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Thread: RE: OT Oil Boilers

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Unity, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhereRWe? View Post
    We have a "New Yorker" wood boiler that has been running for 16 years with no problems. Compact, simple, efficient...

    http://www.newyorkerboiler.com/wc.cfm
    Thanks for the link . . . as I said previously . . . right now I'm just looking at an oil boiler, but this is good to know in case I want to add one of these on in the future.
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  2. #22
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    Jul 2005
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    Unity, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by brdad View Post
    Just what do you have for a boiler now? How old? Firing rate? Number of zones? Type of Burner? What type of domestic hot water? What's wrong with it?
    Let's see in order . . .

    Type of boiler: Trianco (steel) with a Beckett Burner

    How old: I'm not really sure . . . can't find a date on it anywhere. If I had to guess I would say it was built in the 1980s.

    Firing rate: Uh, not sure what this would be . . . it's not a cold start boiler if that makes any sense . . . constantly cycles on and off.

    Number of zones: Three

    Burner: Beckett . . . I've never paid much attention to the particular model though

    Domestic Hot Water: At one time we had a coil from the oil boiler providing hot water, but due to our hard water it would slowly calcify over time and after several acid baths and still getting only a trickle of water we went to a propane water heater and have been very happy since it provides a lot of hot water (I've yet to run out of hot water) at good pressure

    What's wrong: The #@%!^% thing is professionally cleaned each Fall and then craps out before the end of the heating season from an excessive amount of soot -- this is the third and final year. In fact I turned the heater on two days ago and last night I could smell the tell-tale smell that the soot is building up so tonight when I get home I'll be digging out my shop vac, installing a dry wall dust filter in it, donning my latex gloves and vaccuming it out to see if I can't get another couple of days of heat from it.

    To be honest I believe the real issue is with the burner nozzle, air-fuel mix or draft from the chimney . . . however it is an older, steel unit and it's reached the point where I don't trust it to run without someone being there and I really want to be able to leave my house for a week in middle of the winter and not worry about returning home to a cold house, frozen pipes and a thin layer of soot everywhere.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
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    5,940

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake View Post

    What's wrong: The #@%!^% thing is professionally cleaned each Fall and then craps out before the end of the heating season from an excessive amount of soot
    This is DEFINITELY an adjustment problem.

    I had a lot of trouble with my oil burner - same symptoms as you describe. I'd have the "maintenance/repair team" from the company I get my fuel from come out a couple of times a year - mainly because they didn't get the system to run right on the previous visit. Then I got smart and called the guy who designed/installed the system.

    Took him 15 minutes to diagnose the problem (misplaced igniter electrodes) and the system has run great ever since. Looks like you need a trouble-shooter rather than someone who just parrots the few instructions he received in his 1-day training session. LOL!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bangor, ME
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    I agree this is probably an adjustment problem. Since it's a steel boiler, it could also be that there is a crack somewhere into the firing chamber that opens and closes with the temperature, which changes the adjustments made to the unit. There could eb enough draft in the chimney to precent you from smelling it.

    Anyway, if you are going to keep your water heater, that's even more reason to get a cold start boiler.

    Another high-tech addition which I added to a system 4 years ago which the owners love is a Tekmar control. With this control you change your piping at the boiler a little, so it is a recirculating type, similar to what they use for radiant floor heating. The entire two story house, three zones, is heated through a 3/4 inch pipe! In a nutshell, boilers are most efficient when running at or near full capacity. This setup runs the boiler at full throttle when needed, yet recirculates the water through the baseboard at a reduced temperature on warmer days. So, on a 45 degree day, the water running through the baseboard may only be 120 degerees. When it drops below what it needs, hot water from the boiler is injected into the loop to maintain temp. It's kind of hard to explain how it works, but the one I installed paid for itself in a couple years. The only thing that failed so far is one thermocouple, and the unit has a "limp mode" feature to get by with until it was fixed. The unit was not cheap, $400 I think it was.

    I have some pics of the piping but can't seem to find them
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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Auburn, Maine
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    621

    Default Heat manager controls

    Good advice on the Tekmar brdad. Beckett also makes a similar control called the "Heat Manager" and Beckett guarantees a 10% savings on your oil bill or they'll reimburse you for the control. the Beckett control is much less expensive that the Tekmar but operates slightly differntly - I think it works by monitoring the return water temp instead of the outside ambient temp.
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