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Sandy Boiler Replacements and the Sooting Phenomenon???

JosephJoseph Member Posts: 148

I live in the Long Island,NY region and I  replaced many hurricane Sandy destroyed boilers. Its now 2-3 months since those jobs were completed and so far, 3 of my gas boiler replacements have been call backs, that the heat is out. I get to the houses and all of them have been so badly sooted up, that the flame roll out switches have activated. with burn marks near them.(one had wires melted together before roll out switch shut it down)  They aren't all the same boiler manufacturer. In all the cases, I was there to get heat in the house, so the contractors could work through the winter to rebuild the interior of houses. It seems the heavy dust (all the boilers were covered in dust) from the construction is the cause of the problem. Has anyone had a similar problem.

One of the contractors told me in his 30 years fixing up houses, he's always made "some dust" and he never heard of sooting boilers because of it. Here I believe the difference is boilers were operating during the construction period so the hotter lighter air going up chimney and cold sheetrock dust filled air rushing in caused sections to clog.

Anyone experiencing similar Sandy related or construction instances where in 2 months time, they got completely sooted would be greatly appreciated.




  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,881
    edited March 2013
    I'm not involved at all --

    no Sandy disasters, and I'm not a contractor...

    But.  A couple of thoughts.  First off, from some other renovation work I've been involved in, I have found that drywall dust is... sticky, very fine, and gets absolutely everywhere.  I would imagine that if the boiler is running when the dust is being created, the dust is going to get into it in a big way.  Then, more modern boilers tend to have finer passages (here's where you're guy who's been doing it for 30 years may be misled) which are more easily clogged, and the gas velocity may well not be enough to move the dust.

    And you get clogged up.

    I would imagine, though I have no experience, that you have also found dust accumulation on the blower blades and other air passages, too?

    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
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Construction Sooting:

    It happens more often than the "contractors" know. Usually after they have left.

    I know of a very large $ kazillion home that had a big orange European boiler in it. They were using the boiler for heat while the finish was being done. The woodpeckers has set up their nest in the cellar near the orange thing. All that sawing, sanding, milling and whatever. One Monday morning, the crews came in to find that the mostly white house had turned into a black spotted house.

    What a mess.

    Burner tubes were especially vulnerable.
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 931

    Has a blurb in their installation instructions that says the furnace can be used for heating in a house under cost. "providing clean outside air is used for combustion"

    .they specifically list "drywall dust" as causing "fouling and plugging of  furnace components."
    edited April 2013

    I wonder if the post Sandy jobs are different. I suspect that there is a lot of hidden moisture hiding in these flooded homes . The moisture when combined with the drywall dust will greatly accelerate the sooting effect. Just a thought.
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