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Annually recurring Riello F3 issue

Brent H.
Brent H. Member Posts: 115
Greeting,

My house has a Buderus G115 boiler with a Riello F3 burner. In the past I had it serviced every year but now find that I can’t seem to make it a year before having some sort of ignition problem. Generally, 6 - 8 months after having it serviced, I notice that the burner will turn on, fan runs for a short time, burner ignites for a second then flame goes out. Fan continues to run and a few seconds later it ignites again and runs fine for the rest of the cycle. It doesn’t do this every time but maybe 10% of the time. Any suggestions on what I should have them look at when I have them come out so this doesn’t keep happening every year?

Many thanks.

Brent
«1

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,766
    I've run into a similar problem, and it is sometimes a finicky burner control unit.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,447
    I'd guess they do their combustion test/set up when it’s warm outside, and don’t account how combustion gets affected by colder weather.
    steve
    Robert O'BrienDerheatmeister
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,827
    Nozzle , Make sure you use the GPH and angle posted on the burner for the Buderus boiler .. If your state adds ethanol to your fuel oil ,I would recommend the "W" or semi solid nozzle .
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
    kcopp
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    The last time I had this issue was mid April so I’m not sure I can correlate it to weather conditions. Third or fourth time I’ve had this issue over the last 4-5 years.
    Daveinscranton
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,447
    edited January 2021
    Big Ed_4 said:

    Nozzle , Make sure you use the GPH and angle posted on the burner for the Buderus boiler .. If your state adds ethanol to your fuel oil ,I would recommend the "W" or semi solid nozzle .

    There’s ethanol in heating oil? World premiere?
    Or did you mean bio?
    steve
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    I pulled the control off yesterday and cleaned the contacts and the CAD cell. Figured it was easy to try.... now we’ll see if it helps.
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    edited March 2021
    After cleaning the contacts for the control and the CAD cell I’m still having intermittent issues. It seems to ignite but then flame goes out and a few seconds later on retry it starts and stays going.... it has never locked out. I noticed it a bit yesterday but it was crazy windy here. Is it possible I need a barometric damper? I’ve attached a picture of my setup. Would also be interested if there are any pros in central Mass. area that are available to check setup/clean/tuneup. When I do find a contractor, most are 30+ miles away. The techs I’ve had in the past are very old school and never have a combustion analyzer.... just the old manual kit.

    Many thanks.


  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,424
    Is that direct vented?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,766
    Have you tried Gary Wilson, @GW in Northampton? or Charles Garrity, @Charlie from wmass , out of Springfield? Limiting yourself to 30 miles may reduce the field too much...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    @Robert O'Brien Vented into a masonry chimney with a stainless steel liner.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,715
    You probably do need a barometric damper. That boiler with the Riello are very sensitive to draft issues.  You want the overfire draft to be slightly positive.  +.01-.02". Draft in the breach should be about -.02". These settings are critical for reliable operation.  You also want higher CO2/lower O2 than most typical oil fired equipment.  I believe Buderus specifies 13% CO2. 
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,418
    Thanks Jamie i’m smack in the center WesternMass, we don’t travel to central mass. 

    I’ll share my general opinion, and we get these calls often. People that try to save a few dollars by getting oil from the discount providers often end up in this predicament. The full service oil companies are the way to go, as painful got it as it is to spend more than you need to want on oil 

    I have found Riello burners to be extremely reliable. When we’re getting a fussy burner, it tends to be Bio, excessive draft, or a lift issue. If all those three things are good, then a typical combustion test, fine-tuning, these burners are nails

    I carry the Riello kit in my truck, extremely seldomly, we need to replace a primary control. I don’t think I’ve ever replaced a fuel unit or motor. But we don’t work on a million oil burners, just stuff that we’ve installed ourselves. We do not have the reach or the depth to take on miscellaneous oil customers.

    You’re pretty positive it’s not a balanced flue burner? Normally when I see a barometric damper on that four-inch fresh air pipe, it’s a balance full. Those burners are more fussy for sure.

    Hope all works out
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    Thanks for the info @GW Gary. I’m not sure what a balanced flue burner is but the 4” on mine was added purely for fresh air intake. The burner cover is not sealed so some air still draws from the basement and the damper I thank was more of a safety thing to allow air if the outside intake was plugged. It was added on my previous boiler at t(e suggestion of my oil provider at the time. When the Buderus was installed, it was reused. I also hoped it would limit some of the cat hair from getting into the burner.

    It’s been serviced by both an independent tech. and a bigger oil company technician. The last time the oil company was here was because of a similar problem I’m having now. He pretty much tuned it up and went on his way. He also left the burner in test mode so we had 180 degree hot water the next day! Fortunately no one got burned. No combustion analysis was done.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,418
    edited March 2021
    Silly me, upon further inspection, that is a regular Riello. The balance flu has a strange little connection on top. I try to avoid the balance flow burners. I kind of forgot what they look like for a moment 

    He put it on manual mode but did not turn down the dial, or stress to you that the water would be hotter, how unfortunate. It is very clear to me that many burner guys would rather have their big toe stomped on at the ice rink than work on a Buderus 2107 control. Perhaps my advice in the previous message is less than stellar after all.

    I wonder if you tried calling Buderus in New Hampshire, ask them if they can give you a few names. Or ask them who the rep is in your area. The rep should be able to give you a few names. If you’re saying the technician did a tuneup I did not stick the analyzer on there, that just seems crazy.

    Have you ever caught the burner not lighting? Or, does it always light when you press the button? I quickly read through the other posts, you’re saying the same issue pops up every year? What time of year? Or let me rephrase, is there a certain weather pattern that causes this?

    if the oil technician is extra sloppy, it’s conceivable he did not change oil filter. 

    Did he even pull the nozzle assy? 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    Derheatmeister
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,126
    @Brent H.

    Where is you oil tank inside or outside underground? Is it hooked up 1 pipe or 2 pipe?

    Not lighting on the first try and lighting on the second try makes me think of a fuel issue. Maybe dropping it's prime
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    @GW

    Gary, I had it serviced mid-April last year due to the same issue. I noticed it doing the same thing shortly after New Years this year. From what I can tell by listening, it does ignite but then the flame noise goes away, the fan continues, then it ignites again and keeps running until the end of the call for heat. I have never had to reset it. The tech last April opened it up, cleaned it, replaced filters, and I think said he adjusted maybe the air. Of course, no combustion test was done🙁 I asked if he’d need to come back to clean before winter and he told me if I was able to just change the filters, which I did.

    I think the tech hit the burner test switch to show me it was running when he finished and then forgot to turn it off. Of coarse my wife and kids didn’t bother to tell me that the shower was hotter than normal. I was shocked when I went to take a shower and noticed how hot it was. I set the 2107 properly to fix the problem and used an old washer connection and drain in the basement to drain the hot water so no one would get burned. On a funny not, found the house cooler than expected one morning in December. Spent all sorts of time checking the switching relays only to find one of the cats must have hit the warm weather shutdown button on the 2107😀 The cats jump on the boiler to then hop on the hot water tank and look out the window.

    @EBEBRATT-Ed

    Oil tank is located in the basement only 8’ or so away. Single pipe to the burner with a filter at the tank and a spin on by the burner. Like I mentioned above, it does ignite on the first try but goes out quickly before staying lit on the second attempt.



  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    What town are you in? I most likely won't have time soon to service it but I do know reliable oil burner folks throughout the north east. Perhaps one services your area. 
    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
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    @Charlie from wmass I’m located in Holden. Any names would be great or let me know if you might be out here in the next month.
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,424
    Not uncommon with Riello, I'd bet it's high excess air. You need someone with an analyzer who knows how to use it.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    STEVEusaPAGrallert
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 831
    Start with combustion setup. I think it is where the problem will end.
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    I was able to capture a video of the behavior.

    https://share.icloud.com/photos/0G6yW4SEKZ_9fpIRY1waSgU_g

  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 524
    If that burner was set up "by eye" It is almost certainly too much air.
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    I’m thinking my best bet may be to talk to the owner of the oil company I use and see who they have that sets up the Buderus boilers they install. Maybe I can get that person to set mine up properly. A couple questions for you folks:

    The tag on the burner specifies to use .60 x 60B nozzle. There is a service tag from quite a few years back that shows the nozzle they used is .65 x 60B. Should I have them change it to the recommended nozzle before adjusting it?

    The same old school paper tag shows the measured breech draft of -.4 which is outside what is recommended. Should that be fixed as well? Is this where a barometric damper comes into play? Without a barometric damper, is it possible on wind days that the draft increases even further and causes my issues?

    Thanks for all the help.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,536
    edited March 2021
    -.4 is a very high draft. -.04 is most likely what they measured and wrote it down wrong. And Yes wind and other weather conditions will change the chimney draft. If the draft to more than -.10 at the breach (the flue pipe connector at the back of the boiler) then a barometric draft control is indicated. On that boiler, anything greater the -.05 is a reason to install a draft control. Since you can't be sure what the weather conditions will be, with your setup I would use one.

    The video sounds like the oil valve clicks open then the flame goes right out. Within a few seconds, I hear a click when the oil valve opens again. That is an indication that the flame sensing circuit is shutting off the valve even though there is a flame. The flame seems to start as soon as the valve clicks open, so there must be something with the way the cad cell is observing the initial start-up at that particular time. Could be an air-oil mixture issue resulting from draft changes in the chimney, or it could be carbon buildup on the flame retention head. Removing that carbon is part of the tune-up procedure.

    The trouble is... the draft problem is caused by too much air and the carbon problem is caused by not enough air. That is why you need a combustion analyzer to set them up. ...And what is the actual draft condition in the firebox when the problem is happening? Since it only happens "Sometimes" a technician probably won't experience it on a service visit. Good thing you have that video.

    Yours truly,
    Mr.Ed
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,418
    -.04 —-that’s the issue

    old specs—larger nozzle and less pressure. Newer specs—-smaller nozzle and higher pressure. Newer specs are better 

    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    SuperTech
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,269
    I don't remember the specs, but the Riello burner likes the overfire draft to be positive, so that negative draft at the breach might be too much. Check the overfire draft and see what it says.
    Rick
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,715
    I posted the specs early on in the thread. I work on 90% Beckett and Carlin burners but I have some customers with Buderus Boilers with Riello burners.  I knew the problem was the missing barometric damper when I first saw the pics. Correct draft and combustion is crucial for reliable operation. Too much air and draft always cause problems.  
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    I have someone lined up to come out in a couple weeks and add a draft regulator and retune the boiler to the latest specs. One thing that has always bothered me is how the SS liner terminates to the flue pipe. There is no way to really take it apart to clean and I also get some interesting water stains from condensation that runs back occasionally. Any suggestions on how to improve my setup? I’d love to install a proper tee but I’m not sure I can get the liner pulled back intact to do that. Should I terminate to a short piece of SS that I can cement around and then add a 90 to bring it down to the boiler?

    As always, thanks for all the help.


  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,827
    edited March 2021
    In some states corn oil is added , over 18% its called bio fuel any percentage below is fuel oil.. Since it is expensive and breaks down quickly the oil depots dump it at the end of the season . My pet peeve fuel oil is not a constant . I found W nozzles are more forgivable .
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,336
    Brent H. said:
    I have someone lined up to come out in a couple weeks and add a draft regulator and retune the boiler to the latest specs. One thing that has always bothered me is how the SS liner terminates to the flue pipe. There is no way to really take it apart to clean and I also get some interesting water stains from condensation that runs back occasionally. Any suggestions on how to improve my setup? I’d love to install a proper tee but I’m not sure I can get the liner pulled back intact to do that. Should I terminate to a short piece of SS that I can cement around and then add a 90 to bring it down to the boiler? As always, thanks for all the help.
    The liner needs to reinstalled correctly. A 2 piece tee in the base is needed, then come out the breach with a 2 ft length of 5" stainless before you change to galvanized. 
    If that's too much, it looks like a tee will fit by replacing the length attached to the liner. Make sure the regulator is plumb and level. It won't be pretty, but it'll work.
    STEVEusaPASuperTech
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,424
    Big Ed_4 said:

    In some states corn oil is added , over 18% its called bio fuel any percentage below is fuel oil.. Since it is expensive and breaks down quickly the oil depots dump it at the end of the season . My pet peeve fuel oil is not a constant . I found W nozzles are more forgivable .

    Not true! Waste vegetable oil is not approved. Biodiesel can be made from WVO but is not WVO, in the same way #2 oil is made from crude oil but is not crude oil itself. ASTM 396 allows up to 5% biodiesel. There is another spec for up to 20% biodiesel.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    STEVEusaPACharlie from wmass
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    In some states corn oil is added , over 18% its called bio fuel any percentage below is fuel oil.. Since it is expensive and breaks down quickly the oil depots dump it at the end of the season . My pet peeve fuel oil is not a constant . I found W nozzles are more forgivable .
    Not true! Waste vegetable oil is not approved. Biodiesel can be made from WVO but is not WVO, in the same way #2 oil is made from crude oil but is not crude oil itself. ASTM 396 allows up to 5% biodiesel. There is another spec for up to 20% biodiesel.
    Thank you for clarifying and taking the time to address this with facts. As Mr O'Brien has said it's not corn oil.
    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
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    I may just pull the liner and replace it. Do you folks have any liner manufacturers that you prefer? Are there any flexible liners that are more flexible than others? I am leaning towards the Forever Flex and they now make a premium version that is supposed to be more flexible. Thanks.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    Running the liner directly to the equipment actually gives the best overall results. It is not pleasing to the eye though. Changing the liner will in no way improve your system performance.
    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
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    I was able to redo my liner last weekend and now have it terminated with a tee and a 22” stainless takeoff coming out of the chimney.

    Service company was out and setup the burner to newer specs with 185psi of pressure and a smaller nozzle. His measurement showed -.08 of draft so they recommended a barometric damper.

    Today they came to install the damper and I don’t think it is installed at the proper location and draft is still to high. Instead of cutting the pipe and installing it inline the put the tee in place of the elbow that connects to the stainless takeoff going into the chimney. They still show a draft of -.04” which is too high per the Buderus manual.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks.


  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,447
    Yeah that’s wrong
    steve
    Charlie from wmassZmanSuperTech
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    Yeah that’s wrong
    Steve is 1000000% correct. That is wrong. Smh
    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
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    Brent H. said:
    I was able to redo my liner last weekend and now have it terminated with a tee and a 22” stainless takeoff coming out of the chimney. Service company was out and setup the burner to newer specs with 185psi of pressure and a smaller nozzle. His measurement showed -.08 of draft so they recommended a barometric damper. Today they came to install the damper and I don’t think it is installed at the proper location and draft is still to high. Instead of cutting the pipe and installing it inline the put the tee in place of the elbow that connects to the stainless takeoff going into the chimney. They still show a draft of -.04” which is too high per the Buderus manual. Thoughts? Thanks.
    Even the use of a tee is wrong unless they trim the branch of the tee. Pull up the iom for your damper if it was not given to you.also ask them if they have an oil burner license. 
    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
    STEVEusaPA
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 115
    @STEVEusaPA @Charlie from wmass

    So frustrating.... I assume it should go on the straight section that runs diagonally. Is there any issue with it being on a diagonal?

    Can the draft get to -.02 if installed in the proper spot?

    Thanks.

  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    Diagonal pipe is fine. Damper needs face to be plumb and the pivot axis level. No way to know if it will work to get to . 02 but it needs done properly first then other things can be done. 
    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