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Beckett AF Problem

wwww Member Posts: 192
I am getting some mysterious rapid on off action from the oil burner.

I turn on the emergency switch and the burner could either go on and fire for a minute or so and then go on and sometimes even stops for a bit..then goes on again then off in rapid succession .I hear a clicking sound from the relay in the honeywell primary R8184G1286.

I'll list what I have checked and done.

1. Less than a month ago I put in a new nozzle,electrodes,inline filter and pump filter. All adjusted to specs. I put in a 1.10 gph 80 degree SS nozzle to replace the hollow one. All was working great and the steam system was running great.

2.Either by coincidence or not I first noticed this on and off in rapid succession the day I changed the pressuretrol slightly to adjust cut out pressure to less than 2 lbs..I since then changed the pressuretrol back to original numbers.

3. I hooked up an ohmmeter to the cad cell and it is clean and working. I tested with the light and without the light on and looks fine.

4. i checked the transformer and a good spark jumped across when i moved a screwdriver toward the springs. Looked good.

5. The system was properly bled as well.

6. I bypassed the thermostat and the burner went on and then started on and off.

7. I checked all the wires leading to the burner,junction boxes,etc..all wires tight..continuity in both thermostat wires at T terminals to breaks in the wires.

8, I disconnected the cad cell wires and the burner went on for awhile..then went on safety. From what I undertand that is good.

9. I jumped the two cad cell terminals and made sure relay was off safety. Put the switch on and furnace did not go on. According to what it said this means the primary is good.

10. Motor sounds quiet and strong,pump has good flow although no pressure check.

11. I did notice at a couple of times some puff back from the chamber door when it was going on and off. I previously adjusted the air to about 6 or so and saw no soot in the exhaust behind damper.

I do hope that someone here will be able to please help me regarding what this could be so that I can fix it tomorrow and get the needed parts if necessary. Thanks very much.


  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 1,448

    Sounds like you checked almost everything, but it obviously appears to be an electrical problem/short.  Assuming you did everything correctly, I'd take another look at the pressuretrol.

    I would recheck all wiring--especially if wires lay on pipes.  Then check the contacts in the relays, especially the LWCO.

    What type of LWCO do you have?

    You shouldn't have adjusted the air without a combustion analyzer.  Too much air could be blowing out the flame.

    You smell oil probably from the rapid on/off sequences.

    When you closed the transformer, did you pinch any wires?

    You didn't fully check the primary control properly.  The cad cell needs to be checked where it is mounted both during flame and no flame, not just with ambient light.

    If you know a guy with an 8184G, I would swap it out, just to eliminate it.

    Did you look down the air tube to make sure its clean, unobstructed, and not cracked or loose?

    It's also possible that you didn't set up everything correctly--nozzle, electrodes, etc., but this isn't the problem your having right now.
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Member Posts: 2,385

    How is the "T-T" wired, or is it jumped? I would say bad 8184G. Go with a Genisys control. Jumping "F-F" and starting the burner will not trouble shoot it
  • wwww Member Posts: 192
    more info

    You mention thermostat..when i took that out of the circuit by jumping the two T terminals I thought that would fix stayed on awhile but it started on and off again. It would have been nice if that unit stayed on and I could have called it a day with the jump wire working and them I'd just put a new thermostat in.

    I took every cover off..checked all the wires the best I could and didn't see any issues. Will check again.

    Will have to check the LWCO brand...but that's a good point..will look at that too..the water is just a bit below the line at the site glass and noticed that before like that with no problems.

    i did the check the cad cell off the unit..i checked another one somewhere for comparison on the unit but not this one...but haven't checked it while running since it didn't run long enough yet.

    I'll have to look down the air tube tomorrow. I'm not a professional but have been setting the gaps in the electrodes either with the beckett gauge or calipers for a long time. I did take them out again and to the best of my knowledge they are ok. I don't have the analyzers to check but have been doing it by eye like that..not perfect but it seems to work ok..i know what you mean about too much air..that's happened to me where it blew out the flame too.

    Luckily I have the exact unit in another place to compare this one too.

    I did run sandpaper between the contacts. I did observe some contact wear and thought that might be an issue. I don't have one of these other units other than the working will see.
  • wwww Member Posts: 192

    has two wires from blue and one white...when i bypassed the thermostat to test i jumped tt and it went on just like when thermostat was hooked up. will look at that genisys. I read that ff jump somewhere and tried it and it didn't go on.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Beckett "AF" Problems:

    +++I put in a 1.10 gph 80 degree SS nozzle to replace the hollow one. +++

    Why did you put a SS nozzle in that AF burner? What brand nozzle is it? Those Beckett "AF burners usually require a 80 Degree H (Hollow) or a B which is a solid nozzle. The "B" or "H" always signified a Delavan nozzle and they always worked best for me in a Beckett. The Delavan "H" nozzles come in a red tube and the B (solid) nozzles come in a Blue tube. Hago nozzles came with a Red cap for the Hollow's and a Blue cap for the Semi-Solids (SS). The Solid's came with a light green cap. Some uninformed techs thought that a Blue Hago was equal to a "B" or blue Delavan. They're not. They would usually seem to run OK for a short period of time and start misfiring like yours does.

    Beckett "AF" burners are rather prehistoric, made shortly after the end of the Pleistocene era. There have been vast improvements in burners. Perhaps the boiler is also from the Pleistocene era and is a good match but I've never seen SS nozzles work well in them unless someone had some service problem and was playing a game of "Fun with nozzles". Which is trying every nozzle in the box to see if you can find one that makes it run better. The one that I found to make it run better is the one that the boiler manufacturer suggests running in their boiler. All else isn't much better than checking spaghetti for doneness by throwing it against the wall to see when it sticks.
  • wwww Member Posts: 192
    nozzle on beckett

    I was in an oil burner supply and some techs there told me to use the ss..the one i have is a blue hago 1.10 80 degree ss...i see you are saying this may happen due to using the wrong nozzle...i was thinking about that but it went over my head since it was running fine for a few weeks...i have a hago red cap 1.10 80 degree hollow and I'll try's worth a shot and with your vast knowledge on these nozzles it's something I'll try. Thanks for the input on this.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    I'd try to get a Delavan. They seem to work better than Hago's in Beckett's. Especially those old dogs like a AF.

    I don't know what you are firing the AF into but with "newer" boilers, the manufacturer of the boiler often specify what nozzle to use. If they specify a 80 Degree "H" or a 80 Degree "B" nozzle with no brand specified, they seem to be specifying Delavan. Although all the other nozzle manufacturers may specify a "H" or hollow nozzle, they are not all exactly the same. They make nozzle conversion charts.

    Hago was bought out by Danfoss and it is my understanding that they trimmed down their lines. Upper and unpopular sizes are all special orders to stocking wholesalers. To buy a particular unpopular size that is specified for an application like a Hago 2.25 GPH 45 Degree Solid (Light Green Top) nozzle which I needed 3 but always ordered a box (of 10 or 12), so I had then for the next years, I had to buy 144 boxes of the one nozzles. Carlin gave me another nozzle to use that was a Delavan. Delavan's seem to be far more available than any other nozzle. With the declining oil market, I think that Delavan will be the only one available.

    Try to find out what was in the equipment when it was installed. That's a better place to start. You may be able to get to the Beckett Web Site and see if they list the particular equipment and the burner and nozzle you have.

    I'm no authority on nozzles. But whenever I had a problem situation, the first place I looked at was if it had the proper nozzle. Those old Beckett's ALL used 80 Degree Hollow or Solid nozzles.

    Good Luck.
  • WeezboWeezbo Member Posts: 6,232

    is the sound that you are hearing right ..

    theres a couple "Symptoms" and slightly different types ,

    ...they are fairly common observances and any one in the oil service business has encountered them...

    i would expand on the things to check for each buh i am not feeling well today .

    maybe later ...
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    That may be true, that there are other things.

    But you have to have a place to start from. It is said that you can navigate around the world with a carpenters Framing Square. That's true if you have a book that gives you the sunrise's time and the time from Greenwich Great Britain, and a positively accurate clock set to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). 

    GPS is far more accurate than Loran C.

    In the 60's and 70's, before the EZ-1's, Carlin 100 CRD's all used 60 Degree SS Hago nozzles, Use a 60 degree Blue Delavan and it ran like crap. Beckets always used a 80 Degree H or B nozzle. They still mostly do. Get a Carlin or Beckett OEM book and it gives you a place to at least start. Years ago, I followed around someone that decided that the ultimate one size fits all oil burner nozzle was a 70 degree nozzle, wither hollow (Red) or blue which could be Semi-Solid or Solid, depending which manufacturer made the nozzle. None ran well. He trained a whole tribe of techs the same way. You'd be amazed how much better some equipment ran with the proper nozzle.

    You have to have a baseline to start fixing things.  
  • wwww Member Posts: 192
    Beckett AF Running Fine Now

    I rechecked all wiring again leading to the burner and thought that I may have found a wire that was connected to the Honeywell primary that may have been the problem.

     I changed the nozzle to a hollow one.  I tightened all wires again and the boiler fired up fine...for awhile..then started to click again from the relay and go on and off.

     I turned the primary on its side and it worked...put it the right way and it I moved it around it either worked or it didn't work right.. Apparently something internal in the relay was the problem.


    Of course with my curiosity I could have possibly repaired the internal cause and even tried mounting the unit the other way...but elected to replace the part.

    I picked up a Honeywell R8184G4009 and installed that one. I performed all the necessary safety checks as directed by the instructions. The burner went on with no problems and continued to work fine throughout the day.

     So far so good and am cautiously optimistic that this will continue to work.

    As with everything the prices vary..but with this part I found some were trying to get three times more than other places were. As usual I had to do my homework to find the best deal.

    I will explore the different types of nozzles and install others and make note of performance. Thanks to everyone for all the input. Reading these posts here have helped me learn alot about the way things like this work.
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    I thought so

    figured it was the cad cell relay, but missed that it was a steamer, so asking about "T-T" must have been out of left field. Good luck
  • wwww Member Posts: 192
    it's all good

    you said right there in your post that it was R8184G..and that's what it turned out to be..well played! Thanks
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Controls and nozzles:

    Put the original nozzle or one exactly like it back in.

    What brand and model # of boiler is this?
  • wwww Member Posts: 192

    This is an old american standard..I'll have to look at the plate on boiler again..i do know it says the nozzle is 1.10 gph without baffles..i don't see any baffles..the beckett af had a hollow 80 degree nozzle in it..i recently tried a SS nozzle and boiler seemed to heat up faster and send steam to radiators faster...but maybe because it wasn't such freezing weather out will monitor that.

    I used to have a 1.0 gph nozzle in there until i found out  it took the 1.10 from the boiler plate.

    I have some of those hoffman 40 valves and looking into putting them in all the radiators..will see. I know that the venting on the radiators isn't the only factor to getting them hot as far as what i read and try.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    Most of us would stay with the 1.00 GPH nozzle. If the ARCO is Pre-Beckett, the Arco Burners weren't as hot as a Beckett will fire and that's not saying a lot. But, usually, when fired at the maximum input, they are a tad hot and less efficient. With combustion analysis, it usually shows beret numbers with the smaller nozzle. If you have an analyzer, you can always raise the pump pressure to get closer to the 1.10 GPH and see what the numbers do. With a digital, you know almost instantly what is happening. Not so with a "Wet Kit".

    I always got better numbers with my "Wet Kit" on boat moorings like an Arco when I used the smaller nozzle. The stack temperatures went down a little. I never had a chance to play with any moorings after I bought my analyzer.
  • wwww Member Posts: 192
    Interesting Analysis re Arco

    I see what you are saying here. here are a couple of things i would like to know.. I was checking the steam output and how long it would take radiators to heat up. The top floor furthest from boiler took the longest. The funny thing was the steam got to the main double vents on each side fast and didn't travel upstairs quickly..When I had the 1.10 gph ss nozzle in there it heated up quicker..but then again it wasn't as cold. I also put in a hoffman 40 I had to try that in place of the C maid of the mist.

    2. I was reading here that the Heating Cycle Rate on thermostat should be 1 cycle per hour for steam. The honeywell 7 day programmable only has 2 for the lowest number. Should I look for something else?.. I had one of those old dial honeywells and got ahold of this one because the old dial one couldn't even be read easily but worked. I can always put it back.

    3. I still don't know why the steam crawls upstairs and takes awhile. I may have had the water temp on the aquastat too was 145 while I was checking it out..and moved it to 180. Do you know what I should set the water temperature to?

    4. The site do you determine the water level?..I have a tankless everhot..and sort of keep it like 2/3 up to be in line with nearly the top of heater.

    By the way the system with the new primary works great and quiet too. So then I should go with the 1.0 gph then and not the 1.10 due to what you were saying?

    What should I use to coat the boiler...the refractory cement and use silver paint as was on there before? Thank you.
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