How to adjust oil furnace electrodes and flame?

Page 1 of 5  
Hi folks, I have an old cast iron boiler that used to burn coal back in the 1940's, and had been converted over to heating oil. It uses a pretty standard looking 3450 motor that's about 30 years old, and I clean and maintain the boiler myself (a pretty damn messy job, I know). The only problem is, I'm not sure how to properly adjust the ignition electrodes. I just vacuumed out the boiler, replaced the oil filter, and then replaced the fuel nozzle with exactly the same kind that it was using before (60 degrees spray angle, 1.35 gallons per hour flow rate). The problem is that even when I open the air intake band all the way, the flame is still long, red and smoky. I tried another new fuel nozzle with the same results, so I'm pretty sure that the nozzle isn't clogged up. I'm guessing it has something to do with the position of the ignition electrodes possibly interfering with the fuel spray pattern, and I suppose I could go back and forth about a hundred times disassembling and reassembling the fuel gun assembly until I get the electrodes perfect, but if anybody out there can give me the proper specifications I would very much appreciate it (there is no specs label on this motor, I checked).
Also, can anybody give me some tips on adjusting the flame? I have some general idea that the flame should be made as big as possible, without giving off any smoke or long red "fingers". When I adjusted it last year, the furnace seemed to run pretty efficiently and there wasn't much soot in it when I cleaned it out, but it would be great if anybody could give me any tips on this. Thanks in advance :-)
- Logic316
"I don't mind what Congress does, as long as they don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses." -- Victor Hugo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 30 Oct 2008 18:38:39 -0400, "Logic316"

I have a tip for ya...make sure your life insurance is paid up dumbass.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

laaa laaa laa. You are the forger dipwad.I am the real ftwhd and I approve this message.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I just vacuumed out

Sounds like you have too much oil flow or not enough air flow...
Are you sure the old nozzle was 1.35 gal per hour and not less?
Did you mess with the pressure regulator?
Is something clogging up the air flow?
Also some burners have two sets of air bands, on is a coarse adjustment and one is a fine adjustment?
Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I didn't touch the fuel pressure regulator screw, I already know from what I've read on the web that that's a big no-no without having the proper meter. The fuel nozzle is definitely the same as what was previously on there (I had also tried a smaller nozzle that's 1.00 GPM, and it's just as smoky). I had cleaned out whole the air intake last year and it's still clear now. There isn't a fine adjustment anywhere, just the big collar on the left of the motor.
- Logic316
"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 30 Oct 2008 20:14:25 -0400, "Logic316"

Is the flame retention ring in position, and did the nozzle position gen changed?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The retention ring has no way of being moved up or down along the fuel pipe, though it can be twisted around slightly. It looks pretty primitive, as it's permanently machined in place and there is no adjustment there. I see no way to adjust the position of the nozzle either, you just change it and that's it.
- Logic316
"If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think you might need a new burner? What else could it be?
-zero

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

New burner? It's only 30 years old. LOL. The furnace is 60 years old and was designed to burn coal. You think it just might make sense to buy a new furnace? With the price of oil today, it's hard to imagine how you could not save enough in fuel costs to justify a new furnace. You're likely sending substantial $$$ up the chimney, while fretting over how to try to tune up a dinosaur, which even if burning as best it can, still is inefficient compared to a new furnace.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Oct 31, 8:10am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

What is it, he first says cast iron boiler, bubbass dreams up furnace, now its a cast iron furnace? If cast furnace its 50-60% efficent, a boiler maybe 65% overall, He should dump whatever it is and get a high efficency unit, what a waste.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What is it, he first says cast iron boiler, bubbass dreams up furnace, now its a cast iron furnace? If cast furnace its 50-60% efficent, a boiler maybe 65% overall, He should dump whatever it is and get a high efficency unit, what a waste.
It's a boiler. I'll agree it's a dinosaur that should be replaced, but for now I just want to make the most of what I've got.
- Logic316
"...trusting the government with your privacy is like having a Peeping Tom install your window blinds." -- John Perry Barlow
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I bet your still driving a 60 year old car too just to make the most of what you have.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You've got something against classic cars? I do drive an older car, as a matter of fact (because I can do most of my own repairs), though admittedly not anything quite that old. Anyhow, maybe I just have a hardon for antique cast iron. It does look very pretty for a boiler, and I consider it a piece of history that's too nice to be consigned to a scrapyard. And if it works as well as it did last year, then I'll be happy with it for now.
- Logic316
Expert:(n) from EX as in 'has been' and SPURT, 'a little drip under pressure'.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What you have is something that is obsolete and will cost more to replace if it fails when contractors are in high demand, when its real cold out I bet you could cut cut your bill in half with a new unit, run the numbers on a payback instead of guessing, its an investment.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 31 Oct 2008 09:42:45 -0700 (PDT), ransley

Well, my situation was a little different - I heat with gas forced air. My furnace was something like 30 years old when I decided to replace it with a good high-tech non-condensing furnace.
My gas consumption DID NOT CHANGE AT ALL. What did go down was my hydro bill - the new blower is a LOT more efficient (DC Direct drive).
Last time I had the old burner checked (about 5 years before I replaced it) the tech could not believe how efficiently it was burning (and I had set it up myself) I could do whatever needed to be done on the dynasour. On the new furnace things are a bit more complex, but I've already had to repair the inductor fan because the dealer could not get one when mine got noisy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
logic 316 , Lets get down to basics here. Your 1940s conversion in a coal boiler was never a good idea even when fuel was way less expensive. Your stack temps have got to be very high unless the chamber was re configured to support proper combustion. Fyi an oil fire burns in its own reflected heat in a properly constructed chamber. without that your'e always going to have trouble attaining a decent fire. to set an oil fire properly you MUST use a combustion analyzer , stack temp thermometer , and an accurate oil pressure guage. Sir , with all due respect this is a job for professionals. You shoud realize that your setup at best will never be efficient , & start thinking new eqp't...regards..jack
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

New equipment sounds like a good idea.
- Logic316
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties. -- Sir Francis Bacon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gentlemen , by this time you must realize that logic316 is totally intractable and will never 'get it'. you'll never change his mind and he is obsessed with winning this exchange . i've seen this many times on this site , let him keep his totally outdated , inefficient , oil gobbling monster a save our good advice for someone who would listen and appreciate what we have to offer. imho we should shine him on & move on.......regards........Jack
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"Intractable", that's one I haven't heard in a while. Is that some pedantic high school vocabulary word you haven't used since you were quizzed on it and now suddenly felt you just *had* to use on this special occasion, or perhaps something you obtained from a recent copy of Reader's Digest (an excellent magazine for people with short attention spans who can't be bothered to read entire books), or did you go out of your way to consult www.thesaurus.com simply on my account? In any case, I'm quite flattered.

I will keep my old boiler only until I can afford a new one. I do realize it would cost me more money in the long run if I don't get rid of it soon, but right now at this moment, a replacement just isn't an option. It's as simple as that, you silly cad. Not to mention, it's completely coated with ASBESTOS insulation. I would need to pay a separate cleanup company a sizeable fee just to properly dispose of that stuff in an environmentally safe and legal manner. Do you honestly think I haven't thought about any of this before? Begone, you half-educated philistine, and trouble me with your presence no more.
- Logic316
"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight up." -- Fred Hoyle
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.