On Tue, 18 Nov 2014 04:51:50 -0800 (PST), trader_4
Interest in my spare transformer, when I hadn't said I'd used it
I think he's short of money. He works a full and a part time job, and
his wife works full time, but there are many ways to run out of money.
He said his desktop computer isn't connected to the Net becaue he needs
a modem (and he reads his email, etc. on his phone) and I asked, Do you
have DSL, dial-up, and I got the impression it's DSL, so I said, if your
modem is broken, Verizon will give you a new one for free. But he
He said it did. I figure it was added by a maintenance or repair man
after the house was built. OTOH, I had yearly maintenance for a long
time and no one suggested it to me. Maybe that's because I had more
junk in the laundry room, and the guys couldn't just bend down and look
under the tank and see that there was no filter. OT3H, they could
certainly see there was no filter at the furnace, which is where the
drawings always show them to be.
I've heard that. I'm glad that ours are in our basements.
My oil tube and eletrode assembly has two triangular spikes coming out
of the otherwise circular plate. Do you know if Riello has that too?
I looked all over the web for Riello, I didn't see any parts that looked
like mine, except the nozzles, but I didn't see many pictures of the
parts I know well, like the nozzle assembly.
Also, most of the Riello were painted red. The one image under Riello
that looked familar when traced to the page it came from turned out to
be Beckett after all. I think I have a Beckett.
Nothing in here about electroides, but interesting still.
IIunderestoodC, he tested the transformer by opening it up and then he
had about 45 seconds before the safety swtich shut things down to check
the spark, and it went across to the screwdriver (which rested on the
other HV terminal ) It didnt' take him 45 seconds though, only 10. He
didnt' seem to worry about the 10 seconds of oil spray that would end in
the bottom of the firebox. ??
I hadn't thought of testing this way. When I replaced my ign. xformer,
i only guessed that it was bad since the furnace wasn't working.
Some years ago, I did take two courses in oil burner
service. I've done little with that knowledge, and
it's mostly all forgotten. Do wish I could be more
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
No kidding! Makes sense now that you've said it. Thanks.
I know about lightning rods and that they need points. I've read other
stuff about points. How could I not notice that I need points.
....I just looked at the ones I took out a couple years ago. No points
at all!! They're like a round pencil that has never been sharpened.
The closest thing to a point is where the end meets the side!
...Now that I think about it, I might not have needed the spare ignition
transformer. Maybe the old one would have worked if I'd had points!!
(I'm glad i saved it.)
I did notice that, But for some reason, I thought either I had bent
them enough (when perhaps I hadn't bent them at all) or that they didn't
need bendnig after all. I figured the next time I'd put them in the
vice to bend them. And I could file points on them too.
Didn't know about them. This is very good, the first set of electrodes
with the other end looking like mine (flat metal tabs). Now it's easy
enough to transfer that part off the old electrodes, but it's still
feels good to find someone who sells just what I use. More important,
unlike the other (very few) electrode listings I've seen, this site
gives the dimensions for the porcelain insulators. So I don't have to
just hope they'll be like mine. And the insulator diameters are not all
the same, 9/16, 7/16, and 1/2.
.... Mine are 1/2".
Something like http://keithspecialty.com/k/66-091.htmI Keith's lists
3 curved ones, like mine**, though all different lengths, none of which
are the same as either of mine. I guess it matters most where the tips
end up. **Although now I notice that in the owners manual that came
with the furnace, the diagram about measurements, the electrodes are not
curved, they're bent. This is how I got the idea that all that matters
is where the tips end up! ???
Flat bus bars are sold separately.
And though this supplier is near nothing, 20 miles from the closest
towns, which are Indiana and Punxatawny, and 50 miles from Johnstown and
Altoona, they're only 200 miles from me, so shipping will probably be
pretty quick, not that I'm in a hurry this time.
On Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:09:26 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
Even then you're probably better off. I've never heard of a tank suddenly
bursting wide open. Typically they start with a small leak. I'd rather
have a small leak in a basement where I'll see and smell it and be able
to deal with it before big trouble results. With it buried, you typically
don't find the leak until there is massive ground contamination and a
Posted and mailed because I'm correcting my mistake of yesterday.
Today I called Keith Supply and he was very nice, answered 2 or 3
questions, and he told me that not all electrodes are pointy. at all.
So all my excitement over pointiness yesterday was, it seems, for
nothing. (In the meantime, I sharpened one of 4 spare electrodes to a
point, so now it's a tiny bit shorter than it was, I think.)
But thanks a lot for the referral. I'm going to order about 20
dollars worth of stuff from him, and maybe more later. My new furnace
will be oil too.
While I"m here,
I put my stick on the control-until relay pointed end down this time,
and it seems to have found the sweet spot. That is, the furnace is
running normally for the past 26 hours.
I'd forgotten since last march but the problem is that the relay
energizes but the winding or the current through it isn't strong enough
to pull the armature down. So I would push it down with the stick (a
stake pounded into the ground used for an advertising sign illegally on
public property.) and when the house was hot enough, I'd remove the
I seem to have put the stake so it just makes up for the weakness in the
On Thursday, November 20, 2014 9:53:21 PM UTC-5, micky wrote:
It's probably been said before and it should be very obvious, but just
for the record, what you're doing is bypassing an important safety system
on a malfunctioning oil furnace that you're fiddling with. A furnace
that apparently has multiple problems.
And you're not doing it for 5 mins to test, while you're standing there
watching it, you're apparently doing it for
26 hours, during which time the furnace shuts down, then restarts, etc. Presumably you and possibly others are even asleep while this is going on.
It sounds like a possible very bad event waiting to happen.
My memory was bad. They call it an oil strainer, not an oil filter.
They sell replacement strainers for some furnaces, depending on the oil
pump attached to the burner, that look like little rat-wheels, cylinders
less than an inch high, with a diameter about 2 nches, made of some
but they don't look like anything in my furnace. I suspect some
so-called technician removed the strainer and didn't replace it either
before I bought the house, or maybe even almost right in front of me
without telling me. Those guys tick me off.
On Fri, 21 Nov 2014 04:34:41 -0800 (PST), trader_4
No, it hasn't been. Thank you.
No, it only has one problem. Failure to make heat when the thermostat
calls for it. (I had written "failure to respond to the thermostat"
but it does respond. It energizes the relay winding somewhat, just not
If you read again the questions I started the thread with, they were
about planning ahead, understaning the past, and for the sake of my
friend with the same furnace.
Oh, you're talking about the last 26 hours. I"m not bypassing any
safety systems now**. The relay is dependant on being energized by the
closing of the thermostat. And all the other parts like the safety
switch are at work too. All the stick does in this position is make up
for the weak relay winding.magnetism***, but the relay still only closes
when the winding is energized, and it opens when the winding isn't.
***(weak either because the winding is partially shorted -- which would
be easier to believe if the wire were finer -- or because some other
part is limiting the input to the relay winding.)
**I was bypassing the safety switch when I put the stick at the edge of
the relay armature, when the weight of the stick and its location with
maximum leverage was enough to hold the armature down no matter what.
But that I only did for an hour or two while I sat in the next room
working on the computer. When I would get noticeably warm, I'd turn it
off (remove the stick). I didn't go upstairs for fear I'd forget to go
I'll check again but if there were others here, I would know about it.
If I die, I'll post about it. ..... Hmm. If I stop posting soon, you
can figure it killed me.
On Friday, November 21, 2014 9:06:25 PM UTC-6, micky wrote:
One can only hope! 8^)
No one can follow your blathering anyway...I've worked on a few oil furnace
s, one was my own before we got NG here in the boonies. They have all had f
ilters next to the furnace like this: http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x
I've also seen dozens of basements with oil furnaces and the same filter se
On Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:31:54 -0800 (PST), bob_villa
Yeah, I know what an oil filter looks like.
That's why it's strange that I don't have one. And perhaps stranger
yet that it's never caused a problem.
Did you email me directly in the last week or two? I got an email
from "bob_villa", with a different email address, and I wondered later
if that were you, ??
Does the relay have enough pull to HOLD the contact but not pull it in?
Can you measure the voltage at the felay coil?
Is it AC Or DC at the telay, make sure you use the correct meter.
I would guess it is AC
If you have other controllers to canabalize, can you replace the relay?
On Sun, 23 Nov 2014 07:18:39 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Yes, it's AC, but there's no way to measure the voltage. It's on a
circuit board that sits 1/2" above the metal bottom of the unit. It's
soldered in. Well, maybe I could take the board out of the metal
box. You're right, if I can, I should do that and take measurements
before I disconnect everything. Maybe this is why I've been stalling***
I have a whole other controller that I don't know for sure works** but
it probably does. But I've been ***stalling for some reason about
putting it in. One reason is probably that there are 12 wires that
have to be reconnected, and even after making a drawing and taking a
picture, I have the feeling I will screw up. All the colored wires
are black now, plus senior moments maybe, since I've made a few repair
mistakes in the last year.
After I replace it, I'm going to try to figure out what is wrong with
**I have a whole other burner that the owner across the street gave me
when he replaced his identical furnace with a new one. There's a
chance that he replaced it because this part failed, but I believe I
asked him if the furnace worked and he said yes.
On Sunday, November 23, 2014 11:43:11 AM UTC-5, micky wrote:
maybe you can adjust the spring pull or contact spacing so it will have enough pull to pull it in agasint a lighter spring of less distance...
but again, maybe you should wait until spring if it is basically working now....
actually it's probably time for you to get some help on the scene in person either from a pro or a more knowledgable DIY.
On Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:08:08 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
I think there's only one spring and it pulls the armature contacts away
from the fixed ones.
Here's what the whole thing looks like:
Shift-mouse-wheel makes it bigger, though it's been sold and I don't
know how long the image will still be there.
This one is one version newer than mine. It has an LED to show when
it's in lockout, the small parts aren't identical, and the circuit board
isn't held in place by bent metal tabs, like in mine.
This is the same thing
They both have mouse-over-zoom.
The first owner of the house saved the owners manual to everything, even
the bathroom fans, as well as the washer and dryer and dishwasher and
garbage disposal, and the furnace/AC which is probably the most
important one. And it includes two diagrams, A) for the
burner/thermostat/fan-relay/etc., the whole system, and B) an internal
wiring diagram of the control unit and the thermostat.
Here are two diagrams, on page 11, figure 6, but don't knock yourself
out on this stuff. I've spent hours studying the diagrams and the rest
of the pdf file.
Page 11 is the only page where the image is tilted.
The top diagram on page 10, figure 5, is basically the same thing, but
heat only, no AC, so maybe it makes things simpler.
Diagram B isn't quite complete. The control until has two transistors,
two resistors and a ceramic capacitor that aren't shown on the diagram.
And there is a little clear plastic box with a button (that the Reset
button presses on when pushed) which the schematic calls Solid State
Switch and shows 4 wires going into it. (Maybe I'm supposed to know that
in that SSSwitch are also the transistors, etc.) Two of those 4 wires
also connect to the two sides of the power relay winding, so I think
somewhere in that SSSwitch is the secret to what I suspect is a lower
voltage than normal. .
Well it was fun at the end of last winter turning on and off the furnace
by hand for a couple weeks. And it was fun again the start of this
winter. And it's fun finding the sweet spot for the stick that makes it
run on its own. But I think soon it will be no more fun and I'll
replace the control unit.
Alas, I'm the most knowledgeable DIY I know. Many of the people I know
don't know how to fix a thing, and the rest specialize. ;-) None
specialize in furnaces, especially oil furnaces. (I did have
occasions to help a friend who maintains a large old auditorium building
(3 stories high, extends from one street to the next one) He kept
suspecting boxes attached to the boiler, but when I got home and looked
up their name and model on the net, they were ancillary things. He
either fixed it or called a repairman. So I didn't' fix it but I saved
him from replacing things that were not broken. And I was able to
explain to him how they worked and how the boiler control circuits
worked better than he had known before.
As to pros, on the first few annual maintenance visits by pros, they
used gauges to measure the stack temperature, and maybe the CO2
But somewhere along the line they stopped using gauges. They just
vacuumed the flue, replaced the nozzle, looked at the flame, put in one
of those things that burns any oil that has collected at the bottom of
the firebox, and they were done. I had the smallest shop-vac they sold
and I had to buy a new bigger shopvac to get one that would accept soot
filters, but after I got that, I could do three of the four things they
Back when servicemen did come out, I suppose if I had told the person on
the phone I wanted someone who would check things with the gauges, they
would have sent one for the same price, but I didn't think of that then,
and I've gotten to feel that if they ask someone, Do you use the gauges,
he's say "Yes" whether he does or not, and if they send him, if he
normally doesn't use them, he'll pretend to use them. and I'll be no
better off. (Wait till I post what the Toyota dealer did and you'll
see why I'm so cynical.)
In 2010 and 2012, I called my oil supplier to make an appointment for
someone to service the furnace. I probably called in September. Each
time she told me that they were booked up. I don't remember if I had
told her I was for years by then an oil-delivery customer. I asked,
Could you call me when you have time, and each time, she very nicely
said she would. But she never did.
I'm fed up with the pros around here.
**Recently I bought some of those oil-burning things, but I haven't used
one yet. (I have a 0.75 gallon/hour nozzle, and the control unit trips
after 45 seconds without flame, and if that happens, in that time, 45
seconds, 3/80ths of a gallon = 3/5ths of a cup, gets sprayed But I
haven't had a lockout in 5 or 10 years.
5 stories actually, not counting the cupola. Construction took several
years, ending in 1928. They're on their second furnace however.
The building is not used much, and never by anywhere near the 1000
people it was designed to seat, so it was hard to justify a whole new
furnace, but I think they came up with a plan for a new heating system
for the part they do use.
I combined two stories, I think, or just mixed up this one.
I think I'm talking here about the actual relay, not the other thing I
know now is the safety switch, which I may have also had trouble with on
I also took the spare parts, capacitor, maybe the contactor, from an
identical condensing unit being junked, but only used a plastic circular
disk that later broke on mine.
here is a diagram of the control unit wiring
if you are manually pressing down the relay to start the burner THEN YOU AR
E DEFEATING ONE OF THE SAFTEY FEATURES.
I would do this only in an emergency and only if you were there to monitor
the burner the entire time it is running and turn it OFF if the flame goes
out. One purpose of the saftey is to prevent a situation where the burner
continuous to run when the flame is out. This pumps oil that is not burne
d into the box. The oil is not burned and accumulates in the box. If an e
xceesive amount of oil accumulates in the box, the next time the burner is
started the ignition can set off ALL THE ACCUMULATED OIL AT ONCE. You can
understand why this is bad. Do not defeat the saftey.
The controller uses the CAD cell (electric eye) on the left to verify the
flame. If the flame is out, the saftey switch heater get energized and aft
er a time delay the saftey switch turns off and this turns off the current
to your realy which is K1 on the diagram.
If yoru realy won't pull in at the start, something is wrong with the safte
y switch. The current to initially pull in K1 flows thgh the saftey switch
heater. Thus something may be wrong with the saftey, and it prevents the
controller from starting. It is a fail safe desgn and if you press in the
relay by hand, you are defeating the fail safe.
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