Many things done but natural draft boiler still spills randomly.
Hi Guys. Let me try to address some of the questions.
1- The only appliance venting up the liner is the boiler which is 100,000 btus.
2- The vent on the boiler is 6", which is now reduced to 5" into the 5" liner. Multiple people checked the books on this one and determined 5" was all that was needed.
3- I have no idea why they recommended 4 inch intake over something larger. The house is somewhat tight but it cannot be as tight as any new construction given it was built in the 1930s and is of a double brick wall construction etc. It has new windows/doors and an r50 insulated attic etc. but I'm sure there are tons of crevices in the house letting air in all of the time.
4- The boiler is only about 8 years old, it is a spark ignition so there is no standing pilot. There shouldn't be a hole in the damper blade but I'm going to check.
5- The chimney is about 30 feet high and is external to the house (the house is about 8 years old). It was previously a wood burning chimney. At some point in the past it was rebuilt so it is in good shape and it is a couple feet higher than the top of the roof (house is a 1.5 storey with a very pitched roof).
6 - As far as I know nobody has checked manifold gas pressure.
The other factors here are these:
- There ARE two louvered air vents in the wall leading to the living area from the boiler room though they aren't much bigger than standard heating registers. Actually, the chimney guy who did the liner told me to cover them with cardboard which I did but I am now questioning his logic.
- The ceiling of the boiler room is actually open to the rest of the basement ceiling since the finished ceiling is about 6 inches or so dropped due to presence of pot lights etc.
- The ceiling of the boiler room / basement is actually open directly to the main floor through some unterminated heating registers almost directly above the boiler room in the living room. I think these were put in to give the boiler room more combustion air but it seems like a very odd setup to me and I've been considering sealing off the boiler room from the rest of the house except for the wall vents to the basement using some insulation.
- There is one more gas appliance in the boiler room, the hot water tank, but it does not have a standing pilot either and is a power vent model which does not share the chimney at all and just vents out the side wall. Sometimes I feel as if the venting of the water tank is interfering with the draft of the boiler though since the power vent fan seems quite powerful.
What the two separate techs the HVAC company sent out about this have told me now is that leaving the damper open keeps the liner tempered and helps it keep the draft going which makes total sense. At the same time, they also had told me that the smaller properly sized and shaped liner would make it easy for the boiler to establish the draft even without this but it seems that this is not the case. I haven't been able to locate any information on the net that says that a natural draft boiler without a standing pilot cannot use an automatic damper.
I'm going to take the cardboard off of the vents that the chimney guy told me to put on... that no longer makes sense to me, but I am still considering closing up the ceiling space with insulation because now I'm thinking that opening the room directly to the next floor might be causing a stack effect to form in the room.
The location of the spill switch seems pretty normal to me and appears to be placed in the boiler factory supplied location which is on the front and a few inches under the flue hood. During the initial inspections I had asked them many times, is it possible it's just the spill switch and nobody thought it was... I was really hoping it was since a spill switch is both cheap and a snap to replace... perhaps I should just replace it myself regardless but doing anything with a gas appliance always gives me thoughts that I'd be doing something illegal...
I can take photos, but what should I take photos of exactly?
Any other insights appreciated!