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Beckett AF Keep it or Move to AFG?

WitteM123 Member Posts: 4
Hi all, new to the forum but would love some feedback as I have been browsing the forum for a couple of years now. I have an old Burnham Series Two Oil / Coal Hand Stoked boiler that is probably from the 30's or 40's. But, I love it. It's not very efficient, however you can throw coal in there if you run our of oil and it looks cool. I currently have an older Becket AF burner that has run pretty flawlessly and quiet forever, has a nice blue flame at the tip - but my service tech told me that an AFG would save a lot in terms of efficiency given they have nozzles that can drop down to .4 GPH. We're only heating 1200 SQF of space, so 80,000 BTU is more than enough to keep us warm. Question - with an old boiler like this, will an AFG actually save oil and cost (you can get them for cheap on ebay and craigslist). Or do I need the extra oomph with the AF (currently I have a 1.65 GPH nozzle). Advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  • spoon22
    spoon22 Member Posts: 32
    Stay with the af an afg is for newer equipment with higher pressure drop through the heat exchanger. With the older wide open design you don't need the higher static pressure produced by an afg. You can still get replacement parts for an af the only real difference is the squirrel cage and the pressure augmented in the chassis.
    Bob Bona_4
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,343
    I agree- I once had to switch an older boiler from an AFG to an AF, because the AFG produced too much static pressure.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Bob Bona_4
  • WitteM123
    WitteM123 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the comments! Is there a trade off at all in efficiency? Meaning will the higher static pressure negate any gains in the lower fuel burn? Or could I consume less oil with a slightly less efficient, higher static pressure setup? Newbie, sorry. I think 1.65 GPH is about as low as you can go nozzle wise on an AF correct?
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 600
    Remember,burners heat furnaces and boilers not houses. The most efficient method to operate a burner is at the rating of the equipment, not the building. Passageways in old coal fired equipment were massive. It takes lots of heat and flue gases to get the heating sections hot. Does the boiler have turbulators added for oil firing for better heat transfer?
  • WitteM123
    WitteM123 Member Posts: 4
    Hadn't thought of it that way, great point. No, I don't have turbulators installed nor any baffling. I was thinking a baffle shelf above the fire chamber could help as well - but didn't know if that would screw up the static pressure. The boiler is a wide open fire chamber then three passageways that lead to the heat exchange. Adding turbulators to those passages would add more heat exchanges correct?
  • WitteM123
    WitteM123 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks, great to know - appreciate the help everyone.