Presentation on theme: "Combustion Appliances"— Presentation transcript:
1 Combustion Appliances WEATHERIZATION ENERGY AUDITOR SINGLE FAMILYCombustion AppliancesWEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM STANDARDIZED CURRICULUM – December 2012
2 By attending this session, participants will be able to: Learning ObjectivesBy attending this session, participants will be able to:Explain the basic principles of combustion, distribution, and venting and be able to recognize safety-related problems.Describe the health and safety issues related to combustion equipment.List the basic steps of visual and diagnostic combustion appliance safety and efficiency inspection.Cite test procedures for vented and non-vented appliances.Summarize the relationship between combustion safety problems and poorly designed or non-code-compliant vent systems.Describe worst case combustion appliance zone testing.By attending this session, participants will be able to:Explain the basic principles of combustion, distribution, and venting and be able to recognize safety-related problems.Describe the health and safety issues related to combustion equipment.List the basic steps of visual and diagnostic combustion appliance safety and efficiency inspection.Cite test procedures for vented and non-vented appliances.Summarize the relationship between combustion safety problems and poorly designed or non-code-compliant vent systems.Describe worst case combustion appliance zone testing.
3 Why Test Combustion Appliances? We test to assure:Health and safety.Building integrity.Comfort.Energy efficiency.We test to assure:Health and safety.Building integrity.Comfort.Energy efficiency.Combustion appliances are inherently dangerous if allowed to deteriorate or operate unsafely. They can quickly create deadly indoor air, cause a fire, or adversely affect the building.The house is a system made up of the building shell, mechanical systems, and the occupants.Every change in one component of that system affects the others. Tightening the building shell can affect the operation of combustion appliances.One of the primary responsibilities of the weatherization program is to assure that the home is safe for occupants.Photo courtesy of New River Center for Energy Research and Training (NRCERT)
4 Combustion Basics Combustion appliances This illustration shows how fuel and air mix on a gas cooking applianceWhen air combines with heat (a spark), oxidation (burning) occurs. Both primary and secondary air are necessary to ensure complete combustion.Primary air is air mixed with fuel before combustion, as shown on the right.Secondary air is additional air surrounding the flame, as shown on the left.Excess air is air in excess of what is needed for combustion and is released along with the rest of the combustion byproducts.
5 The Combustion Triangle Combustion appliancesRequirements for Combustion (Burning):Fuel (hydrocarbon) and oxygen (O2) must mix with heat for combustion to occur.
6 Triangle of Combustion Products Complete Combustion Results in:Water and carbon dioxide (CO2 ) are the two major byproducts of combustion.
7 Combustion by-products Complete CombustionComplete Combustion Occurs…When all the fuel is burned with sufficient oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water vapor.Combustion by-productsComplete combustion occurs when all the fuel is burned with sufficient oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water vapor:Fuel + oxygen + heat = heat + water + carbon dioxideByproducts of combustion are heat + water + carbon dioxide + excess air + trace compounds (CO, carbon, sulfur dioxide, etc.)Combustion byproducts must be:Vented in the case of a furnace or water heater.Assured to be within safe limits in unvented gas space heaters or gas cook stoves.
8 Carbon Monoxide from Incomplete Combustion CO occurs when:The ratio of fuel to oxygen is either too high to permit the complete formation of CO2 or...The temperature is too low to permit complete burning to occur.It is caused by:Too much fuel for the amount of oxygen.Not enough oxygen for the amount of fuel.Not enough heat (flame impingement).Carbon monoxide (CO) is created when the ratio of fuel to oxygen is either too high to permit the complete formation of CO2 or the temperature is too low to permit complete burning to occur.This is caused by:Too much fuel for the amount of oxygen.Not enough oxygen for the amount of fuel.Not enough heat (flame impingement).
9 Combustion, Distribution & Venting Supply AirCombustion GasesReturn AirDilution AirHeat ExchangerThis illustration shows the fundamental process of a heating system, including combustion, heat exchange, warm air distribution, and chimney venting.The heat of combustion generates sufficient heat to allow exhaust gases to safely rise up the chimney.Gas ValveMain BurnerCombustion Air
10 What to Inspect - Visual What do we inspect on combustion appliances?Chimney safetyVent pipesWiringHeat exchangerDistribution systemsCombustion airWhat do we inspect on combustion appliances?Chimney safetyVent pipesWiringHeat exchangerDistribution systemsCombustion airCombustion appliances such as furnaces, space heaters, and water heaters should be inspected to ensure safe operation. Visual inspection will help identify dangerous fuel leaks, the potential for carbon monoxide, spillage of CO and other flue gases into the house, and electrical and fire hazards.Q: What’s wrong with this furnace?A: It’s rusty, poorly maintained, and about ready for the scrap heap.Q: There’s no door on the blower compartment. Why is that a problem?A: It sucks all the unhealthy air in the basement into the house and might even have enough suction to pull flue gases back into the house.Photo courtesy of PA Weatherization Training Center
11 Use a calibrated gas leak detector to locate fuel leaks. Fuel Leak Testing #1Use a calibrated gas leak detector to locate fuel leaks.Use a calibrated gas leak detector to locate fuel leaks.To calibrate the instrument, adjust the dial until you hear a slow but steady clicking sound. Run the probe along the pipes and fittings. If a gas leak is detected, the clicking intervals will shorten and rise to a shrill, continuous sound.Photo Courtesy of NRCERTBacharach
12 Fuel Leak Testing #2 Test all joints, valves, and fittings. Combustion appliancesTest all joints, valves, and fittings.Natural gas is lighter than air, so test above joints, fittings, and pipes.Propane, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is heavier than air, so test below the connections.Use soap bubbles to confirm a leak since some types of pipe dope (joint sealant) may set off the detector. Check the entire area with the leak detector before using soap bubbles, since they will also set off the fuel leak detector.Photos Courtesy of NRCERTTest all joints, valves, and fittings.Use soap bubbles to confirm a leak.
13 Fuel Leak Testing #3 Gas leak detector for gas and propane. Use a gas leak detector for gas and propane.Do a visual inspection and a sniff test to detect fuel oil leaks.Photos Courtesy of NRCERTGas leak detector for gas and propane.Visual inspection and the personal sniff test for fuel oil.
14 Inspection – Wiring Is insulation on wiring missing or deteriorated? Photos Courtesy of NRCERTIs insulation on wiring missing or deteriorated? Is the heating system on its own circuit? Are wires properly clamped, connected and enclosed?This is a photo of deteriorated and dangerous wiring connections.Exposed wiring connections such as those pictured here can be hazardous. Contact between the wiring leads will cause a short circuit.Also note the sharp edge where the leads exit the furnace cabinet. Over time, vibrations may cause the wire to become frayed on this sharp edge and lead to a serious and even life threatening short circuit.These wires should be stabilized and enclosed in a code-compliant junction box. Is insulation on wiring missing or deteriorated?Is the heating system on its own circuit?Are wires properly clamped, connected, and enclosed?
15 Clearance to Combustibles Combustion appliancesOil and WoodGasSingle Wall 18”Single Wall 6”Double Wall Super Six, Dura Vent 6”Double Wall B-VentorB-W Vent 1”Manufactured Chimney 2” or per Manufacturer InstructionsThe chart shows sample required clearances for different types of vents.Clearances are allowable distances between heat-producing appliances, chimneys, or vent systems and combustible surfaces. Clearances vary for different combustion appliances and venting systems. Some are per manufacturer instructions.The National Fire Protection Association’s Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid-Fuel-Burning Appliances (NFPA 211) includes installation procedures for vents and chimneys that serve wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. Check for proper vent type, size, and clearance.Photo Courtesy of NRCERT
16 Combustion AirNFPA-54 states that combustion air must be provided for any combustion zone where the collective fuel input exceeds 1,000 Btu per cubic ft.Make-up air can be provided from outdoors or from other zones of the building.The National Fire Protection Association’s National Fuel Gas Code (NFPA 54) states that combustion air must be provided for any combustion zone where the collective fuel input exceeds 1,000 BTU per 50 cubic feet.Make-up air can be provided from outdoors or from other zones of the building.Natural draft heating systems (often referred to as atmospheric heating systems) require combustion air from the room where the appliance is located. If the room is too small to provide adequate combustion air, the chimney may not draft properly. Draft is a measurement used to determine how well a chimney is exhausting combustion gases.An easy test is to open a window. If the draft increases, combustion air is most likely needed.Do a classroom exercise to calculate the volume in cubic feet required for a 120,000 BTU furnace. See lesson plan.Photo Courtesy of NRCERT
17 Filter ReplacementCombustion appliancesChange out the furnace filter and educate the client about checking it periodically.Change out the furnace filter and educate the client.Air filters are often so clogged that airflow is drastically reduced. This restriction may cause heat exchangers to overheat and fail over time.The client needs to understand that dirty filters can affect their comfort and reduce the life of the furnace.Photo Courtesy of NRCERTPhoto Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training Center
18 Blower Maintenance Clean the blower. Combustion appliances A furnace blower works less efficiently if dirt accumulates on the fins.Blower fins can be cleaned with compressed air or a stiff brush. A mobile home blower such as the one pictured on the left can be easily disconnected, cleaned, and reinstalled.Photo Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training CenterPhoto Courtesy of NRCERT
19 Combustion Safety Problems Combustion appliancesRust on the draft hood of a natural gas furnace is evidence of severe spillage of flue gases.Soot stains at the inspection port of an oil-fired boiler indicate the need for a tune-up.Spillage of flue gases into the house occurs when there are physical problems with the vent system or there is sufficient depressurization in the combustion appliance zone (CAZ). A combustion appliance zone (CAZ) is any area of the building that contains a vented combustion appliance, whether it is in an isolated area that can be closed off from the main living area by a door, or in the main living area.Depressurization and the resulting spillage is a function of the interaction between the tightness of the house and the capacity of exhaust devices such as dryers, fireplaces, or forced air systems. Exhaust devices tend to exert more suction on a tight house than on a leaky house. Think of all the exhaust fans in a house acting like mini blower doors. The tighter the house, the more negative pressure is created. Open a window and the pressure is relieved.Some spillage is normal when a combustion appliance turns on but should last no more than a minute as the chimney heats up.Continuous spillage is known as backdrafting or draft reversal and can be caused by depressurization, a chimney blockage, or an oversized chimney.Photos Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training CenterRust on the draft hood of a natural gas furnace is evidence of severe spillage of flue gases.Soot stains at the inspection port of an oil fired boiler indicate the need for a tune up.
20 What to Test – Diagnostics What do we test on combustion appliances?Fuel leaksFuel input rateSufficient combustion airWorst case draftCarbon monoxideCombustion efficiencyWhat do we test on combustion appliances?Fuel leaksFuel input rateSufficient combustion airWorst case draftCarbon monoxideCombustion efficiencyDiagnostic test procedures go well beyond visual inspections and are necessary to prove combustion safety and efficiency. Specialized diagnostic tools such as manometers and combustion analyzers are used for this purpose.Photo Courtesy of NRCERT
21 Testing Equipment - Criteria Combustion appliancesCombustion analyzers should be able to measure:Flue gas oxygen contentFlue gas temperatureAmbient temperatureFlue gas carbon monoxideCombustion efficiencyFlue gas carbon dioxide contentFlue gas air-free or as measured CO contentCombustion analyzers should be able to measure:Flue gas O2 content.Flue gas temperature.Ambient temperature (temperature of the air surrounding the combustion appliance).Flue gas CO.Combustion efficiency.Flue gas CO2 content.Flue gas air-free or as-measured CO content.A combustion analyzer measures flue gas samples to determine the safety and efficiency of the combustion process.Oxygen content or carbon dioxide content and flue gas temperature are measured to determine steady-state efficiency (also known as combustion efficiency). Steady-state efficiency is the percentage of heat captured by fluids such as air, water, or steam.“Air free” refers to the level of CO not diluted with oxygen. There is always a certain amount of excess oxygen or air contained in combustion byproducts. Air-free values can be extrapolated mathematically if the level of oxygen is known. It can also be read directly on many newer models of combustion analyzers.“As measured” refers to a sample of CO that includes oxygen. As-measured values will always be lower than air-free samples.Show and tell: combustion analyzerPhoto courtesy of Bacharach Inc.
22 Selected Testing Equipment Combustion appliancesDraft gaugeSmoke tester (for oil)Photo courtesy of Bacharach Inc.Photo courtesy of Bacharach Inc.Digital probe thermometerThese are photos of selected test equipment.Draft gauge for testing chimney draftSmoke tester for measuring the amount of smoke produced by an oil burnerInspection mirror for looking into constricted spacesDigital probe thermometer for testing temperature rise and fan operating temperaturesShow and tell: selected testing equipmentInspection mirrorPhoto courtesy of Bacharach Inc.Photo courtesy of Omni Controls
23 If you’re not testing, you're guessing! Testing EquipmentCombustion appliancesMost modern combustion analyzers have printing capabilities, providing you with hard copy documentation.Show and tell: analyzer’s printing capabilitiesPhoto Courtesy of NRCERTIf you’re not testing, you're guessing!
24 Unvented Space Heaters Combustion appliancesPhotos Courtesy of NRCERTUnvented space heaters release all of their combustion byproducts into the home. In addition to CO2 and water vapor, CO compounds, excess air, and SO2 will be present.Q: How much water do you think is produced in the combustion process?A: About 1 gallon per 100,000 BTUs.Q: How many gallons of water per hour does a 25,000 BTU/hr appliance produce?A: One-quarter gallon (1 quart) per hour.Q: What do you think happens to all that water vapor on a cold winter day?A: It condenses on windows and/or it is carried by air currents into the attic or wall cavities, where it may condense on cold surfaces and cause mold.Unvented space heaters release all of their combustion byproducts into the home. In addition to carbon dioxide and water vapor, compounds of carbon monoxide, excess air, and sulfur dioxide will be present.
25 Visual Assessment – Space Heaters Combustion appliancesWPN 11-6: Space Heater PolicyNo weatherization work allowed where unvented gas or liquid fuel space heater is primary heat source.Removal and replacement of such heaters with vented, code-compliant heating systems prior to weatherization is strongly encouraged.Input rating must be at or below 40,000 BTU/hr.WAP funds may only replace primary heating system, e.g. unvented with vented, code- compliant system. May not replace unvented space heaters left in home as secondary units with code-compliant unvented units.Mobile homes must be vented outside.The WPN 11-6: Space Heater Policy includes the following.No weatherization work is allowed where unvented gas or a liquid fuel space heater is the primary heat source.The policy strongly encourages removal and replacement of such heaters with vented, code-compliant heating systems before weatherization.It shall not have an input rating in excess of 40,000 BTU per hour.WAP funds may only be used to replace a primary heating system with a vented, code-compliant system. They may not be used to replace unvented space heaters left in the home as secondary units.A space heater in a mobile home must be vented to the outside.Photo Courtesy of NRCERT
26 Why Test Gas Cook Stoves? Cook Stove TestingWhy Test Gas Cook Stoves?Elevated levels of CO are common.People often use them as a heat source.CO kills.Knowledge implies action.Why test gas cook stoves?Ask why we should test for CO on cook stoves. Wait for responses, then click to reveal the answers below.People sometimes use them as a heat source.Elevated levels of CO are common.CO kills.Knowledge implies action.Gas- and propane-fired cook stoves release combustion byproducts into the air. They must be tested and repaired if CO exceeds suggested action levels.Photo Courtesy of NRCERT
27 Gas Cook Stove TestingMobile Home AssessmentPhotos courtesy of NRCERTMeasure the CO content in the ambient air and visually assess the flame and condition of the burners.Calibrate or “zero” the instrument in outside air before testing.To protect yourself and the client, continually monitor CO in the ambient air. If CO in the ambient area is equal to or exceeds 35 ppm as measured, stop the test immediately.Specify to clean and tune if the flame has any discoloration, flame impingement, or an irregular pattern or if burners are visibly dirty, corroded, or bent.Measure the CO content in ambient air and visually assess the flame and condition of the burners.
28 Gas Cook Stove TestingMobile Home AssessmentPhotos courtesy of NRCERTIn the photo on the left an oven is being prepared for a test by removing stored items, aluminum foil, etc.In the photo on the right the probe of the combustion analyzer is being inserted into the oven vent to read the CO content after the oven has reached a steady state (sufficiently warmed).Calibrate or “zero” the instrument in outside air before testing.To protect yourself and the client, continually monitor CO in the ambient air. If CO in the ambient area exceeds 35 ppm as measured, stop the test immediately.Remedial action is required when CO levels exceed 100 ppm as measured at the oven vent.Prepare the oven for a test by removing stored items, aluminum foil, etc.Insert the probe of the analyzer into the oven vent and read the CO content after the oven has warmed.
29 Furnace Testing Protocol Combustion appliancesFurnaces must be tested to assess:Safety (fuel leaks, clearances, etc.).Flue gas temperatures.Oxygen (O2) or Carbon dioxide (CO2).Carbon monoxide (CO) levels.Draft.Condition of the heat exchanger.Single wall flue for oil heat.Open-ended ductThis photo shows an oil furnace with a single-wall flue graduated to a double-wall flue to maintain clearance to combustibles.Note the test hole where samples of flue gases will be taken and draft measured.Furnaces must be tested to assess:Safety (fuel leaks, clearances, etc.).Flue gas temperatures.Oxygen and carbon dioxide.Carbon monoxide.Draft.Condition of the heat exchanger.Photos Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training Center
30 Furnace Testing Methods - Visual Combustion appliancesCheck for:Dirt and debris.Burner alignment.Soot, evidence of flame roll-out.Heat-exchanger condition.Vent pipe and roof termination.Gas or oil leaks.Wiring condition.Condition of air filter.Cracked heat exchangerCheck for:Dirt and debris.Burner alignment.Soot, evidence of flame roll-out.Condition of the heat exchanger.Vent pipe and roof termination.Gas and oil leaks.Condition of the wiring.Condition of the air filter.Q: What does “evidence of flame roll-out” mean?A: Burned or charred area around the combustion chamber, bubbled paint, or any indication of high heat where it shouldn’t be around the chamber.Photo Courtesy of NRCERT
31 Heat Exchanger Leakage Testing Combustion appliancesTest methods:Look for flame damaged areas on the heat exchanger.Look for rust on the burner ports.Measure flue gas concentration before and after blower starts.There should be no more than 1% oxygen change when the blower starts.Observe change in draft, CO or flame when blower turns on.Damaged area of heat exchangerTest methods:Look for flame-damaged areas on the heat exchanger.Look for rust on the burner ports.Measure flue gas concentration before and after the blower starts.There should be no more than 1% oxygen change when the blower starts.Observe change in draft, CO, or flame when the blower turns on.Combustion byproducts and conditioned house air should never mix.Use both visual checks and a combustion analyzer to assess the condition of the heat exchanger.If there are flame-damaged areas, a cracked heat exchanger is the likely cause and the exchanger or the furnace must be replaced.Photo Courtesy of NRCERT
32 Inspection – Heat Exchanger Use a strong light and an inspection mirror.Is the heat exchanger rusty?Are there cracks?When inspecting the heat exchanger:Use a strong light and an inspection mirror.Is the heat exchanger rusty?Are there cracks?Photo courtesy of Bacharach Inc.
33 Conduct these tests for vented systems only! Worst Case Combustion Safety TestingFind the worst case depressurization in the CAZ.Under worst case conditions conduct:Spillage testDraft testCO testPerform at the time of the audit and at the end of each work day.Deactivate appliances until hazard is fixedThe objective of CAZ testing is to determine if combustion appliances will vent under worst case conditions and protect the occupant from the hazards of draft reversal.Under worst case conditions, conduct a:Spillage test.Draft test.CO test.Perform these tests during the audit and at the end of each work day.Conduct these tests for vented systems only!Ambient CO levels should be monitored in the CAZ during worst case testing, especially if depressurization of the combustion zone exceeds -3 Pascals (Pa) during house depressurization testing. If ambient CO levels in the combustion zone exceed 35 ppm, the draft test should cease for safety. The combustion zone should be ventilated before testing and repair of CO problems resumes.Deactivate combustion appliances until the hazard is fixed.Conduct these tests for vented systems only!
34 Setting Up Worst Case Conditions Record outdoor temperature.Clean dryer lint filter and furnace filter.Deactivate all combustion appliances.Close all exterior doors and windows.Open interior doors containing exhaust fans.Close all other interior doors.The first steps in setting up a worst-case CAZ test involve taking one basic measurement and setting the house up in winter mode.Record the outdoor temperature.Check and clean the dryer lint filter and vent. Replace or clean the furnace filter, if needed.Deactivate all combustion appliances.Close all exterior doors and windows.Open interior doors to rooms containing exhaust fans.Close all other interior doors.
35 Conducting a Worst Case Test Record the pressure difference of the CAZ with respect to outdoors using a manometer.Operate all exhaust devices.Record the pressure difference of the CAZ with respect to outdoors.Conduct CO and spillage tests under worst case conditions.Open and close interior doors (including door to CAZ).Repeat for all other vented appliances.Return dwelling, exhaust fans, and combustion appliances to normal settings.Measure and record the pressure difference of the combustion appliance zone with respect to the outdoors using a manometer. This is the baseline pressure that should be subtracted from all other CAZ readings.Operate all exhaust devices (including the dryer and air handler). Measure the pressure difference of the CAZ with respect to the outdoors.Open and close interior doors (including the door to the CAZ) to induce the greatest CAZ depressurization.Check interior doors using a smoke puffer. If smoke enters the room from the main body of the house, open the interior door. If air from the room blows smoke back into the main body of the house, close the interior door.Conduct CO and spillage tests under worst case conditions.Start with the weakest drafting appliance first. Spillage should not exceed 2 minutes after start-up. CO should not exceed 100ppm as measured on natural drafting gas or oil furnaces, boilers and water heaters.Repeat for all other vented appliances.Return exhaust fans and combustion appliances to normal settings.If a real house is available, conduct these tests with students during a field trip.
36 Test for Spillage No spillage after two minutes of operation Combustion appliancesNo spillage after two minutes of operationSmoke stick at draft diverterThis is a photo of a smoke-generating device to test for spillage.There should be no spillage after two minutes of furnace operation.Photo Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training Center
37 Spillage, Draft and CO Spillage Test at vent openings, i.e., dilution air openings and barometric damper with smoke.COTest at appliance breech between appliance and first opening in vent connect or directly above heat exchanger.Condensing gas appliances – Test at vent termination.SpillageTest at vent openings, i.e., dilution air openings or barometric damper, with smoke.Dilution air is room air that mixes with flue gases. Its purpose is to assist and maintain a consistent draft and counter the effects of wind.COTest at appliance breech between the appliance and the first opening in the vent connect or directly above the heat exchanger.Condensing gas appliances – Test at vent termination.
38 80+ Induced Draft Furnace CO, Draft and Steady State EfficiencyCombustion appliancesAtmospheric Furnace80+ Induced Draft FurnaceCO & DraftDraftCOTest for CO at each burner exhaust port of a natural draft furnace.Start the heating unit. Allow it to reach “steady state,” a condition that exists when the stack temperature stops rising more than 2º F in one minute as measured by the probe of a combustion analyzer.Insert the probe into the heat exchanger ports of a natural draft furnace, taking a complete set of readings in each port.In all cases, test CO in undiluted flue gases before they enter the dilution air inlet (draft hood). Test in each burner port.Test for draft above the draft hood or draft diverter. A draft hood or draft diverter is an intentional opening in the vent system serving a natural draft appliance (i.e., furnace or water heater). This is where dilution air is drawn from the surrounding room to mix with the flue gases in the chimney.For an 80+ efficiency induced draft furnace, test for CO and draft in the vent above the inducer fan.Measure the steady-state efficiency in the flue gases. It is calculated by the combustion analyzer based on the levels of CO2 or O2 and the flue gas temperature.Illustrations courtesy of Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD)
39 CO and Draft Test Locations #1 Combustion appliances90+ Condensing FurnaceFloor FurnaceCO & DraftCODraftFor a 90+ efficiency condensing furnace, test for CO at the vent termination. A draft test is not required for a condensing furnace because it operates on positive pressure in the flue.For a floor furnace, test for draft downstream of the draft diverter and CO at the burner exhaust port.Illustrations courtesy of Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD)
40 CO and Draft Test Locations #2 Combustion appliancesFuel Oil FurnaceBarometric DamperCODraftFor a fuel oil furnace, test for CO and draft before the barometric damper.The barometric damper on an oil-fired system consists of short section of vent and a counterweighted gate.The gate is balanced and adjustable to allow dilution air from the house to mix with exhaust gases going up the chimney. Its purpose is to assist and maintain a consistent draft and counter the effects of wind.Also measure the combustion efficiency and perform a smoke test.As measured with a smoke tester, the level of smoke in a flue gas sample of an oil furnace is an indication of how efficiently the burner is operating.Improper fuel-to-air ratio will result in high smoke.Photo courtesy of NRCERTIllustration courtesy of Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD)
41 Carbon Monoxide Action Levels Combustion appliancesAPPLIANCESuggested CO Action LevelsGas furnace, boiler, or water heater100 ppm, as measured or 400 ppm air freeOil-fired furnace, boiler, or water heater100 ppm, as measuredGas cook stove, OvenThis chart of suggested CO action levels is based on the “Standard Work Specifications, for Single-Family Energy Upgrades”.When CO exceeds acceptable action levels, perform the following tests, adjustments, or fixes:Verify that the vent system is allowing sufficient draft.Verify that the gas pressure is within an acceptable range by measuring the gas pressure or clocking the gas meter (natural gas only).Adjust the primary and/or secondary air on gas burners or clean burners.If these steps do not reduce CO to acceptable levels, refer the client to a heating technician who can replace the appliance as a health and safety measure.
42 Combustion Safety Problems - Fixes Solve excessive depressurization or inadequate draft:Repair chimney obstructions, disconnections, or leaks.Properly size the vent, connector, or liner.Install a metal chimney liner and/or a wind-rated chimney cap.Seal leaks in the return ducts of the CAZ.Balance supply and return air by adding new returns or by adding passive return air openings to the main body of the house.Reduce capacity of large exhaust fans.Provide make-up air for dryers and exhaust fans.Provide combustion air inlet to CAZ.Solve excessive depressurization or inadequate draft by specifying an appropriate combination of the following measures:Repair chimney obstructions, disconnections, or leaks.Properly size the vent, connector, or liner.Install a metal chimney liner and/or a wind-rated chimney cap.Seal leaks in the return ducts of the CAZ.Balance supply and return air by adding new returns or by adding passive return air openings to the main body of the house.Reduce the capacity of large exhaust fans.Provide make-up air for dryers and exhaust fans.Provide a combustion air inlet to the CAZ.
43 Disconnected draft hood Open ReturnsCombustion appliancesOpen returnThis is a photo of a dangerous combination of a disconnected draft hood and open return register on the furnace return air plenum.Q: Why is this a problem?A: Flue gases spill into the CAZ and are drawn into the conditioned house air by the furnace blower through the open return air register. Open returns in the CAZ should always be sealed.Disconnected draft hoodPhoto Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training Center
44 Time one revolution of smallest dial Measuring BTU InputCombustion appliancesClocking the Gas MeterTime one revolution of smallest dialTurn on only the unit to be measured. Others should be off.Time one revolution of smallest dial, and compare to a calibration chart.Any discrepancy with the rated input should be within 10% of the input rating.Turn on only the unit to be measured. Other units should be off.At the gas meter, time one revolution of the smallest dial and compare to a calibration chart.Any discrepancy in the rated input should be within 10% of the input rating.If an appliance such as a furnace is over-fired or under-fired beyond its input rating in BTU per hour, the unit could produce higher than acceptable levels of CO. This is because the ratio of fuel to oxygen is too high or too low to permit complete combustion.A BTU is the amount of energy it takes to heat one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.Clock the gas meter to determine how close the actual input is to the rated input of the appliance.Clock only one appliance at a time. If the actual fuel input varies from the rated input on the furnace nameplate by more than ± 10% (± 5% for 90+ condensing units), refer the unit to a HVAC technician who can inspect the unit and adjust the gas pressure to acceptable levels (3.5 IWC for natural gas and 11 IWC for propane).Refer to the calibration chart on page 3 of the “Combustion Appliance Safety & Efficiency Testing Tech Brief” handout.Photos courtesy of NRCERT
45 What’s Wrong with this Picture? Combustion appliancesFrom hot water tankThis photo shows a grossly misaligned vent system.Q: What’s not compliant here?A: The improperly sloped hot water tank flue. Vents need to be sloped upwards to take advantage of natural buoyancy of hot flue gases that are supposed to rise.Q: Do you think there’s a chance that the hot water tank will draft properly?A: No.To chimneyFrom furnacePhoto Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training Center
46 Chimney and Vent Connectors Combustion gases mixed with room airDraft diverterVentChimneyDilution airDraft hoodWater heaterNatural draft appliances rely on the buoyancy and temperature of combustion gases to rise up the chimney.As combustion gases escape, they are replaced by the air around the appliance.Note the intentional openings known as a draft diverter and draft hood where dilution air from the room is allowed to mix with the flue gases.Their purpose is to assist and maintain a consistent draft and counter the effects of wind.If the movement of flue gases is reversed, they will spill out through these openings.Gas heating appliance
47 A venting system should: Carry all combustion byproducts to the outdoors.Establish draft quickly.Be properly sized with minimal restrictions.Have long durability (corrosion resistance).Not overheat surrounding materials.Have adequate make-up air.A venting system should:Carry all combustion byproducts to the outdoors.Establish draft quickly.Be properly sized with minimal restrictions.Be durable (corrosion resistant).Not overheat surrounding materials.Have adequate make-up air.
48 Chimneys and Vents From hot water tank Single wall vent Chimney This is a photo of vent and chimney connection.The vent connects the combustion appliance to a vertical masonry or metal chimney and is also referred to in the heating trade as a smoke pipe.Q: Is there anything wrong with this picture?A: The excessive elbows on the large vent to the furnace are restricting the flow of flue gases.ChimneyFrom furnacePhoto Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training Center
49 Masonry chimney and B-vent Vent TypesMasonry chimneys.Type B vents – double wall, round.Type B-W vents – double wall, oval.Type L vents – more heat, corrosion resistant.Single wall metal – interior only.Plastic pipe vents – low temp condensing furnaces.Masonry chimney and B-ventA type B-vent is a double-wall pipe for gas- or propane-fired combustion appliances.An air gap between the pipes acts as an insulator.The inner vent pipe is aluminum and the outer pipe is galvanized steel.A type B-W vent is an oval B vent designed for wall furnaces.A type L vent is also a double-wall pipe for gas, propane, and oil-fired combustion appliances.This is much like the type B vent except the inner pipe is stainless steel. An L vent is always used with oil-fire equipment.Manufacturers may also specify an L vent for some gas- or propane-fired appliances.Single-wall galvanized metal is for interior use only.Mobile home furnaces and direct-vent space heaters are sealed combustion appliances that exhaust combustion gases and draw combustion air through the same double-wall vent system.Mobile home furnaces must be specifically labeled for use in mobile homes.PVC schedule 40 pipe is used for 90+ condensing units.Show and tell: various kinds of venting materialsPhoto courtesy of NRCERT
50 Factors That Affect Vent Operation Vent gas temperatureHeat loss from the ventHeight of the venting systemCapacity of the venting systemRestrictions in the venting systemAmbient temperatureNegative pressure in the CAZFactors that affect vent operation include:Vent gas temperature.Heat loss from the vent.Height of the venting system compared to nearby objects (e.g. trees, roof peak, etc.).Capacity of the venting system.Restrictions in the venting system.Ambient temperature.Negative pressure in the CAZ.See a problem here?Photo Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training Center
51 Chimney Specifications Masonry chimney is too short.According to The National Fire Protection Association’s Standard for the Implementation of Oil-Burning Equipment (NFPA 31), chimneys must be at least 2 feet higher than any portion of the building within 10 feet. B-vent height may be less with a UL-listed cap.Q: What’s wrong with the chimney in the picture on the right?A: It may not draft properly and is not code compliant. It should be raised so that the horizontal distance between the top of the chimney and the roof surface is at least 10 feet.Photo Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training Center
52 Chimneys and vents should: Be connected and unblocked.Not have holes in the chimney or vent.Have a sound liner.Rise no less than 1/4” per linear foot in the direction of the outlet.Extend at least 3’ above the highest point at which they pass through the roof.Be the appropriate type and size for the combustion appliances.Be at least the same diameter as the exhaust port of the combustion appliance.Chimneys and vents should:Be connected and unblocked.Have no holes or cracks in the chimney or vent.Have a sound liner.Rise at least 1⁄4” per linear foot in the direction of the outlet.Extend at least 3’ above the highest point at which they pass through the roof.Be the appropriate type and size for the combustion appliances.Be at least the same diameter as the exhaust port of the combustion appliance.NFPA 31, NFPA 54, and NFPA 211 should be reviewed to ensure that the vent and chimney are properly installed.
53 Chimneys and Vents #2Combustion appliancesBlocked chimneyMissing cleanoutPhotos Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training CenterChimneys and vents must not be blocked, and there must be no holes in the chimney or vent.Chimneys and vents must not be blocked and must have no holes in the chimney or vent.
54 Chimneys and Vents #3 Improper Slope Hole in Vent Connector Combustion appliancesImproper slopeHole in vent connectorThis is a photo of improper slope and a hole in the vent connectorQ: What’s the proper slope for a vent connector?A: Vents should have an upward slope of no less than 1⁄4” per linear foot in the direction of the outlet.Photos Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training CenterImproper SlopeHole in Vent Connector
55 Chimneys and Vents #4Combustion appliancesReduced vent connectorNo vent connectorPhotos Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training CenterThis is a photo of a non-compliant reduced vent connector and one with a hole in the vent connectorVents must the appropriate type and size for the combustion appliance and be at least the same diameter as the exhaust port.Q: If the hot water tank is producing 100 ppm of CO, do you think all of that CO will find its way to the chimney?A: No.Reduced vent connector out of compliance with codeNo vent connector
56 Water HeatersCombustion appliancesPhotos Courtesy of PA Weatherization Training CenterPhotos Courtesy of NRCERTThe photo on the left: Burn marks above the burner compartment showing evidence of flame roll-out.The photo on the right: Spillage of flue gases or insufficient draft is often a result of an improper installation such as this.Evidence of flame roll-out as pictured on the left indicates a problem when ignition of the appliance is delayed, causing a sudden mini-explosion of unburned natural gas in the burner compartment at the bottom of the tank.Q: What might be some reasons for this?A: Obstruction in the flue running up through the center of the tank, improper mix of fuel and oxygen, and/or dirty burner portsQ: Let’s say the hot water tank pictured on the right was found to have a spillage problem. Based on what you see in the picture, what might be the reason for this?A: Improper slope of the vent to the chimneyBurn marks above the burner compartment are evidence of flame roll out.Spillage of flue gases or insufficient draft is often a result of an improper installation such as this.
57 Atmospheric Hot Water Tank Testing Water Heaters #1Combustion appliancesTest for CO on both sides of the bafflePhoto courtesy of NRCERTInsert the combustion analyzer probe down into the water heater before the draft diverter and take CO readings on both sides of a baffle that runs up through the center of the flue inside the water tank. The purpose of the baffle is to retard the flow of hot flue gases and to facilitate the transfer of that heat to the water jacket surrounding the flue.Test for draft above the draft diverter.Ambient CO levels should be monitored in the living space and the combustion appliance zone to ensure the safety of agency staff, weatherization contractors, and occupants.Remember to calibrate the combustion analyzer outside and measure outdoor baseline CO levels before the test to ensure the accuracy of CO readings.If ambient CO levels meet or exceed 35ppm in the house, the combustion appliance zone should be ventilated before further testing and repair of the CO problem.Test for draft above the draft diverter.Figure courtesy of COADAtmospheric Hot Water TankIllustration courtesy of Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD)
58 Testing Water Heaters #2 Combustion appliancesDraft diverterThe photo on the left shows how to test for CO.Test for CO directly into the breach of the unit on both sides of the baffle that runs up through the center of the tank.The photo on the right shows how to test for the amount of spillage.On start up, time the amount of spillage. Spillage should cease after 1 minute of water heater operation.Photos courtesy of NRCERTTest for CO directly into the breech of the unit on both sides of the baffle that runs up through the center of the tank.On start up, time the amount of spillage. Then test draft above the draft diverter. Spillage should not exceed one minute.
59 Chimney Liner Combustion appliances An oversized chimney will have a hard time heating up enough to allow adequate draft. An appliance served by an oversized chimney may have spillage and backdrafting problems.A good example of this is when a water heater remains tied to a chimney after a high-efficiency, direct vent heating system is installed to replace the furnace that used the chimney. The chimney is no longer needed for the new furnace and the hot water tank remains, orphaned at the oversized chimney.A stainless steel liner should be installed to serve an orphaned hot water tank stuck with an oversized chimney. Refer to NFPA 54 for proper type and size.Show a sample of the chimney liner and cap.Photos courtesy of NRCERT
60 SummaryUnderstanding the basic principles of combustion, distribution, and venting will enable the auditor to recognize safety problems.Health and safety issues related to combustion equipment are some of the most important aspects of auditing a home.Visual and diagnostic combustion appliance safety and efficiency inspections and worst case CAZ testing reveal potentially dangerous situations and guide retrofit strategies.Practice appropriate test procedures for vented and non- vented appliances.Understanding the relationship between combustion safety problems and poorly designed or non-compliant vent systems is important to finding solutions.Understanding the basic principles of combustion, distribution, and venting will enable the auditor to recognize safety problems.Health and safety issues related to combustion equipment are some of the most important aspects of auditing a home.Visual and diagnostic combustion appliance safety and efficiency inspections and worst case CAZ testing reveal potentially dangerous situations and guide retrofit strategies.Practice appropriate test procedures for vented and non-vented appliances.Understanding the relationship between combustion safety problems and poorly designed or non-compliant vent systems is important to finding solutions.Present this slide as an interactive discussion, soliciting personal examples from the trainees. Add your own personal examples and knowledge to supplement.