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Posted by Harold hydronicnetwork.net on November 23, 2003 at 12:35:01:
In Reply to: Oil lines posted by Av on November 23, 2003 at 12:19:07:
Today's manufacturers papers that come with the burner, codes, and insurance laws warn against untrained DIY's doing this work. The warrantees will not apply.
You are taking upon yourself a task that would be a challenge for an experienced HVAC mechanic, as many have not yet taken a basic course in oil heating. Oil heat is 6 percent of home heating on the North American continent, so there are not a lot of experienced oil HVAC mechanics. I have 75 years of oil heat books available for the experienced HVAC mechanics to get to whenever they need to go in that direction on the www.notaei.org site.
Ah, I miss the good old days when all the residential units used natural draft chimneys and either thermocouples or oil burners (just after the coal days with no complicated controls) and no dampers. The old units could be tinkered with by handymen and there were no code inspectors to check if anything was done right, so nobody could sue for being careless. Then, the idea of the level of difficulty matched the expectations of the novice.
Not so today - DIY's jump right into the stuff that is reserved for folks that have been basic repairmen in that particular field for some years, maybe a decade, and then catch an interest to troubleshoot electronic controls, so they go to schools for the expanded knowledge.
Just like many kids, it seems so easy to start at the top and bypass all the courses first. "Tell me all you have learned in a lifetime - it should only take three minutes." - in this situation, in one paragraph.
But, it is possible for a genious to learn the entire troubleshooting procedure and complete operation of all the controls involved in a few hands-on minutes. All he has to do is find one other genious who will take the risk of instructing someone he has never met and trusting that he can learn it all and won't kill himself in the process. Or if he does accidentally kill himself, no other will find out to sue him for being so foolish as not to know that it takes all kinds to make a world.
In other words: List your training that qualifies you as an authorized repairman, trained in their electrical controls, and authorized, licensed oil heat specialist, so the factory can continue the warrantee and take the legal responsibity for advanture. But then, you wouldn't need to ask.
The web is not the place to get that training, just the fundamentals of homeowner service.
I am always amazed that someone will research for the most efficient heater, then neglect combustion testing to save on professional fees, which will do the most to cause danger, greater fuel consumption and major repairs in a short time. The reason a nozzle would be changed by a DIY would also be that a problem occured that smoked the exchanger. Just changing the nozzle will not solve the efficiency problem and increased chamber pressure from soot-restricted passageways. "Out of sight" need not mean 'Out of Mind." That is why I prefer to follow the manufacturer's directions which usually do not go beyond the usual filter cleaning and observation and a "Press the red button once, then call a pro if it doesn't ignite." Pros are supposed to know they should do a combustion test on every adjustment, which takes specialized, expensive tools and training.
However, recent history on some sites will attest to the willingness of auto mechanics and apartment house maintenance men to give all the advice necessary for getting the oil burner in place and primed to go. They have had the experience of watching their father do it (which means that anyone going to a rock concert can become an instant musician,) they have a web site to copy advice from, and they can ask a supplier counter man to give them advice to be repeated here.
The result is that you will bear FULL responsibility and liability for any danger to your home, person, and family for the results of a money-saving adventure. Hire a pro.
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