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Beckett Pump losing prime

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  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
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    "As per the expertise of all of you on the forum, do you guys think this is a vacuum issue in the line and there would not be any issue with transformer, CAD cell, Oil valve or primary control? or should they be check first? "

    Quite possible that some of those items should be looked at -- though if it runs at all they are not the primary problem.

    What you are describing is a pretty classic vacuum leak situation, which is not a bit surprising given the photos you have shown of your installation.

    If the line absolutely has to go up and overhead (the house is on a slab), then even more than before -- it cannot have any unions or fittings on it other than at the ends, and those have to made up with great care. Overhead lines -- single or double -- can be made to work. They are also a first class pain to prime, even if they are in excellent condition.

    If I were you, I'd stop fighting the situation, get a first class craftsperson out there, tell him or her what is -- and isn't -- happening, and let them find the problems and fix them. It won't be cheap, and you won't be able to get bids on the job, but it is fixable.

    My problem now is how do I find first class craftsperson? So far it has only been parts replacement, bleeding lines and clearing line. Issue still not resolved. The last tech does not want to even discuss just want to install tiger loop.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,536
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    I count at least 6 good contractors in the listing under Find a Contractor on Long Island -- at least one of whom (Danny Scully) I can vouch for personally. Whether they serve your particular area I don't know, but give them a try.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    rick in AlaskaSuperTech
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
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    I count at least 6 good contractors in the listing under Find a Contractor on Long Island -- at least one of whom (Danny Scully) I can vouch for personally. Whether they serve your particular area I don't know, but give them a try.

    Thanks, I will reach out.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,735
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    @VicM

    You or your technician should check to see if the bypass plug is installed (or not installed) in your pump.

    If you look at the end of the pump, you will see that is says "return and bypass". The bypass plug is a 1/16" npt pipe plug that is installed inside the pump.

    To access this plug, you go in through the 1/4" return pipe connection with the right size allen wrench and you can look inside the pump with a flashlight also.

    I think your return line is attache to this tapping (judging by the pictures).

    The easiest way to do this is to remove the pump from the burner. Disconnect the suction, nozzle and return connections,
    remove the two screws and pull the pump out. Remove the return line flare fitting and look inside.

    The bypass plug must be installed inside the pump for a 2 line system otherwise the pump can't bleed it self.

    That being said, if you getting air there could be a suction leak.

    Once the oil line is tested and proven tight and with a good pump with the plug installed the burner should run.

    Oil line can be problematic but a GOOD technician should be able to find and fix the problem.

    There's no need to throw the "Parts cannon" at this thing. You have spent to much money already and that sucks

    I would disconnect the suction line plug one end and do a pressure test with air, check the pump for the by pass plug.

    Also make sure the oil return line goes to the bottom of the tank if not air can migrate to the pump and cause air related issues

    I wouldn't bother with a Tiger Loop
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
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    @VicM

    You or your technician should check to see if the bypass plug is installed (or not installed) in your pump.

    If you look at the end of the pump, you will see that is says "return and bypass". The bypass plug is a 1/16" npt pipe plug that is installed inside the pump.

    To access this plug, you go in through the 1/4" return pipe connection with the right size allen wrench and you can look inside the pump with a flashlight also.

    I think your return line is attache to this tapping (judging by the pictures).

    The easiest way to do this is to remove the pump from the burner. Disconnect the suction, nozzle and return connections,
    remove the two screws and pull the pump out. Remove the return line flare fitting and look inside.

    The bypass plug must be installed inside the pump for a 2 line system otherwise the pump can't bleed it self.

    That being said, if you getting air there could be a suction leak.

    Once the oil line is tested and proven tight and with a good pump with the plug installed the burner should run.

    Oil line can be problematic but a GOOD technician should be able to find and fix the problem.

    There's no need to throw the "Parts cannon" at this thing. You have spent to much money already and that sucks

    I would disconnect the suction line plug one end and do a pressure test with air, check the pump for the by pass plug.

    Also make sure the oil return line goes to the bottom of the tank if not air can migrate to the pump and cause air related issues

    I wouldn't bother with a Tiger Loop

    When the pump was changed, I am not sure if the bypass plug was installed. Would not having a bypass plug in the return line seize (that's what the tech said) the pump since this happened few times after pump change?
  • pell
    pell Member Posts: 23
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    I would think that with that tank above the burner you would not see very much of a vacuum pull at all. You wrote that the pump was replaced. Was the by-pass plug installed?
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
    edited February 2020
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    > @pell said:
    > I would think that with that tank above the burner you would not see very much of a vacuum pull at all. You wrote that the pump was replaced. Was the by-pass plug installed?

    I am not sure. Is there an easy way to check without removing the pump?

    May be a stupid question - can I just remove the return line from the burner, run the burner and If the fuel comes out of the return line there is bypass plug installed.

    I would say tank is not above the burner but at the same level of the burner.
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
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    Any suggestions on what causes the pump to seize ..never had a pump seize before .. happened only after pump was replaced.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,735
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    If the pump coupling was too long forcing the pump against the blower that could be an issue with the whole assembly turning.

    Rust, debris, water, sludge could cause a pump to freeze up

    Pumps also rely on the fuel oil to lubricate the inside of the pump......Fuel oil is not slippery like motor oil but it gets the job done a pump that is run dry excessively will seize up
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,458
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    I am not so sure about a vacuum leak, but I am a little tired and might be thinking wrong. If the vacuum gauge is showing 10 inches of vacuum, and it is a single stage pump, it could be "cavitating" the fuel, which will open it up to air bubbles. with 50 feet of line, it could very well be 10" of vacuum on the line, but I do not have access to what the looses are in the fittings or that much line. Also, if they changed the pump, they probably did not install the bypass plug. With a two pipe system, and if the bypass plug was installed, it should self bleed when you turn it on.
    Also, if you take that return line off the pump, you are going to have an awful mess of fuel at your burner. As soon as you pull it, it is going to want to drain the vertical section of piping, and then it is going to start a siphon from the tank. The best way to do it would be to take the return line off at the tank ( the one without the vale on it) and put a plug in it. That will stop any potential siphon. But still, make sure you have a big container under it to catch the spill.
    All that being said, I personally would take the return line off and check for that plug. A single stage fuel pump like you have is only good for pulling like 6" of vacuum with a single line, but can handle more with it set up as two line. I can't remember how much more, but most likely about what you are pulling now. If not, maybe put on a two stage pump.
    Actually, in reality, I would make sure the pump had the bypass plug in, then I would get rid of the return line and put in a tigerloop. I am not a huge fan of them, but the amount of piping you are pulling from makes your situation a perfect use of one.
    Rick
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
    edited February 2020
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    > @rick in Alaska said:
    > I am not so sure about a vacuum leak, but I am a little tired and might be thinking wrong. If the vacuum gauge is showing 10 inches of vacuum, and it is a single stage pump, it could be "cavitating" the fuel, which will open it up to air bubbles. with 50 feet of line, it could very well be 10" of vacuum on the line, but I do not have access to what the looses are in the fittings or that much line. Also, if they changed the pump, they probably did not install the bypass plug. With a two pipe system, and if the bypass plug was installed, it should self bleed when you turn it on.
    > Also, if you take that return line off the pump, you are going to have an awful mess of fuel at your burner. As soon as you pull it, it is going to want to drain the vertical section of piping, and then it is going to start a siphon from the tank. The best way to do it would be to take the return line off at the tank ( the one without the vale on it) and put a plug in it. That will stop any potential siphon. But still, make sure you have a big container under it to catch the spill.
    > All that being said, I personally would take the return line off and check for that plug. A single stage fuel pump like you have is only good for pulling like 6" of vacuum with a single line, but can handle more with it set up as two line. I can't remember how much more, but most likely about what you are pulling now. If not, maybe put on a two stage pump.
    > Actually, in reality, I would make sure the pump had the bypass plug in, then I would get rid of the return line and put in a tigerloop. I am not a huge fan of them, but the amount of piping you are pulling from makes your situation a perfect use of one.
    > Rick

    Thanks Rick, will confirm on the bypass plug. For checking the bypass plug, I will first remove the return line from the tank and plug it. Then remove the return line at pump and confirm bypass plug. I am thinking if I am already doing this might as well install tiger loop.

    By the way when tech replaced the pump he did not remove return line at tank. Any reason why he would skip that?
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,458
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    Not sure why he did not pull the line and plug it, but I am thinking he would have had a bunch of fuel coming out when he took the line off the pump, at least if the lines are run the way I am visualizing them. I had to change a pump once that was piped this way, and i could not get to the lines to plug them, so I changed out the pump by taking it off lines and all and then putting the pump and lines in a 5 gallon bucket to remove them. I had to do it fast, but it still made a mess.
    Rick
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,870
    edited February 2020
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    > @VicM said:
    >
    > Is it possible to remove the fuel line at the burner coming from the outside tank and have another fuel option at the burner (don't know how .. but like a small tank), test that the burner runs fine after 25 min break?

    Excellent idea!
    When doing the graveyard shift we often operate like a M*A*S*H unit. Get the system running and safe, give diagnostic and recommendations for the day shift to address.
    Some of those situations are oil related, and what do we do when its 0° and 12 calls are behind you? You put them on a can.
    A 5 gallon Gerry can of #2, diesel, kero, temporary oil lines into the can. About 5 ft from the burner. Stuff a rag around where the oil lines go into the can. Leave it filtered and with the vacuum gauge. I'm sure there will be no issues running off the can.

    Check for that bypass plug first.

    I know of 2 guys who did this. 2 pipe oil.
    Tech puts it on a can.
    Call comes back. NO HEAT.
    Go to site.
    "Tech" installed 1 pipe in the can. Return to the tank.
    Lovely.
    rick in Alaska
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
    edited February 2020
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    Not sure why he did not pull the line and plug it, but I am thinking he would have had a bunch of fuel coming out when he took the line off the pump, at least if the lines are run the way I am visualizing them. I had to change a pump once that was piped this way, and i could not get to the lines to plug them, so I changed out the pump by taking it off lines and all and then putting the pump and lines in a 5 gallon bucket to remove them. I had to do it fast, but it still made a mess.
    Rick

    Removed the return line at the tank, plugged it then removed the return line at the pump. There is a flare adapter that connects the return line with the pump. I only removed the return line, fired the burner and the oil started coming out in the pan. Do I still need to open the flare adapter at the pump return outlet and check for the bypass plug? My understanding is that if the oil comes out of the return line than it has the bypass plug.
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
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    HVACNUT said:

    > @VicM said:

    >

    > Is it possible to remove the fuel line at the burner coming from the outside tank and have another fuel option at the burner (don't know how .. but like a small tank), test that the burner runs fine after 25 min break?



    Excellent idea!

    When doing the graveyard shift we often operate like a M*A*S*H unit. Get the system running and safe, give diagnostic and recommendations for the day shift to address.

    Some of those situations are oil related, and what do we do when its 0° and 12 calls are behind you? You put them on a can.

    A 5 gallon Gerry can of #2, diesel, kero, temporary oil lines into the can. About 5 ft from the burner. Stuff a rag around where the oil lines go into the can. Leave it filtered and with the vacuum gauge. I'm sure there will be no issues running off the can.



    Check for that bypass plug first.



    I know of 2 guys who did this. 2 pipe oil.

    Tech puts it on a can.

    Call comes back. NO HEAT.

    Go to site.

    "Tech" installed 1 pipe in the can. Return to the tank.

    Lovely.

    Since I confirmed that the return line has the bypass plug. I am going to use the 5 gallon gas can filled up with heating oil. I will remove both - the heating oil inlet from the tank to the oil filter and return line outlet at the pump, add new temporary line from heating oil can to oil filter and return line from pump into the can, Is there anything I should do when I am doing this?
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,458
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    I am not 100% positive that the pump stops all flow there. I would just put an allen wrench up through the flare fitting just to double check. I can't remember the size of the allen wrench, but you can just go by feel on a couple of different sizes. I am thinking around 5/32" or so.
    Rick
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,458
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    I just checked and the pump running on 2 line is good for a maximum of 12" vacuum. I think you might be pushing it at 10", and might be better off going with a two stage pump, or the Tigerloop.
    Rick
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
    edited February 2020
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    I am not 100% positive that the pump stops all flow there. I would just put an allen wrench up through the flare fitting just to double check. I can't remember the size of the allen wrench, but you can just go by feel on a couple of different sizes. I am thinking around 5/32" or so.
    Rick

    removed the return line and flare adaptor. It seems there is a bypass plug. Also confirmed with allen wrench. The flow from the return line is good.



    One thing I noticed, when the burner is running, the vacuum is as below



    and when not running, vacuum is as below




  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,536
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    I still say you have a vacuum leak somewhere. Not big, but there. You need to find it...

    As to the pump seizing. Pumps don't like to run dry. That's how they express their displeasure...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
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    I don't have any space to mount the tiger loop. Any suggestion? Can it be mounted on the boiler?
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,870
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    Yeah it can. Use #6 screws though. And with the braided oil lines, you want to be able to open the burner door without having to disconnect.
  • Jon_blaney
    Jon_blaney Member Posts: 321
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    Have we checked the tank vent?
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
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    > @Jon_blaney said:
    > Have we checked the tank vent?

    No, what should I check for vent? .. last fillup was overfill.
  • Jon_blaney
    Jon_blaney Member Posts: 321
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    All tanks have a vent to allow air to enter the tank as fuel is used. There is also a whistle which sounds as the tank approaches being full. If the tank was overfilled, then maybe there is an issue with it not sounding and the vent is plugged. There should be a pipe with a rain cap on the top of the tank. You could try running the boiler with the fill cap off or take the rain cap off in look inside.
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
    edited February 2020
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    > @Jon_blaney said:
    > All tanks have a vent to allow air to enter the tank as fuel is used. There is also a whistle which sounds as the tank approaches being full. If the tank was overfilled, then maybe there is an issue with it not sounding and the vent is plugged. There should be a pipe with a rain cap on the top of the tank. You could try running the boiler with the fill cap off or take the rain cap off in look inside.

    Took the rain cap off and put a pipe in there .. it goes only until how long the vent pipe is. Is there a way to clean it since hard to know if it's clogged?
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
    edited February 2020
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    @HVACNUT
    @

    Along with @SuperTech 's excellent advice, could also be a failing firomatic valve (if so equipped).
    At 10" of vacuum you are getting outside the fuel units recommended operating range. The oil is starting to actually separate.

    The burner seems to works now even after 30 min wait for no hot water call. I am going to check now what happens at 60 min.

    I was already prepped to install tiger loop. But, unfortunately supplyhouse only send me one flexible oil line so I could not install it. so, I went ahead with the new firomatic valve and kept the same copper pipes to the valve and to the pump. I tighten the flare nut and burner fires without any bleeding. so it seems failing firomatic valve could have been the reason. but, tech said it was fine. Though, I am not sure how tech tested that the valve was fine.

    I have 2 questions -
    1) How to read the vacuum gauge on the filter. My understanding is that vacuum gauge helps on when to replace the filter.
    when burner fires, vacuum gauge is between 8" to 10"

    when burner cycle is complete it goes to quickly to 0"

    but then 10 min later goes between 0" to 5"


    2) Should I go forward with installing tigher loop even if the burner runs fine?
  • VicM
    VicM Member Posts: 41
    edited October 2020
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    firomatic valve resolved the issue until 2 days ago I scheduled annual tune up. Tech came changed the nozzle and installed a new spin on filter. The issue is back now. Any suggestions in what could have caused the issue since the only thing tech did was install a new nozzle and a new filter.