New boiler burner assembly.


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Old 02-26-15, 05:01 PM
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New boiler burner assembly.

The short of the story is that I get a call from my mother last night that her house is cold and the boiler isn't working. She was away for a few days. I go over and try to troubleshoot. The thermostats were calling for heat, the pumps were coming on, the burner was not. I pull the cover off to inspect and found the inside of the boiler to be covered in black soot. I didn't do anything to it. She had already had a a heating guy coming out this morning to do some minor fixes leaking pump flanges and maintenance on the boiler.

The boiler is an HB Smith model g100-w-4 from 1989. It also has a standing pilot.

The boiler guy pretty much had the same reaction I did to the soot. That it wasn't good. I wasn't there, but my mother told me what she knew. The boiler guy said something about having the burner cleaned to get it operational again. He said they don't do that sort of thing and even if you found someone, probably not worth the money. He suggested replacement. I don't know exactly what needs to be cleaned with the burner, but I am thinking that if a replacement can be had, that should do the trick.

I know this isn't good specific information, but does anything have ideas as to what would be clogged on the burner to make it soot? Could a burner replacement possibly work?
 
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Old 02-26-15, 05:41 PM
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First, I hope it didn't get cold enough to freeze any pipes!

Are you saying that the boiler guy was coming this morning ANYWAY? or she called him go get the heat going?

That it wasn't good
That's an understatement!

The boiler guy said something about having the burner cleaned
The whole boiler needs cleaned, then the reason for the sooting determined.

He said they don't do that sort of thing
Huh? a "boiler guy" won't clean and repair a boiler? WTH?

even if you found someone, probably not worth the money. He suggested replacement.
OK, they don't clean and repair... but they'll sell you a new one and install it no problem, right? Or wasn't he wearing his "Salesman on commission" hat?

ideas as to what would be clogged on the burner to make it soot?
Could be a number of things... impossible to give specifics. Roasted Rocky Racoon in the chimney, spider nests in the orifices, bad gas valve, bad gas PRESSURE... maybe a frozen regulator out by the meter? Lots of possibles.

Could a burner replacement possibly work?
You mean the actual burner tubes themselves? No, they're not likely the cause.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 05:58 PM
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The house was 40 degrees when I got there. Possibility it can get cold enough to freeze.

The boiler guy was scheduled to come anyway.

It's some HVAC company. They aren't plumbers.

I'm not sure it would be as easy as replacing the assembly. Could be the reason for the new boiler recommendation.

The hot water heater is operating fine on the same chimney. That would seem to rule out the gas regulator on the meter and the raccoon in the chimney.

Aren't the orifices in the burner assembly? The whole thing slides right out on this boiler. Could also be a gas valve, but that would be an easy replacement.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 06:15 PM
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Aren't the orifices in the burner assembly? The whole thing slides right out on this boiler. Could also be a gas valve, but that would be an easy replacement.
One piece? Not individual burner tubes ?
 
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Old 02-26-15, 06:20 PM
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Only 1 thing makes soot and that is poor combustion. Too much fuel, lack of air.
It rarely happens but it's possible.
I'm thinking you've got natural gas going to burners and not a power burner with a motor I would check for a lack of air. A lot of crap around the burner, great amount of dust from maybe an invented dryer etc, or someone playing with the gas valve adjustment creating too much gas for the size of the unit.
Unless you put a new boiler in which is a little over kill because of soot, the boiler is still going to have to be cleaned and then adjusted.
In 1989 they didn't have the safety's they have now like overheat limit switches in case of a blocked or bad chimney and things like that.
I would also check your chimney for proper draft. That would definely cause it.
My last choice at this point would be a new burner. What does he mean by a burner. You have gas going into a gas valve and then to tubes unless there's more to it.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 07:04 PM
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I didn't talk to this person, so I don't have reliable detailed information on what he saw.

There are tubes, but everything is connected. To remove it, you disconnect the gas line, unscrew two screws and it all slides out.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 07:52 PM
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D,
If you reach in you'll find the tubes come out individually. The end near the front is where the orifices are.
The back end either go into a groove or you push the tubes towards the back and lift up..
There is nothing in the gas pipe that's serviceable unless you're changing the jets and they just unscrew.
Take out the tubes and blow them out with a compressor if possible from the inside as well as out.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 08:09 PM
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Yeah, but... you're not done there...

If you saw soot all out the front, it means that whatever is going on is causing ROLLOUT of the flue gases and that means poor draft. The heat exchanger could be all plugged up with rust flakes, or ????? and before you try to relight that thing it needs INSPECTED INSIDE! most likely brushed down.

Relight that thing and people in the home are gonna die from CO poisoning!

Mom isn't staying in the house with no heat, is she?
 
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Old 02-26-15, 09:01 PM
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You don't by any chance have a vent damper that's been jumped out and is closed do you.
As you said you a hot water tank running without problems so it has to be something boiler related.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 05:26 AM
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My mother stayed the first night with aheater in her bedroom. She stayed in a hotel last night.

The clogged heat exchanger makes a lot if sense to me. There is no damper on this boiler.

Don't oil burners need to have their exchangers cleaned on a regular basis? Seems like that would be more economical vs a complete replacement. Plus any other part replacement .
 
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Old 02-27-15, 12:00 PM
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I thought you said this was gas. There are different components on oil that need attention yearly.
Never heard of anyone replacing a boiler because it was dirty unless your last name is Trump or Gates.
Years ago you didn't buy a new car when the ashtrays got full.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 12:10 PM
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. It also has a standing pilot
To remove it, you disconnect the gas line
Don't oil burners need to have their exchangers cleaned on a regular basis?
Are you changing the subject? Or are you unsure of what the unit actually is?
 
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Old 02-27-15, 03:13 PM
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I understand what the unit is. I thought oil burners had to have their heat exchangers cleaned on a regular basis. I was asking if that was true.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 03:29 PM
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OK, yes, oil burners should be brushed and vacuumed yearly... ideally.
 
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Old 02-28-15, 07:58 AM
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She had already had a a heating guy coming out this morning to do some minor fixes leaking pump flanges and maintenance on the boiler.
Why did he even bother to come out?
With natural gas and a sooted boiler sometimes even a cleaning it never works real well again. A new boiler would be safer.
 
 

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