Oil smell from furnace

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Old 02-08-05, 01:21 PM
gamtab
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Oil smell from furnace

I am getting an oil smell from my oil furnace. I have had my oil company out several times about this and they mess about with the furnace but the smell returns.

As the smell comes and goes it does not seem like it is an external leak, I have looked and found none, this leads me to believe that there is not complete combustion of the oil and a residual amount is left in the combustion chamber.

The furnace is old about 50years and the door is not a tight fit anymore and my oil company seems to fixate on trying to seal this to prevent the smell coming out rather than finding the source.

Because of this I took a flash light and mirror so I could see inside the furnace, I saw that there was some residual oil in the air tube near the flame retention head of my Beckett oil burner.
Should there be any residual oil there? The Beckett oil burner is also old apx 20years plus, would replacing the burner get rid of the oil smell once and for all??
 
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Old 02-08-05, 01:36 PM
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Should there be any residual oil there? The Beckett oil burner is also old apx 20years plus, would replacing the burner get rid of the oil smell once and for all??
A new burner might do it. but I think Id try and find out where this residual of oil comes from first. Nozzle post drip after burner shuts off?? Nozzle to the cone head not set right . Draft over the fire right. lot of oil furnace have vent holes there by the door You dont want to seal it for sure.

ED
 
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Old 02-08-05, 02:44 PM
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gamtab

I know you don't want to hear this but why are you throwing good money after bad with 50 yr. old piece of equipment. The oil ($$$) you would save would pay for a new furnace in a very few years.
Like Ed said, there are a lot of causes for an oil smell. Since you see fuel in the air tube that may or may not be the source. Has anyone done a complete combustion analysis?
 
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Old 02-09-05, 12:42 PM
gamtab
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Thanks for the info, I have my oil company coming out AGAIN (I have lost faith in them) to look at it and do a pressure test to check for leaks but Ill be asking for a complete combustion analysis too.

If I do need to get a new oil burner can I buy it myself and get it installed independently of my oil company??
Id been ringing around trying to get someone else come look at my furnace but they were all refusing to and insisting I go through my oil company, is this some sort union/trade law deal??

I really don't want to buy a complete new system as I only plan to live here for a couple more years and when I do move a developer will tear down this place to make way for a new mansion.
 
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Old 02-09-05, 01:06 PM
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insisting I go through my oil company, is this some sort union/trade law deal??
Ill bet they dont know oil guns.

Boy if it is this is the first time I heard of it. If you know how they work and should go in .I dont see why you cant get it and do it. But as I say know what and how it works

ED
 
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Old 02-10-05, 04:24 AM
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burner

You can buy a burner and have it insatalled. But, if you don't know the guy installing it, you proabably won't save much. I did just that and saved a lot on the boiler but nothing on the installaition. Generally, the people you hire know the product they're installing. If you go out and buy a different product, it will likeky take longer for them to insatall. Unless you can do it yourself, I would let someone else do it. Support your local plumber!!!!!!

That being said, talk to the plumber. If you have a good one, he'll work with you. That is a very old system. I just replaced mine this winter and I'm saving about 1/3 of the cost compared to the old system. This is my 11th year in the house and I have never seen gas bills this low.

Good luck!
 
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Old 02-10-05, 08:47 AM
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Before you spend the oney on a burner, you should verify the integrity of the heat exchanger. On a furnace that old, I'm sure the metal was thicker than some of todays units but if there is a breech in the heat exchanger anywhere, all you will get is a different smell from the new burner. I would not recommend trying to change the whole furnace yourself either. A major duct transition is usually required when going from an old furnace to a new one. Is there any possibility that the blower is causing a reverse draft in the chimney? You woul dhave a hard time finding that unless you start the furnace with the basement door closed and monitor the over fire draft. I have a feeling that your service people can't see the forest for the trees.

Ken
 
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Old 02-16-05, 01:10 PM
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If the furnace is that old it is probably full of asbestos, either in the fire brick or the insulation that is under the metal jacket. It probably has asbestos tape around the ductwork connections as well. In Massachussetts you need to have a liscense to work on oil burners. DIY and have an oil leak and your house could become more of a liability than an investment. A 50 year old furnace is crazy, Do children live in that house? Get rid of it.
 
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