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A homeowner trying to educate herself (Old Burnham)

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Posted by Susan on November 18, 2008 at 19:22:26:

I live in an over 3000 sq. ft old brick house that originally had an old cast iron coal fired boiler.

I am unsure of the exact age but the boiler is Burnham & it says 210-GA, 146.100 BTUs output 168.000. It runs on natural gas and there is a pump that pushs the water through the system.

It was cleaned and serviced last fall.

At the beginning of this season the pilot light went out and after lighting it myself a few times I suspected a bad thermocouple.

The service technician replaced the thermocouple & wire brushed & shop vacced and blew out with nitrogen all the burners.

He checked two measurements, one was the venting and the other one and said both were good. The other one which I think was efficiency was 80%.

But he stated that the burners don't fire properly.

When he flipped the switch it takes too long and the burners on the left are lit by the backs of the burners on the right.

He called it improper crossover.

He said that it is possible that when the gas thing which was obviously replaced at one time was installed that it may have been the wrong one and maybe Burnhams actually need the other kind.

I am going to call him tomorrow and ask him the exact explanation he gave. It had something to do with a 3 inch something.

And I am planning on finding the documentation for this particular boiler but I did not see anything called 210-GA on Burnham's website. The technician stated that it is a pretty big boiler.

He also said that he thinks it has been crossing over incorrectly for some time. He wrote it up as left boiler off, but told me I could turn it on after he left.

The cast iron coal fired boiler sits right next to it. I don't suppose coal is cheaper than natural gas?

I realize that your advice may be to replace rather than repair but I do like to know as much as possible about stuff like this.

PS I live in Cincinnati.

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