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Fuel pump possibly seizing, and then not ...

seized123 Member Posts: 290
(Beckett burner with Suntec A2VA-7116 fuel pump. Older Carlin primary control but I think that thing is doing it's job okay.)
So, a few weeks ago the red light came on, I pressed reset, nothing but a hum, then a slightly louder hum (then maybe a click, I'm not sure about the click though), then the red light came on again.
Plumber came, replaced motor, problem 'solved'.
After a few days red light comes on, same thing.
Plumber replaces fuel pump and coupler. Works fine, but after a few days of use red light comes on, same humming. (It is hot here so the furnace is not heating the house, but it does run to keep our water hot -Triangle Tube indirect hot water heater.)
I think in both cases he observed that the fan/squirrel cage wasn't turning.
So last time the red light came on I opened up the burner and tried turning the fan. At first it would turn only an inch or two, but with a bit of prying and pushing it freed up, furnace then worked fine for a day or two, then same thing again (red light).
So this is what I've been doing - when the red light comes on I free up the fan and everything works well for a day or two. (After it's freed, when I push it it doesn't keep spinning by itself, it's not that free, but it turns easily with the push.)
The plumber had checked the filter and it looked okay, no sign of sludge or gook. He didn't have those strips or whatever to check for water in the oil, but he bled some out at the filter or pump and said he saw no sign of water, oil looked good. He also checked the amperage drawn by the new motor and said it looked okay.
If it might make some difference: the oil tank is right outside the wall where the furnace is, but higher by about maybe 5-6 feet to the base of the oil tank, (though I think both lines come out the top) the basement being mostly below grade. It's a two-pipe system, though (and if I'm right I'm kind of understanding that 2-pipe systems may be undesirable when the tank is above the furnace level?) I also noticed that the oil company doesn't put Hot 4-in-1 additive in every time, but they do put it in (maybe only in winter?).
The plumber's stumped (and this is getting expensive), I'm stumped, any ideas? As I mentioned the system has been running for years without a problem. He speculated the new fuel pump might be bad too, maybe, but what are the odds of that, plus it seems to me if it were bad it just wouldn't run, not run then seize up (but I don't know enough about fuel pumps). Thanks in advance!


    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,478
    A new motor and a new fuel pump and the motor still doesn't spin? Was the coupling replaced? It could be too long. 
  • seized123
    seized123 Member Posts: 290
    Yup, it doesn't spin at first but then when I free it by turning the fan it spins for at least one cycle of reheating the hot water, maybe more, then after a day or two it gums up again. He did put in a new coupler too   but I guess that's still a suspect, though I'd guess if it were too long it would either stay jammed when I try to free it or jam up again quickly?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,162
    Is the fan binding on something?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,378
    Keep hacking away with a plumber. Why is it getting expensive if he doesn't know what he's doing?
    Maybe you need a competent oil burner tech.
    Robert O'Brien
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 14,543
    It's either the motor or pump or coupling binding

    Pull the motor and fan out when it is bound up (instead of spinning the fan) and try turning the pump. It should turn but will have resistance. Make sure the coupling isn't too long.

    Make sure the pump and motor are mounted correctly and the right rotation on both
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,522
    Where are you located?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • seized123
    seized123 Member Posts: 290
    Thank you all so far, and EBEBRATT-EdI will do that. Located in far suburb of NYC, Hot in summer, cold in winter.
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,478
    seized123 said: Located in far suburb of NYC, 
    Who are you, BATMAN? 
    Is the fuel pump and burner motor OEM for your burner?
    Are they new? Not remanufactured?
    You shouldn't be "prying and pushing" on the burner fan to get your burner to work, obviously. As mentioned, you're going to need someone with a tad more experience. Which is why you were asked where you are located. Maybe someone here can swing by and smack it with a dead Flounder. That might start it too.

  • pjm
    pjm Member Posts: 1
    seized 123: I only saw this post now but I have been going through this for over a year and have just learned that the biofuel being blended into the regular heating oil seems to be the issue. I have also learned that suntec seems to be aware of this and has put disclaimers with their pumps pertaining to this condition. So far the only solution I am aware of is to add significant quantities of oil treatment until it stops. I also am located n the far suburbs of nyc