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Recovering from Smoky Oil-Fired Boiler

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Posted by SLanich on November 11, 2008 at 09:35:43:

Our system is an oil-fired Smith boiler about 9 years old, hydronic baseboard heat. We were pretty freaked out yesterday when we returned home after being gone just a few hours to find our house full of oil smoke, and dark smoke belching out of the chimney. The CO detector was beeping. I shut everything down, ventilated the house, and called our service company, and two techs were there in less than 1/2 hour (thank you C S Myers & Son in State College, PA). They spent hours cleaning this boiler, which was a mess inside. They replaced the nozzle and all the K-wool, which was soaked with oil and smoking. They replaced all filters and screens and checked the pressures. The removed and cleaned the stack from the boiler to where it enters the wall. The system now seems to work OK and the stack gas looks clean. My concern is that there still is a very strong oil stink in the basement and I can smell it very strong around the top of the boiler where the hot water exit pipe is. The service company says this will go away in a couple of days and the reason it stinks is because the nozzle was partially plugged and the oil was not atomized properly and a lot of it soaked into the cast iron. This will dry out in a couple of days, he says. Does this sound right? I should also mention that the boiler received its annual fall service about three weeks ago (including a new nozzle), and the tanks were filled just a couple of days ago. If anyone has any experience with a situation like this or can offers some advice/comfort/reassurance, I would appreciate it. Isn't there some safety system available that will shut down a boiler when something like this happens? Thank you. Steve in Bellefonte, PA

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