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OIL BOILER ROLLING FIRE AFTER TURNING OFF?

ritelec
ritelec Member Posts: 19
Hi all,



After 23 yrs. of annual cleaning and or tuning of my weil mclain boiler, I just did the usual oil filter change and soot cleaning.



After performing a test (4 times) to check the system, I noticed that when it's fired and running, all seams good, but when I turn off the switch while running, there is a ball of fire rolling around in the boiler for a few minutes.

I really don't remember this ball of flame in the past. Any thoughts what may be causing this excess fuel I guess getting sprayed around the inside of the boiler and igniting.



Thank you



rich

Comments

  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    cut off

    It sounds like a bad pump cut off. It's built into the oil pump and is supposed to cut off the flow of oil as soon as the output pressure starts to drop when the burner shuts down. The way we check is to put a pressure gauge on the nozzle line, check the running pressure, and then watch the pressure as the burner shuts down. I think it can drop up to 20%. If it drops way down the cut off is bad.



    Our usual fox is to replace the pump, but an electronic oil valve can be installed.
  • checking cut off

    thank you paul. will look into it.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Afterfire/Pumps.

    If the burner/pump are 23 years old, it's time for a new pump. The cut-off will not last forever.

    Installing a oil solenoid cut-off doesn't fix the pump, just puts a band-aid on a scab.

    My "Kwik-Chek Pump Tester" would probably show that the pump is shot.
  • ritelec
    ritelec Member Posts: 19
    boiler needs more than oil pump I think

    Thank you icesailor.



    Kwik check pump tester.....



    Well I attempted to take it apart.

    Ha ha ha.ya can't. I was able to get to the spring area and moved it back and forth. Reinstalled and now it seams to be in a closed position (no oil, no flame).





    As mentioned, the unit is 23 yrs old. I'm thinking about rebuilding it (weil mcclain discontinued) new pump, blower motor etc... but the biggest area I think is the fire box. It looks shot. I mean if you look into the front hole ,the sides looks like they collapsed.



    So now I'm considering a new boiler. Not sure to go oil or gas. I piped over yrs ago for gas and with tank concerns (although neighbors tanks were filled and looked fine) and home insurance and or home sales. Figured I'd go for gas...but now reading on oil heat producing 40% quicker.... not being locked in with utility company (although they are currently cheaper),

    Anyway.....I'm so undecided and confused. Also, when I first put the unit in, there was a company (has gone defunked) that checked breach, CO2 etc........ now for the past???20 yrs. the only thing they've done was vacuum and change the filter.



    Maybe get a new oil boiler and test kit and insurance on the tank. Maybe go for natural gas.





    Any brands that you would suggest. Oil or gas, and hopefully something that may last the 20 or 25 yrs like the one I just had and not 10 or 15 like I've been reading they last now.



    So onto more researching...winters coming.boilers off line..



    Thanks again.



    -rich
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Fuel Pumps

    Fuel Pumps are so cheap, it isn't cost effective to try to repair them. Buy a new pump. I would NEVER try to repair one. And I know what I am doing.

    There are some things a homeopwner should avoid. Main electric breaker switches in panels and oil burner fuel pumps come to mind.
  • Alan Welch
    Alan Welch Member Posts: 255
    fuel pump

    I don't think the pump was the cause of your original problem, But now that you pulled it apart  I would replace it.  I think 23 years of debris have built up in the combustion chamber and it is impinging the oil spray, causing incomplete combustion.   I would replace the target wall   (Lynn Products and others make replacement kits)   , this involves removing the front plate on the boiler, and should really be done by a professional who knows what else  to look for . Replacing a 20 year old boiler is a good idea, but in your case may not be needed.
  • ritelec
    ritelec Member Posts: 19
    edited October 2011
    My brain hurts

    Thank you for the suggestions.



    I ordered a combustion chamber kit and pump. Then cancelled the order.

    Checking the feed and return cu lines, coming out of the floor, they look fine but maybe alittle questionable where they come out of the floor.

    Does oil copper in contact with cement have the same effect as water copper in cement?



    On the fence here.



    Hand me that piano.





    "Replacing a 20 year old boiler is a good idea, but in your case may not be needed."

    Oh my.



    Maybe a coin toss would help.





    Thanks again
  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144
    Two-pipe oil,

    its possible the return line is restricted somewhere ,and the excess press in the return line is bleeding  back into the chamber. But you still pressure guages to test for that kind of problem.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Two Pipe Oil Under Floor:

    If you live in Massachusetts, the oil lines under the concrete floor must be addressed. If your insurance company knows they are under the floor, they may want them out.

    I am an experienced oil burner technician. You are playing at the edge of my knowledge and I know what I am doing. You do not. I strongly suggest that you hire a professional. Your issues are above your knowledge and experience. The problem may be above the knowledge and experience of some professionals.



    If you were dealing with gas, I doubt that you would be trying to do what you are doing. Oil is just as dangerous. Leaking gas, tends to blow you up. Leaking oil tends to smell and cause massively expensive clean-up problems.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    2 pipe

    If the problem was a restricted return line, most likely the seal would be blown. The pump now needs to be replaced by a pro to say the least. The original problem could be an air leak, test vacuum, cracked nozzle adapter, loose/bad/wrong nozzle problem, or impinging on the failing chamber. Did you lose your "Z" dimension setting? If you hire a pro, he should drop the return line. Probably not needed if all is flared, and feed system is as it should be.
  • Paul_69
    Paul_69 Member Posts: 251
    oil line under floor

    i was wondering why insurance company would not want line under ground. in massachuesetts they want either a sleeved non metalic line or osv. i dont recall that you couldnt bury it.
  • MrDucks
    MrDucks Member Posts: 27
    edited October 2011
    Pump Screen?

    20+ Years? Underground Tank? Drawer ****. OK, End Cone? Air in drawer ****. Etc Clean Blower,               Bacharack Test?              
  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144
    edited October 2011
    Return line

    For a"partially " restricted return line the press sure will cause and after burn. It took me SEVERAL callbacks to figure that out.At what pressure will a pump seal  blow?
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    only if there

    there is an underlying air leak issue. The return is not bleeding the fuel system if it is not fully flowing. The check in the pump, of the addition the solenoid valve should not be allowing excess oil out of the pump on the off cycle. Pump cut offs are usually around 85 PSI, and electric is instant.  After burn can have many causes. Post purge also does wonders for it
  • MrDucks
    MrDucks Member Posts: 27
    Cut Off

    (1#) Was oil leaking out seal with good flame, Just asking
  • ritelec
    ritelec Member Posts: 19
    Scratching head.....

    Thank you for the posts and ideas.

    I actually called my fuel company today asking about service, and asking if they test boilers anymore......... he mentioned they have a couple gauges laying around but it's mainly a vacuum, change filter and nozzle.



    There are no leaks that I can see, air or oil, but I did not put any gauges on it.



    It fired (and rolled) before I took the pump apart. Maybe there was a clog in the return and I helped it along when I took the pump apart???



    Not knowing... It would be nice, or had been nice to get it up and running... but I'm 99.9% sure I'm going to through in the towel on it.



    Possible line leaks, tank leak, smoke plumes in the night, will or will it not start,oil prices, professionals in the area that don't test and adjust these boilers, home insurance,selling of house....etc...



    Breaks my heart a bit, me and that boiler have been through alot, but it's beyond my control.
  • ritelec
    ritelec Member Posts: 19
    Understood

    Thank you icesailor
  • ritelec
    ritelec Member Posts: 19
    Main Electrical Panel???

    I've got a license to work on them...



    Wish I had a recording contract instead.



    Thanks again
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,343
    Then

    you need a better service organization! If they won't test, they shouldn't be in the business. Find someone else who will. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • ritelec
    ritelec Member Posts: 19
    Oil Heats a Dinosaur ?

    Wasn't that a TV/Radio commercial a couple of decades ago?



    I had a feeling that would have been a response. I agree.



    Checking on the gas today.



    Thank you

    -rich
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    dinosaurs

    the sad part is that the same uneducated, lazy guys who can't fix your oil burner are now doing gas service. I'll take a rolly polly oil flame over a leveled city block any day. Where are you located Ritelec?
  • ritelec
    ritelec Member Posts: 19
    edited October 2011
    New Jersey

    Passaic County.



    Yes, I would agree with you.

    My Dad actually bought the unit for me ( the Weil McClain) before he past, and was firm about keeping the existing oil heat in this house and not converting at that time....1986 ish??



    I do think it's a better heat than the gas.... and yes it's a shame that servicing these oil boilers is a dyeing art.



    So, I do have an attachment to the boiler, between all the work done on it and it's attachment to my Dad. But in a way, going with the flow and having some piece of mind with the possible leaks or insurance etc... may be a good thing.



    Very sad, but I will be getting a permit tomorrow and pulling out my sawzall.



    Watch me install the new gas boiler and a major pipe line breaks or gas goes thru the roof.

    This Continental Gas crises would have been my fault.



    billtwocase, don't tell me your in the next town over from me and are going to stop by tonight to revamp this boiler before I rip it out.



    Sad moment.



    rich
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    too far away

    otherwise I would in a heartbeat. I don't know how far Rob O'Brien is from you, or many other very capable servicemen here on this site, but it would be worth while to find a pro here. Updating the boiler is not a bad idea, but the repairs that are needed are not big $$$$ to have done by an honest firm. I wish you luck either way
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Oil Line Under Floors:

    Insurance Companies are happy if the oil lines under the floor are sleeved or protected. They are happier if they are all above the floor and exposed.

    Let me put it another way. Like I did once to someone who had a problem.

    You and the rest of us here are all 99%'ers. If you are a 1%'er, you wouldn't be here and you wouldn't be trying to do this yourself. If you develop an oil leak under your floor, and it contaminates the ground, you do not have enough money to remediate the problem.

    I would install a Tigerloop and run a new line overhead with two spin-on filters.
This discussion has been closed.