Boiler burnout ?

Old 04-27-14, 08:36 AM
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Boiler burnout ?

Looks like our cast iron boiler has a few issues..
The other day, two things happened.. we had some storms with power blinking then out for 6 hours.. plus I ran out of oil. Not sure which happened first, as I was at work.

This is what I noticed when I went to check on the no-heat that evening..

Looks like some kind of fire ? I really dont like the way that soot got "blown" out into that circle.. hard to see in the pic but just under the corner there the concrete is fairly black..

A bit of background. This is a 13yr old Olsen OBD cast boiler. A coupla years ago the oil valve went bad and was leaking oil in during spin up and down. It got bad enough that it would rumble and woof burning the excess oil after a run. Im pretty sure at one time I saw bright orange light near that front right corner too. We shut everything down then.

We changed out the pump/valve, and my tech chose to burn-off the residual oil (we didnt think there was too much). Quite the show there, as the oil burned off, but the scary part was when some water (condensation ?) ran out of that front right corner.
After the clean up though, there was no more water, no bright lights/flame and everything ran fine.

Until the above happened. The system has been turned off now.
Is it possible that some interrupting power might have caused unburned oil etc.. should I try to restart it and observe ?
Pull the burner assembly and outer metal panels off to look for more clues ?
Old 04-27-14, 12:34 PM
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burner out

You are in need of a boiler cleaned and serviced .
Old 04-27-14, 02:39 PM
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Needs more than that saves...

Obviously, there should be no 'discharge' of anything from the combustion chamber... flames, water, soot, ... nothing.

I'm surprised the CO2 is able to be adjusted properly because if there's an air leak and 'outside' air is getting sucked in, you will get sh1tty combustion.

Does your tech use instruments?

Maybe you can get that lower cover pulled back far enough to investigate without having to pull the burner?
Old 04-27-14, 04:14 PM
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Had a diff tech in this season, due to oil tank 10yr re-cert (the original tech is refusing to inspect tanks that are 10yrs+.. ).
This old timer checked nozzle ( I had just put a new .85 on it), cleaned/gapped the rods, ran it up and put a coupla diff analyzers on it. I didnt see him do a smoke spot though.
So, a combustion chamber is totally sealed right ? Excess oil should do nothing other than sit inside the chamber and burn off ?

I'll pull that panel (pull the burner if i have to, gaskets are cheap..), and take some pics in the next few days..
Old 04-28-14, 05:25 AM
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Did you get an Oil Delivery since this problem began ?

I have found that when I run out of oil (and I have allowed this to happen), I usually wind up with both a clogged Nozzle and Strainer inside the Oil Pump (SunTec) because all of the crud from the bottom of the tank gets sucked out, and when the Burner cools, the residual parafin in the Oil congeals and hardens up around the crud providing further blockage . . . . all of which necessitates a special cleaning with Pipe Cleaners and Q-Tips and a new Nozzle and Screen, and yes, even an Oil Filter.

That wouldn't explain the ring of soot that you see on your basement floor; but an inconsistent and intermittent supply of fuel being provided can result in all kinds of sputtering and coughing as the Burner breathes its last bit of fuel and finally dies out. I'm not proud of my having watched while this happened to me. What's on the ceiling directly above your "Ring of Soot " ?

PS: I just replaced my 45 year old Oil Tank last summer (with one made in Canada).

Last edited by Vermont; 04-28-14 at 05:56 AM. Reason: spelling

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