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Dirty propane ?

KCA_2KCA_2 Posts: 303Member
Hello all...

I have a 4million BTU propane pool boiler. It's a Pentair "Mega Therm"... Laars makes it....
It suites up in 48 hours of usage.... one issue is keeping the water at 110degrees or better but the flame is quite yellow.... it's an atmospheric boiler so I don't have much in the way of adjustments other than air shutters..... manifold pressures are within specs... what have I missed or what can I do to get this boiler to run more clean?
Jets are a 38 for 7,000' ASL..... and installed by the manufacturer...

Any help is appreciated..

:-)) KCA

Comments

  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Posts: 1,948Member
    When was the last time the heat exchanger was cleaned? These heaters are notorious for not playing well when cold water is run thru them.
  • Firecontrol933Firecontrol933 Posts: 73Member
    edited June 2016
    If the heat exchanger is clean and everything else with the boiler is to specs........... where is it located? Is there something in the combustion air that is contaminating it giving you the yellow flames and soot?

    What shape are the burners in?

    As for "dirty propane" I've seen it once. They had used the same tanker to haul anhydrous ammonia that they hauled propane in. Not sure what it could or would do, but in the situation in our town they pumped the entire bulk tank down at the suppliers and shipped it back and then proceeded to burn off everything left.
  • lchmblchmb Posts: 2,945Member
    edited June 2016
    Is the unit piped primary secondary? another issue with these is under rating them due to elevation. I would try down sizing the unit to see if this helps...How long has it been installed and is there sufficient combustion air to the unit?
  • KCA_2KCA_2 Posts: 303Member
    The unit was cleaned 48 hours ago.... it's been in for four years.... apparently worked well until a year ago... plenty of clean combustion air.... aaarrrgghhh.
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Posts: 5,843Member
    What is the manifold pressure Ken? Obviously, something has changed. Is the non-thermostatic anti sweat device (bypass) operational ? If you are struggling to get to 110 F, maybe its under fired?

    Have you talked to the LP supplier?

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,843Member
    Many of those pool heaters have a thermostatic valve built right into the headed, maybe it is not working properly.

    Lp pressure set and maintaining?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • ronron Posts: 140Member
    good luck with the propane supplier.
    fwiw i have a 120 gallon propane tank outside that feeds my kitchen oven and a 30k btu ventless fireplace in the living room. on the rented tank provided & filled by the propane supplier I went with when i bought the house, whenever i got below 1/2 tank my living room fireplace would stink up the house something awful and make your eyes and nose burn. got the 120gal tank filled, smell went away immediately without touching fireplace. kitchen oven would do it too just not as noticeable until the tank got down to 1/3 to 1/4 full. long story short from what i could gather it was due to a significant amount of methanol left in the tank. long story short that propane supplier wasn't very nice or understanding, finally switched to new propane company & got a new tank... actually a much older tank... and problems of smell went away without changing anything else. I just ran this tank empty, which i've now had for maybe 5 years, and got no smell when it was running on empty.
    so yeah in my opinion you can have "dirty propane".
    however i never experienced any sooting or noticeable smoke but that could be because the burners in my case were very small compared to yours.
  • GreenGeneGreenGene Posts: 290Member
    It could be too much mercaptan in the tank.
  • GreenGeneGreenGene Posts: 290Member
    I've also heard of pool heaters having too high a delta t and causing cooling of the flame which will cause sooting, if it was in for years and worked though something has changed, bypass? 3 way valve? are they letting the pool cool down and then firing it up to use it?

    It may help to sit there and watch this thing run with the doors closed if it's inside.
  • KCA_2KCA_2 Posts: 303Member
    Thanks for all the insight guys..... I very much appreciate it!
    Ill keep you informed ... :-))
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 4,278Member
    Have you done a combustion analysis? What is the inlet and outlet gas pressure? Have you checked to make sure the air for combustion and air quality have not changed. Airborne Chorline fumes has a way of screwing things up.

    The quality of propane should not be an issue in most cases. Too much odorant will typically not cause yellow flames as long as the air adjustment is correct.
  • GreenGeneGreenGene Posts: 290Member
    This should be the manual, they seem to reference soot a lot, sections 3-5.

    http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/MegaTherm Heater 2000-5000OM.pdf

    They have a contact list, just be sure you've gone through the start up process and checks in the manual and have numbers for them before calling, like all tech support they will want gas pressures, combustion tests, etc.

    http://pentaircommercial.com/contact/index.html
  • GreenGeneGreenGene Posts: 290Member

    Have you done a combustion analysis? What is the inlet and outlet gas pressure? Have you checked to make sure the air for combustion and air quality have not changed. Airborne Chorline fumes has a way of screwing things up.

    The quality of propane should not be an issue in most cases. Too much odorant will typically not cause yellow flames as long as the air adjustment is correct.

    Tim, I hear you, heard of chlorine fumes getting sucked in, seen chlorine eat things up at a YMCA, seen a few and read about a few jobs where the fuel is suspected, tank changed, problem went away, although the gas co isn't usually too pleased, when I was at Carrier we did have a few issues with rooftop units running great on NG and some not good on LP, I really think like electricity, all fuels have become a poor product. What do you think?
  • KCA_2KCA_2 Posts: 303Member
    Well.... my first time there was last Thursday..... the inlet propane was at 8.5" and when the boiler fired it dropped to 6-7"..... I adjusted the inlet pressure to allow for 9" when the boiler fired... manifold pressure at high fire is 9"..... secondly, the vent is 33"..
    30' rise and 8' horizontal.... the 350month water heater ties into this as well.... according to the GAMA tables the vent should be closer to 22"....total of 4350000 btu...... that can cause overheating.....
    Minimum combustion air contamination.....
    But it did work fine for 3 years or more.....
    Aaaarrghhhh...
  • Firecontrol933Firecontrol933 Posts: 73Member
    What does the rating plate on the unit specify as required inlet and manifold pressures on LP? A quick look and I found something on the general unit that said minimum of 11" inlet, but nothing on what the manifold pressure should be on LP.
  • GreenGeneGreenGene Posts: 290Member

    What does the rating plate on the unit specify as required inlet and manifold pressures on LP? A quick look and I found something on the general unit that said minimum of 11" inlet, but nothing on what the manifold pressure should be on LP.

    I posted the factory manual above
  • Firecontrol933Firecontrol933 Posts: 73Member
    GreenGene said:

    What does the rating plate on the unit specify as required inlet and manifold pressures on LP? A quick look and I found something on the general unit that said minimum of 11" inlet, but nothing on what the manifold pressure should be on LP.

    I posted the factory manual above
    Read the manual and that is why I asked the question. KCA said his inlet was 9" when the manual says it should be minimum of 11" and I was curious as to what the rating plate (where the manual says the required manifold pressure for the unit is listed) had to say about what the manifold pressure should be when firing.
  • KCA_2KCA_2 Posts: 303Member
    Rating plate calls for 9 on high fire for LP....
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