Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Fire chamber vacuuming

RayG Member Posts: 2
Recently I had my oil fired forced hot water boiler cleaned and I questioned the company about the time it took the tech to clean it. The office said he did a thorough job. Not believing it I opened up the swing door to the combustion chamber and found it hadn't been vacuumed and had about an inch of soot in the bottom and flues were caked with scale an soot in there. I called the company back and they said "they never vacuum inside there because when the door is open the seal is broken and they don't carry seals for every boiler" and because I opened the door their tune up warranty was void.
My question is is the bottom suppose to be vacuumed out or is the soot and scale just suppose to accumulate in the bottom year after year? 


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,310
    Not only is the soot to be vacuumed out, but to the maximum extent possible all the fires side surfaces need to be brushed. Many boilers have access ports for just that purpose, and get brushed down into the firebox to be vacuumed.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,131
    edited February 25

    They are trying to fool you period.

    My Buderus Logana G204 had to be brushed out and vacuumed out every year.
    With my old Buderus boiler all they needed to do is unbolt the door and swing it open to access the fire box and burner tubes to brush and clean them. Access door gaskets are permanent and easily replaced when needed.

    If you have not paid them don't! If you have already revoke the credit or debit transaction.
    request that they return by registered letter and inform them that if they do not you will have
    another reputable company clean your boiler and inspect it as well as having the local plumbing
    inspector examine it as the ash buildup can be a fire hazard.

    Take them to small claims court after you have another local plumber and the plumbing
    inspector look at the boiler and ask for a report to submit to the small claims court judge.

    Don't let them park this 400+ bushel manure spreader with Februarys frozen pack manure, 4 blown tires, broken power take off shaft, missing #80 roller chain, broken beater drive shaft, broken bed chain, broken beater chain and broken frame in your front yard.

    No excuse.
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 589
    Have them send you the detailed list of things that were checked.
    They would have a hard time with that.

    Sounds like the desk agent covering for the tech.
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited February 25
    My Buderus boiler included a brush for cleaning the flue passageways. I also remember many Weil McLain oil fired boilers having a brush in the shipping crate

    PM me the number of that company, I would like to call and ask them if vacuum cleaning is included in oil burner maintenance because I think I might need it for my boiler. Just to see what they say

    And just what is included in a tuneup warranty?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 997
    Better yet - this is the age of digital and internet everything, especially surveys and ratings.
    Tell them that you are going online to write a review of the "inadequate" service that you received.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 997
    edited February 26

    Here is what I found in my mother's boiler - 8 pounds of crap, right up to the bottom of the burner's air tube.
    It's probably safe to say that no tech ever cleaned it in 55 years.