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.
Are these things fairly universal?
Or even something like this
**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
Thanks a lot for any help you can give.
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.
Carrier uses both Beckett and Riello burners. Never made their own to
Yes. Here is tips on how to set them
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
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
Yours is the simpler post to answer, so you're first.
On Sat, 15 Nov 2014 18:47:45 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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
$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.
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.
On Sun, 16 Nov 2014 19:27:23 -0500, email@example.com 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
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
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.
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.
Well I'm not going to buy these things at 72 or 125 just to see if
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
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.
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.
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.
well i guess the jist of what you want is to have a ready to go wroking spa
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.