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Wayne MSR/Bock 32e Not Igniting Reliably

AaronH Member Posts: 59
I have a Wayne MSR burner in a Bock 32e water heater, just serviced (new nozzle, filters, combustion analysis) a few weeks ago. Yesterday I came home to cold water and the burner in lockout mode.

Pressed reset, and the motor ran, but the burner did not fire. I smelled the oil, so I shut it down. Here's what I did:

1) Disconnected the pump's line to the nozzle assembly and ran it for a minute, pumping what looked like aerated fuel, but fuel nonetheless.

2) Pulled out the nozzle assembly, wiped it down, seemed OK.

3) I bent the tabs for the electrodes up to meet the transformer's springs better.

4) Put it back together, worked great for a day.

This morning, I heard the motor start and it didn't light for a good 5 seconds, then it went off with a bang as it finally ignited and burned up the raw fuel. So something is still not right - what could it be?

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  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    Not a stellar burner. Bock started offering Carlin EZ-1's on their water heaters which is what I have always used anyway. When I have had problems with Wayne's, I replace them.

    If you bent the electrodes, you may not know of what you are doing or what you have done. You need to set them to spec's. And usually, the problem with MSR's is that the end cone/turbulator gets hard carbon stuck on it and needs to be scraped off with a copper fitting brush. Like the other twin. Beckett AF and AFG.

    You did the wrong thing to fix it.

    In MY experience.

    They are also notorious for descending spark strength. Once you have the electrode problem solved, replace the transformer. But, you don't seem to be on top of the service that needs to be done so I suggest you call a Pro, if you can find one. Other than that, I'm not going to give you any suggestions on how to check the spark. You might get hurt.

    I don't need that.
  • AaronH
    AaronH Member Posts: 59
    edited October 2012
    Other Side Of Electrodes...

    Hi Icesailor- thanks for the response, although the problem started right after I had it serviced for the year. I didn't touch the electrodes by the nozzle, but the other end, where they contact the transformer springs.

    I appreciate your concern, and may end up bringing someone back into this, but I'm looking for solutions beyond "Replace the whole burner, it sucks" and "go call a pro."

    I'd love to know how to check the transformer, as I'm thinking it is either a contact issue between the transformer and the electrodes or maybe a bad transformer. FYI, my day job is working with electrical systems, so I have experience and tools.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    Wayne and ignition

    The electrodes should be replaced when serviced, and if it is the flame retention burner, they are probably grounding out on the endcone. That was a touchy model.Have the transformer checked as well, and check for pinched transformer wires. 
  • Wayne M. Lawrence
    Wayne M. Lawrence Member Posts: 19
    I'm thinkng fuel supply problem

    Hi. you stated that when you checked oil flow, the oil looked airated. Is this gravity feed or lift? I would check with both units running together, as i think you have an air leak, or a restricted fuel supply.
  • SchenleySeven
    SchenleySeven Member Posts: 27
    All sooted up, and no place to go

    I have a 12 year old Bock 32e with a 30 year old Wayne M-SR, tuned up annually under a service contract, and last done in February. Over the past six months I would have random no hot water, tap the reset button, it flamed, but I never called in for a service call.

    I had a puff back so placed a service call, he determined the iron core transfomer was failing, and replaced it with a Carlin ignitor. Kept the original primary. Replaced the nozzle. Things worked for about five days.

    Then I had a loud puff back. A day later we had another no hot water, and after tapping reset, it flamed for 2 seconds, no flame for two, flame again for two, so I shut it down and placed a service call. Before he arrived, I turned it back on, tapped reset, and got smoke coming out of the inspection port and noticed a dark orange smaller than normal flame. A different technician determined the heater was very sooted up, vacuumed while brushing down it's center flue passage for 20-25 minutes, and adjusted for slightly more air.

    No problems for the past month. The Wayne has electrodes that are more than 25 years old, and neither tech thought there was a need to replace them it seems. I assume both looked at the gap, and assume that it was OK.
    One pipe steam, Weil-McLain 380 , pipes mostly insulated, 32 radiators!

    Bock 32E water heater, Bock M-SR burner with .75 80A nozzle.
  • AaronH
    AaronH Member Posts: 59
    Update... for those following at home

    I had replaced the transformer and that didn't seem to help at all (oh well...), I was still getting delayed ignition and occasional lockouts.

    Yesterday I had Joe S from Ecuacool come by (great guy, fast service!) and he checked the flue passage (seemed ok), electrodes and nozzle (seemed OK) and spent a lot of time adjusting the air-flow down with his combustion analyizer.

    It seems as though my first oil-co had replaced the 0.75 nozzle with a 1.00 nozzle, and then the next guy through put in the correct 0.75 nozzle but did not bring the air back down.

    We'll see what happens long-term.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    That will do it:

    That will do it every time.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,893
    Which is why

    you should have Joe service your equipment from now on. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    It always amuses me...it takes a $1,000 tool to find the problem, and a $1 tool to fix the problem.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Ain't going to happen.

    Ain't going to happen.

    Low price always wins out to quality. Those guys that don't need CA's because they have been looking at flames forever, they don't need them. And the fact that oil burners all have nuanced nozzles, means that those without CA's have figured out that the perfect universal nozzle if the 70 degree "A" or "B", regardless if a Hago that comes with the blue cap, isn't the same as the Delavan Blue nozzle. If it roars, it just means it is running better. Like FM.

    I recently serviced a Reillo R28 burner. The owner couldn't get the installer back anymore. The installer had replaced a Carlin 850 CRD or something like that (A bomb proof burner if there ever was one) and the Riello was acting up after a few years. Here's another one. No manual, no clear way to get it apart. All kinds of signs or "issues". Call Riello, Download the PDF to my laptop, print out the parts breakdown and install/maintenance manual, AND READ IT!!! Had I done like the Low Bid guy, and tried to take it apart like you would think, I would have had a numero uno disaster on my hands. After reading the instructions, it has got to be the most service user friendly burner I have ever worked on. Undo one bolt and the whole assembly slides back on itself and everything is there to remove. You just need metric wrenches and a metric hex head wrench.

    The owner is thrilled, I learned something, and it runs fine.

    They don't send instructions with this stuff because they want to, it's required by code.

    Got a call, guy has a house he bought used. Heat doesn't work properly. Most of the house is cold. Some parts are so hot, he keeps the windows open. He called the company that made the thermostats and controls. They told him he needed digital thermostats so he bought them, replaced them and still has the problem. He called another "expert". He said he needed a new boiler. So, the boiler was replaced. Still the same. Someone recommended me to look at it. I don't know how many people have looked at this mess. It didn't need thermostats and it didn't need a new boiler. It needs some understanding. Its an early floor heating system. I'll look at it if he gets around to calling me back after the next cold spell when the house is cold and he has the windows open. 

    But I get weary of looking at things that all the other "experts" make bogus and unfounded prognostications on.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Wayne Fixing Tool:

    i have found that the most important tool to use on a Wayne (Beckett's too) is a free, used 1/2" copper fitting brush with a handle. Because they are both fixed head burners, the retention ring/turbulator gets coked up with carbon and the spark grounds out through the carbon to the burner frame. When I stick my large paw down that stinkin' oily black hole and scrape and brush it off, it starts right up. After I use my universal oil burner crud cleaner on it, PVC cleaner. Its cheap, comes in a can, with a nice dauber brush. I always buy the pint cans and and add from a quart can to replenish. I've never been to a supply house that didn't have a well stocked inventory of PVC cement and cleaner. I buy the clear, not the purple kind.

    A box of 100 universal extra large nitril gloves is nice too. Cheap at an auto supply store.
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