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Riello F3 gobbling up oil

rollie73
rollie73 Member Posts: 6
First, let me start by saying that I'm no oil burner mechanic but I am a well accomplished Building Automation tech and HVAC controls tech and also very good around all things mechanical and have had a lot of informal training around Riello burners.

Background info: The boiler is a Fleetline (out of Ontario)...its FBL 36681 with a Riello 40F series burner, specifically an F3. I recently replaced the nozzle with the same (new) nozzle( .70 gph / 80deg W spray pattern) and removed the flue pipe from the boiler, removed the outer top cover and vacuumed and cleaned all the heat exchanger tubes and baffles in the tubes. Everything in the unit is soot free which it certainly wasn't at the beginning of the heating season. The Selkirk chimney has been properly cleaned as well. At the beginning of the heat season I added in approx. 34 feet of slant fin style baseboard radiation in the basement on a separate heating zone with its own thermostat.

The issue: My oil consumption has gone up significantly. Much more than I would expect it to rise due to the addition of the extra heat zone. On average, last year, 200 or so litres would last somewhere around 3 weeks to a month dependant on outside temps of course, whereas this year, the same 200 litres will only do for approximately 2 weeks and this winter is much milder than it was this time last year.

The question: What exactly could be causing the extra consumption? Could it be the addition of the extra zone ( usually keep that zone temp set fairly low....about 62 degs. F.).? Could it be too much or not enough combustion air ? Could the boiler be undersized for the load now after the addition of the heating zones?

I am having a co-worker of mine ( a certified burner mechanic) come and do a smoke test and efficiency test on the boiler after all this Christmas/New Year holiday season ends but I'm looking for some sort of starting point here.


Sorry for the long winded post but I wanted to give the pros as much info as possible before they start thinking about answers. Much thanks in advance.

Comments

  • rollie73
    rollie73 Member Posts: 6
    Four zones in total. The master bed and ensuite zone is small with approx. 15 feet on it. The main floor living area has about 40 to 45 feet and the top floor zone has approx. the same. Programmable Vision Pro 8000 t-stats on each zone. All programmed with a 2 deg celcius night time setback.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    70,000+ BTU's worth of radiation?

    That Riello, set up and running properly should burn clean enough to hang clothes over the chimney top. That fact that you had to even clean the Selkirk exhaust says it is running like a handicapped dog.

    I am not familiar with "Fleet Line" Boilers, but any oil boiler and burner that is run below .85 GPH is very sensitive to adjustments and can never be made to run right without Digital Combustion Analyzers. And they must be set up to Riello's specifications. Especially as to pump pressure and nozzle size and spray pattern. Even brand.

    A properly set up boiler with a Riello or Carlin should run cleanly with no sooting for at least two or more years. If it was sooty and dirty when it was last cleaned. it isn't running properly. And you DID add more load to the burner.
  • rollie73
    rollie73 Member Posts: 6
    The Selkirk didn't absolutely require a cleaning.....it was done as a preventative maintenance thing since everything was apart and shut down anyway. This is the first time I've done anything to the boiler since I bought the house four years ago and I wanted to be certain everything was clean. As I said, I do have a co-worker doing a proper set-up on the burner.
    I also expected the extra load to add some oil consumption but just not this much.
  • rollie73
    rollie73 Member Posts: 6

    rollie73 said:

    Four zones in total. The master bed and ensuite zone is small with approx. 15 feet on it. The main floor living area has about 40 to 45 feet and the top floor zone has approx. the same. Programmable Vision Pro 8000 t-stats on each zone. All programmed with a 2 deg celcius night time setback.

    Well, you increased the radiation by 34% in the building.

    How large is this basement (length x width x height) and what is the construction? How much is below ground?

    Over what period of time was this fuel increase noted? Which months of the year?

    Where are you located?


    The area might be absorbing quite a bit of BTU's without you knowing it.
    The basement is 24x24 approx. 7 foot high ceilings. Only 2 feet of concrete above ground. All completely finished walls with r-12 insulation and 6 mil vapor barrier.

  • rollie73
    rollie73 Member Posts: 6
    Sorry........my location is Cape Breton NS and the fuel increase has been noted during this heating season so from Oct 2014 till now would be about right.
  • rollie73
    rollie73 Member Posts: 6
    Awesome Hatterasguy.....I will be having the burner properly tuned and checked and I will probably turn the thermostat in the basement down a little bit as well. Thanks a bunch to everyone for the replies.