Trianco HeatMaker Mark II is using a LOT more than it used to

Old 07-03-08, 10:28 AM
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Trianco HeatMaker Mark II is using a LOT more than it used to

I have a 14 years old Trianco HeatMaker Mark II, as the only gas operated equipment in my home in New Hampshire.

I use it since 2004, and my average yearly Propane consumption was 650 - 750 gallons for a year.

Last September the plumbing company I have contract with, did the usual yearly checkup, and they told me that my efficiency is way low, and it is probably caused by a problem with the steel pipe what the furnace is using to get air from outside. Since they have replaced the same pipe less than a year before, they replaced it again for free. They also told me that it fixed the efficiency problem.

Now checking back my records, my consumption went out of the roof around that time. I used 1600 gallons during the winter, and we did not have any major change in our consumption habits. When I realized at the end of March, that I used more gas by the end of March than I usually use during a whole year, I called the Propane company. They sent out someone to check for leaks and signs of inefficiency, but he did not find anything, just changed the gas pressure a bit what goes into the home. He recommended to call the plumbing company to check the furnace again.

They came, and checked, and modified the pressure inside the furnace to fine tune it. That was supposed to solve the problem. 1 month later the furnace just stopped. American HomeShield sent someone to fix it, and he increased the pressure inside the furnace, telling us it did not worked because of insufficient pressure.

I just got my bill, I used 225 gallons since the end of March, practically for 1 months of low level heating and 2 months of hot water only. Looks like I am using over 50 gallons of propane just to produce hot water for a family of 5 for a month.

The exhaust gas that comes out of the furnace smells bad. Not the raw gas smell, but something else , the furnace guy told me it is the smell of an unburnt but heated gas.

Right now I have no idea what to do. Looks like anyone who is touching the furnace is willing to play only with the gas pressure, without checking anything else. Is there any idea what can be a problem, what should I ask the plumbing company to check?

Thank you for any advice
Old 07-03-08, 03:21 PM
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50 Gallons

Being more familiar with oil, I converted your usage to gallons of oil. That figure comes out to be about 1.1 gallons per day of oil & does not seem unreasonable to me for a family of 5 but if your usage is higher than your history dictates, I suggest calling an independent service company & ask them to perform a combustion analysis then compare the efficiency to that on the boiler's label.
Check with friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, etc. about who they use for servicing similar type equipment.
Old 07-03-08, 06:12 PM
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Is there an actual efficiency tag left behind from the plumber that "Fixed" the problem, or did he just tell you it was running inefficiently?

If a tag was left behind I would do as Grady has suggested and bring in another company, someone familiar and trained in propane gas. Have them do an efficiency test.

I cant find that model on-line so I don't know too much about it.

Is it power vented, direct vented, or natural vented?

It could have something to do with pressures.
It might be the power venter.
Possibly the air settings have something to do with it.
Or it could be all of the above.

I am also mainly a oil guy like Grady, but I have worked on my share of gas furnaces/boilers in the past. And whether it is oil or gas, the basics are still the same: - fuel, air, spark -
I think we can rule out spark/ignition.
We know we have fuel, but too much or too little?
To much air will not let all the fuel burn, where too little will cause it to soot up. If you have seen any sooting, I would be cleaning the boiler. That will make a huge difference. Yes, gas can soot up. And if they played with the pressures without adjusting the air bands either of the two above items could happen.

Other things to consider:

Did you add on to the house?
Did you remove any insulation?
How old are your kids and are they boys or girls. In reference to showers...
Somebody new living with you?
Temperature setting of the house? Has it changed from the past.
Has a child moved into a room that is controlled separately, and you used to keep the thermostat down?
Opening and closing of doors more often? Teenagers are in and out all the time. More heat loss.
Check with your fuel Co. and ask how many degree days this year compared to previous years.

I know this sounds like a lot, but I am trying to come up with things that could cause a difference in your heating fuel consumption, that you may have overlooked because it is daily routine.
Let us know what happens please, Thanks Mark

BTW -can I ask what town in NH ?

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