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Posted by HeatPro on March 05, 2005 at 11:17:14:
In Reply to: boiler misses posted by Ravi on March 04, 2005 at 22:31:49:
You would like to get the thing dependable. Unfortunately, to know when you have achieved that requires combustion test instruments, suction and pressure gauges, smoke testers and draft gauges. No matter how you turn the thing around and rationalize that it just requires you to put good parts in, it always comes down to knowing the results of what you did and what the combustion characteristics are. There is no green light that comes on, nobody comes in the door and puts a sticky on the jacket and no letter comes to tell you that it is dependable - that comes from using the combustion test instruments and knowing when the unit will run because all the parts are the way the factory designed them to be and runs at the efficiency they designed it at.
You now know that the parts you put in are new; but you don't know how well they are adjusted to give a good fire. You could completely change the entire heater and still not know without doing the factory-recommended tuning procedure with instruments.
There are books that tell how to repair oil burners; but no book tells you how to repair EVERY oil burner ever made and what the specs are for them. I sell such booklets to the trade from an association that started the training programs that several states including CT require now; but a book is not a hands-on substitute. It is experience in tuning many, many of them after a thorough hands-on training course and a few years of experience using test instruments that provides the confidence the job is done right. Short of that, it is just the stuff that the movie PRETENDER was about, being a pilot and a doctor by just reading books, with the resultant dangers from taking jobs on before knowing the dangers and consequences.
The important parts of the testing aside from the CO2 percentage is that there is no smoke, as that will change passage size as soot is deposited and change CO2 to the worse. The practice is to get to #1 smoke and then back off to zero smoke, as instructed in manufacturer training literature. Another is that the oil suction pressure is steady and not excessive, so viscosity changes due to temperature do not start to overdraw the fuel and cause gassing - nor should the line lose vacuum over a long wait showing a leak. Another is that the oil nozzle pressure is steady at the rated nozzle flow rate pressure. If the burner chamber pressure is at factory rating while the chimney draft stays steady, then the combination of circumstances fortells a good burn for a season, although things happen.
If there is a smell after a few weeks, there may be a problem from pre-existing conditions like oil-soaked earth, etc. With the burner set up to factory-clean conditions with satisfactory combustion testing, there should be no after-drips or unused oil spray to cause a smell.
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