One problem replaced by another. OIl furnace burns, stops after 9 seconds

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I'm not an oil burner technician, but I wire about 25 oil and gas boilers each year. I have never seen an oil burner burn any color but yellow. I've never seen "tips", only flaming atomized oil spray.

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On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 09:29:08 -0800, Smitty Two

LOL.
I will check all things that others, those who don't work Mind Control Central, have suggested. I did wipe off the photocell for the flame sensor, but maybe the connection is bad or something else related.
I also forgot to add that it shudders, shakes, a little when it first starts, something it's never done before.
Thanks all.
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A good Yellow flame, is like pouring money down a lady, that wont produce. BLUE is a clean burn.
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On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 14:06:10 -0800 (PST), ransley

Oil burns yellow. If there is not enough air, it might burn dark yellow, and if there is too much air, it is iiuc light yellow (or bright yellow?) or even white or near white, though I've never seen white.
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On 1/20/2011 5:13 PM, mm wrote:

Yellow? What are you burning, crude oil or heating oil?
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Tony Miklos wrote:

#2 diesel / heating oil I expect. I've never seen an oil flame that could be remotely described as "blue".
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wrote:

That's right. (I've recently read about #1, that it can be used too, but I don't know the difference. Is it purer in some way and more expensive?)

Well I'm no pro, but I've been reading a lot lately and while most pages just talk about what the gauges should show, one went over the colors like I said a couple posts ago. And I've looked in my furnace a lot over the years and it's always yellow!
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That's obvious. Call a reputable HVAC contractor. If you don't know any, ask everyone you know. Somebody has a name.
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Follow-up.
So I turned the oil furnace on 2 hours ago and it's running fine.
The only explanation I can think of I didn't mention before, because i thought it so very very unlikely and would just confuse things.
Last night, I replaced the humidifier with one I had refurbished, but one rubber part I used was old and used and though it looked nice and it was flexible, maybe it wasn't flexible enough anymore.
When I put it in place and turned the water back on, it filled for a while and then overflowed, and ran down the outside of the plenum. But I find it hard to believe any water got anywhere important.
I watched carefully to see where the water went, and a lot landed on the flue-funnel or flue-catcher (I forget its name, connects the large furnace output opening to the smaller flue) and then rolled off that to the floor of the section below, with a little landing on the thermostat wire and the AC wire, and maybe a drop landingon the control box, but none of it seemed to make it to the any opening in the control box cover. I don't think any water landed on the low-voltage connection screws.
But all I can imagine is that it dried out during the day, because I didn't do anything but press reset and wait.
Trivia. Thank you folks for advice on the ball valve for 1/4" tubing. I can't reach the original valve for the humidifier, so I turned off the water to the whole house and disconnected the humidifer tube. NO water dripped out. Yet when I reconnected everything and turned the water on, turning the water off again wouldn't stop the dripping! So I connected the valve to the end of the tubing and that stopped the dripping, even when the water was turned back on.
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wrote:

A good Yellow flame, is like pouring money down a lady, that wont produce. BLUE is a clean burn.
Since you've obviously never seen an oil burner, do yourself a favor and google it. Every google search describes an oil burner color as yellow or yellow orange, but none come up as blue
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On 1/20/2011 8:44 PM, RBM wrote:

That odd. My searches came up with about 7 out of 10 going for white or blue.
If I get the ambition I'll find some more.
http://www.helium.com/items/1674311-tips-for-adjusting-an-oil-burners-flame The flame of some oil burners may be a light yellow in color. More often it should have a blue - white or chrome colored flame. A dark yellow flame is an indication of a lack of air in the mixture.
To the OP please wipe the photo cell clean and see what happens. If it runs ok for a couple days then starts acting up again, you know it's not burning clean and you can go from there.
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wrote:

That's the first I've seen any mention of blue, and it also says light yellow and not in a derogatory sense. Your post indicated that if it burned yellow, something was wrong.
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On 1/20/2011 7:40 AM, mm wrote:

For now forget the flame color argument and clean the photo cell and see what happens. If it runs ok for a couple days then starts acting up again, you know it's not burning clean and you can go from there.
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On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 22:02:23 -0500, Tony Miklos

I woke up in the middle of the night remembering that I hadn't posted that I had wipe4d off the photo cell and it had no dirt on it.
Then by Thursday evening, I started it and it's been running fine ever since. It must have been the water from the humidifier, even though I watched carefully and I don't think it got into any openings in the control box. And if it did, how did it dry out in only a day? It's much easier for a nearly-closed box to get wet inside than it is to dry out.
Thanks for your help.
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On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 22:02:23 -0500, Tony Miklos

I also should say that the acrid smell I Posted about a few days ago, and the smoke I saw curling from either side of oil burner, I solved too.
I looked inside the burner housing, which opens up by lifting the big ignition transformer which has hinges on one side, and which has to be lifted to replace the nozzle. No holes to the outside there.
And back outside the burner, because the burner was partly in the way, I never could see a hole in the "wall" of the furnace below the burner. If the burner is a clock, I can see to from about 8 o'clock over the top to 3 or 4 o'clock.
So I decided to patch it without seeing it. I found furnace cement at Home Depot but only in a half-gallon bucket. I had seen it mentioned on the web in caulking tubes. Way at the other end of the store in the paint department were 2 products by 3M, fire block and fire barrier. In caulking tubes.
The "wall", I mentioned, the outside of the furnace, not counting the decorative cover that hides the burner, actually doesnt' get hot, I finally learned, afraid to touch it all these years, so I used fire barrier, put a big glob on a paint-mixing stick/paddle, the ones they give free with paint, and smeared it on almost as widely and as thick as I could get it. It only took a little bit to do that, 5 or 6 tablespoons. It still smoked right after that, but I had only waited an hour to start the furnace and that might have been some part of the still not fully dry fire barrier. Doesn't smoke anymore, and that smell is gone.
I know if I called a repairman he would do pretty much the same thing, after charging me for a cleaning, nozzle, alignment of electrodes, all of which had recently been done, and after trying to get me to buy a new furnace now from him, instead of waiting for the summer. Plus I woudldn't have learned anything except how to pay someone to do things for me.
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How old is this furnace?
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On Fri, 21 Jan 2011 05:12:08 -0500, "JoeSpareBedroom"

but asking around I have found at least 3 others of the 109 of us.
I also found the original instructions on-line and dividing output btus by input btus, it was 80% efficient. Not sure what it would be cleaned or uncleaned now. The Bryant they sold my meighbor last summer has an EPA label that it's 81.5% efficiient.
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