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Is This Normal Boiler Operation?

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Posted by Karl on November 19, 2003 at 14:56:37:

I just moved into a large older (c. 1885) home with a Weil-Mclain 468 Oil Boiler. It is single zone, with 10 heavy old style radiators. The boiler is rated at 151,000 BTU's. The aquastat does not have a lower temperature limit, just an upper limit of 180 degrees. It seems fairly primitive: circulator/burner on, or circulator/burner off. I have a seperate electric hot water system.

Every time the boiler fires up, it takes two hours to get from 70 degrees to 140 degrees. Is this normal? I have yet to see it get higher than 140 degrees, but we have not had really cold weather yet. The nozzle is rated at .85. If the recovery time is going to be this slow, it pretty much negates the use of a set-back thermastat.

These readings were obtained after I cleaned (drilled, actually) a completely blocked area between two of the cast iron boiler sections. The burner technicial who cleaned/serviced my unit claimed that it would "melt" out, but I didn't believe him. There looked to be a lot of crud down in the bottom of the boiler and I vacuumed out what I could. There appears to be some torn pieces of white insulation material down with all the debris.

The previous owner used 1500 gallons of oil last winter. I would ask my oil company, but after seeing the way they maintain the system (they've had the contract for ten years), I don't particularly trust them. Thanks for your advice.

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