Annual Tune-up > No vacuum?


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Old 02-18-13, 04:56 PM
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Annual Tune-up > No vacuum?

Hello,
I live on Long Island, NY and have a 3-year old WBV-03 oil boiler with 2 zones of hydronic baseboard and an indirect water heater. It's been just over a year since my last cleaning and tuneup. I just had my annual cleaning/tuneup today and the technician said that he would not be providing a new nozzle (unless the current one was real messed up). I did ask him to replace the nozzle, but I'm not sure if he did or not. Furthermore, he did not even bring a vacuum into the basement to clean out the inside of the boiler. I was in the basement for most of the time he was here, and I don't even think he took off the top casing of the boiler to look at the fins inside.

I asked him if he planned on vacuuming the inside of the boiler, and he said "No Need. It's Spick-N-Span." Could that be possible? 14 months since my last cleaning, and there's no need for a brush and vacuum?

Thanks,
Patrick
 
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Old 02-18-13, 05:43 PM
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You ended up with one lazyazz tech... I probably would have run him off, followed by a call to the service manager, and not paid for what he didn't do.

Did he show you it was spic-n-span ?

Not change the nozzle? SeriouslY? what kinda Bozo did you get?

What exactly DID he do?

What does the combustion report printout say?
 
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Old 02-18-13, 05:48 PM
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I'm with Trooper on this one. I never leave the tech's side when they do my tune up. I also tell them right from the start what I expect and that I'm going to watch so I know exactly what condition the system is in. Coffee or a cold drink as an offering sometimes makes an otherwise tense overlook a bit more casual.
 
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Old 02-19-13, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tomf63
I'm with Trooper on this one. I never leave the tech's side when they do my tune up. I also tell them right from the start what I expect and that I'm going to watch so I know exactly what condition the system is in. Coffee or a cold drink as an offering sometimes makes an otherwise tense overlook a bit more casual.
That is how I am as well with everything. I not only get to see what was done/not done, but I can see how things look inside (condition wise) and sponge as much knowledge as I can.
A beverage is always offered as that is how things are done here (small hick town).
 
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Old 02-19-13, 06:06 AM
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I heard this story for years. Homeowners with oil heat were really disappointed if I told them that the boiler flues were still clean. If it were gas heat they'd think something was wrong if it was dirty.

Ditto with nozzles. If the nozzle is burning correctly and you have good, regularly maintained filtration an annual nozzle change is not necessary. It's not from laziness because it takes as long to remove and check it as it does to replace with a new one, but I had more call backs from new nozzles that fired fine for several cycles then next time wouldn't pass any oil at all than I did from nozzles I checked but didn't replace.
 
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Old 02-19-13, 08:29 AM
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I disagree.

The distributor channels in the nozzles are so small that you'd need a microscope to properly inspect them. Replacement is definitely a better option.

Regarding call backs from new nozzles - They don't just clog up for no reason, some form of dirt must have been churned up from the work on the oil line. You're supposed to purge the system after any work on the oil line. New or old nozzles would surely plug up if contamination got to them. My tech always purges the pump and checks pressures after replacing the components and I've never called him back.
 
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Old 02-19-13, 08:34 AM
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Did you cut them a break on the price then?

Do you really see oil fired equipment that is 'spic-n-span' after a year's use and does not require a brush and vacuum?

With the small nozzles in use today, I don't think it's wise to not replace the nozzle.

If you aren't changing the nozzle, I presume that this means you don't remove the gun and set up the electrodes?

If it were gas heat they'd think something was wrong if it was dirty.
I would too... wouldn't you? If it were soot dirty, then there's DEFINITELY something wrong... If rusty dirty, is it because of condensation problems?
 
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Old 02-19-13, 01:25 PM
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Thank you all for the comments about my situation. I normally try to watch and learn whenever technicians are working in my house. However, for one reason or another, I've never been able to watch a cleaning. This was the first cleaning that I've actually been in the basement, and the first cleaning without a vacuum cleaner being used. I called the company and am awaiting a call from the service manager. I am considering popping the flu-pipe (chimney pipe) off of the top of the WBV-03 to get a look down the fins. Don't worry, I'll turn off the power first! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

-Patrick
 
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Old 02-20-13, 07:12 AM
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Trooper, my prices weren't high to start with. I found over the years that with higher pump pressures seen on today's equipment or older units that have been adjusted to a higher pressure, I seldom had a problem with plugged or blocked nozzles.

I had a Miller trailer furnace that heated my shop, nozzle was .50. I was burning slop oil from changing filters and purging lines, etc. At 100psi the nozzles plugged quickly so I increased the pump pressure. The nozzle already in it went over 5 years until we moved burned cleanly and never failed.

I did flush the pump and oil line on every service to check safety timing, flush out any crud that was loosened up, check the ignitor, pump cutoff, etc. The "tech" who trained me back in the early 70's never did, leaving many things in doubt and creating call backs. I did pull every drawer assembly, cleaned and adjusted the electrodes, checked porcelains for cracks, etc. Also reached down the air tube and made sure there were no carbon growths on the retention head.

Oil burners don't have to burn dirty and with the reduction in sulfur in the fuel there is less and less scaling and shouldn't be any appreciable carbon unless the tech was too lazy to drag out his test kit.
 
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Old 02-20-13, 09:41 AM
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Oil sucks. Worked on it once and had no clue what i was doing, got it to run by adjusting the electrode but other then that i want nothing to do with the "black gold"
 
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Old 02-21-13, 06:29 AM
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An oil tech would say that gas blows but some people take offense. I knew a guy in NY state that lost his life when a fireplace insert exploded and he was shredded by the door glass.
 
 

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