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Combustion on 1978 Burnham Boiler

Hi, thanks all for the great advice and discussions on this board.

I have a 1978 Burnham America, second winter in the house. Last year had a lot of problems due to no maintenance by previous owners. After a significant roll out I cleaned the boiler of a huge amount of soot, had a chimney cleaner in and got in a tech to test the system, we then used it all winter, only other issue that I was aware of was delayed ignition and a loud WHUMP on firing.

Before starting it up again, I cleaned the pilot and took out some gunk from the tubing, which resulted in a larger, more blue pilot flame. I also cleaned all the burner tubes. I brushed the sections again and got a small amount of soot.

The unit is quieter now on firing but you can still hear it on the first floor. With the burner access panel off, the flames shoot up on firing, with it on, they push forward and touch the panel. I know that you can't tell what's really going on from the look but I've added some pictures of the flames just in case they are useful.

I have First Alert Smoke/CO monitors on all floors and I have a CO Experts Ultra Low CO Alarm. The only time its gone off was when it was in the kitchen and we had the oven and burners going on our gas range, it alarmed at 7 PPM.

I have a tech coming next week and I want to make sure I am asking about the right things. I need to make sure they do a gas pressure test, combustion analysis and draft test, am I missing anything? Last year the gas valve was also replaced when we replaced all the gas lines in the house but no adjustment was done to the boiler in relation to this.

This is a video of it on start up, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gvCgZQZhlR978mG26ARhYJJk2BnfPHF8/view?usp=sharing


  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,670
    You need to make sure that they know how to adjust combustion and draft. A gas boiler shouldn't soot up unless there is something wrong with the combustion or it has sustained condensation because of sustained low return water temps.

    Make sure you have enough combustion air available as well.
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,841
    That flame is seriously wrong. I would leave power and gas off until it can be properly serviced. 
    rick in Alaska
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,544
    Gas pressure may be off if they didn't check the gas pressure when they changed the gas valve
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
    If it brings you any comfort, my brand new tiny Peerless 63-03L sounds about like that on startup. I can hear the gentle fwoom from my living room above the boiler.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el