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Efficiency issues converting a oil fired steam boiler to gas?

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Steve_175
Steve_175 Member Posts: 238
I know this has been discussed before and can be done. I was told by my plumber that he belives a oil fired boiler has wider passage ways between the sections because of the way oil combusts. He had heard that if a gas burner is installed it will be less efficient because the boiler will not be able to absorb the heat from gas combustion.

Can anybody confirm this?

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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    The flueways in a gas boiler are very similar to those in a pin-type oil boiler. They're just as difficult to clean if they soot up.

    Now, if you're trying to put a primitive conversion burner like a Wayne P250/P265 or Midco E20 into a boiler designed for a flame-retention oil burner, you will lose efficiency. You need a flame-retention design like the Carlin EZ-Gas with 9-slot diffuser for this to work well.

    What model is your present boiler?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,880
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    Are we talking NG or LP?
  • Steve_175
    Steve_175 Member Posts: 238
    edited February 2023
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    This is the boiler and it would be using NG.

    I called the mfg and they recommended the Carlin EZ Gas Pro conversion burner 50K-275K BTU
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    A Carlin should be fine in that boiler.

    And no oil is slightly more efficient than gas in any no condensing boiler. Gas has water vapor in it that boils off and that uses energy that goes up the statk. But the difference is 1-2% and if gas is cheaper it's the way to go.

    You need someone who can set the gas burner up properly and combustion test it for it to work well. This may or may not be your plumber
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    That's basically the same boiler as the old Smith 8 series. We used to install these with EZ-Gas burners right out of the crate, and they ran very well. I miss them.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
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    @Steamhead yeah, this does look like a setup for the 9 slot. short fire box.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    The series 8 always seemed to be rugged little boilers