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Proper AFG head?

handybuthandybut Member Posts: 2
I'm trying to determine if the F6 head that is currently on my New Yorker FR-122 boiler (circa 1989) is still OK now that it's been downfired to the same as an FR-98 (1.00 nozzle down to 0.85). This thing seems way oversized; even with the 0.85 nozzle it's been running about 6-7 minutes at a time 4 times an hour even with the outdoor temp10 degrees below design temp for this area (approx. 10 degree F). The oil service company installed the nozzle at the annual cleaning after I mentioned how the boiler seemed to be short cycling. But based on info I've read in this forum the stock F6 head may be incorrect for the 0.85 nozzle. I have noticed soot dust around the stack damper and on top of the boiler and the damper slams shut during most start ups (which it didn't do before). So, should I be concerned about this? I'd like to have this thing run fine tuned rather than just in the ball park. Thanks for your time.


  • Pughie1Pughie1 Member Posts: 116
    Beckett combustion heads

    First, nozzles are rated at 100# pressure. I assume you are talking about the AFG burner. The AFG could be set for a higher pump pressure but I doubt it. For instance a 1.00 GPH nozzle = 1.00GPH @ 100#, at 140# it would give you 1.18 GPH.

    The F-6 head has a GPH range .85 to 1.65 GPH. The F-3 head - .75 to 1.25 GPH. You are on the bottom end of the F-6 head. I would probably select the F-3 head myself for your application. Just my 2 cents.

    Perhaps Icesailor will chime in on this even though he's not a big fan of this burner.

    John Pughe
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 11,384

    were the combustion test results?
    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
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  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 2,939
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  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    F-6/F-3 Heads:

    And right there is the beginning of my dislike for Beckett Burners.

    How do you know that the head on your Beckett in the New Yorker is a F-6 and not already a F-3? Did you take the burner out and look for the stamp? Did you enjoy that experience?

    I've seen far too many AFG's that had been downfired to where a F-3 head should have been used and wasn't. Then, there's that foolish gauge thingy with all the marks on it. Which ones should you be using?

    You need to look at the Beckett OEM manual and see what that model New Yorker used for a head and a nozzle size, type and style. Then look at the lower fired same boilers and burners and see what they are recommending for nozzles and heads. Then, they have changed recommendations over the years. The joys of a fixed head burner. Adjustable head burners are so much easier to play with and adjust.

    For what you are trying to do, it probably needs a F-3 head so it isn't at the beginning of its range. I wouldn't even turn off the service switch unless I had my digital combustion analyzer with me to spend another hour playing with heads and nozzles, knowing that I could be back in a few weeks with carbon buildup on the head and it shorting out and going off on safety.

    If you're on the latest national heating obsession Du Jour, long run times and no short cycling, find another obsession. Unless you want to seal all the air leaks in your boiler, insulate all your heating pipes that are available, and stop whatever infiltration and heat loss you can. Before you start futzing with the burner at that level, you're wasting your time. Do the energy upgrades first. There's a far bigger explosion for your energy pennies.  

    Funny thing. No one (sane) ever lowers the firing rate of an oil fired water heater because they don't want to run out of hot water when the girls are in the shower getting the shampoo out of their hair. But it is a sprint to get a smaller nozzle in to stop short cycling in heating equipment. When the heating source is designed for three or four of the coldest days of the year. It is probably 50% oversized for most of the rest of the heating season.

    Futz with those AFG's at your own peril. I have lost a lot of good work pants from the bite marks on the back from playing in the sky with those burners. OEM spec's are a wonderful thing. Those engineers were and are paid a lot more than I ever was to figure that stuff out.

    I never found a brand new boiler/burner installation that didn't have the highest numbers for efficiency with the OEM spec's and set up from the factory. I may try a smaller nozzle but the only thing that happened was that the stack temperature went down but the efficiency usually went down too.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Old Vs. New:

    Thanks for posting the current PDF on the AFG:

    My previous objections in print.

    A 1989 Beckett is not the same as a 2014 Beckett. Read page 3 of the manual. AF's are low fired burners and AFG's are "medium fired" units. But some need a "Low Fire Baffle" which I never saw a downsized AF or AFG having one.

    This application came through with a F-6 head, set in the middle of the firing range, and now is at the bottom of the range with too much air pressure through the head. It needs a F-3 head but it also needs a lot more than that.

    That guy on YouTube that shows how to do all that stuff is a lot smarter than I am. He knows how to make videos and post them for all the homeowners to see and do what some of us have spent a lifetime learning. One thing I spent a considerable amount of time learning is that fixed head burners do NOT like to fire into positive draft or fluctuating draft chambers. Usually from leaking/bad chimney's. Adjustable head burners like Carlin and Riello's take it stride and never blink a cad cell eye. The 1989 boiler/burner manual is no where as comprehensive as the AFG manual posted today.

    I used to buy boilers without burners so I could put Carlin's on them. I was tired of replacing AFG's that locked out in any little wind storm that caused varying draft in new houses into chimneys that were built by mason's who were clueless about draft.
  • Pughie1Pughie1 Member Posts: 116

    Good point Icesailer. The Beckett OEM set up guide list the following for the New Yorker FR122/AFG                                                                                       

       Head type F-6                                                                                          

      Static plate 3-3/8                                                                                       

      Nozzle 1.10 x 80*A                                                                                    

      Pump pressure #100 psi                                                                           

    They also show two other option using the V1-0 or the L1 head types using a .90 nozzle @ 140# psi, which you would like better. However, they don't show a derating kit. Utica used to offer derating kits for there Starfire series with a new head,static plate & nozzle. I  

    John Pughe                                                                                                       
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    AFG Heads:

    And with a Carlin (of any vintage) or a Riello, because they are adjustable head burners, you just slide the nozzle assembly back and forth with the retention ring acting as a throttle ring through the constriction in the end of the tube.

    Beckett did such a good job of training techs to the wonders of fixed head combustion technology that they completely missed the advantages of adjustable heads. Their CF 2000 series burners all use fixed head technology. If you bought a Carlin 100CRD, the biggest thing to worry about was the length of the tube (7", 9",11" etc) and what GPH Hago 60 degree SS nozzle you were going to use. Riello came along with their European style of adjustable head burners and because techs never had to deal with all those parts and BS, they discovered the joys of adjustable heads over fixed heads. Never realizing that that technology had been running around the USA for years.

    The Beckett AFG ll was a disastrous attempt at a adjustable head burner. You still didn't slide the nozzle assembly around, you added spacers to the retention head. Didn't some of you just love that.
  • Pughie1Pughie1 Member Posts: 116

    Right on on the AFG II! I hated that burner. I think that the one thing I noticed after we were introduced to the Reillos' (1982) was the fact they used interrupted ignition & an extremely short safety timing. Beckett refused to get on board for a very long time on both issues, only going to it relatively recently. Probably thanks to Honeywell controls. The result was the electrodes burned back widening the gap which in turn caused fouling of the head.

    I,m also a huge believer in post purge. I incorporated this into my Thermopride/BF-3 furnace & my Bock/AFG II water heater & my fouled heads disappeared

    As far as comparing burners - I think it becomes what you are used to. We hated Carlin 100/200 CRDs. Probably due to the fact they might not have been a good match for the Utica Ace/Starfire series boilers. Set up to there specs, they fouled every time. Again at the time we were not used to them, didn't see enough of them over here to become comfortable with them. Therefore we never gave the EZ Pro a chance.

    We really are Reillo people although I must say the Buderus direct vent with the BF 3 never performed well - sooted up the end cone & combustion head every time. It was never there equipment though. They blamed it on "cold" oil,recirculation of combustion gases etc. Even if you followed all installation & set up proceedures to the letter of the law.

    Just my 2 cents.  John Pughe
  • handybuthandybut Member Posts: 2
    Suspicion's confirmed


    First thanks for all the feedback.  This is a delayed reply due to a 2-day power outage a lost well pump, and a computer glitch. Ya'll are confirming what I suspected - the tech shouldn't just be switching out the nozzles without other changes per the manufacturer.

    Icesailor, your right about picking the low energy fruit first and I have tried to do that (primary/secondary w/full ODR, all pipes heavily insulated, building envelope upgraded when and where feasible). I also believe that if you take care of the ounces (small improvements) the pounds (total gain) will take care of themselves keeping cost in mine. I'm probably at the point where I'll never see full payback but I decided not to go out and buy a 4x4 suv and save the $5K+ lost when I drive it off the lot.

    Pughie, I wasn't given any of the combustion test results. I did watch the tech use an hourglass like instrument to set the CO2. I recall that he said it was around 10.5.

    Robert, thanks for the manual; I don't have one.

    As far as whether down firing is acceptable; the FR-122 and 98 are physically the same unit per the New Yorker folks but the devil is in the details as everyone here is indicating. New Yorkers seem to be quite popular in this area (south central PA) with numerous companies advertising them. I'm on my third service company in 10 yrs. Other NY'r dealers are out there so I may give them a try. Do  you think it's out of line to ask them if they understand all the ramifications of downfiring or is that bad form?

    Thanks again for you input.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Hourglass thingy's:

    That Hourglass Thingy is called a "Wet Kit Combustion analyzer. 40+ year old technology that gives you some average of combustion efficiency during the time you do the test. It only measures one gad, CO2. Any adjustment takes another test to analyze. I used one for years. Made by Bacharach called a "Firerite".

    Then, I bought the modern and improved version. Bacharach "Insight". That measures CO2, O2, CO, and does temperature, draft and any other required test that is needed. It gives results in real time. If you crank the pump pressure up, you can watch the CO levels go up or down. You can do oil, Nat. gas, LP Gas, wood, Coal or any other number of fuels you can think of. It even gives you a printout of the results and you can code your company name on the printout.

    A oil company I used to help out, had a policy of testing every appliance before they left, even if it was something that they hadn't done anything to. Because their liability insurance carrier told them that if they didn't have a record that it was running properly when they left the property, if anything happened after they left and hadn't done a analysis, they wouldn't be covered.

    Any gas or oil service company that doesn't have digital combustion analysis is not at the forefront of technology. I'd be embarrassed to drag by wet kit out in public. I did still use the draft gauge and the smoke tester from the old kit.

    Many New Yorker boilers are dry base boilers, The seal between the block and the box that holds the chamber that the block sits on will have the sealant fail and it sucks air. You can tell with a Digital analyzer because excess air will be high and you can't get it down. With a wet kit, it's just there for you to figure out.

    What I thought I knew with my wet kit, was nothing compared to what I learned with my digital kit.

    If two companies offer service for the same amount, and one uses a digital kit, the other uses a wet kit, pick the digital user. Even if they cost more. You will be getting more for your money. If they know how to use it,
  • drhvacdrhvac Member Posts: 186
    nozzle size

    From what I read it seems that the nozzle size is determined by the manufacturer, so why would anybody try to change the nozzle that the manufacturer recommends?
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Manufacturers and Nozzles:

    Understand that manufacturers want to sell burners. They do all the R&D on what works best in their particular burners. in a particular burner. Beckett has seemed to have exclusively used Delavan nozzles. They don't say that but in their instructions they might recommend using a 80* "B" nozzles. The only manufacturer that lists a "B" nozzle is Delavan. It comes in a blue topped tube and is a solid spray nozzle. Beckett night say to use a 80* "H" nozzle. It comes in a red capped tube with a "H" on it. Hago also has a red capped nozzle with a "H" on it and it is a "Hollow" nozzle. The blue capped nozzle by Hago is NOT a Solid nozzle, it is a "S-S" or Semi-Solid nozzle. Light green nozzle caps by Hago are solid nozzles.

    If you look at the Install/Operating manual for a Weil-McLain WGO/SGO boiler, they will list all the boiler models and the different brands of oil burners that have been fire tested in that boiler. It will also list BY BRAND and type/size of nozzles to fire with that particular burner in that boiler. Every one is different.

    It becomes difficult when the manufacturer lists a nozzle that is no longer carried by supply houses.
  • drhvacdrhvac Member Posts: 186

    So your saying if you install a new furnace, the nozzle that comes with that new burner may not work? that doesn't make sense.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 11,384
    One way that can happen

    is if they supply a burner with the wrong nozzle in it. This happens more frequently than one might think. But the installer is still at fault even though it came like that from the factory- because they didn't check it before putting it in. 
    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.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 11,384
    There actually is (or was)

    a Hago "B" nozzle, but it's pretty rare.

    And if someone is just going by the color of the cap, that's pretty pathetic...............
    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.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Making Sense:

    Well, it does when you consider that if say Carlin, has any amount of nozzles given to them by different manufacturers, and their issue is to get the maximum efficiency out of their particular burner in the appliance of a particular manufacturer, what works best is what will be picked. All nozzles from different manufacturers perform differently. Some Tech's like to play "Fun With Nozzles" and tempt fate with a butt bite. I prefer to stick with what works for me. I figure that the engineers that are hired by Beckett, Carlin and Riello are paid more and are smarter than me. If I have a problem and I call them, the first thing they ask is Did you test it and what were the results. If I haven't, you know what they will say. Then, they ask me what I am using in the burner and what is the application?

    If you go to Carlin's Web Site and can get to their OEM burner guide, you see that some nozzles are used in some burners and others are not. They decide through actual testing in controlled environments. My environment may not be under control but it is a place to start.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265


    Where I worked, there was the Numero Uno oil and heating guy the world has ever known, according to him. He's joined the oilheads in the sky.

    He's the one that came up with the Universal Oil Burner Nozzle. A 70 degree spray because it was between a 60* and a 80* nozzle. He bought whatever brand he got a deal on. Delavan's, Sid's and Hago's. Hago used to make Sid's nozzles. Sid's nozzles came In a yellow tube & cap with red lettering or blue lettering. I can't remember if it was denoted as "B" or "SS" (Semi Solid). But they were steel nozzles and not like the Delavan nozzles. Red's were "H".

    I mostly worked on Carlin's which always used Hago 60* SS nozzles. I'd get a service call because a burner had been acting up and I would find that this guy or his crew had changed the Hago 60* SS to a Delavan 70* B. It smoked and ran like crap. I would change the nozzle to the correct one and life would then be good. Sometimes it had a red 70* Delavan. Either way, a change to the correct nozzle always resolved the situation. That and sometimes a thorough cleaning to get the soot out. I could only surmise that it was the misunderstanding of the colors. Before he passed, he trained a whole cadre of true believers in the Universal Nozzle. Becketts always had 70* nozzles. Changing to 80* nozzles always made then better

    And they to the one, believe that they don't need no stinkin' analyzer. They can set a perfect fire just by looking at it.

    They're smart, I'm not. I never developed that "Eye". Just when I thought I had it, my Bacharach Wet Kit told me that I was wrong. My Insight says it even more.

    Its sort of like what they say about having Diabetes. "You can lie to your doctor, you can lie to yourself. But you can't lie to your (blood glucose) Meter".

    You can't lie to your combustion analyzer. It will call you out every time.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Hago "B's":

    Did Hago "B's" have a black cap?
  • drhvacdrhvac Member Posts: 186
    making more sense

    So you fire the thing up, I guess you would check for smoke, do a combustion analysis. What numbers would send up the red flag to you that you may have the wrong nozzle?
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 11,384
    Can't remember

    it's been a while. We don't see too many Hagos around here- Sid's packed up and left, and R.E. Michel no longer carries Hagos.
    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.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Proper nozzles:

    In installed a W-M Gold a few years ago that came with nozzle in the burner. But there was an additional nozzle in a bag. It wasn't an extra "Gift" of a nozzle, it was a new nozzle to use because the newer one worked better in the application. I can't remember the circumstances, just that they sent the proper nozzle in a bag.

    Read the instructions outlined in the I/O manual. It will take the stupids away.
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