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EK1 Cad Cell Issue?

NEMatt
NEMatt Member Posts: 41
I've noted this issue maybe 5 or so times over the past month with a my EK1. (May have happened more while asleep etc).

Heat call, blower motor kicks on, burner kicks on, normal (sounds stable) combustion noise can be heard for probably 10 or 15 seconds, burner and blower shut off though the burner light is still illuminated on the Manager, after another 10 or 15 seconds everything restarts without intervention and runs fine.

Guessing this has something to do with the cad cell not witnessing combustion properly and shutting the works down? How would I go about troubleshooting such an intermittent event?

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,002
    It may not be a cad cell issue at all. What make/model of primary control? Newer ones log data and provide some clues for troubleshooting.
    If it's a recycling primary, you may have a vacuum leak and losing prime (oil) and the burner shuts off. Then it recycles and fires fine (ish).
    Could be a loose wire somewhere too. Could be dirty and needs a cleaning. Could be partially plugged nozzle, weak transformer, sticking oil valve, and on and on.

    All troubleshooting can and should be performed by a qualified tech with the right tools and skills. A meter goes a long way to easily troubleshoot most components.
    As does a full combustion test, and properly set up burner.
    steve
    SuperTech
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    Carlin 60200-02. BIG red button style. Definitely does not look like it could log anything. Wires at those terminals look tight.

    Nozzle replacement, electrode cleaning, etc etc was done in late October. I'm guessing you mean a combustion meter?... I have DMMs and clamp meters aplenty :)
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,002
    DMM, vacuum and pressure gauge, smoke gun, Combustion Analyzer.
    steve
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    I read the manual for the Carlin 60200-02 and it doesn't seem to be acting quite as they describe.

    Manual says if the 15 second TFI window times out without seeing flame, the burner goes into lockout and manual reset via the red button is required. (I don't ever have to press anything so I don't think it is locked out)

    It also says if the burner is operating correctly but loses flame after the TFI window, it will recycle after 65 seconds. (The restart of the burner is more like 10-15 seconds as mentioned above)

    I guess I can try to sprint to the basement within 15 seconds and see what the amber and red lights on the control unit are doing :D
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,002
    So why aren’t you calling your service provider again?
    steve
    Robert O'BrienSuperTech
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    Um, because "run for the hills and call a pro" isn't my default setting as an engineer, particularly if I can easily troubleshoot something (which is what I am trying to ascertain)?
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,002
    You can’t easily troubleshoot it, just like you can’t do open heart surgery. Despite being an engineer, you don’t have the skills to accomplish the task at hand.
    Too many variables.
    steve
    HVACNUTSuperTech
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,920
    Just like I can repair your burner but I can't operate a Choo Choo Train as well as you. I could shovel the coal and blow the whistle, but after that I'd be lost.
    STEVEusaPASuperTech
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,722
    edited February 10
    You can check the eye with ohm meter , First check if the eye is clean , The fire is proper and it has a clear line of site with a clean end cone .... The eye should read below 1400 ohms disconnected from control ... I like to see below 800 ohm .. If all is good you need to check for a flame out ...

    If the eye needs to be replaced , replacing it complete with the holder and leads is a better practice ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    HVACNUT said:

    Just like I can repair your burner but I can't operate a Choo Choo Train as well as you. I could shovel the coal and blow the whistle, but after that I'd be lost.

    More of a DoD engineer than a choo choo engineer, but what man doesn't enjoy trains? :)
    SuperTech
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,002
    @Big Ed_4 You're not really helping. If the eye is dirty, that's a problem that needs to be addressed, not just wiped off.
    Just reading under 1400 ohms doesn't tell anyone much about if the burner is operating properly, mostly draft, smoke, CO, and excess air.
    The best advice on anything combustion, and most things oil burners (and gas/propane), is it's best to leave it to a competent professional with the proper tools and skills.
    steve
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,920
    Going into recycle, I would lean more towards an oil delivery problem rather than a control problem. 
  • Alan Welch
    Alan Welch Member Posts: 255
    To further complicate things, the cad cell on Energy Kinetics products  usually  has a pressure  (puff) switch wired in series, and a poor draft overfire will or can cause burner lockout.  Much better than a"puffback" caused by a blocked chimney base or dirty boiler.   Another reason to have a competent tech service it.
    SuperTech
  • brnrman1
    brnrman1 Member Posts: 28
    @NEMatt , your heating professional will have combustion and draft testing equipment and will also be familiar with all of the components on the burner and fuel supply. Based on the information in this thread, we would recommend normal diagnostic testing be performed, and as @Alan Welch mentions, also a cold start test to see if you have poor draft causing the "Puff Switch" (Blocked Vent Switch) to open that can result in a burner recycle as your chimney heats and generates draft.
    "Mitch"
    Roger Mitchell
    Senior Technical Representative
    Energy Kinetics
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    Yeah I'll probably call a pro this time. I just dislike throwing up my hands as this seems a fairly straightforward troubleshooting exercise with the right equipment. Not a very complex system with a ton of electronics or adjustment variables. Far simpler for instance than troubleshooting an intermittent misfire in a car. For the cost of like 4 years of annual boiler tuneups I could own a combustion analyzer and smoke gun ;). Already have the rest of the tools. Hmmmm.
    Alan Welch
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,920
    Keeping the stereotype alive. Love it.
    STEVEusaPASuperTech
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    And what stereotype would that be?
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,920
    NEMatt said:
    And what stereotype would that be?
    That you're awesome! CHOO CHOO!!
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    Sigh.  Maybe there are just more professionals on this forum than homeowners.  Dont want to reveal that dark voodoo burner troubleshooting magic they wield lol.  Thumbing through the yellow pages now to find a pro.  Cant believe I almost made the grievous mistake of wanting to learn to  DIY something! Close call!
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,002
    Matt you're being a baby. No one is hiding their secrets from you. You don't have the skills or the tools, or the knowledge to fix it.
    We're all volunteers here. But there is a point of where helping turns into a constant back and forth burden. And there is a safety issue here.
    Any time I touch a burner, I do a complete combustion test. More because it's the professional thing to do to make sure the burner is operating properly, safely, and at maximum efficiency. But the other is liability issue. If I leave a house, something happens and I end up in court, one of the first questions is going to be "Do you have a copy of your combustion test, how the burner was operating when you left". If the answer is 'no', I instantly lose, and who knows maybe personally liable too. I've never been to court but know people who have.
    I'm sorry that you don't want to call in a competent tech and want to trial and error this, but I'm not up for the ride.
    If you do, and the tech knows their stuff, they'll be happy to answer all your inquiring mind questions. But after that you still shouldn't attempt to work on your own equipment. Just like many things mechanical or even in life, the same initial problem can have many causes, right?

    ___________

    @HVACNUT I'd bet he's an electrical engineer. My cousin in an electrical engineer. Builds, even invented some technology for MRI machines and other medical equipment. I told him I'll answer any questions, help him any way with his hvac. But if he touches one thing, I'll never help him again. :) But we have a different relationship where I can tell him to F off when he sends me a pic of him holding a thermometer next to his thermostat, and shooting it with a thermal imaging camera and wants to know why they are all a few degrees different.
    steve
    HVACNUT
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    Oh please, the magic thing was a joke and you know it.

    Mechanical engineer. Wouldn't have said the E word had I known it was taboo around here lol. I dunno, some people just enjoy the act of troubleshooting and working through a problem logically. Cars, motorcycles, other house issues, systems I work on for the USN, etc etc. I am just more apt to buy the necessary tools, learn about it, and do it myself. The fact that a problem could have multiple initial causes is what makes the puzzle enjoyable! Though I do understand the safety concern.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,920
    I'm always happy to help, in a safe way. It's just what you've written between the lines is a tad condescending and pompous. And that's the stereotypical engineer. But I've always been a bit of a wiseass so nobody's perfect. 
    STEVEusaPASuperTech
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    Ah, well didnt mean it to be. Most of my troubleshooting methodology and enjoyment comes from building/fixing cars over the years rather than my actual job :D
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,920
    edited February 12
    See, I wish I could work on car engines. I've tinkered. Headers, Moroso ignition system, cat back exhaust, KnN filter charger, and many other bolt on's. I was heading for a Paxton supercharger but had a couple kids instead. But a cam swap or cylinder bore? No way. Out of my league without years of training and hands on.

  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,722
    I gave you the meat and potatoes , to check the eye ... If good , I would assume the flame is dropping out .... One would have to sit and watch for that ..
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,643
    The Energy Kinetics system 2000 is a different animal than other oil fired boilers. You don't have a barometric damper or anywhere to look at the flame. I wouldn't let my apprentice attempt to troubleshoot that boiler and set the combustion properly with the right tools, nevermind a homeowner. 
    I understand where you are coming from as a mechanical engineer,  but even if you had all the same tools as I do thats only part of what you need to perform effective troubleshooting.  Knowledge and tools are much help without experience on how to use them. 

    Please don't call just anyone from the yellow pages or internet.  You should call someone who is familiar with Energy Kinetics boilers or you could end up with a worse situation. 
    HVACNUT
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,920
    One hundred percent agree with @SuperTech. Call EK and they can put you in touch with certified dealers in your area. If needed, the tech can contact tech support or the territory manager while on site.
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 41
    @SuperTech yup I talked to EK in October and made sure I got someone who was a certified installer to do the annual service on it. I live like 20 minutes from their HQ so a lot of people around here are familiar.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,185
    If you had a meter on the burner power supply, you could find out if it shut down to to a loss of power, or if it is indeed a burner issue. I have had rare instances where the limit aquastat was bad and caused it to shut down.
    However, it does sound like it is going in to recycle, which would be a burner issue.
    Rick
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