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Author Topic: I am such an idiot... (LP gas boiler)  (Read 1362 times)
JerryH
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« on: October 28, 2006, 05:17:53 AM »

Ok, not 100% bus related, but maybe some parallels.

Our home, which we built, has a 180,000 Btu Peerless LP boiler for the backup heat.  We've got Carrier high-efficiency heat pumps with LP gas boiler backup rather than 'electric toasters'.

I could probably count on one hand home many times a year I go into the utility room.  That'll change now though.

When I "do" visit, I say to myself ... "I gotta clean the boiler...", then go on my merry way only to return sometime later saying to myself, "I gotta clean the boiler..."  Somebody must have said once, "The time to clean a boiler isn't when it's 40 out..." and when the boiler has gotten SO bad.  Yeah, the "idiot" comment in the subject line -- figure 7+ years of operation and no cleaning.

Gents, it wasn't pretty yesterday.  Wife smelled something from the vents firstfloor.  I went down to check and sure enough, flames were no longer blue ... they were big and yellow and the room smelled nasty.  The exterior stainless vent was blowing black stuff from it -- not pretty.  Fine black powder (really fine) made it's way out of some of the vents.  Mostly contained first floor, where the air handler (in) the boiler room sucked in and pushed some of the fine black powder out.

I looked like someone outta Mary Poppins when I got finished, even my kids didn't recognize me -- that's how bad it was.  The black stuff was everywhere on me.  I scrubbed the floor after reassembly and then try to fire her up.  Yeah, it took additional disassembly and work to then clean out a few orifices where the black stuff found it's way.  NOTE TO SELF:  Next time I clean boiler, tape off any and all orifices!

Anyway, got the heat back up and running. The unit is nice and clean, the area is almost clean again -- and I think I got most of the black ... my skin rubbed raw.  Linda is laughing a bit though.  I can't get ALL the black from under my eyes, looks like I am wearing mascara.  Says I remind her of Johnny Depp (in pirates).  Guess it could be worse.

So moral to the story?  Check your gas devices regularly ... clean the elements annually.  I know I will be.  The moment you look at something and say, "...I gotta clean..."  --  do it then or you might forget like me.

Jerry H.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2006, 05:40:42 PM »

Jerry,

Sorry to hear this.... Only because your LP [propane] boiler is not suppose to have black soot to the extent you discribe...... Oil Furnace, Yea..... not gas..

Jerry, have your LP supplier or HVAC tech check the regulator. [11 inches of water column is the number] You could be too rich or the wrong orfices installed.

Get that checked out!

Nick-

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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2006, 12:33:28 AM »

Another tip - some small spiders LOVE the smell of gas, so they build their nests in the burner jets.  I've seen them in natural gas and propane swimming pool heaters, and had the same problem with a propane heater in the family tent trailer 15 years ago.

Solution is to use a small tool to make sure the jet's clear.  Might have to remove the jet to clean it, then replace.

Amazing how much better and cleaner a heater burns when the jets are clear!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
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