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Joined on September 25, 2005

Last Post on May 30, 2014

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Pay Contractor

@ May 30, 2014 3:33 PM in Heat load calc( to pay, or not to pay)

HO here, fwiw: When we needed a new boiler, I paid a top-notch heating contractor to do the heat calc, then did one myself. Hiring an engineer never occurred to me; alot of them do very large commercial buildings only. Any good heating contractor should know how to a good calc; if they turn out to be your installer so much the better. 

Wax Buildup with Bio

@ April 14, 2014 10:56 AM in High Vac Readings caused by BioFuel 20

Thanks, that confirms same issue here--also on Long Island. Though a very good tech just told me that bio-fuel tends to clean certain kinds of sludge out so theoretically over time the tank could get cleaner and problem might lessen. (Same thing happens I have heard with even the good oil treatments when they are first applied.)

High Vac Readings caused by BioFuel 20

@ April 12, 2014 12:45 PM in High Vac Readings caused by BioFuel 20

Just as a followup on my 'sporadic vac readings' thread, when we had the tuneup last week we found the 50micron tank filter all gunked up. tech reported a waxy buildup lately with alot of the tank filters. Company went from B5 Bio to B20 last year, and that appears to be the culprit. They also changed oil treatment from Avalux to HeatDoc (ODT-21) by Advanced Fuel Solutions specially made for biofuel, so it could be that too. Or it could be that the new treatment is better than the old and is gradually removing some sludge. That may not seem logical since up til now we've never seen sludge in the Roth tank filter or 10 micron burner garber spin.

When tank filter was replaced, vac went from 6 to 3.5 (burner running). When garber spin was replaced, vac decreased from 3.5 to 3.25. Right after filter replacement I watched vac gauge on burner startup. On prepurge vac went from 0 to 1, then gradually up to 3.5 once it fired. It's also very likely that the old suction assembly is pushing vac up one or two notches, but the real question this begs is should I switch to gas since the future effects of bio fuel is unknown? I don't think they'll go higher than B20 but who knows?

So it's the cost of new hard-piped suction assembly, the new Tiger Loop ultra-bio and for-now higher oil costs vs gas conversion of G115 (dual fuel) from Riello 40F3 to Riello 40 G120N and for-now lower natural gas costs. We would get a free gas line into our house via National Grid.

Any experience with HeatDoc (ODT-21) oil treatment by Advanced Fuel Solutions?

@ April 3, 2014 10:09 PM in Any experience with HeatDoc (ODT-21) oil treatment by Advanced Fuel Solutions?

Just found out our oil company switched from Avalux oil treatment to HeatDoc and wondered if anyone has heard of or worked with this. Apparently it's especially for biofuel oil. This is loaded on the truck not put into our Roth tank directly. Must be a fairly new product since I have found no posts on the Wall about it or online except for the company website.


@ March 28, 2014 8:50 PM in Sporadic Vac Readings

Appreciate your answer.


@ March 28, 2014 4:12 PM in Sporadic Vac Readings

"If the pump isn't pumping, and the "syphon" is
established, the only pressure on the gauge is (static?) pressure. It will
correspond with the level in the tank."

So --you meant static pressure in that sentence right?--it is not affected by weight of the oil but the oil level.

Suction Assembly and B20 Bio

@ March 26, 2014 12:11 PM in Sporadic Vac Readings

Last time at the house I checked the tiger loop during burner operation and there was no foaming, at least then.

So back to original problem of 4.5 vac readings, at annual tuneup I'd like the techs to at least open the Roth suction assembly and look at the opening at bottom of the house. Shortly after installation six years ago, they had to replace half-inch rubber hose with 3/4" hose––not sure if wider is better for this item. Roth recommends 3/8" fuel feed. I think spec is 3 inches off bottom, but some companies have kept them six inches off ground. If it looks closed up I'll ask them to replace with metal pipe. I have to mention also that this problem has first appeared as the oil company has gone from B5 to B15 and B20 in one year. So not only does the btus per gallon decrease with Bio, it may cause other issues, not yet known.

Paraphrased from Roth:
The problem of the suction foot slipping off has been resolved with the addition of a hose clamp;
the problem with tubing collapsing under vacuum has been traced to the
aforementioned fuel additives, which can also cause seal failures on air
shutter pistons due to adverse affects on rubber products. Additives containing
napththa should not be used. As an option, suction assembly may be replaced
with a ‘hard-piped’ copper suction line and duplex bushing as in standard steel
tank installation. In that scenario, the fuel additives do not appear to be a
concern. The manual also says that additives added by the distributor in bulk
before loading into the delivery truck do not seem to be a problem.

I finally found the quote--I think from Nora--which explains lift and vac readings:
"1” for each 1
ft of lift, 1” for each 10ft of run and 1” for filter."

So are the techs here saying that the higher vac readings would only happen for a brief interval before a siphon is established when burner is sucking oil?

Otherwise, based on that formula at half tank we’d have about 1ft of lift, a 10ft run, and 2” vac for two filters = 4” vac reading.  A full oil tank would reduce lift a bit. Vac reading always rises during operation, then goes down.

Need to Bleed Oil Lines if Tigerloop installed?

@ March 26, 2014 11:47 AM in Need to Bleed Oil Lines if Tigerloop installed?

Every annual tuneup I have to ask the oil co techs to 'bleed' our one-pipe system. I call it bleeding, flushing, priming not sure. The way I've usually seen it done is at the burner the line is opened and they let the oil run into a little bucket for ten seconds etc. Now they argue that with the Tiger Loop there there's no need for this since that removes the air. Point taken but I always thought the bleeding was to remove possibility of any sludge, not only air. However since we never find any buildup in either the Roth tank 50micron filter or the burner Garber 10 micron spinon--or even the screen at the burner, are they correct?

filter location

@ March 9, 2014 9:46 AM in Sporadic Vac Readings

Thanks. I have seen many threads on various heating sites on this and it is always a debated topic. As I recall some techs say the benefit of the filter being at the tank is that is more likely to keep the lines clean between the tank and burner. (Some techs use a third filter cannister--just a pot without a filter--at the tank before the 50 micron to catch the coarsest sludge.) I'm not looking to re-start that debate all over again, just sayin'.

Since we're supposed to replace the tiger loop next year--based on tiger loop's claimed eight-year life expectancy--perhaps we'll revisit this. At the time the boiler was installed I don't think the combination tiger loop/filter assembly was out yet. Of course now with the bio-fuel percentage going up to 20%? we'll have to get the special tiger loop for that.

one-pipe, not two.

@ March 7, 2014 7:50 PM in Sporadic Vac Readings

Ice Sailor, as far as I understand and have been told, this is a one-pipe system, not two. tiger loop was put in after install by service division who were not as good as the original installers, therefore there is some extra oil piping there that could be neatened up.


@ March 3, 2014 9:23 AM in Sporadic Vac Readings

Thanks for your reply, always appreciate the detail. Next time I'm out to the house I'll watch the cycle a bit and look for the tiger loop foaming--which i've seen before, and vac reading. When burner is not running, vac reading is always less. I'm attaching photos, but Tigerloop was installed as per Tigerloop instructions. FYI I always have a hard time getting the oil co techs to bleed the line for the annual tuneup, either after or before replacing the filters. Most advice I've seen from good techs says they bleed it just as a precaution to remove any sludge from the line. A really good private tech I use occasionally to check things out told me while the Tiger loop is in correct order, there was alot of wasted linework done. For one thing it would be better to have the tigerloop installed right over the spinon. Tigerloops are instructed to be replaced every 8 years, so we have another year to go. And since the bio-fuel percentage is going up to 20%? we'll probably have to use the new biofuel tigerloop model.

Note re: tank photo, we have since made both fill and vent two inch lines.

As for the 50 micron we don't use wool filters, never have. they use those white foam elements, and whenever we replace them there's never sludge in them. The spinons we've gone two years without replacing and never seen sludge in them either.

I'm curious that if we did replace the suction assembly with the hard pipe double bushing etc, would that stop the vacuum leak coming from the top of the tank or is it unrelated?

vac readings

@ March 2, 2014 9:32 PM in Sporadic Vac Readings

This is an indoor Roth tank. We haven't had any heating problems but some techs on another thread mentioned that the vac readings should not fluctuate with the tank oil levels. The consensus I've gotten over the years is that the hard-piped tank assemblies are better than the rubber suction assemblies. Thanks.

Sporadic Vac Readings

@ March 2, 2014 8:51 PM in Sporadic Vac Readings

I've started my own thread from questions I raised on the 'changing the garber filter' thread.

I was stating that the vac level in our Roth tank goes up as the oil level goes down, reaching as high as 4 at 1/4 tank. We have a 50 micron filter at the tank and a 10 micron spinon at the burner. I know there's debates about this but we've been advised that the 50 micron will catch the heaviest sludge without shutting down the burner which might happen if we only had a 10 micron. This is a Buderus G115-3 with Riello 40F3. Our oil co uses Avalux oil treatment. This is a one-pipe system with a tiger loop. This was all installed in 10-06; shortly after the suction assembly failed and they replaced it with a 3/4" tubing and 'reset the bt depth' whatever that means. From the thread below I'd guess that we'd be better off putting in the hard piping.

Sporadic vac reads

@ March 2, 2014 12:34 PM in changing a garber filter

don't want to hijack this thread so i'll start a new one in oil heat later on this evening. Thanks.

when vac reaches 5

@ March 1, 2014 6:08 PM in changing a garber filter

Our vac gauge doesn't have the color warning scheme, just numbers. We have found that as the tank oil level goes down the vac reading goes up, with nothing to do with the filter. (We have a 50 micron at the tank and 100 micron spinon at burner. at every tuneup filters are always clean.) When tank is full vac is almost always 0, and goes up to 4 at about quarter tank. I have heard this is due to 'lift' or distance from burner (only maybe eight feet.) we have a top feeding Roth tank. So did you mean replace the filter if it reads 5 with a full tank of oil?


@ December 3, 2013 7:29 PM in 'Tuning' a gas stove

Based on some of these comments, I'm thinking that the other cause of higher CO readings --aside from alignment, or fuel/air mixture, and more mentioned above-- would be a dirty oven which might increase 'flame quenching'. Seems that when we self-clean the oven the problem goes away.


@ November 24, 2013 8:59 PM in 'Tuning' a gas stove

Oven and stove were on tonight for over an hour, all 0 readings. Also good to remind people not to forget to turn on the rangehood fan--that could certainly cause problems. I've seen some kitchen contractors try to talk customers out of venting to the outside; they just want to vent to nothing.


@ November 24, 2013 6:51 PM in 'Tuning' a gas stove

Thanks, yes we have the NSI low-level detector just outside the kitchen on the other side of the wall; the one outside the bedroom also had same reading which makes sense since the stairs go right up from outside the kitchen. I have one in the basement boiler/hwh/drier room as well, 0 readings there. Reading went to zero once windows were opened. Oven was cleaned, 0 readings from stove use since then, but as you say we should get a tech to check this out. In five or six years this has happened maybe three times. This seems kind of specialized; are there oven range specialists? They would have to know ranges thoroughly. I know it's sometimes hard enough to get a decent combustion test for boilers etc.As I mentioned our range hood fan above the stove is vented directly outside.

Thanks again.


@ November 23, 2013 9:08 PM in 'Tuning' a gas stove

Yes, obviously you're right about the latch. We've never used it with the latch closed except I must have misread some directions. However recently after baking we found our CO detector read an 8ppm. So we put the oven through self-cleaning (with the rangehood fan vent on and kitchen window open), ––and of course latch closed––and cleaned the stovetop, which wasn't too bad--all the burner head holes were clear. We haven't baked since but we'd like to know what caused the CO readings. Dirty oven?

'Tuning' a gas stove

@ November 23, 2013 4:50 PM in 'Tuning' a gas stove

I have seen comments online about getting a gas technician to 'tune your oven and stove burners' but I can't find anything more detailed about it. Once the range is cleaned thoroughly and burner pinholes are clear etc. what else can be done? Adjustments?
I know one thing some people forget to do is latch the oven closed when baking; seems obvious but oven appears to be closed even without latching, so not only is heat escaping, but according to what I've read, the combustion mix doesn't work right.



@ October 25, 2013 9:53 PM in OT basement sump pump or floor drain with inline check valve?

Yes I recall we had a floor drain installed in a coop laundry years ago with the access plate and swinging check valve ten feet away. I remember the plumber saying it would have to maintained at least once a year--cleaned etc. So you have to vent that to the outside--not those minivents that vent to the room?

OT basement sump pump or floor drain with inline check valve?

@ October 25, 2013 6:40 PM in OT basement sump pump or floor drain with inline check valve?

To prevent floods from broken pipes etc I'm looking into sump pump or a floor drain with an inline check valve. basement is 500 sq ft divided into three rooms, one mechanical with boiler, HWH, washer/drier, etc. there is low point near the boiler. A floor drain there would be only about six feet from the underfloor waste line and cleanout. sump pump's the other option. House doesn't flood from heavy rains; most plumbing lines replaced in the 80s but main is galvanized.  other rooms are an office with things we'd really like to keep dry.
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