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Old 01-24-2009, 09:07 PM   #1
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Oil furnace does not ignite


I have a very old oil furnace in my garage. Many years ago the stack control went bad and a friend wired it with a thermostat from an electric baseboard heater. This by passed the stack control. The only problem it caused is that it will keep pumping oil even if it doesnt ignite. In twenty years this is the first time this has happened. I want to get a new stack valve and wire it up properly. But first I need to figure out why it does not ignite. I dont know if it is the transformer that is bad, or whatever tells it to spark is not working. I can hear when the electrodes spark and they are not doing it now. Any ideas what to check? Thanks in advance. Coldinil

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Old 01-24-2009, 10:28 PM   #2
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Oil furnace does not ignite


Your fire insurance policy.

And your friends liability policy.

Check that combustion chamber. If its oil soaked, you don't want it to light off.
The camber must be drier out first depending how bad its been soaked.

Burning out excess oil from a combustion chamber, is not something that should be taken lightly. Houses have been burned down from it.

You chould call in a contractor for this unit.

Your friend is a (words not permitted on public forums) for creating such an unsafe set up by bypassing the only flame fialure safety that has.

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Old 01-24-2009, 10:41 PM   #3
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You speak the truth Beenthere. With friends like that who needs enemies.

Coldnini: you definately need to contact a professional, make the call now, do not pass go annd do not collect $200.
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:36 PM   #4
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I just love forums where no usefull information is given. Every time someone doesn't know the answer they just make smart remarks. Did you ever hear of just ignoring a post you didn't like?
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:38 PM   #5
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Oil furnace does not ignite


Quote:
Originally Posted by coldinil View Post
I just love forums where no usefull information is given. Every time someone doesn't know the answer they just make smart remarks. Did you ever hear of just ignoring a post you didn't like?
Et tu, Brute?
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:57 AM   #6
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Oil furnace does not ignite


Quote:
Originally Posted by coldinil View Post
I just love forums where no usefull information is given. Every time someone doesn't know the answer they just make smart remarks. Did you ever hear of just ignoring a post you didn't like?
Many years ago.
A friend of mine, also in the trade. Decided that the chamber in a moble home furnace, wasn't flooded that bad, and he could burn it out.
20 minutes later the fire department was there to put the trailer out.
It had more oil in it then he thought.

A small commercial building, someone bypassed the safety. One night it didn't ignite the oil for an unknown amount of time.
But hept running with the safety bypassed.
Eventually, it ignited. The fire doors to that room were blown open.
The fire glass in the door of the other room was also broken.
The fire department had to come out also.

I know of atleast 20 other similar incidents to those.

Recently, on a mid sized commecrcial boiler, fired at 21 gallons an hour.
The second stage seliniod wiring shorted to the first stage wiring.
Casing it to open during ignition, with out enough air, it couldn't ignite.
But did flood the chamber.

I dried out the combustion chamber, and had the fire department come out before I would even try to light it.

It burned ouot relatively quick. But while we were there burning it out. The fired depart received several calls form neighbors, and passerbys, that the building was on fire, because they could see nothing but smoe coming out the chimney, and the surrounding block was smokey from it.


Having worked on burners up to 300 gallons an hour. I might have a slight idea what can happen if you don't take proper safety precautions.


Telling you to have a oil service tech come out and take care of it for you.

Is the best advise you can receive.

Weather or not you like that advise.

I didn't create that fire hazzard condition. Your "friend" did.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:06 AM   #7
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Oil furnace does not ignite


Uh, well what is it precisiely that you don't like about the advice given to you by guys-in-the-know, with experience, who give of their expertise for free? I mean just what does it offend in you? Your pride? Your wallet? Your machismo?

Look at it this way: there are plenty of people on this board who could help you solve your problem - could probably do so in their sleep - by telling you precisily what to do, what pieces you should change, how to install them, where to get them and what you should pay; after all, they do this for a living, and are paid to know the stuff like that that you and I don't. But don't forget, they're not at your house and can't see what you don't tell them, even if you could see what they're looking for...That's a tall order.

Like a doctor diagnosing someone sick over the phone. Hard to do because so many other things enter into the picture...get it?

And I say nothing about liability issues that even their correct advice could cause should something go wrong.

Don't blame them for giving you the best free advice they can under these circumstances - and "beenthere" did just that in his first post. Call in a pro; choose your homeownership battles and save your machismo for bragging about your car to your friends...

At the very least, opinions gained from this forum ought to give you something to think about....you should be thanking them for saving your butt, not sounding like a hurt dog.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:27 AM   #8
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My ex boss was very fond of pressing reset buttons on large rooftop units w/o knowing that gas explodes. My first Journeyman put it bluntly: Ignorance is bliss (and deadly). Some people only care about $$ and not safety. Glad my neighbors don't fool around with their furnaces.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:30 AM   #9
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Guys, there is no doubt that this should have never been bypassed. It is obvious. That is why I came here seeking help. I always wait for the furnace to ignite before I go back in the house to wait for it to heat up. It takes about ten seconds after the pump comes on to ignite. It only ran for about 30/45 seconds before I shut it off so I am not too concerned about the amount of oil inside.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:57 AM   #10
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Get a proper stack control installed and do the whole job PROPERLY and professionals may be interested in helping. I am very ethical and so are others and we don't want the neighbors kids dying because someone put $$ before safety.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:41 AM   #11
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That is what I am trying to do but all anyone wants to do is lecture. Adios to another worthless forum.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:50 AM   #12
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Oil furnace does not ignite


Unless it has a delayed oil seliniod valve, if it always took 10 seconds to light.
Then it hasn't ever worked right.
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:18 PM   #13
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