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Posted by Harold hydronicnetwork.net on January 18, 2004 at 09:41:17:
In Reply to: Nozzle Impacts posted by PeteB on January 18, 2004 at 09:20:20:
Cranking the temperature up to 200F can make the radiation give off more heat; however, if the boiler does not have the capacity to MAKE more heat, that will not matter.
"Should he have measured something afterwards, like pressure, angle, smoke?" DEFIMITELY!
There is such a small difference in capacity between the two nozzles that it may not have made a difference, or could even make less heat due to an efficiency reduction that can only be determined by using combustion test instruments.
I am always amazed that someone will research for the most efficient heater, then neglect combustion testing, which will do the most to cause danger, greater fuel consumption and major repairs in a short time. 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.
The 'magic' cure for any burner problem, like that of replacing the thermostat for any furnace problem, is to replace a nozzle. Another post here asks about CO and CO2, evidencing there is little understanding of the combustion process.
Changing a nozzle might make the combustion process better by assuring a good fuel spray pattern inside a chamber. However, if the pump pressure, air quantity given by the shutter setting, air in the fuel due to a partial leak, clogging of tubing due to sludge, or the chimney draft is incorrect - any one or all can make a bad flame.
Homeowners normally do not have the instruments to test for ANY ONE of these problems. If they did, the thorough understanding of how to use the instruments and how one affects the other must be learned through experience. All of that has to be mastered AFTER learning what each part does and how to set each part according to manufacturer's instructions.
A rumble can be from a bad air setting, requiring a combustion tester or kit of testers, a draft gauge, an examination of the chimney for cleanliness, height and diameter, and boiler internal chamber pressure.
This knowledge can be obtained at the New England Fuel Institute course over 20 days; but even with the hands-on experience, the practice takes a year or so to be able to adjust burners generally in the field with so many different heaters by so many companies. Beckett and other burner manufacturers test oil burners on the furnace and boiler to assure that their burner can operate properly at the pressure given. It is generally not possible to swap burners as they have different characteristics. Burners are not really set at the factory; because they must be placed in individual homes with different chimneys and different wind conditions.
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.
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