White soot?


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Old 10-20-09, 07:29 PM
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White soot?

I installed a Slant/Fin Liberty II Model LD-30PT boiler from
H.D. last fall. Upon inspecting the flue pipe for the annual cleaning, I discovered a whitish powder like stuff coating
the walls from the draft control door opening upwards. The manual stated to "bake out the volatile binders". Wondering if this white stuff is the "volatile binders"?
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Old 10-22-09, 03:49 PM
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In researching white soot, I have so far discovered that it can
be formed via lead in fuel and also from condensation. Anyone
know if water in the oil tank could also cause it to form?
 
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Old 10-22-09, 06:09 PM
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I guess you could call it 'soot', but isn't the strictly technical definition of soot that it is black? Whatever... we know what ya mean!

I think what you are seeing is the result of a small amount of condensation when the unit first fires, then drying out and leaving behind the residue... I doubt if water in the fuel would have much effect on this. Remember that when you burn fuel, the chemical reaction reduces a large portion of the hydrocarbon chain directly into water, in the form of vapor.
 
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Old 10-24-09, 03:57 PM
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That makes total sense, and that is why it's primarily forming at the draft regulator. It would be interesting to know what the material is and why it is white.
 
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Old 10-24-09, 04:36 PM
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I think if you had it analyzed, you wouldn't find any lead. Lead used to be an additive to auto fuels as an octane booster... (I think that's why), but to my knowledge, it's not added to fuel oil.

You would most definitely find:

Sulphuric acid
Nitric acid
Carbonic acid

and probably some other nasty stuff.

If it's a light 'dusting' it's probably nothing to worry about.
 
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Old 10-24-09, 05:16 PM
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On an oil fired boiler I would think that it is ash from the fuel. I know that the one here gets quite a bit of white deposit build up. Mostly during the shoulder seasons with the boiler running from cold.

I've thought that the condensation traps it instead of allowing it to go up the flue. During really cold weather the build up is less.

Al.
 
 

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