Flushing an H B Smith boiler

Old 01-17-07, 09:42 AM
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Flushing an H B Smith boiler

I have an HB Smith oil furnace (circa late 1970's). The heating system is a one pipe steam system in a house built in 1928.
Al, the tech from the oil company who performed maintenance (he actually retired last year) mentioned that I should flush the sludge out of the boiler. The sludge in question is from the accumulated scale and rust that runs back to the boiler when the steam condenses.

I'm looking for advice on how to proceed with this (this summer, of course) Al said I could save myself a bit of money by doing this myself and even left me a replacement spigot (the original is corroding) and a bottle of flusher to help loosen the sludge.

Has anyone done this or is anyone familiar with the process?

The furnace runs fine and all that is needed (in addition to the flush) is a replacement of the lining in the combustion chamber. The oil company is scheduled to do that next Wed. Is there any material I can request they use for the liner such a ceramic?


Last edited by Grugster; 01-17-07 at 09:43 AM. Reason: misspelling
Old 01-20-07, 12:49 PM
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Flushing steam boiler

The first time, I suggest getting a pro to do it. Watch & ask questions. Most service people don't mind at all.

The replacement chamber liner will be a compressed ceramic fiber material & probably an exact replacement for the original.
Old 01-20-07, 05:54 PM
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I would like to know the model before I gave an answer. If it is a BB14 I feel one way and if it is a FD model I feel different. If you can't find the model, take a picture or tell us the jacket color and dimensions. I agree with Grady about having a pro do it but it will cost you quite a bit of money. Probably $500+

Old 01-22-07, 08:26 AM
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Thanks - I'll get the model number tonight

Thanks for the advice. I know of several friends (plumbers who do furnace installations) who will do this on a freelance basis. I'll ask them what they'd charge for the lesson.

Regarding the liner, it's my understanding that the furnace will be more efficient and quieter after it's replaced. Would that make sense?

Thanks again.
Old 01-23-07, 05:08 AM
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Exclamation Combustion chamber rules

The combustion chamber plays an important role ingood oil burner operation, particularly for older systems. A chamber must be made of the right material to handle the high flame temperatures effectively. It must be properly sized for the nozzle firing rate. It must be the correct shape and proper height. Combustion chambers have a profound effect on the first three of the four rules for good heating oil combustion:
1. The oil must be completely atomized and vaporized.
2. The oil must burn in complete suspension.
3. The mixture of air and oil vapors will burn best in the presence of hot refractory.
4. A minimum ammount of air must be supplied for complete, efficient combustion.

To burn oil in suspension means that the fire must never touch any surface, especially a cold one. A cold surface reduces the temperature of the gasses turning the vaporized carbon into smoke and soot before it has a chance to burn. 180 degree cast iron is considered a cold surface in relation to the temp of the combustion gasses. Boilers such as Buderus and Veissmann are designed to eliminate the need for a refractory, but most american boilers are not. Replacing the chamber yourself might be feasable, depending on your mechanical abilities. Perhaps you could prep it for the tech to make the install a lot quicker. Show us some pictures, and we will let you know what will be involved.

Shouldn't this be in the "Boilers - Steam and Hot Water Systems" forum?

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