Old oil furnace combustion chamber repair?? pic


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Old 09-14-09, 09:58 PM
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Old oil furnace combustion chamber repair?? pic

Hey guys. I recently bought an older house and have been enjoying fixing it up. Decided it was about time I joined this forum. I live in Minnesota, its time to start preparing for the cold.

The furnace is 120,000 btu Hiawatha unit (ancient) As far as I know it was working fine last season and I would love to use it this winter anyway, will probably switch to Natural Gas in the future. I realize it is probably very inefficient by today's standards, would rather not replace this season.

Anyways I decided I would do my best to give it a good cleaning, change the filter at the tank, nozzle, etc. and then hopefully have someone come out and inspect it that knows more than me.

This pic is taken just above the burner through an access panel.


I ended up braking off a several bigger chunks of what I think is some sort of clay or mortar when scraping some soot, sulfer?,etc. out of the chamber. Its very brittle. The main chamber that the burner fires into is a clay, chimney like material and seems to be in good shape (lower part of pic) It is surrounded by a steel drum-like enclosure. The "chinking?" or sloped part is what I removed, I could probably pull the rest out with my hand. Below this tapered clay part and in between the steel and lower clay combustion chamber is a strange (to me) filler with gold colored flakes.

Can this "tapered chinking" be replaced with new?? Any insight on this furnace at all would be very much appreciated!
 
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Old 09-15-09, 05:30 PM
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Chamber Repair

Not being familiar with the furnace, I really can't say if it is repairable or not. Here's something you might want to try. It can be easily cut with a knife or scissors & held in place with homemade stainless steel pins.
Patriot Supply - 1035

Here's a link to Lynn's home page.
Lynn Manufacturing Inc
 
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Old 09-15-09, 10:23 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Patriot Supply's website appears to be down at the time but I will check later. I might just go into the local fireplace store and see what they have to say.
 
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Old 09-16-09, 02:26 PM
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I wouldn't even bother if you are planning on replacing the furnace next year. Most likely what you had was just some castable refractory tapering the chamber to the wall. It also acted as a seal between the wall and the combustion chamber but that was really negligible. You could get a small can of furnace cement and run a bead around the edge where the chamber meets the wall.
 
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Old 09-16-09, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
I wouldn't even bother if you are planning on replacing the furnace next year. Most likely what you had was just some castable refractory tapering the chamber to the wall. It also acted as a seal between the wall and the combustion chamber but that was really negligible. You could get a small can of furnace cement and run a bead around the edge where the chamber meets the wall.
Thanks furd. I will probably do that at a minimum (furnace cement). I realize it is probably fairly negligible. I just want it to work as efficient and safe as possible for the time being. I guess I might like to have it last more than one season... really not sure yet. Kind of wanted to use this winter as a "feeler" for the old oil burner. I already have 275 gallons of oil, might as well use it up..
 
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Old 09-16-09, 11:38 PM
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It's not a matter of efficiency, that is covered by the combustion chamber itself. The joint between the combustion chamber and the wall of the heat exchanger is just that, a joint. Sealing it will probably have no effect on the life of the furnace and not sealing it will probably not cause a failure any sooner. The one caveat is that IF you have short burner run cycles you could get some soot or ash deposits in between the heat exchanger wall and the combustion chamber and IF it got wet (a distinct possibility with short run cycles) it could cause the heat exchanger wall to rot (rust) sooner.

If it were mine I would use the furnace cement or a soft refractory product to make the seal.
 
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Old 09-17-09, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
It's not a matter of efficiency, that is covered by the combustion chamber itself. The joint between the combustion chamber and the wall of the heat exchanger is just that, a joint. Sealing it will probably have no effect on the life of the furnace and not sealing it will probably not cause a failure any sooner. The one caveat is that IF you have short burner run cycles you could get some soot or ash deposits in between the heat exchanger wall and the combustion chamber and IF it got wet (a distinct possibility with short run cycles) it could cause the heat exchanger wall to rot (rust) sooner.

If it were mine I would use the furnace cement or a soft refractory product to make the seal.
Thank you! I really appreciate the advice. I'm guessing it will have shorter run cycles, I'm not too worried about rust. The exchanger is made of some very heavy gauge stuff, and as stated don't plan on keeping it forever. Can you find furnace cement at a home improvement store or is it something I would want to buy from a furnace distributor? Hopefully I will have time this weekend to tear into it a little further. Also where to find replacement nozzle (have specs) and oil filter?
 
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Old 09-18-09, 04:57 PM
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Furnace parts

If there is a fair amount of oil heat in your area, the nozzle & filter should be available at a plumbing supply house. They might also have the furnace cement.
 
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Old 09-18-09, 05:25 PM
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I've seen furnace cement at one of the big box stores but I don't recall which one. My local old-time real hardware store also has furnace cement along with General oil filters and I think nozzles.
 
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Old 09-18-09, 06:52 PM
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Real Hardware Store??

Furd, You mean those places still exist? Where people actually know what they are talking about & want to help? A place where they don't have 50 different kinds of hammer but where you can find a hammer without wandering thru the entire 5 acre store & where you can buy one or two of something without having to buy a package of 100? In this place the people would know what a #10 x 1/2" pan head sheet metal screw or a 3/4" black union is? Gee I miss my local hardware stores.
 
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Old 09-18-09, 07:49 PM
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Thumbs up

Yup! Fourth generation now running the show. Six stores with one only about five miles away. The stores are fairly new but the service is over 100 years old.

McLendon Hardware

(I have no financial interest in this business.)
 
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Old 09-26-09, 07:18 PM
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I was able to find furnace cement fairly cheap at Menards. The local old Ace Hardware had nozzles in stock (nobody else around here carries much of anything for oil burners) I don't think I'm going to be able to find a filter for after the tank though. The pretty standardized one I picked up won't work so I just cleaned out the housing and reinstalled. Old filter doesn't look very dirty.

I vacuumed up all the loose crap in the combustion chamber and applied a layer of cement over the top of everything and between the existing stuff and the steel wall. I had previously fired the furnace up just to make sure it was going to work to cure everything. After sitting dormant for 2+ years, surprisingly it fired right up and appears to work pretty good. (wasn't used last season like I thought)

Its now further disassembled for more cleaning - 1-2" of sediment/crap sitting at the bottom of exhaust pipe. Can anyone give me any advice/specs on adjusting the electrodes?
Nozzle is 80* Hollow 1.00
 
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Old 09-26-09, 07:27 PM
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Filter/Electrodes

A generic electrode setting which works for most burners is 7/16" above nozzle center, 1/16" ahead of nozzle face, & 1/8" apart.

If you can get a name off of the fuel filter, I might be able to find replacement elements. A picture with dimensions would be super.
 
 

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