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What do you use to clean the turbulator?

Can I use carb cleaner or is there a better option? Thank you.

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,464
    If it's baked on caked on I usually replace it. If it's fluffy soot, a brush and dry rag. Little more than that I'll spray it with cleaner and wire brush it. Usually have to spray the electrodes too if they are still in good shape.
    Of course the right solution is to figure out and fix why it's happening-if it's not because they waited 5 years for their 'annual' service, or partially plugged nozzle causing unburnt oil to spray on the turbulator.
    steve
  • imhereallweekya
    imhereallweekya Member Posts: 19
    My system is only 18 months old and I will be doing the service going forward. I figure every two years is sufficient for cleaning.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,464
    If you're talking about your Riello from the other thread, it should have nothing on the turbulator.
    It would seem odd to me that the inside of your boiler is basically spotless (that was a 'before' pic, right?), and your turbulator was completely fouled. Do you have a picture of the nozzle assembly?
    I wonder why you want to do the cleaning/tune up yourself. If you buy all the right tools, and spend the money to learn how to use them, it's not cheaper.
    If you have the combustion set up properly, double filtration, you'll probably find nothing in the chamber when you crack it open.
    I haven't cleaned mine in 3 years. Changed the fuel filters, pump strainer, nozzle last year, even though the gauge showed no restrictions.
    Combustion numbers in the fall were almost identical to the numbers last fall, so nothing to clean.
    steve
  • imhereallweekya
    imhereallweekya Member Posts: 19
    edited December 2017
    Yes, same unit from other thread and it was the before picture. I haven't gotten into changing the nozzle yet I am just assuming it is something that needs to be cleaned during nozzle swap out. I did look at the nozzle while the door was swung open and it looked clean. I have a Garber 10 micron spin on filter and use HOT 4 in 1 with every tank fill up.
    In my area, its $200 per year for a so called "clean and tune" from the oil companies. All the oil companies in my area I've tried over the last 20 years of living in this area have left me less than impressed. The tech is rushed and hasn't shaved yet. The work is sloppy. I'd rather do it myself. $1000 worth of tools pays for itself after 5 years. Plus as an auto mechanic by trade I enjoy this kind of work.
  • ChasMan
    ChasMan Member Posts: 459
    Turbulators and electrodes are cheap. Even burner tubes. I clean my turbulator with a tooth brush and simple green. Works great.
  • imhereallweekya
    imhereallweekya Member Posts: 19
    I will have a look in the spring when I clean it. I like simple green too.
  • ChasMan
    ChasMan Member Posts: 459
    And a brillo pad if you want to get it shiny. I forgot about that. Carb cleaner will only get the light stuff off.
  • imhereallweekya
    imhereallweekya Member Posts: 19
    What about my wire wheel? I have a bench grinder with a wire wheel that I use for cleaning spark plugs
  • ChasMan
    ChasMan Member Posts: 459
    Nahh, it will scratch it. It shouldn't be that bad. It appears to be some sort of high nickel stainless.. If you scratch it up you may compromise the integrity of it. I have two and in 10 years, only slight staining. Looks like an old loved cooking pot. And a new one is like a KFC lunch. (Cause we can't talk pricing) Sometimes I think I use more than that in Hot water and soap.
  • imhereallweekya
    imhereallweekya Member Posts: 19
    Speaking of pots maybe a trip through the dishwasher is in order although the Mrs. will likely be very upset ha ha
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,369
    You need a lot more than $1,000.
    A mediocre combustion analyzer cost more by itself.
    So, as an auto mechanic, do you not have the correct tools to diagnose, repair, and test?

    BTW, I use a 1/2" turn brush for cleaning copper fittings.
  • imhereallweekya
    imhereallweekya Member Posts: 19
    edited December 2017
    My Testo 310 was $550, the Bacharach is $120, my oil pressure gauge was $100, my brush set was $75, and my electrode gap checker was $10 - so less than $1000. Thats all I need as a homeowner to tune and clean and save myself $200 a year and have the piece of mind knowing I didn't rush and half **** it because I was only given 1 - 1 1/2 hours by my employer.

    Should the burner crap out there may be more diagnostic equipment necessary but considering the system is new I don't expect that to happen for a long time. And, when/if it does so I pay the local clowns to fix it. I'm still ahead $200 a year.

    I have thousands of dollars of equipment for my trade.

    I wanted central air back in 2005, so I did the usual research, googling, forum recommendations got my 3 estimates from 3 separate companies, etc. I used a contractor that had good reviews and had the equipment I wanted.

    The "installers" forgot to set the air handler properly. They didn't install a supply in my smaller bathroom, they didn't seal the supply trunk in every spot. I had to call the owner and bicker with him to get this stuff done. And in the end I still had to rely on the internet to properly setup the air handler. WTF?!

    My Boiler job June 2016 was the same due diligence (used a different company this time). And of course, the installers were also sloppy, I had to check their work and point out errors and even the fact that they didn't install a relief on the indirect water tank. WTF?! again. I ended up having the owner of this company come out personally so I can point out the errors. And he himself fixed them in front of me. he acknowledged his "installers" were new due to the turnover in the industry. So people move on and I'm supposed to pay for this with sloppy ill equipped employees? I think not. Just the other day when I opened it up the door gasket wasn't in the channel and the door bolts weren't torqued to spec.

    You can see why I am reluctant to have anyone touch my equipment. People just don't take the pride they should be with other peoples property. You should see the lot boys at work and how they beat the new cars. You should see the lube techs and how they don't give a crap like the master techs do. Its the way of the world. DIY is the only way. As long as its within someones realm of knowledge. Reading about boiler tune ups is within my abilities and unless it craps out I have no intention in letting any half **** touch it.

    I feel for the homeowners out there that write large checks for this kind of work and blindly trust the company's work without understanding or knowing what to look for in the work they are performing. You guys on this message board that give advice and do proper installs/service and post you tube instructional videos are the exception, not the rule.
    The other 99.999% of guys in these trades don't surf these boards or care to. They clock out and forget about work until 8am the next day.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,464
    Either you're unlucky with hvac people, or no one will every satisfy you.
    Sad that you think whoever has to come out to fix your heater will be a 'clown' or do a half **** job.

    Yes there are some top notch people here
    Lucky for you your equipment is newer. You'll futz around with it and keep it running.

    There's a lot of horrible people in all the trades-auto mechanics too.
    I have 3 auto mechanics in my life.
    The dealer on my new vehicles until the warranty runs out.
    A top notch old school mechanic for cars & service van.
    A diesel shop for my fuel trucks.
    I look for/expect quality work, and get it. I do that by being informed, but I don't do the work myself at all except for minor things or emergencies (until I get the vehicle to the shop). I don't judge or even notice if the mechanics shave-most young people have the duck dynasty beard nowadays.
    steve
    tim111
  • imhereallweekya
    imhereallweekya Member Posts: 19
    edited December 2017
    So the HVAC company not doing what was in the contract or the boiler company not installing a relief valve on my indirect is my fault and me being unsatisfiable? Yea ok...

    Tuning my own equipment isn't "futzing" around with it if I have the tools and know how to change a nozzle adjust electrodes and vacuum/change filters and doing a smoke test. Its not rocket science to clean these things. Sure, when they break you need to know more but the majority of the time these things work a long time. My old Weil Mclain was pushing 30 years old and never needed more than a tune and occasional burner part.

    Id rather have a grizzled old boiler tech show up over a young (unshaven was an analogy) kid fresh out of Porter and Chester armed with his certificate and the minimum required real world time on the job.

    Just like newer cars run longer without constant breakdowns, so do boilers. Its progress.

    Theres nothing wrong with DIY and I get the sense that you feel threatened or like I'm taking food out of your mouth. Lighten up. If you can't stay on topic and contribute to the original thread then keep your opinion to yourself.
This discussion has been closed.