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Problems after using Biofuel for the first time

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mitchxy
mitchxy Member Posts: 7
I filled my 275 gallon tank for the first time with B20 fuel. The very next day, the heat did not turn on automatically. I pressed the reset on the Riello 40 F5 and it started and worked fine the whole day. Same routine the next day. And the next. For the next few weeks, it might have worked on it's own a few times. But usually would start right up once reset. Another thing I noticed was that the smell of oil was stronger than I ever noticed.

I was told by an oil dealer that since Biofuel has different chemical properties that makes it cleaner and it also has solvent properties, it probably dissolved some of the built in sludge on the walls of my very old oil tank. This in turned may have clogged the oil filter that was just changed a few months prior. So I changed both filters on my own and saw that the first filter was much dirtier than the second filter. If it was dirtier than normal, I don't know since I've never changed the filter myself before. The next day, it started on it's own. I did it! Patted myself on the back. Was fine for the next few days, then back to mostly NOT working. I also noticed that pressing the reset button now resulted in a 20-30 delay in spraying, and it got worse a couple of days later where it took 2-3 minutes before spraying.
As I said, the filters and nozzle were changed a few months prior by an HVAC tech. Is he qualified to diagnose the situation? Any clues as to what is happening?
Thanks!
Mad Dog_2

Comments

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,924
    edited March 2023
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    Yup..my buddy who maintains his Buderus G215 w Riello that me ansays the EXACT same thing. mad Dog
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,924
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  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,835
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    20-30 delayed ignition?
    On that Riello, it should be a 10 second pre purge then a 5 second trial for ignition. 
    Unfortunately there's nothing DIY left for you to do. You need a competent oil tech who will do the repair and finalize with smoke, draft, and combustion tests.  
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 833
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    Could very well be a fuel issue. The main variable you introduced was B20 biodiesel. Biodiesel is 'famous/notorious'...for having a scrubbing or detergent effect in a former 100% diesel system. Maybe check filters again? Elements are inexpensive. Then...its just your time checking, changing elements (if dirty) and bleeding the system. Bring in a pro for tuning the burner and a combustion test.
  • BDR529
    BDR529 Member Posts: 285
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    B20 as far as you know. Seen cases of up to 80% Bio, stratification is another issue.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
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    Well the simple way to tell is to take a sample of the oil. Then check the filter, strainer, nozzle. Flush the line, and set up combustion.
    Could be bad bio stock, or bad handling/storage of the fuel.
    Even if it were fuel related, I'd doubt it would happen right after fueling the tank. I would guess any fill, into a very old tank, especially if the initial level were low, would stir up all the crap that contaminates the filter, line, strainer and nozzle.
    We had more than one customer in this situation, where the only thing they would let us do was to add an additive with every fill, and they would turn their furnace off and leave it off for 2 hours after a fill. Otherwise it was this type of problem every time. This was long before bio, too.
    steve
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 997
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    If it's not the oil, then your oil pump might be suffering the effects from the bio fuel.
    The new pumps are bio-compatible. You will want a pro for this repair.
  • mitchxy
    mitchxy Member Posts: 7
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    In 15 years since installed new, never had this happen before. Worked 100% of the time, except for a few times in the past when I ran out of oil LOL! Couldn't be a coincidence that it started happening right after using BioFuel for the first time. I may change the filter again, but clogging a brand new filter in just 5 days?

  • mitchxy
    mitchxy Member Posts: 7
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    Would an HVAC guy be competent enough to do testing? All he's ever done for me was annual maintenance, not troubleshoot. Never had problems before. Or do I need a different type of pro?

    Thanks.

  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 508
    edited March 2023
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    "Couldn't be a coincidence that it started happening right after using BioFuel for the first time."

    Why not? That's why there's a word for it. Suspicious would be just as good a word, but your 15 year old (!) system might have been teetering on lockout with standard #2 and the slight difference in bio may have put it past the tolerance. It's possible.

    Personally, I think as the others have said that it could be a cleaning effect of the bio in an old tank. Filter elements are cheap - pull the element and check again. If it's again dirty, you may have to keep replacing filters regularly until the tank has cleaned itself of loose junk, or considering putting in a draw tube from the top of the tank if it doesn't have one now.

  • gimmedaheat
    gimmedaheat Member Posts: 3
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    Mitchxy & MadDog. New to this post, but same problemo in my system=
    Riello 40 F5 burner bundled w/ Buderus G115-5, installed 20 yrs ago, running great till Feb 2021 when 3 wks after receiving a postcard from my oil supplier announcing they were going to B20, I got my first B20 delivery. Within days following that fill, the system began misbehaving dramatically. Long story short, calls to both Riello tech support & Buderus confirm that the Riello 40 F5 burner is only rated up to B5; anything beyond B5 is a crapshoot & you're in uncharted waters. For me that means, despite good combustion numbers during daytime operation-
    typically-
    12.6% CO2
    3.9% O2
    70ppm CO
    Excess Air 21-22%
    once the stack temp has, more or less, reached its destination 375F & the boiler water temp hits 180F...

    I'll have, UNFORTUNATELY, regular morning lockouts (w/ the classic "HEATING ERROR" or "DHW ERROR" on the Logamatic 2107....)

    Sometimes it's off & running w/ a simple reset. Othertimes, more grumpy & I need to play w/ the Air to get it going, but EOD, to maintain Zero Smoke, I need the air damper setting beyond 2.25, but anything as high as 2.5 guarantees morning lockouts when the system wakes up, prioritizing DHW production. So, there's a sweet spot in between, but each delivery upsets that slightly. The Riello guy emphasized that my system is touchy b/c I'm burning a fuel (whose viscosity, atomization properties, etc.) for which the 40 F5 is not rated...
    Anyhow, guessing that when my system was set up 20 yrs ago, my supplier was at B0/B5, and that my burner later managed the jump to B10, but the recent move to B20 is well beyond its comfort zone.
    Wondering- MitchXY, any luck on your end?
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,541
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    Mitchxy & MadDog. New to this post, but same problemo in my system=
    Riello 40 F5 burner bundled w/ Buderus G115-5, installed 20 yrs ago, running great till Feb 2021 when 3 wks after receiving a postcard from my oil supplier announcing they were going to B20, I got my first B20 delivery. Within days following that fill, the system began misbehaving dramatically. Long story short, calls to both Riello tech support & Buderus confirm that the Riello 40 F5 burner is only rated up to B5; anything beyond B5 is a crapshoot & you're in uncharted waters. For me that means, despite good combustion numbers during daytime operation-
    typically-
    12.6% CO2
    3.9% O2
    70ppm CO
    Excess Air 21-22%
    once the stack temp has, more or less, reached its destination 375F & the boiler water temp hits 180F...

    I'll have, UNFORTUNATELY, regular morning lockouts (w/ the classic "HEATING ERROR" or "DHW ERROR" on the Logamatic 2107....)

    Sometimes it's off & running w/ a simple reset. Othertimes, more grumpy & I need to play w/ the Air to get it going, but EOD, to maintain Zero Smoke, I need the air damper setting beyond 2.25, but anything as high as 2.5 guarantees morning lockouts when the system wakes up, prioritizing DHW production. So, there's a sweet spot in between, but each delivery upsets that slightly. The Riello guy emphasized that my system is touchy b/c I'm burning a fuel (whose viscosity, atomization properties, etc.) for which the 40 F5 is not rated...
    Anyhow, guessing that when my system was set up 20 yrs ago, my supplier was at B0/B5, and that my burner later managed the jump to B10, but the recent move to B20 is well beyond its comfort zone.
    Wondering- MitchXY, any luck on your end?

    Increase pump pressure and reduce nozzle size to compensate. A refractory blanket on the floor will help also, 70 PPM isn't a good number. You may need to adjust turbulator setting as well as air gate to fine tune. B20 will work just fine in your application , it does in 1000's of others. You didn't mention draft reading?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    gimmedaheatMikeAmann
  • PatN
    PatN Member Posts: 19
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    Started using B-20 in 2013. I didn't have any issues for the first 2-3 years. Around year 3 I had a sticking valve stem on the Riello BF-3. At that time December 2016, I decided to have the underground tank cleaned ( fiberglass tank installed 1993). After the cleaning I started using Beckett Fuel Armor since then I have not had any issues. I am contemplating stopping the fuel armor treatment
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,541
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    PatN said:

    Started using B-20 in 2013. I didn't have any issues for the first 2-3 years. Around year 3 I had a sticking valve stem on the Riello BF-3. At that time December 2016, I decided to have the underground tank cleaned ( fiberglass tank installed 1993). After the cleaning I started using Beckett Fuel Armor since then I have not had any issues. I am contemplating stopping the fuel armor treatment

    If it works, why stop?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • gimmedaheat
    gimmedaheat Member Posts: 3
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    RO'B- Many thx for weighing in. So....

    Most recent iteration: May 2023, burner tech from my local (recently declared B20) Oil Supplier dials my system back to the original [circa 2003] BuderusG115/Riello40F5w/LBT specified parameters-

    Turbulator: 1
    Air Gate: 2.75
    Nozzle: (unchanged) 0.85x60degB
    Pump Pressure: 180

    His numbers on the Testo 310:
    CO2:13.0%
    O2: 3.6%
    CO: don't recall, but no doubt better than my 70ppm at 12.6% CO2
    ZERO SMOKE

    Of course, these numbers while tuned to my specific BuderusG115/Riello40F5 combo, date to 2003 & pre-B20 days. Anyhow, from his POV good to go; he left. Fingers crossed. Next morning, 6am lockout when Logamatic woke system up to heat DHW. Reset [1 hit on the red button], Repeat, same deal, mornings #2, #3.

    Call back to oil supplier. Different burner tech. Changed porcelein. He [as you imagined] down-nozzled to 0.75, but pushed pump pressure up to 185. Might think these changes cancel, but idea was to improve atomization....
    He also drops the Air Gate to 2.25. Leaves. He's old school. No smoke test. No Analyzer.
    But..., it's up & running again. Next few weeks no lockouts, so I'm not asking questions, until I can see it's generating soot particles beneath the damper.

    So, I double back & do my own Smoke Test. Not good. It's like 2-3 on the Bacharach smoke scale. I play w/ the Air Gate & learn that 2.75 is hopelessly high and anything even remotely near 2.5 will trip a morning lockout, so I park it at 2.375, where my CO2 is a bit below max, and my CO a little high, but back to ZERO SMOKE, and no lockouts; at least until the my 100G summer delivery, 1 week ago.

    So now, unfortunately, AirGate@2.375 no good, the system is grumpy, and we're back to morning lockouts.
    Obviously, I'm running out of my bag of tricks.

    You mention moving the TURBULATOR SETTING.
    What direction? Why? And, how much? Grateful for any intuition there,
    since the real test involves my waiting to the following morning to see if a lockout occurs.

    Sorry, you asked for the draft #'s. Am out of town, but I recall that the tech w/ the Testo got over fire & stack numbers that made him happy, raising no eyebrows. Did not sense any issues at all in that regard....

    Of course, neither he nor I (nor anybody else...) is there 6am in the morning when the Logamatic wakes up, and (?) cool air has settled into the combustion chamber down thru my chimney.

    My 20-yr old oil tank is in great shape (looks brand new...) & sits 15 ft from the boiler in my basement. Not outside. Basement temp varies very slowly over the months from mid-50's (winter) to high-50's (summer).

    Sorry-
    You mention 70ppm CO not good. How good can it get for a Riello Burner w/ 9500hrs on it?
    With original pump and motor?
    The burner guy w/ the Testo might've gotten down into the mid 50's, but I don't think it fell much below that. My sense was anything <100ppm was ok. Of course, ideally 0 is best, but even on high-end Viessmann gas systems 10-15ppm seems common and burner guys leave it at that.

    Anyhow, apologies for the long post, but grateful for any comments. Thx.





  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 997
    edited July 2023
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    HVACNUT said:


    On that Riello, it should be a 10 second pre purge then a 5 second trial for ignition. 

    Is there any way to increase the TFI time?

  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,785
    edited July 2023
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    Switch to a "W" nozzle . It works best with a mixed oil I have found ..
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
    MaxMercy
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,541
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    Riello has no ignition carryover, it shuts off as soon as flame is detected, what's happening is the flame isn't stabilizing quickly enough when the boiler is cold. Higher pump pressure and a refractory blanket on boiler floor will help. You need someone who knows what they're doing. It has to be setup using a combustion analyzer by someone who knows what the numbers mean and how to get them where they should be.
    https://learning.noraweb.org/biodiesel-blends-quick-guide/
    Where are you located?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    STEVEusaPAMikeAmannSuperTech
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,835
    edited July 2023
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    MikeAmann said:

    On that Riello, it should be a 10 second pre purge then a 5 second trial for ignition. 
    Is there any way to increase the TFI time?
    No, not with the Riello. 
    MikeAmann
  • gimmedaheat
    gimmedaheat Member Posts: 3
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    Hi All, thx for weighing in to help a guy new to the trade...

    Big Ed- Will keep the W nozzle in mind; it was move made by the burner pro who helped me set up the system 20yrs ago. Helpful tip. He knew Riellos and got us on a trouble-free run for 16yrs....

    MA&Hnut- Confirmed. My Riello 40 F5 has a 10 sec PP [our house is in the stix of northern MA, dirt road, post & beam, nothin' but Mother Nature around; you can picture. No need for an alarm clock here. The master bdrm sits pretty much right above the burner in the basement. The PrePurge run @5:30AM starts the day for us all]. Yes, followed by 5sec TFI. It's music to my ears; at least when I have lift-off
    ;->

    RO'B-
    The pump is already pushed up to 180, the nozzle knocked down from 0.85 to 0.75. Last wk was up there again-
    My Draught #'s:
    Solidly pinned at -0.04" @Breech, and something a bit bouncy between zero & -0.01 (max) overfire. I'm just using the pocket draft-rite tool. The tube is 6-7" long, inserted halfway into observation port of the Buderus G115-5. At this pt, the locomotive is chugging 7-8 mins into the run & stack temp has plateau'd at 375.

    "You need someone who knows what they're doing"-
    My original Riello pro has retired.
    I've had 6 different burner guys at my place since Spring 2020, first B20 delivery.
    5 of them had 15+ yrs experience. They were great to talk to, happy to share wisdom.
    When each of them left, they had got the burner up and running. Everything looked good till 5:30am nxt morning, when lockout followed PP. I'm here. They're not. My house, my burner, I'm fixing it....

    "The flame isn't stabilizing quickly enough..."- You're definitely right, the flame is unstable upon first ignition of the day. That I can tell. Last time up, following morning lockout & reset, I got the beast going, no problem. CO still at 70ppm, but I can get that down w/ better mixing & moving the head a bit. Not the source of my lockout problem, just tuning...
    Later (its summer, so following morning DHW demands the burner sits quiet, I'm in basement late aft when, following 5-6 hr nap) the burner kicks in again, the PP starts, but burner "stumbles/falters" a bit on its first ignition attempt, before hitting its number & lighting up. Definitely a different feeling to it compared to the regular reignitions that occur few minutes later when the Logamatic is cycling the boiler temp thru its 170-180 loop with the DHW tank well on the way to its target temp. So, yes, it's the kick-off that's the killer. But why?

    "....when the burner is cold". Hmmm.... it's the dead of summer. I had no problems last winter, when the OA was -10F and much colder air found it's way down the chimney overnight. No lockouts then. My recent lockouts only started in March around the time that a) The oil company tech returned the Riello to its circa 2004 Buderus-dictated settings; air band=2.75, which I now know by itself can trigger a morning lockout despite giving good combustion numbers once up & running; guess it's just too much air for my 20yr old burner at kick-off,
    & b) I got my by last half fill of B20.

    Anyhow- Refractory Blanket. Simple & cheap fix, potentially. Obviously worth a try. Thx RO'B, will give it a shot, but...

    In meanwhile, I've just gotten 130G of #2 Oil delivered from different vendor, not B20.
    Am seeing if that, by itself, helps at all.

    Thx all for reading the post. Any further thoughts appreciated. Will report back.

    btw-
    jtcma, bought a Carlin EZ1-HP [rated to B100] to have on hand as a back-up this winter.

  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,541
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    Hi All, thx for weighing in to help a guy new to the trade...

    Big Ed- Will keep the W nozzle in mind; it was move made by the burner pro who helped me set up the system 20yrs ago. Helpful tip. He knew Riellos and got us on a trouble-free run for 16yrs....

    MA&Hnut- Confirmed. My Riello 40 F5 has a 10 sec PP [our house is in the stix of northern MA, dirt road, post & beam, nothin' but Mother Nature around; you can picture. No need for an alarm clock here. The master bdrm sits pretty much right above the burner in the basement. The PrePurge run @5:30AM starts the day for us all]. Yes, followed by 5sec TFI. It's music to my ears; at least when I have lift-off
    ;->

    RO'B-
    The pump is already pushed up to 180, the nozzle knocked down from 0.85 to 0.75. Last wk was up there again-
    My Draught #'s:
    Solidly pinned at -0.04" @Breech, and something a bit bouncy between zero & -0.01 (max) overfire. I'm just using the pocket draft-rite tool. The tube is 6-7" long, inserted halfway into observation port of the Buderus G115-5. At this pt, the locomotive is chugging 7-8 mins into the run & stack temp has plateau'd at 375.

    "You need someone who knows what they're doing"-
    My original Riello pro has retired.
    I've had 6 different burner guys at my place since Spring 2020, first B20 delivery.
    5 of them had 15+ yrs experience. They were great to talk to, happy to share wisdom.
    When each of them left, they had got the burner up and running. Everything looked good till 5:30am nxt morning, when lockout followed PP. I'm here. They're not. My house, my burner, I'm fixing it....

    "The flame isn't stabilizing quickly enough..."- You're definitely right, the flame is unstable upon first ignition of the day. That I can tell. Last time up, following morning lockout & reset, I got the beast going, no problem. CO still at 70ppm, but I can get that down w/ better mixing & moving the head a bit. Not the source of my lockout problem, just tuning...
    Later (its summer, so following morning DHW demands the burner sits quiet, I'm in basement late aft when, following 5-6 hr nap) the burner kicks in again, the PP starts, but burner "stumbles/falters" a bit on its first ignition attempt, before hitting its number & lighting up. Definitely a different feeling to it compared to the regular reignitions that occur few minutes later when the Logamatic is cycling the boiler temp thru its 170-180 loop with the DHW tank well on the way to its target temp. So, yes, it's the kick-off that's the killer. But why?

    "....when the burner is cold". Hmmm.... it's the dead of summer. I had no problems last winter, when the OA was -10F and much colder air found it's way down the chimney overnight. No lockouts then. My recent lockouts only started in March around the time that a) The oil company tech returned the Riello to its circa 2004 Buderus-dictated settings; air band=2.75, which I now know by itself can trigger a morning lockout despite giving good combustion numbers once up & running; guess it's just too much air for my 20yr old burner at kick-off,
    & b) I got my by last half fill of B20.

    Anyhow- Refractory Blanket. Simple & cheap fix, potentially. Obviously worth a try. Thx RO'B, will give it a shot, but...

    In meanwhile, I've just gotten 130G of #2 Oil delivered from different vendor, not B20.
    Am seeing if that, by itself, helps at all.

    Thx all for reading the post. Any further thoughts appreciated. Will report back.

    btw-
    jtcma, bought a Carlin EZ1-HP [rated to B100] to have on hand as a back-up this winter.

    Have an analyzer?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    STEVEusaPA
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 997
    Options


    In meanwhile, I've just gotten 130G of #2 Oil delivered from different vendor, not B20.
    Am seeing if that, by itself, helps at all.

    Thx all for reading the post. Any further thoughts appreciated. Will report back.

    btw-
    jtcma, bought a Carlin EZ1-HP [rated to B100] to have on hand as a back-up this winter.

    B)B)B)

  • mitchxy
    mitchxy Member Posts: 7
    Options
    I'm not sure if this is any indication, but it's a positive sign for me. I haven't done anything since I changed the filters myself. It was rocky at first, but seems to have settled in. Obviously, I don't heat during the summer, but the boiler still fires up intermittently on its own, I assume to heat the water in the coil.
    But I don't plan to use BioFuel any more.