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  1. #1

    oil furnace electrodes

    Hey guys,
    Performed oil burner service today. I measured electrode gap, distances from nozzle, etc. before removing nozzle. I put electrodes back into position. 1/16 in front of nozzle, 1/8 gap between them, and 7/16 from center of nozzle. Lots of fuel no ignition. Tested transformer and received 1'' arc between terminals. No cracks in porcellin and cad cell checks out ok. What gives? Do electrodes get "weak" or is it that they either work or don't? Thanks for all your input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In a boiler room
    Posts
    7,158
    A few things can cause that;

    1. bad nozzle (yes even a new one) or dirt in the nozzle from servicing
    2. low nozzle pressure ("lots of fuel" doesn't tell me much)
    3. air shutter adjusted too far open
    4. nozzle depth too far in causing electrodes to ground out on the cone

    I'm sure there are other things, but I would check the above first.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Caledonia WI
    Posts
    881
    What color was the spark and are the transformer springs touching the electrodes? Did it start OK before you worked on it? And what chuckcrj said.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    west burbs,il
    Posts
    145
    I'd definitely soak up all residual fuel before attempting to light again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,718
    When you do try to light it, be sure to not be in front of any area where the flame can come out and get you. Most likely it will come out any inspection port that is not mechanically closed.
    I had a similar one yesterday and it turned out to be a bad ignition transformer. It checked okay open, but on operating position it did not always spark. Changed it out and spark every time.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    416
    Everything above is a good place to start. If that doesn't work....
    What kind of burner, in what type of boiler/furnace?
    What type of transformer? Just because it's sparks doesn't mean it's good.
    What nozzle?
    What is the pump pressure?
    What are the air settings?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    new england
    Posts
    630
    Always replace the nozzle if you pull the the burner assembly. It may look clean but could be plugged. Oil can get dangerous, especially when there is a lot of fuel in the firebox. Take the advice from the pros above. If your going to working on burners I'd suggest a fuel pump/vacuum test kit and a transformer tester at the least. Good luck and be safe.
    Chaos equals cash$$$

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    14
    When you say lots of fuel do you mean the tank is full? Or the nozzle is spraying inside the chamber? Check to make sure when its running you have oil coming out of nozzle. Is it a newer beckett with the new valve on the fuel pump? If yes check to make sure that valve is opening. Check your nozzle most importantly

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