Googling oil furnace soot xxxxx keeps finding sites that tell me
I should inspect and use soot sticks daily. I guess these are
commercial furnaces they are talking about.
Do any of you who have oil heat ever use a soot stick, or do you wait
for the oil burner serviceman?
Creosote produced by an oil furnace? Not likely if you know the
definition of what it is. An oil furnace can produce deposits
but I don't think it can be described as creosote.
On Sat, 08 Jan 2011 06:15:24 -0600, The Daring Dufas
I gogogled creosote and oil furnace but didnt' think to look up
These chimney sweeps and their company are such liars. First he told
me the chimney pipes, tthe stove pipe that goes to thhe chimney was
too dirty to be cleaned, that it would ruin their brush and wouldn't
come clean anyhow, and wanted 685 dollars to replace the pipes, single
wall galvanized steel stove pipe, 6 feet of it with 4 right angles,
with no promise that the chimnney wouldn't need repair work when they
got to that.
The woman who answers the phone there told me he told her I had 1 1/2
inches of soot, even though he told me I had 1/4 to 1/2 inch. After I
pointed that out, she said maybe the phone was bad, but he definitely
said it was the worst he'd ever seen.
And wny the pipes couldn't be cleaned, because of the creosote. Even
though she knew this was the oil furnace chimney and there is none.
The otther company I called is busy until Feb 1 and I'm trying to
choose between that company and another which can come much sooner and
is cheaper. The first is 50 dollar more than the liars, and the
second is the same price as the liars, 125. I just hate to think that
anyone who charges 125 is a liar and a thief.
On Sat, 08 Jan 2011 06:15:24 -0600, The Daring Dufas
I hadn't read this all the way through.
It says "Burning wood and fossil fuels at low temperature causes..."
==> Fuel oil is a fossil fuel so maybe it's saying one can get
creosote from an oil furnace. Even you say it's "not likely".
I probably don't have any, but I don't want to make a point of telling
her boss she lied about this, or mentioning it on the ratings pages,
if she can then point to the possibility, no matter how remote, that
it is true in some cases.
"....incomplete combustion of the oils in the wood, which are
off-gassed as volatiles in the smoke. As the smoke rises through the
chimney it cools, causing water, carbon, and volatiles to condense on
the interior surfaces of the chimney flue. This leaves a black oily
residue referred to as "creosote", which is similar in composition to
the commercial products by the same name, but with a higher content of
On Sat, 08 Jan 2011 20:24:08 -0600, The Daring Dufas
Okay. Great. Then I'll go back to calling her a liar! At least
I'll tell her boss that the repair guys are lying to her or she's
lying to me. (Even though I'm sure she's in on it, and probably the
boss is too.)
"Bunker fuel is also known as fuel oil, and a number of different
===> But that is what I burn, fuel oil. Grade 1 or 2. He seems to
say that all grades are bunker oil.
classifications around the world are used to describe fuel oil; these
classifications break bunker fuel into different categories based on
its chemical composition, intended purpose, and boiling temperature.
In comparison with other petroleum products, bunker fuel is extremely
crude and highly polluting."
Most North Americans will think of thick almost crude oil when someone
mentions "bunker oil". The bottom of the barrel stuff that ships and
power plants may use as fuel because it has the consistency of molasses.
Because of its long chain molecules and carbon content, it does produce
more energy per unit volume when used as fuel. It would be interesting
to have a little heat plant using the stuff to produce heat for one or
a group of homes. Hot water or steam would probably be the best way to
distribute the heat from the mini plant. :-)
Many large cities do have steam lines running from power plants to users.
The most efficient way to move energy is high pressure steam and then reduce
the pressure at the point of use. Hospitals use steam for heating and power
generation too. One that I know of gets one to two tanker trucks of #6 oil
a day. They make heat and some electricity with steam turbines so they have
power available at any time if the utility company ever goes down in a
storm, etc. The power plant is located about a half block away from the
hospital. They make steam at 250 psi and distribute it to the hospital
buildings where it is reduced as needed. You can put a lot of steam in a
smaller pipe with higher pressure.
I had a warehouse a block away from the Alabama Power Powell Avenue
Steam Plant in Birmingham some years ago. It's been around forever
and will soon be shut down. I don't know what is used for fuel but
I'm guessing that it was converted to natural gas long ago.
And even more often, the condensing water vapor from the combustion is
confused with steam.
Even worse is a factory in our town with a water cooling tower. The vapor
coming off the tower looks like smoke in the night lights. At least once a
month a passing motorists calls the fire department and they have to send a
The cooling towers at the hospital complex chilled water plant put out
big clouds of steam during certain weather which freaks out a lot of
people in the area leading them to believe the building is on fire. :-)
Yes, now that you mention it. The U of Chicago had a steam plant on
Cottage Grove Avenue and it provided heat for, I guess, all the school
buildings, 20 or 30, 1/4 to to 1/2 mile away, maybe more.
But despite that, when I got to NY, I used to wonder about the steam
coming out of the manhole covers in Manhattan**. You can see this in
the opening scenes of one or two tv shows. I believe it was from the
steam plant on the East River in the 30's or 20's
Wow, there are four of them, at
# 74th Street Station (at FDR Drive)
# 60th Street Station (at York Ave.)
# 59th Street Station (at 11th Ave.)
# East River Station (14th St. and FDR) (cogeneration)
making both electricity and steam but of course the steam is the
The New York Steam Company began providing service in lower Manhattan
**Clouds of condensation can sometimes be seen rising from manholes in
Manhattan, although this is usually caused by external water being
boiled by contact with the steam pipes, rather than leaks in the steam
There are 3 more in Brooklyn and Queens but I don't think the steam
leaves the property.
Well, thanks you too.
It's very interesting.
And it means I can definitely be fair when I call them liars. It's
sort of silly because the bigger lies are their telling me the pipes
are too dirty to clean, that they are the worst they have ever seen
(with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soot), that it will ruin their brush. The
claim of creosote is just something she threw in when I asked why they
can't clean the pipe with a brush. (and she'll claim she got confused
and was talking about the fireplace chimney. and come up with a
different excuse why they pipes can't be cleaned. Or she'll say they
can do it, but I wouldn't hire them now, but if I complain elsewhere,
they'll say they were ready to clean for the regular price.)
But again, I'm not going to do this until I have the chimney cleaned,
in case the new, hopefully honest guy has something bad to say. If
I'm wrong on one thing with the first people, they'll concentrate on
that and just ignore all the lies they've told me. Of course they'll
do that even if I'm not wrong on anything.
You need a new chimney sweep. You may get soot, but creosote comes as a
byproduct of wood burning. Most times it is not all that dangerous so take
your time to find the right guy. Few people ever clean an oil furnace
flue. I had my boiler replaced and after 30 years, it still did not need
That's good to hear. About four years ago, something was wrong with
the burning, and I did end up with 1 1/2 inches of soot all around
inside the stove pipe to the chimney. The furnace guy from the oil
company who came out fully cleaned the stove pipe but didnt' suggest I
clean the chimney. It seems to me, it might be especially dirty too.
Don't you think so?
He may have been stupid but at least he was diligent. The last
company, the woman on the phone said they always clean from the roof
and the ground, but they arrived 15 minutes before dark, and had
another stop to make after they left my house at 5:45PM, an hour later
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