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Help with Burnham V8 issue

GrumblesGrumbles Member Posts: 7
I have a Burnham V8 boiler with a Beckett burner that I have been servicing since I moved into my house a few years ago. The thing has run great since I moved in but this heating season it has started to act up on me and I cant get to the bottom of the issue. About a month into using it this winter it went out on me and since then I can only get it to run for about a week before it goes out again. Every time it goes out I have to bleed it and it cranks right back up again and runs fine till it dies. I changed the nozzle and re-seated the filter to make sure everything looked good on that end and not general tweaking has seemed to make any difference.


  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 5,715
    need more information. Inside oil tank?, outside oil tank?, single pipe?, two pipe? Sounds like an oil delivery problem.

    Get a pressure gage and a vacuum gage on the pump and we can help you troubleshoot
  • GrumblesGrumbles Member Posts: 7
    Sorry busy end of the week, I couldn't get back to this before now. Its an inside tank. Delivery line is under the slab. Singe pipe. I have to get a some gauges that will fit and I can test. I think its a vacuum seal issue so the pump looses its prime when off too long. The house also uses wood to heat so sometimes it can take awhile before there is a demand for the boiler.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 2,852
    I would test the fuel line first before blaming the fuel pump. More likely a vacuum leak in the line before bad pump seals.
    Both can be tested with pressure and vacuum gauges.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 2,120
    Eliminate the oil line under the slab. Unless its sleeved, and if it leaks, you're asking the EPA to knock on your door. Run a new exposed, coated oil line.
  • GrumblesGrumbles Member Posts: 7
    So I don't seem to have the right fittings on my pressure and vacuum gauges for this boiler. I haven't hooked them up to this one before and it seems to be a different size than the last boiler I had. I have some adapters ordered and am waiting. In the meantime I ran into a friend who services boilers and said he was willing to bet it was a tank issue and that I just have sludge built up in the tank outlet and that I should blow it out with low pressure air through the bleeder at the tank. I gave that a try and am waiting to see if it craps out on me again. I will update when I can hook my gauges up to it. The oil line appears to be sleeved, or it is at both ends. Not excited to deal with it if it is a leak in the line since the line goes from one corner of the house to the other.
  • Alan WelchAlan Welch Member Posts: 140
    More than likely the line under the floor is plugged up. If the tank is on the same level as the burner it should flow gravity if there is a reasonable amount of oil in the tank.
  • GrumblesGrumbles Member Posts: 7
    Ok so, still struggling with my burner. I blew out the supply line and got a lot of sludge out of it, it wasn't blocked but there was defiantly some crap down in the line. Hooked everything back up and it appears to have made my problem worse. I got the adapters I need and I pressure tested the supply line and it held 15 psi for an hour so it doesn't appear there are any leaks in the supply line. After doing that I figured it was the pump so i played around with it some and this is where I am at. If i turn the pump by hand and open the bleeder i get a healthy flow of oil, If i run the blower without the pump the blower runs fine, when everything is connected the blower motor runs but nothing spins. It appears to me that the pump is hydraulically locked since it spun freely by hand. I figure the only way this would happen is if the output valve on the pump didn't open. Im thinking now a pump solenoid issue or a bad primary control unit? I checked the resistance on the solenoid and got ~440 ohm which i read somewhere was about right. Any thoughts on what i should do to test and how?

    Pump: Beckett A2EA-6520
    Controller: Honeywell r7184p
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 2,852
    When you blow back the line, you need to have the filter element removed.
    Blow it back to the tank, close the tank valve, let it settle.
    In the meant time, replace the filter element, and change the pump strainer, change the nozzle and clean out the nozzle line.
    Then open the tank, properly bleed and fire up.
    If it still isn't working, that's about all you should do.
    Either way, you still need a full combustion test performed after changing the nozzle.
  • GrumblesGrumbles Member Posts: 7
    Its definitely not the tank or line at this point. I can remove the line from the burner and get a good steady flow of oil out. The screen is also clean and like I said I can get a good flow out the bleeder valve of the pump if i turn it by hand... so Im really thinking its a failure of the pump nozzle port valve to open. I would argue about the need for a combustion test also. While it probably is not a bad idea if you arnt changing the nozzle type or your pump pressure then you should have the exact same performance as before.
  • Alan WelchAlan Welch Member Posts: 140
    If the motor isn't turning the pump shaft you need a new drive coupling.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 2,852
    Grumbles said:

    ... While it probably is not a bad idea if you arnt changing the nozzle type or your pump pressure then you should have the exact same performance as before.

    Not correct at all. The same nozzle from the same manufacturer can and will vary in it's output.

    If the motor isn't turning the pump shaft you need a new drive coupling.

    Could be on to something...

    I think you've done all you should do. If the valve doesn't open it could be bad valve, bad cord, or bad control not supplying voltage.

    Keep changing parts, you're almost there.
  • GrumblesGrumbles Member Posts: 7
    Ok so at this point I'm down to bad pump or bad blower motor. The drive coupling is fine, It appears that the blower isn't generating enough torque at rest to spin the pump. After taking everything apart I found that if I remove the mounting screws from the pump and wiggle it back and forth as the boiler tries to start the motor catches and my everything lights off just fine. So Im not sure if the pump has too much resistance or the motor is failing. I can easily spin the pump shaft with my fingers and if i put any resistance on the blower by hand I can stop it from starting up so im leaning more towards the motor. Its just kind of a weird failure for a motor since it runs just fine once it starts to spin. There is a relay on the motor that could be failing so i might look to see if i can buy one of those unless anyone has a better idea.
    Thanks for the correction on the combustion test, i should probably have that done after I get everything going again.
  • GrumblesGrumbles Member Posts: 7
    Ok so it looks like I got it fixed. It appears that the blower motor was dying. I replaced the motor and everything fired off without issue and has been running ever sense. I appreciate all the help, lots of good suggestions.
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