New combustion chamber needed?


Old 02-26-04, 08:13 PM
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New combustion chamber needed?

I have a 49 year old American Standard Arcoliner oil furnace with a faily new (~9yrs old) Beckett burner. The fire box used to have a brick-like refractory sleeve which occupied about 2/3 of the fire box. (The fire box is about 1 foot wide and high and 2 feet deep. The sleeve was open on the top and bottom and its walls were about 2 inches thick.) This sleeve was deteriorating/cracking and caving in on itself. It had been repaired in the past but had since suffered cracks in more locations. This cave-in was beginning to restrict and deflect the flame from the burner.

I placed a call to my oil co. and they sent someone out to assess the situation. The first serviceman recommended that the sleeve be removed completely and in fact it wasn't even needed since the furnace is wet base (or wet leg - not sure of the right term here). He said that the only thing needed was a target plate on the back wall. In fact, he mentioned that it would also increase the furnace's efficiency since the flame will now be directly heating the sides of the fire box. This made sense to me.

However, when the second serviceman came (the one doing the actual work) he felt that it would be better to install a combustion chamber. (quote "If this were my furnace I'd do the same thing.") Since I don't really know anything about oil furnaces (we've only been in the house about 11 months) I went along with what he wanted to do. The combustion chamber is a lightweight fibrous tub but it is only about 1 foot deep. To me, it seems that this will restrict the flame from directly heating the sides and rear of the fire box. When he measured the furnace's efficiency after the install it had gone down to 82% from 85% measured last May. Will I actually be losing efficiency? Or are those measurements subject to a few percent error?

Is this new combustion chamber a good thing?

- rdefeo
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Old 02-27-04, 06:38 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
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Im with # 2 here for sure. Wet are dry leg boiler or furnace. You still want a combustion chamber in it for the oil burner. You do want it to be the right size for the nozzle size you have in the burner also.

That 85% down to 82%. All you have to do here is adjust draft and air on the burner a little and there is some error on th test.

Just think the start of the high end gas furnaces AFUE is 80%

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