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    Smith Series 8 boiler - installed without draft control? (15 Posts)

  • JPAlex JPAlex @ 1:43 PM
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    Smith Series 8 boiler - installed without draft control?

    Hi - I just had a brand new oil boiler/burner installed (Smith Series 8 boiler) and the technician did not install a barometric draft control at the flue pipe. I have never seen a boiler without it. He explained that I do not need one because when he tested it he saw that I have enough draft (-0.02 to -0.04). My upstairs neighbor's boiler that sits right next to mine is the exact same model. It was installed last year with a draft control (by the same company). I compared the draft test results and they are identical, so this is making no sense to me. Is it really ok not to have a draft control on my flue pipe? And what about access to cleaning the flue pipe? Also, since the install I have a lot of banging going on in one of the main pipes. I pointed that out to the technician and he came back and repitched the affected radiator, but the banging is still going on. Is there possibly a connection to the missing draft control? Any advice?
    Thank you!
    This post was edited by an admin on November 22, 2012 1:44 PM.
  • JStar JStar @ 1:58 PM
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    Draft

    The draft control ensures that the boiler does not get TOO MUCH draft. It does not produce draft. High draft reduces efficiency. It may only cause problems when the weather gets colder, causing the draft to increase. Have it installed.

    Banging is caused by improper pitch. Check the level of the main pipe.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac


    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.

    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    (Formerly "ecuacool")
  • chapchap70 chapchap70 @ 10:41 PM
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    Why assume the first installer was right?

    Maybe the first boiler that is right next to yours should have been installed without the draft regulator as well.  If the manufacturers instructions (which you should have access to if they were left by the boiler) say it is not needed, there is a benefit to going without it. 

    If draft needs to be reduced by the regulator, warm room air has to be used to do it which means cold air from the outside must replace the warm air.  If the burner has air from the outside piped directly to it, and there is no draft regulator, the heating load is reduced which reduces fuel consumption more than the slight loss of efficiency than higher draft through the appliance would use . 

    The draft regulator was more necessary with the older 1725 rpm burners.  The higher static 3450 rpm burners enable higher drafts without loss of efficiency or flame stability.  Some boilers are designed to reduce the negative effects of higher drafts as well.
    This post was edited by an admin on November 22, 2012 10:50 PM.
  • JPAlex JPAlex @ 3:26 PM
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    Smith Series 8 boiler - installed without draft control?

    That's what I thought. The technician
    insists that I don't need a draft control because that's what the
    manufacturer recommends, that it's typical for the Smith series 8
    boilers. Are they build different than other boilers? Thanks again for the advice!
  • JPAlex JPAlex @ 3:26 PM
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    Smith Series 8 boiler - installed without draft control?

    That's what I thought. The technician
    insists that I don't need a draft control because that's what the
    manufacturer recommends, that it's typical for the Smith series 8
    boilers. Are they build different than other boilers? Thanks again for the advice!
  • JPAlex JPAlex @ 3:26 PM
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    Smith Series 8 boiler - installed without draft control?

    That's what I thought. The technician
    insists that I don't need a draft control because that's what the
    manufacturer recommends, that it's typical for the Smith series 8
    boilers. Are they build different than other boilers? Thanks again for the advice!
  • Paul48 Paul48 @ 4:12 PM
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    The

    tech is correct. If premitted by code, and the draft readings are good, it is not necessary according to the manufacturer. Mine ran for 12 years without one, until converting to gas.
  • icesailor icesailor @ 7:17 PM
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    Draft Controls:

    That may work where you live, but where I work and where I live, the wind will regularly blow the feathers off a crow bar. 
    Right now, it is blowing 5 MPH fromthe NE. I.ve had places where I installed teo RC's to handle the highest drafts when one alone wasn't big enough.
    It blew well over 80 MPH in the Nor'Easter after Sandy.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 10:50 PM
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    We often find

    that the old coal-designed chimneys can produce so much draft, that not only do you need a draft regulator, but usually one that is one size larger than the chimney connector.

    If the draft is too high, it's too high, and will pull a lot of heat out of the boiler. The heat contained in the small amount of boiler-room air that goes into a draft regulator isn't much by comparison.

    A proper combustion test on one of these boilers will include a draft reading. This should be taken when the chimney is fully warmed up as well as at the beginning of the firing cycle. The results might surprise you.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • icesailor icesailor @ 7:10 AM
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    Velocity:

    High draft through a boiler without a draft damper equals high velocity. High exhaust velocity through a boiler equals less contact time in the heat exchanger. Less time equals less heat transfer.
    I can understand why the boiler manufacturers might go that way. Joe Hack, with absolutely no understanding of combustion, buys a boiler from a discounter at the best price, installs it with no permitting, and has no need to know what a professional should know.
    More dumbing down of the industry and turning it over to the DYS market.
  • Henry Henry @ 6:04 PM
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    Dampers

    While we don't install the residentiel 8 series, we do a few 19 series and a lot of 28s. My steamfitter (yes, steamfitter as he has a heating card) asked me about the damper for this weeks 28HE steam install. I told him to put in the the T and wait for the combustion test The 19 and 28 series have adjustable plates to control draft and might not need dampers. It all depends on the chimney! This one this week did not need a barometric. If is meets specs, then you don't need it.
    Henry
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 7:00 PM
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    Even a positive-pressure boiler

    like those Smiths, the Burnham V9 or V11, Peerless SC or LC or the Weil-McLain 80 or 88 series would need a regulator if the chimney draft varies enough to change the over-fire pressure. This pressure must remain constant if the burner is to run properly, just like the negative pressure on a negative-draft boiler. Positive-pressure firing by itself does NOT eliminate the need for a draft regulator unless the draft remains constant throughout the season without one.

    In order to determine this you would have to measure the draft on a mild day as well as when it's colder. The difference may surprise you.

    It's easier to just install a proper draft regulator than to deal with the call-backs you might get without one.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • JPAlex JPAlex @ 11:58 AM
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    Potential issues without draft control?

    Thanks everyone for your feedback, really appreciate it! So from what I gather, there is really no harm in having the draft control installed and I should keep bugging the technician or hire someone else to do it.

    What would be the worst case scenario if I didn't have the draft control though? Would my burner simply use up more oil or could there be any damage to the actual unit? What would be the reason for potential call backs? Any strong reasons I could use as an argument to convince the technician to install the draft control now?

    And the banging in the pipe continues. I checked and it looks like the radiator and the pipe are both pitched correctly. Could it be something with the valve at the radiator? The banging always starts towards the end of the heating cycle, when the desired temperature at the thermostat is about to be reached. I did not have this problem with the old boiler...
  • BobC BobC @ 8:17 AM
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    Hammer

    You may have some near boiler piping issues, this article covers various types of water hammer, it's towards the end of the list.

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/article-categories/96/Problems-that-plague-ONE-PIPE-steam-heating-systems

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @76,700 BTU, Single pipe steam


    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in


    3PSI gauge
  • JStar JStar @ 7:32 PM
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    Draft control

    Why do we install Temperature/Pressure relief valves? The boiler SHOULD never need one...

    Why do we install roll out safeties? The boiler SHOULD never need one...

    Why do we install draft control dampers?...
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac


    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.

    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    (Formerly "ecuacool")
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