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I am not asking pricing or what you charge!

What I am asking is how long does it take for you guys to throughly clean an oil boiler, change nozzle, filter, and maybe electrodes, Flush out the water side and returns if it is steam and tune the boiler and adjust draft? I have had many calls as of late where people feel I should be in and out in under half an hour like their other burner guy was. Is it me or does that seem like a wipe the boiler jacket with WD and run the vacuum then leave kind of timing?
Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

cell # 413-841-6726


  • I get that too Charlie,,

    On a small/newer style HW oil-boiler(yearly serviced), I am typically 3½- 4½ hrs. No system flushing.

    Usually(at first) they complain about the time spent,, then I ask "how many times did this leave you without heat previous winters from the other guy,, I wonder why?"(as I show them the soot-master bag).
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,114
    how long or how good?

    hello charlie on a steam boiler oil fired just doing the burner, pull the flue ,check the chamber(swing door clean chamber debrie) brush and vacume the combustion passes and flue clean chimmey base and re assembly flue and over course filter noz strainer clean gun assem lpull motor and clean blower wheel check coupling and some times blow back the lines and hand pump the oil lines back check pump pressure and cut off and fire her up and do a eff test and remenber to check the boilers safties (pressuretroll lwco ,cad relay )on a good day maybe 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour but if you do just the filter noz strainer and the soot stick boogie no test maybe 20 minutes to a 1/2 hour more then enough time to get back to hiding out some where and to more important things like sleeping .As for water side cleaning when i mention that to potental custermers i usually get that holiday glazed ham look when they opt out of it i smile and wait for that call when they got water on there boiler room floor from losing a section plus whena knucklehead installs the boiler there is usually no way to truely flush out the water side nor brush through the mud legs ,when i do a steam boiler i always install a nipple and cap it makes life easier latter on and always advise the ho about water side cleaning which i see should be done afet the 1st full season of service so you can get a idea of what shape the rest of the system is in and then usually ever other year or so .As for the real price of proper service can never be compared to make believe service that promise tune up for under 100 bucks they are total BS and usually only cover some body looking at it making some noise and say everything is great cause you already know no one likes the truth so just treat them like a mushroom .Stick to your guns my friend and let them get nothing for there money instead of real service as i say send them back to the sea heanch where they came  like little fish to be eaten by the sharks .As always peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083

    anywhere from 1 to two hrs. depending on site conditions and whether or not the thing was serviced properly the previous year and there are no inherited issues like lack of combustion air, water side leaks/deterioration etc. 

    Flushing the condensate lines I would bill T+M. Can of worms.

  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 857
    Folks, You Get What You Pay For...

    No, I'm wrong.  You are lucky if you get what you have paid for.

     We are seldom called to look at a perfectly functioning boiler.   All too often we are called upon to work on a system that's had years of  the $XX "rag and tag special" inflected on it.

    And we find that folks have gotten less than what they've paid for.

    What do we find?  Failed chambers filled with rust and crust.  Flues choked with bricks, soot, and dead birds.   Layers upon layers of furnace cement covering rusted and broken bolts.   No barometric flue damper, or one too small and/or screwed shut.   Clogged pigtails.  Clogged and/or broken sight-glasses.  Dodgy low-water cut-offs.  No main steam vents.  Seriously wrong nozzles (one size fits all!).  Wrong pump pressures.   Leaking radiator vents and valves.    Burners not even close to being adjusted properly ("I don't need no stinkin'  test equipment.  I kin set up burners by eye"...)  This list goes on and on.

    All too many oil service departments are loss-leaders and subsidized by fuel sales.  Their job is little more than to keep the fires lit.   They have trained their customers to expect below cost service  that is almost always just long enough to fill out the repair tag with some bogus numbers.

    Overcoming all of the problems we find on such "half-hour-in-and-out " systems simply cannot be undone in a thrice for a dime.  Sometimes, many many hours are needed to undo the damage, days even.

    Once the system is brought up to spec,  I would say at least two hours is the minimum time to clean, adjust, and test the fire side of a residential steam heating system.  That assumes nothing more has broken in the meantime.

    Cleaning the water side of a steam system is a tough sell, to be sure.

    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 Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,653
    Dunnon about the rest of your customers,

    but if I had you come and clean and adjust Cedric, I'd expect you to have to take a whole morning or afternoon to do it -- even if you did just install it!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,658
    Cleaning time

    Never spent more than 2 hours cleaning and servicing an oil fired boiler. Viessmann boilers take less than an hour (for the Vitola). This presumes the system has had yearly service and has no other issues. We present an inspection report and copy of the combustion analysis when finished. Some systems need comprehensive service and cleaning as a result of neglect. Those systems can take 2-4 hours to "restore".
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,333
    Hows Cedric II doing Jamie?

    I am looking forward to the cooler weather to get an up date on how it is running without having all that steam going up the chimney.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Unknown
    edited September 2010
    Boy you`re fast Paul!!

    Drive to the jobsite, dismantle/clean/reinstall smoke pipe, check chimney, install/set burner componants, check transformer, brush/vacuum cc, change oil filters, check oil tank/purge oil lines, check fuel pressure, check ex. tank, relief valve,  check/oil circulators, thermostats, do a combustion test & set-up accordingly, test system(heat-up), check limits,,, THEN fill-out a report?

    All this in 2 hours or less?? c`mon!! ;-)

    Regardless of boiler type, oil is STILL OIL and the components of the system  should still be checked & serviced as a whole!. Let`s get real!!

    IMO, your practice is not much different than just "nozzle changers!" Maybe you run the vacuum in the corner longer,, I don`t know.
This discussion has been closed.