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  • Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
    If your not smart enough to find the rated BTU's on your boiler or burner, how can you clock the burner rate and say all is fine???
    Because I checked what I clocked with the tech who had serviced it last March. You seem to have a hard time grasping that I don't live in the building with the boiler and can just run down and try and find the plate, even though I've looked. I've not been there since Saturday.

    J Tiers This house predates the steam system. All the risers are actually running floor to ceiling through the rooms, not the walls! Once upon a time all the heat came from the kitchen stove way in the back and a cast iron fireplace in the front 'parlor' room, now the MBR. Presumably both burned coal. Must have gotten pretty cool in the 3 other rooms between in a 65' long railroad.
    Last edited by gellfex; 01-19-2022, 06:04 PM.
    Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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    • First you have to look at the flames. If blue and all across the burner then that is not the issue. If yellow or half the burner had no flame then you have found the problem. Some of the old oil burners had restrictor type plates to slow the heat going up the chimney. Those can rust out completely then heat rises too fast. Also the inside of the boiler flame chamber can get rooted up so little heat transfer takes place so take out the burners and look/clean. If the problem is not with the burners it is blockage problem, either air/ water lock or rust/ sludge blockage. Shoot some compressed air up from the bottom boiler drain. Then try draining all the water out and refill. If you still have a problem it's time so cut open some pipes.

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      • Originally posted by Superbowl View Post
        First you have to look at the flames. If blue and all across the burner then that is not the issue. If yellow or half the burner had no flame then you have found the problem. Some of the old oil burners had restrictor type plates to slow the heat going up the chimney. Those can rust out completely then heat rises too fast. Also the inside of the boiler flame chamber can get rooted up so little heat transfer takes place so take out the burners and look/clean. If the problem is not with the burners it is blockage problem, either air/ water lock or rust/ sludge blockage. Shoot some compressed air up from the bottom boiler drain. Then try draining all the water out and refill. If you still have a problem it's time so cut open some pipes.
        Thanks, but on this 2012 oil style boiler with a gas burner you cannot actually see the flames as you can on a regular gas boiler. Lacking (for the moment) a combustion analyzer, I've gotten some advice to meter the flue temp as a rough gauge of combustion. I have by no means ruled out the concept pushed by the tech that the condensate return lines may be clogged with sludge, but it just seems idiocy not to fully analyze the combustion before cutting at the pipes.
        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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        • Most oil burners have a round port that you can open to see the flames. If yours does not just pull the burners and connect temporary with a flexible gas pipe and fire them with the cover slightly open.

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          • Yes most oil and gas burners like stated above have view ports either or at the end or on the power burner.... do you Gasp That?

            Amazing over on Here you don't seem to insult people and you provide much more info , I have not read it all yet and I may join to share my thoughts. Can you balance a system with no measurable pressure ever? — Heating Help: The Wall
            Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

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            • Originally posted by gellfex View Post

              Thanks, but on this 2012 oil style boiler with a gas burner you cannot actually see the flames as you can on a regular gas boiler. Lacking (for the moment) a combustion analyzer, I've gotten some advice to meter the flue temp as a rough gauge of combustion. I have by no means ruled out the concept pushed by the tech that the condensate return lines may be clogged with sludge, but it just seems idiocy not to fully analyze the combustion before cutting at the pipes.
              Can you clarify something? You mention condensate return lines, I thought this was a single pipe system?

              Next time you are over there, it would be good to see a pic of the automatic fill mechanism. Can't see any in the pic you posted.

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              • Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post

                Can you clarify something? You mention condensate return lines, I thought this was a single pipe system?

                Next time you are over there, it would be good to see a pic of the automatic fill mechanism. Can't see any in the pic you posted.
                There's single risers, but at the bottom of the riser it separates condensate and that runs back on pipes along the basement floor. Sorry, I don't know the technical name for this type of single pipe system. The autofill is a 9 month old VXT unit, just checked out on Saturday by the tech who proclaimed it working just fine in conjunction with the LWCO.

                Superbowl, the only view port on this is tiny and utterly useless. I'm not ready yet to mess around with having this thing open and firing! I can be fearless, but not that fearless yet. exhaust temp test tomorrow...

                Click image for larger version  Name:	viewport.png Views:	0 Size:	632.4 KB ID:	1981770
                Location: Jersey City NJ USA

                Comment


                • Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
                  Yes most oil and gas burners like stated above have view ports either or at the end or on the power burner.... do you Gasp That?

                  Amazing over on Here you don't seem to insult people and you provide much more info , I have not read it all yet and I may join to share my thoughts.
                  The link made for some interesting reading.

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                  • Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                    The link made for some interesting reading.
                    Yet almost none of those steam people can get around the 'less than zero sum' nature of my basic point. They've got a hammer: vent balancing, and therefore every cold rad problem must be a nail for it.

                    Let put this is algebraic terms. T is setpoint temp.

                    Room C=T
                    Room A=T-5
                    Room B=T-2
                    (A+B+C)/T=T-7

                    There's no way to average them, ie balance them, and get T. You need another Room that's T+7. Balancing means moving heat from one radiator to another, but if there's no room too hot, it's not going to accomplish the goal. Balancing also presumes there's a thermostat or pressure switch that shuts down the burner at some point, limiting the supply of heat. If I have continuous burn and yet no overheated rads, my position is my primary problem is not balancing but combustion. It seems linear to me yet almost no one else sees it.
                    Last edited by gellfex; 01-19-2022, 08:55 PM.
                    Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                    • Superbowl, the only view port on this is tiny and utterly useless. I'm not ready yet to mess around with having this thing open and firing! I can be fearless, but not that fearless yet. exhaust temp test tomorrow...

                      Click image for larger version Name:	viewport.png Views:	0 Size:	632.4 KB ID:	1981770[/QUOTE]

                      It's no big deal firing a gas burner when open a little or just removing the three bolts, taking it out and firing it into the air. So long as the gas line connection is tight and there is nothing flammable close.

                      I often quickly heat my shop on a really cold day by clamping a 500,000 btu propane roofing torch to a bench. That puts out a 12"x5" blue flame that roars like a jet engine. Once the shop warms up some I switch to electric heat.

                      One other thing to check is the flue pipe. If there is a partial blockage (soot or dead bird) then the burner may shut off prematurely

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                      • Originally posted by Superbowl View Post

                        Superbowl, the only view port on this is tiny and utterly useless. I'm not ready yet to mess around with having this thing open and firing! I can be fearless, but not that fearless yet. exhaust temp test tomorrow...

                        Click image for larger version Name:	viewport.png Views:	0 Size:	632.4 KB ID:	1981770
                        It's no big deal firing a gas burner when open a little or just removing the three bolts, taking it out and firing it into the air. So long as the gas line connection is tight and there is nothing flammable close.

                        I often quickly heat my shop on a really cold day by clamping a 500,000 btu propane roofing torch to a bench. That puts out a 12"x5" blue flame that roars like a jet engine. Once the shop warms up some I switch to electric heat.

                        One other thing to check is the flue pipe. If there is a partial blockage (soot or dead bird) then the burner may shut off prematurely
                        [/QUOTE]

                        And I thought I was ballsy around heat! I recently had to remove a regular old ventless gas heater from my basement shop because an insurance inspector minded it. Imagine if he saw your afterburner! If the boiler burner was shutting off for any reason, that would be a significant clue. It was doing that last spring when I had the tech clean it and had the flue cleaned as well.
                        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

                        Comment


                        • Pipes in the rooms really lets out a lot of things.... no place for the btus to go but inside.

                          You really need to get the flame checked out, since it is beginning to look like what you suspect. The only other thing is undersized boiler. That seems unlikely if it has been in there since 2012, I'd think it would have been noticed by now 🙄😏!

                          So, the remaining ideas seem to be clustered around boiler performance. Using BTUs and not getting the results seems to be a case of them going up the chimney.

                          How does that happen? Well either the heat never gets into the exchanger, or it does, but goes unused.

                          1) not getting into the exchanger (despite good combustion) means something like flues plugged or "insulated" with carbon from poor combustion. Also a chance of a (now very dead) critter in there, laying on top of the exchanger, I suppose.* That one I would think would stink like overdone dinner, but who knows?

                          2) Heating the exchanger, but the heat going unused means something might be plugging water spaces in the exchanger, or there might be some coating in there like oil, or scale, etc, that partly blocks the water from good contact with the hot surfaces.
                          If you have, for instance, rather hard water, that can build up some significant coatings, even since just 2012. That's more likely if your system there tends to use quite a bit of water, for any reason.
                          Rust from old pipes could also do that. Might plug up the water spaces, or just get deposited on the lowest parts of the exchanger water spaces, and obstruct heating of the water. Disturbing the pipes, either through the boiler replacement, or whatever the tenant did that might have broken the meter, might dislodge rust that would find its way back to the boiler.
                          Any of those could gradually, or more quickly, turn the boiler into being effectively much smaller.

                          There may be other things that can cause the problems, such as a cold area that pipes go through, but the basement studio apt seems to rule that out there, and the pipes through the rooms just adds them to the heating surface..... the heat would get used regardless.

                          * Not so impossible......After we moved into the present house, we had the chimneys cleaned. The sweep opened up the cleanout doors at the bottom, and took out two 5 gallon buckets of skeletons. Birds, squirrels, and I don't know what had been overcome by fumes and fallen in.

                          And, once (when the insurance inspector was here!!) we were in the basement as he inspected the furnace and electric service box. There was a commotion in the flue pipe, and a very confused starling flopped out of the boiler flue box and flopped on the floor, then before we could do anything the bird flew up the stairs, ran into a light, and broke it.

                          If the bird had turned right instead of left before exiting the flue box, it might have ended up on top of the heat exchanger.




                          Last edited by J Tiers; 01-19-2022, 09:55 PM.
                          CNC machines only go through the motions

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                          • Originally posted by gellfex View Post

                            There's single risers, but at the bottom of the riser it separates condensate and that runs back on pipes along the basement floor. Sorry, I don't know the technical name for this type of single pipe system. The autofill is a 9 month old VXT unit, just checked out on Saturday by the tech who proclaimed it working just fine in conjunction with the LWCO.

                            Superbowl, the only view port on this is tiny and utterly useless. I'm not ready yet to mess around with having this thing open and firing! I can be fearless, but not that fearless yet. exhaust temp test tomorrow...

                            Click image for larger version Name:	viewport.png Views:	0 Size:	632.4 KB ID:	1981770
                            Different type auto fill than I have seen/used in the past. Your autofill is triggered when the LWCO triggers, it then fills a present amount of water. From what I can tell, there is no safeguard against the boiler being over filled. Have you verified that the boiler is indeed not full? If it was overfilled there would be no room for steam and the water would expand up into your piping as it was heated, never really making steam. There needs to be room for the steam and if overfilled that will cause big problems.

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                            • Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post

                              Different type auto fill than I have seen/used in the past. Your autofill is triggered when the LWCO triggers, it then fills a present amount of water. From what I can tell, there is no safeguard against the boiler being over filled. Have you verified that the boiler is indeed not full? If it was overfilled there would be no room for steam and the water would expand up into your piping as it was heated, never really making steam. There needs to be room for the steam and if overfilled that will cause big problems.
                              I know this thread has gone on forever, but the topic of the sight glass was covered fully, and then some. Interestly, the VXT (apparently the current gold standard) has dip switches to not only set the fill amount, but to set a delay when triggered by the LWCO, to allow more time for condensate to return. But the most important feature is the digital gallon counter.
                              Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                              • At the end opposite the burner there should be a view port, glass might have a screw off cover.

                                Since this used to be an oil burner, is the brick chimney lined for burning gas? If not the brick mortar will be destroyed by the acids in the gas products of combustion . So parts of the chimney could be collapsed? Something to be checked.
                                No lining also means a cold chimney which does not draw well, leading to soot.
                                Last edited by wmgeorge; 01-19-2022, 10:36 PM.
                                Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

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