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  1. #1
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    oil heater air fuel ratio question

    On my oil heater adjusting the air band and shutter I see the flame getting larger and larger as i decrease the air. Set to the smallest air intake the flame is the largest. I never see smoke.

    I did a complete tune up last season and noticed this condition, then and again this season.

    plz look at these videos of my flame and comment:

    https://imgur.com/a/FyTEH7R

    and

    https://imgur.com/a/QCM7pXf

    these are both at the same A/F ratio.

    Your thoughts?

    thanks,
    paul

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulmars View Post
    Your thoughts?
    You cannot tune any furnace, boiler or water heater by looking at the flame - it tells you nothing.

    Only a combustion analyzer, smoke tester and draft gauge will tell you how efficient and safe it is burning.

    Do you have any of these tools?
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

  3. #3
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    I hope your not blindly adjusting your air settings without combustion test equipment.
    “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas Edison

    “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” - Vince Lombardi

    "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics" - Homer Simpson

    Local 486

  4. #4
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    Thread Starter
    manometer
    spot smoke strips ordered
    therometer

  5. #5
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    Not enough.
    Why not let your oil service company or service provider do your testing. It sounds as if you have a poor grasp on what’s involved.
    “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas Edison

    “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” - Vince Lombardi

    "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics" - Homer Simpson

    Local 486

  6. #6
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by rider77 View Post
    Not enough.
    Why not let your oil service company or service provider do your testing. It sounds as if you have a poor grasp on what’s involved.
    I been ripped off too many times. None of then even checked the barometric damper at all. I reduced the air intake and the flame got much larger and the house heats up way faster and the unit cycles off faster too. That was last year. Ive been reading a lot and got a pretty good idea what to do. the smoke test and the barometric damper adjustment is basically all i need to do to be sure the a/f ratio is very close. cking pump pressure would be good and I might look into doing that one day.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulmars View Post
    manometer
    spot smoke strips ordered
    therometer
    Without a combustion analyzer you could potentially be making your unit very unsafe.

    Even if you had all the correct tools, and the knowledge to make the proper adjustments, this "Home Owner" forum (AOP) does not allow us to provide you with guidance on how adjust your own oil heating system.

    Sorry, but those are the rules.
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulmars View Post
    I been ripped off too many times. None of then even checked the barometric damper at all. I reduced the air intake and the flame got much larger and the house heats up way faster and the unit cycles off faster too. That was last year. Ive been reading a lot and got a pretty good idea what to do. the smoke test and the barometric damper adjustment is basically all i need to do to be sure the a/f ratio is very close. cking pump pressure would be good and I might look into doing that one day.
    Sorry, but whatever your reading is very wrong. There’s a lot more that goes into combustion testing then what you listed.
    And judging combustion by how fast your house heats up is very wrong.
    “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas Edison

    “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” - Vince Lombardi

    "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics" - Homer Simpson

    Local 486

  9. #9
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    That reminds me of a funny story. This involves a steam boiler - fire tube - abut 15-20 HP. I was called in to make the steam system work - which I did - but I also fiddled with the boiler: various multiple-nozzle adapters, higher-than-100 oil pressures, etc.

    So one day I took a recent-hire along and we are doing something - changing a condensate return tank pump I think - and maybe he cleans the tubes. For practice.

    When it's all back together I fire it up and squint into the flame sight port, tweak the pump pressure screw, tweak the air shutter back and forth, get it all to where I like the flame, and lock it down.

    My helper says: Want me to get the gear from the truck?

    No; it's good - let's wrap up and get out of here.

    What? How do you know it's burning right?

    I don't know - I've looked at a million flames, tested thousands of burners, and I guess I remember the good ones. <g>

    That's BS - no way you can adjust a burner by eye!

    No; maybe not - let's test it and see what we've got. (brand new guy so everything is half a test of him <g>)

    So he brings the test gear in and we run a set of readings. I list them all in my notebook and then go shut the burner down, back out the pressure screw, and open the air shutter wide.

    OK: your turn: you set it up.

    I go get coffee and take my time about it. When I get back I see he is logging readings for every change - which is good; what I would do. I sit on a bucket, lean on the wall, and close my eyes.

    After about an hour he says: What the hell here?!! I'm doing everything right and I still can't even get it back to as good as it was!

    I grin and ask for a turn at it. I tweak it by eye all back to almost as good as it was (I can't quite get it exactly the same either - but it's Damned close <g>) and we call it a day.

    All the way back to the shop he keeps saying: How the hell is that even Possible???

    And more to my point; I can't be the only one. <g>

    I'm not saying not to use all the test gear - far from it: There is no other way to Know what "right" is. But at some point, if you remember The Good Ones, you really can get pretty darned close with just your own senses. And someday that may well prove to be a damned valuable rabbit to pull out of your hat.

    PHM
    --------


    Quote Originally Posted by rundawg View Post
    You cannot tune any furnace, boiler or water heater by looking at the flame - it tells you nothing.

    Only a combustion analyzer, smoke tester and draft gauge will tell you how efficient and safe it is burning.

    Do you have any of these tools?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    But at some point, if you remember The Good Ones, you really can get pretty darned close with just your own senses.
    That all may be true, but I can guarantee you this home owner has no where near the years of experience or testing under his belt as you do.
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

  11. #11
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    This is the same poster as in HH.com. I guess he didn't like the answers there and is rolling the dice here.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  12. #12
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    Sorry, this is way over the line.

    Thread closed.
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