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oil burner stops and starts midcycle (21 Posts)
oil burner stops and starts midcycleHello,
Im new to burners and not sure what is acceptable. We have a Burnham V-14A boiler its runs infrequently I would say 6-8 cycles per day its used primarily for a hot water and sometimes kicks on at night for heat (we use a pellet stove primarily for heat).
On occasion it will stop mid cycle and immediately restart this only happens on occasion it sometimes will go days without doing it, and sometimes it will do it several times in a day. Is this typical? I had someone out to look at it, and I described the problem as infrequent and they mentioned that it would not be completely abnormal for that to happen on occasion but if it was happening regularly there probably was a problem. I just moved into the house so Im not familiar with whats normal.
I was hoping for some more insight before I had someone come out and look at it. Only to not even have it have the behavior when they are here.
what primary control do you have?Sounds like the primary control is the culprit. I would say it is not a aquastat or water temp issue. Your primary control may also be part of your aquastat. Is it a Honeywell R8182H burner mounted control? Pics?
it is oran R8182J. Does it maintain some temp? I would say most likely an H control. It probably has a tankless coil. I also see an Amtrol indirect. What control is on it? Z or Smart control? How many zones? Thermostat location, brand and model?
what's with the....duct tape over the inspection door? It appears you have some serious positive pressure in the chamber, and at the very least you need a draft adjustment and cleaning. Hopefully, it's an old scortch mark.steve
midcycleWhat is your definition of a cycle? 10 sec. 2 sec. ? We all may have different ideas as to what a "cycle" could be. If the boiler has run and reached "high limit" it will "cycle" on after the temp. has dropped 10°F. This may not take a long time.
Maybe you have Taco zone valves ? When they begin to fail or if the thermostat is not adjusted correctly for them you could have a rapid cycle. That HW 8182H control looks like it has been there for a while, it could be failing due to age.
Need a little more info. , it is hard to say w/o being there. Oil heating equipment really "should" be serviced annually, if it has not been serviced lately maybe some one could diagnose the problem at that time.
controlThat is not the original control for that era. The reset button shows that. The inspection doors on those always had that burn mark, furnace cement will take care of that. The aluminum tape is covering where the plug always disappears.
more infoSorry for the lacking details.
Its been cleaned and serviced recently, prior to me buying the house 2 months ago. I also had someone walk through the system with me 2 weeks ago and tested it to make sure it wasnt having draft issues which it was not although it was a non windy day when he was here. He basically described it as a old system that had been meticulously cleaned on a regular basis although the outside of it certainly sais otherwise. I did describe the stopping mid cycle problem and he indicated if it happened on a regular basis it would need investigating more.
To answer some questions:
- maintains temperature fine ( I have run the heat a bit to test it out before it got brutally cold)
- 6 zones ( including the hot water )
- hot water tank is a Amtrol WH7P
- thermostats are old school mercury dial, but they are not used much its really just the hot water tank that is cycling most the time
My definition of midcycle while I haven't timed it, but if the cycle lasted 5 minutes it may stop at minute 3 for 2 seconds and continue on for 2 more minutes before shutting off. Again its not being run much its basically hot water, and it will kick on a couple times at night for heat.
How do I tell if its a H or J controller? Will it show inside? It certainly looks like a H controller if I go to honeywells webpage.
Im not sure what a Z or Smart Control is, but Id be happy to look if I get a touch more information about it.
Thanks for the questions and info so far.This post was edited by an admin on December 18, 2011 8:58 PM.
You have the H controlif it is maintaining temp. The J looks identical, but is a cold start control, meaning it will maintain no temp. Is you aquastat on the Amtrol digital or just a black knob? How is the house zoned? looks like you may have zone valves, and if so what brand, model? The mercury thermostats must be level, clibrated, and the amperage set to the zone valves that you have-anticipator setting. You could also have a bad zone valve with an end switch, or point problem. Can you get us more pics of the zones, piping?
more picturespictures speak better then me, I believe its a H controller it has a high and low temp setting which it sounds like the J controller does not
If it was one of the zone valves acting up would it happen when another zone is calling for heat? Its happened when the hot water zone has called for heat and its happened when others have called for heat as well. It was very cold last single digits so it ran a lot more last night Id say it's happening probably a 1/3 of the time it will start for a few minutes cut out for a second and then continue to run. I heard a few times where it it would stop and start in rapid succession 2-3 times before continuing on. I think Im going to have someone come out this week and take another look at it.
now I can seeAnother strong possibility is your low water cut off. That can do it too. You have a Smart control on your Amtrol. If it does it whether it's heat or hot water, than I would not consider the Boilermate as the problem. You may need to catch it in the act
low water cutoffIf it was a low water cutoff would it immediately restart?
Also if I was sitting in front of it and it happened how would I go about checking if it was the low water cutoff doing it?
Although Ive sat in front of it before it knows Im there. It also knows I called a heating repair person this morning because it hasn't done it the 3 times its ran today. :)
thanks for your suggestions
zone valveI see about five zone valves. Some gold powerheads and some are green. The green ones are older and may be part of the problem. WOW that's a big circulator pump.
A 40va 24v transformer will handle three zone valves, five zone valves would exceed what is accepted. It could cause the start /stop thing.Do you have more than one 24v transformer ?
The 8182 relay can do the start/stop thing too. There are two electromagnetic relays that close a set of points or contacts to make the pump and the burner run or "pull in". It works on a 24 volt transformer in the 8182 control, if the transformer is weak or if the contacts are oxidized or corroded or burnt the relay could pull in and then drop out.
The good thing about electrical problems is that they usually get worse and become easier to diagnose. Let us know the outcome and good luck.
relaysYes when I had someone by to walk me through the system there first comment was about the circulator and it was strange to see it on a non commercial application.
There are two transformers in junction boxes for the zone valves. I missed them in my pictures.
I do hear a buzzing from one of the relays in the 8182 I did take the cover off once and blow on it a bit and gave it a gentle tap and the buzzing went away for a cycle or two but then came back. I dont think the buzzing is important but I could be wrong. Would it be worthwhile to stare at the relays in the 8182 and make sure they are not flopping (pulling in and out) when the problem occurs?
I honestly suspect the system could have been doing this for years, Im just the first person who actually wants to find out why. Ive found other things in the house broke that just amaze me that someone lived with them broke for so long.
Hey, that's my boileralmost- mine had a Sunray FC burner and now has a Beckett NX, the circulator is smaller and it Pumps Away. No, I haven't got around to upgrading and downsizing yet. Maybe next year.....
That boiler does not have a tankless coil. The place where the probe is mounted is where a coil would be. So it should not have come with the R8182H control that maintains the boiler water at a certain temperature all the time.
With that rack of zone valves, replacing that big Taco circ with an ECM type that can adjust its flow rate based on how many ZVs are open is a no-brainer. Grundfos, Taco and Wilo all make such units."Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
BuzzThat is probably the burner relay.It is caused by rapid opening and closing of the contacts.Check all wire connections associated with TT in the aquastat.Check available volts at TT.
Flame failureOn r8182h
Mid cycle flame failure results in a 45 second retry
if fails again, lockout
Could be problem with control ( over cycle life) or an issue with the cad cell.
Loss of heat demand and re demand would cause pre-purge, and post purge.
furnacefighterFF15, no way dude, 8182 was before pre and post purge was invented. 45sec. and lock out, no retry.
You are rightno purging on that control.
Here's one:There is a possibility that one power head is failing. Which one?
As the piston in the wax motor travels down, it "makes" on the first switch which closes the contact on #2 and #3, starting the burner and circulator. It travels a little further and opens the last contact which stops the current to the coil which stops the wax from heating. As the wax and coil cool, the piston starts to travel backwards and closes the flow of current back to the coil, causing the valve to stay open, When the wax is failing, this very small movement gets smaller and barely makes the last contact. It then drops back farther and opens the first switch, breaking the TT circuit. Even though the coil is energized.
I have usually found which head is bad by pushing the manual by-pass lever down and looking for one that is calling but the lever doesn't go down as far as the others. It's probably a green power head. I think they changed to gold heads in 1980. They are original to the system. You must find which zone is calling when the problem occurs.
Also, the thermostats MUST be either Taco square thermostats or Honeywell T87's with the heat anticipators set at 1.2, Set at .04 will make them act up but they would have been addressed sooner. There was a thermostat supplied with that boiler when new that was a T884 that was square and had no mounting plate. The heat anticipator could only be set to a high of .07 or .08. They would short cycle. Often, installers used the one that came with the boiler as one thermostat and the rest were T87's set at .04. It was a cacophony of burner starts. Even if you set all the thermostat anticipators as high as you could, the one T884 would drive the customer nuts.
If you locate the problem down to one head because the lever won't go all the way down, push the lever all the way down. If the cycling stops, that's the bad head. Sometimes, they make a clicking noise that you hear in the system at night Like this: (an "X" equals a click Below is the rapidity of the clicks.
X X X X XX XXX XXXX XXXX XXX XX X X X Stop
Repeated. Bad head and/or valve plunger.
hasnt done it in the lasttwo days. Strangely the last time it happened was right before I opened and closed the controller box. Im wondering if I didnt move something in there that was acting goofy and for the short term its now behaving. Ive got someone coming out next week to probably replace the R8182H controller, they have one they want rid of basically I think they considered it a loss on there shelf so its not quite so pricey to me. We will look at the other possibilities though before replacing it.