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First cleaning in 9 years.

STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,906Member
edited February 11 in THE MAIN WALL
Can't believe this boiler was installed 9 years ago and never cleaned. First time at this house.
Chamber collapsed, full of kibbles and bits. Flue pipe rotted out. Chimney base over 1/2 blocked. Heat exchanger...well you see the pics. Usually only see a Riello able to power thru that blockage.
5 hours (1.5 to run and get chamber kit).
Can't believe Crown boiler charges 4x for their kit over a Lynn kit for practically any other boiler. No one carries them but at least they were close by.
Glad they have heat, the bill was pretty huge. Hope they don't try to go another 9

What fun did you have today? :)



  • kcoppkcopp Posts: 3,324Member
    Wow... Since you asked. We pulled out this Weil 66-6 section oil boiler converted to gas. Installed about 1978.. cracked last week. Been after the owners to replace for 5 years. Had a Wayne conversion burner. Bottom on the boiler was plugged 80%.
  • SuperTechSuperTech Posts: 938Member
    I've had three worse than that in the past week. The worst being a hallmark furnace that almost filled the soot vacuum twice. Wrong nozzle, wrong pump pressure, wrong burner head! Producing 400+ PPM CO upon arrival for a "tune up" that took me six hours and left me looking like a chimney sweeper.
    I should really start taking pictures, at least then one good thing will come from it. It will make for good story telling.

    The Hallmark furnace was seven years old, blocked chimney, rotten flue pipe. The air filter looked like it could have been from the original installation, plugged and sucked on to the blower assembly.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,789Member
    Back when I used to do residential stuff like that if I ran into a bad one like that I would do the same as you guys did, suck soot, replace parts fix it up good. But that was it. I told the owner they had to maintain it.

    If they didn't call me to maintain it properly after 2 years was my limit. I was done they could get someone else. I only suck soot one time /job if they made no effort to maintain it
  • delta Tdelta T Posts: 750Member
    Ran into this one last week....that was fun. I am so sick of clothes dryers being installed in mechanical rooms. Don't care how well it's vented, still will screw with boilers, especially when no tune ups are done in 20 years.....

  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 2,172Member
    Last Friday.
    EK -1 Frontier. Agreement lapsed after the first year, 8 years ago. Hasn't been touched since. Pulled the chamber, brush and vac. Down fired. New chamber, Pac Man and amulet on order.
    The Soot God has unleashed its wrath on us. Customer sacrifice?
  • SuperTechSuperTech Posts: 938Member
    edited February 12
    @delta T That's a real good one you got. I didn't realise how severe it was until I scrolled down and saw it was gas. I'm surprised you are dirtier! Gas soot is the absolute worst.

    @HVACNUT I've never seen an EK soot up like that. Other than owner neglect what was the primary cause of the mess? Cracked amulet? Plugged nozzle/strainer?

    Customer sacrifice is a good idea. I think Steve posted a perfect example of how it's done 😀
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,977Member
    These are only the latest in a long, long, LONG line..........

    .... ad nauseum.

    @kcopp , I know that burner. Betcha that poor old 6-66 was wayyyyy overfired. This would explain the soot, and possibly the crack too.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • kcoppkcopp Posts: 3,324Member
    @Steamhead You are probably correct. The end cone was partially melted off. The burner was installed in 1980. I took one look at the pilot a couple years back and was petrified about the long pilot it had. 6" long. I told them I knew nothing about it and didn't dare touch it.
    This is the largest steam install I have done.
    Im just a small system guy.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 2,172Member
    > @SuperTech said:

    > @HVACNUT I've never seen an EK soot up like that. Other than owner neglect what was the primary cause of the mess? Cracked amulet? Plugged nozzle/strainer?
    I've never seen this on an EK either.
    As of now, I have no idea what the cause is but I can say it's not the fuel pump. First thing I checked. I have it down fired and I'm safe with my numbers until the repair. Puff switch works and I have one in the van if needed. Another good vac, put back a .75 and then see what's what.
  • SuperTechSuperTech Posts: 938Member
    I'm glad for the homeowners sake that the puff switch works! Keep me posted on what you find out. I'm guessing that it was a combination of issues causing that mess.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 85Member
    Thank you for you post and photo, @HVACNUT .

    The chamber is a near perfect burning environment that incinerates the fuel so it is extremely clean burning. To have the results you showed, something most likely interfered with the burner nozzle atomization or spray pattern and caused it to burn extremely poorly (possibly some blockage in the nozzle orifice or some impingement or build up on the burner head/nozzle that occurred over time, etc.).

    After your quality cleaning and tune-up as you described, I'm sure that system will be restored to efficient and reliable operation for the long term. This is a good example of why customers should insist on an annual tune-up, even on the best equipment.

    Thank you for restoring this boiler to good working order and all your positive work to keep people warm and happy!

    Energy Kinetics, Inc.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 753Member
    Maybe it's time for another "UGLIEST BOILER" contest.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,906Member
    Wasn’t ugly when I was finished! :)
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 753Member
    No doubt☺︎
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Posts: 2,622Member
    This is a good example of why customers should insist on an annual tune-up, even on the best equipment.

    The first year after my new mod-con was installed, my heating contractor sent a "techie" to do the annual service. When he got here he had to ask me if it was oil or gas. (Did you ever see a drip-leg on an oil supply pipe to an oil burner?} He did not have a combustion analyzer, nor the necessary gasket kit and igniter. He said he did not have time to read the manual and was only scheduled 15 minutes to do an annual service. He protested that gas boilers did not need to be serviced anyway. I am just a home-owner, but I had read the installation and service manual on that boiler before it was installed. I sent him away. In the past, that had been a very good heating contracting company, but they merged with one competitor after another, and I imagine the size of the company got too big to manage properly.

    Then I got a new heating contractor.
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Posts: 2,406Member
    This thread makes me glad my time in the trenches is done.
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Posts: 834Member
    hopefully this came through. This was still running. I took the entire boiler outside as we had to replace a large chunk of the floor that was also saturated in fuel oil.
    I thought this looked pretty cool though.
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Posts: 834Member
    edited April 6

    This was a Weil Mclain 68 series with a Riello on it. The homeowner worked on it, which had fuel oil all over the floor, the entire room
    blackened with soot from 5 feet up, and the primary control did not shut it down. It was an awesome sight.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 2,172Member
    That's awesome. Are you installing a new boiler?
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,906Member
    edited April 6
    That one should earn you enough money to get to Wetstock and back!
    LOL, a Riello on a 68. Goes to show you that Riello with its high static pressure will keep running until it's a mess.
    I wonder if the Riello is too forgiving in its maximum ohm range to lock a burner out.
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Posts: 834Member
    HVACNUT said:

    That's awesome. Are you installing a new boiler?

    Actually just cleaned this one out. Homeowner did not have the money for a new one, but he did build a little bumpout on the side of the house and we reinstalled it in there. The soot was so dry it actually cleaned out very well. I did replace the chamber and blanket though.

    That one should earn you enough money to get to Wetstock and back!
    LOL, a Riello on a 68. Goes to show you that Riello with its high static pressure will keep running until it's a mess.
    I wonder if the Riello is too forgiving in its maximum ohm range to lock a burner out.

    I was shocked to realize that it had kept running. You should have seen the room it was in. The only reason I was called in from the beginning was because of a fuel smell. The room was just nasty. In addition to the ceiling and walls absolutely black from the soot, there was about a 5 foot ring on the floor from the leaking diesel. I don't know why the place didn't burn.
    That was only the third Riello primary that I have changed out on oil. The first two got under water. Now a gas primary on a Riello, that is another story. Not sure what went wrong with that design.
  • loran5582loran5582 Posts: 2Member
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,521Member
    edited April 6
    Cant solder? No problem!

    What is going on with the smoke pipe above the damper? Is it reduced in size to add more fun?

    Edit: I see the power venter now!
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 831Member
    edited April 7
    Black soot room------ sounds like inside of black oil tank, sucks up all the light from even powerful flood lights :)
  • brandonfbrandonf Posts: 171Member
    Boilers are supposed to be cleaned? 🤔
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
  • Dave0176Dave0176 Posts: 1,043Member
    loran5582 said:

    And that’s why I wish supply houses wouldn’t sell to DA jack of all tradesmen.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • bob eckbob eck Posts: 861Member
    In the original photos on this tread there is a oil boiler and a gas water heater. Are they being vented into the same chimney?
    Is it ok to vet oil and gas into the same chimney?
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