Oil Boiler Not Starting Up Smoothly On Cold Start

Brian26

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2013
490
Branford, CT
I was just thinking about somet
That went away quick with a little tightening.
How you making out with this?

Another thing you can try is put a smaller nozzle in and turn up the pump pressure. I am running mine with a much smaller nozzle with higher pump pressure. Supposedly the fuel atomizes way better so you get smoother starts and a much better burn. There is a chart for this and make sure you check your burner for the max allowed pressure. Mine was rated up to 200 psi where 120-140 is the standard pressure. I think I am running it at 160 or 175 with a much smaller nozzle than the recommended larger one with lower pressure.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
I went with the specs for the low firing rate. 65k? It was lower psi with the smaller nozzle, as I recall. I even put in the low firing rate baffle Beckett recommends. I'm not going to experiment with that stuff.

It behaved just like there was a bubble in the line.

It seems to be coming around the rubber gasket now, lol.
I check periodically, but then my finger gets dieselly smelling, lol.
 

Brian26

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2013
490
Branford, CT
I went with the specs for the low firing rate. 65k? It was lower psi with the smaller nozzle, as I recall. I even put in the low firing rate baffle Beckett recommends. I'm not going to experiment with that stuff.

It behaved just like there was a bubble in the line.

It seems to be coming around the rubber gasket now, lol.
I check periodically, but then my finger gets dieselly smelling, lol.
Not sure what your exact setup is but these style filters are all pretty much universal. They all have 3/8 fittings inlet and outlet and the filters are universal and come with new gaskets. I picked this General 1a25a up at Home Depot when I replaced my old one for like $22. I would try a new filter and gasket kit and if that doesn't work I would just replace the whole thing. Did you oil the gaskets up before installing them? I think your supposed to. Besides being smelly and dirty it should only take a few minutes to spin the old one off and new one on.

1767.jpg
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
Here is a picture. I tried a new filter and gaskets earlier. It sounds stupid, but I have trouble seeing where the seeping starts, and there may be multiple leaks and ones I fix, etc. It flows down the filter, etc, etc. I might even have one on the underside of the filter outlet, but as I said, it's hard to tell. I might try a mirror to see better.

I like your explanation that during operation, air is sucked though a fitting in small amounts and then coalesces into a bigger bubble during downtime. I think I'm going to switch over to oil,let it run and observe some startups.
20170319_215323_resized.jpg
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,812
NE Ohio
I have trouble seeing where the seeping starts, and there may be multiple leaks and ones I fix, etc. It flows down the filter, etc, etc. I might even have one on the underside of the filter outlet, but as I said, it's hard to tell. I might try a mirror to see better
Here's a little trick for hard to find leaks...clean things up real good with some rubbing alcohol. Then spray possible leak areas with some spray deodorant, it will leave a dry powder film that shows leaks pretty well...bonus, it smells a lot better than fuel oil!
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
Thanks. I'm a stick deodorant guy, so I'd have to go out and buy a spray can.
The epoxy finish on the filter, is very smooth and almost feels oily.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
There was another rough start after one or two smooth ones and some time off while the pellet boiler assumed the load.
There is still some weepage around the big fiber washer.
I think at some point I'm going to change out to the spin on filter.
I never had this problem with the spin on.
I like the drop in, but I'm going to have to get used to only tightening the spin on the specified amount, since they can be real hard to remove.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,812
NE Ohio
I'm going to have to get used to only tightening the spin on the specified amount, since they can be real hard to remove.
One trick to easy (er) removal of any spin on filter is to fully tighten it, give it a little more, then back it off just a touch. This sets the oring seal with "the grain" (probably not a good way to describe it) in the right direction for removal...and no I've never had one come loose doing this (I'm talkin automotive here now, obviously a furnace filter wouldn't normally vibrate loose)
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
I never heard of that. Sounds like it might work. I always put some oil on the ring. I think the key is putting it on yourself. Also, on a car, I used a filter wrench that went on the end with flutes, but access was usually tight.
 

cableman

Minister of Fire
Sep 26, 2013
708
long island

Man thats just crazy you cant get that to stop weeping.
I have a general style one you can have, cleaned it up all nice! Never leaked.
I took this off when i installed the double filter setup.


20170219_111439.jpg



 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY

Man thats just crazy you cant get that to stop weeping.
I have a general style one you can have, cleaned it up all nice! Never leaked.
I took this off when i installed the double filter setup.


View attachment 196411



Hey, thanks. I'm going to try a spin on. I have one on the shelf already, so I might as well. I have a gauge for it as well, but not sure if that's worth it.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
Here's the new setup. I had, hopefully past tense, a leak at the flare...realigned and tightened, not before getting a little oil on the toe of a boot. ugh. I still dread the day I'll have to remove.
edit: it's running...zero psi suction.

20170323_202014_resized.jpg
 

cableman

Minister of Fire
Sep 26, 2013
708
long island
Nice! The vac gauge on mine hits the bolt on the bracket so i can only use 1 bolt! Kinda odd as its a kit i bought. Your bolt holes are diagonal where mine are straight, that's prolly the issue on mine.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
The spin on filter seems to have done the trick.
Hopefully, it'll come off when it comes time.
 

Brian26

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2013
490
Branford, CT
You have air in the line. I dealt with the same cold start issues you are experiencing. It locked out on me when I was away on vacation and had to have my brother go reset it in the middle of the night so my pipes didn't freeze. I got an alert on my phone from my wifi t-stat that it was 45 degrees inside. Not fun..

My issue was I found a compression fitting on my oil filter coming off the tank that I suspect was letting air into the line. My solution was new fuel filter off the tank, new 3/8 copper line to a tigerloop oil dearator with 10 micron spin on filter. Problem solved.

View attachment 194933 View attachment 194934
Got an oil delivery a couple weeks ago. Saw my vacuum gauge went up a little a week or two later. It had been about a year since I replaced the filters and figured the delivery stirred the tank so I decided to change them. Replaced the crappy wool filter at the tank. Had a bunch of sludge and junk in it. The spin also had a ton of sludge debris up top. Here is proof those crappy woold canister filters let a ton of stuff pass through. The spin on had a ton of sludge debris on the top. I imagine the inside element was loaded up. I have read these 10 micron filters keep the nozzles spotless and people report going years on the same nozzle. I plan on replacing it next year but figured I would let it go until next falls service. I have all the equipment including the a combustion analyzer and everything checks out perfect.

Still running good velvetfoot?
20180107_151304.jpeg
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
Still running good velvetfoot?
Just saw this.
Yes. Put about .6 tank through it this winter. The glass on my insert cracked a few weeks ago so I've been running other stuff more while waiting for replacement (just came in yesterday). Have been running the pellet boiler lately just because.

On oil boiler: Back pressure still low. No leakage. Smooth start.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
You know, it occurred to me that there's no bleed screw on my setup. I guess the gauge takes its place. Any need to prime the filter, or will running the boiler pump to prime work okay?
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,677
Massachusetts
by just running the pump in all the cases i've worked on will not self prime
 

Brian26

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2013
490
Branford, CT
You know, it occurred to me that there's no bleed screw on my setup. I guess the gauge takes its place. Any need to prime the filter, or will running the boiler pump to prime work okay?
I have never tried it as I have a tigerloop on my setup. I read you can power bleed by shutting the tank valve off and the pump will pull a vacuum and bleed out the air. Might be worth a try.
 

Justin_DeSilva

New Member
Dec 17, 2019
2
Mendon, MA
Hey everyone,
Thanks for sharing. It took me several days to find an article with an image of two filters in series. (Thanks cableman)

I'm not having any problems relating to starting but am preparing for an annual cleaning and service. I'm intentionally replying to this thread instead of starting another becuase I hoped the contributors in the thread would receive notifications via email. Would any of you mind sharing feedback on these questions?

1. Presently I have a simple setup with 1 spin-on type filter at the tank. Should I consider adding another filter in this order?
Tank > Shut off valve > Firomatic valve > Cartridge Filter > Spin-on filter

2. The big challenge here is the fuel line would need to be lengthened with a flare union. Presently it's sleeved and above the cement floor but buried under a concrete berm. If looking closely you'll also see a kink near the fitting. Should I cut and add 2 feet to the line and create a strain relief loop? (Didn't know if this is okay or against code)

FYI: The fluid on the floor is water, not oil. The bloaks who installed the sump and perimeter drain cut around the tank instead of following the wall. It was done before we bought the home.
 

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Brian26

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2013
490
Branford, CT
Hey everyone,
Thanks for sharing. It took me several days to find an article with an image of two filters in series. (Thanks cableman)

I'm not having any problems relating to starting but am preparing for an annual cleaning and service. I'm intentionally replying to this thread instead of starting another becuase I hoped the contributors in the thread would receive notifications via email. Would any of you mind sharing feedback on these questions?

1. Presently I have a simple setup with 1 spin-on type filter at the tank. Should I consider adding another filter in this order?
Tank > Shut off valve > Firomatic valve > Cartridge Filter > Spin-on filter

2. The big challenge here is the fuel line would need to be lengthened with a flare union. Presently it's sleeved and above the cement floor but buried under a concrete berm. If looking closely you'll also see a kink near the fitting. Should I cut and add 2 feet to the line and create a strain relief loop? (Didn't know if this is okay or against code)

FYI: The fluid on the floor is water, not oil. The bloaks who installed the sump and perimeter drain cut around the tank instead of following the wall. It was done before we bought the home.
That filter looks like it hasnt been replaced in years or got wet and rusted. Why mess with any of it or the fittings if its not leaking? Why not just put on a new spin on filter and be done? All it takes is a pinhole leak at a fitting to start pulling air into the line and the burner to lock out. A single 10 micron filter will pretty much stop anything from reaching the nozzle. They are easy and inexpensive to change. They are also 10 times less messy than those yarn filters to replace.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
Mine is still there. Vacuum gauge still looks good. I'm sure the filter will be hard to remove, although I was the one who torqued it on so it might not be so bad. I'm paranoid about touching any of it-the stuff of nightmares.