Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.

If you've found help here, check back in to let us know how everything worked out.
It's a great way to thank those who helped you.
Need to contact us? Visit

Going Nuts

techlstechls Posts: 9Member
I have a Utica Starfire 3 boiler, 20 +/- yo. It has a Beckett AFG burner. It had a annual service by a service tech before the heating season; vac out, new filter, nozzel, and replacement of firebox lining. Since then, I have had intermittant shutdowns of the system, mid-firing. In other words, while it's firing, the flame goes out while motor still runs. After the
time interval the red light comes on at the controller, and the unit shuts down. Thinking it's a simple ignition problem, I replaced the controller (Honeywell R8184G), transformer (Beckett 51771U), cadcell, and ignitor tips, which I set with the T-gage. Still happens 1-2 times a day. I'm stumped and feel a little funny calling service guy back after doing so much stuff myself.
Thinking about changing out the pump (A2VA-7116) today. This is getting expensive, any ideas?


  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,984Member
    Either that or the oil supply is erratic. What happens when you reset the burner? Is there a filter in the oil line? Do you hear a whine coming from the fuel unit (pump) before it shuts down?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • techlstechls Posts: 9Member
    Don't thing he checked combustion, had to ask if he was going to vacuum as he was packing up. The air slides on the side of the burner are about 5/8 of total open.
    I wait about 10 minutes, then I reset, and she fires off fine. I just listened to a cycle, and there was no whine on a normal, no red light on, stop firing shutdown.
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member
    All of the above.

    And when you were futzing around with the innards, did you happen to look down the tube at the end cone and notice if there was any hard carbon on the outside chamber area? If you see any black deposits from looking down, stick your finger down there and feel for any roughness. If there is, scrape it off with an old copper fitting brush.

    Does it have the correct/specified nozzle for that application? It should be a Delavan. Look in the I/O manual and see what you need, and compare that to what you have. It can make a difference. Be sure that the spray angle is correct with what the I/O says.

    If it stops in "Mid-Stride, and you don't have Spin-On filters, install them or have them installed. One at the tank and one at the burner. Don't take NO for an answer. TWO spin-on filters.

    If you have a canister type filter, and it looks like the one in the video posted here recently with sludge covering the filter, you need to change the filter to a spin-on and change the pump strainer and nozzle. The nozzle strainer is plugged up.

    If they didn't use a digital combustion analyzer on the burner when done, they should have and didn't do you any favors.

    Are you sure that you set the igniters properly with the gauge? You need to know what diffuser plate is being used for that particular burner and firing rate.

    Or, why I hated Becketts because I never knew what spec's to use on the two plates I had.
  • techlstechls Posts: 9Member
    There is a filter (1A-30) inline before pump.
  • techlstechls Posts: 9Member
    Thanks guys. These things really are simple, but when it's something intermittent like this, all bets are off.
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,668Member
    Where are you located? We may know somebody who can help. Changing random parts is not wise.
  • techlstechls Posts: 9Member
    Center Moriches, NY, out on Long Island, 70 miles east of Big Apple.
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385Member
    Sounds like Robert O'Brien's area? Sounds like high OHMs?,failing cad cell and socket?, fuel supply as Frank said earlier? You are in desperate need of a qualified tech. You shouldn't have to remind him about his vacuum when on a clean/service. Sad. As said earlier, stop throwing new parts at this when it is an easy fix for a qualified and competent tech
  • techlstechls Posts: 9Member
    Just changed out pump, and upon opening up old one, screen was pristine, no rust or water. It was however, just hanging on by one finger tight, and one loose bolt. Air was leaking around the pump body. Now the boiler sounds like it's rumbling, and the damper is doing a slight open/close dance. Not going to put in anymore parts, as I've changed out just about everything but the aquastat. Only Robert O'Brien in Center Moriches trades is an electrician.
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,668Member
    edited January 2015
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385Member
    Fuel pumps come pre-set at 100 PSI. Your burner was most likely at 140 PSI. Reason for the rumble
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385Member
    You can turn the pressure adjuster in 2 complete turns clockwise. That will increase it about 20 PSI, and get it smoother running until someone else is hired. Robert should be listed in the contractor section here?
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385Member
    Look for a label on the burner housing that will indicate required pump pressure. You are best to use a gauge and test the combustion when done
  • techlstechls Posts: 9Member
    Don't see the adjustment screw.
  • techlstechls Posts: 9Member
    Found it
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385Member
    did it help?
  • techlstechls Posts: 9Member
    Yes, very much thank you. If it runs through the night, and maybe to noon tomorrow I think it's solved. If it is, it was two loose bolts on the pump. Changed $300 worth of parts. You guys set me in the right direction, thanks.
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385Member
    The loose pump mounting bolts will not cause a problem, unless the pump was out far enough for the coupling to not bite the shaft, and that sound is very distinct. It will not affect the air adjustment either
  • RobGRobG Posts: 1,850Member
    His name was misspelled :Robert O'Brien of Technical Heating Co. in Mount Sinai, NY!
Sign In or Register to comment.


It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!