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InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. Oil burners used on oil-fired heating boilers, furnaces, or water heaters can often be diagnosed using a visual inspection approach as well as optional simple test equipment described here.

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This article series answers most questions about all types of heating system troubleshooting, inspection, diagnosis, and repairs. We describe how to inspect, troubleshoot and repair heating and air conditioning systems to inform home owners, buyers, and home inspectors and students of heating service methods about common heating system defects.

The articles at this website describe how to recognize common oil-fired heating appliance operating or safety defects, and how to save money on home heating costs. We have collected oil burner diagnostic procedures from several texts, [1] - [22] adapted, expanded, and generally re-ordered steps in order of most likely to be successful and easiest to perform. For example it makes sense to check for a valve or switch that is off, or an oil filter that is clogged, before we start disassembling the fuel unit.

A good starting point is. You can return here from that article. Start right at the room thermostat. After making sure the control module showed a steady green, I asked a friend and he suggested that I wiggle all the spade connectors to be sure there is good contact between the copper and aluminum. It seems that there only needs to be a little corrosion to cause problems.

That seems to have done the trick. Charles that sounds to me as if the system is turning off because of a safety control such as a sensor that detects a poor burner flame. Don't keep pressing the re-set button on the burner.

You can press it ONCE - if the burner starts and runs for minutes or longer you can have heat while you are waiting for your heating service technician. But if the burner doesn't keep running do not keep pressing the reset button as you risk a dangerous puffback explosion. My riello burner starts then stops after min with no heat in the radiators, and not starting anymore I can feel hot in the pipe around circulating pump.

Right now it stopped. On - by mod - oil burner has been shut down on "safety". That sounds to me as if your oil burner has been shut down on "safety" - indicating a flame or burner malfunction that needs to be repaired.Burner will not start. Check voltage between L1 and L2 terminals. See the GeniSys Manual for details. If no voltage is present, check voltage at the operating limit. Also verify there is v at L1 to L2 and Limit to L2. Press and hold the reset button for at least one second.

This will reset the control.

how to test primary control on oil burner

The Genisys Primary Control is in a Restricted hard lockout This means the control has locked out 3 times. Hold the reset button down for 15 seconds.

how to test primary control on oil burner

When the reset light goes out, release the button. The control will reset. The pump prime light will turn on solid once the button is held for 15 seconds until the button is released. Refer to your GeniSys manual for more information. Burner runs, ignites, then stops. Cause 2 — Burner setup out of recommended adjustments Action:.

Refer to our Residential Oil Specification Guide to see start up settings. For more information about the Low Firing Rate Baffle click here. Nozzle Afterdrip. Refer to the Nozzle Afterdrip Tech Bulletin for more information. Cause 2 — Oil expansion in the nozzle line assembly, due to radiated heat at shutdown Action:.

Flue gas analysis not correct. Pre-set air settings are approximate for start-up.The cadmium sulfide cell, or cad cell, is part of the primary control system and is used to sense the presence of the oil burner flame.

How To Repair Oil Furnaces

The cad cell assembly consists of the actual cell, a holder, and cord to connect the cell to the primary control. This detector is mounted in the air tube of the burner in such a way as to sight the flame. The cad cell is made from a cadmium sulfide coated ceramic disk with a conductive grid over its surface. Electrodes are attached to this surface, and the cell is sealed in glass to protect it.

The cad cell in darkness has a very high resistance to the flow of electrical current. Yet, in the presence of visible light, it has a very low resistance. For a properly adjusted burner, during operation, the cad cell resistance should be approximately ohms, but not more than ohms.

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A resistance above ohms signals a problem that should be corrected. To understand how to troubleshoot the cad cell, it is important to first know how the control operates. Initially, the control must have a high resistance across its F-F terminals cad cell does not sense visible light before it will attempt to start the burner.

If the cad cell senses light or is shorted, the relay in the primary control will not pull in to start the burner.

Oil burner primary control.

Once the burner is running and the flame is established, the cad cell must have a low resistance cad cell sensing flame to keep the primary control from locking out on safety. What if the burner will not start and the cad cell is suspected? The procedure for solving this problem would be first to make sure the thermostat is calling for heat and that there is line voltage to the control. Then remove one lead of the cad cell from the F-F terminals. If the burner starts, this suggests that the cad cell is either seeing external light inside the housing, cad cell wires are pinched, the assembly is shorted, or the cell is defective.

You may need to shield the cell from external light, repair pinched wires, or put in a new cad cell. What if the burner starts but locks out and the cad cell is suspected? This symptom initially shows that the control did see the high resistance necessary to start the burner. However, during the lock-out timing period, it did not sense the low resistance on the cad cell necessary to keep the burner running. As stated earlier, the control must have no more than ohms of resistance to prevent random lock-out.

To troubleshoot this problem, start the burner and before the safety lock-out timing period ends, disconnect the cad cell wires from the F-F terminals on the control. Next, jumper the F-F terminals with a piece of wire or use a ohm resistor. This will allow the burner to continue running so that you will be able to check the cad cell resistance during the run cycle.Log in or Sign up.

Oil burner primary control. Joined: Jan 28, Occupation: retired Location: long island. Just a few simple questions for anyone with oil burner controls experience. Some primary controls are intermittent, some constant and some are interrupted. What would be the differences and how would they affect the burner operation? Can they be interchanged? What would be the determining factor in the decision for chosing one over the other and consequence for installing the wrong one. Thank you in advance.

Joined: Sep 2, Occupation: Retired Systems engineer for defense industry. Location: New England. Sounds like a homework question Generally, intermittent means that once the burner goes on, after a few seconds of established flame, the ignition transformer cuts out. Constant means just the opposite. The transformer sends a constant spark thru the electrodes. I'm not familiar with the interrupted type. Most all controls now a days have the intermittent control.

Depending on what unit you have, depends on what type you can use. SHillFeb 26, Close, but not quite correct. Assuming that the question is asked in reference to oil burner primary controls the answers are: The terms are really constant ignition, intermittent ignition and interrupted ignition. A constant ignition would be a constantly burning source of ignition such as a gas pilot flame.

how to test primary control on oil burner

These are only found in commercial and industrial sized equipment, and not very often these days.Line voltage alternates at 60 Hz, or 60 cycles per second. Remember: the ability of an ignitor to ignite oil depends on more than just high voltage — it depends on arc output current as well! The electronic ignitor does not require extensive maintenance. However, there are areas to consider:.

Remove power from the burner and block the fuel supply to the nozzle line while performing this test. DO NOT use transformer testers to test electronic ignitors. Doing so will give you an inaccurate measurement and may harm the ignitor, the tester, or both.

If an ignitor fails, it generally produces no arc at all. To test for this, perform the screwdriver arc test described above. Keeping the blade in contact with one of the springs, slowly pull the blade away from the other spring, drawing an arc from the spring to the blade. See also point 6 above. Electronic ignitors can produce interference with televisions and radios in two ways.

Iron core transformers can produce interference in the same ways, but usually to a lesser extent. Ignitors utilize potting compounds and plastic materials that resist moisture well. If the pressure washer is installed in a van or enclosed trailer make certain that your customer keeps the doors open. Electronic ignitors have proven to be durable, effective ignition components. However, there are areas to consider: Similar to the iron core transformer, the electronic ignitor must be kept clean.

Wipe dirt and oil from all surfaces. Check insulator bushings and make sure they are clean and free from any crazing or cracks. Examine the ignitor input leads for cuts or tears in the insulation. Make sure the wire nuts are tight and no bare wires are exposed.

If the ignitor has gasketing, check the sealing surfaces and replace any damaged or deteriorated gaskets. Perform the following test to check that the ignitor is grounded to the burner. Turn off the power to the burner.

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We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.The Wall. Click here to Find a Contractor in your area. Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum. If you've found help here, check back in to let us know how everything worked out. It's a great way to thank those who helped you. Need to contact us? February in Oil Heating. The reason I ask this is that I had a no heat on a Kenmore furnace that was installed in I reset the burner, it fired off fine with no delay or sputter, and then locked out as soon as the lockout time 15 seconds expired.

I checked the cad cell and it was above ohms, too high. I did the normal maintenance changed the oil filter, nozzle and cleaned the furnace it was not dirty at all The new homeowner has only owned the home two years but it appears that the previous owner had the furnace serviced on a regular bases.

While adjusting the burner to get the below readings: Co2- As many oil burners that I have worked on I never check the cad reading unless I think it is an issue, this is something that is going to change moving forward. I have a hard time to believing that through adjustment the readings was so much lower, and it does not make sense how the burner was able to stay online up until this point when the burner was not that far out of adjustment, or dirty.

Oil furnace cad cell and relay

I did not change the cad cell when I found that it was able to read within range. Any help would be much appreciated I am not completely sold on this issue not coming up again soon.

Thanks to all. February Havent done any small oil burners in a while. SuperTech Member Posts: 1, I typically see ohms on your average AFG burner. I consider readings higher than ohms a problem that needs to be addressed. February edited February All new primary controls can display ohms while running.

Most will lock out at ohms, however there are burners that won't lock out until around the ohm readings. This is due to their design and the small hole in the head turbulator allowing less light to reach the cad cell. NX is a good example where if you don't have everything properly aligned, you could get nuisance lockouts.

how to test primary control on oil burner

The usual check out for a control is to put a ohm resistor across F-F. If the burner starts, the control is bad. Remove one wire, start burner. When it fires, reconnect the resistor across F-F. If at anytime it locks out, replace control. Important to make sure you do not have flame failure when checking control as it will not shut off and could flood the chamber with oil.Although your oil furnace burns fossil fuel, it still needs electricity to light the flame.

The transformer steps up your volt house voltage to several thousand volts to produce a spark across the terminals of an igniter. Heating service technicians use a special high voltage tester to check the transformer. But if you don't want to pay for a service call and you think the only problem is the transformer, you can test it with a screwdriver.

You need enough mechanical ability to figure out how to get to the transformer to test it. Open the inspection panels to the burner, find the transformer and loosen it to where you can move it around.

Position the transformer so that you can see the high voltage terminals and touch them with the screwdriver. Leave the wiring attached. Place a screwdriver with a well-insulated handle to the output terminals of the transformer so that it is touching one terminal but not the other.

Move the screwdriver so that the gap between it and the terminal it's not touching varies from a half of an inch to an inch and makes an arc. The arc should hold at least three-quarters of an inch with a good transformer. A shorter arc or no arc at all indicates a weak or defective transformer. While you have the transformer loosened, you can check it for signs of wear.

Look for cracking or chipping on the porcelain insulators. You could get a nasty shock.

Oil Burner Controls

Make sure the screwdriver is dry. Oil burners need periodic maintenance to make keep them working properly. Just replacing a transformer may not fix all of your problems. To be safe, have a qualified service person check your oil burner after you work on it. Richard Asmus was a writer and producer of television commercials in Phoenix, Arizona, and now is retired in Peru. After founding a small telecommunications engineering corporation and visiting 37 countries, Asmus studied broadcasting at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College in New York.

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Use a screwdriver to check you oil burner transformer. Step 1 Shut off the power to the oil burner. Either turn off the breaker or unplug it. Step 2 Open the inspection panels to the burner, find the transformer and loosen it to where you can move it around.

Step 3 Disconnect the power to the motor so no oil will come out while you check the transformer. Step 4 Return the power to the oil burner and turn it on. Step 5 Place a screwdriver with a well-insulated handle to the output terminals of the transformer so that it is touching one terminal but not the other. Step 6 Move the screwdriver so that the gap between it and the terminal it's not touching varies from a half of an inch to an inch and makes an arc.

Tip While you have the transformer loosened, you can check it for signs of wear. Share this article. Richard Asmus.

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