Oil Burner Rumble Fix??


I have an oil-based hot-water system running a Lennox Furnace with a Beckett burner. Ever since the system was installed 15 years ago, the furnace has burned with a loud rumble, louder than any other oil furnace I've encountered. I have the furnace serviced annually by a pro(filter, nozzle, cleanup)who claims that nothing can be done to quiet the furnace down. Also, about every winter or two the burner conks out with carbon deposits fouling the electrodes.
Anyway, I was complaining to a friend about all of this and he said he had the same problem with his oil furnace on a hot air system. He said he quieted his furnace down by moving the electrodes out "just a hair" further from the nozzle and suggested I give it a try. Before I do, I'd like to ask a few questions.
Has anyone tried this, and did it work?
Is there risk of damage to the electrodes, maybe burning them out by raising the combustion temp. by moving them?
How critical are the specs on the electrodes -- gap distance, angle to the nozzle, distance from the nozzle, etc.??
I'm willing to give his idea a try, but want to make sure I'm not going to mess things up worse than they are and have my furnace go out on the coldest night of the winter.
TIA for any advice.
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snafu wrote:

<not the oil burner "expert"> I'll be surprised if moving electrodes solves a rumble problem.
The gap, angle, distance are all critical to getting ignition. Changing anything by just a few thousandths of an inch can make starting unreliable. But, if you're up to experimenting, make measurements of where everything is now and try it.
Rumble and pulsation are usually caused by very complex conditions. Firebox dimensions, nozzle size, spray angle, combustion air delivery, stack draft, boiler passages, etc.
It takes a really, really, experienced burner mechanic to solve problems like this. And a customer who is willing to pay (substantial amounts) for his time trying various fixes.
If I could get consistent and reliable ignition with a minimum of trouble, I would be willing to live with the rumble.
Jim
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snafu wrote:

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