Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Beckett Burner Issues....at the end of my rope!!!

BigNuge
BigNuge Member Posts: 11
<span style="font-size:12pt">Hi folks,</span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">               I am not a residential heating specialist, this I admit. However, I have been in the industrial burner/boiler business for 16 years. I specialize in industrial controls & combustion. I have worked on burners firing all grades of fuel oil and all types of gas (up to 130,000,000BTU). Given that, I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to make a burner run (in general). I do have some residential oil heating tools due to a class I took for licensing in MA (Pump gauge set, Beckett “Z” gauge).</span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">A little history:</span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">I own a very old colonial (circa 1790), yes that’s 1790! I replaced the entire boiler due to a cracked block the year I bought the house (2003). I re-used the Beckett AFG burner as it was a good running unit (burner is circa 1993). The boiler is a Weil-McLain Gold, Hot Water. I have always done the annual service to the burner/boiler with a good rate of success. Brush boiler, replace the nozzle, filter, clean pump screen, clean & set electrodes (replace every couple of years), check/set pump pressure, check/set combustion with my analyzer blah blah blah….</span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">Fast-forward to recent times…</span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">Toward the end of last heating season I started having intermittent lockouts on the burner. For the most part it would light after a reset. I figured I would take care of the issue when I did the service to it in the fall. This past fall comes and I start looking into the heating system. Additionally, I replaced the oil tank this year too. I found a 1 year old tank on Craigslist (1/2 full of oil) for a great deal so I bought it. Got it home and installed it. Ran all new oil lines, new FB4 filter assembly & New OSV. Did the complete service to the burner/boiler. All ran well for a couple of weeks…  </span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">Now the problem:</span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">The burner started locking out again. At first it would start with one reset, then got progressively worse. I had to light the burner with a torch at times (through the view port) to clean the chamber out as not to create a bomb! Now the burner will not light at all on its own. When I light it with the torch (every time now) it still takes a second or two for a stable flame to be established, seems like air/water to me….</span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">Here is what I have done so far to eliminate this issue:</span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">1, replaced the fuel pump & bled ½ gallon of oil through it. 2, replaced the electrodes. 3, replaced the transformer. 4, removed the OSV. 5, pulled countless samples of the oil-it is clean & clear. 6, pulled the nozzle tube to confirm/check/set “Z” dimension & electrode dimension (have done this 10 times at least) </span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">Tonight I will sit my a$$ in front of this POS again, and perform a complete service to it AGAIN in an effort to resolve this issue. </span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">Any advice from a seasoned residential oil heating technician would be greatly appreciated!!! </span>

<span style="font-size:12pt">Thank you…..Jim </span>

Comments

  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    could be anything

    You may bad a bad burner motor, probably pre PSC motor, could be a bad primary control, cad cell eye and leads, adjustments, couplings, pump pressure, etc. Some pics, and more specs would help, like is it an AFG? Nozzle specs, combustion results, draft at breech and over fire? Where is the filter and tank location? Gravity feed oil supply? So many possibilities, and many talented guys on here who can help
  • Hmmm

    During the first part of your post I figured burner motor.  Simple test-set your electrical meter on ohms, take just the motor leads-POWER OFF-and slowly spin the fan-your readings should not go over 5 ohms-if they do-junk it and replace with a PSC motor.



    Then the second part threw me off.  Light with a torch?  You got to tell us more

     Gold Series 3,4,5?

    What head, static plate, pump pressure, nozzle are you running?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Issues:

    Over the years, I've had those problems with that burner. No matter what, it was the same. One thing that I did find was that whatever W-McL says to use for a nozzle in that burner, is what you use. It is a Delavan 80 degree Solid. Hago 80 degree SS's don't cut it.



    I've found that the end cone vanes are prone to coking up when out of adjustment. I've never found an "adjustment" that would correct it. When all else failed, I found that the complete and 100% resolution for your situation of the bad running Beckett, was a brand new Carlin EZ-1, as a Burner in a Box with flange welded on for a GO-* which is the model of your boiler. With a 602000 control.

    More than once, I've found Becketts with a problem that just couldn't be resolved. You have a used burner. Maybe you should consider getting it replaced.

    Using a torch to fire off an oil burner is not a generally accepted practice.

    Good Luck.
  • BigNuge
    BigNuge Member Posts: 11
    Maybe I am doing a poor job of explaining the issue..

    Thank you for all your responses, here is most of the info everyone has asked about.



    The burner motor spins every time it tries to light, it simply does not light. Coupling is good, pump pressure is 100 PSI on the money, cad cell & leads are good.

    Tank is 10 feet away from burner, filter is piped right onto tank valve. Yes, it is gravity fed.



    Burner is an AFG



    Nozzle is a .75 80A



    Draft over fire is -.01, breech draft is -.03



    Boiler is 3 section



    I will post pictures shortly....



    Thanks again!



    Jim
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    I would say

    you need 140 PSI pump pressure to start with. How many sections, or boiler model #'s? You would get better results with a solid nozzle on the Gold, and I would install new electrodes, and check your transformer. Probably isn't electronic ignitor in 93. Also air band settings?  Probably way too much air. Smoke test very important. "Z" dimension or head setting also critical. Spark grounds easily
  • BigNuge
    BigNuge Member Posts: 11
    edited January 2012
    OK, pictures....

    Here are a couple of shots I have taken.

    Bill, thank you for your input. I have done smoke spot tests (at the time I service the burner) and they were a 0. I also made myself a printout of the combustion results at that same time (I will scan those and post tomorrow). Air settings are as closed as I can go. I did replace the electrodes (forgot to mention that in the original post. Additionally, I did replace the tranformer with an electronic ignitor. And as I did mention, I have checked, re-checked, double checked, tripple checked the electrode & "Z" dimensions.....I can assure you they are correct. You say 140 PSI for the pump pressure? I have had it at 100 since new, only had this issue show up last fall. Not saying I know better, just an observation.



    Again, thank you for everyones input!!



    Jim
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    I would

    go with a .85 80*B delavan nozzle, 140 PSI, Clean Cut pump would be a good idea, start with your air at 6-7 side band only. What control do you have on there for a safety? Looks like you had a 68 series boiler, and that was the burner off of it. It is an AFG, and will work just fine once you get it set right. Also what head is on there? Should be an F-3. I prefer Carlin on those, but Beckett will run for you here.
  • add
    add Member Posts: 94
    i agree with bill

    i also have the same unit. 8580b with clean chamber and passages.air btw 6-7 with secondary band closed.once you get it going it sounded like you had bad burner motor(just my feeling by reading initial post)could be anything like bill previuosly mentioned good luck.
  • BigNuge
    BigNuge Member Posts: 11
    Thank you....

    Thanks guys, I am headed out in a bit to get the new nozzle as you recommend. I will also bump the pressure up to 140.

    One thing I wanted to mention. I want to try and reduce the nozzle size as much as possible (for fuel savings) but do not want to jeaporadize stability and reliability. Do you still recommend the .85? Or could I stick with the .75 and just bump the pressure up to 140?



    Thanks,



    Jim
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    depends

     I would say from where I am sitting, it may do it's job. Was a heat loss done for you at any time? Domestic hot water by coil, indirect, or ???  
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited January 2012
    Issues:

    If the motor starts, and the burner doesn't light, there are only two things that can cause it. No fuel, or no spark. Did you hear the "scratching" of the ignition when the motor started? You usually heat it with that control when the relay clicks and before the motor starts. If not, check that. If you have spark, then it is fuel. How do you know that you have 100# PSIG (let alone contemplated 140# PSIG) pressure.

    Remove the HP line from the pump to the burner. Turn on the burner. Do you get a serious flow of oil into a container and it stays steady for 15 seconds or so? When the control cuts out, does the fuel instantly stop or does it slowly slow down? New pump.

    There is only a filter at the tank. If it is  Garber Spin-on, does it have a vacuum gauge in the bleed port? If not, get one. Does it have high vacuum? If it does,

    A place to start. If the motor is running, and you have no fire, it isn't the motor unless it is running very slow. But one would normally be able to notice this.

    Put a Spin On filter with a vacuum gauge on the burner pump so you will ALWAYS know what the vacuum pressure is. It will also tell you when that antique design oil filter is plugged. Diagnosing problems without a vacuum gauge is like navagating without a map or chart.

    Don't skip steps.
  • earl burnermann
    earl burnermann Member Posts: 126
    do you have oil flow?

    I just skimmed this thread but so far I don't think I've seen any talk about the suction line. As the oil line clogs, the unit will begin to go off on safety. Each time it will start right up when you press the reset. As time goes by ,and the clog gets worse, It will happen more and more. Sooner or later pushing the reset will no longer work. If it's an inside tank the take out the filter and check your oil flow. I've seen plenty of jobs with clean filters but the oil line to the tank is clogged solid. I use a push pull pump to solve this problem while others may prefer to use a co2 gun to blow the line  back.
    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Ropes:

    Well, Earl,

    This is an older thread but if there was a Garber type Spin On filter at the burner with a restriction gauge, you would know IMMEDIATELY that the line was restricted or the filter is bad. Which leads to nozzle strainer clogging and low pressure through the nozzle orifice.

    That filter at the tank is like using a wool sock as a condom.
  • earl burnermann
    earl burnermann Member Posts: 126
    Thanks for your reply

    I have two filters on my system. At the tank I have the old style replaceable element type and then I have a garber spin on with gauge at the burner. Most people have the cheaper one. Easy way to check is to see if your getting a flow of oil. The gauge is nice to have but not everyone has one.
    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    all that

    was eliminated Earl.  I am assuming that he is all set
  • BigNuge
    BigNuge Member Posts: 11
    Not fixed...

    Made all reccomended changes, now it runs without trip for 1 day to 2 weeks....no telling how long it will go....
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    just curious

    From the pics, is your side band set on 3? You said you did a smoke test, but that is not the starting air setting for that amount of fuel input. When the burner is running, push the reset button in for a sec then release. Count the # of flashes from the green light. Less is more for your ohms test
  • BigNuge
    BigNuge Member Posts: 11
    Thanks...

    Bill, sideband is now @ 4 since changing nozzle per suggestion. I will check the flashes next time I am down there. Thanks for the feedback.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    what size

    nozzle did you end up with? 4 may still be inadequate if you increased the pump pressure to 140, and put in a .85, even a .75 may be border line. Did you ever find a lot of carbon, or discoloration on the end cone inside of the burner? Impinging will cause this
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    I will also add

    that motor may also be your culprit. Chances are the thermal overload switch is not functioning,ans your starting switch point are probably in poor shape.A nice new PSC motor will cure that.  Beckett part# 21805U if it comes to that
  • CapeCodOilGuy
    CapeCodOilGuy Member Posts: 43
    pump vacuum

    The first thing which came to mind was: did you run a vacuum test on the pump? If it's the original pump (1980's), it could be worn. Vacuum test will tell you. If it won't pull much of a vacuum against a closed supply valve, you'll have all kinds of trouble.
  • CapeCodOilGuy
    CapeCodOilGuy Member Posts: 43
    yes to ez-1

    I'm a fan of the EZ-1 with the 60200 control for these boilers, running 140 psi. Having said that, I retrofitted a friend's Gold 4-section running an AFG. Customer had had problems with occasional lockouts. I replaced the pump with a Clean-Cut® and replaced the primary with a Gensys w/pre and post purge. Replaced the transformer with an igniter and the motor with a PSC motor. I set the pump to 150 with the appropriate nozzle for the specified delivery. Also-and this may really help you out-I installed a Tiger Loop Ultra. Runs quiet and clean, customer's happy as can be.
  • Patchogue Phil_2
    Patchogue Phil_2 Member Posts: 303
    Update?

    Another mystery from last season that I am curious about if it was resolved?
  • BigNuge
    BigNuge Member Posts: 11
    Not fixed.....

    I fought through it for the remainder of last season. I plan on replacing the whole burner at this point. I am quite tired of dealing with it....



    EZ-1 coming in a couple of weeks.



    Thank you all for your time & help!
This discussion has been closed.