The Wall
Forum / Gas Heating / Gas Conversion Burners
  • Post a Reply to this Thread

    Gas Conversion Burners (39 Posts)

  • Chris Chris @ 7:09 PM
    Contact this user

    Gas Conversion Burners

    Came across something for the first time today and wondering if this is going to be a trend with gas lines going in all over the place and consumers wanting to convert from oil to gas.

    An inspector in NJ wanted a letter from the boiler mfg stating that the boiler could be converted from oil to gas. He didn't care what the conversion burner company said. Those of us that know what the boiler mfg installation manual says already know the answer from the boiler mfg, This also wasn't an old boiler.

    In the end, boiler has to be ripped out and replaced with a gas boiler rated for the job, The point I'm making, guys in NJ may need to start doing their due diligence as this may be something you might see more of from inspectors.

    This isn't about will the burner work, when set up and installed properly but rather god forbid something happens, guess who is liable?
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
    This post was edited by an admin on August 6, 2013 7:10 PM.
  • JStar JStar @ 7:16 PM
    Contact this user

    Gas

    What town was this in?

    So far, the only manufacturer that gives us trouble is Weil McLain. But Carlin said their SGO boiler is approved.
    - 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")
  • Chris Chris @ 7:21 PM
    Contact this user

    RIght In Your Neck

    Of the woods about 14 miles North of you. Doesn't matter what the burner company says, the boiler mfg manual rules. Just wondering if this is going to become a trend. Inspectors talk. I'm sure he just didn't pull his request out of the air.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • JStar JStar @ 8:00 PM
    Contact this user

    Gas

    I can probably guess the town. I'm thinking about a 100 year old plumbing inspector who hates everybody.

    This is annoying. Now we'll have to call the town on every estimate, probably getting the high school girl on the phone who doesn't know anything.
    - 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")
  • Chris Chris @ 8:09 PM
    Contact this user

    Actually

    Inspector is right. Unless the boiler mfgs start to test and change the manuals could become the norm. I think because the influx of gas lines going in and consumers wanting to get off oil in droves, safety has to come first.

    We preach heat loss, heat loss, heat loss and install manual, install manual, install manual so why is this any different?

    This is a subject that needs to be addressed and conversed on. While you and others do your due diligence in the installation, you know as well as ,I there are 10 guys behind you that don't..

    From a liability stance, the homeowner needs to be made aware that the mfg of the boiler they have installed in the basement doesn't approve the conversion. That's the right thing to do and part of our job.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
    This post was edited by an admin on August 6, 2013 8:11 PM.
  • JStar JStar @ 8:17 PM
    Contact this user

    Agreed

    We take it for granted that we're doing the right job. Not everybody does. I usually take the side of the inspector.

    But, I think there are a lot of things that we do in the field that are safer and more efficient than what's in the manual, though. The manufatrer only publishes enough information to cover themselves legally, without ostricizing their biggest buyers.

    I'm also a firm believer in improving the industry. If certain companies cannot install a piece of equipment correctly, they should be failed or penalized otherwise. Somebody can install a regular ol' atmospheric boiler, and make it more dangerous than a power burner. Combustion results should be mandatory in order to pass inspections on ANY fuel-burning appliance.
    - 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")
  • Chris Chris @ 9:06 PM
    Contact this user

    I Agree Also

    Sometime I wonder why mfg's dumb'd down the industry. I really believe that. Back in the day mfg's didn't care if it was installed wrong, they gave a contractor a block, control, pump or what ever and covered for them. In essence enablers for a dumb'd down industry all in the end for the almighty dollar. Then came the age of lawyers, lawsuits and accountability and there are a lot of installers that still want and need the cover. Now that cover comes from the wholesaler in some instances and when it doesn't they get mad and do biz elsewhere.

    I am not saying all, but I feel that majority out weighs the minority of those in the trade that want and do the right thing.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 8:37 PM
    Contact this user

    The precedent for these conversion burners

    was all the coal-to-oil and coal-to-gas conversions done in the 1930s thru the 1950s. This is why oil and gas burners are listed for conversion/upgrade as well as OEM applications. Were this not the case, homeowners would still be using coal unless they could afford a completely new boiler.

    But you're always gonna find one pompous twit of an inspector who just won't approve anything unless it fits his own narrow interpretation of things. This is the time to push the town to replace him.
    "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.
    This post was edited by an admin on August 6, 2013 8:39 PM.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 9:41 PM
    Contact this user

    We need an ally here

    and I'm thinking the NG utilities are candidates.

    Anything which reduces the changeover cost will win them customers.  Convince them of the opportunity and they *might* pull some levers.
  • Chris Chris @ 10:03 PM
    Contact this user

    They May

    But that would be dependent on what side deals they make with mfgs..Remember all these boiler were installed prior to any testing or data with conversion burners..

    Steam, I don't feel its a bad inspector. He is actual doing his job. The boiler manuals in most if not all cases say you cannot convert to gas. Now that the gas companies are now providing service where every they can, I can see the potential for an issue as the number of consumers who want to convert existing boilers seek out the cheapest guy to do it.

    My stance on this has always been to inform the consumer that the mfg says the boiler cannot be converted, it voids the warranty and the decision is up to them. I know they work and work well when installed and set up properly. But like I said to JStar there are 10 guys behind you that don't do the due diligence as you do.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 12:40 AM
    Contact this user

    Some boiler manufacturers put that in the manual

    because they're afraid of alienating oil suppliers who buy their boilers. It's politics, purely and simply, and we all know how useless politicians are. It's also a suicidal business practice since the oil companies' market share is declining steeply due to their own incompetence as well as oil prices.

    There is no technical or safety reason that a wet-base, power-burner boiler, originally supplied with an oil burner, cannot be fired efficiently and safely with a current-model power gas burner. Period. If this were not true, listing agencies such as UL would not list these burners for conversions or upgrades.

    If you compare today's gas conversion burners with those used in the coal-conversion era, we find improvements such as:

    1- Direct spark electric ignition instead of standing pilot. This sidesteps the risk of gas being released into the basement if a pilot goes out. Some of you younger guys might not know that many of the older pilot safety controls did not shut off the pilot gas if it went out- just the main burner.

    2- Safety controls that respond much more quickly. Primary controls used on burners like the Carlin EZ-Gas and Midco EC series burners have trial-for-ignition periods of 5 or 6 seconds, as opposed to at least 15 seconds on oil-burner controls, and if the flame fails during a run they can shut off the gas supply in less than a second- we verify this on every power gas burner we install. With a traditional thermocouple on a standing pilot, Code allows three minutes to shut off the gas supply in either of the above scenarios. That can amount to a LOT of gas.

    3. The flame on a wet-base boiler with a power gas burner is better protected from flashing out into the boiler room if there is a delayed or otherwise improper ignition. I've seen a malfunctioning spark-to-pilot gas valve on a residential atmospheric boiler open the main valve together with the pilot valve at start-up, and the resulting ignition of accumulated gas flashed several feet into the room.

    If someone like Tim McElwain, an industry luminary if there ever was one, can convert as many boilers as he has and never have a problem, we can do the same.
    "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.
  • Chris Chris @ 7:34 AM
    Contact this user

    I Agree Wth You

    In every aspect of your post except for the most important from a liability stand point. You own the boiler and owe it to the consumer to inform them that you just installed a burner on their boiler that the boiler mfg does not approve. Until the boiler mfg approves it that statement doesn't change no matter how many are installed, how they perform or if there the greatest product since sliced bread..
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • HomeOwner1 HomeOwner1 @ 9:28 AM
    Contact this user

    Oil Boiler companies will lose

    Factors:

    High Cost of Oil compared to natural gas.
    Cast iron boiler efficiency compared to condensing modulating

    From a pure cost aspect, most people will probably just choose to rip it out in today's market if pressed like that. Payback is very quick and they get a new warranty.
    We simply replaced ours because the payback was so quick. Conversion was quickly dismissed.

    The oil boiler companies will simply lose. There is no winning for them taking that stance. No good can come of it for them. Very unwise and non-strategic in today's business climate.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 2:44 PM
    Contact this user

    Following that logic

    if you had a relatively recent oil-fired boiler that for whatever reason needed a whole new oil burner, and the OEM burner was no longer made like (unfortunately) a Sunray, you wouldn't be allowed to install a Beckett, Carlin, Riello etc. You'd have to completely replace the boiler. Unless the boiler is in bad shape, that won't go over too well with anyone who is not a one-percenter.

    If you're not comfortable installing conversion gas burners, no one is going to force you to do so. But obviously, others will be more than willing to install them.

    Given the current economic conditions, conversion burners look very attractive to a lot of people. This is especially true with recently-installed steam boilers, since the thermal efficiency of a wet-base steamer is demonstrably better than that of an atmospheric steamer. As energy-efficiency standards get tighter, atmospheric boilers will be the first to go off the market. Power burners, conversion or on brand-new boilers, will become the standard especially on steam.

    Both Tim McElwain and George Lanthier offer training on various conversion burners. I'm sure if it really was a bad idea to install them, they would not offer such training. Tim and George have been around a long time, longer than any of us, and I respect their experience. Same with Carlin, Midco, Riello and others who make conversion/upgrade burners- would they put all that money and effort into something that couldn't be sold?
    "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.
  • Chris Chris @ 2:49 PM
    Contact this user

    The Logic

    Is that you may, but most do not even make the homeowner aware that the mfg of the boiler doesn't allow it. Installers make the choice for them. In my book that's being dishonest for the buck. There is nothing wrong with making the consumer aware and letting them make the choice. I think I made it clear that they work and work well when installed and set up properly.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 3:39 PM
    Contact this user

    Most of our customers

    have already heard that line, from someone trying to sell them a whole new boiler, and it doesn't matter to them. What they want is someone who will install the unit properly, and come and fix the unit if a problem comes up- and that's us, not a manufacturer.

    I seem to recall that was the case when Tim worked for the Providence gas company- as long as the gas company supported what they converted, there were no issues. Given Tim's long, illustrious career, I'd bet some of the boilers he converted were made by companies that had since gone out of business. It would have fallen to the burner manufacturers and installers to make them work properly (Tim, if I got any of this wrong, please correct it).

    There are some situations where we won't recommend converting a boiler- if it's in bad shape, undersized, oversized, etc. But most people expect a boiler to last at least 15-20 years, so a conversion burner protects that investment. We had one customer with a five-year-old boiler, in good condition, who actually threw out someone who insisted they replace it to convert to gas. That's why they're our customer now.
    "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.
  • Chris Chris @ 6:01 PM
    Contact this user

    Had A Conversation Today

    With the owner of a rep agency that represents a well known
    Boiler mfg. His opening statement, Funny you should ask
    Chris, we are seeing the same thing in our market where
    Inspectors are failing their boilers where someone
    converted them from oil to gas. It's a serious issue that
    needs to be addressed. Not only does it void our warranty but
    may also open the homeowner up to loss of home insurance
    coverage if the boiler was the cause of an issue. The contractor
    would be liable.

    Like I said early, is this the beginning of the end for
    Gas conversion burners?
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
    This post was edited by an admin on August 7, 2013 6:08 PM.
  • JStar JStar @ 6:39 PM
    Contact this user

    Burners

    This is where we need to intervene. Stuff like this cannot happen to our industry. It's a joke. Who has the credibility to take this on? AHRI? GAMA? Anybody? Maybe nobody will see it as a worthy cause. The manufacturers sure aren't being helpful. And what next...commercial boilers being converted to atmospheric. Disgusting.
    - 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")
  • SWEI SWEI @ 7:10 PM
    Contact this user

    Trade organizations

    controlled by manufacturers are not likely to do anything which even slightly endangers those manufacturers' revenue streams.  How much clout do Carlin and Powerflame have with GAMA?

    I started to make a list of groups which might suffer from decreasing use of gas guns:

    Gas gun manufacturers and (manufacturers reps)
    Gas gun installers
    Natural Gas utilities (and to a lesser degree LPG marketers)
    Environmental regulators
    Environmental advocates (NGOs)

    I see this as an opportunity to get conversions "officially" approved, and at the same time to establish some standards which could reduce the number of completely botched installs.  IAPMO?
  • JStar JStar @ 7:37 PM
    Contact this user

    Gas

    Start calling yout favorite manufacturers. In fact, CALL EVERYBODY! I am all over this topic recently. So far, I've been getting brushed off quite often. I have the service rep at Carlin looking into this as well. He is an absolute gem, and a great man to have on our side.
    - 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")
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 10:21 PM
    Contact this user

    You talking about

    Bruce?
    "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.
  • JStar JStar @ 6:08 AM
    Contact this user

    Carlin

    Yup.

    I emailed him at 5:30pm on a Friday. He called me back at 5:35pm while on vacation in Maine, and spent a half hour answering my questions. That's all I ever need to know about somebody...
    - 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")
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 1:50 PM
    Contact this user

    He's

    one of the best!
    "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.
  • Chris Chris @ 7:41 PM
    Contact this user

    Why Would They

    They want to sell boilers not let Carlin and others sell burners...That's a business decision and a smart one if you ask me..Ok, let's say they test today's boilers that doesn't mean anything in service prior would be able to be converted..

    This is where I don't understand a lot of guys that post here often. You preach install manual, install manual, install manual but when what you preach doesn't provide you the answer you want it's, that darn mfg..

    It's been in the manuals for years and more then likely not enforced because oil prices were low and consumers weren't looking to convert..Welcome to 2013, it's an entire new world..

    I can say one thing. Come to us and purchase a conversion burner. Your invoice will say.

    It is the purchaser/installers responsibility to consult the installation and/or operating manual issued by the manufacturer of the furnace, boiler, water heater or any appliance/equipment being converted from oil to natural or lp gas for approval. XXXX assumes no liability nor is responsible for improper installation..

    Or

    May just stop selling them period..
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • JStar JStar @ 7:46 PM
    Contact this user

    Gas

    I've never preached anything other than doing more than what the install manual states. We consider the install manual as a guide to minimum standards. It's our job to go one step further. That's what separates technicians from experts.

    However, I do agree about the issue of liability. None of us want that lawsuit to happen. That's why it's so important to have this language and nay-saying changed. Conversion burners are a viable option for many systems. There is no reason to drive them out of existence.
    - 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")
  • Chris Chris @ 7:52 PM
    Contact this user

    I Agree

    That when installed, set up properly and maintained they work like champs. I will never say they won't operate great. Again, the 10 guys behind you that don't do what you and Steam do negate that. It's sad but true..
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 10:19 PM
    Contact this user

    Let me guess-

    Burnham?
    "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.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 7:52 PM
    Contact this user

    How is this different

    from installing a power venter?  Does every boiler manufacturer approve every power venter on every boiler?
  • Chris Chris @ 8:20 PM
    Contact this user

    They Have

    In the past. I get plenty of call of adding one to steam boilers and get the same answer as I do with the subject at hand. This is an inspector issue going by the install manual on the subject burners and by the manuals they are correct. None of us can deny that.

    Like you said before, where is the PHCC, GAMA and other trade organizations? There in the other pocket..:)

    This is a great subject of debate in getting everyone's stance on conversion burners.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
    This post was edited by an admin on August 7, 2013 8:22 PM.
  • Tim McElwain Tim McElwain @ 10:42 AM
    Contact this user

    I have been following this posting

    with much interest,  waiting to hear comments from various folks. So far pretty much those who are actually installing the burners are the ones commenting. I want to sit down and really think about this subject once again. This came up back in 1970 when I was with the utility. A local inspector read the I and O manual from the manufacturer which stated that they were not liable for any alterations to their boiler and that all warranty would be voided. This prompted him to shut down a recently converted boiler done by the way by the gas company. I was not in management at the time but remember that a simple letter from the manufacturer was all that was needed. Simple enough but not always the case today with lawyers around. Forget the utilities getting involved with this as they want to stay friends with everyone and not make any waves. They are enjoying a heyday why spoil it now. They do not care much what gets put in as long as it burns gas.

    I promise to get back on this subject, I just find now days it pays to think on things before commenting. You would be surprised who reads the postings here on HeatingHelp.

    Quick solution contact boiler manufacturer before doing the conversion and get their approval. This worked recently for a homeowner calling a particular company and getting a letter back giving permission for a licensed qualified contractor to convert their boiler.

    By the way there is a ANSI Standard for the Installation of Gas Conversion Burners it it is Z21.8 (Revision 2002).
  • HomeOwner1 HomeOwner1 @ 10:48 AM
    Contact this user

    Good luck getting a letter

    My contractor warned us about this when we were considering out options. Said it was an impossible task.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 11:03 AM
    Contact this user

    This seem like a consumer thing

    We see burners reconfigured, upgraded or changed quite regularly in the industrial/commercial space.
  • Jim Davis Jim Davis @ 8:34 PM
    Contact this user

    Manufacturers and inspectors

    When you are talking about inspectors you are talking about egotesticle(I didn;t spell this wrong, its a new word) authoritative, mechanical morons.  Theyare that way in many parts of the country.  Once in a while you may find an intelligent one but I doubt it.  I am in Minnesota right now and the  constractors have been telling me about the idiots that inspect their jobs and their opinionated, non-practical requirements.  I put up with it in Cincy.  It is impossible to expect any of them to have common sense or anything else.  My inspectors told me they didn;t accept AGA as an authority many years ago?
    Manufacturers commit to nothing.  Back in the 80's they tried to void their warranties when we added spark ignition and flue dampers.  They will dismiss their warranty if you use a wrong screw. 
    I keep hearing if something goes wrong what will happen.  What is going to go wrong.  I sold gas conversion burner in the 70's,80's & 90's for oil boilers by the bushel.  Nothing has gone wrong yet. 
    Wasn't there a post on here about a water heater that was exploding.  One of you came out and modified a design flaw and it worked perfectly.  When the manufacturer came out he made you change it back and it exploded again.  They turned their backs and walked away.  The home owner had to buy another make. 
    Whose approval is on the burner?  Maybe they need to be called and told your local authority doesn't accept their certification.  Maybe the burner manufacturer needs to be questioned about false advertising.  Could this be a restraint of trade?  I hate when stupid people rule!!!
    Once a boiler leaves the plant the manufacturer doesn't own it and has nothing to say about it other than warranty.  The only thing in warranty is the boiler sections and there is no way a gas burner is going to hurt them if an oil burner didn't. They fire with a lower flame temperature.  Anyone afraid of what might happen needs to figure out what they are doing wrong because only a mistake by them could cause a problem.
    Does doing something on a job that is code approved guarantee nothing will happen?  Are we afraid?  Most the jobs I see that cause problems are code and manufacturer approved which would be about 99%. 
    An Inspector wouldn't know safe if it hit him in the face. 
    The manufacturer says he not reponsible for alterations and modifications, nor should he be, that is our job.  Doesn't that statement in their instuctions tell us we can do it as long as we are responsible?  Aren't we anyway?
    At least three of us know the drill.  Don't be afraid to do your job!!
  • BobC BobC @ 7:57 AM
    Contact this user

    Last year

    after my Smith G8 (with a Carlin EZ-Gas) was installed, the installer made arrangements for the town inspector to come bless it. On that day the inspector got to the house and asked to see the installer, I told him the installer had just called and was stuck in traffic and would be there in 5-10 minutes. The inspector said he had better things to do that wait for the damn installer and for me to have the installer reschedule, on his way back to the car i heard him call someone and tell them he would meet them for a round at the local golf course in 10 minutes.

    If I was the installer I would have made damn sure I was at the the house to meet the inspector BUT it was obvious this inspector was a lot more interested in a game of golf at 11:30 AM on a Friday than he was at inspecting a new boiler. The inspection happened three weeks later and the only thing the inspectr wanted to see was proof thae piping was free of any leaks. He looked at the boiler for about 10 seconds, and then spent the 5 minutes talking to the installer about sports while waiting for the balloon not to deflate.

    I mailed the installer a check to cover the bulk of the bill a few days later and paid him the last 15% when the inspection passed. He was at fault for not being there the first day but he didn't deserve to be punished for three weeks for the perceived slight to the lord high inspector.

    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
  • jumper jumper @ 4:47 PM
    Contact this user

    mom & pop boilers

    In the fifties & sixties heating contractors installed boilers from nobody we'd recognize. Who knows where the ASME stamps came from? Gas company approved contractors later converted to gas. Boiler insurance inspectors never questioned. First the boiler manufacturer can't be found; second they'd have no idea.

    What safety issues are with a boiler? A furnace may be a different story.
  • Tim McElwain Tim McElwain @ 1:45 PM
    Contact this user

    Liability is a fact everyday

    in our business. That is why you need a good lawyer on call, a business plan, a company policy book, a good accountant and lots of insurance.

    Early on I determined that my knowledge of boilers and furnaces in relation to operation, combustion etc was sufficient to get into the conversion business. It was a good way to make money on the side in the evening and on weekends.Upon the advice of an old timer I decided to pick up any warranties on equipment that existed at the time of conversion. I did that on every job that required it (some were already out of warranty). I never had to make good on one after over 3,000 conversions.

    Jim Davis hit the nail on the head about some inspectors, most of them know very little about combustion, controls or gas safety. Most of the time I find myself educating them on jobs. Be polite and courteous and try to help the poor guys so they can help you.

    As for these recent issues I would take it before your local AHJ and get a ruling once and for all in your area. In my area at least 10 conversions a week that I know of are going in and no problems yet with inspectors.

    I would advise getting some training on installing these burners before you go at it blindly. Sorry folks have to pay big bucks for Z21.8 I would have given you a copy if you ask for it all you would have to pay is printing cost and shipping usually less than $5.

    My next Conversion Burner 3 day class (with live firing) is October 1, 2 and 3 - 2013.
  • Tanglewood Tanglewood @ 2:27 PM
    Contact this user

    Large Liability

    With respect to Burnham, it advised that no conversions ever be performed on their equipment. It is against the manufacturer designations on all equipment and clearly in the documentation.

    Any inspector inspecting a Burnham conversion will get the order to fail the inspection when consulting with the manufacturer. Every time. No conversion manufacturer will provide documentation to support that it will meet code either since it is not approved by Burnham.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 12:49 AM
    Contact this user

    What market are you in

    in which the inspectors are giving you trouble with conversion burners?
    "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.
  • Tim McElwain Tim McElwain @ 11:31 AM
    Contact this user

    Large Liability really no more

    than you work under everyday when you change controls or retrofit a system, replace an old obsolete pilot with a completely different one, The list of things we do which voids warranty and manufacturer involvement is vast.
  •  
Post a Reply to this Thread