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Oil to Gas Conversion?

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mikeGlosta
mikeGlosta Member Posts: 5
edited March 2023 in Oil Heating
I have a Weill Mclain oil boiler whose efficiency drops every year. Currently 71%. I can't afford to have it drop lower so I'm wondering if, using the same boiler, is it possible to convert to gas? I'm a layman unable to do this type of work - I'm about to call the technician for yearly tuneup and would like to know what I'm talking about when asking about the gas conversion. Suggestioins? There is not a legible model number for reference.

I'll paste a photo as soon as I can figure out how.

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    I personally saw a 1920s Redflash boiler that was originally designed for coal, burning oil at over 70% efficiency.

    Why is your boiler dropping every year?
    Is this steam or hot water?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,893
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    I'll second @ChrisJ - there's no reason the efficiency should drop like that.

    If you're not sure how to post a pic, tell us the make and model of the boiler, and what burner is on it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
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    Just about the only reason it will drop every year by any meaningful amount is because the person working on it is not doing their job correctly. It's a burner inside a cast iron box, there isn't much that can change the efficiency from year to year other than poor maintenance, which apparently you are paying for.

    I'd be going back on the company you are paying to keep the efficiency up and ask why they are not.

    For everyone commenting they posted pictures last year in another thread.
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/190172/efficiency
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    MaxMercyGGross
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,436
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    I'll second or third the above. There is no reason for the boiler to efficiency to drop with time, unless you servicing company is not cleaning and maintaining it properly.

    Perhaps more relevant to your question, I've got bad news: if the boiler has been maintained that poorly, changing your fuel isn't going to help any. It may even be worse.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,089
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    So they have a Weil McLain 66 or 68 series boiler. with a Carlin burner. That can easily get to be over 78% combustion efficiency with a good vacuum cleaning. Unless a majority of the pins are eroded away that burner should be over 80% with a 60° HAGO SS nozzle.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
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    "I can't afford to have it drop lower so I'm wondering if, using the same boiler, is it possible to convert to gas? "

    When people convert to gas from oil, they will see an improvement in efficiency, but that's because they change the boiler/furnace at the same time. Gas has far less BTU than oil, and where I am, it's more money to heat with gas than oil, but that's wasn't really your question.

    As others have pointed out, it sounds like maintenance. For instance, if your stack temp rises over the years, you're not transferring the same amount of heat to the water. Has your boiler been thoroughly cleaned? Is the chamber in good shape?

    There's no reason why your system shouldn't be doing between 78-82% depending on several factors.

    Many times, you can replace your oil burner with a gas burner on your existing boiler, but I don't think you'll see any savings (depends on your area), and where I am, gas is a lot more expensive (Connecticut) than oil.

    If you replace your old boiler with a mod/con boiler, your fuel costs will indeed drop, but you have to balance that against the cost of the new equipment, more expensive repairs, more expensive and yearly (no skipping years on mod/cons) maintenance, and shorter life span of high efficiency equipment.



  • jringel
    jringel Member Posts: 27
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    I personally would like to see the combustion readings that the service company should have provided. Its either not set up right, dirty or the combustion seals are nonexistent.
    John Ringel Energy Kinetics
    MaxMercy
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    jringel said:
    I personally would like to see the combustion readings that the service company should have provided. It’s either not set up right, dirty or the combustion seals are nonexistent.
    Pencil Whipped
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/190172/efficiency
  • jringel
    jringel Member Posts: 27
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    I agree also looks like the wrong nozzle need another technician
    John Ringel Energy Kinetics