A year ago February, my propane HE forced air furnace developed a crack in the heat exchanger setting off the CO detectors in the house repeatedly, so I had to take it out... I had hoped to get one more winter out of her but it just wasn't in the cards I guess..
So I sourced out a HE oil fired boiler locally and installed it all myself. Its almost spring so I figured I would make a post about its first year heating my home.
I wanted to do everything to code and have it inspected and tagged so that if anything happens to me, my wife could just call up the local fuel oil supplier and get it filled and set up on Dino without any grief. Also if we ever sell the place I wont have to worry about modifying anything. As a added bonus/option this boiler has a propane or NG burner that bolts in place of the oil one too.
I had to get a direct through the wall vent as my chimney is full and not really in the ideal place. Besides that the existing furnace was high efficiency propane so it was vented with 2" ABS pipe and was in the middle of the house, there was no way I could put an oil furnace in its place and still be able to vent it, thats what led to me getting the Biasi B100 boiler (dont let the B100 in the name fool you, its just a coincidence and has nothing to do with bio), Riello burner with through wall kit and an air handler with a big heat exchanger in it to go in place of my old furnace. This worked out well and I was able to reuse my AC coil (above air handler) without having to disturb the AC system at all which saved some precious money.
Its been the coldest winter here in 20 years and I am happy to say that it has run beautifully all winter! I have gone through about 2.5 900L tanks of B100 now (also on my 3rd bush cord of hardwood too!!) issue free. I put a 1.75x80 nozzle in it and tweaked the pressure and air until I got it to 0 on the smoke test. I haven't put a pressure gauge on the pump yet as I need an adapter but they are at about 150PSI out of the box.
Here is some pics:
Its pretty hard to make the flexible direct vent look very nice but hey, it is doing the trick and once I build the walls around it nobody will see it but me anyways.
I didnt want to use copper for the fuel line so I ran it in 1/2" black iron instead, its your only other option really if you want it to pass inspection too.
Around here you have to use a double wall or double bottom oil tank to pass inspection, I put in the latter. If you look close you can see the seam where the double bottom is welded on, there is a float in it that triggers a flag on top of the tank if any liquid ever gets into the bottom section.
The ugly vent leading into the burner box is the fresh air intake, this is a must with the through wall kit as well. The damper looking thing is an emergency input just in case the intake gets blocked outside.
In order to meet code with the through wall kit you have to use 2 high limits for some reason as well as a low water cut-out for local plumbing code. The box on top is the LW cut-out and the 2 grey aquastats are the HL's required by code.
I used a standard fuel oil filter and flex whip, again, so it would pass code and be serviceable by any oil servicemen.
Here you can see the boiler accessories: the expansion tank, air scoop and auto fill valve. I put a check valve between the auto fill valve and the boiler system to prevent backflow into my house water. That circ pump was off my first processor, it sucked for making bio but its the cats *** for a boiler loop! I left a couple stubs out for extra loops and an indirect water heater too, when I get around to it... The ring of pipe insulation ahead of the pump is covering the system TC for the boiler controller, I just hose clamped it to the 1" copper pipe under the insulation. There is an outdoor sensor too that goes on the NE corner of the house under the eave.
Here is the air handler, I got a unit with a HE variable speed motor, I am not really happy with the way its preprogrammed controller interacts with the boiler controller but I really haven't looked into it much since I got it installed. The problem is the fan comes on about a minute or two too soon so the air is not exactly warm coming out the vents when the fan kicks in to high.
Its fed with 3/4" pex through my drop ceiling. I put copper headers at the air handler to better support the pex and to try and make it look a little more strait and professional.
Here is a shot of the boiler controller in its temporary location, it will be permanently installed once I build the room around the boiler. It is a nice unit with outdoor reset and system monitoring, I have been happy with it. I got a unit that is ready to go for an indirect water heater too as I will eventually be putting one in...
Once I get everything completed and buttoned up I will post some more shots as well as update this thread if I have any issues with the setup.
I can whole heartedly say that I have been very happy with this boiler on its first year of keeping us warm with only a couple minor complaints with the air handler and direct vent kit.
Nice work Jon...good thing for a 1300 L batch Eh...lol
Yeh, now I need to go get some more oil contracts too... This long cold winter has used everything I had stocked up on. The worst part of making bio for me is getting contracts, a sales man I am not...
How are you faring through this cold SOB of a winter? Heard you guys got another dumping yesterday?
Global warming cant come fast enough if you ask me...
Hey Jon...yeah...it's still winter up here...isn't it so beautiful!! Lol
As soon as winter does decide to move on...I can finally start installing that Viessman boiler here...
It could take a while to see the ground though! Lol
The guys finally came and did the inspection on my installation today, thankfully it all passed!
The guy said he was very impressed with the installation too which fed my ego nicely!!
They gave me a tank and line certificate as well as what they call a "comprehensive, appliance certificate" which my insurance company was asking for on the boiler.
So now my insurance company is happy and if anything ever happens to me my wife can just call up the fuel supplier and get the tank filled with dino, set up the burner and be off to the races with no grief.
I gave the boiler its first service on Sunday.
The turbulator was seized in the burner tube due to coking around it. I just scraped around it with a scratch-all and wiggled it out.
Here is some shots:
It cleaned up nice with some Easy-Off oven cleaner and a wire brush. Though it did discolour the brass.
It was a bit over-fired with the .65X80 nozzle so I put in a .55x80 this time, it seems much better now...
Now lets hope for a more reasonable winter then last years...
Hiya Jon I've had problems this year and I think it is down to atomization problems with my Riello 40 -G5 burner. I have a perfectly clean flame at all settings re the air and have played about with the nozzles and their capacities. There is a lot of unburnt fuel around what you call the turbulator which we call the difuser in the UK. I am going to run this burner out of the boiler so I can see all that is happening. I hope you won't mind me saying your burner head gets mucky doesn't it ? This what I want to avoid and no doubt there are dozens of us that make our own bio that would like a clean combustion head if this can be achieved. I notice that you are using the higher output nozzles than I am which may well suit the bio better than the lower ouytput nozzles I use. With experience the draught tubes make a hell of a difference and it is crucial in the choosing of the right one for optimum clean burning with any fuel & that includes Kero. what is puzzling to me at the moment is that the amoke is zero with my set up but lots of unburnt fuel to dirty the combustion head....... I will not let this beat me and will experiment to find out exactly what transpires. Incidentally I bought
a little device that's made in USA that fits into Delavan nozzles & stops dripping when the burner shuts down ( it replaces the copper filter in the nozzles) but it does not cure my problem of the dirty combustion head. My burner head is mucky after 4 days which is crap.
I heard years ago a new nozzle was being made that was especially for Nu Way burners on Diesel but nothing transpired with that one.....
I'm buying a little Nu Way burner today which has a different blast tube than the Riello & will see how that one behaves when I fire it up...... Best wishes Mick Hall
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