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"serviced every year"- We were speechless.........

northernboilernorthernboiler Posts: 25Member
Here's just a little background of the story. We received a service call, by a customer referral, to this customer that was "suspiciously unhappy" with his current oil company's service.

He stated that he felt that he was having too many "emergency service calls" every year.

He informed us that in total, he has had 17 "emergency service calls" in the past 3 years, for all of his oil fired equipment. In addition to the annual service & cleanings for each unit, so that's an additional 3 more service visits annually.

His building is a mixed commercial/ residential building. The commercial part is a wholesale laundry facility.

Here is what he has:


Fulton 20 HP high pressure steam boiler- oil fired (10 years old)

Bock 120e hot water tank- oil fired (4 1/2 years old)


Buderus G215/3 w/ SSu-45 (3 1/2 years old)

His oil company, is a large union employee oil company (and I have nothing against unions or union members).

His call to us, primarily, was for the Buderus. For his next door home neighbor had the exact same boiler installed by us, about the same time his was installed, and they have had no issues whatsoever. Just the annual service.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words.......................

The first five were the "before" pictures, the second five are the "after" pictures. And on a side note, it took 2 men 10 hours to "clean" this unit. using chisels and threaded rods to literally crack the almost concrete like blockages.

But keep in mind, the oil company said, documented, and charged for the cleanings and services the "performed".
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  • SWEISWEI Posts: 4,492Member ✭✭✭
    The oil company documented and charged for the cleanings and services

    If that were my boiler and that were the case, I'd probably be calling my lawyer on Monday.
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  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 8,885Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    Ordinarily, I'd say "Unbelievable"

    but I see way too much of this. That burner must have been wayyyy out of tune, or it was getting wayyy too much cold return water. You can't fix stupid!

    I don't think I've seen one quite this bad, but here's one that was close:;action=display;num=1365022001

    Carlin and Riello both make gas burners for Buderus boilers.

    Can't wait to see what the other two units looked like inside, and what the lawyers did to the oil company!
    Post edited by Steamhead on
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    · ·
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 3,839Member ✭✭✭
    I've had that problem

    (shame on me...) -- which is why I now have Charles clean and tune Cedric II once a year instead of the oil company.  I still have a service contract with them, but it's for that moment at 6:00 AM when I find the idiots have run me out of oil (again...)(and no, I can't get them to fix the gauge on the tank...)

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    · ·
  • GordoGordo Posts: 365Member ✭✭
    edited July 2013
    Those "Before" Pictures...

    Look like something out of a horror film or a pathology text book.
    Post edited by Gordo on
    · ·
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 2,966Member ✭✭✭
    I will bring a new gauge this year Jamie

    Is it a combination gauge and vent or just a gauge?
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    · ·
  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,525Member ✭✭✭
    Bad gauge

    Jamie, my oil tank gauge died a decade before I replace the boiler with a gas fired Smith G8. I wired an elapsed time meter in with the oil gun so I could monitor the number of hours the oil was firing. i recorded the number daily to monitor usage and found it also would highlight problems with the system if usage went up without a good reason.

    After a couple of fills I could tell exactly how much oil gad been used; I called them whenever I was down 125 gallons and I was never off by more than 5 gallons for the last 9 years i ran that system.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    · ·
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 2,966Member ✭✭✭
    Why not just change the gauge?

    I mean it is not a big deal to change a gauge or to put the gauge in a spare port.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    · ·
  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,525Member ✭✭✭
    I agree

    that changing the gauge is pretty easy and it's good to have a working gauge so anybody can check the amount of oil in the tank. I installed the elapsed time meter because i wanted to keep tabs on what effect any thing I did to the system would have, I'm the only one in the house so it also made the tank gauge mostly irrelevant. I recorded the reading every day along with the local degree day data

    so i had a very good feel for how the beast was was working.

    I will say my decision to replace the V75 was because of a weeping oil tank and if I had not been diligent about checking things a gauge would have eventually cued me into the problem. The total amount of oil lost amounted to a couple of quarts, the smell of oil prompted me to do a close inspection of the tank.

    I have to say that V75 was a good boiler for me, in 16 years I only had one service call - i did have the system cleaned yearly.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    · ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 6,753Member ✭✭✭
    Kibbles & Bits:

    Looks like a cold start Buderus to me. I've seen a few. Cold start oil, cold water coming into the boiler on start up, exhaust temperature way below 400 degrees, and if it is a Riello, it isn't set up properly.

    If you find that the problem doesn't go away (and I don't think it will), install a Lynn "Wet Blanket" as a refractory rug on the bottom to reflect the heat of the flame back into it so it doesn't get quenched and get cold. That yellow cementious  material is the sulphur in the oil mixing with ash and water vapors. I'll bet that there is the same yellow crud coming through the flue joints.

    If you can look back to things I have posted in the past, I think I posted some photos of three Weil-McLain WGO-8's I took care of that looked like that after a year of running. I totally cleaned them every summer when the heat was off. In a year, it would be totally plugged up.
    · ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 6,753Member ✭✭✭
    Cold Start:

    Those look like Buderus Triple Pass Boilers run as cold start. That's what they end up looking like when they have very long runs while condensing with low return water. Or ODR. With boiler protection and above 140 boiler temperatures, they will look like almost new.
    · ·
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