Kagi Waste oil burner questions


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Old 01-19-11, 10:49 PM
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Kagi Waste oil burner questions

Does anyone have experience with Kagi waste oil burners running on waste vegetable oil? My boiler has been hooked up for two weeks now, and unfortunately it hasn't worked so well. It will not maintain combustion, and the Carlin 48245 CAD cell locks up all the time. The boiler is an AgSolutions B150 (Axeman-Anderson 87NPO boiler fitted with Kagi burner). I am using a Tjernlund HS1 side wall power venter. The boiler was installed by a company recommended by AgSolutions. It ran for a day and a half and has required resetting several times a day ever since. I have checked all troubleshooting points indicated in the Kagi manual, and don't know what to do to get the burner to maintain combustion. Any help would be appreciated.

I am cleaning my oil with a centrifuge and settling, so I am certain it is clean and dry. The burner will ignite and burn for a while, and then it locks up.. It doesn't rumble much before shutting down, so I don't think the chamber is flooded, although the viewing port was covered with stuff after just a few days. I am running the oil pressure at approximately 2-3psi and the air pressure at 15psi. I am preheating the oil to 100 degrees. Once I get the thing to burn I will be using a loop from the boiler to heat the tank, but for now I am using electric heat mats.
here is a link to images of the setup. boiler setup pictures by forgedcu - Photobucket
I have replaced the pex oil pipe in the pix with black iron and flared stainless.

The installer has not been helpful at all in getting the thing to work, and I haven't been able to get all my tools back that he took with him either. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 01-20-11, 03:13 PM
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At one time I had a #6 oil burner license which worked on the same principle. However, the pre-heat was 120 degrees. So I question the 100 degree pre-heat.

Take the installer to small claims court for the price of your tools.
 
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Old 01-20-11, 03:59 PM
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The boiler was installed by a company recommended by AgSolutions
I'm pretty sure you've probably already contacted the manufacturer and expressed your bad experience with their recommended installer? I wonder if they actually have a 'relationship' with their so-called recommended installers, or whether they even check credentials. Maybe the manufacturer can bring some weight down on them?

In any case, I would try to open a dialogue with the manf about the problems that you are having.

I haven't been able to get all my tools back that he took with him either. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I got some 'people'... you want I should call them? ...
 
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Old 01-20-11, 10:12 PM
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Let me start by saying that I am not really here to bad mouth or review any services I have received. It may have sounded that way, but it is not my intention. I believe that any missing tools were an honest mistake and should be rectified at some point soon. The people I spoke with at AgSolutions were very helpful, as were the people at Kagi.

So, after those discussions and some minor burner adjustments, I have a boiler that is cycling properly roughly 90% of the time. When it does not, the boiler recieves a call for heat, and clicks to initiate ignition, but it immediately clicks into lockout. After reset it fires up and works well for several more cycles. I think I will upgrade to a Carlin 60200 controller so that I can at least get an alarm when it locks out, and hopefully a little bit of diagnostic information when it does.

For those out there ready to leap into the alternative fuel fray, let me say this: Caveat Emptor! This has been a lot of work from the start... collection, cleaning and dewatering, storage, preheating, plumbing and a whole lot of clueless frustration. The rewards are there, for sure, but as Tom Waits said, " I woke up this morning with the cold water, the cold water, the cold water."
 
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Old 01-25-11, 07:24 AM
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The inside view

Here are a couple of pics of the inside of the boiler. The retention head was all gunked up, and there is oil on the floor of the chamber under the burner. The manufacturer says that this is normal for an veg oil burner, but I have no clue. I burned the crud off of the retention head, and am not sure if I should leave the stuff under the burner. Any ideas?[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
 
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Old 01-25-11, 07:38 AM
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What kind of filters are on that thing & how many are there?
 
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Old 01-25-11, 10:13 AM
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There is one 100 micon filter as supplied by the burner manufacturer. I clean the oil with a WVO Designs centrifuge and settling first. I am experincing a lot of shut downs now, so I assume that is the reason for the unburned oil.
 
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Old 01-25-11, 10:23 AM
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running the oil pressure at approximately 2-3psi
This is as recommended by the manufacturer?

That sounds crazy low to me... but then I have ZERO experience with WVO burners. I do see what appears to be a standard oil burner nozzle though, and I can tell you that they are spec'd at ONE HUNDRED PSI... so I wonder how this thing can atomize the fuel properly at 2-3 PSI.

How is the combustion adjusted in these things? Is there an air adjustment? other than the compressed air that is being provided that is... in other words, how does one arrive at proper combustion numbers? what gets adjusted?
 
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Old 01-25-11, 10:26 AM
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One thing that you should know... that ceramic 'blanket' in the bottom of the combustion chamber... please do NOT breathe any of the 'dust' that comes off that material. ALWAYS wear a NIOSH approved respirator... the fibers that come off that after it has been fired are classified as possible human carcinogen in some states... and probably should be in all states...
 
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Old 01-25-11, 03:35 PM
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Thanks Trooper, I am very careful with that stuff... I call it cancerwool. My small propane forge is lined with it, and I wear a respirator every time I fire it. I plan to reline the forge with castable when I can afford it.

The burner has an air regulator band as well as a regulator for compressed air and oil. Kagi suggests that PSI (2-3) for the oil delivery pressure, and 12 psi for the compressed air pressure.

The nozzle is a Delavan 30609-7... Patriot Supply - 30609-7

You have many good questions. I don't have any good answers. The air regulator band is still at the setting done by the installer (approx 1/2" opening, as suggested by the manufacturer)

The flue gas test reads as follows:
322.5F T stack
10.11% CO2
85.8% EFF
48.7% ExAir
7.2% oxygen
105 ppm CO
163 ppm CO AirFree
66.4F ambient temp

The line for in H20 draft is blank. I now realize that at the time of testing all of the vent fans in the house should have been running. They were not. When the boiler is cold and the power vents are running on the domestic and hydronic water heaters, there is a lot of air coming down the stack. I now wonder if there is adequate combustion air, since we have a very tight energy star rated house.

I bought a Carlin 60200 primary control on eBay in the hope of avoiding some of the nusaince shutdowns, and so I can add an alarm when it does shut down.

I am going to keep trying things in the hope of figuring it out. I obviously don't want to spend $24 on a new nozzle if this one isn't clogged. If it is clogged, I REALLY don't want to buy a new one until I figure out why it clogged within such a short period of time. My oil is crystal clear, and I pumped out over a gallon to purge the lines before firing. The strainer on the oil pump and the 100 micron strainer screen are both perfectly clean. The 100 micron filter guage reads 0psi, so it isn't clogged there.
 
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Old 01-25-11, 04:53 PM
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I really don't think that filter is enough. How often is it being cleaned or replaced? That could be the reason for the unburned oil.
 
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Old 01-25-11, 04:58 PM
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The boiler has only burned for a few hours so far... maybe a total of 8 hours of burn time. The centrifuge cleans the oil down to way less than 10 microns. I checked both the 100 micron filter and the pump strainer, and both were clean and free of particulates and hydrogenated oils.

I'm not sure where else I would add a filter to the system.
 
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Old 01-25-11, 05:02 PM
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Ohhhh... that nozzle is NOTHING like a standard OB nozzle! ESPECIALLY the price... yikes. It looks like a coaxial design, I'm guessing that the air goes down the middle and the oil comes in around it. I know that it's foolish to try and disassemble standard nozzles for cleaning, but wonder if it's an option for these? If your oil is that clean, and 0" of vacuum on the gauge, I would like to think that it's not clogged.

Has Kagi been ANY help at all? I'm thinking you should show them the pics and see what they have to say.

Do you know if the ignition on that burner is set up for constant ignition, or does it shut off after flame is proved? (not that it has any particular bearing on the problem... just askin')

How is flame proved? CAD cell like standard OB?

When the boiler is cold and the power vents are running on the domestic and hydronic water heaters, there is a lot of air coming down the stack. I now wonder if there is adequate combustion air, since we have a very tight energy star rated house.
That's a very good avenue to explore. If true, it probably means that the other appliances are being starved to some extent also. You may want to look at something like a 'fan in a can' to provide combustion air.

Patriot Supply - 46266301

There are other ways to get combustion air without spending almost $300 of course. One involves a proper size piece of ductwork to the outside... see http://forum.doityourself.com/boiler...-air-vent.html for a bit of discussion about that.
 
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Old 01-25-11, 06:35 PM
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The burner uses constant ignition There are instructions for cleaning the nozzle in the manual. It suggests that simply blowing out with compressed air should clean up any debris clogged nozzles in new installations. I guess I will try that.

A cad cell proves flame. My trouble is that even though I have what looks like a nice flame (as described here and in the manual) the primary control shut down operation, causing the buildup of unburned oil.

I sent the photos to AgSolutions. They said that some buildup is normal with WVO, and once I get it dialed for regular fail free operation that build up will be minimized. I will send the pics to Kagi tomorrow.

I have a nifty 8" square motorized damper I could rig up to open during the burn for combustion air. We are planning on building a room around the mechanical area, so I am fairly certain I will need more air flow for combustion. I'll look into that more ASAP. I have been trying to find a decent oil boiler person in my area but I haven't had any luck yet. I assume that there are enough similarities between my system and a FO system that they would be of assistance.
 
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Old 01-25-11, 07:57 PM
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Kagi's website doesn't seem too useful... was looking to find the manual and other info on your system... no luck. BUT, they do see to want to help as evidenced by this page:

Parts, Service, and Updates for Kagi Burners and Others
 
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Old 01-25-11, 08:09 PM
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I spoke with Kagi and AgSolutions a few times and they both seemed to think I was on the cusp of getting the thing to work. "fuel delivery problem" was what they both said... so I replaced the PEX oil line the installer used with a short run of black iron NPT and flare stainless flex line. Everything is tight and right. I also pumped out all of the oil from the tank for another spin in the centrifuge, and the bowl was clean when finished. Tomorrow I will scrutinize the volute seal on the oil pump and the oring on the 100 micron Lenz filter for possible air leak locations. I will also remove and blow out the nozzle, replace and put it all back together for another start up attempt.

I have 2500 gallons of oil to burn, and only 75 to 100 gallons of propane left, so I need to get this thing cooking. Being unemployed is a bummer, especially during NY winter with twin babies!

Thanks again for all of your help.
 
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Old 01-26-11, 04:47 PM
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How high will the preheat temp go on the kagi? 100 is good for waste motor oil but not vegi oil.. you need 150-180 degree..
Search the messages on the yahoo group altfuelfurnace that group specializes in home built waste motor oil and waste vegi oil burners that are very similar to the kagi units..
The nozzles are easy to take apart and clean with huge passages compared to a pressure nozzle.. be careful with the o ring on the nozzle it is easy to damage and is a vital component to proper operation.
 
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Old 01-26-11, 05:04 PM
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Sounds like good info from 9 land! Thanks Ray... I bet you're onto something.

tnx om 73
 
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Old 01-26-11, 07:30 PM
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While not my specialty...
From the combustion numbers I would suspect you are shy on air.
The other thought I had was how dry your compressed air is ?
Moisture there may cause you some problems as well.
 
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Old 01-27-11, 07:31 AM
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My first response 7 days ago questioned the preheat temp.
 
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Old 01-27-11, 08:47 AM
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So it did... and your point is?
 
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Old 01-27-11, 09:11 AM
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Thanks all.... My preheat on the burner is maxed out at 180 degrees. I keep the oil in the supply tank at 100 degrees.
My compressor is in the garage, and goes through a triplet of moisture separators out there, then is piped into the basement to an additional 21 gallon storage tank, and through another triplet of self draining moisture separators.
I cleaned the nozzle yesterday. I could see daylight through it before I cleaned it. The oil passage on that thing is big enough to drive a truck through. I checked the seal on the pump and it is intact. I checked the oring on the filter and it is seated. I primed the pump and did a hot pan test on the oil that I removed and it is definitely dry. I opened the doors so that there was a clear shot from the basement into the garage (not sealed or insulated) and tried to fire it up. I had roughly the same issue, it would fire up for a couple of minutes, and then shut back down again. I will be calling Kagi again today to get some more ideas. I received the new primary control yesterday, and AgSolutions offered to send me a wiring diagram to hook it up.
 
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Old 01-28-11, 04:52 PM
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Thumbs up I have ways to help

I have one of these beasties burning wvo. To start with, how big is your chamber?
At 18" deep I run a -2 nozzle. The pics look like you are overfiring. I made some
simple mods to this unit and it now runs for a couple weeks before needing to be
cleaned. Anthony at Ag & Tonys jr & sr at Kagi were very patient and tried hard to
help, but I had to really dig in myself in order to get any sort of reliability with wvo.
The control swap that you mentioned should be a no-brainer if you use hemostats.
I have joined this site specificly to help your situation. As a newbie I can't seem to
find a way to securely setup a direct e-mail dialog with you. We might even trouble-
shoot by phone if you like. I'll try to watch this thread for your replay.
 
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Old 01-28-11, 05:28 PM
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Allways, thanks for offering to help forged... very nice of you.

While dialog here might help others in the future, if you want to try and contact, use the 'private message' feature. If you click on the user name above the message a drop down box will appear and allow you to select 'private message'... Forged must have his messages set to accept though in order for it to go through.

Please don't post any personal contact info here is all we ask.
 
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Old 01-29-11, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for the offer of help. I will PM you shortly. I intend to share any discoveries here though, for future reference.
 
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Old 02-01-11, 08:37 AM
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Soooo, the installer came out yesterday to "help" get the beast running. First he decided it would be a good idea to bend the sample tube from the power vent draft prover with a pair of channel locks. Then he tightened the plastic comression fitting with the same channel locks as if it was 2" iron and twisted it right off of the prover. So he cobbled together a repair using some copper tubing I had on hand, a bit of silicone and some plastic tubing. Believe it or not it ran ok for a while after he left, and he didn't charge me for his "service". The thing still locks up almost every cycle. Last night I ran it with the basement door open and it helped. I bought a 250 cfm dict fan and intake cap and will install that today for combustion air. I assume that will be enough. I don't know how to convert a simple opening size to a cfm requirement. ( I need 180 square inches of opening for combustion air for the 150k btu boiler, and two 65k btu hot water heaters, since I don't know if I will ever be able to rely on the waste oil boiler for my needs)

One of the big problems that was discovered while he was here is that the Tjernlund HS1 prover was missing a small rubber cap, thus it was not proving draft correctly. Full Size flash movie
Sometimes it is the smallest thing that brings everything to a grinding halt.
 
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Old 02-02-11, 07:29 PM
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The beast still requires frequent resetting. I noticed an odor of burnt chicken wings and french fries today, so I watched the boiler for a couple of cycles. On ignition, there is a bit of blowback that causes the barometric damper to slam closed. Also, where the duct meets the boiler, there is enough gas escaping to blow out a lighter. The power venter is running and putting out a decent amount of air (Tjernlund HS1 is rated for up to 300k BTU). I installed a new CO alarm right next to the boiler, so at least I will be warned if there is a problem there.

I'm rippign my hair out here and regret my decision to go down this path. I am considering moving the boiler & oil tank to the garage at the end of the heating season, into a small heated room.
 
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Old 02-02-11, 07:44 PM
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I have nothing for you, just wanted you to know that you aren't talking to yourself... I am still pondering though...

Did you hook up with Allways? any help there?
 
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Old 02-02-11, 08:06 PM
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Thanks Trooper, I was beginning to wonder ; ) I replied to Allways via PM and personal email, but no response yet...

Generally speaking, with a power vent on and the boiler "properly" drafting, shouldn't there be a negative pressure at the junction of flue pipe to boiler and not positive pressure? There is a bit of soot surronding the area.
 
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Old 02-02-11, 08:43 PM
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shouldn't there be a negative pressure at the junction of flue pipe to boiler and not positive pressure?
One would think so! You definitely don't want exhaust in the house! Especially if it smells like burnt chicken... I'd rather smell raw diesel!

Have the techs used a draft gauge? What are the specs for draft on your unit?

The thing about the baro damper banging on startup... at ignition, it's not too unusual to see that. It's all about the rapidly expanding gases. I've had a similar issue with my oil system and ended up installing an 'elephant trunk' on the baro damper. Basically moves the damper to the end of the 'trunk'... elbow down at the damper hole, then elbow out again and reinstall the damper at the end of that. The damper still slams, but the gases are contained in the trunk, then get sucked back up and out.
 
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Old 02-02-11, 08:46 PM
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I thought you posted pics of the boiler? Maybe it was in a different thread? I wanted to look again at how you have the flue pipe routed... and the location of the power venter.
 
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Old 02-02-11, 10:05 PM
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boiler setup pictures by forgedcu - Photobucket

That's a link to the photos of my current setup, although I changed the oil supply piping and have added a 6" duct with air from outside.

The tech used a combustion analyzer, and the draft section was blank on the printout.
 
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Old 02-03-11, 05:01 PM
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the draft section was blank on the printout.
Maybe because of the power venter he didn't think it was necessary?

From what I can see in the pics, the flue comes straight up from the boiler and into the power venter with no elbows, etc... and the pic of the venter is turned 90 sideways?

I don't understand why you have that much positive pressure... but then it is designed for fuel oil burning systems? Maybe that burner moves much more air than a standard oil burner?

Maybe best to discuss with Kagi... what are their above the fire, and at the breech draft recommendation. It's very possible that positive pressure is causing the burner fits.
 
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Old 02-04-11, 12:39 PM
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I heard from Allways today. I am going to step down to a 30609-2 nozzle and try a couple of other mods he mentioned. Kagi was helpful when I spoke with them today. I am going to try a bit of high temp silver paint inside the blast tube to get brighten things up for the cad cell.

I am still not sure about the positive pressure. Kagi said it was acceptable to use the HS1 with the burner. I was so busy taking notes about the other things I forgot to ask them about the positive pressure at the breech. The flue goes up, has a 90 degree bend, goes straight a bit to the HS1, then out of the HS1 with more straight, to a 45 and out to the terminus. All told there is less than 12' of duct.
 
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Old 02-05-11, 07:00 PM
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WVO is very dirty and thick you need to preheat very high to get good flow, you must clean clean clean to get good results.
I run waste oil and filter 100-10-3 micron before I burn still do a complete clean every 250 gal tank.
Usually can go 2-3 weeks before a shutdown.
Noisy start and cad shutting off is from to rich cold start, give it more heat and air and turn compressor down. Your retention head is very dirty and the cad light can't pass thru it. It must be cleaned to get it to run.
I run waste oil at 3-4 psi and compressed air 10-12psi. Burner air as lean as possible. A little adjustment makes a big differance.
You will need to tinker with waste oil burner often, they are very dirty and will never be dependable like a heating oil burner.
 

Last edited by RickCJ7; 02-05-11 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 02-07-11, 07:58 PM
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Thanks Rick... I wish I knew all of this before I started. I assumed it would be more work, but I also assumed it would work a bit more reliably.

It is running better with the 30609-2 nozzle and it is soooo much quieter. My baby daughter farts louder than this thing while it is running . The rumbles and flame instability seem to be gone. I haven't gotten the new controller installed, so I still get nuisance faults sometimes. The fault happens at the same instant the relay kicks on after the call for heat. When I reset, it goes on as if everything was fine. Soooo, new controller and the silver paint and double the size of the "soft start tank" and I should be well and good.
 
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Old 02-08-11, 01:47 PM
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I am not sure if I went one size too small with the nozzle. As I mentioned earlier, it is a LOT quieter. It seems to take a long time for a cycle to run now. Before, if it faulted and the boiler water got down to 120, it would only take a few minutes to get back up to temp (150) now it takes a while longer....

I just put up a lot of 300 assorted Delavan oil burner nozzles on eBay. I hope to get enough to pay for the -2 I just bought, and a -3 as well. Boy I wish this thing took regular nozzles, I would have enough for a lifetime.
 
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Old 02-09-11, 06:24 AM
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The nozzle should be sized to run 24/7 on the coldest day of the year, if it can't keep up use a larger nozzle.
It takes the same amount of oil to heat the water wether it takes 10min or 20 min. Not running long enough is short cycling and hard on the boiler. The waste oil needs to run longer and keep hotter to burn the dirty oil.
 
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Old 02-09-11, 10:09 AM
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Thanks Rick,
I guess I am pretty close to the right size then, as it is one of the coldest windiest days yet this winter, and the boiler is running steadily. I am still getting the occaisonal fault at start up. I am going to check the cad cell to make sure it is clean, and then get that new controller installed. I sure don't want to turn the thing off today though! With the centrifuge, I run at a slow rate, approx 10 gallons per hour at 6000 RPM at 150 degrees F. This oil is first settled for many months, since I currently have an abundant supply. I pull oil off the top of the settling tank, into the fuge tank, and then allow the fuge to be gravity fed. The oil comes out very clear and dry. I have yet to see anything on the filter or pump screen, including hydrogenated oil. I would strongly urge anyone planning to use waste oil for heating or as a fuel for any application to invest in the centrifuge.
 
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Old 02-15-11, 12:08 PM
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Kaowool alternatives

I shut the boiler down to change out the controller and check on the condition of the combustion chamber. The retention head and nozzle are clean now, considering the length of time that the boiler was running, (when compared to my earlier pics). The condition of the C-wool on the bottom of the chamber doesn't look so good. The crud built up has caused the kaowool to lift and pull away from the bottom. I am not sure if I should try to clean it or replace it. I am taking steps to reduce the build up in the future. Are there any less scary alternatives to Kaowool?



 
 

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