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Barometric damper not closing on oil boiler

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Hanna61
Hanna61 Member Posts: 34
Hi All,

Rarely in the cellar, but noticed that when the oil boiler is not running, the damper is ajar. It seems like it's stuck in the ajar position cause it will close when I tap it.

WHen the boiler is on, it swings to a more open position, then goes back to the ajar position.

It's also positioned so that where it pivots from is not level to the ground, but is slanted.

Is this working right? Does this need replacing? Thanks.

Comments

  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,961
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    @Hanna61
    It sounds like it is out of adjustment. However sometimes they act this way. The best thing to do is have a tech. company come out and service your system. When it is serviced the tech will adjust the burner and damper to work the best with each other.
    Have your boiler/furnace serviced by a pro. They will make the appropriate air and fuel adjustments as they are integral with each other.
    Hanna61
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,841
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    The damper should be both level and plumb. If the damper is hanging up, it might be out of round or the pivot brackets are bent.


    Hanna61
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
    edited March 27
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    What @HVACNUT nut mentioned plumb and level.

    If you play with the damper and it needs to be moved and/or adjusted you should get a combustion test.
    Hanna61
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,693
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    @Hanna61 Can you show us some pictures of the damper, both in the boiler running and the "ajar" positions?


    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
    Hanna61
  • Lance
    Lance Member Posts: 270
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    Measure the pressure on the flue will tell you if it is doing its job or it's just not right. But remember make sure it is installed according to the manufacture's specifications; including if it is the right one for the application. Face of damper should be plumb and hinge level. All else is diagnosis.
    Hanna61
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited March 28
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    Back in the 1950s there was a company that manufactured a draft regulator that was adjusted by turning the horizontal axis up to 30° from the horizontal. I believe it was made by the Boston Regulator Company. I actually remember installing some of them in the 1970s. They are all long gone by now, so I would venture to say that you do not have a Boston barometric regulator, so you need the horizontal axis to be level with the horizon. A picture of the Barometric Draft Regulator will help in identifying the brand and type of regulator you have. Could you post a photo?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    Intplm.Hanna61
  • Hanna61
    Hanna61 Member Posts: 34
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    How I found it this morning.
  • Hanna61
    Hanna61 Member Posts: 34
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    More coming. Thanks everyone.
  • Hanna61
    Hanna61 Member Posts: 34
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    When I tapped it closed then went ajar again. Was running like this but the next pick is when i returned.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,693
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    When was the last time you had that boiler cleaned and serviced?

    That damper needs to be level from side to side and really needs to be adjusted for correct draft.
    It's certainly not doing it's job as is.
    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
    SuperTechHanna61
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 92
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    Wow. Its wrong horizontally and vertically. They must be plumb and level. I would call a professional. Once its level, it needs to be set to adjust draft in the breaching and over the fire.
    The draft control plays a very important role and if not set properly, you could be throwing money right up the chimney in excess draft, causing high stack temperatures and or incomplete combustion.
    Years ago there was a local oil company who was also a oil service company. You could always tell their installs from everyone else. No barometric. So no control of draft, will drive up stack temperatures way up , wasting fuel. They were also known to turn the limits up on the aquastat. Both cost you more in oil.
    This company sold out around 12 years ago.
    Find a reputable company and use them to get things properly set up. It all starts with draft.
    Steve
    Hanna61
  • Hanna61
    Hanna61 Member Posts: 34
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    WOW! was going to post another pic, but I have my answer now.

    I just got the boiler new last Winter. The guy who put it in, did most of the set up, but then left (me too as I had to go to work) and his apprentice finished up. In retrospect, I don't know if they did any testing or not. Heard this guy was reputable.

    So this should have been checked out? UGH!!! Hard to find people cause I live in the sticks and folks don't want to travel, and local company, while I would love to use them -No way! Dang!!!

    Will call another guy who has good ratings. His business is about 30 min. away, but he just moved into town so he is expanding this way.

    Thanks everyone! Appreciate your time to comment and set me up on a path forward with new and better knowledge about this thing!


  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    WOW. that is not the old Boston Draft Regulator. You need that new guy!
    The old guy's helper needs to read the instructions.
    https://www.fieldcontrols.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/01575700_TypeRC_Rev_B_04-15.pdf
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    Intplm.
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,267
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    I DIY.
    Hanna61
  • Hanna61
    Hanna61 Member Posts: 34
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    Thanks all!

    It's getting checked tomorrow.

    Could this damage the new boiler?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,693
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    Hanna61 said:
    Thanks all! It's getting checked tomorrow. Could this damage the new boiler?

    No

    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
    Hanna61
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    It shouldn't damage it but could plug it up with soot or overheat the burner head.
    Hanna61
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    It shouldn't damage it but could plug it up with soot or overheat the burner head.

    Unlikely. There were hundreds of boilers that I happed on, that has no draft controls, draft controls that were cemented shut, missing draft controls, and holes rusted into the vent pipe connector that would let dilution air go into the chimney uncontrolled. Some of them were sooted but not plugged. Others were just fine. If found during a maintenance or repair service call, I would make a note of the problem and indicate that it should be repaired. A price for the repair would be quoted at that time, and. depending on the sevarity of the problem. I may leave the burner switch off with a note that said "Operate At Your Own Risk" taped across the burner switch.

    A Polaroid photo of the note on the switch, was left on file in the office. (that was before Cell Phone Cameras for you Millennials)
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    Hanna61
  • Hanna61
    Hanna61 Member Posts: 34
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    Great!

    Well it's opening, it's just not swinging closed or swinging much at all.

    Really happy to hear though that this new boiler won't be falling apart any time soon because of this.

    Thanks again for all the input and advice.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,841
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    Good thing the weight is in the horizontal slot, otherwise it might start spinning. 🤪.
    Once it's plumb and level, secure with 2 screws at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock. But only on an oil draft regulator. 
  • alias2102
    alias2102 Member Posts: 10
    edited March 30
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    Unbelievable!
    That's what mine looks like (see the attached photo). I installed it 2 weeks ago.

    1. You have a vertical pipe. Make sure the control is plumb and level.
    2. Switch the weight screw on the control from left (where it is now) to right. Unscrew it and reattach it again on the right side.
    3. Until you can properly measure the draft with a pressure gauge, set the screw to 0.02 (the leftmost calibrated value on the control). This should suffice for most burners.

    The person who installed it did not follow the manufacturer's instructions. I doubt he sized the control correctly. See the contractor's guide, page 34. You have to know the chimney height and the diameter of the exhaust pipe. A much more knowledgeable installer screwed it up on my boiler. He installed a 5'' draft control on a 30'+ high chimney and a 5'' exhaust pipe. The manufacturer called for 6''. That is why I had to replace it with a 6'' draft control two weeks ago. 5'' didn't have enough capacity to compensate for a strong draft under cold or windy conditions. I watched it being stuck in a fully open position and breach draft exceeding -0.05 at times, which is not a good situation.

    Finally, you installed it a year ago, but it looks all dirty and sooted up. Did he install a used control? If not, perhaps your burner is not running clean. A smoke test may clarify the issue.
    An oddity: the manufacturer's (Fields) logo on your control looks very different from mine (same manufacturer), which I bought a month ago. They could have installed an older used control.