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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    272
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    Some thoughts on new guys and oil service

    Hey everyone. I recently started a new job. The job has been pretty interesting. In this new job I work mainly at a steam factory but there are also about 10 properties that we are responsible for the heating systems. Today I and a guy who has been here for about 4 years or so went and did some tune ups. A little background on me and this situation, I am almost 34 years old I went through a technical high school learning HVAC and my first job was working for a decent sized oil company where I did more schooling and had to get a state license. I feel I am strongest at Oil work as I did it for 8-9 years. The person who has been training me is about 25 years old and very cocky. He says he has an associates degree in HVAC and he has definitely done work in the field. My main issue is this guy seems to want to cut corners and do things we all might do in a pinch at midnight but to me it seems spotty as I know this isn't a quick fix. So for example this is what happened today.

    We went to the first house I did the burner he took care of the top. We only had parts for One oil filter and an assortments of nozzles. I wanted to pull the pump screens but was told no thats a waste of time. I figured OK. We go to the next house and he brushes the top of the boiler and I pull the gun assembly. Its a 1.10 80 B. We don't have one so this guy says put in an 1.00 80 A we will just adjust the air.

    This is the whole day doing cleanings. I know where I work parts are limited and not well stocked and its a pain to try to get what you need but this just seems wrong. No checking the pump psi or attempting to see if we have the right nozzle back at the shop. I have always replaced the nozzle, pump strainer and oil filter. Pulled the oil from the line to clean the bottom of the tank and all that. Vacuum and brush the boiler down and test it. By myself I usually did 3-4 cleanings a day that's with lunch and travel. Here we are basically houses next to each other so travel is non existent. Maybe its just me but I just feel like this isn't the proper way to do a cleaning and this will come back with issues.

    Sorry for the long post/venting. What does everyone do when doing an oil cleaning or service for the year?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Medford, N.Y.
    Posts
    6,683
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    Can you survive in that kind of environment? Can you "spread your professional wings" or will they try to clip your wings??? I chose on the side of "PROFESSIONAL" wings. I got "fired/let go/please leave/I QUIT/ SCREW YOU I QUIT situations and all of my studying/schooling/education seems to work for me and my customers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    3,020
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    Well you know the right thing to do. Now you have a hack in control who knows nothing about oil burners.
    If it’s 10 properties, 10 nozzles of proper size, 10 pump strainers and 10 filters are under 100 bucks, for the year, plus some spares.
    If the place you work can’t afford that, you’re in for a lot of misery.

    Unless you can either get the hack-a-roo to some proper oil burner training, and combustion training, or convince your boss of your experience and let you take the lead, your in for frustrating misery.

    As far as proper cleaning, service, I’d have to write a book.
    But basically in this situation on a new unit to me, I’d do the following:
    -I have a form, then it goes into my database, where I record every component on a piece of equipment.
    -Look up the make/model# in the burners' OEM spec book to get initial burner settings-head, nozzle, pump pressure, initial air adjustments.
    -completely clean boiler, burner, flue pipe to chimney base.
    -reassemble checking and setting back to factory specs including the 'z' dimension. New gaskets where necessary.
    -new correct nozzle only, filter, pump strainer.
    -bleed, fire up burner, check pump pressure.
    -full combustion test: Run to steady state, adjust draft, adjust air to obtain true zero smoke, analyzer to fine tune and print out results.

    That’s leaving out a dozen or so things.
    If you take the time to do it right you’ll make your life easier in a number of ways.
    First, less likely for breakdowns.
    Second, perfectly, and properly tuned modern oil burner will produce virtually no soot. Each year you’ll have almost nothing to clean, so it will be a easy clean, nozzle, filter, pump strainer, combustion test.
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    272
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    Thread Starter
    Some aspects I understand far better when I first started at this job. I work for state and to get parts ordered is an experience. They have to get three price quotes than go with the state dealer. That price quote has to be sent to three other people who have to approve it. So it could be close to a month before we see those parts. It’s really silly but it’s what we’re confined to. I have started taking info on all the equipment to give a parts list to the boss so next year we have what we need in hopes that we will get things stocked so we aren’t hacking it in every time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Ontari-ari-ari-o
    Posts
    1,776
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    Second, perfectly, and properly tuned modern oil burner will produce virtually no soot. Each year you’ll have almost nothing to clean, so it will be a easy clean, nozzle, filter, pump strainer, combustion test.
    Exactly. Everyone says I'm nuts because I don't mind doing oil work but if you do your job they aren't dirty at all. I actually prefer working on them because with a few hundred dollars in parts on your truck you can actually get 99% of broken down oil furnaces up and running. With these new gas furnaces everything is computerized and the boards and proprietary gas valves are too pricey to keep in stock for the day you might ever need them.

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