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Oil Burner only runs when peephole is open

sbcc13
sbcc13 Member Posts: 6
Hello

We have had consistent problems with our oil burner, it is a Beckett AF model. We usually pay 600-700 in service calls per year, have had our pipes freeze (one major and a couple elbows). When the peephole is open the burner runs fine but when closed the whole system starts shaking, will some times puff back, but when always lock out. Also the vent dampener bounces around like crazy, open and shut rapidly. We had an annual maintenance call 3 weeks ago, and the tech was here for 3 hours trying to get the system restarted and the cleaning. He end up replacing the control. A week later I noticed all our sensors were shut off and the peephole was open, I closed it. After a day the system would not start again up again. I called for an emergency service (16 degrees out at 7PM). The oil company did want me to wait over night but given out history of freezes I do not chance. The tech was here working and could not figure it out. He then discovered a hole in the line, but I was pretty sure it was water that was there before, but it did smell like oil. I then this morning I noticed oil in front of the burner, and the main feed is leaking slightly.

Could the leak in the line been from the main line feed leaking into the sheath and came through a rough spot in the sheath?

Why would the burner only work with the peephole open?

The tech said the chimney and vent were good but not sure if I can trust that opinion

Should I get a new oil company?

I heard petro is bad but i have not had a good experience anywhere, and if the maintenance contract is 100 and would cover all this, I may have to go with them.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,955
    You desperately need to find a competent tech. The folks you have coming out clearly are having a problem figuring out all the problems (you probably have more than one). Not something to fool around with!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    SuperTech
  • CTOilHeat
    CTOilHeat Member Posts: 54
    Where are you?

    We need more backround. Specifics of the system? Pics of the boiler and burner close are great.

    600-700 per year on calls? For what?
  • sbcc13
    sbcc13 Member Posts: 6
    I am in Walpole MA, and the system is constantly having issues with lockouts. At first I was nervous to even prime myself so I was very hands off. At 125 an hour it only takes a couple calls. I also have to argue about them not having the correct supplies and charge me for runs to the store.

    I will post pics
  • sbcc13
    sbcc13 Member Posts: 6






  • sbcc13
    sbcc13 Member Posts: 6
    weil mcclain
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,689
    You appear to have a NX burner. You should find another company. You should hardly have any, let alone that many problems with a burner.
    Leaving the inspection door open is dangerous, and could burn your house down.
    There is nothing but standard parts on that burner, so a tech should have them on their truck.
    You have a set up issue and/or venting issue.
    steve
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,010
    I agree with @STEVEusaPA & @Jamie Hall

    Your service company doesn't have a clue
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    Have they used an analyzer to set up the system? Did they leave a print out? I agree with others, it seems to be an issue with setup, maybe a visit from a tech rep could help to correct the issue.. Viessmann and Beckett are both excellent products..just need some fine tuning..
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,792
    They probably didn't set up that new control correctly either. No need to attach a jumper wire on TT like some older controls. You can configure this control and the Honeywell R7284 for TT always closed. These guys obviously don't read instructions. I doubt they setup the Aquatrol outdoor reset system properly either.

    That has the Beckett NX as stated above. A digital combustion analyzer is 100 percent necessary to set it up for clean, reliable and safe operation. Leaving the peep hole open isn't safe. The fact that it needs to be left open means that the flame is starved for air and nothing is set correctly. The NX burner is OK once it's setup, but it's easier to setup an AFG in my opinion. If these guys aren't properly trained on the NX they could easily mess up the factory settings while taking out the nozzle assembly.

    Don't let anyone near the boiler who isn't familiar with the NX and proper combustion analysis. If Petro meets these requirements it will be worth the extra expense. You will find that you will need fewer service calls once the burner is setup and maintained correctly.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,955
    Try @New England SteamWorks or @Charlie from wmass -- they both service that area and are excellent. They are not going to be a bit happy with that oil supply line, nor with the setup of the burner and control, among other things, but they will get it right.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,216
    We do not talk pricing as that is regional and we should not be speculating about it on a public forum. That is one of the basic rules of the wall.
    To the original question. One company can not be good or bad. Specific technicians are good or bad. I have met great and poor techs from many companies.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • sbcc13
    sbcc13 Member Posts: 6
    Thank you for your help, going to reach out to another service provider. We have had a couple, and we kept hearing it was a bad setup or an issue not related to the heating system, possibly electrical, but it sounds like the right person could help.
    Charlie from wmassSuperTech
  • sbcc13
    sbcc13 Member Posts: 6
    I also went down to check for a read out and we had a tag they sign and an envelope behind it where the read out is placed. It looks like the envelope is misplaced so no read out.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,216
    It is a pressing issue. Please either make your voice well heard at the upper level of Petro or find a service tomorrow morning. This is actually a terrible situation to leave you in and they should be tumbling over themselves at Petro trying to fix this.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    SuperTech
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,792
    I forgot you mentioned who was responsible for this mess. This is an extremely poor reflection on such a large company. I thought a company like that wouldn't want to put untrained or poorly trained technicians out there these days, a bad reputation can become the downfall of any company. They would be foolish to not do absolutely everything necessary to make the situation right.
    Charlie from wmass
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,594
    edited March 2019
    IMO Petro (Star Gas) is more concerned with acquisitions and the bottom line than with qualified techs. As long as the techs put out their orange cones when they're at 7-11, they're doing fine.
    SuperTechRobert O'Brien
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,362
    I wonder if the boiler is also not drafting right, such as a plugged up heat exchanger. If you put your hand a few inches in front of the peephole when it is running, can you feel hot air blowing on it? You should be able to put your hand about one inch in front of the hole and only feel the radiant heat on it. If it is blowing out, something is plugged, or you have a serious backdraft.
    Rick
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,689
    Might not be plugged heat exchanger, but if a big pile of kibbles & bits ( @icesailor's favorite line) is sitting on the bottom of the chamber, it could do what the OP is describing.

    I recently saw a furnace do this same thing when a customer first turned it on for the season. Was scratching my head when I shined my flashlight down the air tube and saw shimmering. Pulled the burner and the chamber was filled with water. Pan melted/condensate line plugged, and condensate filled the chamber right up to the bottom of the air tube.
    steve
    SuperTech
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,451
    My money is on a missing stainless chamber insert
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,594
    Is that a Viessmann boiler?
    Is it positive pressure?
    Looks like a package OEM Beckett so there shouldn't need to be too much adjusting.
    Could be too many cooks in the kitchen.
    A Petro supervisor needs to get involved to finally get your burner properly set up and safe.
    Grallert