Post professional annual maintenance boiler not working

Old 12-04-17, 06:32 AM
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Post professional annual maintenance boiler not working

I have not had luck with 'professional' service work on our boiler. 3 of the last 4 routine maintenance calls have resulted in an undependable boiler with wrong nozzle and mis-adjusted parts. Please forgive me if I seem paranoid.
Last Thursday a tech. spent about 3 hours cleaning and adjusting a Burnham hot water boiler with a Beckett AFG burner. Cleaning and a new nozzle was placed as well as the gasket between the boiler and the burner assembly unit (air tube), as well as the dry blanket inside the combustion chamber, and burner servicing. Cost was $280 which I would gladly pay for dependable service. We left Friday for a long weekend and arrived home last night to no heat. The company that did the work would dispatch for $160 plus what ever labor and parts that were needed. Before the recent maintenance the boiler ran dependably for 2 years, Given my past experience, I decided to trouble shoot myself.

Resetting the control unit did not help, not did a replacement control unit. When I replaced the control unit I found the hot and neutral wires were reversed, but don't know if that could have cause an issue. Testing the motor with independent power did not initially start the motor, but after moving the squirrel cage by hand the motor would run. The squirrel cage turns relatively easily, but if you flick it with a finger or screw driver, it does not spin and I don't recall how still is normal. I was able to reassemble and the boiler ran through a couple of heating cycles, but then stopped again. I could get it to run after resetting the controller and giving the motor a light tap with a rubber mallet.

My first thought is to replace the motor, but the hesitation is whether there might be excessive drag in the pump assembly. Any thoughts would be appreciated, and a general question is whether reversed polarity would cause any issue with the Beckett motor?
Old 12-04-17, 06:54 AM
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Iím not one of the experts around here, but I do my own maintenance and have the Beckett AFG with a New Yorker boiler.
Are you talking about the burner control? And are you saying that the burner control goes into lockout and must be reset? What is the model number of the control (mine is ancient, the 4184).
Old 12-04-17, 07:16 AM
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The plastic Coupling between your Motor and the Oil Pump may be slipping and/or jamming . . . .and this item was probably disrupted or moved when the Burner Gasket was replaced last week.

I think I bought a (universal) Coupling Kit for my AFG Burner just last year for less than $5.00 ($2.89 sticks in my mind).

If you examine yours, you may find that it has become a mite wobbly; and the same wobbliness may periodically cause the increased drag on the Motor at start-up.

Just an observation.
Old 12-04-17, 05:25 PM
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Do you have a newer style motor with a capacitor or one without. If the motor continues to run after you spin it by hand I might suspect the cap.

If the motor spins easy with the coupling connected I wouldn't worry about a jammed pump.

If you had a loose coupling you would get an erratic fire or no fire at all since the motor and coupling is what turns the pump to deliver oil to the nozzle.

The older style motors had a reset button on them. The new ones don't so it's possible for the control to go into lockout if there is no fire within the allotted time.

I think what I would do is remove the motor from the housing and run it without a load to see how it operates. If it still will not start without a spin I would replace the cap. if it has one or replace the motor if it doesn't.

As far as the wires being crossed I honestly cannot answer that question because I've never seen it. I would imagine that if it was really crossed it would create a dead short and your breaker would blow and since it is a series circuit all neutrals get tied together so I would think it matters unlike your low voltage stats where it doesn't matter.

I would put the black to hot and the white to neutral just to be sure and try it without a load.

Just my thoughts.

Hope this helps a little.
Old 12-04-17, 06:15 PM
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"When I replaced the control unit I found the hot and neutral wires were reversed, ..."
Not correct, but nothing that would have caused the problem you experienced.

IF your motor is a "permanent split capacitor" (PSC on the label somewhere) it could be the capacitor is bad. If your motor is NOT a PSC model then it could be a failing centrifugal starting switch inside the motor. Sometimes it is possible to disassemble the motor and use some fine sandpaper on the switch contacts and solvent on the centrifugal mechanism to get the switch working again but it is easier and safer to simply replace the motor.
Old 12-11-17, 04:48 AM
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Thanks everyone for your thoughtful replies. I replaced the motor. It has been running dependably for a week now. The oem Beckettl motor was about 27 years old so maybe this is just a normal failure due to age, .

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