First time cleaning my nipples. (cast/oil boiler)


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Old 10-18-09, 06:28 PM
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First time cleaning my nipples. (cast/oil boiler)

So.. while I wait (and wait..) for my heating guy to call me back.. I start thinking.. well, I DIY all the other stuff around it, so why not..

Its a ~7yr old OLSEN OBC3 unit.. cast iron.

I took the flue pipes off, the lid, and the top of the flue connector plate to access the exchanger. There was piles of soot on the horizontal edges of the exchanger bodies, but the nipples and passages just had a light coating on em (or so I suppose).

I happened to have a gun cleaning rod with a decent size wire brush on the end, it fits snugly between the nipples. I guess its a common problem that you just cant get to all of the passages in each direction, right ?? How do I know how much to scrub these nipples ? Should they be shiny and bright ?
Im gonna get a drywall filter for my shopvac, vac out the top of it, then remove the burner and vac out there. Yes.. it only occured to me after I was well into this that maybe I should have removed my burner assembly before I knocked all the nipple crap down onto it... live and learn ??
 
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Old 10-18-09, 07:06 PM
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how much to scrub these nipples ? Should they be shiny and bright ?
Good garsh... I just don't know how to answer this!
I saw that title, and almost deleted the post!

But seriously:

Do you mean 'pins' ? Is the OBC a pin boiler?

In general, the closer to factory fresh, the better, but shiny and bright might not be necessary. And for heaven sake, stop before you draw blood!
 
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Old 10-18-09, 08:48 PM
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From the manuf' website..

"The OBC utilizes cast iron construction because of its durability and efficient heat transfer capabilities. Cast iron sections and push nipples are an integral part of each OBC heat exchanger."

They call em nipples...c'mon, dont be shy..

Powdery black soot came off easily, I just dont know if there is baked-on 'solid' soot still on em or not.. They dont give pin/nipple diameter measurements or etc.
 
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Old 10-18-09, 08:57 PM
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Aha! Push Nipples are not visible... that's what is between the sections... as opposed to neoprene O-rings that once were (and still may be) used by some manufacturers that leaked.

The 'bumps' on the inside of the heat exchanger, if there are rows and rows of them facing each other... those are called 'pins', and notice, that there is no letter 'E' in that word!

ha! who's shy now!
 
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Old 10-19-09, 03:49 PM
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Pin boilers

One of the worst things that some of the boiler co's sold us was the pin boiler. First off a one pass boiler is grosely inificient, plus they are a bear to clean, even if you had a brush that rotated, and who does. When I hauled my old boiler out of my bsmt. I could'nt get it in my truck, so I took it apart, and behold I never could get into the corners, particularly under the HW coil area, leaving me with mabey 80% from the start. I now have a 3 pass boiler with a swing door and cleaning is a pleasure, i'll take it any day over curtian shopping any day.
Sid
 
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Old 10-23-09, 10:14 PM
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OK.. job done.

Dang.. so I got the 'nipples' thing wrong. Mybad on that one, then. Thought for sure from the looks of em, too... hehe

Scrubbed down the 'pins' and the faces the best I could get (cant get corners well, as posted..).. they looked ok.

Im not sure if one of the corners on the top of the exchanger area is showing early signs of rust.. it wasnt flakey or such.. but it had a lack of soot on it, and was brownish. Ill have to keep and eye on it, i guess.

Pulled the burner out and noticed 2 things that Im curious about.

The burn box has this white layer of stuff on all sides. The 'target' end was a little darker than the rest (seems to reason), and it had a slight 'cracked' look to it.. didnt seem like the cracks in the material were through the depth of it.. more like surface cracks. Is that normal ? The floor stuff seemed to have more and deeper cracking.

Also, the old nozzle was covered in soot.. but it was odd.. sorta 'sharp' looking (like iron filings on a magnet, how they stand off).. there was quite a bit. Is this normal too ? I brushed it off with the vac and a toothbrush, then swapped out to a new nozzle, making sure the seat was clean.

Gonna fire it up tomorrow
 
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Old 10-25-09, 09:19 PM
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Dave,

You have done it prolly better than most pros would these day.
Good on ya,

And oh... that tittle should got you a lot of views
 
 

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