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What could have changed?

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RonWHC
RonWHC Member Posts: 232
insufficient input. Did the pro reduce the nozzle size or pump pressure? If he left a readout of the test results, you might want to share them w/ us.

Comments

  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Butterfly effect?

    I completed a boiler re-pipe last year (ref. this thread:
    My Boiler)

    Thanks to a lot of your help, I had a well functioning heating system last winter. This year, however, it seems not to be working as well.

    Last year, before the heating season, I had a pro come and adjust the burner and set it for proper COx levels. Some things I won't touch!

    Boiler is a Burnham V83 (hi Glen!) with a Becket burner.

    What's changed since last year:

    1) I've started to fully insulate the header, mains and risers.
    2) I removed the smallest radiator and the riser that was at the end of the longest main.
    3) I added a Tee and a Hoffman 75 at the furthest 2nd floor radiator off the longest main, similar to the one shown in the above thread and the attached photo...
    4) I cleaned and skimmed the boiler.
    5) I added an MM auto feed which doesn't seem to do much based on aural evidence. I don't think I'm loosing much water. The water site glass sits a bit under the water line when its cold. It will drop a bit as the boiler runs, but I doesn't fill or shut off on low water.
    6) I changed a couple of Gorton 5 and 6s as they were clogged. (I'll boil them in white vinegar one day...)
    7) I replaced one of the radiators with the smaller one removed in #2 above. It's the first on the short main and gets hot fully and fairly quickly.

    What I've noticed this year:

    1) At the end of the short main, 1/2 (20') of which goes through unheated crawl space and is uninsulated (I was able to shove about 6' of insulation on to it though), has a Hoffman 75 Tee on to it (see photo) just before the radiator valve. This is the largest radiator on the system. Last year, within about 10 minutes, you could hear the air escaping from the H75 and it would close with an audible "snap". Right after that the radiator vent would start to hiss air. In about 1/2 hour the whole radiator would be too hot to touch. Now, I don't hear the air coming out of either vent, but it gets hot after about 1/2 hour and the radiator will be hot half way after a full boiler run (about 45 minutes).

    2) The largest radiator on the long main, used to get hot to about 3/4 of its length and you could hear the air coming from it's vent and you could hear it come back in as the steam condensed when the boiler shut off. Now the radiator gets hot 1/2 way, and I don't hear anything from the vent, either direction.

    3) The rest of the radiators seem to take longer to get hot, though I am not sure if they are "filling" any more or less.

    4)I have a vaporstat and a 5psig gauge. I never see pressure build on the gauge before the boiler shuts down with the Tstat.

    With all that said, am I nuts (no answer needed there) or should I look for some sort of problem? Too little water in the boiler? Burner out of adjustment?

    Also, what's a good basic setback Tstat for a steam boiler?

    Thanks again,

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • Big Ed
    Big Ed Member Posts: 1,117
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    check.....

    .......the King vent (in photo),make sure it's not plugged.
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Doh!

    That's so obvious I missed it! I'm thinking it's new, it isn't plugged... I'll try that and see... But that still doesn't deal with the other main, but I'll check the 2 Gortons at the end of that... Do these valves clog that often? I guess I need to add it to the checklist...

    Alex...
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • Al Gregory
    Al Gregory Member Posts: 260
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    Is there a water meter on the auto feeder? Steam presure may be going up the chimney.
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    No meter...

    but I spend a fair amount of time in the basement and I've never heard the feeder go on, and it's loud enough to be noticed. Doesn't mean it isn't feeding other times though... Any recommendations on a meter?

    How would steam getting in to the stack? If it is, I should see it coming out of the chimney, no?
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    No dice...

    The vents all seem fine. The Hoffman at the end of the short main (in photo) was a bit cruddy but still passed the "breath" test. I removed it when the boiler started and waited to see if there was a difference. It didn't seem to make a difference. Steam came waifting out of the nipple but not in any great quantity or pressure...

    The 2 Gortons at the end of the long main were a bit waterlogged but still passed the breath test.

    I filled the boiler to the water line (it was about 1/2 below) when the boiler had been off for awhile to see if that made a difference but, again, it didn't seem to.

    My boiler never registers any pressure on the gauge (except if I turn off the 2 mains valves) and the t-stat shuts off before all the radiators get fully hot...

    It seems to me to be some sort of "pressure/velocity" issue. Last year, you could hear the steam hit the Hoffman and it would give a solid thunk as it closed. The radiator vent would then hiss madly until it closed.

    Now, that radiator (the largest in the system) only gets about 3/4 hot... and no hissing, thunking or the like...

    Maybe I should skim some water off the top and see if it is really clean?

    Sitting here, confused as always,

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Burner readings...

    Ron,

    The burner is a Beckett AFG. I have a double filter with a tiger-loop... see attached photos...

    I have not changed the filters this year. The vacuum gauge doesn't budge, if that's worth anything.

    The tech put in a .75 60H nozzle. Pump pressure checked at 140 psig. According to the printout he left from the analyzer this is what the burner was doing:

    O2% 5.5
    CO2% 11.4
    CO ppm 120
    COa ppm 162

    Flue *F 514
    Amb. *F 65
    NetT *F 449

    EFF(N) 88.9
    Losses 11.1 (duh!)
    Xair% 35.7

    CO/CO2 0.0010
    PI% 0.10

    On the invoice he listed the following, though it's hard to read his writing:

    11.5% COz(?)
    0 Sushen(?) (smoke?, sulpher?) unreadable...
    Carbon Monox. ?00 ppm
    Draft -.02

    This work was done prior to last years heating season and the boiler worked well.

    Around the flame port there is a lot of whitish/yellow powder. Don't know if that's a clue.

    Thanks again...

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Options
    Maybe the burner

    needs servicing again- boiler might have some soot in it. The "excess air" looks borderline for those of us who set burners up by the Firedragon procedure.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Burner

    Is there something I can check on the burner that wouldn't go beyond my skills? i.e. screw up the gas levels? I cleaned the boiler after last season, brushed the pins and vacuumed...

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Some pictures of the firebox and burner...

    Frank,

    I opened up the hatch tonight (power and fuel off, of course!) and took some pictures. Don't know if this helps. It's darn hard to photograph flames...

    The 0680 photo shows my damper while running...

    Thanks!

    Alex...

    P.S. I tried to see if the allsteamedup.com domain was available and it looks like someone got it just before you set yourselves up...
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • Jacob Myron_18
    Jacob Myron_18 Member Posts: 11
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    Questions to answer

    As to theradiators not gertting hot all the way.

    Are The rooms cold?

    Do you really run out of boiler water or is the wwater loss from the vent valves?

    Is that boiler properly sized for the house?

    Is burner properly sized for the boiler?
  • adayton_2
    adayton_2 Member Posts: 130
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    low fired baffled...

    Alex, I notice in the picture of the burner nozzle the baffle looks badly sooted up. This needs to be cleaned for proper air vortex operation. Also, In case that is not the "low fire" tube and baffle, I found this notice below regarding "low fire" and even though you are not down to .60 you are however slightly under stock nozzle size and should therefor investigate (with Beckett AND Burnam) the technical potential for replacing the baffle with the low fire version.

    >>
    >>
    **BURNHAM V83 TECHNICAL NOTICE**

    Burnham V83 Series Boilers Missing Low Fire Baffle from Instruction Envelope
    Beckett has advised us that specific V83 boilers may have been shipped without the low fire baffle packed in the instruction envelope that comes with each boiler. This affects Michel Catalog numbers 2W203, 2W213, 2W233 serial number sequence.

    This is not critical if the boiler is fired with the .85 x 60A nozzle that comes installed on the burner… However, if the boiler is downfired to the .60 x 80A nozzle, the low fire baffle must be installed. Failure to install the low fire baffle when downfiring will result in flame noise and poor combustion. The poor combustion can lead to a sooted/clogged boiler in a very short time.

    Purchasers of these boilers, desiring to downfire the boiler can obtain the low firing rate baffle from their local R.E. Michel Company Branch. (Low fire baffle Cat. #4H438)


    <<
    <<

    Also found following thread:

    http://oiltechtalk.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?p=1965&sid=fd32a780385e18528db04dc9ccab29db

    Alfred
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
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    *~/:) i see alot of things....

    have you had some one by today to check your boiler? would you like some ideas on some simple things to do help the burn a bit ?

    first offget yourself a small cleaning brush or unfavorite tooth brush. and abunch of raggs and a cookie sheet and some plastic garbage bags and some windex and about a 1/4 cup of fuel oil or kero. open the fire box after shutting off the boiler circuit breaker and switch.

    brush away all that soot from the front of the boiler nozzle for now just wipe the frontoff and then use the brush on the little slats around the brass plate . put the chop vac to the front of it and call it good.now on the front of it there is a black box with a couple screws holding it down .that is either a transformer or a source of ignition that provides a blast of electrical arc just on the edge as it were of the atomized oil once it proves i basically turns off ,not big deal. However That thing can seriously Bite an unwary soul. it shoots a heck of an arc at a zippy 10000v buzz Zap she says so absolutely do not monkey with that box in anyway shape fashion or form with electricity at the boiler. a young guy who worked with me about twenty five years ago married the daughter of the guy who wrote The Book on transformers ..so just trust me on this i know how to determine specific voltage blah blah blah ambient temp blah balh bla...there is no problem with the power off however always treat it as though the power is indeed on and refine your actions so as not to brush up against wires or probes of any electrical component.i know of no capasitor start ignitor for residential burners buh that doesnt mean there may not be one some day.that screwdriver phillips or nut driver you just used to losen the screws to fold it back can be a quick ckeck tool to determine that indeed there is no power to the ignition source/transformer.provided it has a rubber handle ...put the base of the screwdriver blade on one of the posts then slowly tilt the blade till it touches the other pin. no BuzzZap ok! the power is off. now you are looking inside the inner workings of the burner .one of the things that is really important as you know is Safety. you will notice a small black gizmo with two wires leading to it....that is known as an eye/ (cad cell),it sees light knows what it is looking at and tells the burner what is going on from its vantage point. it communicates this information to a conrtol known as a Burner primary.the primary is the little box with a big red button or in your case a little box that has a little red button known as a reset button.

    the Eye is basically a two part system these days it has two little prongs that stb into the Holder.meaning it can be taken out and cleaned Easily...thats what you are going to do.get the clean ragg /paper towel grab ahold of the front of it with one hand and put a finger on the holder and pull the eye out.take the same piece of towel spray some windex on it in the corner spin the corner around and fashion akind of twist with a flag on the endlook in at the front of the fire eye in your fingers and spin the tflag around in there a few times. pull it back out make a loose one of those flags of another corner and clean it again. did you know that stuff builds up and soon the dust soot clouds its vision and like us it really needs to be able to see stuff in order to do its job.You just basically gave it a New perspective :) it is Liking You Now *~/:)

    buh not for long if you dont vaccume the rest of the soot out of the front of the tube you first started cleaning as that soot and dust will spin around in front of it and put a new blanket of stuff right back over its eye in a flash. so put that thing back in the slot where you got it :) there is no Wrong way to go about it...however if you noticed there was movement in the holder when you removed it push it back in with the same force you took it out,with your finger on the holder again ....then its back in the slot and ready to see whats going on the next time you send some juice to it.

    now you vaccume the front of the housing out as bestyou canthen take a rag and spray a dab of windex on it and wipe it off.that soot you just removed was definitely Not helping the situation.

    now the next thing is you can brush the fire box up a bit with the vaccume runningstuck in the stack through the barometric damper, the brushes you have arent great buh it will clean up some of the surface and that surface will now get hot sooner. the soot going by bye is all good too. close the door on the transformer /ignitor close the front of the boiler tighten up the nut on the bolt with a dab of oil or wd 40 or anti seize compound or seeing as you have a rag with some fueloil on it from cleaning the front part so you could determine it was indeed brass grab the bolt with the rag and spin it over the bolt a couple times.

    now go back and turn the circuit breaker on put your finger down on the reset button and turn on the power.take your finger off the reset button it acts like an emergency shutdown switch and as long as you hold it down nothing willgo .when you release it everything is on auto pilot :)

    these actions didnt hurt anything as a matter of fact it helped it see and Breathe better. see the fire you took a picture said it wasnt getting a goodshot of air down that gun to the nozzle and that the air wasnt swirling around the oil "vapor" correctly thats why the fire was off to the right when you took a picture through the inspection port.
    now when the oil atomizes it will be held in the right formation and burn better . this action on your part is sad to say only a temporay remidial application it doesnt deal with the underling cause. nor does it address the other minor technicalities. Your best bet would be to get someone to come by and tune it up. tell him or her that you cleaned soot build up off the retention ring. because it was misdirecting the swirl pattern on the flame.:) the guy will think

    'Wow!this guy must know what hes looking at '

    and ask him or her to take a look at the previous settings on the burn. and would he clean up the burner squirrl cage blower a bit because you think it might be dragging a little bit....ask him if he like coffee then vanish for about 30 mins then go back with a cup of coffee and ask if he wouldnt mind you showing you how the smoke is determined, hand him the coffee and say these are pretty quiet burners do you think they are as quiet as a riello or Carlin? :) then he will probably actually like to let you know what his favorite burner is along the way :) and be able to think of you as a human being :)

    Plus you get to see a bit more of the tools and instruments used to do the job and understand why these burners take lots of education and experience to be able to diagnose and tune up properly.

    i could tell you alot about your boiler just by looking at it buh really it wouldnt do you any good to know these things because for the most part it requires some kinda fancy tools to do anything about it :) cool ?
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Weezbo,

    The mess you see is after a cleaning and a pro working on the burner in Oct. 2004. I'll clean it up as you suggest. Not to worry about me and the zap juice. Dan's nickname for me is "The Wire Nut" and there is nothing about wiring and juice I haven't played with. And 10Kv is nothing. Try getting zapped by the "flyback" transformer in an old color TV. Now that's a defibrillator. Some of them went to 50Kv and that's generally measured in how many feet you ended up from the TV!

    The only problem is how badly am I going to screw up the gas levels once I do all the cleaning? Trying to get a pro with a Bacharach this time of year is going to be tough. Do I risk it?

    The last tech and I had good conversation, without the coffee! He was impressed on how fast the boiler came up to steam. Thanks to the drop header (sorry Ken!)....

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Some Answers...

    No the larger radiators are not getting hot all the way. They used to last year. Vents are properly sized (Gorton 5 + 6) and clean.

    No, the rooms get warm, but it's a question of how many dead crustaceans I have to burn to get there. Last year all the radiators got hot fully and quickly. This year they don't.

    I don't think the boiler is using a lot of water. Just anecdotal evidence though. I never hear the auto-fill kicking in, and it's loud enough to hear it through out the house. I added water because it was low in the site glass, at the level that the auto-fill would keep it as opposed to the water level line.

    The boiler was selected, I guess, by how easily the installer could get it down the stairs. As we don't have the proper sidewalks here, I don't think he used the 4 finger method. When I did the load calcs, the radiation and pickup factor was right at the boiler net. Since then I've removed a radiator and insulated the mains and header. That should even things up a bit.

    The burner is the Beckett that was packaged with the Burnham. It's supposed to fire at .75gph with a .60 * 60b nozzle (how does that work?). The last tech put in a .75 - 60H (hollow? which would be an "A" nozzle, no?)... So I may have the wrong setup, no? I think he went to this combination to bring the gasses to spec...

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Upfired?

    Alfred,

    As I mentioned in my reply to Jacob, the boiler has a .75 - 60H (A?) nozzle in it. According to the Burnham manual the nozzle should be a .60 - 60B for a .75 gph firing rate. Does that mean I'm up-fired with the .75 nozzle or is it just notation convention that's screwy?

    The Burner Specifications table in the Burnham manual mentions that the V83S Burnham build has a the low firing rate baffle installed. I'll check it out when I clean the burner tonight...

    I checked the thread you referenced and found it fascinating. It lead me to thinking about my chimney and I'll have to check that issue out come spring and the warmer weather...

    Thanks!

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • adayton_2
    adayton_2 Member Posts: 130
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    Nozzle firing rate

    .75 60*(B) should fire 3/4 gallon per hour. I believe the (B) is SOLID firing pattern and it is a 60* angle . If your last replacement was a .60 60*(A) that is .15 less gallons per hour and I believe the (A) is HOLLOW firing pattern. While the pattern angle (60*) is same the .60 gallons per hour is about 25% underfired. Also the Hollow pattern -vs- Solid pattern can contribute to improper firing "horsepower". Boiler manufacturers typically state ONLY 10% to 15% underfire as acceptable. I repeat that you should confirm with BOTH Beckett and the boiler manufacturer regarding nozzle size. I suspect you are a tad too low...Alfred
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Nozzels knowledge... Maybe Glenn Stanton can help here?

    Alfred...

    Thanks for the clarification on the specs. Makes sense now. The Burnham manual specs for the Beckett says that the firing rate is .75 gph but specifies a .60 * 60B nozzle which doesn't make sense. Maybe Glenn can clarify.

    The tech, last year, put in a 75 - 60H according to the workorder. The H, I guess, is for hollow which would make it a a 60A in reality.

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • [Deleted User]
    Options
    Mr. Beckett's

    OEM Spec Guide 67 11 R3/04 says:

    V-83 Burnham AFG .85 X 60A @ 140 PSI. That is .90 GPH or 126,000 btus.

    V-83S Burnham AFG .60 X 60A @ 140 PSI. That is .65 GPH or 91,000 btus. Requires 5880 low fire rate baffle.

    A .75 nozzle @ 140 PSI is .80 GPH or 112,000 btus.

    If Beckett is on the mark, the input is not correct for either spec.

    His numbers are just a little suspect. No matter which chart I read - 11.4% CO2 @ 449* Net is only 82%. 88.9 says "re-calibrate."
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
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    Nozzle rates

    are for 100PSI. I would guess that the spec for .60-60B is for 140 or 150 PSI.

    The "B" is for solid, the "A" is for hollow. Different makers have different designations, but the same basic patterns.

    A solid will give a longer flame length than a hollow and thus fills a deep chamber more completely. Putting a solid in place of a hollow can cause impingement on the back wall of a short chamber. Your current hollow may be too "short" and not getting the full effect of the flame across the firing chamber and all your sections.
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Learn something new everyday!

    Ron & Tony,

    Thanks for the clarification. It makes a lot of sense about the pressure vs. gph. I picked up a .60 * 60B at the local supply house today and will give that a shot. I remember that he had problems with the long flame hitting the back wall. When he cranked it down (pressure?) it shot the gasses way out of whack.

    I'm going to clean the burner and boiler tonight. Should I replace the nozzle and set the burner to the specs in the manual? What's my chances of damaging burner/boiler or baby? I will see if I can get a tech here but I got the last ones from FAP and they're the ones who set it to the specs I posted. Anyone feel like a nice trip to rural NE PA? Beer's on me!

    Thanks for the help, as always...

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • Boiler Guy
    Boiler Guy Member Posts: 585
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    EH Alex

    Careful you don't get your hands dirty! Maybe Elias has been feeding the boiler plastic oil trucks without your knowledge. As steamhead suggests, the excess air seems a bit out of wack. Another thought - your oil supplier isn't giving you low sulfur fuel - is he? I learned the hard way that LS oil does not have as many dinosaurs in it and thus burns cooler in an atmospheric heating appliance. Just a thought from the Great White North.
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
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    Clean up

    The end cone and check the Z dimension. Weez is right about the flame off to the side and that's where you are probably getting impingement and CO production. Pics of flames are hard to get, and harder to read :) It should be about fully white, then put the smoke test and analyzer on it.
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 422
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    Where you been, eh?

    Tim,

    Thought you might have been eaten by a polar bear up there in the great white north... How's things been? MaryAnn?

    Does this boy look like he would do that kind of thing to his daddy? Grown up a bit since you last saw him. Almost 9 months old, 8 teeth, 30 inches, and 24 lbs! Happy as a clam (except at night!)...

    When we gonna see ya this side of the border?

    Alex
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
This discussion has been closed.