My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: jaimz23 On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:07 pm

Hello all,

I am new to the forum and have been checking it out for some time before I registered. There are so many useful topics on here.

Now for my problem... I have a Burnham Boiler, a V-13A with a Beckett Burner. Believe it or not it is giving me problems. lol. It is older and is in a dirt floor basement that gets water from time to time and is damp down there. (I'll be working on fixing that this summer.) The oil boiler won't turn on from time to time and usually I can go downstairs into the basement and hit the reset and it will start up. Sometimes it will run for a week with no problems and sometimes just for the day. It almost always seems to quit running when it hits the late night time hours, like when we are going to bed or are in bed. (Ironic right?)

Anyway, last night I awoke at about 2:00 a.m. to use the bathroom and noticed that it was particularly chilly upstairs, so of course I knew what had happened. I went into the basement to hit the reset switch and this time it would not turn on. I tried and tried and tried and nothing happened. I tried bleeding the line, turning off and on the breaker, all that i could with the limited resources I had and nothing. A few times the fan/blower would kick on for a few seconds, but it would not ignite. Now, the red ind. light was on on the burner and there was a buzzing coming from the Honeywell aquastat. Most likely the step down transformer. (I'm guessing) Now I have had a local HVAC guy here twice in the last month and the first time I told him this was happening, of course the boiler seemed to work fine. Well, he changed the filter and the nozzle and was here for all of 10 minutes and I was charged $150.00. It worked until that night. Well I called the company and told them about it and said that i wasn't going to pay another $140.00 for a service call (the parts were $10.00) when he hadn't fixed it. He came back like 2 days later and never told me what he did because I was at work when he came to the house (my wife was at the house, i went downstairs and the cover was off of the aquastat so, i guess he was tinkering in there) and it worked for like 3 weeks so i assumed all was well until we woke up Saturday morning and it was off again. My wife went downstairs before she left for work and hit the reset and sure enough it worked all day until 2:00 a.m. this morning when i tried to do the same thing and it would not work. Now i had to go to bed knowing i couldn't get it to work. Well we got up this morning, and she went down and turned the breaker back on and hit the reset and it started up.

I am so confused as to why it would selectively work? It will almost certainly work all day as this seems to be the norm and then quit tonight. The aquastat was changed last year, as well as the box on top of the burner with the red indicator light. (sorry I'm not sure what it is) Now, could it be the aquastat again? Or maybe the thermostat?I have been searching the web and have seen other people with similar stories and one said his was the thermostat. Loose wire on another from the thermostat to the aquastat.

My thermostat is a older Honeywell, the rotary kind, mercury switch inside, i believe. My home is about 100-105 years old and there is only one zone downstairs which covers all the rooms and one radiator in the upstairs bathroom. There is no radiators in the upstairs bedrooms, we use electric baseboard in those 2. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to put all the info in that I could.

P.S. I bought a Harman Trident SF-260 a week ago to run in tandem with this boiler so that i never have to use the oil boiler again. lol. I'm sure i'll be posting to the forum for how to hook it up with the existing boiler in the near future. Right now it is just sitting in the basement not connected.

Thanks
jaimz23
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Burnham Boiler/Harman Trident
Stove/Furnace Model: V-13A/SF-260

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: crazy4coal On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:33 pm

I may or may not be helping you with this idea, It sounds like the motor is on it's way out. Try this turn the power off to the unit, open the top of the burner by taking the screws from the transformer and tip the transformer back, reach in withyour finger and turn the fan wheel a little, put the transformer back and turn on the power on. If it starts, the motor has a bad spot in it and needs a new one. MAKE SURE YOU CLOSE EVERYTHING BACK UP BEFORE YOU TURN THE POWER BACK ON!! THE TRANSFORMER HAS A REAL KICK TO IT!
crazy4coal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: buderus
Stove/Furnace Model: logana

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: Sting On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:43 pm

Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas


Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: jaimz23 On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:43 pm

I am a little confused as to why then it would work all day long with no problems and then stop working at the end of the day or towards the end of the day if it was the motor? Also, why is my Honeywell Aquastat buzzing like it is? Either it is the problem or something is causing it to not turn everything on when it is trying to, hence the buzzing. I believe the motor/burner is fairly new (well a lot newer than the boiler itself) so I hope it did not start to flake out. You may be absolutely correct though with your idea, however it would be tough for me to see if your check works because the boiler seems to run fine all day then stop towards the night. So the only time i might be able to check this is at night when it stops working. Thanks again and keep the ideas coming.
jaimz23
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Burnham Boiler/Harman Trident
Stove/Furnace Model: V-13A/SF-260

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:49 pm

as with any electrical "intermittant" diagonois the biggest factor is patience.....

then have a logical and methodical procedure to follow like a flow chart of common sense.

;)
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: jaimz23 On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:02 pm

Poconoeagle wrote:as with any electrical "intermittant" diagonois the biggest factor is patience.....

then have a logical and methodical procedure to follow like a flow chart of common sense.

;)


Not quite sure how this was supposed to help.
jaimz23
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Burnham Boiler/Harman Trident
Stove/Furnace Model: V-13A/SF-260

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:22 pm

I had a similar problem with my Burnham boiler, the thing kept quitting and it progressively getting worse. Every time I reset it it would run less and less until the next reset. It would always fire at the hit, it just lost grip the longer it ran. It eventually would not even fire when it started. The problem I had was the silly cardboard tube with rubber washers on each end they use to drive the pump from the end of the motor shaft did not have the grip to drive the oil pump. No oil, no fire. As the rubber ages or if it gets #2 oil on it, it will head south fast. If you are in trouble and need heat, pull the fan motor and wrap some electrical tape on the motor and oil pump shafts to grow them in size a bunch and reassemble it. They are only a couple of bucks for the tube.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:40 pm

jaimz23 wrote:
Poconoeagle wrote:as with any electrical "intermittant" diagonois the biggest factor is patience.....

then have a logical and methodical procedure to follow like a flow chart of common sense.

;)


Not quite sure how this was supposed to help.



well my point is that to accurately figure out what the defective part is, the "wait till it does it"
advise is accurate. only then can you test and investigate components in a methodical way so as to rule out the good ones and find out whats bad.

the bad spot on the motor is strongly possible. I own and maintain 4 OB units and have every possible part in stock cause even new ones can have had ones less than a year old do similar things.
My issue turned out to be the controller as the newer one were/are made in france...
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: jaimz23 On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:07 pm

Poconoeagle wrote:
jaimz23 wrote:
Poconoeagle wrote:as with any electrical "intermittant" diagonois the biggest factor is patience.....

then have a logical and methodical procedure to follow like a flow chart of common sense.

;)


Not quite sure how this was supposed to help.



well my point is that to accurately figure out what the defective part is, the "wait till it does it"
advise is accurate. only then can you test and investigate components in a methodical way so as to rule out the good ones and find out whats bad.

the bad spot on the motor is strongly possible. I own and maintain 4 OB units and have every possible part in stock cause even new ones can have had ones less than a year old do similar things.
My issue turned out to be the controller as the newer one were/are made in france...


Poconoeagle,

I see your location is where I work...The Depot. There are just so many things this could be and it is hard for me to isolate. I am not very good with Furnaces, if yougive me a RF circuit board, i am your man, but this stuff is all very foreign to me. It could be the motor, I also posted this on the DIY forum and got this response from someone:

With the parts only being $10, I suspect the service person replaced the nozzle & filter (maybe just the nozzle). One of the most common causes for the problem you describe is a weak ignition transformer (black box on top of the burner). Sometime while the burner is running, shut it off for about 5 minutes then restart it. Promptly look at the flame & make mental note of how it looks. The next time it has to be reset, again look at the flame. If it looks more orange or larger, chances are the problem is the transformer or electrode adjustment.

What do you think about that answer? See what I mean though? I get pointed in different directions and am attempting to figure this all out as my wife and I are tired of waking up to no heat. This is just plain weird though runs all day fine...stops at night with aquastat buzzing and Ind. light on on the burner. Frustrating.
jaimz23
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Burnham Boiler/Harman Trident
Stove/Furnace Model: V-13A/SF-260

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:17 pm

The load demand goes up at night, it will run longer and that is when your issue pops up. I would shut it off and let it cool for a while and then put a good long load on it so you can watch it and see what happens when it dies. If you can, put a pressure gauge on the pump (there is a small pipe plug, either Allen or square for that), that will let you know if the pressure is constant or if it tracks downward when the burner looses its fire.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: jaimz23 On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:26 pm

coaledsweat wrote:The load demand goes up at night, it will run longer and that is when your issue pops up. I would shut it off and let it cool for a while and then put a good long load on it so you can watch it and see what happens when it dies. If you can, put a pressure gauge on the pump (there is a small pipe plug, either Allen or square for that), that will let you know if the pressure is constant or if it tracks downward when the burner looses its fire.


If this were true then it should happen in the morning when we are able to reset it and it runs for like a hour straight to get the temperature in the house from the lower 50's back up to 68-69. Not only does it not do this then it will also run all day long normally after without a problem. If it were a load demand issue it should happen when it is running for the extended period trying to bring the temperature back up and this doesn't happen then. I would call it a sporadic issue except it seems to happen more at the end of the day?
jaimz23
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Burnham Boiler/Harman Trident
Stove/Furnace Model: V-13A/SF-260

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:28 pm

I hear ya. Well nozzle and filter should be changed once a season in my book. if you loosen the screw (s) and unhinge the transformer (coil) naturally after shutting the service switch or breaker off, you should see a round short tube, generally 2 yellow wires, that is the optical flame sensor.

naturally its lens should be somewhat clean so as to "see" the flame. if some water made it thru the filter and got in the nozzle and caused the spray of fuel to "pee" a straight stream thus causing the flame front to burn badly, smokey,black, then that flame devise would have noticed and shut off the burner.

now with that said, that why the nozzle and filter get changed first by a tech. now here is the part where he turns it on and it works and walla.... bill and leave.

experience repairing any thing is as important as quality dependable tools and equiptment used to diagonois and repair AND the ability to digest gathered info,process it, and use it for a confident repair.

Where is the unit located?? town... the noisy aquastat is my first raised eyebrow thing to look at. a contactor relay sitting there buzzing would cause me to look at and clean the points of the contactor if they are dirty or burned. then ifso facto replace it. you got a pic of the burner? is it a afg model?

:?:
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: jaimz23 On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:32 pm

it is a afg model. it is located in Hop Bottom, in my dirt floor basement...very moist area. i can take some pictures if need be. I'll be honest, I've been told that the firebox is shot. I only need it to last the rest of this winter and then i will be hooking up my Harman Trident Sf-260.
jaimz23
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Burnham Boiler/Harman Trident
Stove/Furnace Model: V-13A/SF-260

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:42 pm

well a pic would show us its age and type of control that was used during the replacement.

thats a ride from the depot....

rj walker sold a complete burner assembly, afg, for 3ish what model honeywell is it
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: My Burnham Boiler stops working at night??

PostBy: jaimz23 On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:25 pm

Here are some pictures (try not to laugh too hard). It took a while to upload them. The burner is a Beckett MP-1192.

The haul from here to the depot has become second nature. We have a van pool up here anyway so it's not too bad we share driving so i get to sleep most of the days anyway. Thanks again.
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jaimz23
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Burnham Boiler/Harman Trident
Stove/Furnace Model: V-13A/SF-260