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secutanudu 11-13-2010 07:42 PM

New boiler (maybe)
I have an oil-fired Weil-McLain boiler fom 1994. Smoke was coming out of it this morning. Had an HVAC guy look at it, he said the air intake was adjusted to let too much air in (by them), and soot built up for the past month in the boiler. He adjusted it, the smoke stopped. He measured for CO outside the boiler, and he said it was too high (ie. not zero), and i shouldn't use the boiler till i have it cleaned again and tested. He says if it tests ok, i'm good...if it tests too high, i should probably replace it.

If the cleaning fixes it, i don't think they'll charge me, since it was their error that caused it.

If I do replace the boiler, I'll be switching to natural gas (gas is already run to the house, not used yet).

What should I take into consideration when getting a new boiler installed? He said they install all Weil-McLain boilers.

I have a 2yr old electric water heater, so that would not be replaced yet.

Any advice? Thanks.

bervin306 11-13-2010 09:29 PM

Your boiler still has alot of life left in it. My only piece of advise I can give you is have a company that knows how to service oil equipment fix it. They do not. I have never heard of taking co readings next to a boiler and then try to sell you a new one. They either don't know what they are doing or they are out for sale. This is coming from someone who has alot of years in the trade.

secutanudu 11-13-2010 10:19 PM

Good to know, thanks. This is a pretty reputable company, but this guy was admittedly a new technician. He said he will be sure a more experienced guy comes on monday to look at it. Hopefully the first guy was just wrong. Was he right to tell me not to use the boiler until it's fixed?

bervin306 11-13-2010 11:41 PM

correct do not use it until it is checked. shame on them for leaving you with no heat all weekend long.

beenthere 11-14-2010 05:13 AM


Thats one way to sell a new boiler.

Your boiler could very well be clogged up enough to allow CO to escape it and be in the air in your boiler room/basement, etc.

But, at 15 years old. Its not time for a new boiler. Maybe a new burner, or a new retention head, blast tube etc. All of which are far far less expensive then a new boiler.

If he had time to measure CO outside of the boiler. He had time to run a combustion test. And to check over fire draft. Which would have told him some info about the condition of your boiler's internal flue gas passage ways.

If you really want a new boiler, get one. You don't really need a new boiler. Unless you haven't been maintaining this one.

secutanudu 11-14-2010 06:28 AM

I've definitely been maintaining this one. I've been here 3 years...since then i've had it cleaned every year, replaced the honeywell control, combustion chamber and the transformer replaced. I mean, of course I want a knew one - but I certainly don;t have a few thousand dollars laying around!

Sounds to me like this guy just didn't know what he was talking about.

Could the air intake being set incorrectly cause all of this? Cause the flame to be too big, soot to build up, and the exhaust backed up enough to let CO escape? He adjusted the air intake so that it's no longer smoking, hopefully a cleaning will take care of the CO problem and i'll be all set for another year.

secutanudu 11-14-2010 06:29 AM


Originally Posted by bervin306 (Post 533879)
correct do not use it until it is checked. shame on them for leaving you with no heat all weekend long.

I'm sure i COULD have had them fix it this weekend, for a high cost. It's not that cold out here this weekend, and the spaceheaters are good enough :)

beenthere 11-14-2010 07:30 AM

lack of combustion air can cause it.
Also, a nozzle spraying a bad pattern can also cause it.

yuri 11-14-2010 09:26 AM

LACK of air not too much will cause it to smoke. I would want to talk to his service manager and let him know the story before he poisons/harms someone with his lack of knowledge. Sometimes the service manager needs feedback from customers to know what is really goin on in his company and can then help train the guy not necessarily fire him.

secutanudu 11-14-2010 09:29 AM

He was able to fix the problem of it smoking, so maybe he spoke incorrectly but knew how to fix it?

yuri 11-14-2010 09:34 AM

He may be right but I would nicely talk to the manager anyway. He did the right thing by checking for CO spillage in the boiler room for your safety. I would want it properly cleaned and setup with a combustion analyzer for safety and fuel efficiency. No way of getting that by eyeballin it.

secutanudu 11-14-2010 10:39 AM

He did put the meter into the exhaust, for what that's worth. Not sure if that's what you mean.

beenthere 11-14-2010 11:06 AM

You can add enough air to a nozzle spraying a bad pattern to stop it from smoking.

You didn't fix anything, but you stopped it from smoking.

yuri 11-14-2010 11:51 AM

If you got a bad spray pattern now it can produce a tar like/creosote inside the boiler and chimney and that is VERY dangerous if it gets ignited. You need to get it properly cleaned and setup with a combustion analyzer. They should do it for free if they did not set it up properly earlier. They may try to deny that but if they are reputable should stand behind their techs and work.

secutanudu 11-22-2010 02:52 PM

Had the boiler cleaned again, the CO problem disappeared. All seemed well until 2 days later the red button on the honeywell control tripped. I reset it, it tripped again a few minutes later. I pressed it one more time and it's been running for over 24 hours.

I have no idea if this is related to the original problem or not...what could cause it?

In the past 3 years, I've had the honeywell control, transformer, combustion chamber, and nozzle replaced

When the guy was here, her replaced my .75 nozzle with a .5 nozzle, stating that my boiler was cycling too often and heating the water too fast.

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