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Alright, new member and completely perplexed by an intermittent problem

woodsie Member Posts: 1
Oil furnace is a recent model from the early 2000's, is a two line system, 275 in ground tank and has a Beckett burner on it. The problem is that the suntec single stage pump occasionally seizing. It will run flawlessly for weeks and then if the heat doesn't cycle for a day or two. Both the breakers/resets will trip on the burner. So I flip the ignighter open and by trying to spin the hamster wheel. Can see/feel the pump is locked. I can work it loose, close the ignighter, push the resets and flip the main switch and then I'm back in business. I'm on my 3rd pump, so I know it's not that, I've got plenty of fuel, no line obstructions, tank is not leaking etc..

Today I woke up to a cold house,sigh.. I made a fire (supplemental heat source-woodstove) and went thru the motions. Worked it loose but before doing so. I cracked the bleeder and to my astonishment. It made a sucking noise? Is this some kind of furnace vapor lock? If anyone has any ideas, I'd very interested in what you people have to say:-)



  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited December 2014

    You really need an oil professional to be dealing with your problem. If you do NOT have a spin-on type oil filter, and the oil pro won't install one, find another one. You shouldn't be having pump failures by jamming up.

    If it is already connected as a two pipe oil system, there needs to have installed a "Tigerloop Ultra with the filter already on it and flex hoses. You only need one line to the tank.

    Is your 275 UST a legal UST tank?
  • Tony Massi
    Tony Massi Member Posts: 86
    Next time the pump jams up don't spin the fan. Take the motor off and see if the motor isn't jammed up instead. It doesn't make any sense you would have to replace 3 pumps.
    Bob Bona_4
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Or another, remove the HP line into the burner and the two bolts holding the pump into the housing, pull out the pump a few inches and put a 6" adjustable wrench on the pump shaft. See if it is bound up. If it is, turn it away, spin it back and forth against the obstruction. If there is an obstruction, you can usually smush it so the shaft spins. If that's the case, do you have a decent filter on the system like a Spin-On? If the pump isn't jammed, do you know it was jammed every time it was changed in the past? Or is it just a bad motor that doesn't always start and the motor needs to be replaced. If the motor thermal overload switch isn't kicking out, that Motor is probably Tostada Muchacho.

    Or as I learned long ago, if it goes off on safety for no apparent reason, and everything checks out, it might be the motor. When you change the motor, and it goes away, you then know the culprit. Bad Motoritis.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    I've seen many (more than a few) pumps that jammed up in the direction they were supposed to turn, but by freeing them up by turning them in the opposite direction, then back and forth, I got it to work.

    Especially helpful when it is a "J" lift pump, its a nursing home, and you might have to wait a week for the special order pump to get to you. They hired a new maintenance person that sounds like one of those guys on "Down east Dickering", he knows far more than you, he switched the bad pump over to the running one that jammed up and neglected to call you, so you're kind of left to your own devices to resolve it.

    Someone once told me that the best bilge pump you can have on a sinking boat is a guy with water up to his knees and a 5 gallon bucket.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Did you not understand my explanation of not a quick and easy source to fix an emergency problem? That required an immediate solution?

    My solution because the pumps had no incoming filters, was to heavily filter the inlet, get new pumps, and the problem was solved.

    Until a contract went out to replace a perfectly good 2,000 gal underground lifetime oil tank that the locals had passed a law requiring any tank more than 10 years old to be removed and replaced (the "local" owned the tank), the low bid got the job, were 50% lower than all the other bidders, kinked the 5/8" od lines and told everyone that it was "normal" to run 14" on a above ground gravity tank, and the spin in filters were supposed to act as vacuum chambers and collect the off gasses.

    That's how you learn among the smarter than you set.

    Like the person here with the boiler that doesn't work and no one will fix it for them and they have a baby coming, someone will have to step up to the plate and hit one out of the park for them.