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Riello Mectron 3 leaking drops of oil

Hi there,

First time poster, medium duty handy man, but I can't find much information on this burner or where to start!

I believe it's quite old and I have it serviced every couple of years as I run a Ductless Heat Pump primarily.

My issue is, I have a leak, about 500ml a month accumulates, which I dump back into the tank but I'm getting really tired of the smell. Attached are pics of the general area where I believe the leak is coming from..

The Burner in question Rielle Mectron 3 (unsure of age)
[img]https://i.imgur.com/lO4VxyO.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i.imgur.com/45zl0PZ.jpg[/img]

This is the general area where the leak is coming from..
[img]https://i.imgur.com/KAzTMRM.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i.imgur.com/Tnu3rnM.jpg[/img]

I've got experience with things like rebuilding carbs and oil changes, are there gasket kits, o rings, crush washers etc that may need to be replaced? and are they even available anymore?!

Thank you!

Comments

  • Badwithfurnace
    Badwithfurnace Member Posts: 13
    Can a mod move this? sorry I mean to post in Oil Heating
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2020
    Others have more experience but I've had leaks from an over tightened copper tube flare fitting. I took it off and annealed the copper tube with a propane torch, to resoften copper from the work hardening of over tightening, then I think it stopped leaking.

    Good inspection test is wipe all oil off, maybe wash it down with solvent to get it dry. Then let it ran a hour or so. Look for where the leak comes from.
  • Badwithfurnace
    Badwithfurnace Member Posts: 13
    After having watched a few videos of burner maintenance it looks like it's leaking between the pump and the motor. But I don't see any gaskets related to that area
  • Badwithfurnace
    Badwithfurnace Member Posts: 13
    Leonard said:



    Good inspection test is wipe all oil off, maybe wash it down with solvent to get it dry. Then let it ran a hour or so. Look for where the leak comes from.

    Thanks Leonard! I did clean the area with brake cleaner but it's really hard to tell the "trail" of oil and where it's coming from, some times it looks like its from one of the screws on the end cap but that simply the lowest point. From experience with leaking differentials on trucks, the wet dirty spots are usually the areas to look in which I'm thinking is between the motor and the pump as it seems to match my description.
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2020
    I don't know your burner, but since you say oil is leaking from between pump and motor, then engineering wise my first guess is a leaking seal on pump shaft.

    How old is pump , and was it a rebuilt. I bought a rebuilt, only lasted ~ 1-3 years before leaking, no more rebuilts for me.

    Maybe take motor off and look to see if oil is leaking from something else in that area.

    I've never did it because of mess, but I've always thought about putting talcum powder over area to thicken up leaking oil so it doesn't move sofar and is easier to trace . Need to clean oil off area 1-st

    BTW I put 2 old oven rectangular baking trays under my burner to catch oil drips. They are ~ 14" x 24"........ 3/4" high.


    On cars rebuilt water pumps of ~ 90's Chevys lasted forever.
    Badwithfurnace
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,691
    It very well could be the pump seal, as @Leonard noted. If so it's probably best to call your oil service provider and have the technician replace the pump, set the pressure and check the combustion. It sounds like it needs a good full service.
    It's possible that it's leaking from the pump strainer cover. Replacement strainers come with a gasket and rubber O ring.
    STEVEusaPABadwithfurnace
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2020
    Yes new pump could have slightly better pressure, could throw your air/fuel mix off and make more smoke, soot, etc.

    So at least need to check draft and combustion efficiency afterwards, ie ~ CO2 . Just have a tech do the full service, you would need $$ gauges and detailed knowledge to do this stuff yourself .

    Good idea to have heat exchanger cleaned too , mine ashes up over few years, insulates and loses efficiency
    Badwithfurnace
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,319
    The fuel pump can be checked with pressure and vacuum gauges. Could also be the connection at the nozzle line.
    All parts are readily available, especially up in (I'm guessing) most of Canada.
    I was going to initially say the hydraulic jack, but I noticed it was removed. There should be a small plug that was put in the fuel unit with a washer, maybe it's leaking there.
    Once oil gets dripping into the housing the fan will blow it everywhere.
    For the strainer, only use the O ring, never the gasket. But it has to be seated properly.
    And yes a neanderthal could've easily over tightened and damaged any of the fittings.
    Be curious of the running vacuum.
    steve
    HVACNUTBadwithfurnace
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,319
    edited February 2020
    Leonard said:

    Yes new pump could have slightly better pressure, could throw your air/fuel mix off and make more smoke, soot, etc.

    So you want to check your draft and combustion efficiency afterwards, ie ~ CO2

    Good idea to have heat exchanger cleaned , they always ash up, insulates and loses efficiency

    You absolutely can NOT install a new pump without a proper pressure gauge. Riello's are never 100 psi in the field and are almost always 100 psi in the box.
    Then you'll need a full combustion test after a proper bleed-steady state, draft, smoke, etc.
    OP has probably gone as far as they should.
    BTW, there really isn't anything between the pump and the motor except a key (in place of a coupling on other burners).
    Also pump seals rarely fail unless the system is under high vacuum. Which is why I recommend checking the pump properly with pressure and vacuum gauges. Then you don't have to 'guess' or become a parts changer.
    Edit, also OP, you can (should) attach the pictures directly to your post.
    steve
    HVACNUTBadwithfurnace
  • Badwithfurnace
    Badwithfurnace Member Posts: 13
    Damn this is great information! Thank you everyone. While I think I could confidently swap the pump, the required tools to do it properly aren't worth me purchasing for a once every 10? years job. I've been in the house for almost 10, I'm sure it hasn't been done any sooner than that. I'll book a technician next week and report back any findings.

    Sorry about the pics, I'm used to forums that make you link from an image host. I'll admit, I didn't read the forum faq. Thanks for not tearing me a new one.
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,702

    Can a mod move this? sorry I mean to post in Oil Heating

    We've moved this to Oil Heating.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
    Badwithfurnace
  • Badwithfurnace
    Badwithfurnace Member Posts: 13

    Can a mod move this? sorry I mean to post in Oil Heating

    We've moved this to Oil Heating.
    Thank you!!
  • Badwithfurnace
    Badwithfurnace Member Posts: 13
    You guys have any tips on removing furnace oil/smell from concrete? I've got a plan:

    -Lay down saw dust for a week, then sweep up.
    -Spread around dish soap with a brush, agitate and add every day.
    -Scrub with soap and hot water after week.
    -Kitty litter to absorb moisture
    -Coffee grinds for a week

    Thoughts?

    If that doesn't help, I may invest in an ozone machine. I am trying to finish the basement which prompted the repair, so the smell has gotta go.
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2020
    From my experience cleaning engines and things I think I'ld use frequent changes of toilet paper to wipe and aborb the oil, till can't remove any more. then dust with fine saw dust POWDER. Rub it in and vacuum off, maybe repeat.

    Then spray with Fantastick kitchen cleaner, scrub a litle with toothbrush, let soak ~ 5 minutes, add bit of water scrub, vacuum off . Maybe repeat if necessary, end with rinses of water and vacuuming.

    Whole process might take 30-60 minutes
    Badwithfurnace
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,319
    Lay down oil dry, for a while, walking on it and crushing it in.
    Sweep up oil dry.
    Seal concrete
    ---or---
    Jackhammer up conc
    steve
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2020
    Any heating oil left absorbed in cement likely will have to evaporate over time. Maybe a year?

    Possibly wash it with a solvent like acetone maybe then wipe it away with toilet paper, repeat. Watch out for fire safety, don't do it near burner. Ventilate area WELL. Problem is it only removes oil on surface, but likely best can do.

    After cleaning maybe lay down activated charcoal over it and cover with metal pan. Change charcoal occasionally

    I leave 2 old metal kitchen baking sheets ~ 12x18x 3/4 inch under my burner for backup in case something drips.

    Good thing too, I over lubed circulator and it dripped oil, made clean up easy
    Badwithfurnace
  • pell
    pell Member Posts: 6
    I would have to say that pump is close to being 30 years oil and the pump seal has failed. Riello burners are all I install mainly because of their reliability and durability. I have all the parts on my service truck and all they do is gather dust.
    Badwithfurnace
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,244
    I get a product form Johnstone supply called Odorgon powder. You just sprinkle some on the spill, rub it around, and the oil and smell is gone! The stuff works fantastic, and smells good. I also use it for finding leaks on fuel pumps, filter, and joints by putting some in my hand and then blowing it toward the potential leak so it just puts a dust coating in it. If it is leaking there , you can see the wet spot starting to form where it is leaking from.
    Rick
    Badwithfurnace
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,208
    Sooo many punchlines there @rick in Alaska , but I'll be good.
    In the early '90's there was a liquid in a glass vial and used a dropper. Not for stains but for odor. Two drops was all it took. I only have a vague remembrance because it was gone very quickly. Carcinogens I guess.
    STEVEusaPABadwithfurnacerick in Alaska
  • Badwithfurnace
    Badwithfurnace Member Posts: 13
    Alright. Furnace tech was out, and I'm not super impressed. He determined it was the pump leaking, showed me the evidence (which I appreciated). Replaced the pump, had me fire up the furnace and he checked for leaks and peeked in the burner window for a few seconds. That was it. He was done within 15mins. I questioned him if he should check the vacuum as mentioned above and to also check the pressure and combustion. Said he didn't need to, he was a man of few words. My bill was $350 for 15mins of work, $195 of it was the NEW pump.

    What I am HAPPY with is he did use the odorgon product mentioned above and it works magic! the smell is gone.

    Should I contact the owner of the company? I paid for an entire hour of a "service call" could he not have at least done those things mentioned within that hour? As it stands I could have replaced the pump myself and saved $150 which really pisses me off as a DIY guy.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,319
    edited February 2020
    Yup, call them back.
    They didn't confirm/set pump pressure or do the required full combustion test. As I said earlier, the replacement was probably factory set at 100 psi, and your burner/boiler set up probably calls for a higher setting, which affects combustion.
    steve
    Badwithfurnacerick in AlaskaSuperTech
  • Badwithfurnace
    Badwithfurnace Member Posts: 13
    Sorry I forgot to come back and update thread. Furnace guy came back, set pressure and everything looked good!

    About 3 weeks later a really loud whine was coming from the burner. I called them back again, this time a bearing in the fan motor went. All fixed. $600 later and hopefully this thing runs for another 30 years lol
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,319
    What were the final combustion numbers?
    steve
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,991
    You were on to it with the talcum power, about how to find the leak. Clean it up really well with solvent and paper towel, make sure you get everything out of all the cracks and screw heads and such, run it for a short period, dust it with tac and see where it sticks, the top of the trail will be where it is leaking.