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Oil Burner cycling on/off?

lilhalls Member Posts: 5
I had my boiler cleaned by a company and it was running great before he came. A day or so after he left it started to ramp up and down after the taco SR501 finished its cycle for hot water. There was no flame but the blower would ramp up and down and then shut off after about four times. It never trips out and I have called them back with no response. Any ideas what would cause this?

I tried posting a video with no luck


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,442
    Don't know what you have for a boiler but call them back
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 5,634
    edited November 2020
    If you paid by credit card, call the credit card company and dispute the charge.

    Keep calling until you get a reply, Let them know that you are afraid to operate the burner and that you have no heat and no hot water. If you do not get a satisfactory response within a reasonable amount of time, (3 days should be enough) then get another reputable contractor to look at it.

    Post the model number and any pictures of the system. thee may be a simple solution if we know what we are dealing with.

    SR501 is a circulator relay. What is the brand of the boiler and the other controls that operate the burner?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • lilhalls
    lilhalls Member Posts: 5
    I unfortunately paid by check, have called and emailed him with no luck. I will give him another few days but based on what he did with my furnace (same house) I think I may be better to get someone else.

    I have a steam boiler with a megastor for HW. The oil burner never trips out but after it cycles off it tries to come on as the oil burner motor ramps up and down like three times and then shuts off. I never had a problem with this unit before the guy touched it. I did see him messing with the Taco SR501 not sure why when he was doing a cleaning.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,114
    edited November 2020
    There really isn't a whole lot that can go wrong with those Carlin controls (although they can go bad). Does the company that delivers your oil have burner service? (assuming it's not the same company). If so, you might try having them send a good man or woman over and try just the burner -- disconnect (the T-T terminals) from the controls. It should simply fire up and run in you then jumper the T-T terminals.

    That would at least tell you that the problem isn't the burner and burner control -- or is. And you could proceed from there. Your worthy technician messed something up, but it may take some detective work to find out what.

    Do you remember from when it was working if there was a pre-purge on the system? The burner blower would come up and then hold for a few seconds -- 15 seconds is typical -- before the oil came on and the burner fired? If so, something in a control -- either the burner control box or the rest of it -- may be closing and opening incorrectly. The jumper test I spoke of will locate that to either the burner box or some other control.

    A word of caution: it's not unheard of for at least some of the safeties to be in the T-T circuit. If they are, and you try it with a jumper, they will not be present, which is not the best thing in the world. Don't do this without the ability to remove the jumper easily -- and a very good idea as to where the emergency switch is. Don't even think of doing it if you are uncomfortable with the idea -- let someone else be the hero.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • lilhalls
    lilhalls Member Posts: 5
    I will give it a try tomorrow but the company I used no longer answers phone or email. There are many good contractors and then there are really bad ones like the company I used. I checked their license, reviews, and references but now I think they were all fake. This is what they posted on their website.

    Effective November 25, 2020 XXXXXXXXX LLC seized operates after a careful review of finances and job forcast for the forseeable future. We would like to thank our thousands of customers over the last 9 years for your business and hope everyone stays safe during these difficult times.

    I appreciate the help, thank you.
  • weedhopper
    weedhopper Member Posts: 59
    I went thru the same BS with my guy last year, he fled south after messing things up. Getting a referral from your oil company works. They have an incentive to do a good job so they can get more referrals. Worked for me.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 5,634
    edited December 2020
    No need to answer the burner timing question. It is printed on the Primary Control: Prepurge is 10 seconds, Trial for ignition is 15 seconds. post purge is 10 seconds.

    I am assuming that you are not interested in DYI repairs on this complicated appliance. You just want it to operate correctly. I would suggest that you call your fuel supplier and ask if there is a person that they recommend that knows about steam boilers. The steam boiler part is important here because that is a specialty inside of a specialty. I was that guy for 6 fuel dealers in my area. The fuel dealer has a vested interest in keeping your oil burner operating. If it does not burn oil then it won's need any fuel deliveries. That's where he makes money.

    Now some larger fuel dealers have their own employees that service heating equipment. Others have independent contractors like I was. But that is your best source for a reputable service technician.

    Use a credit card to pay (Not Debit) you will have more leverage if the repair is unsuccessful.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics