Beckett AFG - Causing Faint Smell

Discussion in 'Boiler Forum' started by BobN, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. BobN

    BobN New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I had my heating system serviced one week ago (Beckett AFG on Weil McLain boiler in basement). The person who did the work was experienced (18 years) and seemed knowledgeable and quick. He found a bad oil pump seal, so replaced the pump. He cleaned the insides of the burner with brake cleaner, adjusted the electrodes, cleaned the photocell, replaced the filter and nozzle, brushed and vacuumed the flueways, and used a Testo 310 electronic all-in-one tester to measure performance. He smiled and said that this 30-year-old burner is working great, and left. The printout from the testing reads:
    Fuel Fueloil #2
    CO2MAX 15.7%
    8.9% O2
    7ppm CO
    606.2F Fluegas Temp
    77.8% EFF
    8ppm Ambient CO
    76.4F Ambient Temp
    -0.0005 Draugfht
    68.9% Excess Air
    --.-psi Diff Press
    9.03% CO2
    12ppm Undiluted CO

    And the system starts and runs fine. Before service, the burner dripped oil. Replacing the oil pump solved that. Cleaning everything with brake cleaner seems to have removed all of that residue, and airing out the basement for a week removed any hint of brake cleaner.

    My only concern is now I detect a faint oil smell at the top of the basement stairs, as if there is some exhaust coming from the system into the basement with a lighter-than-air component. When I air out the basement and stairs, the smell goes away, but if I close the basement door for a day, the smell comes back. It's a faint smell, almost unnoticeable, but definitely a smell.

    Should I be concerned? Is there anything in the test results that point to any sort of concern? What would you suggest for next steps?

    Thank you.

    Bob
     
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Occupation:
    Rocket Scientist
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I have never known a oil system that did not have a smell. If you are not leaking anymore, you should be OK.

    You may have some fuel that needs to evaporate or burn off. Don't guess you have been using it much, this month to burn the oil off.

    It is best to have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm around your unit, and it will most likely tell you if you have a real problem when you use it.


    You are most likely ok, but a Alarm is a must, I think.
     
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  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    The burner is running too clean. Co2 shouldn't exceed 13% and on an older Weil McLain I don't let them run much past 11%. The excess air reeding is high also for the same reason. IOW the air inlet is open to wide. Have him come back and readjust it. Do not try and do it yourself without proper instruments. Properly adjusted there should never be any odor.
     
  5. Tom Crabtree

    Tom Crabtree New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Location:
    Maine
    Bob described an issue I have right now. I have a Beckett AFG boiler. I have an oil smell at the top of my basement stairs and often in my basement, as well. The smell is coming from the boiler unit—I believe where the air intake is. The system has been serviced four times in the last six months. The servicing didn't reveal any issues any time. I still can't get rid of the smell.

    The system is vented out of the side of my house (a fan blows the air out — I don't know what the proper terms here are). Anecdotally, I have noticed that one particularly windy days, it seems that the smell is worse and on days without much wind, the smell isn't as bad.

    The most recent time I had a tech come out, he said that a "boot" could be put around the boiler that vents its air outside. He also said that the current venting unit outside the house (again, I don't know the proper term here) is working fine. It's old, but there aren't any issues. We even turned up the "purge" time on the fan.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I keep paying for techs to come out and I still have the same problem. Thanks.
     
  6. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Direct venting is often troublesome because the gasses are exhausted low and tend to swirl around the house and Windows and doors and if there is any way for sir to infiltrate, some of thst exhaust will come in too.
     
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