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Leaking Fuel Pump on Beckett Burner

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Jumping_J
Jumping_J Member Posts: 6
Hello,

I am looking for some insight into what I can do to resolve a problem that I keep running into with the fuel pump on my furnace. The furnace and burner was bought new in 2000. In 2003, the fuel pump started leaking oil for the first time. It was replaced and again started leaking in 2007. It was replaced again. In 2012, it leaked three times and each time replaced. The last time it was replaced a Beckett Cleancut pump was installed. Prior to that, the pump that was replaced was a Suntec ARVA7116. I have a Beckett AFII 150 Series Burner and a MAX Teledyne Laars Furnace.

If anybody has any ideas of what could be causing these problems and what I can do to remedy them once and for all, please let me know.

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Are you sure..........

    Are you sure it was actually the pump leaking? How was it diagnosed, besides just oil leaking from it?

    Some unaddressed problems could be the culprits (if the pump seals keep blowing out):

    Is this a 2 line system?  If so, is the return line getting plugged, or kinked?  A completely plugged return line will blow a pump out in about 2 seconds.

    Is the storage tank way above the pump? So much so that it requires an OSV (more then 3 psi at the inlet)?

    Has yearly maintenance been done, specifically oil filter and pump screen?  What did they look like?  What were the pressure and vacuum readings?

    Most people never get a fuel pumped replaced, let alone 5. 

    Some thing obvious is being overlooked.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Jumping_J
    Jumping_J Member Posts: 6
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    This I know..

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. I'll try to address the questions you posed to the best of my ability.

    Each time I had an oil leak from the bottom of the fuel pump, I called a local burner company who sent out a technician to have a look, diagnose and fix the problem. Each time they said the seal was gone. After the first time it happened, I switched from the company that installed the furnace to another company who have, over time, sent the best technicians they have. The service manager at the second company has been good to me and I think he has honestly tried to get to the bottom of this but he now seems stumped (He was going to think it over and talk to some more people over the weekend but I am losing hope and patience).

    I am not sure what you mean by a 2 line system. I don't think there is any return line but I will look into this.

    The bottom of the storage tank is approximately 25" above the pump. It's a 240 US gallon (909 liters) tank.

    Each year I have had the proper maintenance professionally done. I believe there was nothing unusual with the oil filter but I don't know anything about a pump screen or if I even have one. I'll look into it.

    I know the fuel pump pressure was set at 140 psi. I don't know anything about the vacuum reading. I'll look into this as well.

    Thank you again. If anything else comes to mind, I'd greatly appreciate hearing about it.
  • Jumping_J
    Jumping_J Member Posts: 6
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    One more thing..

    What is an OSV?
  • R Mannino
    R Mannino Member Posts: 440
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    OSV

    Oil Safety Valve
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    edited October 2013
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    osv....

    pumps no likkey to act like something they are not.

    nothing about them screams osv . have a tank above a pump? install osv.

    what it does is provide a specific pressure on the supply side of the pump.

    think of it some what like a govenor. instead of seeing the pressure of changing amount of fuel it maintains like 4 psi right there . some folks find the boiler or furnace has horrible sooting problems along about the time the pump is toast.

    picture a huge warehouse with furnaces that run off oil scattered about way up near the ceiling,...to get oil from the tank it is pumped there and back, all the way around it , with take offs to the individual burners .it takes plenty of pump .,right by the burner will be a valve to shut the fuel oil line off for maint and repair...

    after that may be a filter canister , an osv, then a meltdown valve , it might then go to a tiger loop combi , this way it has a pinner environment of its own that resembles having the tank right next to it , with that osv it does not have to rely upon its pump to pull the oil from the farthest corner of the building , up two flights of stairs and hang on with things,.. till it needs to start again. the pump is not made to do all that . it has limitations .

    the pressure side of the pump is like hundreds of psi the suction side we look at vacuum , so sometimes there is a vacuum gauge= in the vicinity also .

    usually the oil is filtrated outside of the place, by the tank , then again ,ahead of the pump that circulates oil about the building , and at the furnace.

    so we are saying osv.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,438
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    Perhaps a stupid question but

    is it the pump itself which is leaking, or is the leak somewhere around where the pump attaches to the rest of the burner assembly?  If the latter, has anyone checked the sealing surface of between the pump and the burner assembly?  Could be a problem there...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Jumping_J
    Jumping_J Member Posts: 6
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    Anything helps

    I had a close look at the oil pump and the oil is currently coming out around one of the bolts at the bottom of the unit. I then looked at the diagram of the unit (from the following website: http://beckettcorp.com/scripts/filesearch/techinfo/664853.shtml ) to determine that it is the "return port". This is the same location that previous oil pumps have leaked from. I hope this sheds some light on the problem. I am grateful for any help. The heating/furnace company I have been dealing with for the last 5 oil pumps is stumped, and I don't know what to do next.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    If its only leaking out the return plug......

    Take the plug off, make sure the bypass plug is NOT installed, put the plug back on with some pipe dope..cant believe they couldn't figure that out.  Once again, this could NOT have been the cause of 5 pump replacements. 

    Make sure they take the pump completely off, the nozzle assembly, the blower motor/wheel out, and wipe down all the oil that has now been sucked into the burner housing.

    It could also be the fitting in the supply side of the pump bad.  Also, to quickly change a pump, some people leave the oil line connected to the cover, and reuse the cover.  If the cover is cracked warped or wasn't cleaned correctly (with a razor knife), it could leak again.

    Once again, after the pump is fixed or replaced, tell them to hook up pressure/vacuum gauges, and show you the readings as the pump operates.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Jumping_J
    Jumping_J Member Posts: 6
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    Update on leaking fuel pump

    For anyone who is interested in this thread, I have the following update:

    The furnace people I have been dealing with just came over, they sent their best man who was the same guy who installed the previous pump. He has never seen a situation like this before but he wanted to try replacing the pump again, only this time he installed an OSV just before the pump  (by the way, the seal on the old pump had failed) and he measured the pressure after the pump at 140psi. (His gauge would not go low enough to measure the pressure on the line before the pump, but with the OSV in place there shouldn't be any problem there). He also replaced the motor as it was not sounding right. So right now (20 minutes after he left) things are running smoothly and sounding better. Hopefully, this will be the end of my problems (but I've said that many times before).

    Thank you to everyone who left their comments. It really helped me to understand the problem better and to speak more intelligently with the staff at the furnace company.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Changes:

    When the next pump fails, change the motor and the coupler. The motor may have a slightly bent shaft and it is putting a slight amount of sideways thrust on the pump shaft. Did the service guy replace the coupler when he changed the pump?

    Some of us here can hear strange things that experience has taught us what they mean. It isn't something that can be explained.

    In my career, I have had Beckett's that defied correction. I found that a new Carlin EZ-1 was a complete solution. It's hard to see how a tank could be so high above the burner that it needs a OSV for the reasons given to correct your problem. OSV valves are nice but I don't see where it will solve your problem. Unless I missed something. A proper pressure gauge should be put on the oil inlet supply to the pump. If it is less than 3#, the OSV is nice but not the cause of the pump failures. I'd look more to a misalignment problem.

    But that's JMO.
  • Jumping_J
    Jumping_J Member Posts: 6
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    Re: alignment problem

    Thanks for your input "icesailor". I don't know if they changed the coupler, but are you saying that changing the motor and the coupler would take care of any possible alignment problems?

    Also, eventhough the burner is now making less noise when it runs, I am  noticing a slight/low irregular grinding noise that seems to be new. Is this something I should be concerned about? Is it an indication of an alignment problem?
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
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    not ...to speak for him

    however let me sorta rephrase it .

    the pumps pressure can have various detractors .

    one is the motor speed, one is the alignment,... of the motor or pump , what i call the drive coupling has often two various sized plastic inserts that when the motor starts or stops acting like a set of brakes on a car stop the pump then and there .

    the coupling can go south over time just like brake pads .....the shafts of pumps that have "Play" in them, are shot.

    on another note air can be a hidden detractor it "Hides" in a pump , ...there are a couple tricks that get the air out . service guys know this yet might not employ them if the pressure gauge reads right .

    and on single pipe systems they bled off the pump and the white air bubbles went away. there can still be a small pocket of air that will hose the canine as it were. one of the other respondents mentioned this ,however , it may have been subtle enough not to catch what he said.

    the fact that you can make out a new sound seems enough to warrant making a quick call to the service tech describe the sound ... ...if it were air you would be aware of it in relatively short order .
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Noise:

    If it is making "noise" and the "noise" was there before and after the pump was changed, the noise is coming from somewhere. Couplers are cheap. Old motors can have "side play" and it can have "end play". End play isn't noticed as much but is worse. And if a coupler is replaced, it is easy to cut it too long and push the motor shaft against the thrust bearing. If you slide the motor out an inch or two, and you try to slide the fan cage from left to right, it shouldn't move. If it does, replace the motor. When you install a new motor, there is an end setting from the motor frame to the fan body. It is designed to keep the air pressure proper. If the fan cage is sliding back and forth, the combustion air isn't being kept equal. The plastic coupler end that goes onto the pump wears the most because of the smaller shaft. Not usually the other end on the motor shaft.

    Parts changers, beware.
  • gilligan
    gilligan Member Posts: 18
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    ummm

    Can't say I've ever had to cut a coupling for a Beckett AFII .

    could there be s possibility the burner housing wasn't machined

    properly which is causing the shafts to not line up properly?

    Maybe get a fuel sample analyzed too, I've seen pumps seals go bar on a weekly

    basis after a fuel delivery.
This discussion has been closed.