Furnace tune up procedure


  #1  
Old 10-05-10, 02:59 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Furnace tune up procedure

I am getting ready to tune up my furnace [thermopride ol5-85] for the winter. What does the typical tune up consist of. So far I have done oil filter, pump strainer cleaned heat exchanger and air filter. I need to go back to the supply house to get a nozzle and want to know if there is anything else I will need while I am there.

What tools will I need to measure external static pressure and what is the correct procedure. I know everyone is going to say this is a job for a pro but I have would like to purchase the correct tools and learn to do this myself. Thanks for any help.
 
  #2  
Old 10-05-10, 04:58 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
To do the job right you will need some combustion test equipment. This stuff is EXPENSIVE ($1,000+). For many years we used a wet kit to test CO2 & O2 but there was no way to test for CO. You might be able to find a wet kit on ebay & maybe a dedicated CO tester. All of this equipment needs periodic maintenance & calibration.

Not to throw water on your fire, but I suggest you call a local service company to do the testing & make any needed adjustments.
 
  #3  
Old 10-07-10, 12:16 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
So I called a local service company today and the earliest they can get out is late november. They want to charge 105 for an efficiency test. I can get a wet kit for around 600, so in 6 years it would pay for itself [assuming there is no maintenance on a wet kit]. I would love to get an electronic kit but it sounds like the maintenance is going to cost too much to be worth it. Ok now for the questions.

1. On a wet kit what is the liquid inside the co2 tester and how often does it need to be replaced?

2. Would an electronic tester last 10 plus years with no maintenance if I only used it once a year?

3. What is the significance of knowing the co levels, it sounds like wet kits are still used today without know co levels.
 
  #4  
Old 10-07-10, 12:49 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 16,321
Received 39 Upvotes on 31 Posts
The fluid inside the so-called "wet kits) is proprietary to the manufacturer and can be quite corrosive if it leaks. It works by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the flue gas temporarily and thereby increasing the volume of the fluid. This increase in volume is read on a scale calibrated in percent CO2. Not only is the fluid only good for a certain total amount of carbon dioxide measurement but the seals and gaskets in the device also need to be changed periodically. I haven't priced the repair kits (including the fluid) for at least 20 years but the cost is not insignificant.

The electronic testers I am familiar with have electrochemical cells that need replacement on a fairly frequent basis whether or not they are used and again I haven't had to price this out for several years but about ten-fifteen years ago the cost of an oxygen sensor was about $100 and they required replacement about every six months. There is also the cost of calibration to a known standard which can easily be $100 a shot. While the electronic units do have a self-calibration feature that is used every time they are used the feature needs to be periodically checked against a known standard. You can buy the calibration set but it is another expense (probably in excess of $100) and the standard calibration gases do deteriorate (change value) over time.


Calculating carbon monoxide IS an important test for several reasons and before the advent of the electronic testers there were devices that used a glass tube filled with a chemical that changed color according to the amount of CO absorbed. These were a one-shot test and if I remember correctly the cost of the tubes were at least a buck apiece some thirty years ago. The tester cost about fifty bucks back then.
 
  #5  
Old 10-07-10, 01:45 PM
SeattlePioneer's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 4,469
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Frankly, doing a quality job on maintenance requires more skill than the typical repair job. A competent repairman will be looking and checking for tell tail things that aren't right and might indicate a problem. That takes experience the DIYer simply doesn't have.


That goes double for oil furnaces as opposed to natural gas.
 
  #6  
Old 10-07-10, 02:17 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer
A competent repairman will be looking and checking for tell tail things that aren't right and might indicate a problem.
Thats the key. What if I dont get a competent repair man,what if I get someone with a heavy schedule and rushes thru the job, the list goes on and on. I am a service tech in another industry so I know how it works. Some guys really know there stuff and others just plain suck or are lazy. That is why I want to invest in the equipment [even if I wont be saving money] and obtain the knowledge to do this myself.
 
  #7  
Old 10-07-10, 07:06 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Test Equipment

The CO2 solution is postassium hydroxide (strength I don't know). It is not expensive unless you have to have it shipped to you (Haz Mat charges) & usually will last several years if the kit is stored upright.

I don't know what the O2 fluid is but it will go bad fairly quickly.

The electronic units I'm familiar with have sensors which MAY last up to 18 months but no longer. They go bad, used or not, & have to be replaced & the unit recalibrated to the new sensor. Cost is +/-$300.

The stain tubes for CO Furd spoke of, if I remember right, only go down to about 1,000ppm (0.1%) which is WAY too high. Most oil burners I test run about 25-50ppm CO.
 
  #8  
Old 10-08-10, 02:32 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Ok I am going to invest in a wet kit so I can do my own efficiency test. I have been looking through old tune up reports and it looks like every time the co2 has been at 10, there is a sticker on the front of the furnace that says for maximum efficiency set co2 to 12. Why would the techs not set it for maximum efficiency?
 
  #9  
Old 10-08-10, 04:40 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Efficiency

There are trade offs. Granted 10% CO2 is low, but 12 might be on the high side (maybe). Factory specs are almost always done with a "trace" of smoke. I never set up an oil burner with a "trace" of smoke. A trace now can quickly turn into a #2 or 3 or worse when the weather gets cold. With smoke numbers that high you end up with sooting of the heat exchanger & soot is a fantastic insulator thus preventing the heat from the flame from reaching the metal which in turn getting into the house. I'll trade lower short term efficiency for that of a clean heat exchanger & season long efficiency.
 
  #10  
Old 10-14-10, 07:40 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all the info, I am learning a lot here. Ok now for a new problem. After changing my filter and nozzle I have been smelling unburnt oil through my vents, at first I thought it was from all the oil i spilled, but the smell is still there. I looked for leaks, did not find any. There is no air in the line. However I did find that I have some "after drip" I am not sure if I had this problem before the nozzle change. Would this cause me to smell oil through my vents? How do I stop this?
 
  #11  
Old 10-14-10, 04:04 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Oil Smell

I presume this odor is that of raw fuel as it comes from the tank & not exhaust.
There can be a lot of causes, but since you mentioned afterdrip I'll focus on that.
Some common causes are: Nozzle not tight in the nozzle adaptor; contaminated nozzle (especially if you didn't flush the nozzle assembly prior to installing the new nozzle); bad nozzle (very rare but once in a while...); incorrect nozzle (correct is Delavan .75-80 A); cracked burner end cone; Z dimension incorrect. These possibilities only deal with the burner but over all, this is the "short list".
 
  #12  
Old 10-14-10, 04:36 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
The nozzle is tight in the adaptor, it could be a comtaminated nozzle as I did not flush the nozzle assembly. How do you recommend doing that? I am going to pick up a new nozzle and try it out there cheap enough. I am using the correct nozzle.

What is the burner end cone? I doubt it is cracked because I was not getting the smell before the nozzle change, but I would like to inspect it. Z dimensions are correct as I did not change the setting.

I have been searching on after drip and it appears they make an ecovalve, It looks like a check valve that screws on to the end of a nozzle. Are these commonly used or should I try to fix this problem with out this?
 
  #13  
Old 10-14-10, 04:51 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
End cone

The end cone is on the business end on the burner air tube, presuming you have the standard Beckett burner.

To flush the nozzle assembly, attach it (less nozzle) to the 3/16" copper line coming from the pump, point the assembly into a container, start the buner & allow it to run thru a safety cycle (normally 45 seconds). You will be flushing oil thru the assembly at 100 psi.

Find & fix the problem without the ecovalve. I tried one once many years ago & it wasn't worth the trouble of installing it nor did it fix the problem.

BTW, how's the draft?
 
  #14  
Old 10-16-10, 11:48 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I flushed the nozzle assembly and installed a new nozzle but I still have after drip. I don't think it is the after drip causing the smell. I get the smell when the burner is on. If I manually turn the fan on with the burner off I don't seem to smell it. Where else should I be looking. I checked out the end cone and it is in good shape, no cracks.

When flushing the nozzle assembly it seemed like I was getting half air and half oil, I assume this is normal as the nozzle assembly is larger that the line supplying the oil but I just want to be sure. I get no air when bleeding with the screw.

Draft .02
 
  #15  
Old 10-16-10, 03:15 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Draft

Your draft measurement was taken where & was the draft +.02 or -.02?
 
  #16  
Old 10-18-10, 01:29 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Draft is -.02 over the fire.

Maybe it is the after drip causing the smell. What else should I be looking at.
 
  #17  
Old 10-18-10, 03:36 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Afterdrip

The afterdrip is most likely the source of the odor but the question is: Why is there afterdrip?

Usually it's caused either by air or heat being reflected onto the nozzle.
I know you said there was no air from the bleeder but there is often a bubble trapped in the nozzle assembly.
Here's something to try which will usually rid the nozzle assembly of air:
(1) Fire the burner & allow to run for about 30 seconds.
(2) Remove a t-stat wire from the primary control thus shutting down the burner & leave off for about 30 seconds.
(3) Reconnect the wire, firing the burner.
(4) Repeat 10 times.
Let me know if this exercise doesn't rid you of the afterdrip problem.
 
  #18  
Old 10-20-10, 02:04 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I tried what you said and it looks like it might have soled the after drip. I am not positive I need to spend more time with it but I don't want to run it until I replace a part. When I pulled the burner to look at the end cone the insulating sleeve on the end of the air tube fell apart. Any idea where I could get another one of these? I called a local supplier and they said they don't carry it. I checked the manual and there is no part number for it.
 
  #19  
Old 10-20-10, 03:14 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Insulating Sleeve

How long is that sleeve? Does it just come back a couple of inches from the end cone or does it cover nearly the entire tube? Memory tells me it's just a couple of inches long but the old grey memory ain't what it used to be.

If I'm right, here it is:
Patriot Supply - 1030
 
  #20  
Old 10-20-10, 04:00 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Damn your good.... That is the exact part I need, I have been searching the past couple of days (even on that website) and couldn't seem to find it. Oh well, I am going to order it, fix it up and I will post back with the results.
 
  #21  
Old 10-20-10, 07:17 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Good?

I don't know how good I am. I had quite an advantage. I've worked on Thermo-Prides for better than 20 years. Glad the old memory didn't fail me.

While you have the burner out, it's the perfect time to check the 'Z' dimension. See page 10 of the Beckett manual for how to check & set.
http://www.beckettcorp.com/Protect2/...s/6104BAFG.pdf

The heat shield they refer to is NOT the insulation you are getting from Patriot. But a double layered outer ring on the end cone. Here is the perfect tool for setting the 'Z' regardless if the head has a heat shield or not.
Patriot Supply - T501
I use one several times every day.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: