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PER GALLON ABOVE WHOLESALE RESIDENTIAL #2 DELIVERIES. KEROSENE IS AVAILABLE TOO.

AS LOW AS .09 to .26 CENTS PER GAL. ABOVE BARREL PRICE FOR #4 & #6 OIL.

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How to hot-Water Boiler Repair

hot water boiler construction Many homes and apartments use hot-water boilers to keep comfortable in winter. They are relatively efficient, but not always easy to fix. Fortunately, understanding how they work and maintaining them can make them trouble free longer. Also see the Steam Boiler Fix-It Guide .

How Does It Work?

A hot-water heating system consists of a boiler to heat (but not boil) water, a network of pipes that distributes the water, and radiators that heat various rooms. A hot-water heating system uses the same type of boiler that a steam heating system uses. Controls include a combination gauge (or altitude gauge) that lets you check water temperature and pressure and lets you know when the boiler needs water or is malfunctioning. In some systems, a pressure-reducing valve takes care of the water automatically. The typical system also has an expansion tank that must be properly charged with air to prevent the water from boiling. Newer systems usually locate the expansion tank on the basement ceiling near the boiler; they also include a purge valve to release water and let in air as needed. Older systems sometimes have the expansion tank in the attic and include a gauge glass similar to that on a steam boiler.

What Can Go Wrong?

Because they have few mechanical parts, hot-water heating systems usually perform reliably for many years. The most common problems are with the expansion tank or a circulator rather than the boiler. Here are some symptoms of problems: A hot-water system may produce no heat or poor heat and leaks can occur. Some radiators may not heat while others do. Pipes may make a clanging noise.

How Can I Identify the Problem?

If the unit produces no heat, raise the thermostat, check switches, fuses, circuit breakers, and the water level. Also check the burner's safety controls (see below).
If the unit doesn't produce enough heat, check the combination gauge, then the expansion tank (see below). Next, flush the boiler (see below). If water leaks from a heating system pipe, try repairing it yourself.
If only some radiators in the system heat up, bleed air from the cool units (see below). If you suspect that the circulator requires repair, call an experienced serviceperson.
If the pipes suddenly start clanging, the circulator may need professional service or replacement.
If there is a chronic banging noise, check the slope of all return lines; they must slope toward the boiler to work correctly.
If a single radiator warms only slightly, but evenly, water may be trapped inside. Make sure it slopes toward the return; if it does not, insert a wooden shim under the end opposite the return.

Fix-It Tip

Water pressure in a hot-water boiler is automatically maintained by a pressure-reducing valve. Periodically check the combination gauge and call an experienced serviceperson if the valve needs repair or replacement. If your system has no pressure-reducing valve, you can manually feed the boiler by opening the feed water valve and closing it again when pressure reaches 12 pounds per square inch. High water consumption is caused by a leak in the supply or return piping or in the boiler itself.
What Parts, Materials, and Tools Do I Need?
Most components of a hot-water boiler system are available through larger plumbing supply houses. Check your local telephone book. For basic tests and repairs you'll need these tools:
* Screwdrivers
* Pipe wrenches

Fix-It Tip

Here's how to read a combination gauge. The moving pointer shows actual pressure. The fixed pointer indicates the minimum pressure. If the moving pointer drops below the minimum, the system needs water. The lower temperature gauge shows water temperature. Maximum boiler water temperature is set by moving a pointer along the sliding scale of an aquastat. Don't try to adjust the aquastat.

What Are the Steps to Fixing It?

Troubleshoot an expansion tank:


1. Check the pressure-relief valve. If water is spurting from it, there is too much water and not enough air in the tank.
2. Touch the side of the tank; the bottom half should feel hotter than the top. If the top is nearly as hot or as hot as the bottom, the tank is filled with water and requires bleeding. Once the system is cool, attach a hose to the tank's purge valve and drain 5 to 10 gallons of water from the system.
3. Return all valves to normal settings and start the boiler. Check the system's pressure on the combination gauge. If it is not within normal operating range, call for service.

Flush a boiler of rusty water:


1. Shut off power and open the drain cock and the air vents on the highest radiation units.
2. If the boiler has a manual feed , open it.
3. When the water runs clear, close the drain and vents and wait until pressure reaches 20 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure.
4. Bleed each radiator until the pressure reaches 20 psi, then drain off the water. If the pressure falls below 12 psi, add more water.

Bleed a hot-water radiator:


1. Open the vent with a screwdriver or special tool supplied with the radiator. 2. When water (instead of air) comes out, close the vent

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How to steam Boiler Repair

hot water boiler construction Steam boilers are the heart of many efficient home and apartment heating systems. Because they have few moving parts, there is little to go wrong with them. Hopefully, you'll spend more time enjoying them than fixing them. The first step is understanding how they work so you can easily maintain them. Also see the Hot-Water Boiler Fix-It Guide .

How Does It Work?

A steam heating system consists of a boiler to heat steam, a network of pipes that distribute the steam, and radiators that heat various rooms. A gas or oil burner heats water to the boiling point and sends hot steam to radiators in the residence. Modern boilers circulate water around the heat source through a series of passages or tubes. Boiler operation is regulated by a pressure gauge, regulator, pressure-relief valve, and low-water cutoff monitor. Most steam boilers include an automatic feed that supplies more water when it's needed.

What Can Go Wrong?

Regular maintenance will help keep repairs to a minimum. The system may produce no heat or poor heat, water may be chronically low, the glass gauge may be clouded, and pipes may be noisy.

Fix-It Tip

For safety and efficiency, make sure that there is a clear path around each radiator to allow air to circulate freely.

How Can I Identify the Problem?

If your system is running smoothly, a few regular maintenance measures will keep the system doing so (see below).
If there is no heat, check the thermostat, switches, fuses or breakers, and water level. A boiler burner is very similar to that of a gas furnace or an oil furnace.
If there is not enough heat, the boiler may need to be flushed (see below).
If the water level is frequently low, look for leaks in the return lines or the boiler itself. In either case, have a plumber or boiler service professional take a look.
If pipes are noisy, check the pitch of all returns; they must slope back toward the boiler. Adjust the slant, if necessary, with new pipe hangers.
If a room radiator inlet valve leaks, tighten the packing nut. If necessary, repack the valve as you would a faucet .
If a radiator won't heat, clean the air vent orifice with a fine wire. If the vent is permanently plugged, replace the vent.

Fix-It Tip

Most modern steam boilers have an owner's manual that describes operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. If you can't find one for your unit, contact the manufacturer; the name will be somewhere on or near the controls.

What Parts, Materials, and Tools Do I Need?

Replacement parts for a steam boiler should come from the manufacturer or an aftermarket supplier such as a local plumbing and heating supply retailer. Basic tools for maintaining and repairing your steam boiler include these:
* Screwdrivers
* Wrenches
* Hoses
* Fine wire

What Are the Steps to Fixing It?

Monthly maintenance for a smooth running system:

1. Verify gauge accuracy by comparing the actual water level with the reading on the gauge. The owner's manual will have more specific instructions on how to make this comparison.
2. Test the relief valve by carefully lifting the lever to check operation while the boiler is running. The valve should release steam, then stop. If it continues to release steam, have the relief valve replaced.
3. Check the pressure gauge to make sure that steam pressure doesn't exceed the gauge's limit mark. If it does, contact a professional steam boiler service.
4. Open the low-water cutoff valve to flush sediment, allowing the water to run until it is clear. Caution: The water will be hot!

Flush a boiler:

1. Shut off the power and the automatic feed.
2. Attach hoses to the boiler drain and return drain.
3. Open the boiler drain and return drain to allow water to run out into a household drain.
4. Once the tank is empty, shut the drains.
5. Refill the boiler, and drain it again.
6. Repeat the flushing process until the water in the gauge is clear.

Fix-It Tip

If the gauge glass is dirty, you can clean it. First turn off the boiler and let it cool down; then drain the system to below the gauge level. Loosen fasteners holding the glass in place and remove it. Clean the glass, replace it, refill as needed, and turn the boiler back on.

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How to oil Furnace Repair

hot water boiler construction In many regions of the country, oil is king. It's the most popular (read: least expensive) fuel for heating homes and other structures. Even if oil isn't as cheap today, it was when the furnace was purchased. An oil furnace is simple in operation and relatively trouble free. When it's not, it's time to fix it--or call someone who can.

How Does It Work?

An oil furnace uses a low-grade petroleum derivative as fuel to heat air, hot water, or steam. An oil forced-air system (OFA) includes the blower and ducting to distribute the heated air throughout the house. Modern home oil systems use pressure burners. Oil is sprayed into a combustion chamber at high pressure, propelled by a blower and ignited by an electric spark. The oil burns as the mist is sprayed. These units are more efficient than older models.

What Can Go Wrong?

Oil burners are generally quite reliable. Routine maintenance is the key to avoiding expensive repairs. And there are several things you can do before calling for repair service. The burner may not run, or may run but not fire. The burner may cycle too often or it may smoke or squeal. The chimney may smoke.

Fix-It Tip

When buying replacement filters, buy enough for a few years at once so you have them on hand. And when you change the filters, write the date on the filter or on a tape stuck to the outside of the furnace so you can determine when to next replace it.

How Can I Identify the Problem?

If the burner doesn't run, set the thermostat a few degrees higher than normal to see if it comes on. If it still doesn't come on, check switches, and breakers and fuses (see the Electrical Service Panel Fix-It Guide). If the unit has a reset button, press it. Also oil the motor at any oil ports (see below).
If the unit doesn't want to start and run, first check the c to make sure that the ignition is getting power. If there is power, check the built-in safety controls (see below) that may turn the system off if they perceive problems.
If the burner cycles too often, replace the filter (see below). Also, oil and adjust the blower (see the Forced-Air Distribution Fix-It Guide).
If the burner runs but won't fire, make sure the oil valves are open and that there's oil in the tank. Check the tank level with a clean stick.
If the burner smokes or squeals, shut off the unit, let it cool, and fill the oil cups. Recheck them after the motor has run for an hour.
If the chimney smokes even after the flue has warmed up, the unit is wasting fuel; call for professional repair.

Safety Controls

Oil furnaces and other heat systems include safety devices that monitor operation and turn off the unit if something goes wrong. In some cases, the safety device can be the problem.
If you encounter an operating problem with an oil furnace, first reset the safety and try again.
If the burner kicks off again, shut off all power at the electrical service panel ; the burner motor and ignition may be protected by separate fuses or breakers.
If the sensor has a photocell, wipe it with a clean rag or tissue and see if the furnace starts.
If the safety is a stack switch mounted on the flue, remove the screw holding the unit to the stack, slide it out, and wipe off the sensor.
If the furnace won't start after three tries, seek professional assistance. Unburned oil can accumulate in the combustion chamber and "flash back."

Fix-It Tip

At the beginning of the heating season and every month or two during it, inspect the oil heating system for filter condition and clean as needed. In addition, older furnaces require the burner Motor to be lubricated periodically. Newer units have permanent lubrication. You can tell which your system has by looking for oil ports where the lubricant, a few drops of light, nondetergent oil, is added.

What Parts, Materials, and Tools Do I Need?

Some replacement parts for oil furnaces can be found at larger hardware stores, and others are available through your fuel dealer or its supplier. Ask. The tools you'll need for fixing an oil furnace include these:

* Screwdrivers
* Wrenches
* Replacement filter
* Lightweight lubricating oil
* Vacuum cleaner

What Are the Steps to Fixing It?

Clean or replace a filter:
1. Open or remove the blower access door, typically located on the front or side of the furnace housing.
2. Remove the filter; some slide out while others are pressed into place.
3. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust from the area around the filter. Some units have a dry-foam filter that also needs periodic vacuuming.
4. Replace the filter with one of the same dimensions and density, preferably the model suggested by the manufacturer.
5. Close or reinstall the blower door, making sure that any interlocks are in the correct position to operate.

Fix-It Tip

Just before the heating season starts, make sure you inspect the chimney and flue for air leaks and pests (animal and bird nests). Repair any cracks. Test for air leaks by using a burning candle.

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How to comfort Controls Repair

Your home has a comfort system of some type (central air conditioner, furnace, heat pump , or boiler for example). What they have in common is that they all require controls to measure and regulate temperature and, in some cases, humidity. Because controls can go awry--and because they are relatively easy to check and fix--let's take a look at comfort controls as a component.

How Does It Work?

The main comfort controller is a thermostat, which is basically a switch that turns a furnace or central air conditioner on or off at a preset temperature. Comfort controls may also include a humidistat, which is a device that senses changes in the moisture of your home.
A thermostat controls the temperature by sensing a temperature change at its location and turning the furnace on or off to maintain the preset temperature. Your comfort system's thermostat may be either mechanical or electronic. An automatic thermostat can be set to lower or raise the temperature in the home during preset times by using microprocessors and thermistor sensors. A humidistat can change the humidity in your home by controlling a humidifier or dehumidifier in your comfort system.

What Can Go Wrong?

Thermostats usually work without problem for many years, but they eventually may become inaccurate or fail. You can clean, adjust, and replace a mechanical thermostat. An electronic thermostat, beyond replacing the backup battery, will require either replacement of the entire unit or repair by a professional technician. If a mechanical thermostat is acting up, consider replacing it with a programmable digital thermostat. They've become inexpensive and can help you save energy costs because of their efficiency. The location of your thermostat can greatly affect the efficiency of the comfort system. Make sure your home's thermostat is not placed in direct sunlight, in a draft, or near an exterior door or window. If it is, you can move it, or, if it is located within a wall, you can pack insulation behind it.

How Can I Identify the Problem?

If your comfort (heating and/or cooling) system fails to come on, first check your electrical service panel for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. Next, try cleaning the thermostat (see below). If that fails, test the thermostat (see below) and replace if faulty (see below).
If the comfort system short-cycles, that is, it turns on and off repeatedly, clean the thermostat contacts.
If the comfort system does not turn off, clean the thermostat. If that fails to resolve the problem, test the thermostat and replace it if it is faulty.
If the humidifier does not turn on, check the electrical service panel for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker; test the humidistat; replace a faulty humidistat.

Fix-It Tip

Save money with a programmable thermostat--it pays for itself in energy savings within just a few seasons. For example, if you lower the temperature in your home from 70 to 60 for an eight-hour period every night, you'll save about 9 percent of your energy use.

What Parts, Materials, and Tools Do I Need?

Replacement parts typically are not available for temperature and humidity sensors. However, many other components within comfort controls may be available through the manufacturer or dealer. Electronic comfort controls typically are replaced as a unit. The tools you'll need to access and check a comfort controller include these:

* Screwdrivers
* Level
* Small brush
* Coarse paper (such as a paper grocery bag)
* Room thermometer * Insulated jumper wires

What Are the Steps to Fixing It?

hot water boiler construction

Clean and adjust a mechanical thermostat:
1. Remove the comfort control's cover by unscrewing or pulling on it.
2. Verify that the wall plate is absolutely level. If it is not, loosen the mounting screws and level the unit.
3. Use canned air or a small brush to clean all the parts.
4. Insert coarse paper (grocery bag or other heavy, rough paper) under each lever and clean by moving the lever and sliding the paper around.
5. If the furnace turns off and on too often or too seldom, move the anticipator pointer slightly toward or away from the longer setting.
6. To determine if the thermostat is accurate, hold an accurate room thermometer nearby while adjusting the thermometer coil.
Test a thermostat: hot water boiler construction
1. Remove the thermostat body.
2. Clip an insulated jumper wire to the R (red) and W (white) terminals on the baseplate. If the furnace goes on, the thermostat is faulty; if the furnace doesn't go on, the problem is with the furnace, its relay, or the transformer.
3. If you're testing a mechanical thermostat, clean and retest it. Replace it if necessary. If you're testing an electronic thermostat, replace it.
Test and replace a humidistat: Comfort Controls Repair, Copyright Fix It Club: Common Repairs Made Easy! Find and connect the R and W terminals. hot water boiler construction
1. Set the humidistat higher than the humidity in the room. You may need a humidimeter for this task.
2. Turn off power to the comfort system at the electrical service panel.
3. Open the humidistat body.
4. Attach a jumper wire clip to the two terminal screws with wires on them.
5. Turn on power to the comfort system. If the humidistat drum operates, the humidistat is faulty.
6. To replace the humidistat, first turn off power at the electrical service panel . Then disconnect the humidistat from the wiring and install a replacement unit.

Fix-It Tip

If you're replacing an older thermostat with a new programmable unit, get one that allows at least two daily cycles. Select one that allows you to vary the settings for the weekend or daily requirements

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