Beckett oil burner won't stay running

jim357November 20, 2007

I have a beckett oil burner that is one year old and I can not keep it running. Today I replaced the nossel, the eye and the filter. It will come on with what looks like a good flame and then after a few seconds it just goes off. It is part of a combination furnace and I have found that if I open the load door and start the burner by holding the door switch I can keep it running. If I get it to run for a little while it will stay running. Does anyone have any idea whats wrong ?

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tmajor

Don't know a thing about them! However, if if works as it should, while you are holding the door switch "in a position, it should be in", I'd suspect that switch isn't adjusted correctly. ?? Or is faulty.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 7:43PM
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baymee

The cad cell eye is seeing a faulty initial flame, but the flame clears up and satisfies the eye, after a longer period of time than the primary control allows, is what you are describing.

So do you have a poor initial flame? Does alot of smoke come out of the chimney on start-up?

Has the unit been cleaned? Is the eye aimed properly at the flame. It could even be a faulty primary control. If the control is bad, it's still under warranty.

Did this problem just start on its own or was it after you did something to the unit?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 10:20PM
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joeplumb

Both good ideas. To test the door switch, tape it closed and close the door. If it works, it was not making good contact and should be adjusted as Tmajor said.
If it is the cad cell not "seeing" the flame, you bypass the eye by TEMPORARILilY jumpering the F-F terminals on the R8184, start it up and verify the flame. If the system works then it is what Baymee suggests. However, if it still goes out, then look for other things like inadequate fuel flow, air in the lines, a faulty transformer, or the R8184 controller itself. Make sure you REMOVE THE JUMPER after this test since it would be very dangerous to run the burner without the flame verification.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 12:54AM
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jim357

I eliminated the door switch by leaving the the load door closed and opening the clean out door. I will try jumping out the cad cell tomorrow and let you know the results.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 6:53PM
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mr_havac

Correction to joeplumbs suggestion, start the burner "then" jumper F and F. If you put the jumper on first the burner won't start.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 9:04PM
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baymee

I refrained from pointing that out.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 9:07PM
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jim357

Where do I find F & F, its a sealed unit with push on terminals on the bottom. Do I remove the two from the cad cell on the bottom and then run the jumper from there ?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 7:56PM
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baymee

f&f are connected onto the bottom of the primary control.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 10:03PM
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mr_havac

"I refrained from pointing that out."
I almost did too baymee, but if not it could mean someone shooting down a perfectly good relay.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 10:42PM
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jim357

Thanks for all the help, but I finally threw in the towel and called a service guy. He said the nossle was parially plugged and that the air was to hard. Not sure what that means, but he said he adjusted the the air intake on the side a little, cleaned it up, replaced the nossle, and positioned the cad cell a little. It has been working ever since.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 6:01PM
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mr_havac

I hope he used instruments instead of just eyeballed the flame on that Beckett.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 7:02PM
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hiteckcwby

I just started having almost the exact same problem yesterday. I checked the fuel line and that doesn't appear to have any supply problem.

Where exactly is the 'eye' on the Beckett (model AF) oil burner unit?

As far as the nozzle goes, are you talking about the Delevan 70 degree Type B Nozzle? Where would I find that on the unit?

I wish I could find a schematic of the unit so I wouldn't have to ask annoying questions...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 8:20AM
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baymee

The eye is located under the transformer. It should have 2 yellow leads. Each burner uses its own range of nozzles. You will see the nozzle tube assy. under the transformer too. It is attached on the left side of the case.

However, you will need special instruments to set up your flame and air supply. You will also be dealing with a fuel pump and bleeding oil after you're done, as well as ignition points. You are also working around 120V of electricity. The eye has to be aimed properly for it to work.

You can get hurt. I would search the net for alot of information before you attempt to work on this.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 11:24AM
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hiteckcwby

I'm pretty mechanically inclined but I don't tackle projects that I feel get me in over my head. I'm just going to do a little cleaning which is preventative maintenance that I didn't realize had to be done when I purchased this house.

Maybe I should describe my problem...(I think the problem is with the transformer, personally). The furnace fires just fine, never a skip. There are no bubbles in the line when I bleed it. It just stops heating randomly until I manually press the red reset button on the transformer (Honeywell R8184G 1427).

The thermostat will signal the furnace to start and it does. After several minutes, the blower will continue to run but there is no combustion in the chamber until I press the reset bottun. Then, it fires every time and stays on for a random period of time of between 10 & 20 minutes.

Any ideas?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 12:16PM
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tmajor

It could be the Honeywell.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 1:44PM
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hiteckcwby

OK... here is my resolution. I'm posting a little extra for the next person that is searching for this answer.

Don't forget to disconnect the power before disassembling!

1. Changed the filter on the tank and the air filter

2. Disconnected the fuel line from the intake on the oil pump

3. Removed the outer housing of the intake and cleaned the filter screen and replaced the gasket

4. Reassembled the intake and turned the power back on

5. Checked the voltage on the transformer (Honeywell R8184G) - tested good

6. Bled out the fuel line and started the furnace

7. Tested the eye sensor by jumping the 2 Yellow wires AFTER the pump was started and combustion was taking place.
a. Combustion ceased after 5 minutes and the blower continued to run
b. Killed the power and opened up the housing that has the eye senson. It is the black box right next to the transformer. Remove the 2 screws on the back side and it will tip open towards you on a hinge.
c. Sensor was dirty. Cleaned it with a dry, clean cloth and reassembled everything.
d. Fired up the furnace - SUCCESS!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 5:27PM
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baymee

Congratulations! You did well.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 6:04PM
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tmajor

Thanks for posting the "means and end". Many times nothing is posted, so another reader has no idea, nor does anybody participating have any idea, how things turned out.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 7:33PM
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mr_havac

"5. Checked the voltage on the transformer (Honeywell R8184G) - tested good"
* Sorry, but that is not the transformer. Having 110 V coming into this only means you have power going to the Cad Cell Relay
"7. Tested the eye sensor by jumping the 2 Yellow wires AFTER the pump was started and combustion was taking place."
* Sorry, jumpering this when you did did absolutely nothing. By jumpering the yellow wires you prevented the Cad Cell Relay from shutting down the burner in case you lost the flame.
"b. Killed the power and opened up the housing that has the eye senson. It is the black box right next to the transformer. Remove the 2 screws on the back side and it will tip open towards you on a hinge."
* Sorry, "this" is actually the transformer' While the burner is running you have 110 primary volts going in and either 10,000 or 12,000 secondary volts going out to the electrodes, which you apparently failed to check but happens to be one of the big culprits for no heat calls on poorly maintained burners.
"c. Sensor was dirty. Cleaned it with a dry, clean cloth and reassembled everything."
* If the sensor, (cad cell) was dirty something is wrong. There is no combustion taking place where the cad cell is located. If you had to clean it you have a very dirty fire, which will slowly plug up the unit. You did nothing to prevent the eye from getting dirty again. I can almost guarantee you that some time during the course of the heating season you are going to have a very unpleasant experience by way of a badly sooted and plugged heating system. Statistics say possibly in the middle of the night on one of the coldest nights of the year!
I don't mean to insult you but as far as servicing an oil burner goes you did an incomplete job.
baymee! tsk, tsk, hey man you're a good burner tech, you shoulda picked up on this. Must be an off day or you didn't really read the whole post. You're forgiven :-)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 10:26PM
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baymee

xxx :) xxx

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 5:35AM
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baymee

With an AF burner, the unit must have some age on it. The eye could have a build-up from soot over a long period of time. If he cleaned the eye, this may not give a problem for a long time.

Let's see how it works out.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 4:55PM
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mr_havac

But where did the soot build up come from? Lack of cleaning and annual maintenance. If the soot is on the cad cell its also inside the chamber. Once soot starts to collect you know what happens. I'll bet you a bottle of schnapps the retention head is pretty dirty!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 6:51PM
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baymee

sounds like a tasty bet

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 9:50PM
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joeplumb

If the furnace ran for 5 minutes AFTER jumpering the cad terminals and then stopped with the jumpers in place should have ruled OUT the cad cell, unless he removed the jumpers immediately after the flame was established. If the latter was the case, then indeed it was dirty/ mispositioned cad cell or a weak flame and his cleaning could have solved a marginal problem, just barely, but probably not for long.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 11:46PM
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markjames

Not sure I understand the testing methodology. Was the cad cell checked for resistance while running? Should be 1600 Ohms or less preferably 300 to 1000 Ohms. Before the cad cell is tested you should make sure the unit is seated properly, aimed properly, cleaned off and that no wires are frayed, pinched or cracked.

Without a pump pressure tester, smoke spot tester, wet kit or electronic combustion analyzer you're dealing with unknowns. The best you can do is start at OEM Specs and set the flame by eye.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 10:45AM
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baymee

""Before the cad cell is tested you should make sure the unit is seated properly, aimed properly, cleaned off and that no wires are frayed, pinched or cracked.""

Also, make sure that no external light can enter through any damaged sealed area, like under the transformer edges.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 4:04PM
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mr_havac

markjames and baymee, not to drift from this post but I have a question hopefully one of you can answer. Do either of you know how much air is consummed with a gallon of oil? For some reason 2000 cfm sticks in my head. I don't know if I got that from a training seminar once or I'm thinking of something totally different. I can't seem to find the correct number among all the info I have but I'm having a debate with a guy I know. He has a problem keeping some boilers clean and I tell him he's starving them for air. He says I'm nuts, I say maybe so, but not about that. The basements are average size but very tight. Either of you have the actual cfm?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 10:19PM
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joeplumb

One gallon weighs about 7.5 lb and each pound combines with at least 14.7 lb (stoichometric) of air; with air at .075lb/cubic ft, I get
14.7/.075= 196 cubic feet per lb of oil and
7.5*196= 1470 cubic ft/gal
With excess air of 25% you could get around 2000 cubic ft, but keep in mind your nozzles are rated in GPH, so the cfm number is
2000/60(nozzle size) A .75GPH nozzle would then require
2000/60/.75=44 cfm

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 11:22PM
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mr_havac

Thanx joe, see here's the thing, these are old loose buildings situated in northern New England so these systems run a considerable amount of time. Because the foundations leak he thinks there's enough combustion air and I'm suspecting its not pulling in make up air quick enough. Every one that soots up has a strong combustion odor which he blames on them sooting up and I'm saying it because they're pulling from the barometric.
If I win that bottle of schnapps from baymee I might have to use it to bet this other guy! :-0

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 11:41AM
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joeplumb

MrHVAC,
You may have to get a combustion gas analysis to prove or disprove your contention. I wouldn't take bets on the outcome.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 3:15PM
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mr_havac

There are 37 buildings with oil burners. The only ones that are giving any trouble are the ones in small dug out cellar holes of old farm houses that have been converted to offices etc. I think a simpler test would be to spend some time down there and monitor the barometric. I wouldn't be surprised that at some point the draft will reverse itself and fumes will be drawn out of the flue.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 10:57PM
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baymee

The only problem with the baro theory is that if the weight is adjusted properly, the flap should be closed under any positive pressure against it from the chimney side.

I can't answer the air volume question at the moment, but I can try to get an answer from our engineers. However, when Labor and Industry of PA came to our business, he stated the state regulations for the size of the combustion air inlet for our two boilers. They total about 400,000 btuh and the required inlet was about the size of a small window pane, but that info is also at work.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 6:15AM
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markjames

Even in old construction homes with higher infiltration many furnaces, boilers, water heaters and dryers don't have adequate combustion air. Older homes sometimes get the triple or quadruple whammy when they have multiple fuel burning equipment, dryer vents, older inefficient equipment, poor draft, unlined outside chimneys, or big water gravity conversion systems with cold return water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Combustion Air Chart

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 9:47AM
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mr_havac

Good point baymee, I'll have to contemplate that one but also check to see if the draft is in fact adjusted correctly. Mark, thanx for that chart, thats really helpfull, I'm printing that as we speak. You work in a northern climate too as I recall. You probably see the same thing all the time too, people blocking off their combustion air vents because of the cold air coming in and the fear of freezing pipes. Thats why I think the "fan in a can" is such a good idea.
We seemed to have comandeered this "Beckett burner won't stay running" post, but I believe we've all told him all he has to know to make a decision on what to do.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 10:03AM
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baymee

Mr.havac, When I have a tough question, I take it to Big Jim. He has 45 years in oil service.

He says that there is enough space around the baro damper to allow air to be sucked from the chimney and into the room, hence, using chimney air to fuel the fire in a tight room.

Also, air can come down the chimney and fuel the fire, causing sooting. Look at the damper and see if it's black from soot in the horizontal plain near the flap. Sort of like two way traffic on a one way street.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 11:26AM
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wesc2g

Beckett AF/AFG Oil Burner Manual

http://www.beckettcorp.com/protect/techsuppt/product-manuals/6104%20BAFG%20R02%203706.pdf

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 7:55PM
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wesc2g

Beckett AF/AFG Oil Burner Manual

http://www.beckettcorp.com/protect/techsuppt/product-manuals/6104%20BAFG%20R02%203706.pdf

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 8:00PM
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ghand_westernhomesllc_com

I have a 3-4 year old Beckett burner AFG. Furnace quit running, HVAC contractor replaced the pump. Pressure at pump is 140PSI, oil bleeds ok, furnace starts, but then oil pressure falls off,oil flow stops, and furnace stops.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 8:00AM
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much2do

OK , great info , The cad eye is dirty on my beckett burner, what should I use to clean it. Eye glass cleaner? Q-Tips , paper towel and mild dish soap? Rubbing alcohol? They all seem like good solutions ? brake cleaner? That seems like the right choice. I could be wrong and smear the eye. If I purchase a new Igniter assembly , would the eye be preset or is this one of those setting that must be checked and set if need be. So that leads me to ask , what specialty tool or tools would be needed to accomplish a complete safe adjustment of the CAD EYE.
Thanks in advance

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 8:28AM
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much2do

OMITTED from my last post , You see hiteckcwby used a dry clean cloth . Would touching the cad eye move it from it's pre- set position?
The 2 screws and retainer tabs , hold down the Igniter housing cover. The Transformer is located in the Honey Well controller housing.
Thanks for the link , (wesc2g)
Thanks to all who are contributing to a safe home owners experience.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 8:47AM
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