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Is my Beckett burner's squirrel position causing "no start" my boiler?

olduticaoldutica Posts: 16Member
My boiler (Utica SHF 5175 WT) sometimes won't automatically start up and stays off. Reset button also won't fire it up. I have figured this much... when this happens (no start,): I switch power off, open at where the CAD cell sits where I can see and access the squirrel wheel of the Beckett AFG burner, then using a screwdriver or something to change the position (rotate it a little) of the squirrel wheel then close it up, power switch back on and then reset will start the boiler.

The squirrel wheel seems to rotate freely (i don't feel any binding.) But somehow when the boiler had stopped and the squirrel wheel was at certain positions, it is preventing from restarting ??

I don't know why boiler won't come on at certain positions of the squirrel wheel... Any idea what' causing this? Do I have to replace the Beckett burner or is there a simple fix? I am okay with opening things up to figure and fix. Can someone please explain how the AFG Beckett units operates?


  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 1,904Member
    No binding at all when spinning the fan by hand?
    It seems like a dead spot in the motor windings.
    Get a new 3450 PSC burner motor.
    1/8" Allen wrench gets the wheel off, or get a new wheel as well. Whichever, measure the distance between the wheel and the motor before you remove it from the existing.
    Depending where you get the motor, they might have a Beckett T Gauge to set the wheel insertion depth.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,715Member
    I'd leave it to a competent pro. If you replace the motor you are going to need a full combustion test, and safety check.
    Keep in mind it may not be the motor.
    Could be a simple wiring issue, pinched, loose connection, and you opening closing the ignitor might be 'fixing' it.
    But a competent pro knows how to check the start windings and how to check for a dead spot with a meter.
    And while you have them there, have them clean the unit, nozzle/filter/pump strainer and combustion test.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,289Member
    most likely a dead spot in the windings as @HVACNUT mentioned
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,727Member
    Either that or the centrifugal starting switch isn't always making contact.

    Time for a new motor. @oldutica ,where are you located?
    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.
  • olduticaoldutica Posts: 16Member
    Thanks for the replies.

    Yes I cannot feel any binding spots when I rotate the squirrel wheel in either direction with my finger.

    I have already checked the wiring under the reset switch and cad cell for any loose connections (removed and re-tightened connections), except the wires inside the igniter and the motor.

    Centrifugal switch also is integral to the motor, right? And the motor winding, of course. So most likely I will have to get the motor replaced. Current motor has the label Emerson p/n sa55gykpa-5733. Beckett motor 21805U looks to be the one i need. Given its not a simple swap and all the tests that need to be done afterwards, I will need a qualified tech to do it. Any pros here from Connecticut Fairfield county? Thanks.
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