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  • Sizing oil burner nozzles

    I have a Burnham v74 boiler rated at 135000 MBH and a Beckett AFG burner. I believe the unit is oversized for my house. Heat loss calculations give me a loss of appx 40,000/hr; at this time I have a tankless coil in the boiler for domestic hot water, which I believe would add about 50,000 btu/hr.
    Is it possible to reduce the burner nozzle size if the unit is indeed oversized and is there any rule of thumb, or sizing charts that address this?

  • #2
    Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

    Oil burner nozzles can be sized by dividing the BTUH of the burner by 140,000 if you are burning #2 fuel oil. Divide by about 135,000 if you are using kersoene. Example - 70,000 BTUH burner divided by 140,000 would equal a .50 nozzle. Make sure the spray pattern and the angle of spray are correct for the burner/combustion chamber design as well.

    Later, Jonesy

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    • #3
      Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

      Make sure the oil pump is set at 100lbs also. Increasing oil pump pressure increases gph. Many new burners are running 140 to 150 lbs with a smaller nozzle to achieve better atomization. Do not make any changes or adjustments to anything without a combustion analyzer either. You can't just look in the hole and judge the fire anymore.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

        Also, be certain if you hear any loud explosions, or smell anything burning, that you run for the nearest exit real fast.

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        • #5
          Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
          Also, be certain if you hear any loud explosions, or smell anything burning, that you run for the nearest exit real fast.
          spodelee

          Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

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          • #6
            Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

            I see my post has come up for discussion in other threads ( http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/sho...703#post162703), so let me explain a little what I'm looking for.

            I've been a bus mechanic/foreman for 24 years and currently train mechanics. My background is mostly in bus electrical systems and most recently Hybrid electric systems, though I do have some diesel experience.
            The reason I asked about sizing charts is that in our diesel engines we can vary horsepower output by installing different injectors and changing ECM calibrations; I haven't seen this data for burner nozzles and btu output, and wondered if there was an underlying reason for it (safety), and if it was possible at all.

            Second, I'm not looking to do this myself, I realize I don't have the tools or enough knowledge to do it correctly or safely. I'm just looking for some unbiased information before approaching my oil company about the subject. Call me paranoid but I question if I'm going to get accurate info about reducing my oil consumption from the company selling me the oil.
            Here on Long Island most of the smaller independant oil dealers have been gobbled up by the larger companies; it was one of these larger companies that installed the system 15 years ago without doing any heat loss calculations; again they were selling the oil so why should they care (oil was also a buck and change a gallon at the time so I didn't think much about it at the time either, my bad!).

            NHMaster, thanks for the info about pump pressure. Another problem I find with the larger companies is that they don't always have the best and brightest tech's working for them (won't pay them enough). A couple of years ago, with my prior oil dealer (the one who installed the system) I was having a problem with the burner not lighting. One of the tech's solution was to boost the pump pressure to 140psi. On the 4th service call I finally got an oldtimer who found the igniter was weak, problem solved; but I don't think the pressure was ever returned to 100psi. So now on top of my boiler being oversized, it's probably being overfired also.

            Lastly, I understand the reluctance some of you have about giving information away to a DIY'er. Again, I'm not looking for information about how to do it, only if it's possible or practical. Thanks!

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            • #7
              Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

              Most oil companies have dedicated trained service guys. I can see where it might be good business to have customers use more oil than they need, but I've been around a lot of oil companies and a lot of service tech's over the years and I've never seen that attitude. Most of the guys are proud of the work they do. And I'm glad you're not going to work on your own burner. The slightest misadjustment to any number of things can open up a whole can of worms.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

                Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                Most oil companies have dedicated trained service guys. I can see where it might be good business to have customers use more oil than they need, but I've been around a lot of oil companies and a lot of service tech's over the years and I've never seen that attitude. Most of the guys are proud of the work they do. And I'm glad you're not going to work on your own burner. The slightest misadjustment to any number of things can open up a whole can of worms.
                I've seen some very good service guys and some who just want to get in and get out. I haven't been with this company long enough to know the good ones yet and request them. When this contract is up I think I'll look for someone to just do service and buy the oil on spot. If anyone has recommendations I'd appreciate that also.

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                • #9
                  Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

                  Originally posted by nypkh View Post
                  I've seen some very good service guys and some who just want to get in and get out. I haven't been with this company long enough to know the good ones yet and request them. When this contract is up I think I'll look for someone to just do service and buy the oil on spot. If anyone has recommendations I'd appreciate that also.
                  YES, call your local gas co and beg them to get service in your area!

                  Oil price vs gas is rediculous, I feel for ya.
                  Also, pardon my synicism...thank you for clarifying your not doing it yourself.
                  In your case, as a mechanic...you'd probably get the hang of it like second nature, but...and there's always a "but", if the slightest thing were done wrong at least the licensed guy would have the insurance to cover his mistake.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

                    Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                    YES, call your local gas co and beg them to get service in your area!

                    Oil price vs gas is rediculous, I feel for ya.
                    Also, pardon my synicism...thank you for clarifying your not doing it yourself.
                    In your case, as a mechanic...you'd probably get the hang of it like second nature, but...and there's always a "but", if the slightest thing were done wrong at least the licensed guy would have the insurance to cover his mistake.
                    They finally ran gas into my neighborhood about 5 years ago. And if oil prices continue to go through the roof it is something I'll consider when my contract is up in two years. However I may only be in this house another 8-10 years, so I don't know if it will pay. Right now I'm just trying to make what I have more efficient.
                    I've seen other threads here about Beckett's "Heat Manager" & Outside offsets and am considering those; as well as having an indirect HW tank installed. Any thoughts on those items as far as potential savings???

                    BTW no offense taken, like I said I understand your reservations about nozzle advice so I'll stay away from that topic.
                    Thanks again!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

                      You may want to think about changing to gas as a major home improvement. It should boost the value of your house and you should be able to get more when you do sell it sometime. To be rid of the stinky fuel oil and fumes will really make gas seem well worth the cost of changing over.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

                        carefull there, I'm still a member of the oil heat council
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

                          Originally posted by nypkh View Post
                          I've seen some very good service guys and some who just want to get in and get out. I haven't been with this company long enough to know the good ones yet and request them. When this contract is up I think I'll look for someone to just do service and buy the oil on spot. If anyone has recommendations I'd appreciate that also.
                          You might be able to get them to reduce their price a lot on a lock if you call around. I've only been with my company two years, but they originally wanted to raise me from $2.699 to $3.899 this year. After I called around (average price was about $3.60) and got their largest competitor to agree to $3.299 they went for it. This year I think that lock (ceiling actually) has really paid off.

                          I've unfortunately had a lot of techs (all from Burke which is Meenan on LI), and liked most of them.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

                            Originally posted by Old Grunter View Post
                            You may want to think about changing to gas as a major home improvement. It should boost the value of your house and you should be able to get more when you do sell it sometime. To be rid of the stinky fuel oil and fumes will really make gas seem well worth the cost of changing over.
                            You can do a bunch more with gas than oil (dryer, range, grill), but oil doesn't stink. And for space heating, they've been pretty competitive price wise over the long term. NG is probably cheaper now, but there is no competitition. Oil has competitition, but isn't going to be as regulated.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sizing oil burner nozzles

                              Originally posted by cpw View Post
                              You can do a bunch more with gas than oil (dryer, range, grill), but oil doesn't stink. And for space heating, they've been pretty competitive price wise over the long term. NG is probably cheaper now, but there is no competitition. Oil has competitition, but isn't going to be as regulated.
                              You must get special oil delivered up in Cortlandt Manor, every oil fired burner I've worked on had a smell. At least when the piping, tank or appliance was opened

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