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Thread: No ignition on oil furnace!!

  1. #1

    Default No ignition on oil furnace!!

    I have a Beckett model # 980824-16714 oil furnace with a Honeywell ignition (R8184 G 4009). The blower comes on but I have no ignition. I ran out of fuel and had a delivery and I have bled the line so many times! I left it alone last night, i dont know if it can be flooded, so I gave it a break. This morning, same thing no ignition. Yesterday when I was bleeding it, I hit the black lockout lever, but shouldn't the reset, reset that?? I am confused and just trying to figure out if this was because of the lockout or if my ignition is just bad.....I am open to any suggestions, I need to fix this, it is cold in the mornings....and no money to call a repairman..Please help if you can! Thanks, Jessica

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Central Minnesota


    OK, The reason that the reset button clicked out is because there is an "electric eye" (cad cell) that ''sees" that the flame is going or not. It is a safety feature to stop the pump from pumping fuel into the firebox with no fire. (very dangerous) So that part is working, you just have no ignition.

    There is a transformer (usually on the top,big heavy black box) that steps the 120 volt house power up to 10,000 volts for ignition. You should disconnect the transformer from the supply, and test to make sure that there is 120 volts available at those wires that feed it. If not, you primary control is probably shot, if all wire connections are tight. Next thing is to see if the primary windings of the transformer is good. That can be done with an ohmmeter. Anything higher than zero ohms but not infinity (open) means the transformer is probably good.

    I would also take out the nozzle / electrode assembly and check the electrodes. The might need to be cleaned and regaped. The correct gap should be listed in the owner's manual. Testing the secondary is more dangerous because most ohmmeters cannot read that high of a reading, so the transformer needs to be energized and tested that way (to see if it would jump a spark) This is dangerous because you are exposed to like 10,000 volts but I would check everything else first. Make sure your secondary / high voltage connections are clean and tight. On most oil burners the transformer makes contact to the electrode rods with springs, so check these for dirt and corrosion.

  3. #3


    Thanks for you help! I changed the nozzle that squirts the fuel today and that didn't help. So my next step is going to be your advice checking to see if the transformer is getting the correct voltage. My friend is going to lend me his volt reader machine. I am crossing my fingers that I can figure something out. I checked those springs on the inside of the black box and they looked good, so I am getting limited on things to try. I know absolutely nothing about mechanics, learning as I go!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Central Minnesota


    Yup, keep me posted.

    Hopefully you can narrow it down.

  5. #5


    it could be just a dirty "cad" cell. If the Cad cell gets any accumulation of smudge on it (due to running out of fuel)it will shut down the firing of the burner.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Saskatchwan, just south of Gods Country

    Default Interested in the outcome

    any word on what the problem was/is? I have an oil furnace, and had the same problem.

    I have a warning. Every time you hit the reset and it runs for 20 seconds, it pumps fuel into the fire pot. after a few hits there is a fair amount of oil in the bottom. if you ignite it with all this oil, you could have a raging fire contained by only thin metal. (ask me how I know)

    after every reset with no ignition, light some tissue and toss into the fire pot to burn excess oil. DON'T hit the reset until you do.

    a specialist walked me through many steps on my problem.

    some simple things.
    Wipe the EYE off to make sure it can see the flame.
    Clean off the nozzle area and electrodes to ensure no shorting through wet soot.
    Bleed the pump also. Pump cannot pump air.
    Check to make sure it is actually pumping oil. toss in some tissue and see if it gets wet after a reset.

    The specialist also got me to check the transformer during a reset cycle. I'll not tell you how.... it's scarry for the uninitiated.

    Then out came the meter.

    turns out I needed a new control box.

    Good luck.


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