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Power Gas Conversion Burners

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Tim McElwain
Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,623
should they be done away with? It is estimated that 98% of plumbing and heating contractors would not install them. Some interesting rumors about them are:



1. Efficiency only around 70%



2. Gas will rot the oil boiler firebox



3. They require a special stainless steel liner very expensive



4. Most Authorities Having Jurisdiction do not approve them



5. Most boiler manufacturers will void the warranty on the equipment



7. They make very high levels of carbon monoxide



The list goes on, and on and on!



Well I am getting 20 to 30 phone calls/e-mails a week from homeowners looking for someone to install one on their fairly new oil boilers. Anyone interested in this work contact me and give me your location and phone number and I will refer them to you.

Comments

  • Eastman
    Eastman Member Posts: 927
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    Is this similar to

    the project MarkS detailed about a week ago?



    Why would gas rot an oil firebox?
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    Voided warranties

    doesn't Magnusson-Moss come into play here?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,841
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    Gotta wonder

    who is spreading these rumors.......



    And if you get any calls for the Baltimore area, you know where to send them ;-)
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
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    Burners

    I find that the companies who do not install them correctly, and have no idea how to make them run efficiently, perpetuate these rumors so that they can sell entire systems. There is a direct correlation between a technician who bad mouths conversion burners and a technician without a combustion analyzer.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,623
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    These are some of the

    things homeowners are being told when they inquire about converting.



    Have also had some mechanical inspectors who state that conversion burners are not authorized unless listed in the I and O manual for the boiler. If not listed then third party testing will be required. They state they have never heard of Z21.8. I am telling installers to refer them to the conversion burner company whose burner they are installing.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    I have been told,

    not reliably, that MA requires a non universal burner tube. It needs to be a welded air tube for that specific boiler. I have not found this in writing yet. As for liners I often find the people need liners and they need SS because they want the option to go back to oil some day. The chimney needs a liner no matter what burner or boiler is used.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    as for efficiency being 70%

    I have a conversion on a H.B. Smith 101 snowman and I am getting 70% efficiency.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • jscola
    jscola Member Posts: 4
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    conversion burners

    Hello,

    I've done about 2 dozen Carlin conversion burners in the portland and Midcoast maine area.

    My company is Doghouse energy services, located in Freeport Me and I can be reached @ info@doghouseheating.com

    Thanks

    John Scola
  • Eastman
    Eastman Member Posts: 927
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    Why

    is the efficiency less?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,841
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    On a snowman

    a.k.a. an old round coal-converted boiler, 70% is pretty good. Obviously it would be much better on a newer model.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,841
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    A SS liner

    is the only thing to use in a chimney that used to serve a coal- or oil-fired unit. Residual sulfur will eat up an aluminum liner quickly, no matter how well the chimney is cleaned. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    The efficiency is 70%

    because it is a 1910 coal boiler. Kind of a miracle to get that out of it. My point is the newer tighter boilers should do much better than that.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,623
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    Charlie, I have

    had some of those in the past with proper baffling and sealing them up real tight with total control over excess air to give 75% and a few dry base with a combustion chamber being built and using an Economite E-20 burner to get 78% and even 80% on a few.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,752
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    Re CBs and efficiency etc

    We have done 100s of CBs over the years since the 1960s. Generally our combustion efficiency will be in excess of 78% and many times over 80. Old pot belly boilers, firetubes, cast iron sectionals etc. Reality is the thermal efficiency is probably only 70% on these pre 1970s boilers.  On modern day boilers we do check with the mfr to see if there has been any testing with gas guns. If not we tend to shy away due to liability. We still repair e20s, ds 20s, ds22s, F400s and 800s. Parts have become scarce for the old Economites but we come up with replacement boards through Robertshaw. Always a challenge these days although with mfr support having gone away on the old burners.  Just my .02 worth on this subject.  Tim
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