cleaned my boiler today (pics and Qs)

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Old 06-02-12, 04:38 PM
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cleaned my boiler today (pics and Qs)

i have a repco boiler manufactured in 1980. i have no idea when it was cleaned last time, but i used it for two season now, so i decided to clean it.

it's cast iron, pretty old and rusty in places. the top flue box was screwed in pretty good and screws were covered with some baked in stuff, so i decided to clean as much as i could thru flue opening.

i brushed it with a flue brush at different angles from the top, vacuumed and blew it with some compressed air. i brushed with a wire brush and vacuumed from the bottom. looking at the pictures afterwards, i realized i should've used some compressed air from the bottom as well. i also pulled out the burners and cleaned them with a brush and compressed air.

here are some before and after pics.

bottom of the heat exchanger before:
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bottom of the heat exchanger after:
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top of the exchanger before:
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top of the exchanger after:
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burners:
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pilot:
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questions:

what do different colors on the exchanger represent? white, yellow, red?

does it look like it could take more years of service?

did i do an ok job, or should've cleaned more?

the flames a bit yellowish and i learned today that one can time a gas meter to see if boiler gets more gas that it's rated for. which could be due to high gas pressure the video i watched said.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-02-12, 07:34 PM
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Looks good to me. Better then it was.

Although not an expert from my experience( and I may be wrong) The white on the underside may indicate combustion issues.

Not sure, the pros will be on shortly.

Is the unit near other appliances? And if so what? Washer?

Just my thoughts.



Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-02-12, 08:25 PM
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boiler is right next to DHW boiler, a little bit further is washer/dryer combo.
 
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Old 06-02-12, 09:14 PM
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Yeah looks like combustion stuff from the laundry IMO. Bleach?

Anyway the only issues I have come across is coating of igniters that fail and need to be cleaned. Plus the visuals that you show in your pics. I have seen that a lot in the baffles in HWH's that where in a laundry room. It just whats in the air getting burned but leaves that residue.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-10-12, 03:03 PM
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Looks pretty good to me.
To clock the meter - check for proper input here is a link. Verify all other gas appliances are off including pilots.
Checking Gas Appliance Input
 
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Old 06-11-12, 06:35 AM
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rbeck,

thanks for the link. it was unseasonably cold at the beginning of June in New England, so i actually turned the heat on and made the measurements.

i left the pilot on the DHW heater on, since it's a pain to relight. i measures 88 KBTUs by a gas meter and my boiler is rated 100K as input, so it seems that it's getting less gas than needed. since it's slightly oversized, i guess it's ok
 
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Old 06-11-12, 07:44 AM
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Looks good. I'm assuming that is natural gas from the pics and the follow up comments.

I have been very, very tempted to do my boiler myself as well. It's been 5 seasons or more since it's seen some care (previous owners never had it cleaned). My unit however is oil, so I'm expecting a real mess in there.
 
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Old 06-11-12, 08:43 AM
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I have been very, very tempted to do my boiler myself as well. It's been 5 seasons or more since it's seen some care (previous owners never had it cleaned). My unit however is oil, so I'm expecting a real mess in there.
I say go for it. If you have an I/O manual for the boiler it might contain some tips on the best way to do it.

If are thinking about using an old vacuum, your best bet is to keep it outside and use a long hose extension.

See: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...in-boiler.html
 
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Old 06-11-12, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Rockledge
I say go for it. If you have an I/O manual for the boiler it might contain some tips on the best way to do it.

If are thinking about using an old vacuum, your best bet is to keep it outside and use a long hose extension.

See: Cleaning well mclain boiler
I'm in a bit of a catch 22 on doing it.
The local pro is pretty cheap ($35 an hour, $100 for a full strip, clean and rebuild). Makes it almost too hard to justify doing it myself.
That being said, If I can save myself the labour costs, I could really use the cash else where.
 
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Old 06-11-12, 12:04 PM
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If I could find a pro around my parts who'd fully clean my oil-fired boiler for $100 (or $35/hr), I'd have a new BIG best friend.

You might think about paying a pro to do it this time and watching him. Then you can do it yourself next year and you won't have such a dirty boiler to face, and you'll have some idea of how to approach things. There's something to be said about doing it yourself - at least once - because it can give you a better idea of the design of the boiler and also give you some idea as to how well the burner has been firing over a period of time.
 
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Old 06-11-12, 12:27 PM
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This may not be feasible but if is, try watching while the pro gets "down and dirty" with your boiler. It can definitely be an eye-opener, telling you if you want to do the job next time. It can also tell you if you want him doing it next time.

Rockledge beat me to it. Serves me right for checking all forums before posting.
 
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Old 06-11-12, 03:55 PM
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If I could find someone to do mine for $100 I'd throw in a six pack of Sam Adams and a gift card to [insert your favorite restaurant here]
 
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