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oil-fired boiler shuts off periodically

Nova Member Posts: 22
We have a Burnham V-7 FHW oil-fired boiler that shuts off periodically.  There's plenty of oil in the tank.  To get it going again requires pressing the reset button.  This happens often.  I heard Burnham V-7's were problematic, but it's not cracked.

Any ideas?  If you suggest replacing it, what would you recommend from both an efficiency and cost standpoint?


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,726
    Yoiu don't need a new boiler

    you need someone who knows what he's doing to fix it. Try the Find a Professional page of this site. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Nova
    Nova Member Posts: 22
    We had the third professional out today.

    Thanks steamhead.    We had the third professional out today.  I think the third was the charm.  The first two didn't know what they were doing.  Today, he replaced the nozzle from a 1 to a .75, which will save my tenant 25% of his oil bill, and corrected other maladjustments.

    What would help others is knowing how to spot a true pro from the fakers.
  • David Sutton_6
    David Sutton_6 Member Posts: 1,079
    More to it

    There is more to than changing a nozzle, Lowering the firing rate is not always the best choice. If you are having a inter-mitten problem there is more going on, when was the last time it was serviced? What were the test results? a good deal of the time a unit as old as yours may still have a starter winding type motor and every now and then the will develop dead spots on the starter windings and need to be replaced. this needs to be olmed out to verified, Burners today are a bit more complexed than they use to be and need to be properly adjusted and this needs to be done with a combustion analyzer.
  • Nova
    Nova Member Posts: 22
    Here's what he did:

    Here's what he did:

    Replace the nozzle

    brush & vac the system and the stack

    replace the pump strainer & gasket

    service and purge the fuel system

    test fire burner

    full system cleaning with efficiency test

    Verbally he told me various settings were way off, which he adjusted to specs.

    By the way, this system was cleaned and serviced only 3 months ago by a plumber and about 2-4 months before that, the system was serviced per the 3-year contract I had with another HVAC company. 

    What test results besides efficiency should I be looking for?

    If I need to do a call-back, I'll make mention of the starter winding type motor and I'll be sure to ask that he perform an ohm test on it.  I assume he did a combustion analysis but I can't be sure.

    Thanks for the details!  That's what I was looking for.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    did they

    change the tank filter, if it has one. How about pump vacuum readings, pump pressure, the list can go on. I think you need an oil tech
  • Nova
    Nova Member Posts: 22
    oil tech

    Yes.  He changed the tank filter, and the A pump strainer kit with gasket.  If the pump vacuum readings, pressure, etc, are listed on the tag he left on the boiler, I'll report back once I read them. 

    The gentleman out today is an oil tech, not a gas tech.  
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    good to hear that

    oil and gas are 2 different animals
  • OilsBetter
    OilsBetter Member Posts: 14
    Anual tune ups

    These are key. Have an Oil Technician come in every year and clean the system. Alot of plumbers do no know what is involved with an oil burner. They have no problem piping it all in but when i comes to trouble shooting and maintanence go with an Oil Tech.

    Our Tune up's include firstly an inspection or the heating system as a whole and also the oil delivery system. We then replace the tank filter, the strainer (if applicable), and the nozzle. In the process we clean everything on the inside and outside of the burner. Set the proper gap on electodes and set the Z dimension. We also will check the pump pressure and all of the electrical components if they are suspect ( reset issues or an ignition problem ). We then remove the smoke pipe and clean it and also brush and vaccum the boiler/furnace. After we perform a combustion analyzation of the flue gases and set the burner for optimum performance. We then test to be sure all the safety system of the heating unit are functioning properly.

    After all this we call you in 11 months to schedule your next one.
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