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Peerless oil Burner short cycle issues

BCEAGLES
BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27
sorry up front for the long post:
I have a Peerless furnace with a Beckett oil Burner. I thinks its original to the home built in 2003.
I have the furnace professionally cleaned yearly and I have lived in the house for the last 4 years. each time it gets cleaned it seems that I have to replace something on it.

On the last cleaning the tech told me the furnace was running at close to 30psi and that it was too high, we ended up replacing the water feed pressure regulator and that seemed to fix the issue, however shortly after is when the furnace started to short cycle

I noticed that it would turn on and off quickly 3-4 or more times and then finally stay on. This would happen few times a week. I called the furnace company and they told me that it wasn't really normal however they would need it to happen while they were there in order to fix something and to keep an eye on it and if it did it more frequently to give them a call. They said it could also be an issue with the thermostats acting up, so I went ahead and replaced them all I have 3. this did not fix the issue. I noticed the furnace short cycling on almost a daily bases so I called and they sent a tech out and of course the furnace ran fine while they were here and couldn't fix anything. Two days later the furnace stopped working altogether as I noticed we didn't have any heat or hot water. Tech came in and did some test and said the Honeywell Aquastat L8148A wasnt working so we replaced it with new one. Furnace seemed to be working properly after the fix for the rest of the day.

The next day I noticed that the Thermostat on first floor said room temperature of 64 degrees and I have it set to kick on at 7am and heat to 68 degrees , I noticed the furnace was running for short periods of around 2 minutes and shutting down for 5 plus minutes and continued like this for 45 minutes, I counted 8 cycle on and off until the temperature was reached. I called the tech and I told him I noticed the Aquastat was set to 170 degrees for the high limit and I am not sure what the old one was set to, He said they typically are set to 180 degrees, so we couldn't figure out if the tech who replaced it set it to that or if that was just a factory setting, he told me to watch the temperature on the furnace while its ruining.

so the next day at 7am I pulled up a chair and recorded what the furnace was doing.
The thermostat for the first floor was reading 65 degrees overnight and at 7am kick up to 68 (outside temp was about 50 degrees)
1st cycle the start temp was 105 degrees, furnace ran for 8 minutes and shut off at 155 degrees. It took about 2 minutes and the furnace kicked on at 145 degrees and ran for two minutes and shut off at 155 degrees. I did notice the temp continue to rise to 160ish while the furnace was off. This continued for a total of 4 cycles and took about 40 plus minutes for the first floor to heat from 65 degrees to 68 degrees and for the thermostat to shut off. The tech told me it should be heating really close to the 170 degree high limit but it didnt seem like it was. The Honeywell oil primary Control was reading about 185 ohms while the furnace was running.

Is this running normal? I would like it to run as efficiently as possible.
should the Aquastat be set to 180 degrees?

The new Lux thermostat TX9600TS does have more adjustments than the older ones. I have the swing value set to 1.25 degrees and the offset set to 2 degrees. I keep the temperature set for about 4-5 degree difference so for example overnight the downstairs will go to 64 degrees and in the morning I will have the heat kick on to 68 degrees.

In the last two years or so I have replaced the expansion tank, 1st floor taco circulation pump, Honeywell oil primary Control, watts water feed pressure regulator and the pressure relief valve in the back and now the Aquastat

any help would be great.

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,004
    Did anyone properly purge/bleed the system. You replace just about all the parts.
    I personally like to have proof before replacing any parts.
    steve
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,951
    No, it's not normal. However, you -- or someone who actually troubleshoots things rather than replacing random parts -- needs to find out first, which control is turning the boiler off. Not that hard to do -- particularly if it's misbehaving. Then you need to figure out why that control is doing that -- since it may well be (and I suspect is, in this case) responding correctly to some other problem.

    Like poor circulation.

    Then you need to figure out why the circulation is poor -- my first guess would be what @STEVEusaPA suggested.

    Or, if it's not poor circulation, what is making the control do what it does.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27
    I dont think anyone has purged/bleed the system that I know of. when would this be needed? should the Aquastat be set to 180 degrees?

    what direction should I point the furnace company to?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,951
    Well, yes. The system has to purged and bled, although that may not be the problem.

    Nothing wrong with an aquastat set at 180, although it may not need to be set that high.

    As to what direction should you point the furnace company to? A snarky reply would be "the door". A less snarky reply would be ask them to show up with a tech. with a multimeter who knows how to use it and find out what, as I suggested, is turning the system on and off. And then figure out why. And then fis it.

    Where are you located? We may know someone competent in your area.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Ctoilman
    Ctoilman Member Posts: 75
    What new aquastat did the guy install?  If it's a modern 'high tech' model then the control has energy saving strategies built-in to it that varies boiler temp to the heat load.  That can be turned off if you'd prefer the control to function like your old one.  Got any pics?
    Where does hot water source from by the way?
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27
    They replaced my Aquastat with a Resideo L8148A ( Honeywell) it was the same as the old one.

    The aquastat is currently set to 170 degrees. Tech told me they usually set them to 180 so I am confused. Tech left me the old Aquastat and I just looked and it was set to 200 degrees.

    I have watched the temp and it does seem to consistently kick off at about 155 degrees.

    Hot water is a superstor ultra stainless steel indirect fired water heater.

    Jamie Hall, I complete get what your saying and at this point I would love to show them the door, but I am thousands into this and I feel they should be fixing it and making it right. I live in Townsend Massachusetts. If you can suggest anyone that would be awesome.

    I will try to post some pictures
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27





  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,106
    @BCEAGLES

    Your high limit is set too low. 170 is too low, some say 180. Personally I always set them to 190 which is perfectly safe.

    It could be as simple as the boiler being larger than and producing more heat that the baseboards can put out. If that is the case setting the high limit to 190 will help.

    You could have other issues, like low flow or poor circulation.

    It looks like you have two zones. Is one zone a hot water tank?

    You need a technician who will look the entire system over and analyize what is going on.

    Not a parts changer who is in a hurry.

    You have a good boiler and burner, weather it is sized right I don't know. An oversized boiler will short cycle but their are ways to mitigate that such as a buffer tank
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,951
    Have you tried Bob Gagnon (@Bob Gagnon plumbing and heating) , over in Lowell? 978-453-2211.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27
    edited May 16
    EBEBRATT-Ed, I have 4 zones, first floor, second floor, office above garage and hot water. I have a 3000sqft house and it seemed to heat just fine up until lately where its been one issue after another. I just assumed the previous owner who owned the house for 5 years prior didnt keep up with the maintenance, but if feels like im chasing issues.

    Jamie Hall, thanks for info I will check him out.
  • Ctoilman
    Ctoilman Member Posts: 75
    Your pic of the aquastat dial appears to have a setting of 155.  You say the boiler runs up to 155 and shuts off.  Problem?
    155 seems low to take care of hot water indirect tank on a heavy demand though.
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27
    Ctoilman, I just went down to double check and it is set to 170. each dot is 10 degrees, the temp goes up to the left and down to the right.
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27
    Update,

    I had the furnace company come back out, Tech went through the system and could not pin point the issue. I had him set the Aquastat to 180 degrees. I had him purge each zone (4) for air. He only found a little bit of air in one zone but said that it wasnt enough to cause the issue that I am having. He did test the Aquastat again with a multi meter and said it tested fine. Tested the boiler temperature with a meter to make sure the gauge is working correctly and it is.

    Looked at the flame sensor and it looked clean and clear and said it appears to be working as it should.

    we did set one zone thermostat up and watched the furnace run and he did agree that it was strange that it was shutting off every time when temperature reached 155 and turned back on when it reached 145.

    He thinks that It could be a faulty Primary oil control (Honeywell R7284) even though I replaced this 1.5 years ago but he isnt 100 percent sure, just guessing at this point.

    not sure where to go from here? I could buy a new Honeywell Primary control and swap it out to see??
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,951
    If it turns off every time at 155 and back on at 145... find the control (it will be an aquastat somewhere in the system) which is doing that. All the primary knows is that the system is calling for heat or not; it, itself, is not sensitive to temperature. But somewhere out there something is, and that's what it's set for Find it...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,106
    If the burner is not going off on safety it's probably not the primary control.

    I would have him change the aquastat and make sure to use heat conductive paste on the sensor and make sure the sensor is all the way in the well.

    Something is wrong and your tech can't find it. You need some one besides a parts changer. If the boiler isn't getting to temp the aquastat is probably the issue. He needs to find out what is shutting the burner down
    STEVEusaPA
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,021
    BCEAGLES said:
    I dont think anyone has purged/bleed the system that I know of. when would this be needed? should the Aquastat be set to 180 degrees? what direction should I point the furnace company to?
    The door after replacing all that without fixing it. 

    Check the contractor locator here

    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/

  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27

    If the burner is not going off on safety it's probably not the primary control.

    I would have him change the aquastat and make sure to use heat conductive paste on the sensor and make sure the sensor is all the way in the well.

    Something is wrong and your tech can't find it. You need some one besides a parts changer. If the boiler isn't getting to temp the aquastat is probably the issue. He needs to find out what is shutting the burner down

    I did watch the tech install the Aquastat and he did use the conductive paste to on the sensor. it also looked like the sensor went all the way in the well. I may try and have them change out the new Aquastat but im not sure they will be willing to.
    The primary control when the furnace is on is reading between 185-195ohms and he said that was really good.
    but at this point I think I need to find another company that can hunt down this issue. they have seem to run out of ideas.
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27

    If it turns off every time at 155 and back on at 145... find the control (it will be an aquastat somewhere in the system) which is doing that. All the primary knows is that the system is calling for heat or not; it, itself, is not sensitive to temperature. But somewhere out there something is, and that's what it's set for Find it...

    it only started doing this after the new Aquastat was put in, before it was just short cycling and then the onld Aquastat failed. the old Aquastat was set to 200, but I never payed attention to what it was doing temperature wise

    I can take pictures of the entire system if that helps?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,106
    185-195 ohms is very good. Not the problem

    Chances are a previous tech set the aquastat at 200 to minimize the short cycling. Not a real fix but not your main issue. If the old aqaustat was set at 200 why were they screwing around at 170?

    Look, all they have to do is take the aqustat out return it to the supply house tell them it's bad and get another one. But first they should prove it is faulty and stop being parts changers
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,951
    To which I would add that it's so easy to find out if the aquastat is the controlling device that it's insane that they haven't figured out what it is -- or isn't.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27

    185-195 ohms is very good. Not the problem

    Chances are a previous tech set the aquastat at 200 to minimize the short cycling. Not a real fix but not your main issue. If the old aqaustat was set at 200 why were they screwing around at 170?

    Look, all they have to do is take the aqustat out return it to the supply house tell them it's bad and get another one. But first they should prove it is faulty and stop being parts changers

    yeah not really sure, I even showed him the old Aquastat and asked that same question, he said he didnt know why the other tech set it to 170, and just said they usually set them to at least 180.

    I agree with you 100%, I know he tested something on it and said it was good. I have a multi-meter is there a way that i can test the Aquastat myself to see if its bad?
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27

    To which I would add that it's so easy to find out if the aquastat is the controlling device that it's insane that they haven't figured out what it is -- or isn't.

    I agree, Is there anything I can test myself? I have a basic multi-meter
  • Ctoilman
    Ctoilman Member Posts: 75
    Now's your opportunity to have a modern aquastat installed, the the Hydrostat 3250plus.  It does everything better than what you originally had and has fuel saving temperature logic.  AND, if you change the aquastat well you could add low water cutoff protection.  The 3250plus is about same money as that 8148 aquastat you're playing around with now.  It's a no brainer.
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27
    Ctoilman said:

    Now's your opportunity to have a modern aquastat installed, the the Hydrostat 3250plus.  It does everything better than what you originally had and has fuel saving temperature logic.  AND, if you change the aquastat well you could add low water cutoff protection.  The 3250plus is about same money as that 8148 aquastat you're playing around with now.  It's a no brainer.

    Thanks for the info, I will look into it. If it turns out my new Aquastat is in fact bad, I will see if they will upgrade it to this one, if they wont I cant justify buying a new one as I paid a lot for the new one they just put on.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,951
    This whole thing is really a two step process. First, it sounds as though you are beginning to find out just which control is controlling the boiler and it seems that it is the aquastat. Now -- it is perfectly possible that the aquastat is doing exactly what you are telling it to do (although it may be slightly out of calibration). If it is, don't blame it for the short cycling -- and don't expect a different control to solve the problem.

    But at least you will have stopped throwing expensive parts at it, which is a step in the right direction.

    The next step, though, is to find out why the boiler capacity is apparently so much greater than the load that the boiler can ramp the temperature up rapidly then have to shut off to allow the load to catch up.

    Nothing you or your furnace company (which may be part of the problem -- it's a boiler, not a furnace) has done yet has addressed figuring out that piece of the puzzle.

    Is the boiler just that much too oversize? Is there poor circulation through the boiler or through the load? Is there a valve closed or partly closed somewhere? Is there... ? It may be that your system is working the best it can given the components in it. It may be that something is amiss. Find out!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Ctoilman
    Ctoilman Member Posts: 75
    How are determining boiler temp?...hopefully not going by the temp gauge on the boiler, those are notoriously inaccurate but good for general boiler function.  I'd believe the temp setting on the new aquastat over that boiler gauge.  Yet another reason to get the Hydrostat 3250plus, it has a nifty digital display of boiler temp.
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27
    Ctoilman said:

    How are determining boiler temp?...hopefully not going by the temp gauge on the boiler, those are notoriously inaccurate but good for general boiler function.  I'd believe the temp setting on the new aquastat over that boiler gauge.  Yet another reason to get the Hydrostat 3250plus, it has a nifty digital display of boiler temp.

    Yes I am going by the temp gauge on the boiler. I do understand that they can be inaccurate however I was reading the temp that the boiler was shutting off and kicking back on when a call for heat. The gauge read the same temp 155 kicking off and 145 kicking back on each cycle with the Aquastat set to 170. The tech did use a temp gauge meter to more accurately read the temp and it was determined that the gauge is working fine, my original thought was that it might be faulty and needed to be replaced but it didn't surprisingly. The gauge is slower to react to temp, I did notice a few times that the boiler would kick off at 155 and the temp would still rise to 160ish. still far below the Aquastat 170 setting.

  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27

    This whole thing is really a two step process. First, it sounds as though you are beginning to find out just which control is controlling the boiler and it seems that it is the aquastat. Now -- it is perfectly possible that the aquastat is doing exactly what you are telling it to do (although it may be slightly out of calibration). If it is, don't blame it for the short cycling -- and don't expect a different control to solve the problem.

    But at least you will have stopped throwing expensive parts at it, which is a step in the right direction.

    The next step, though, is to find out why the boiler capacity is apparently so much greater than the load that the boiler can ramp the temperature up rapidly then have to shut off to allow the load to catch up.

    Nothing you or your furnace company (which may be part of the problem -- it's a boiler, not a furnace) has done yet has addressed figuring out that piece of the puzzle.

    Is the boiler just that much too oversize? Is there poor circulation through the boiler or through the load? Is there a valve closed or partly closed somewhere? Is there... ? It may be that your system is working the best it can given the components in it. It may be that something is amiss. Find out!

    At this point I feel it "could" be a faulty new Aquastat or a faulty somewhat new (1 year old )Primary control? But I think my best option is to have a new company come in and see if they can trouble shoot it. Hard part now is the weather is getting warm and the boiler is only kicking on for the hot water.

    How can poor circulations be determined? They did bleed the system all four zones for air? As far as valves being closed or partly closed would they only be located in the basement? I guess if some are located behind a wall I would never be able to tell.

    I do know that there is plumbing for baseboard heat up in the attic. its not zoned up to the boiler but Maybe the original owners had a bigger boiler if they wanted to finish the attic?? With that said, the boiler has seemed to work fine for the last few years, just this past year is when I noticed the pressure increase and short cycle issue, so this is a long shot.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,951
    OK. Step one. Get over the aquastat and the primary control. The aquastat is functioning. Not, perhaps, at the temperature you would like it to (170), but it is turning off at a temperature and then allowing the temperature to drop as it should and then then turning back on. It's working.

    Second, the primary control has one job and one job only. To take a signal from the system -- a thermostat, safety device, or other control (like you aquastat) and turn the boiler on if the controls all say go and turn it off if any of the controls say stop. It's working.

    And if things ain't broke, don't fix them.

    Now go and find someone who can measure the flow in the various loops and the load on those loops and find out where your mismatch is. And attack that.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • BCEAGLES
    BCEAGLES Member Posts: 27

    OK. Step one. Get over the aquastat and the primary control. The aquastat is functioning. Not, perhaps, at the temperature you would like it to (170), but it is turning off at a temperature and then allowing the temperature to drop as it should and then then turning back on. It's working.

    Second, the primary control has one job and one job only. To take a signal from the system -- a thermostat, safety device, or other control (like you aquastat) and turn the boiler on if the controls all say go and turn it off if any of the controls say stop. It's working.

    And if things ain't broke, don't fix them.

    Now go and find someone who can measure the flow in the various loops and the load on those loops and find out where your mismatch is. And attack that.

    Got it. will any qualified tech be able to measure the flow in the various loops? Thanks again for the advice.
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