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Wall of shame

GaryDidier
GaryDidier Member Posts: 229
Did an analysis of a steam boiler for the Pember museum in Granville NY today. Has been under contract for service from Ag*** , A large oil and service co. They want to know if I can keep it going until the heat system is replaced in 2 years. The service that was done was minimal.[I'm being generous]. The smoke pipe is dented,crushed,worn out and barely held togather with [drumroll] ductape. The oil filter is located so it is difficult to service and it is piped with a 2 line system. The cleanouts are so caked with cement they look like the Rocky mountains and are still leaking exhaust. The combustion chamber has between 6&8 inches of soot built up on the floor of the chamber. Because of this the fire is running at a #8 smoke spot. The asbestos has been removed from the pipes and subsequently the cellar is 80 degrees and the fuel bills have doubled. The original install looks piped well except for being piped with only one 2 inch riser off the boiler.The boiler is fired at 2.50 GPH. The front cover is cracked and broken towards the bottom and held on by only two bolts. Posted are some pictures to show all what crap service can do for you!
Gary from Granville

Comments

  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Geeze


    That can't be venting.

    Pronounce it dead and bury it.

    Good luck!

    Mark H

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  • GaryDidier
    GaryDidier Member Posts: 229
    Steam

    Mark,They are going to yank the steam and install hot water to accomadate a large addition and renovation. The time frame is about two years. It is a historic structure.

    Gary from granville
  • sootmonkey
    sootmonkey Member Posts: 158
    Tune up and inspection

    Oh yeah, that system is a B.U.T.Y. Lets see, I am sent to the job to do a tune up and inspection on this gem. Is that a 1725 rpm burner? Should that tank have been replaced years ago? Does that system scream "Replace me now"? Has any service tech. that has been there told the customer of the problems? Can't the customer see that the system is in very poor shape? If they can't, are they still breathing? I am typing from afar and don't know all of the facts, but I would bet An .85 x80A that the customer has known for years that the system has needed to be replaced. Why Have you been called in to get them 2 more years? Did the last company refuse to service? I am not an Agway employee. Just tired about people blameing "Big oil" Keith Thomas, Maine
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997


    just an off the hand..IMHO..but it may actually save them in the next two year's to rip it out..toss in a steam system and run it for two year's then sell the steam system...but..either way I wish you the best of luck with that beast....
  • Ed_13
    Ed_13 Member Posts: 164
    Over the hill boiler

    The photo of the oil tanks scare me. The boiler doesn't need a good tech, it needs a magic wand. Sometimes the best business is not to do business. If they don't want to replace it now, I would walk away. It is a museum. What will it cost YOU if that thing fills the place with soot or the oil tank lets loose.

    As for beating up on big oil, I did not take your post as doing that. You have to remember big oil or one man shop, any service company is only as good as the worst man that works there. Unfortunately, all the other GOOD techs that work for that same company get lumped in with the work the worst guy did. Guilt by association. One guy is a jerk, but the customer says to the neighbors how bad "they are".

    A good friend of mine just retired from AG*** just before they were sold. He was in charge of training service techs. Hundreds of them.

    He would have gone out of his mind if he checked a job and saw what the last tech left in this case. That is not the kind of work they normally do, and definately not what they are trained to do.

    That is the kind of work that the local (doesn't give a hoot) service manager let some lazy tech get away with.

    Unfortunately, this is also the kind of job that gives oil a bad name that is does not deserve.

    JMHO

    Ed
  • GaryDidier
    GaryDidier Member Posts: 229
    Tuneup

    Keith, I'm not blaming big oil, just calling it as I see it. This organization has been paying for a commercial service contract for years. They do this so they don't have to worry about the system. People are not knowledgable about heating and believe what they are told. I was hired because of my reputation and honesty. I can probably repair the boiler and keep it running for less than they are paying for a service contract!

    Gary from Granville
  • Boiler Guy
    Boiler Guy Member Posts: 585
    No pride Techs

    > Keith, I'm not blaming big oil, just calling it

    > as I see it. This organization has been paying

    > for a commercial service contract for years. They

    > do this so they don't have to worry about the

    > system. People are not knowledgable about heating

    > and believe what they are told. I was hired

    > because of my reputation and honesty. I can

    > probably repair the boiler and keep it running

    > for less than they are paying for a service

    > contract!

    >

    > Gary from Granville



    are everywhere. Unfortunately oil is a bit less forgiving than gas, thus easier to spot. I agree with the previous post regarding a Co is only as good as it's worst representative ... in this case .... probably a lazy service manager. This job has got to have numerous repair orders looking like that
  • Boiler Guy
    Boiler Guy Member Posts: 585
    No pride Techs

    are everywhere. Unfortunately oil is a bit less forgiving than gas, thus easier to spot. I agree with the previous post regarding a Co is only as good as it's worst representative ... in this case .... probably a lazy service manager. This job has got to have numerous repair orders looking like that.

    2Cts
  • k coppinger
    k coppinger Member Posts: 1
    If it's historic all the more reason....

    to keep it steam and then take off a hot water zone using the condensate....It would save them the fuel bills now and peovide a viable alternative later....kpc
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,732
    I agree

    From the looks of that piping, there's nothing wrong with that steam system that a proper boiler installation and system configuration wouldn't cure. And there was nothing wrong with that boiler that proper maintenance would not have prevented.

    If that were my job, I'd replace the steamer now and install a second hot-water boiler for the addition. This way if one boiler goes down the other part of the building will not be affected.

    Are you going to stay with oil? If so they need a REAL oil company to service it.

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  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
  • mp1969
    mp1969 Member Posts: 226
    Only one option

    That boiler and it's dangerous flue vent ,side plates and oil tank are now a liability of yours now that you were called in for professional service! You have yourself and your insurance carrier now involved and therefore liable should CO,tank rupture etc. occur.
    If this were a gas boiler in our area it would be immediately red tagged and pulled out of service. Spread your liability and suggestion to replace to the local inspector or the insurance company that insures the structure.
    This is a very bad situation waiting to happen and now you are involved.I won't sleep for that two year period if I knew that boiler was still in service.
    Lawyers thrive on situations like this!

    Suggest immediate replacement with no other options .

    MP 1969
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