Combustion Deposits (Boiler Fan post moved)

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Old 12-07-10, 12:41 PM
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Combustion Deposits (Boiler Fan post moved)

Good day all!

Newbie here with a question or two. I have a four section Utica Starfire III boiler about 9 years young with a Beckett AFG burner 1.00 80B nozzle, 2 3/4static plate, F6 head, pump set at 140psi, and Honeywell controls.

My first question is can or should the white deposits be cleaned from the combustion chamber sides and bottom? It has gotten thicker each year and I would love to make it new looking again to get as much heat transfer as possible, but don't want to damage section rope etc. It doesn't just brush off like the heat exchanger deposits.

My next question is should this boiler have a barametric damper on the flue? It has never had one since installed. Probably because the chimney is poorly designed and had a history of downdrafting with proper conditions.

My next question is about downrating to a .85 nozzle to try to cut oil usage. Would the F6 head and 2 3/4 static plate still work? The Utica book's table shows a F3 head and 3 1/4 static plate yet the burner label says .85 with the current head and plate in its firing range. Would it be worthwhile since it would only change the GPH from 1.18 to 1.00 with 140psi pump correct?

Thank you in advance for your time and expertise!

B.F.
 
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Old 12-07-10, 04:12 PM
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BF, I moved your post into a new thread... it didn't seem to 'fit' at the end of the thread you tacked it onto...
 
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Old 12-07-10, 07:00 PM
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Deposits/Downfiring

The deposits should be removed. It will take a stiff wire brush & considerable elbow grease or a powered brush. Be careful to stay away from the section joints.

Now on to the downfiring:
The deposits are likely caused by condensation & if so, downfiring will only make it worse. Is this a cold start boiler? Any by-pass piping? Large volume of water in the piping?
 
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Old 12-08-10, 06:35 AM
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Thank you! I realized after I posted it was a 2 year old thread.
 
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Old 12-08-10, 07:12 AM
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My thought was to take the front plate off completely since the swing out door doesn't leave much room to work. Maybe a wire wheel on the end of the drill? I'll replace the target wall and refractory while I'm at it. Who knows what's behind there. Are any of the soot removal products effective? safe for the refractories? I know it's not a cure all but it's cold here in PA and I'm not touching it now. What do you recommend for resealing the front plate? That play dough that comes with the kits is really junk in my opinion. Would Ultra Cooper silicone take that much heat?

The deposits are probably caused by condensation as I ran it cooler the last few years. Never did that before I turned the temps down to 140 lo 160 high and diff set at 15. It is a warm start cast iron boiler with a tankless coil. They did not put any bypass on it. As far as large volume of water...I'd say yes, since one of the three zones is the entire second floor. The other two zones are short runs and the return water hits fairly quickly on those two. All run at the same time, just one thermostat and one circulator.
 
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Old 12-08-10, 05:23 PM
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160 isn't too awful low really... and it's the return water temp that contributes mostly. By 'large volume' though, we mean LARGE volume... like a converted gravity system with 2" mains and cast iron radiators, etc... I don't think you mentioned what type of heat emitters you are using, but if you've got a loop of fin-tube baseboard, that really doesn't constitute large volume.

I'll let Grady comment on the sealing stuff ... not being familiar with your boiler I can't really comment other than to say that the high temp silicone may not be the 'ticket'. You may find that there is some 'boiler rope' in there already. I would use whatever was used originally.

One thing you probably already know: Ceramic Fiber Refractory material is a SUSPECTED CARCINOGEN, so please wear NIOSH approved respirator, and avoid allowing a vacuum cleaner to spew out the dust all over the basement.
 
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Old 12-08-10, 05:29 PM
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I think you don't have the manual for your boiler? Take a look at this before you rip into it. It appears that the seal for that burner mounting plate is formed by a single molded piece of refractory material:

http://www.ecrinternational.com/secu...ument/1840.pdf
 
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Old 12-08-10, 05:30 PM
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Also, take a look here:

Patriot Supply -
 
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Old 12-08-10, 07:04 PM
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I don't think the silicone will take the heat. I agree about the play dough but sometimes you just gots to deal with it.

A wire wheel on a drill might work but I kind of doubt it. A wire wheel on a grinder maybe.

I never use any kind of chemical cleaners on the fire side. They used to make an compound called "soot spray" which worked really well but I haven't seen it in years. You sprayed it on warm, not hot, cast iron surfaces then fired the burner. Once the cast got hot, you turned off the burner & opened the peep hole. When air was carried over the spayed soot it looked like red/orange worms eating the soot.
 
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Old 12-08-10, 08:39 PM
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it looked like red/orange worms eating the soot.
I think I saw that a few times back in the seventies!
 
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Old 12-13-10, 09:58 AM
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Thank you both for your input! I think you're correct about the front seal by the pictures. It looks like the refractory is the seal.

The system is 3 loops of tube/fin radiators. Maybe the heating oil just has a lot of sulfur that's causing the build up?

Just curious if you know anyone in the Harrisburg area that does quality work? Over the years I've tried several. Not one used a comustion analyzer. They're cleaning was a lick and a promise. The guys that installed it were the best of the bunch, but they're now trimming trees and running a paint ball field instead of selling oil. They did use a wet kit to set it up!

Good point on the respirator! I must say nobody that has serviced it in the past wore any protection. I know without a mask I'm blowing black for a day after cleaning it.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 11:12 AM
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I know without a mask I'm blowing black for a day after cleaning it
It's not so much the black stuff that you need to really worry about though, but I'm sure it's not good for you... it's those invisible sharp ceramic fibers that get into your lungs and stay there for good...

Check out the "Netti Pot" ... (google it) ...
 
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