View Full Version : Annual boiler cleaning - how can I do it myself?

10-31-2010, 06:03 PM
We've been paying $90 year to have our boiler cleaned. I'd like to do it myself and save the service charge. What do I need to know? We have oil heat with forced hot water off a Weil-McClain Gold boiler and a Superstore Ultra indirect water heater.

11-01-2010, 06:53 AM
$90 sounds like a fair price if it's a thorough job. You CAN do it yourself if you have a soot vac, the proper brushes and a combustion test kit. Another thing toi keep in mind is that when a tech does an annual service they should also be looking for any potential problems. Do you have that expertise?

11-03-2010, 01:40 PM
$90 is cheap! In addition to the cleaning of the soot the burner tech also checks operation replaces filters, nozzles, adjusts or replaces electrodes, and makes adjustments to ensure proper reliable running...

Maybe you should read this story on how to clean a boiler..... (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/jonathan-metz-connecticut-man-trapped-furnace-amputated-arm/story?id=10921443)

11-16-2010, 05:53 PM
I'm sure a trained furnace tech is capable of doing a quicker and more thorough job than me. But I have a vested interest in doing a good and thorough job. I also like to be as self sufficient as possible. Yesterday I asked the oil delivery man the going rate for a furnace cleaning. It's $125.

The thing about that story that I've never understood is how his arm got crushed? Stuck I can imagine, but crushed?

11-17-2010, 08:04 AM
The article was poorly written. Basically he didn't have the proper equipment and was reaching in further than he should have with his arm being squeezed between the boiler sections. He then became stuck and because of the squeezing his blood circulation was cut off long enough for the tissue of his arm to start dying. He then attempted a DIY amputation of his arm.

To properly do the work you will need a soot vacuum as a regular shop vac will plug up quickly, and an assortment of cleaning brushes. At a price of $125 a year for between 1 and 2 hours worth of work your savings is nil. In addition you don't know what you are doing for setting the burner properly.

This is something that just doesn't make sense to do it yourself but if you really want to have at it!