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Nozzle yearly replacement?

overpop
overpop Member Posts: 52
I have installed my own radiant/Trio boiler and digitally analyzed the efficiency with my analyzer slightly above stated percentage. Aside from oil filter, boiler cleaning should I replace the nozzle every year? (Not hot water heating).

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,039
    Yup.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,161
    Many recommend it as nozzles are cheap. That being said it wouldn't be unusual to run the same nozzle for a few years. They don't ware out but can get fouled by dirt and sludge
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,426
    How good is the filter? If you run a micron at the burner, I would do every other or every few. I once went 7 years on a nozzle in my own home (Viessmann). Why? Because I could. Even when I replaced it, there was no need to. Probably 600/700 gallons a year
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,039
    GW said:

    How good is the filter? If you run a micron at the burner, I would do every other or every few. I once went 7 years on a nozzle in my own home (Viessmann). Why? Because I could. Even when I replaced it, there was no need to. Probably 600/700 gallons a year

    I'd never do that on a customer's boiler. I've let my own run a couple years if I got too busy, and it didn't seem to hurt anything, but with my luck if I did it with a customer, something would go wrong.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,426
    I agree, but I am always trying to find the balance of what is general reality vs 'what my mentor told me'. I once had an employee that often said, "(my old boss/uncle/dad/you know what i mean) always told me....." That methodology if OK but it's a little better to know the reason 'why'.

    I'm sure there are some smart nozzle people kicking around that would be able to chime in. It's a bit of a small topic though. I bet they would be inclined to say 'change every year' becasue if they don't sell nozzles they donm't have a job.

    Anyway, tradition says change every year, that's cool with me. The filter must play a role in this I am sure.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,454
    You should be using double filtration, and monitoring the quality of the oil and it's storage.
    Changing the nozzle every year to me has less to do with nozzle plugging/failure, and more to do with the competent tech's ability to see what's going on in your equipment. Black/brown staining?
    Specifically, is dust/crud building up on your nozzle/end cone due to:
    -poor combustion
    -dirty combustion air environment
    -problem with draft?

    I've starting switching customers to 2 and even 3 year cleanings based on my history with them-I record everything in my DB.
    But, I clean them right, tune them up right, proper filtration and no oil storage issues.
    Most of those I'll still come in every year. Some just get a combustion test, if the numbers (draft, smoke, efficiency) match last year's, there's honestly nothing to do. As the Dragon says:
    "If it isn't broke, you can't fix it..."
    Some get nozzle/filter(s) strainer, combustion test on the years they don't get a full cleaning (tune up/safety check vs. full maintenance service).
    I hate cleaning heaters, and I hate service calls. So when I clean and tune up a heater, I easily spend an 1 1/2 on a simple furnace, and 2 hours on a boiler (1 1/2 on one with a swing out door). If it's a new customer with a mess, it could easily be 3, or 4 hours. Everything gets cleaned, all device checked, all gaskets in working order or replaced, etc. You know, the way you're suppose to do it. On just my residential customers (350) I think I had a total of 13 service calls for the winter, and 3 or 4 of them were thermostats. It pays to take the time in the fall. It's a better image for the customer than "oil is dirty...it always breaks down...it always needs to be cleaned..", etc.

    On my boiler it will be 3 years this fall since last cleaning. I'll swing open the door, take a peak, if there's nothing to clean, I close the door. My spin on has a gauge, gravity system, no vacuum-no sense in changing that either. Change the nozzle, just as a diagnostic look, do full combustion test.

    ------
    If you look at the larger companies service agreements, most of them now say words to the effect of "...vacuum clean as needed..." which to them means if it drafts don't vacuum, but charge the customer the same full price.
    ------

    Think about this, too. Remember the mantra "Change your oil every 3000 miles" (no matter what?). Now you change the oil when the car tells you to, based on it's monitoring. And it's easily 4500, 6000, some even saying 10000, based on driving conditions.

    So for the owners of companies and people who really care about the oil industry and it's longevity, and doing what is right for the customers, it's not a bad idea to take advantage of all the information and training available to do it right, do it better. It will improve your bottom line.

    Yikes, that got a lot longer than I thought.
    steve
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • overpop
    overpop Member Posts: 52
    Thanks everyone, I change filter every year and use sludge treatment and burn about 215 gallons a year. (Don't ask how many calories I spend on dealing with wood heat- shout out - Progress Hybrid by Woodstock stove co.) I will open it up and clean but may skip the nozzle this year, but will have a new one on hand. I will do a combustion test though.
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,048
    To me changing a nozzle is the cheapest insurance you have. Your already there cleaning, electrodes, head, eye, ect…..
    D
  • overpop
    overpop Member Posts: 52
    DZoro said:

    To me changing a nozzle is the cheapest insurance you have. Your already there cleaning, electrodes, head, eye, ect…..
    D

    True that, makes sense.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,161
    To me the best indicator of if the nozzle needs changing is the condition of the nozzle strainer. If it's clean and the fire is good (checked with analyzer) it's good to go. Anything on the screen...change the nozzle
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,351
    General filter then a spin-on filter, with vacuum gauge on spin-on. If no vacuum while running and combustion numbers good, then leave it alone.

    One bad tank of oil and it's all out the window. One simply can't go by time alone, there are several factors.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,355
    Most full service oil companies do the Whole 9 as part of a maintenance agreement. The customer is paying for it after all. And at that time, all related components to the equipment outside the realm of the "tune and vac" are checked for proper operation and necessary adjustments. Safeties and limits, zones, thermostats, motors and circs, condition of water, or "wear" parts such as, PRV, auto vents, relief valve, etc. Drain the expansion tank if used. Check the oil tank.
    In my own home, a tune up (N/F/S), vac, and complete system check is done annually even though with my current boiler, I can hear any abnormalities from my kitchen or living room. We probably all have "Mother hearing" with our own systems.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,829
    You can replace a good nozzle with a defective nozzle ....
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
    GBart
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,039
    HVACNUT said:

    Most full service oil companies do the Whole 9 as part of a maintenance agreement. The customer is paying for it after all. And at that time, all related components to the equipment outside the realm of the "tune and vac" are checked for proper operation and necessary adjustments. Safeties and limits, zones, thermostats, motors and circs, condition of water, or "wear" parts such as, PRV, auto vents, relief valve, etc. Drain the expansion tank if used. Check the oil tank.........

    You can't be talking about oil companies in the Baltimore area..............
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,355
    > @Steamhead said:
    >
    > You can't be talking about oil companies in the Baltimore area..............

    Lol! No, they're all over. Always looking at the bottom line and accepting quantity over quality, and guys looking to bolt and hang at the 7-11 for an hour. I'm glad to be at a place (not a full service oil company) that gives enough time to do the jobs right.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,351
    edited August 2018
    If I or o e of my techs skips out on something it's going to be dealt with. My favorite saying is "you hired a professional, you can expect professional results".

    And that is even when we have to eat some work to maintain that relationship.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    ratio
  • HEATON
    HEATON Member Posts: 117
    I have been doing oil burner service work for 60yrs and agree with most of the previous comments. Many things have changed for the better in the oil combustion industries. I have in the past been an instructor for the oil heat program in a local trade school.
    Oil has lower sulfer content, cleaner burning and less scaling therefor and less carbon (unburned fuel) to remove from the flue passes and vent.
    More techs are equiped with instruments and training on the use of these tools.
    Burners have become more sophisticated, better mixture cleaner burning. A far cry from your grandfathers burners(me)
    Filtration is a big improvement: lower micron water seperation pre heating as in the case of 'tigerloop". I have changed Garber and the Crown counterpart the had 7 yrs (7000 gal) and zero crap on the nozzle strainer.
    Nozzles are one of the best value components in the world for the work doing atomizing with a definite pattern metering and rejecting heat that can cause fouling and distortion. THe nozzle however is within 20% accurate and If the comb. test is good you could replace a 20% lower with a 20% higher than rated and be 40% different than when you started. Always use combustion tests. I don't replace if there is good combustion and good filtration in place even knowing that the orfice can wear unevenly after 10000 gals because as the previous commentater said"you could replace a good nozzle with a bad nozzle"
    The more often nozzlel is changed the more wear on the nozzle adapter especially you guys with the popey arms that over torc use a tool made for that job!
    Always check pump pressure! you could be working a burner/boiler or burner/furnace designed for 140psi. More on nozzles and burner service later aas I know I'm boring you all.
    Thanx. heaton john h