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Thread: Old Oil Fired Steam Boiler with Side Arm Water Heater

  1. #1

    Default Old Oil Fired Steam Boiler with Side Arm Water Heater

    My Dad noticed he had no hot water from the side arm water heater on his old oil fired steam boiler (50+ years old). We tried to turn the furnace on for heat but no go either. The fuse for the furnace is OK, the switch is turned on, the reset button on the burner seems to be normal (pushed in). Could someone give me some other things to check for before calling in the service tech?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Is there any oil in the tank?

    Is the igniter a sparker or a glow coil? Can you hear or see it? Can you hear the pump run, spraying oil into the burner?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    Hello neighbor in NH!

    I'm not sure on the ignitor. If it is electronic, it only clicks once (as I can recall) but not the repeated click-click-click that some do. I'm in NC and my dad's in Mass. How can I have my family verify?

    The tank is reading around 1/2 to 3/4. My dad recently had his oil tank swapped out because of a leak in the old tank. Are the new metal oil tanks double-walled? 3-4 weeks back he thought the level gauge was reading incorrectly - he tapped the side of the tank and thought it was at a lower level than the gauge indicated - the gauge was reading around 1/2. I would think a new tank would read correctly. But my dad went with his tapping test and ordered another 100 gallons of oil. The gauge went up to ~ 3/4. Dad thinks the tank may be out.

    How can I verify tank level or presence of oil at all?

    We're getting dad a new gas fired steam boiler in about 3 weeks so we['re trying not to dump more money into oil or service visits if possible. But dad's not to keen on not having hot water or going to my sisters to shower.

    WW

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Highly likely that there was some crud stirred up with the tank replacement. Clogged filter is a good possibility. Not that familiar with real-life on oil burners, only theory.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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