1979 Carrier oil furnace,

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A few miscellaneious questions, if you can help me. The first are more important. At the end, it's just curiosity. If you answer any of them, it will help. If it matters, I live in Baltimore.
How do I know if the burner in my 1979 Carrier furnace is Beckett or not? I don't see a name other than Carrier anywhere.
My control unit is giving me trouble, but now is not a good time to buy a whole new furnace . If it fails, do I need to buy the exact model control unti from Carrier, or can I use a fancy new thing like this which costs** only $72. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Beckett-7505A-0000-GeniSys-Advanced-Oil-Burner-Control-/111467955823?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19f402066f Are these things fairly universal? Or even something like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Honeywell-R8184G-1286-Oil-Burner-Primary-Control-Beckett-oil-heat-used-/231189434156?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35d3f6cf2c
**Way back in 1983, the supply house wanted $260 dollars for a control unit, but eventually suggested a separate power-supply transformer for $10, which is still working fine. . About the first control above it says "Replaces Honeywell R7184A, R8184G, and Carlin 48245, 40200, 42230, and 50200", but maybe that's EXACT replacement, and I can still mount it for my furnace??
A friend in a nearby townhouse with the same furnace thinks his furnace ### would fire better with new electrodes. Ours are curved but online we can only find straight. Does it matter, as long as the tips end up where the curved tips do? And can the electrodes be bad, anyhow? They don't seem any shorter now than they were 10 years ago, and even if they're shorter, can't they be bent closer? I have the diagram that gives distances. Seems to me it's broken insulators that wouldl be the problem. But to buy new insulators, no one gives the diameter, only that they're Beckett, and two reviews of Amazon-sold electrodes said they didn't fit. (Didn't they mean the insulators didn't fit??)
Everything I've seen shows that there should be a filter, the size of a V-8 engine oil filter, in the line between the tank and the furnace. Yet I don't have one, and in 31 years, I've never had a problem with a nozzle clogging in less than 2 years. (Most were routinely replaced at one year, but two years I couldn't get an apointment and I let an extra year go by.) I've used several different oil companies over the last 31 years. How am I so lucky that I don't need a filter? Or what?
On the left side of the burner, where the oil comes in, as part of the pump, I think they have something they call an oil filter. It's only 2 pieces of metal. How much filtering can that do? Does it just chop up clumps of oil??? Hard to believe there are clumps, and hard to believe chopping them up would make them small enough not to clog the nozzle, but that's the only thing I can think of. I looked into this "filter" 20 years ago, and saw no sign of clumps, only a light coating of oil.
I see now that new ones have digital displays and electronic controls. What do they do better than my 1979 control board does, that has iirc two transistors, two resistors, a relay, and a red button? What and where is the air tube? They refer to this a lot. Maybe I don't have one on a '79 furnace?
There's been a lot of talk about increased furnace efficiency, but that's really for gas, isn't it? dividing the output BTUs given in the manual by the input BTUs, I get 80% and iiuc the new oil furnaces are only 82 or 83% efficient. That's a 2.5 or 3.8% increase, only.
Obviously I have no use for this but what does it mean? "4 Used Commercial Units Available 4.0-13.6 gph Max nozzle-size 8.0 gph" If the max nozzle-size is 8gph, what is the bit about 13 that's right before that? http://www.ebay.com/itm/CF1400-Beckett-by-Honeywell-Oil-Burner-/171298151432?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27e22a5c08
Thanks a lot for any help you can give.
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On 11/15/2014 3:02 PM, micky wrote:

CY: Look on the web for pictures, that might give you indication. Riellow is one other brand to compare.

CY: Don't know.

CY: I don't know, but I doubt there is much difference.
And can the

CY: I'd also expect the porcelean to crack or break.

CY: Not sure. You might have a good oil supplier, or the pickup tube might be way over the bottom of the tank.

CY: Ed Pawlowski wrote that his new oil furnace saved him a pile of fuel the first year.

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On Saturday, November 15, 2014 5:54:23 PM UTC-5, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I'd be surprised if a Carrier furnace had anything but a Carrier burner, assuming it's original.
>

What does "fire better" mean? If it lights up reliably, doesn't go bang, then the electrodes are working OK.

Agree, who knows. It should have a fuel filter, but I have seen some installs that don't too.

Two things. First oil furnaces are available with efficiencies well into the 90's. How much more they cost, IDK. Second, the fact that a 25 year old beast has a rating plate that says it's 80% and what it's really running at could be very different.
Given all the uncertainties and unknowns, if Micky wants to keep this one going, the best thing may be to have it serviced by a pro, get his opinion on the options to replace the control unit, find out what else is wrong with it, etc. Probably better to pay a couple hundred bucks now, instead of having no heat when in the middle of winter.
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On 11/15/2014 6:25 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Carrier uses both Beckett and Riello burners. Never made their own to my knowledge

Yes. Here is tips on how to set them
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6i2x08oI4o


Sometimes paying a pro is the cheapest way to get it done. I'm all for saving money and DIY but we all have limits to our knowledge and ability.
There are usually some good rebates and incentives to modernize too I got a Fed and a State rebate and the state offered 0% financing on my system. Savings in oil cost paid for the payments so in a way it was a "free" upgrade.
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On Saturday, November 15, 2014 6:50:08 PM UTC-6, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

pssst...he won't "get" this!
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What is going wrong with your control unit that makes you want to replace it
They are pretty simple
Usual problems would be with the high voltage transformer which by the way can be very dangerous to work with and is not really part of the control unit
Other usual problem is with the flame sensing electric eye
The rest is a few relays and the 24 volt xformer
What problem are you having
Mark
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Yours is the simpler post to answer, so you're first.
On Sat, 15 Nov 2014 18:47:45 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Late last winter, it stopped turning the furnace on. I took off the cover and noted the relay and that when I pushed the relay down with a wood stick, the furnace went on. Letting it run for an hour, or two if it's cold, once a day, works fine except if the night is especially cold. I have a whole spare burner, from when a neighbor replaced his identical furnace, so I have a spare control unit, but I don't KNOW that the control unit is good. Possibly, that's why he bought the new furnace.**

That seems to have failed just a couple years ago, and I replaced it with my spare.

I wipe that off whenever there is trouble, but it's never been dirty. There is a spare one on the spare burner, if I need it.

The 24volt xformer failed 6 weeks after I bought the house. The house was only 4 years old. I had 3 guests from NYC. I was the first one to have bought a house, so I felt like a big shot. Saturday at noon on July 4th weekend, the AC failed, because the 24v transformer failed. Sunday morning at 8 the water stopped.*** and Sunday at noon, ALL the electricity failed. **** More below

Nothing yet, but I had planned to replace the control unit today, or soon, so the thermostat will control the heat again. Then it occurred to me in more terms that maybe the spare one won't work. I know myself and I won't want to go back to my manual system. And even though $72 is a lot to spend on a furnace this old, it's better than rushing to buy a whole new furnace at the most expensive time of the year. Plus I'd have to clean the basement to give them room to work.
So if I put the spare in and it doesn't work, I wanted to know if one of the ones online would work for me.
And since yesterday I found this for only 40 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Honeywell-R8184G-1286-Oil-Burner-Primary-Control-Beckett-oil-heat-used-/231189434156?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35d3f6cf2c It says Beckett but it seems to me it's an On/Off switch and all it has to do is accept input from the thermostat, the CD sensor, and maybe something else, and send output to the fan motors and the ignition trasnformer, but that all the decisions, all the temperature settings, are made by other things embedded in the furnace that wouldn't be changed, and that just about any control unit will replace any other. (I don't have a solenoid on my oil pump.)
And this one for $127 even has the same arrangement of connection screws as mine does! (Amazon.com product link shortened)16085102&sr=8-16&keywords=oil+burner+beckett#customerReviews
For some reason, I've sort of given up plans that this would work, a Beckett 7505A 0000 GeniSys http://www.ebay.com/itm/Beckett-7505A-0000-GeniSys-Advanced-Oil-Burner-Control-/111467955823?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19f402066f $72 + 10 shipping at this Amazaon store but only 52 dollars + ??? shipping at Newegg. (I thought they just sold computer stuff. )

**(I asked him if I could have the burner, and he asked the furnace guy, and both said yes. I should have asked if it worked. Don't remember. A couple years ago, I used its ignition tranformer, when I think mine broke. (I generally have a hard time believeing things are broken. I have an all-in-one printer here that someone gave me because all it did was display a code, and I can't throw it away because I'm sure if it sits in my house for long enough, it will start working. Maybe this feeling comes from my fixing so many things, from the age of 8, without knowing what I did. But my ignition transformer must have broken because when I replaced it, the furnace worked again)
***The builder didn't take many shortcuts, cut he did on the water pipes. The gravel may be too coarse, but for sure, he used the wrong pipes. They should be somewhat flexible and they're not, so when a truck drives over a place where the pipe is on the corner of some gravel, the pipe breaks. It's happened about 6 times in the last 31 years. The water mains circle the n'hood, and there are 6 or 10 or so valves and it was designed when there was a leak that only two valves would be turned off so only 1/6 or 1/10th, 60 or 36 degrees of the circle, would be without water, but for some reason the plumbers always say they can't do that and everyone goes without water.
****It's a 4 hour drive back to NYC. I think the guests stayed until Monday afternoon or night, but now I'm not sure how, if the electricty failed on Sunday, as I recall. I know we ate our meals out, and it might not have been that hot, and I guess we were out except when sleeping. . I will have to call one of them to remind me. The electricity failed because the transformer that supplies 8 townhouses failed, probably because everyone was using AC.
I also had trouble with the reset button for a while. I thought it was a relay, and I looked for a relay that fit the spot, one with a built-in button like some do have. Couldn't find one, but eventually the device starting working fine again and has done so for 25 more years. I'm dumbfounded by this. But ever since these two control unit episodes, I had my eyes open for a junk one. I missed two or three, that were by the curb when I was going out and gone by the time I got home, but I got one before I needed it.
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wrote:

You HAVE the spare control board. How hard can it be to swap it in and see if it works? If it does work, Hakuna Matata.
If it doesn't work you are no further behind and you can start looking for a new board.
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On Sun, 16 Nov 2014 19:27:23 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Well it's not just the question as I asked it.
It probably will work, but I'd like to understand the difference from one control panel to the next. It seems to me that they are basically the same.
Now some burner oil pumps have solenoids, and they need a control unit that is set up for that, but those control units are still backwards compatible.
And I gather that some control units delay oil spray until they sense the ignition spark. That helps prevent unburned oil in the bottom of the firebox. Even though my furnace wasn't built that way, it might work with mine, but it doesn't matter since none of the units I've seen for sale have that delay feature.
But I can see why the question looked purposeless. Sorry.
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micky wrote:

Hmmm, While asking all these questions and not trying any thing how could you learn things? Sorry I am unable to help you, I never had oil burning furnace. Cold? We just had almost 2 weeks long minus 20C weather with snow. Are you this cold? Today it is normal, minus 4C.
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Well I'm not going to buy these things at 72 or 125 just to see if they'll work.

That's 23^ US iiac. That's pretty cold for now. Later in the winter it may seem warm.
The temp here at 9:30PM EST is 37, going down to... well it's going to get warmer later, in preparation for tomorrow. an almost warm day except it's going to rain all day.
That's something different in Centigrade. I guess it's 1/2 C
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On Sunday, November 16, 2014 9:35:37 PM UTC-5, micky wrote: >you learn things?

Keep in mind if you buy them, if they are not the right part, even if you can't return them, you can sell them on Ebay. Some of them are used on Ebay to begin with. I've done that with parts. Sometimes I've even made money by selling it later for more than I paid for it.
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On Mon, 17 Nov 2014 05:26:45 -0800 (PST), trader_4

True, but I'll never get around to doing that. I have things of my own now I could sell on Ebay. It's the boxing and wrapping that slows me down. Maybe the UPS store would do that?
After I posted, I accidentally came across the very same control unit I have, rebuilt, for $65,
This whole thread isn't just for me, but for my neighbor who seems to have less money than I do. He told me 9 days ago that he was out of oil until last Thursday and was depending on room heaters, and that his (DSL?) modem broke and he was looking for another one and using his phone for email. And that he didn't want to pay the (rather high, iirc**) charge the oil guy wanted for yearly maintenance on the furnace even though he thought the electrodes were bad and last it was running, he never turned it off because it he thought it woudln't restart (Yes, a misunderstanding, and I asked if he didn't get too hot but he was on to another subject. .)
And for all the things he needs, he expresses interest in parts from my spare burner. OTOH, when he borrowed my bathtub stem socket, it took 3 months and 3 reminders for him to return it, and I'm not willing to give or lend him any spare parts on the theory he'll replace them before or even when I need them. But I am willing to do online research, find parts, find how things work, etc.
**Though the oil price was only $2.00 a gallon. My tank is full or maybe I'd buy some.
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On Monday, November 17, 2014 1:13:01 PM UTC-5, micky wrote:

They will, but they charge an arm and a leg. I went in there one day a few years ago. I needed a box for something. The closest thing they had was a box intended to ship a notebook PC. It was a box with some foam. I think they wanted ~$35 for just the box. I think they charge a lot more that the UPS terminal to ship stuff too. Which is why I either use USPS or go to the UPS terminal.

That doesn't compute. I mean how long could he possibly leave it on? I guess you could heat the house up an extra 5 degrees. I can see doing that on an emergency basis. But overall, it would seem it wouldn't be too long before the extra oil cost as much as the repair. And even then, it only reduces the number of start-ups.

At least it's finally coming down a bit and in time for winter.
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On 11/17/2014 1:12 PM, micky wrote:

I've been guilty now and again of being too generous with parts and time and such. Some folks never quite figure out how to take care of self.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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well i guess the jist of what you want is to have a ready to go wroking spa re controller.
so either way, if you get one that is not an exaxt replacement, or you get a used one and don't KNOW if it works, the only way to know for sure if it will work is to try it.
But since it is cold out now, I would suggest you follow the "if it ain't b roke, don't fix it rule"
Maybe watch on ebay and try to buy some used controller that is a close ma tch to yours, then in the SPRING try it out. If it doesn't work or you hav e problems getting it all back toether, it won't be an emergency. With a fe w spare controllers you can swap parts etc to get two working ones. I wouldn't mess with a working furnace at this time of the seasons. Wait t ill spring. Collect your parts now.
Mark
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On Mon, 17 Nov 2014 14:56:20 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

This was supposed to have been done in the summer. But as early as July I realized I had too much outside work to do to finish that before winter. Most of my improvements to my car never got started.
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On Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:46:44 -0800 (PST), trader_4

I wondered about that too, but I don't feel he's conducive to follow-up questions, or I asked one and got no answer.

I haven't heard from him since he got the oil delivered**, except the night before he told me he must not have been out of oil because he turned the furnace on and it ran. This also means it started by itself, so he doesn't need electrodes, at least not totally, and they don't need that much adjustment (he said he'd done that, but I was going to look at them.) and he doesn't need an ignition transformer, which I think he had expressed interest in.
**That's another annying thing. He told me he wanted me to come over after the oil came but never called to say, Forget it. That's the second, maybe third time. So he doesn't get parts, and the second time I lent him the bathtub socket, I said if it's not back by tomorrow (the time he had said) I'm going to but a set at HD and you'll owe me $22. That time he returned the tool in 45 minutes. So maybe things will work out!
One thing he didn't know, and people used to gas furnaces and propane torches wouldnt' know is that the ignition in an oil furnace fires all the time the furnace is running.

Yes, I don't know what my regular supplier is charging, but I'm sure it's less than before.
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On Monday, November 17, 2014 7:56:55 PM UTC-5, micky wrote:

It sounds like he's letting the tank go empty, or almost empty. IMO, that may have more to do with his problems than electrodes. An empty tank, quickly filled, then the furnace started, probably results in a lot more crap, water, etc being drawn into the furnace. You also said your furnace doesn't have a filter, does his?
Also where the tank is located makes a difference. In my experience, furnaces with underground tanks, either buried outside or in a basement, are less problem prone than ones with a 275 gallon tank sitting outside. The temp cycling leads to more condensation.
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wrote:

NEW nice pointy electrodes in my burner made a big differance in how it lights and fires. Very difficult to bend in my experience you loosen the clamp and turn them to adjust the distance.
Got mine from Keith supply online.
Remove 333 to reply. Randy
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