Webster single stage fuel pump whistles and spins up to speed at startup

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  #1  
Old 06-07-18, 11:44 AM
W
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Webster single stage fuel pump whistles and spins up to speed at startup

My oil fired hot water heater (HWH) has a Beckett burner with a Webster 3450 single stage fuel pump- two pipe setup and both 35 years old. I replaced the motor coupling just a few years ago otherwise motor is original also. Has run like a champ until I started to replace the nozzles two seasons ago. The HWH fuel line comes off the same feed to the furnace via a T fitting (not Y). Until now it was always the furnace that seemed to whine at start up like maybe the fuel line was fouled. Now it is smooth and the HWH is temperamental. I disassembled the nozzle gun and cleaned all parts in an ultrasonic cleaner at start of season and believe I have it gaped correctly with new nozzle. Just replaced oil filter again.

Symptoms - HWH usually ignites fine , occasionally a delay which it has never done till I started replacing nozzle...hmmm. 2 or 3 secs after ignition the burner pulses and sputters 2 or 3 times followed by a whistle and and then a whistle with steadily increasing RPM sound (slow to fast ) as the whistle or whine goes to a high pitch and disappears. All of this transpires in about 5 to 7 seconds. I bled the oil line several times at the pump and appear to get a pretty good stream. I was getting air out but not anymore it seems. I also tighten the fuel filter cover as much as possible.

This always happens after the HWH has sat for several hours and calls for heat. If I were to switch it off and turn back on immediately it would operate fine. Either way the burner runs nicely after the start up stumble and flame looks good. I've been using sludge removers for past three years in my 550 tank, also 35 years old and never cleaned out. Oil delivery was a few months ago and furnace did not run a lot since. I did a quick and dirty clean out of the flu and HWH stack at season start. So can't figure out if its fuel line clogs, motor or pump wear/clog. Did not check flu for blockage but furnace and HWH run fine after start up. Not noticing (smelling) any puff back but I'm not usually at burner at start up but I am often close by.
Thanks,
Mike
 
  #2  
Old 06-08-18, 08:07 AM
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It may be time to replace the oil pump. The whine that you hear upon start up is most likely air getting into the oil pump and/or the suction (supply) line. Possible places of air entry are the oil filter, the pump oil strainer,(back of pump), pump gaskets, oil nozzle cut-off, oil pump shaft seal, any pipe or fittings in the fuel supply. Some things you did not cover; do you have a 1 or 2 pipe oil delivery to the pump, does the pump to fan coupler have a clutch, does the nozzle line have a delayed oil solenoid valve? A 2 pipe oil delivery piping is far superior to a single pipe supply. A clutch coupler allows the motor to come up to speed before energizing the oil pump. A delayed oil valve allows the oil pump to deliver full oil pressure to the nozzle immediately when it opens. And by the way, if you think there is a problem in the oil tank with sludge or bad oil, do not use sludge remover, instead have an oil supplier clean out the tank. Sludge remover will just give more problems. I never ever used sludge remover in my 40+ years servicing oil units. One last item, never, and I mean never buy cheap oil, it is cheap for a reason. Only buy oil from a reputable oil supplier!
 
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Old 06-08-18, 08:39 AM
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Yes it has two pipes (thought I mentioned that?) Being it's 35 years old, it's a pretty basic set up...no solenoid cutoff switch and I doubt a coupler clutch. My oil filters are always pretty clean when I change them. They are just gray but no film or slime on them. I didn't think it was the motor as I am guessing the motor is a go/no -go situation

So I think I will replace the pump. Do you think it's worth first disassembling the old pump and cleaning it in case it is some how fouled? Seems there is a risk of gasket failure after and it's a cutter pump (no filter).

I do buy cheap oil, probably cheap because there is no service contract or commitment and as I said filters are always clean. Thought this one last time I used a different distributor....hmmm...i'll go back to my original guy.

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 06-08-18, 08:43 AM
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Oh probably will sell house in 2 years so I guess I have to have the inground tank removed.
 
 

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