oil burner fumes


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Old 11-18-05, 05:25 PM
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oil burner fumes

Have an old Amer. Stand. oil burner and boiler. Had it cleaned and serviced 2 weeks ago; lots of buildup on heat exchanger. Guy did a thorough job of cleaning and new cement packing on access panel; however, right after job completed, began to get odor of incomplete combustion, not overwhelming but certainly detectable esp. to the wife. Serviceman came back a week later to readjust and said that odor may be coming from burning of fine particulates dislodged during cleaning and/or weak transformer, although later seemed to fire just fine on repeated manual starts. Fuel injector nozzle has been replaced and flu barometric readjusted. Despite a strong draft, I still pick up faint odor standing over boiler beside barometric flap and there is still odor when you enter basement. Doesn't seem to be any delayed firing. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 11-18-05, 05:36 PM
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Fumes

There are two common mistakes made by newer techs on old equipment: The first & most common is setting the flame too lean. These old burners were not designed to burn with as bright a flame as modern burners. The second & far less common is selection of the wrong nozzle. These units use either a 60 or 70 nozzle. The 60 usually works best. If an 80 nozzle is used, the flame will be too wide.
In addition to the panel on the side, the flue collector box on top must be well sealed. Often when the vent pipe is taken off, that seal is damaged & if not cemented back on, you will get fumes.
 

Last edited by Grady; 11-18-05 at 05:40 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 11-18-05, 05:54 PM
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Thanks alot, Grady; appreciate your time. I'll pass on your suggestions to the service guy when he comes Monday.
 
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Old 11-18-05, 06:02 PM
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American Std.

In case you haven't guessed, I've spent more than a few hours working on these old timers. They were a great boiler in their day.
 
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Old 11-19-05, 03:30 AM
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Grady -- when you come back on could you please tell me if it's normal to have a .25" hole in the galvanized flue elbow (section nearest boiler) that exits the top of the boiler? I hadn't noticed this before because it's on the opposite side of the boiler from the barometric and the other controls. Doesn't really look like a machined opening; just wondering if this could be the source of the fumes. Thanks.
 
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Old 11-19-05, 06:13 AM
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Hole in flue pipe

If the hole is between the boiler & the barometric, it was put there by a service person at some time for testing the flue gases. This testing is something which should be done whenever the boiler is serviced. You should not be getting any fumes from it but if the hole makes you uncomfortable, you can put a bolt in the hole to plug it. I usually use high temp tape, high temp silicone, or furnace cement but I've seen hundreds with a bolt in the hole.
 
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Old 11-22-05, 06:48 PM
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resolution

Just thought I'd provide readers with a finish to this original post. Turns out problem producing fumes was bad ignition transformer that finally gave it up completely and revealed itself. $280.00 part at local P&H store, but at least they had it (no small feat for a unit this old). Maybe this will buy enough time to put some money away to change out old Amer. Stand. to a new Burnham. Thanks again for the help, Grady.
 
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Old 11-22-05, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bren
Have an old Amer. Stand. oil burner and boiler. Had it cleaned and serviced 2 weeks ago; lots of buildup on heat exchanger. Guy did a thorough job of cleaning and new cement packing on access panel; however, right after job completed, began to get odor of incomplete combustion, not overwhelming but certainly detectable esp. to the wife. Serviceman came back a week later to readjust and said that odor may be coming from burning of fine particulates dislodged during cleaning and/or weak transformer, although later seemed to fire just fine on repeated manual starts. Fuel injector nozzle has been replaced and flu barometric readjusted. Despite a strong draft, I still pick up faint odor standing over boiler beside barometric flap and there is still odor when you enter basement. Doesn't seem to be any delayed firing. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
check for excess air too much is not good
 
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Old 11-23-05, 02:06 AM
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air mix

Yes, the air mixture was adjusted. There's a graduated slide tab on the right side of the burner for this adjustment. Seems to be operating fine 12 hr after replacing transformer: no fumes, just sucking down that oil like there's no tomorrow. Even though she's now operating correctly, I'm still going to replace. Locating old parts, their cost and low operating efficiencies are all compelling reasons to "bite the bullet." Thanks for your input.
 
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Old 11-23-05, 02:49 PM
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Bren

WOW, $280? Boy did they ever get you good. That transformer usually retails for about $75-$80.
 
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Old 11-23-05, 07:00 PM
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Thanks, Grady; you made my day!
 
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Old 11-23-05, 07:20 PM
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Bren

Sorry. Like you said, at least they had one.Have a good Thanksgiving & stay warm.
 
 

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