More noise and vibration after new Transformer install on Oil boiler
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    More noise and vibration after new Transformer install on Oil boiler

    Heating system is an H.B. Smith water boiler with a Carlin 100CRD Burner. 10-12 years old.

    Reason for posting is to get some advice and information so I can be more knowledgeable if I need to talk to my serviceman. Initial problem was reset button popping out every week or so, and delayed starts. Tech cleaned parts, problem returned. Second tech decided to replace transformer. Different tech, so he also said he would check/clean things as necessary (I know he removed and checked the filter, don't know what else as I left him alone to work). He mentioned also when he changed the filter that air got in the line and the first time it fired up, it stalled so pump was primed.
    After this, it was running, but sounded slightly different. Not serious enough to mention to him. But in the days after this visit, I am noticing how much louder it is upstairs. I finally realized something was very different as I was sitting at the table upstairs when it came on, and could feel vibration in the chair, floor, and table. Been here 4 years and this hasn't happened before. I checked it out and found the oil line nearest the burner vibrates a lot before it goes in the floor (but it could have always done that). That is the part that is vibrating to the touch, but the noise is deeper, and not as consistent overall. Has a "rar-rar-rar-rar" type of inconsistent running noise.

    I have great experiences with these guys but I hate to call over something so subjective like this, so I have some questions: Can a new transformer alter the behavior and noise to this degree? Are there adjustments that would need to be done after a transformer install?
    Also, the noise is louder and deeper, makes me think the flame pattern is different, or output is stronger, maybe that's causing it. Possible with a new transformer?
    Question about the oil pump since the oil line feels like it's vibrating. This pump has run dry twice recently, once because tank gauge now gets stuck at 1/4 of a tank (I used to wait until almost 1/8 but I know better now!) Happened again after tank was filled, line was bled in both cases. But, I didn't notice any problem after those events. So can a pump cause vibration felt upstairs? Maybe when this tech checked the filter and mentioned it got air in the system, the last straw so to speak?
    So should I call them again, wait and see, or is this to be expected with the new part? Anything I can check myself prior to calling?
    Last edited by MST3K; 01-29-2008 at 12:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
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    6,233

    Thumbs down Pump ...Not Transformer

    Quote Originally Posted by MST3K View Post
    Heating system is an H.B. Smith water boiler with a Carlin 100CRD Burner. 10-12 years old.

    Reason for posting is to get some advice and information so I can be more knowledgeable if I need to talk to my serviceman.

    I finally realized something was very different as I was sitting at the table upstairs when it came on, and could feel vibration in the chair, floor, and table. Been here 4 years and this hasn't happened before.

    Question about the oil pump since the oil line feels like it's vibrating. This pump has run dry twice recently, once because tank gauge now gets stuck at 1/4 of a tank (I used to wait until almost 1/8 but I know better now!) Happened again after tank was filled, line was bled in both cases.

    But, I didn't notice any problem after those events.
    So can a pump cause vibration felt upstairs?

    Maybe when this tech checked the filter and mentioned it got air in the system, the last straw so to speak?
    So should I call them again, wait and see, or is this to be expected with the new part? Anything I can check myself prior to calling?
    No! CALL Now.
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  3. #3
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    Jan 2004
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    As above.

    Call them, don't wait or try anything yourself.
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  4. #4
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    Jan 2008
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    The tech is downstairs right now. He's blowin' it off, keeps sayin "nah it's not the pump". He's says he'll check a few things and see if it gets quieter. I told him how it ran dry he said "nah that won't cause problems". Any advice while he's here?

  5. #5
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    Jan 2008
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    He just left. I'm embarrassed, he acted like this was a total waste of time. He threw a new nozzle on and said "hows that" I checked upstairs and said it was the same, he said "well that's how they sound".

  6. #6
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    Jul 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by MST3K View Post
    The tech is downstairs right now. He's blowin' it off, keeps sayin "nah it's not the pump". He's says he'll check a few things and see if it gets quieter. I told him how it ran dry he said "nah that won't cause problems". Any advice while he's here?

    What brand of oil pump is it? Suntec, Webster or Danfoss? If it's a Danfoss, have him change the oil pump.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  7. #7
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    Jul 2004
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    A number of things can lead to this type of problem, none of which you can resolve yourself. Among the possible offending issues are a bad oil pump (Danfoss pumps are noted for pulsating), too lean a mixture, constant ignition during burner operation. When the ignition transformer was replaced, it was likely replaced with a solid state ignition box. The difference in output voltages is a nearly 1/3 increase at the electrode tips. That type of spark can cause the flame pattern to be different and lead to some flame noise. Having a burner control that drops the ignition once flame is established both quiets the flame and also greatly prolongs the life of the ignintioin transformer/box. However, it is also possible that for some reason or other, such as an eroded nozzle, the flame pattern has changed since the last tune-up. The flame could have become somewhat leaner, which can also leald to noisey operation. A lean mixture is also more difficult to ignite and replacing the ignition transformer could be masking a lean mixture. So any of these issues could be acting singly or in concert with one or more other things. You've got what you need right now, a qualified technician checking things out. He may find the problem or not. Sometimes it just takes the right eyeball or level of experience or just plain dumb luck to cure some of these little issues.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  8. #8
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    Jan 2008
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    It is a Webster. He wouldn't even consider the pump as a possibility. He said it was just the combustion noise. He said the left side of the chamber kit had sagged and the last guy removed some material so it didn't interfere with the flame, and this might have been why I noticed a subtle difference. So I asked if a new chamber kit would help but he didn't think so even though he suggested it was a possible reason.

    EDIT: thanks skippedover, we replied at the same time so I didn't see your post. Lots to think about there, unfortunately I no longer have a tech looking things over right now.
    Last edited by MST3K; 01-29-2008 at 06:41 PM. Reason: Noticed Skippedover's post

  9. #9
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    Not to bust on the tech that was there.

    But call the company back and ask for a different tech to be sent out.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MST3K View Post
    It is a Webster. He wouldn't even consider the pump as a possibility. He said it was just the combustion noise. He said the left side of the chamber kit had sagged and the last guy removed some material so it didn't interfere with the flame, and this might have been why I noticed a subtle difference. So I asked if a new chamber kit would help but he didn't think so even though he suggested it was a possible reason.

    EDIT: thanks skippedover, we replied at the same time so I didn't see your post. Lots to think about there, unfortunately I no longer have a tech looking things over right now.
    It is an unfortunate fact of life that the vast majority of oil technicians do not have a good depth of experience. The simple reason is that most oil techs get their experience at an oil supply company. That same company that employs them also runs their tails off all winter long, offering their clients a service contract with so many freebies, it would choke any company that doesn't sell oil at a high price. So the end result is a revolving door at the service level. Once burned in the business, many move on to another business, some not even related to HVAC. I wrestled with a noisey burner on a unit I had installed many years ago. It wasn't until I replaced the oil pump that the noise disappeared and the burner ran smoothly after that. I'd been 20-years in the business (yes, working for an oil company 15 of those years, I don't learn real fast I guess) and never had experienced a problem like that before. Since then I've spoken with other experienced techs who've reported similar problems with the same manfacture pump. But all the other things I listed can all be relied on to create problems. I always listen to the clients closely when they complain of a noise or change in noise. It is they who hear the unit day-in and day-out and know it's noises best. So who am I to come in and say they're nuts? Of course, they could be nuts but probably not from anything I can help with.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    20
    As you have guessed they are oil company techs. In previous years I've only needed them for cleanings so I haven't had an issue with them. The shame is I had just renewed with them last month or I'd shop around for a different service company.

    My reason for posting was to learn more before I called and exactly as you said, to put some more "eyes" on it as much as possible. So far you have all been more responsive that this guy today. The first thing he said as he just came in the door was "yeah that sounds OK" and that set the tone basically. Lots of "nah that's how they sound.... nah they all do that... nah pump's fine....nah blower's fine, here I'll change the nozzle for ya but nothin' else I can do". I felt foolish for calling over a noise but at the same time, there was no diagnosis done, he popped on a new nozzle in five minutes, didn't check the gap for the probes, didn't check lean/rich burning, never touched the pump, no pressure test. I came up and posted on here, and by the time I was done he called me back down.

    Skippedover you bring up an interesting point about the transformer, it may be that they put a continuous one on to prevent it from stalling out and popping the switch. Again nobody checked if it was running too lean. Maybe if I put on a non-continuous type? Anyway for now I'm not calling them back, they did all they could do and I don't want to just be difficult at this point.

    Thanks again! I think I may post some pics of my setup, and maybe a sound file of the noise for general interest? I'll keep you posted.

  12. #12
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    Mar 2005
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    Suppy NC
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    4,513
    Quote Originally Posted by MST3K View Post
    It is a Webster. He wouldn't even consider the pump as a possibility. He said it was just the combustion noise. He said the left side of the chamber kit had sagged and the last guy removed some material so it didn't interfere with the flame, and this might have been why I noticed a subtle difference. So I asked if a new chamber kit would help but he didn't think so even though he suggested it was a possible reason.
    .

    This has me a little concerned. If the refractorie or chamber kit was sagging and part of it was remove the flame may be hitting it at an angle causing the vibration. This is designed to target the flame to one location sort of like a bullseye and with a piece missing depening on the size and location the flame can distort and even flutter

    not being there means i am guessing big time so dont go hitting the panic button. You can take pieces off it and no harm done also

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2
    Quote Originally Posted by MST3K View Post
    Heating system is an H.B. Smith water boiler with a Carlin 100CRD Burner. 10-12 years old.

    Reason for posting is to get some advice and information so I can be more knowledgeable if I need to talk to my serviceman. Initial problem was reset button popping out every week or so, and delayed starts. Tech cleaned parts, problem returned. Second tech decided to replace transformer. Different tech, so he also said he would check/clean things as necessary (I know he removed and checked the filter, don't know what else as I left him alone to work). He mentioned also when he changed the filter that air got in the line and the first time it fired up, it stalled so pump was primed.
    After this, it was running, but sounded slightly different. Not serious enough to mention to him. But in the days after this visit, I am noticing how much louder it is upstairs. I finally realized something was very different as I was sitting at the table upstairs when it came on, and could feel vibration in the chair, floor, and table. Been here 4 years and this hasn't happened before. I checked it out and found the oil line nearest the burner vibrates a lot before it goes in the floor (but it could have always done that). That is the part that is vibrating to the touch, but the noise is deeper, and not as consistent overall. Has a "rar-rar-rar-rar" type of inconsistent running noise.

    I have great experiences with these guys but I hate to call over something so subjective like this, so I have some questions: Can a new transformer alter the behavior and noise to this degree? Are there adjustments that would need to be done after a transformer install?
    Also, the noise is louder and deeper, makes me think the flame pattern is different, or output is stronger, maybe that's causing it. Possible with a new transformer?
    Question about the oil pump since the oil line feels like it's vibrating. This pump has run dry twice recently, once because tank gauge now gets stuck at 1/4 of a tank (I used to wait until almost 1/8 but I know better now!) Happened again after tank was filled, line was bled in both cases. But, I didn't notice any problem after those events. So can a pump cause vibration felt upstairs? Maybe when this tech checked the filter and mentioned it got air in the system, the last straw so to speak?
    So should I call them again, wait and see, or is this to be expected with the new part? Anything I can check myself prior to calling?
    check transformer wired correct will hum if back ward , pump screen , oil filter, also oil valve also oil line should not be burried in floor good chance for leaks

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