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Webster Burner Problems

JStar Member Posts: 2,752
Got a Webster dual-fuel burner operating only on oil right now. I've got chattering oil solenoid valves. If I remove the valves from the electrical terminal strip, I get a solid 120V. If I add just one solenoid back, still 120V. As soon as both valves are in the circuit, they chatter and lock out the control. If I jump power to the valves, they both open.

The burner was "guaranteed not to have been under flood water during Hurricane Sandy" by the original installers. But, one look at this burner, and you can see al of the screws rusted out and white chalk everywhere.

I'll be on the phone with factory rep tomorrow morning. Any ideas in the meantime?


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,008

    the hot and neutral connections to the valves and work your way back- one of these might be loose or dirty.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    edited September 2013

    Without a wiring diagram, I checked as many wires and connections as I could.

    If I jump both of the valves directly to the incoming 120V hot leg, I still get chattering and no opening. One valve a a time, opens fine.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,481
    Jump the neutrals as well

    You said the chattering was still there if you jumped both valves to the 120v on the hot side. You have too much resistance somewhere for both valves to work properly, can you put a meter directly across both valves? If you just have one meter try measuring between the incoming neutral to the neautral side of each valve.

    The problem might be a neutral wire with too much resistance especially if you see a lot of corrosion evident.Try jumping the neutrals and i would disassemble each connection between the incoming neutral and the valves to clean off any corrosion - salt water attacks EVERYTHING.

    good luck,

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    The neutrals come factory jumped to incoming neutral, but I did land them directly on the neutral terminal with no change.

    Both valves ohmed out at about 160.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Salty Sandy:

    Why was it necessary that the sellers guaranteed the appliance had absolutely not been underwater in Hurricane Sandy?

    Salt water causes some really strange symptoms. Like yours.

    Scrape some of that white powdery stuff and anything else you see that you don't normally see, wipe it off with a rag, and give it a quick lick. If it's salty, how did it get there?  Some old Salt like me peed salt pee on it?

    Remember about salt and salt water. It is hydroscopic. It attracts water. That white fluffy stuff sounds like water/moisture attracted to salt and evaporating.

    Give it a lick and get ugly with those who said that it absolutely hadn't been flooded In Sandy.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,655
    I second the motion

    if the screws are rusted, and you have white deposits, the odds are it's been underwater at some point.  Salt water.  The folks who sold it might be right -- might not have been Sandy.  But does that really matter?  If it has been underwater, it's not going to be worth the effort to fix it, in my humble opinion.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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