Joined on August 25, 2004
Last Post on January 22, 2014
@ November 6, 2013 8:17 AM in Combustion Analysis ResultsYour flue temperature is too low. It should be close to 400 degrees. I did not see any CO readings.
Putting less fuel into equipment doesn't take advantage of all the surface of the heat exchanger. It takes temperature difference to get heat transfer. Your steam temperature is around 215 degrees and the flue temperature is 300 degrees. Not much transfer is going to occur in the top of the boiler.
O2 below 3% are unusual on residential equipment without making CO. If opening up the air shutter quiets the boiler down then maybe opening the shutter and giving more fuel will bring everything closer in line,
Actual boiler efficiency is not 84%. With it being underfire it is most likely is the 60% range. Maximun efficiency without condensing would be around 73%.
Analyzer calculations for efficiency are rarely representative of actual efficiency.
@ October 29, 2013 10:54 AM in co testingAs above, the round drafthoods have to be tested on the left, center and right.
Rectangular hoods allow for each burner to be tested independantly.
@ October 29, 2013 8:31 AM in co testingActually neither Bacharach or Testo show the proper way to test a boiler with a drafthood which is why most are tested incorrectly.
@ October 28, 2013 9:37 AM in co testingSomething that didn't make sense with the question is that you had a CO reading of 600ppm. This boiler would have more than one burner therefore there should be a reading for each burner. If there is a round drafthood on top, it must be traversed from left to right for the highest reading. The highest reading must be watched for a couple of minutes to make sure it doesn't change.
If the drafthood is in the front or rear then CO readings from each and every burner must be taken and watched to make sure they don't change.
I have a feeling the CO is not staying the same which could indicate a major safety issue.
@ October 28, 2013 9:24 AM in Gas conversion burner of choice for a Burnham V-905?As Bob knows, there are no manufacturers that approve any modifications to their equipment in the field. I think that should already be known by those on here after reading the fiasco with the Rinnai water heater.
Once in a while a local code official will be open minded about some of the things we do, but then someone that has very little knowledge about the mechanical operation of equipment is hardly the person I look to for advice or approval.
As soon as a manufacturer says it is okay to do something they become liable. This is not going to happen. It is their job to cover their butts and it is our job to cover our butts.
Competent and qualified contractors should not be afraid to do their job. There would be a whole lot of dead people out there if I had let others dictate what can and can't be done in the field. The field is not a lab with fixed conditions. Infinite variables rely on infinite adjustments and modifications. Changing from an oil burner to a gas burner on a boiler that is approved for both shouldn't be considered any problem at all. Timmy knows and Bob knows and I know.
@ October 28, 2013 6:14 AM in Gas conversion burner of choice for a Burnham V-905?The Power Flame burner would be an excellent choice. I sold Power Flame and Burnham for many years and found they perform quite well together.
Hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment have been modified over the years for many different reasons. With proper care and proper combustion analysis there never were any problems. The skill of the technician play the biggest part in whether something will work properly or not, not the suggestions of others that have never done the work.
@ October 27, 2013 7:21 PM in Gas conversion burner of choice for a Burnham V-905?How many coal boilers were converted to gas or oil without the manufacturers approval? Why do burner manufacturers call them retrofit burners not replacement burners?
For person that are afraid to do their job should not be in this business. Burnham's literature specifically states this boiler can be operated with Gas, Oil or Gas/Oil. Doesn't mention with their permission.
Since when isn't a contractor liable for the work they do?? I don't see manufacturers ever taking the bloame for anything.
I guess if this boiler was steam and you wanted to convert it to hot water that would be a modification that wasn't approved either.
Since when is a Fire Chief an expert boiler/burner man. I bet he never asks for our help when he is at a fire!!!
Stupid is what stupid does. If you are stupid, don't do it. If you are a competent contractor do your job.
I truly believe there should be a catagory on all these HVAC talk sites named:
Mechanical Morons-Submit Your Ignorance
@ October 23, 2013 5:35 PM in is it trueBesides combustion, the human body produces carbon monoxide chemically. Cleaning compounds such as methyline chloride convert to CO in the body and cause CO poisoning. According to my good friend Albert Donnay, a medical guru on CO poisoning and treatment, womens bodies produce high levels of CO when they are pregnant, time of the month and menepause. Men beware! Also chemicals like hydrogen sulfide(battery chargers), cleaning compounds and nitrous oxide can cause all CO Alarms and Analyers to read CO.
@ October 11, 2013 11:43 AM in wall furnace flame recirculationThat has got to be one of the poorest definitions of a problem I have heard? Sounds like he really doesn't know. Maybe its flame fibulation? Or flame resonance? Don't know what any of those mean either. Obviously he didn't do a combusion test!
@ August 21, 2013 3:26 PM in New Carbon Monoxide StudiesA recent study has shown that drywall does not keep car fumes out of homes. If you plan on running your car in the garage you need to find a different material.
(Okay, I added the last line but it seemed to be implied)
CPSC funded a year long study and found that running gasoline power generators in you house can be dangerous and deadly.
(I think it took a year to complete the study because the testers kept being overcome by some type of illness)
I am betting using barbecue grills indoors might be the next study released, but I hear they are having a problem finding volunteers.
@ August 9, 2013 8:34 PM in Gas Conversion BurnersWhen 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!!
@ July 15, 2013 10:11 AM in Beckett AFG StallsIf you have a 2-line system the problem is simple, you are losing prime. If that is a newer burner with the interrupted spark I would expect this to happen. I don't recommend either one. Need to go to single line or constant(intermiitent) spark.
@ July 12, 2013 12:12 PM in Medical Examiner in Utah amazed!Aguy dies from CO poisoning boating on Lake Powell and the Medical Examiner was quoted to say "That is really unusual because he was boating on an OUTDOOR lake!" Do some places have indoor lakes?
@ July 12, 2013 12:04 PM in Travel Carbon Monoxide DetectorThe sensorcon is good and durable. Low level CO monitors that are battery powered are good also.
@ July 12, 2013 12:00 PM in White Smoke after shutdownEven if there is after drip the smoke shouldn't be coming out the front of the burner, it should be going up the flue. So you either have some combustion air issues or possibly a wet chimney.
An oil burner will suck all the combustion air it needs when running, however if there are negative pressure problems that will cease when the burner shuts down. The key is the draft reading, above the baromtric, when the burner shuts down. If the draft disappears within seconds after the burner shuts down the above is your problem.
This is where monitoring CO not CO2 during the Light-off(spike) Run and Shutdown(spike) can be very helpful. The smoke may just be what was in the flue when it shut down and it came back in. The smoke is white because it is mostly clean and contains water.
Combustion air problems are sometimes as easy as adding a supply register to the plenum. A wet flue problem usually means there is no flue cap or the furnace is underfiring and condensing.
If there was a hole in the heat exchanger the smoke would be coming out the whole time not just at the end.. CO readings, Flue T and draft readings can easily solve this problem versus just guessing which has already been done.
If I was guessing I would say the furnace is sending out smoke signals for help!!
@ July 9, 2013 7:49 AM in combustion analyzerPual,
Go www.nationalcomfortinstitute.com for the schedule. Also you can call me anytime and I can fill you in on the class or any other questions.
@ July 8, 2013 2:46 PM in combustion analyzerPaul, Excess Air is a calculation off of the O2 reading. If your O2 is 3% your excess air is 15%. If your O2 is 5% your excess air is 30%. It is just another way of saying O2.
Most regulations for CO and how much equipment can make are based on "Air Free" CO calculations. 400ppm "Air Free" CO is the standard for commercial and industrial flues. It is also the same level for all ventied residential heating appliances. Using "Air Free" to tune equipment can leave it lean unless you shoot for higher numbers. Some say set burners for 100ppm "as read" others say 100ppm "Air Free" Actually you shouldn't set burners for either one. They should be set for the lowest O2 and the best flue temperature(not the lowest.) CO is monitored and is the brakes as far as fuel air mixture. If the CO gets above 100ppm "as read' or 120ppm "Air Free" you should stop.
On a 3-pass boiler making 180 degree hot water should have a flue temperature no lower than 350 degrees or it is underfired and inefficient. A 4-pass boiler would run closer to 300 degrees.
I sold Power Flame burner for years and they set up fairly nice if they are firing towards the top of their capacity. 3% O2 in high fire pretty common. Low fire needs a little more air 5% to 6%. Flue temperatures are based on the type of equipment, what it is making, and the firing rate. It is not fixed but should be in a range,
With the glut of natural gas these days I would think gas companies would penalize you for having dual fuel. In the 70,s, 80,s, and 90,s you got special pricing if there were fuel curtailments. Didn't know they still did that.
There sometimes is a trick for setting up dual fuel burners to make them automatic change over. I'm guessing some of these new direct coupled electronic controllers can make those adjustments today?
Planning on being in northern NJ in September, maybe? Will know better next month.
@ July 3, 2013 2:45 PM in combustion analyzerI have had techs in many classes that had combustion analyzers for years and didn't know what most of the readings really mean and which ones are bogus.
O2 - Oxygen is air which starts at 20.9%. The rest of the air that goes into the burner is Nitrogen at 79%.
The amount of O2 that goes into the burner is controlled by draft and the amount of air that is used is determined by how much fuel is being burned. If the O2 reading is above 9% the appliance is way underfired and totally inefficient,
If the O2 gets too to low then there is too much fuel, assuming the flue and combustion air are good. In this casse CO will be excessive along with the flue temperature. Everything has to be in as specific range or it is not performing correctly. Most manufacturers do not provide the complete list of combustion numbers that are needed on their equipment.
CO and CO "air free".
CO is the actual measurement that your analyzer is reading, which includes the O2 it is mixed with. It is assumed all this air is outside the flame and dilutes the CO in the flame.
CO "air free" is a theoretical calculation of CO directly in the flame with no additonal excess air or O2. Although used by many it is not real. It assumes perfect combustion exists in the flame.
The CO2 reading is calculated and assumes the Btus of fuel never changes which is not true.
The efficiency calculation is usually bogus and can be anywhere from 10% to 50% off.
Knowing how to intepret analyzer readings takes training. As long as the CO is low there is a chance no one will get injured from it, but not necessarily.
@ June 20, 2013 9:21 AM in Same hotel room strikes again?Hate to say it but they are just bad designs or would it be better to say just not a good functional mechanical design. Poor installation is rarely the real problem but that is the best excuse the untrained can come up with.
I just figured this out last year based on an add I received for ANSI certification standards, but the reason they don't put spill switches on equipment is because they are afraid it won't work.
I don't know in the 35 years of my testing and I have done hundreds of hotels, that I even found one working totally safe. Okay, I did test one in Kentucky a year ago that was induced draft and it did test safe. If the recommendations I made were performed it will stay that way. Because of location and just dumb luck they haven't killed more people. But I guarantee many have been poisoned in hotels and didn't know it.
@ June 19, 2013 9:47 AM in Strange residue in Giannoni heat exchangerHas anyone tried to increase the timing on the inducer when the boilers shut down?
Anytime I had any gas induced draft appliance or forced draft, if the post-purge wasn't at least 3 minutes there were problems.
This cannot be provided by the manufacturer because of the penalty deduction from their AFUE rating.
This is hard to do on variable speed inducers but most here are smart enough to figure it out.
@ June 19, 2013 9:32 AM in Must be a meteor shower out thereAfter the CO poisoning in Boone, NC., a reporter stated that the chance of getting CO poisoned in a hotel was the same odds as getting hit by a meteor. Stay inside or you will get hit!
Why? Because on June 14 some guest at a NJ, Holiday Inn Express got poisoned, and on June 17 more people got poisoned at a Travel Lodge at Wisconsin Dells. I am not sure the group home in Parkville, MD qualifies as a hotel but it happend there also. That was more like a nursing home with just old people so that doesn't really count as much.
My son a Captain in the fire department ask me the other day if things are as bad as they were 25 years ago(he actually sat through my CO class then). I said I don't know if they are any worse, but they sure aren't much better. I think stupid has gotten worse.
@ June 14, 2013 4:31 PM in Greatest Co threat?Natural gas does burn much cleaner than gasoline and does give people the ability to actually tune the equipment like any natural gas appliance or even propane ones. I guess the gasoline ones could ber tuned but apparentlky no one knows how. Natural gas does put out a smell if it is running bad enough.