the box heating up. After about 20 to 30 seconds of heating up I lose the fire for about 1 to 3 seconds and then it catches again and the fire rumbles right along and the heater finishes it's cycle normally. This 1 to 3 second loss of fire happens on every cycle of the furnace. I've also noticed that when it catches fire again a puff of smoke comes out of the air ring area. But it finishes the cycle normally. I'm not sure if it's an adjustment to the air ring or what I need to do.

I've already spent over $500 on technicians to look at it and I ended up finding the root of the issue myself. I hate to think I have to get them out here again to finish off this last thing.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

Shades
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:03 AM
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Do you still lose those 3 seconds if you turn the power off & on manually or is it only when the thermostat starts the cycle?
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:18 AM
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I turned the power off to the furnace until I got under the house (forgot to mention old floor furnace). I wanted to be right there when it fired this time. I went under and then had my roommate turn the power back on to the furnace. It did the same thing, I lost that 3 seconds of fire. I did find out the smoke didn't come from the air ring like I thought. It just eased out of whatever crevice it could find. The heater then finished the cycle like normal. While down there I remembered back to last week when all this started that I found the air ring was lose. I happened to bump it with my shoulder and it moved a little bit. I did some research and found that the "normal" setting for the air ring is 7. I set it to the 7 and tightened it down and that is still where it was this morning.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:24 AM
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Running for 20-30 seconds and then the flame stops for 3 seconds sounds like air in the line. It could be as simple as a loose fitting to your tank or filter.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:40 AM
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I'm just trying to understand.

But if there is air in the line why would it only happen during that 3 second interval each cycle and not any other part of the cycle?

From what I've read could the problem be from the cad cell? Could it possibly be that the cad cell isn't noticing the flame for a few seconds and tells the transformer to quit firing and then picks it up again?
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:48 AM
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When your burner stops at the end of a heat call..... the oil tries to drain back into the tank. If there is a small leak a little air can be introduced into the line. When the burner is restarted it will fire right up as the little bubble of air is xx amount of feet away. When that bubble gets to the burner.... the burner stumbles.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:49 AM
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I was wondering the same thing.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 09:00 AM
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Now the line from my tank travels a pretty good distance. The tank is at the back corner of my house and the heater is just about on the other side of the house but in the middle between the kitchen and living room. I'd say it's a good 25 to 30 ft of tubing that snakes under the house to the heater. The line out of the tank is coming out of the top and then drops down under the house then heads for the heater. It runs into an inline filter and then to the pump. The last technician that looked at it fixed the three flares and flare nuts. Two at the filter and one at the pump since the line was twisted just slightly at the pump. He kept saying over and over how he had bled the line and it had no air and that it had a good stream.

The last time I touched any of the fittings under there it spelled disaster (hence calling a technician) so I'm a little apprehensive with messing with them again.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 11:23 AM
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Well, I went back under the house and bled the line once again. As of right now it has went through 4 cycles and has worked exactly like it should.

If it starts with the 3 second firing gap again I figure that air is getting in the line somehow and go from there.

Thanks to everyone for giving me advice. It's very appreciated!

Shades
 
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Old 03-01-15, 05:03 PM
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How many lines from the tank to the burner?
If only one, is there a fuel deaerator (tiger loop) installed near the burner?
Does only the flame drop out or does the entire burner quit?
 
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Old 03-02-15, 08:07 PM
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Just one line, Grady. There is no tiger loop either.

 
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Old 03-02-15, 08:42 PM
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Do you just lose flame or does the burner motor shut down too?

Is there a fuel solenoid on the pump?
 
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Old 03-14-15, 12:04 PM
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In the end the main problem was the transformer was going bad. We got another transformer and changed it and it would fire properly every time. At this point I have bought a new inline filter, a new pump, and a new transformer.

I'm still not out of the woods yet as somewhere I am sucking air into the line. I have a total of four possible connections that I guess it could be. There is a coupler on the line out by the tank. There is the inlet connection to the filter. The outlet connection from the filter and the connection to the pump. We opened the coupler by the tank and forced some kerosene down the line and I cracked the screw on top of the filter and got the air out of it. Then we got the air out of the line from the outlet filter to the pump. The heater worked great for 6 days firing just like it should. Then it didn't fire one night and shut itself off. When I went under the house and reset the push switch I opened the bleeder screw and it pushed a bunch of air out. It ran a cycle or two and then misfired again (which sounded like no fuel to fire) and went out.

I'm at the point now that I want to replace the tubing from the tank to the heater and just skip the inline filter all together to limit the amount of connections that could suck in air.

Shades
 
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Old 03-14-15, 05:20 PM
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I certainly don't advise doing away with the filter. Before starting to replace the line, practice making flares. It isn't as easy as it looks. Any imperfect flares will leak oil &/or air. After a fairly extensive search, I didn't find a single video or set of printed instructions I would consider to be a good source of instruction on how to flare tubing. The single most important part, preparation of the tubing end prior to flaring, either wasn't covered at all or very poorly so.
 
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