Soot Buildup in Biasi chamber


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Old 11-24-06, 01:21 PM
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Soot Buildup in Biasi chamber

Here's a busman's holiday for Grady

I'm a little concerned about the carbonized crude forming under the gun of the Riello burner, as show in the first photo! There is a lot of soot on the boiler base as well. This boiler is new, and was tuned up about two months ago by my oil provider. I think the air mixture is wrong, but I'd like some professional opinions before questioning the company or finding someone else to do my service. The other photos show the rear target wall of the boiler Looks much worse in the photo than it really is!); and the other photo shows the upper passages. They look pretty clean. The stuff on the back wall is a very thin coating.

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/radioconnection/BiasiSoot.jpg
I'm almost worndering if this detritus indicates a nozzle problem on the Reillo?? This pile of crud really surprised me!

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/radioconnection/BiasiTarget.jpg
http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/radioconnection/BiasiPass2.jpg
Pete
 

Last edited by radioconnection; 11-24-06 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 11-24-06, 03:35 PM
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Riello/soot

Pete, doggone it, Riello seems to have forgotten my user name or password & I don't have my OEM spec guide which would tell me the settings for your burner at home.
I don't like the looks of all that crud (highly technical term) under the burner but the end of the burner does not look bad. The soot in the upper parts of the boiler seem to indicate a too rich mixture. Set up could be off, dirt on the blower wheel, or oxygen starvation. Plenty of fresh air to the burner? I will try over the weekend to re-establish my access to Riello's tech section.
 
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Old 11-24-06, 04:47 PM
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I don't know a whole lot about this stuff yet (but I'm learnin'!) and I have a question about that target wall ...

Common sense tells me that the fire should be aimed pretty much dead center on that wall. Looking at the pattern, it seems to be high and outside ?????? Does this matter, or have any significance ??

No refractory in the Biasi ?

I get "flakes" like you have Pete in my OLD boiler, but they aren't black, but orangey-yellowy-whitish ... I think it's rust from inside the chamber, and sulphur. I was wondering if it might be due to condensation. I'm assuming that yer new boiler has the valve on/motor off delay on the burner ?

73 de Jeff
 
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Old 11-24-06, 04:49 PM
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Angry Riello

Hello Grady

I have the correct factory settings for the Riello, assuming you're referring to the nozzle, air gate, turbulator and pump pressure? The burner was packaged with the boiler, and should have been set pretty close to proper settings. The tech did some adjustments on what I think is the air gate (by the moveable jack operated shutter??) and may have performed some other small adjustments. I'd be very leary about adjusting the burner without having any instruments or training... Burner is new, I doubt it could be dirty, cellar isn't particularly well sealed weatherwise, so I'm guessing the air supply is adequate.

Did you see any signs of excessive condensation in those photos? I was expecting a lot of rust and caked up crud, but to my eye it didn't look too bad. That stuff piling up in front doesn't make me happy, though.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 11-30-06 at 12:36 AM. Reason: Quote deleted. Quoting entire post is not necessary, redundant, and distracting.
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Old 11-24-06, 04:54 PM
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Condensation

I saw no indications of condensation. I don't like the looks of that crud either. If the turbulator were dirty, I would suspect after drip. Do you have the original combustion test data?
I still think it is running too rich.

EDIT: I just saw NJ Trooper's questions/comments. The target wall does look like the flame is not hitting center. The Riello has a pre but no post purge. Most of these three pass boilers don't use a refractory on the fire wall.
 
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Old 11-24-06, 05:22 PM
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Air Damper

Hi Grady

I looked through my paper work, and according to the sheet put out by QHT/Biasi the correct air gate setting for my B4 boiler, with a .80gph nozzle, would be at 4.7. My air gate is set at 3.2. The turbulator setting looks to be where it should be, but I am not exactly sure how to read the markings.. The test sheet doesn't give any settings. Sigh. And I paid for this service! I have a feeling my old boiler is also running rich. I really don't want to play with the settings without being able to do a combustion test, or even a smoke test.. I'd bet the was pulling more than a "trace" when he tested the smoke. Sigh...

Pete
 
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Old 11-24-06, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Grady
...The target wall does look like the flame is not hitting center...
Good / Bad / Doesn't matter ?

If bad, what could cause that ?

-
 
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Old 11-24-06, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper
Good / Bad / Doesn't matter ?

If bad, what could cause that ?

-
Damaged or misadjusted turbulator?

I don't know either. I also wonder how important it is. Grady: yes, the target is cast iron, not refractory as you stated.

Pete
 
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Old 11-24-06, 05:50 PM
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Unhappy Jeff...

Hi Jeff

The photo flash really exasperated the condition of the buildup and the color of the boiler target area. Those whitish areas are very, very thin; and appear to be much more pronounced (whiter) then they really are. The rear wall is cast iron. I don't see any rust under normal lightning conditions. The burner is a Riello with a 10 second delayed startup. On the other hand, the LAYER of soot, and the crud piling up, are actually WORSE than the photos would lead one to believe.

--... ...-- Pete
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 11-30-06 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Quote deleted. Quoting entire post is not necessary, redundant, and distracting.
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Old 11-24-06, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by radioconnection
--... ...-- Pete
R FB OM

Pete, in the photo of the heat exchanger, some of the sooty areas look shiny... I'm assuming this is a product of the flash also ? And the black in that pic is actually soot, and not the color of the CI ? Yeah, I wouldn't think black soot is the right thing to see in a brand new boiler. If I saw that on my tailpipes, I'd be re-jettin' the Holley.

_.. . ._ _ ._. .._ _ _ .

btw, six was open last night...
 
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Old 11-24-06, 06:48 PM
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If I were a brave man...

And had a way to measure smoke.

http://www.fueloilnews.com/uploads/features/2006/0610_feature3.asp

Poor man's combustion setup! I'd still be nervous without an analyzer to back it up!

Pete
 
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Old 11-24-06, 08:07 PM
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George's Scale

It does take a lot of practice to get it right. I have seen CO levels go thru the roof while every thing else looked ok. Without CO test equipment it's a real crap shoot.
 
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Old 11-24-06, 08:18 PM
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Co

Scary thing is that the there wasn't CO test done when it was set up. I am wondering if the nozzle could have become clogged or screwed up. Would a shot of the turbulator show anything? I have a good spin on filter on the TigerLoop. I'm trying to find a pro in this area, but it looks like most folks around here rely on their oil providers for service.



Pete
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 11-30-06 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Quote deleted. Quoting entire post is not necessary, redundant, and distracting.
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Old 11-24-06, 08:32 PM
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Servicer

About all I can suggest is to pull out the good old yellow pages & start calling. Ask each one, point blank, if they have the equipment to do a complete combustion analysis including CO. If the answer is yes, put that company on your short list. If the answer is no, wish them a good day & mark 'em off.
 
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Old 11-24-06, 09:26 PM
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Talking yellow pages..

Oil country!! Ya think!! Unfortunately, most folks out here use their oil providers for service. I think all of the real pros are hiding on the Wall or over on OilTechTalk and are retired. What I'm going to do is call them back next week, and tell them that the burner is not running clean and ask if they can send a different tech, with more advanced equipment, to diagnose and fix the problem.

What do you think about adding the blanket on the floor of the chamber as was suggested?

Pete
 
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Old 11-24-06, 10:07 PM
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Blanket

I honestly think it would help. Just a gut feeling but I think it would. As much as I dislike Weil-McLain, I think they have one of the better configurations out there when it comes to blankets & target walls. If you do opt to go that route, use a good healthy coat of water glass on the cast before installing the blanket. If the blanket doesn't work out, it is not that hard to remove. I wouldn't go much over 1/3 to no more than 1/2 of the way up the side walls with the blanket.
 
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Old 11-25-06, 09:18 AM
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blanket

What will the blanket do for the boiler? How do I know if it is doing good, nothing, or causing a problem? Adding the blanket won't affect the combustion settings I assume? I can measure stack temperature with an electronic adapter for my Fluke... I guess is what I am asking is can I add the blanket after the burner is set up by the tech?

Being a cold start boiler, is there any chance that the blanket might trap moisture between the boiler cast iron and blanket causing corrosion problems? (I almost lost my old boiler when water dripping out of the coil gasket and was held by jacket insulation against the combustion chamber; it did a lot of damage-- fast.) Pardon me if this was a dumb question!


For the blanket, can I use one of the Lynn Kaowool wet blankets--I'm wondering if they would mold and harden to the shape of the base and hold better?

Pete
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 11-30-06 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Quote deleted. Quoting entire post is not necessary, redundant, and distracting.
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Old 11-25-06, 10:10 AM
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I know you guys are just conjecturing at this point about adding a blanket, etc, but I'd do what I could about getting it running properly first, and see what happens with that before I tried second-guessing the engineers at Biasi...

BTW... Pete, I picked up a smoke gun for my own use. They aren't really that pricey, under $100 . I got the Westwood clone model. It works. I think I'm gonna try Firedragons cad-cell setup idea this afternoon. Brightest flame, cleanest fire ? Makes sense I guess !

And as far as finding a tech with combustion equipment, that knows how *and DOES* use it ? Not as easy as it sounds, at least here in NJ ... the last guy I had out here didn't even have a smoke gun on his truck, and his boss sed he was his "best tech" . Yeah, right.
 
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Old 11-25-06, 10:21 AM
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Blanket

Trooper has a good point. The factory settings are usually pretty darned close but can require a little tweeking. Not familiar with the Biasi but Crown's CT with a Riello is nozzle critical. With a certain model, they say to use a specific nozzle by a specific manufacturer. If you change even the manufacturer that boiler can be a bear to set up. For example, if the Crown specs a Hago nozzle & you put in a Delavan of the same flow rate, angle, & pattern it can change the whole set up.

As far as a blanket, I don't think it would trap moisture. You could use a wet pack blanket which is obviouly wet & moldable when you get it then "hardens" when the boiler is fired.
 
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Old 11-25-06, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Grady
You could use a wet pack blanket which is obviouly wet & moldable when you get it then "hardens" when the boiler is fired.
Post on another forum sed the Biasi used to be shipped with one... I know Pete has seen that already, but wanted to mention it here.
 
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Old 11-25-06, 10:54 AM
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Cad Cell Alignment

"BTW... Pete, I picked up a smoke gun for my own use. They aren't really that pricey, under $100 . I got the Westwood clone model. It works. I think I'm gonna try Firedragons cad-cell setup idea this afternoon. Brightest flame, cleanest fire ? Makes sense I guess !"

Jeff

I suspect it would be just as easy to measure the DC voltage across an OPERATING CAD cell as it would be to jury rig the system and meaure the resistance.. The voltage reading should give the same indication at maximum flame (lowest voltage or lowest resistance = brightest flame). Of course I am assuming they are using a relatively pure DC biasing voltage across the cell, and that measuring the voltage with a high impedance meter won't adversely affect the flame detection circuitry...

But, what worries me is that there are two points either side of zero smoke--one gives best efficiency, the other most reliable operation; and you have to be able to measure the CO2 to see where you're at inbetween 11 to 12% Also, his comments about CO kind'a scares me off--but again, as you noted, few techs carry the basic gear, let alone being able to monitor CO! Let us know how it works!

Pete
 
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Old 11-25-06, 11:37 AM
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Flame vs. resistance

A very rich (dirty) flame will give the lowest resistance. A flame to lean will drive up the CO. It is a real balancing act. If you are going to do it with a smoke pump, set up the flame slightly rich & gradually add air until you get to zero smoke then give it just a touch more air. Don't trust the first smoke reading after an adjustment since there can be a trace of soot left in the sampling tube which will give you a falsely high smoke reading.
 
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Old 11-25-06, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Grady
..A very rich (dirty) flame will give the lowest resistance...trace of soot left in the sampling tube which will give you a falsely high smoke reading.
Exactly what I found. I knew where I was as a starting point, and noted the shutter position so I could return to it. Let's call the initial setting 5.5 . I took multiple smoke readings at each setting, to "average" out the differences.

Pulled the cell wires from the primary, made up a little switch jumper for the FF terms on the primary.

Cleaned the corrosion from the leaky batteries inside my old trusty Simpson 260 cuz I knew the digital wouldn't be worth a poop for this job, and installed new batteries.

Cell was reading a tad less than 200 ohms.

Closed shutter to 4.5 , smoke went from zero to almost one.
Cell went from 200 to about 175 .

back to 5.5 to purge any soot from flue pipe for a while.

Up to 6.5 on shutter, trace of smoke, cell resistance increasing, yellowy, stringy fire.

Up to 7 on shutter, about the same smoke, cell went a bit higher, fire starting to become unstable, with an occasional "hiccup".

Now, back down to the low end, all the way down to 3.5 . Smoke close to 2 , cell down to about 160 , big puffy pretty orange ball of fire...

What I think George is getting at with his test is that there's a proportional relationship between the cad cell resistance and the CO2 curve. PAST zero smoke, the resistance climbs quickly. Once you are AT zero smoke, and start getting richer, the resistance does continue to go down, but not as quickly as it goes UP on the other side of zero.

I bet if you took smoke and CO2 readings and charted them both on paper (or excel) the curves would look about the same.

One thing I did notice... once I was up into territory past zero smoke, there was a very substantial amount of water condensation in the smoke gun. In fact, I had to wait for some of the strips to dry out before I could read them.

I'm putting this at the end of my post, cuz it's too weird an idea:

Our cars all have O2 sensors, right ? I've got one or two old ones out in the garage. I wonder what you would see if you stuck an O2 sensor in the stack ??

Ooops, sorry Pete, I think I just hijacked your thread!
 
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Old 11-25-06, 04:24 PM
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Thumbs up Not at all!

Great reading. I'm going to print it out and save it for further reading. One of these days I stumble across a good, used wetkit and I might feel braver to experiment like you did. I'd think scribing and reverting to the original settings would get one out of any bind, though... Interesting stuff.You're a braver soul than me though!

Peter
 
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Old 11-25-06, 04:49 PM
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I think I'd be leary on a brand new boiler, but don't forget I've been twisting the shutter on this one for about 22 years now, so I know what to expect!
 
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Old 11-25-06, 05:57 PM
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O2 sensor

I wonder how low they read reliably?
 
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Old 11-25-06, 06:53 PM
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My gut feeling is that it's probly a waste of time to try it, cuz I have doubts that you would get any useful info from it. For one, they need to be HOT to work properly, and we don't see the kind of temps engines spew out the exhaust. That might be the biggest drawback. There are "heated" ones, but those heaters only serve to get them on-line with the computer faster.

They typically output a 0 - 1 volt signal, and measure fuel/air ratio indirectly, by excess O2 method, but exactly how that signal might (if it worked at all) be calibrated is another problem. One would still need a full set of instruments to verify whether it would provide any useful, consistent data.

... but if someone had too much time on their hands, they might just try it out for kicks.

[edit: I now know how O2 sensors work... IF you could get it hot enough, AND keep it clean of carbon, you MIGHT be able to tell when you pass the stoichiometric point, but little else. It can't tell you QUANTITY of excess O2, only that you have some. When you go RICH, again, no quantity, only that you are (rich) (wish I was!). They are developing wideband O2 sensors, but it will be a while before they are cheap enough to "play" with.]

-
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 11-30-06 at 12:39 AM. Reason: Quote deleted. Quoting entire post is not necessary, redundant, and distracting.
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Old 11-29-06, 03:24 PM
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Second Opinion..

I called the oil company and requested service on the burner. Another tech came out, and checked it over; basically found nothing wrong and said what I saw "Was normal".. So I guess that concludes it.

Pete
 
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Old 11-29-06, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by radioconnection
So I guess that concludes it.
But _does_ it ? I get the feeling that you still are not content. Did you get a combustion report to go with "Normal" ?
 
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Old 11-29-06, 04:01 PM
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content?

Not really. The guy didn't even look inside. Pulled the drawer, looked at the nozzle, put it back together, checked the flame (by eye, through the port) ... done. Said it looked fine. I'll assume he is correct and knows what he is talking about, since he has the license and I don't; but I am going to try a carpet on the boiler floor next summer, and a full-size bypass setup. I want to clean up some of the close in plumbing regardless.. When warm WX gets here I'll get back into, but for now I am not going to worry about it! I'd feel better if someone actually measured the pump pressure, etc.. I won't be happy if this ends with me having to buy a wetkit, smoke pump and the other gear to do my own stuff. Not much of a payback in that. Esp at my age.

Pete
 
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Old 11-29-06, 05:26 PM
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Angry Normal????

Pete,
As my dear departed dad would have said, "Don't eat that son. That's horsesh...". I certainly hope they didn't charge you or if they did, I hope you didn't pay it. I also hope you called the company, complained bitterly, & told them you would be looking for a new supplier.
 
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Old 11-29-06, 05:36 PM
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Grady, I give up.....

Hi Grady

I am pretty disgusted, and I give up. I'm not going to bother doing battle with them over the bill; I think this is as good as they can do. I was assured they were familiar with Riello burners and cold start boilers when I called. They've lost a customer as far as future service goes. But, to be honest, this the EXACT level of service I've encountered with the other oil suppliers in the area.

Pete
 
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Old 11-29-06, 06:36 PM
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Crime

It seems I'm more of a New Englander than yourself. Stuff like this makes me fighting mad. I would certainly call some service companies (after vaca in San Juan), & see what they have to offer. For what you are getting for service, you might as well get your fuel from a "fuel only" company.
 
 

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