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Should oil flame touch refractory?

Keith_19 Member Posts: 18
Hey all I'm curious I was at work today starting up a boiler that was down for a while. I was looking through the blast door at the flame and what the shape is, how it broadcasts from the head (which is pretty cool), and I noticed that the very tip of the flame was hitting the back of the combustion chamber (fire brick) and spreading upwards. Not much of the flame was touching, like if the total flame was going to be 24 inches in length, about 2 inches were on the brick. Just wondering what you guys had in the way of opinions. My mechanic said that the important thing was the smoke reading, which was 0, but I figured I'd ask you as well. BTW if I wanted to pull the flame back what would you suggest? Thanks


  • steve_29
    steve_29 Member Posts: 185

    Listen to your mechanic.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083

    like impingement to me. What kind of burner/boiler?

    Impingement is not good. The naked eye may see a 0 smoke, but there may be long term carbon/target wall issues after you leave.

    Nozzle pattern/size/pump pressure selection can change things, as well as burner drawer positions.

    Or, this can be an old non-retention burner and things are status quo for the unit. Can't see it from here:)
  • oil-2-4-6-gas
    oil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641

    you need a service tech to put a digital analyzer on it --at least a smoke test ---although it does sound like and old American standard --50 year old boiler and yes if its an older burner of that vintage --well thats different --
  • Jim Franklin
    Jim Franklin Member Posts: 170

    Bob, when you have a 0 smoke how can the naked eye see it?

    There is no smoke, it's 0, course we don't know whether we're on the smoke side or CO side.

    It sounds like he did a smoke test and got a zero reading, although he didn't say whether a combustion test was done, which should always be done.
  • Keith_19
    Keith_19 Member Posts: 18
    oil flame

    This is a massive old Weil Mclain with a combustion chamber that you could do jumping jacks in. Rebuilt fire brick walls and everything. I think the burner is a retention head, it's got an igniter on it, so pretty new, but the ball of flame is not very centralized close to the head. I mean, it looks like there are a lot of feathers on the outside of the flame. The books that I've read about the differences between retention and non retention heads make it seem as if the retention head flame would be a small ball of fire close to the burner. Digital test was done, CO was less than 100, so that's why I'm asking whether the impingement is a bad thing or not. The textbook says so, but practical experience is worth more sometimes. Thanks guys
  • In natural

    draft commercial firebox boilers, it is not unusual to adjust hi fire so the flame tip just kisses the brick target wall & wisps upwards. If it hits it hard & the flame mushrooms in a circle; it's not adjusted properly.
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