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Beckett AFG in Kohler boiler

Hi, and Help!

I live in NYC and own an old house (80+). I have a Kohler steam boiler with a Beckett AFG burner. Without going into all of the lurid details of my experiences over the years, I have no confidence in the service people in my area.

I must mention my most recent experience so you can understand why I am now trying to do this myself. I waited for a week for my most recent tune up. I suspected I was burning to much oil and I had soot all over my basement (this had been going on since the installation of the Beckett a few years ago)(but oil prices were a lot lower).

I had read the Beckett manual and their service guide and noted the flame in the firebox was nothing like the even flame Beckett shows as ideal in their material. My flame was wild, disorganized and leaping up out of the firebox on all sides.

Note that I requested all the tests (O2,stack temp, oil pressure etc) and a smaller nozzle from the service pro. When he was finished, I showed him how the flame in the firebox was leaping out of the firebox (just like it was before he showed up). I'm not sure if he did any of the tests, but he assured me the flame I was showing him was normal and he did not need to change the nozzle.

I then went through 34 gal of oil in 36 hours!!
After reading the Beckett manual and the service guide on their site and many things here, and burning through 34 gal of oil in 36 hours (the day after a "service pro tune up") (no, the windows were not open), I replaced the nozzle (2.5 gph, 70deg) to 1 gph 60 deg myself. I immediately went to about 11 gal per day when it's cold (< 30deg as high for the day).

The oil pressure is at its weakest adjustment. Boiler is a Kohler model 22 but firebox is 14" x 12". The flame in the firebox with the smaller nozzle still does not have the shape shown in the beckett manual (evenly spread across the firebox, just shy of the walls). Rather it runs up the wall opposite the nozzle and does not come close to the side walls.

I know enough to know I need help here. Can I go to a smaller nozzle wider angle and crank up the pressure and get even more efficient? Also, I read about going too low on nozzle size could put the chimney at risk due to water vapor in the exhaust or something like that.

Any comments will be helpful.



  • brucewo1b
    brucewo1b Member Posts: 638

    Jeff you need a professional, have you tried the Find a Professional link on left of this page.
  • John Lenhart
    John Lenhart Member Posts: 25

    Jeff, before you can make any adjustments, you need guages and combustion test equipment. It is best to hire a professional. They have the equipment necessary and more importantly years of experience. They can tell you the effiency of the unit and set it up properly . Good luck
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    up date

    It sounds to me like the original firebox was replaced with a smaller quickie chamber kit and that's why the flame seems to be kicking out the other thing is you are using a beckett burner which is in all likely hood a high speed burner in a older boiler with presumable large flue passes will use more fuel find a oil pro maybe he can brick the flue passes a little bit to adjust less draft through the unit also what is the edr or connective load to the boiler .Just because a 1,00 gph noz looks better in the fire box doesn't mean it's right espically if the boiler never shuts off on the presstrol that to say it's under fired .Find yourself a real deal oil company that offers service and oil sales you pay more for your oil but you may find yourself some one who can set it up right or point you in the right direction .A 80 yead old boiler oil fired probalby not to effecient yeah ? peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • soot_seeker_2
    soot_seeker_2 Member Posts: 228
    Jeff, you gotta listen...

    These guys are all right here.

    You can't change a nozzle without adjusting the air on the burner with instruments. It can be downright dangerous. That's why they say yopu need a professional.

    The nozzle size is a function of the connected load. If it's too small or too big it will waste energy.

    What you need is someone with a brain, the proper instruments, and the inclination to spend the time calculating the heating load on this system. This knowlege doesn't come cheap, so anyone who offers to do the job for $50 is wasting your time...

    Long Beach Ed
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