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Old 11-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #16
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Chimney flue relining or another option - Oil Furnace Expert Needed


As I stated earlier, it has been a long time since I worked on oil furnaces. I do recall though that if they are out of wack just a little they can cause big problems real fast. A properly maintained unit (if you can find someone competent to work on one) will run trouble free for years. The problem arrises when you get some tech's that try to adjust things by sight and not use the proper equipment.

As far as replacing with Gas...it would be a no-brainer for me. I don't know what the housing market is like in your area, but in my area if there is an oil unit and gas is available people tend to shy away from the house. I personaly walked away from two nice homes when looking at houses simply because I did not want to deal with the oil tanks and units.

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Old 11-06-2013, 05:21 PM   #17
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Chimney flue relining or another option - Oil Furnace Expert Needed


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Originally Posted by thp View Post
Ok, I think I've gotten to the bottom of what is going on. I'm glad I went with my gut and was skeptical about the chimney relining solution.

The repair guy ran his hand underneath the burner and found that it was wet with oil, he said that it has a blown pump seal. Does this sound like the culprit?

Yes, that can cause an oil odor problem.

Secondly he removed the caps off of the 2 holes and found that it was insanely filthy!

Here's a pic -
http://s103.photobucket.com/user/kin...tml?sort=3&o=0

This is crazy, right? He said it could have started a fire! Why is it that I had 3 repair guys here previous to him and none of them opened this part up? In the past 7 years I've lived here, I've had the unit serviced every year except for the last three. There is no way that this could be from only 3 years of accumulation, is there? Is checking this not standard maintenance?

Depending how much oil you use a year, and if the nozzle started to throw a bad pattern, you can easily build up that much debrie in the flue passage ways.

------

So ok, now I would like some advice - For $325, they said they would replace the leaking pump, clean out all that soot and put on a new nozzle. What are the chances that after they do this the unit will still blow out the smell of oil?

Depends if teh oil made it to the furnace insulation or not.

The unit is 20+ years old, after seeing all of this should I just get a new gas furnace? I'm going to sell my house in the next 6 months, so I don't want to invest this kind of money if I don't have to, but could a new gas furnace in place of an older oil furnace raise the value of my house and potentially help me sell it as opposed to a oil unit turning people away?
Would you be more inclined to buy a house with a 20 year old oil furnace. Or a 6 month old gas furnace.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:13 PM   #18
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Chimney flue relining or another option - Oil Furnace Expert Needed


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Would you be more inclined to buy a house with a 20 year old oil furnace. Or a 6 month old gas furnace.
Well put!


Thanks everybody for your help and patience with me, I think I'll get the new gas furnace.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:04 AM   #19
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Chimney flue relining or another option - Oil Furnace Expert Needed


Go gas now.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:58 PM   #20
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Chimney flue relining or another option - Oil Furnace Expert Needed


Quote:
Originally Posted by thp View Post
Ok, I think I've gotten to the bottom of what is going on. I'm glad I went with my gut and was skeptical about the chimney relining solution.

The repair guy ran his hand underneath the burner and found that it was wet with oil, he said that it has a blown pump seal. Does this sound like the culprit?

Secondly he removed the caps off of the 2 holes and found that it was insanely filthy!

Here's a pic -
http://s103.photobucket.com/user/kin...tml?sort=3&o=0

This is crazy, right? He said it could have started a fire! Why is it that I had 3 repair guys here previous to him and none of them opened this part up? In the past 7 years I've lived here, I've had the unit serviced every year except for the last three. There is no way that this could be from only 3 years of accumulation, is there? Is checking this not standard maintenance?

------

So ok, now I would like some advice - For $325, they said they would replace the leaking pump, clean out all that soot and put on a new nozzle. What are the chances that after they do this the unit will still blow out the smell of oil?

The unit is 20+ years old, after seeing all of this should I just get a new gas furnace? I'm going to sell my house in the next 6 months, so I don't want to invest this kind of money if I don't have to, but could a new gas furnace in place of an older oil furnace raise the value of my house and potentially help me sell it as opposed to a oil unit turning people away?
There is the small problem of being told that the heat exchanger is cracked. Has this been verified or not? Even if it has not, I do believe you have got to disclose that... and a smart buyer would offer a reduced price so they could replace the unit. So, it is up to you what you want to do, but dropping a little money into a new furnace may not give a huge increase to the value of the place, but it certainly won't decrease the value.

As far as gas vs. oil? Well, you have to find out what the cost would be to bring Natural gas into the home or propane if natural gas is not possible. If you intend to sell you are really making the choice for the new owner. So, ask yourself if you would rather buy a home with oil in it or gas. Gas is generally cheaper, burns cleaner and is more of a "green" choice (forgetting for the moment about the whole fracking controversy). And you are already aware what oil is all about.

As far as your problem goes, a plugged heat exchanger would cause the back pressure problem and make the scorching on the inside of the burner happen and because the products of combustion were not able to vent properly, you would definitely get an exhaust type of smell down stairs. Yes, the unit should be opened and cleaned with a "soot" vacuum annually, a company that does not do this is not doing it right. A blown pump seal could indeed cause the oil smell upstairs.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:10 PM   #21
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Chimney flue relining or another option - Oil Furnace Expert Needed


Two things to consider...
1) If you fix it, you will still have a chimney that is deteriorated. It might not be your problem this year, but it will be eventually.
2) What is your water heater? If it uses the chimney, that is an issue also.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:16 PM   #22
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Chimney flue relining or another option - Oil Furnace Expert Needed


Is that guy from Maryland still teaching.....hhmmmmm, simply because there is a little oil under the burner or the burner chassis doesn't mean the pump seal is leaking.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:18 PM   #23
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Chimney flue relining or another option - Oil Furnace Expert Needed


how much oil was it? is it possible that some of this may have leaked into blower compartment and been spread through duct work in house? if so changing furnace isn't going to fix that.

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