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Suntec A2VA-3006, Roth DWT 1000L - Carlin EZ Pro 1 - two tries to fire up only when Roth < ~1/2 full

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Pete_18
Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
I have a Carlin EZ Pro 1 with a Suntec A2VA-3006 and Roth DWT 1000L. When the Roth tank gets ~1/2 full or less, the burner -always- fires up and then runs for a couple seconds, flame goes out, recycles and fires up again and then runs the full cycle without any issues.

This problem only occurs when it appears the return line is exposed to air in the tank (I believe the return line goes down ~1/2 way down in the Roth tank), it seems like somehow air is getting sucked in through the return line.

When the tank is > 1/2, the problem vanishes each time and then re-appears as soon as the tank gets below the same level again.

Pump pressure has been checked and nozzle is fine, both are set according to spec.

Do you think I should just have someone replace the pump or is there some other obvious solution out there? Pump passed a visual inspection, but maybe there is some other connection on top of the tank or on the pump which just needs to be tightened?
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Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    I wouldn't replace the pump. Not without properly checking vacuum, pressure and pump cutoff. Usually the return line should go into the tank a few inches less than the supply line, so this could be the problem. I don't think it could be that the supply line has a crack or pin hole in it at that fuel level, based on the fact the the burner runs after recycle. Other things to check could be a vacuum leak at the pump strainer or filter

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
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    Thanks Steve. I think you're on to something. According to the Roth tech, the return only goes down ~1/2 down the tank, but when I check their own install manual, it seems to claim what you stated and seemingly describes the possible problem I am seeing:

    "When installing a two pipe system, insert the return piping through the
    duplex bushing and into the tank below the lowest expected fuel level. If the
    return line will be terminated above the lowest expected fuel level install a
    check valve on the supply line to maintain prime during burner off cycles."

    I will call someone out here to look in to these. Dumb question for my own information, is it going to be obvious (somehow?) that the return line is not almost at the bottom of the tank? It's not like you can see this when the tank is full of oil and the duplex bushing is installed :)
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    And if you install a Tigerloop on the burner, and use ONLY the one suction line to the tank, there is enough fuel in he Tigerloop reservoir to start the burner, overcome the suction leak in the floating rubber hose or the bogus fuel pick-up fitting on the top that always leaks.

    But that would be a simple solution.

    Have two plastic fuel cans twinned together (What I called Roth/Schute tanks). Have one suction leak. When all else fails, you'll be installing a Tigerloop. Because it is the only effective solution to the issue.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
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    Very good little gadget, had never heard of one before. Going to have someone come out tomorrow for further investigation to see if I can put this problem to bed.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    The "someone come out tomorrow" will most likely not want to use a Tigerloop "Because I don't like them" even though he has never installed one and solved a multitude of problems with one.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited February 2015
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    The dip tube on the return line probably only went about 6 inches down in to the tank when Roth's manual specifically stated that it needed to be below the supply/lowest expected oil level to avoid losing prime if there was not a check valve in place (which there is not). The return now goes just ever so slightly below the supply, so hopefully this will fix it since Roth's manual seemingly describes this same problem. Oddly enough, even the Roth tech who seemed very educated didn't fully understand how far down the return should be piped. What makes little sense is why it was pulling in air at ~1/2 full when the dip stick only went down 6 inches (I kind of expected to see it go down half the tank), but either way, I am hoping this is now resolved. I may know today but since I am expecting an oil delivery today, it may be 2-3 weeks before I know for sure.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Roth used to use a rubber hose with a float on the end to keep the pick up just below the level of the fuel. They has all kinds of issues with that. If there is a flared connection at the top of the tank where the pick-up does through, pull it out and see how far down it goes. Or, pull one of the other opening unions out and look in with a flashlight. See what is there.

    If you use a Tigerloop, you don't need a check valve. The Tigerloop acts like one.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
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    I will keep an eye on it, but doesn't appear piping the return line to spec made any difference. It is just very odd. Perhaps it is Tigerloop time since it would likely eliminate the problem.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
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    Going to go have him install a tigerloop unless you have any other suggestions. The other option is to put a check valve on the supply line (per Roth manual), but seems like I should just go to the Tigerloop and make this go away.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
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    Save your $$$, and run new copper lines thru a double tap bushing. No valves on the return though
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    That's a good idea. And if you develop a pump seal leak, or ise the tank shutoff on the top of the tank, and you loose prime, the burner will go off on safety. The one great thing about a Tigerloop is that it will always start and run until the oil in the reservoir runs out. But it fills before the burner runs out of fuel.

    On more than one funky shut down with 2 pipe systems, it was completely resolved with a Tigerloop. On any system with oil lines buried unprotected under a floor with the tank on the same level, install a Tigerloop, run one line overhead into the tank, and never have to worry about ant 2-pipe system having problem.

    When all else fails, and the solution becomes to complex for contemplation, install a Tigerloop.

    Or tell them to switch to Gas Warm Air. Because that's what they often do.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
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    Going to go with the Tigerloop next week, I just hope it fixes this funky problem. The good news is that I haven't been without heat as a result of this problem, but it just irritates me to no end that when the oil level is < 1/2, it fires up, runs for <10s chokes on air, then has to recycle and fire up again to work flawlessly the remainder of the cycle. Both the return and supply lines are fairly new copper lines and the new return dip now going down to below the supply level in the roth (all copper) apparently made no difference in this weird behavior.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Pete said:

    Going to go with the Tigerloop next week, I just hope it fixes this funky problem. The good news is that I haven't been without heat as a result of this problem, but it just irritates me to no end that when the oil level is < 1/2, it fires up, runs for <10s chokes on air, then has to recycle and fire up again to work flawlessly the remainder of the cycle. Both the return and supply lines are fairly new copper lines and the new return dip now going down to below the supply level in the roth (all copper) apparently made no difference in this weird behavior. </p>

    What you just described to me is what a 2-pipe oil system sounds like when it is loosing its prime. A Tigerloop runs through that issue. You have two lines now. Pick a winner, If the problem continues, switch to the other one.

    The beauty of Tigerloops'. They don't care which line might be bad. If there's a tiny air leak, it just vents the air out of the reservoir. If once the burner starts, look in the bowl. If it is all foamy and frothy, it's venting the air it sucked up.

  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited February 2015
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    Completely agree with your assessment, just have no clue where the heck the minuscule air leak is coming from that is causing the prime to be lost and only when the oil tank is < 1/2 full. Perhaps it is on the dip stick for the supply line inside of the tank, but it wasn't visually obvious today when it came out. I had him replace the return line and not the supply line, probably in hindsight (since the return did nothing by re-running / lowering it), I should have had him replace the supply line piece that was inside the tank. Either way as you point out, the Tigerloop will likely hide this issue and I'll never see it again. On to Tigerloop next week, thanks for the recommendation :)
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited February 2015
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    Just had the oil tank filled. Unlike earlier today when the tank level was lower, it did start up on the first try (no choking on air), but... i did notice it was a little erratic for a couple seconds not long (5-15s?) after it fired up, so I can assume there is still some air getting in there, just not enough to choke it as is happening when it is <1/2 full. All in all, I guess the Tigerloop will take the existing return line from the tank out of the picture, so if the problem is anywhere in the return line, that part will go away, it will also have enough oil is reserve to make up for whatever is the source of this small amount of air. It just kills me that there is some minuscule air leak somewhere and I have no clue where it is. I had a similar issue with my R410 refrigerant line to my AC a few years ago, it was a pinhole leak somewhere and it was causing me to lose refrigerant every year. Eventually the only way to fix it after a lot of wasted troubleshooting was to replace the entire line end-to-end from the condenser.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
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    sounds like the return and supply could be crossed? Also any compression fittings used? I know me and Ice will never see eye to eye when it comes to Tigerloops. I would fix the problem, and not mask it
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
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    Return/supply not crossed, I am not 100% sure on the types of fittings used. My first attempt (today) was to try to get it fixed because I too don't want to leave some minuscule air leak happening, but since attempt #1 failed, at some point it's easier to just spend the money to mask it and get the side benefit of the Tigerloop. Honestly many homeowners would probably just ignore it or not even realize there was a problem because the burner is still coming on and heating the house fine, it just has to fire up twice when the tank is <1/2 full, but this personally drives me nuts which is why I am spending money to try to get it resolved.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    What does the top oil fitting on the Roth tank look like? Does it have a shutoff lever? If the OEM supplied fitting is uded, they are notorious for leaking. Sucking small amounts of air. The first Roth tank I installed, the burner was on one side of a wall and the tank was on the other. All I had to do was prime one line through the pump and it was a syphon. It ran for 4 hours and I went home. The next morning, the burner was off on safety. It primed with a small amount of air out of the bleeder and started. It ran for 10 hours, I went home and the next morning, it was off. If there was no hot water draw for a long period, it would stop. I filled a 6 gallon plastic can with #2 and primed and ran directly out of the pump, from the plastic can. As long as there was fuel, it never stopped. The fitting on the top of the tank would break the suction and let the oil from the fitting run back into the tank. I installed a Tigerloop and never had another problem. Until the Roth hose failed and I replaced the hose with a piece of copper tube.

    To the OP: If, when the burner starts, you hear a small amount of roughness for a moment, it is the air being blown through the pump and nozzle. With Tigerloops, any and all of that air is expelled through the Tigerloop.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    @billtwocase:

    One place you WILL use a Tigerloop is if you ever have two Roth/Schute tanks twinned together. Regardless of the product level of the two tanks, you put both drops as low as you can get. 6" from the bottom? It will not matter what level is in the two tanks. Once you start to suck on the two tanks with the two lines together, the pump will draw the higher tank down until it is exactly equal to the other tank. No matter how hard you try, one tank will take a delivery fill before the other and in fact, they are supposed to cross over. If you return the other line on a fuel pump, it will try to fill one tank quicker than the other. It never gets in balance. But if the suction on the two tanks is through a Tigerloop, the levels in both tanks will be exactly the same.

    With a Tigerloop. With a two pipe, you take your chances.

    I like anything that makes my life easier. Tigerloops when I needed them, made my life easier.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited February 2015
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    Here are some pictures. On the inside of the tank are two copper supply/return lines, the return line inside the tank is brand new. Both the return/supply lines outside of the tank are ~2 years old and they all run down low on the ground after leaving the tank on their way to the pump. Any obvious source in these pictures of something that could be a source of a minuscule air leak which seems to almost only affect me when take < 1/2 full? I wish I had replaced the supply line in the tank in hindsight even though visually it looked fine since it seems like the most obvious source of the problem. I fully expect the Tigerloop to hide this problem, I just wish I could actually fix it properly as well.



  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited February 2015
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    FWIW, I see three potential suction leaks on the top of the tank immediately. The stem of the ball valve, the POS fuel filter, and the Firomatic. Why on God's Green earth would someone put that POS filter on the top of the tank, at the highest point, to ask for a vacuum leak? The filter belongs at the burner where it is always under gravity pressure.

    If the burner starts then runs roughly for a moment then clears up, it was sucking air. That's a Carlin EZ1 with the clean cut pump and it will have the Carlin 602000 control or one like it. It has a 15 second pre-purge before the solenoid opens. Barely enough time to get light off. And is the flame is lost during the trial period, the control will lock out. That's the way the control is designed. Its also supposed to retry. Some do not.

    The lower the fuel drops in the tank, the higher the suction pressure on the filter and fittings on the top of the tank. The fuel can run back into the top of the tank and the suction side will be dry of oil. The pump has to "Re-Prime" the suction side when the burner is off and the suction leak gets worse. I'm quite sure that some will NEVER see the values of Tigerloops "Because that's the way I've always done that". The same ones that refuse to install Mod Con's where they are the best choice.

    If your going to do oil, you better get with the program. Or else, that's a poster child for the Wall Street Crime Syndicate's "War On Oil" to get that product out on the world market. There's no tax on home heating oil, but over $.50 per gallon on over the road oil. A perfect sales pitch for a gas conversion where they own all the supply and distribution. That Ball Valve before the filter. Did the installer take the handle off the valve, back out the packing nut, slather some synthetic grease around the stem and re-apply the nut? Tightening it down snugly so you can feel some resistance on the handle? Pressure leaks are a joke compared to a vacuum leak. Have a slow leak in a car tire. It looks flat. Check the pressure. 5#. Come back a week later and the tire is as flat as flat can be. Zero pressure. You can kick the tire off the rim. It didn't even hold enough pressure to hold the tire against the bead. The tire is full of air, just no pressurized air. Nature hates a vacuum in its presence.

    If there was a Tigerloop on that installation, this discussion wouldn't be going on. Its already connected as an old fashioned 1940's 2-pipe and it doesn't work. There's a solution.

    A TIGERLOOP!!! Why do you think they were developed?

    OBTW, is there any kind of shutoff on that return over the tank so if you need to work on or change the fuel tank, you don't syphon the contents out and on the floor?
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
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    Try tightening that packing nut on the ball valve before your filter . Also how about chking your pump vac possible re do some flairs or possible chk how well they look Also as others have stated that plastic pick up tube on the roth tank .I have to agree with the tigerloop always use and never have many issues great product and in europe used on just about ever oil burner there are no 2 pipe systems only single from the tank there concerned about there enviroment and what happens when a return live fails .peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    icesailor
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
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    I would mount the filter on the burner, and definitely wouldn't have piped the feed black iron. Too many potential air leaks there, that looks like a Sid small General. My filter of choice personally, but that is just me
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited February 2015
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    Doing the Tigerloop on Tue, but if there's other stuff to clean up, I want to do it then as it costs money to get someone out here just to show up. Funny enough, when the company (different) installed the Roth I specifically asked them about the location of the filter and they told me that it went on the top on the oil tanks with two pipes. Is there some reason to dump my existing filter and get the TigerLoop Ultra which has its own filter? If I went with that, can they use the normal filters they use during service or does it require special (better?) filters than whatever it is I have now?

    I have no shutoff on the return line, but it won't matter next week since there won't be two pipes from the tank anymore.

    Don't know what the installer did with the ball valve on the oil tank, it was many years ago. My guess is they took it out of the package and screwed it in.

    When moving the oil filter down near the burner, should I have two ball valve shutoffs, one where it is now above the tank and the other down at the filter for service?

    What else should be changed to move from 1940?
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
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    I can count at least 15 different places for air to get in to the piping just on top of the tank alone. Definitely need to check the flare fittings to make sure they are full flares. I would also change out that fuse valve on top and put in a bronze one. I have had that style of fuse valve with a micro hole in it that sucked in air. Was a nightmare to find.
    With all that, the way it is piped right now, you can have your heating guy close the ball valve on the top of the tank and do a vacuum test on the piping/pump. That would eliminate the piping in the tank anyway.
    If that doesn't work, and you can't find the leak, time for a Tigerloop! Personally, I like to find the leak and repair it first. But, I will use a Tigerloop when necessary.
    Rick
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited March 2015
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    So the time to get this piped correctly is Tuesday since that's when I am going to put in the tigerloop. Does anyone have any good pictures of what a Roth should look like properly piped with a tigerloop? Is the bronze valve to replace the plastic piece at the top of the Roth something made by Roth that should be available at a local plumbing supply store or is it a standard part? Also, I heard conflicting info on the filter. Should I put in a different filter, if so, what kind, or is the one I have good enough? It looks like the TigerLoop Ultra has a filter option that attaches directly to it. Is this a good idea or a waste? If I go with that option, am I supposed to then use some higher quality filter inside of it than what would normally be used during my annual service?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Remove the return piping. Plug off the hole. Install a Ultra Tigerloop. Use the flexible connects from the Tigerloop to the burner so they can be disconnected when you open the front to clean the chamber. The Tigerloop comes with an oil safety valve.

    Tigerloop Ultra's come with a Westwood spin-on filters. I personally don't like the as well as the Garber ones. But that was a personal thing. I posted a photo of one I did years ago, mounted on the side of a Weil McLain WTGO.

    Most burner servicemen carry spin-on filters. If they don't, they are Neanderthals.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
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    Sids also has a nice replacement spin on for those. Mitco
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
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    Should there also be any ball valve shutoffs either at the top of the tank like in my current install or just the fireomatic safety over at the burner right before and after the filter? In icesalor's picture, it looks like two fireomatics both before and after the filter and I may be confused, but it looks like iron coming out of the tigerloop side of the filter? Do fireomatics have less of a chance of an air leak than a ball valve? Or should I just have one fireomatic and one ball valve like I have today, but both over near the burner/filter and nothing over at the tank?

    It would be great to see what you guys do on the Roth side for a properly installed single pipe -> tigerloop configuration. For example, should I just have them pipe straight copper with the flare fitting at the top and then that's absolutely it until you get to the safety right before the filter?
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
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    One pipe system, I use a 3/8 plug in the return port of the Roth double tab bushing, don't need it, 36" long 3/8 black pipe threaded in the supply submerged in the tank to use as a chase only. This keeps the tubing true, and won't float when filled. Keep the tubing 3 inches off the bottom, run thru the supplied 3/8" 1/2 compression fitting, which is not for suction purpose, only to "lock in" tubing depth. There needs to be at least 6" to add a flare connected shut off valve. I do both ball and thermal shut off, code here. Coated oil line from there to the burner where there should be a filter before anything. Not a big problem not filtering the fuel that goes thru the oil line run. It won't be an issue for years if your fuel is of good quality
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
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    Any preference over the Tigerloop Ultra which has the spin on Westwood filter built in vs. a Tigerloop (non-Ultra) & standalone Gar-ber 11BV-RK? The Ultra appears like it's going to be less money than buying the Gar-ber standalone w/ a non-Ultra tigerloop and then has more connections. Either way, I am thinking of the added vacuum gauge would be a useful troubleshooting tool for the future?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    That method was my personal choice because I could always install the vacuum restriction gauge on the filter. For me, any difference in cost was always balanced with ease of operation later on when I serviced the unit.

    Personal preference.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited March 2015
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    Sounds good. I decided to go with the Ultra with the built-in spin on and the additional vacuum gauge indicator vs. the separate standalone filter just to keep things simpler for the install. Silly question which doesn't look clear from their pictures, where in the order does the Fuel Gauge go since I don't think it goes directly in the spin on? It is not clear from their install instructions and want to make sure it ends up in the right place when they are done.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    If your speaking about the vacuum restriction gauge in a Ultra, I don't think there is a place for one, That's why I like to split them up. That was my personal preference. Often, I already had a Garber filter on the burner fuel pump.

    When you use a 2-pipe only, the filter filters thousands of gallons while the pump runs. With a Tigerloop, with the filter inside the 2-pipe loop, and the nozzle is rated at 1.00 GPH, the filter filters hundreds of gallons in that circuit, making it extremely filtered and warm. With it connected in a Ultra or the filter on the tank side of the Tigerloop, the only oil filtered is whatever the nozzles uses for operation.

    Its just what I decided and it worked for me.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited March 2015
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    Ultra is now in place, will see how it runs when tank starts to get low. I am no longer expecting to see an issue. Vacuum "Fuel Life Indicator" on the Ultra goes on the supply line after the Ultra. I suppose this is not as useful as a standalone filter (I am not sure if the Tigerloop affects the vacuum reading or not). The gauge currently reads at the lowest point at the start of green "0". Only time will tell (assuming this creeps up with a dirty filter) if the gauge is working or broken :)

    Dumb question, if there is a vacuum leak does it read negative vs. a clogged filter it get higher? I have never read one of these before.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
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    I think I got an answer to my question which is that my system is gravity fed and with the tank close to full is requiring no vacuum to pull oil (hence my other thread today) on an Anti-Siphon device since this is probably a good part to add in case of a leak somewhere in the line.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited March 2015
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    icesailor - Good call on the Tigerloop recommendation. It's a little too early to be 100% confident that it has solved my problem, but it certainly seems that the combination of removing some of the garbage in my supply piping / eliminating the return from the oil tank and adding the Tigerloop has resolved my issues. I have yet to notice any air being sucked in and I am noticing very smooth firing up and no double starts (and tank is at the 1/2 mark where it would usually be acting up). I will know better over the next week or two whether it is absolutely fixed, but certainly seems like it.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    When the burner fires up after a long period of being off, look at the clear plastic bowl on the top of the Tigerloop. It should be clear and red when the boiler first starts. If you see it get foamy inside, then clear up, it was getting some air and is eliminating it through the Tigerloop and NOT through the fuel pump and nozzle
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197
    edited March 2015
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    Understood. Nothing foamy in the Tigerloop (either at start time after downtime or during run time) and no choking/rough starts anymore, so wherever the problem was appears to have been eliminated. It could have been the Fireomatic that was right before the pump supply port which is now gone replaced with a new Fireomatic right before the Tigerloop, it could have been the old Return line to the tank which is now just a small line to the Tigerloop return side, could have been that ball valve, who knows.

    Either way, the burner has been firing up smoothly since all that garbage went away. Planning to keep an eye on it to see if anything changes, but I think it is finally fixed.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Cool.

    Tigerloops RULE when it comes to that.
    SWEI