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Beckett Oil Burner Trouble – Review

Beckett Oil Burners are a very dependable oil burner. Like anything mechanical, they will have failures from time to time. Basic check number 1, does the burner have power supplied to it? Check this with a volt meter. I have seen breakers or fuses that look like they are okay. When checked with a meter they are found to be tripped or bad. I cannot tell you how many times I have been called out to fix an oil furnace, only to have to turn a breaker back on or replace a fuse. Power surges, lightning, or low voltage can often cause this type of thing.

Once the power is verified you can then begin to check that the controls are functioning properly. First, find the red button on the gray box and push it. I could tell you to reset the Protectorelay, but many of you would not have a clue what that is, so the red button on the gray box will do for now. Does the motor start when you do this? If not, then check the power to the motor. This is best done by taking the gray box off and checking the power at the wires going to the motor. Always remember to use care with the hot wires and to shut off the power before disconnecting any wires. If there is power to the motor, check the reset button on the motor. It is a tiny red button on the side usually about halfway around the back of the motor at the worst possible spot to get to. If the motor hums, but does not run then try to turn the blower under the transformer. The transformer is the black box on the top beside the gray box. If the blower will not turn, then take the two screws out that hold the pump and remove the pump. Does the motor start now?

Here are the options then for what we know so far. With the pump removed does the motor run? If so, then the oil pump probably is bad and will not turn. Replace the pump and everything should work. If the motor still just hums, then replace the motor. Of course if there is power to the motor and the reset is not tripped then the motor is bad and needs to be replaced. That should take care of the motor issues. If none of that is the cause of the problem then we need to dig deeper.

The transformer is another problem that can be very common with these oil burners. With the motor running, carefully rock the transformer back on it’s hinges and look for sparks in the compartment. The sparks should look like little lightning bolts flying around in there. If the sparks are very weak or yellow in color, then replace the transformer. If there are no sparks and there is confirmed power going to the transformer. The transformer is also bad and needs to be replaced.

Oil pumps rarely go bad and if they do, they are hard to figure out. Another problem with changing the oil pump out, is that the proper equipment is needed to tune up the oil burner after the new pump is installed.

The more common problem that is oil related would be a clogged oil filter. I probably should have addressed that sooner. It is very common for the filter to get plugged by dirt or water. Replacing the oil filter is fairly easy to do and should be done at least once a year. A very dirty load of oil can plug up an oil filter very quickly. A new oil filter is very handy to have available at all times.

The oil nozzle also can be a problem area. This nozzle sprays the oil into the combustion chamber at a very high pressure. The oil is broken down to a fine mist to make it burn more effectively and efficiently. Because of the very fine hole that the oil must go through, even very small pieces of dirt can cause major problems. The oil nozzle assembly is under the transformer and can be removed by unhooking the oil line from the pump. Taking the lock nut off, then sliding the nozzle assembly back and up out through the hole.

Two wrenches should always be used to remove the nozzle. The nozzle should always be replaced using one that is exactly the same flow, angle, and spray pattern as the removed nozzle. Even if it is replaced with the exact same nozzle, the oil burner should have a tune up as soon as possible after replacement. All nozzles are not created totally equal and even very subtle difference can affect the performance of the oil burner.

This is in no way a complete problem guide for oil burners. It will give you some basic things to look at if your oil burner stops working and you need to try to make it run for now. A professional tune up with a combustion analyzer is always recommended for any oi fired appliance at least once yearly. After any replacements or adjustments of any kind a new analysis needs to be completed. An oil burner that is not properly tuned will waste oil and cause many problems with soot build up, that will in turn cause more problems.With oil burners it never pays to try and cut corners. This will almost always come back to you many times over with more problems.

This was intended to be a very basic emergency guide to help get your oil burner running if the problem was a basic one. Oil burners are delicate burning machines that need lots of tender loving care to give them a long life. Make sure that you have a professional tune up your oil burner at least once a year to get the most out of your oil. There are other issues that could come up that I could not address here. As I said oil burners are quite complicated and there are many combination’s of problems that can happen.

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