Oil Smell

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Oil Smell

Postby baxybaxy on Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:54 pm

Hi everyone,

We have an oil-fired AGA, never had many problems.

Last week though, it went out and I wasn't able to relight it.

The engineer diagnosed a partially blocked filter back at the tank, fixed it and relit.

However, since then, we have had a bad smell of oil which appears to be coming from underneath the hot plate. The engineer (by phone) has said it is to do with our flue, which he has long said we need 'lined' (to create a better updraft) but the smell is not coming from the flue and it is also too coincidental that this problem has suddenly materialised. Also, the smell appears to be more like unburned fuel than exhaust

Is it likely to be that the oil flow rate has not been properly recalibrated? Apparently, the engineer turned it 'up to full' to show my wife how little oil was coming through from the tank.

The other immediately possibility I can think of is that a bit of oil was spilt during the original attempts to relight the aga, because I assumed that the supply pipe had filled with carbon when the aga went out and disconnected the thing a couple of times

Any ideas gratefully received!
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby baxybaxy on Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:31 pm

... incidentally, I have also noticed that the burner is glowing more of an orange colour than blue.
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby AGA man on Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:48 pm

If your flue is poor then the exhaust will try to leak out where ever it can the wise thing to do is get it serviced and if your engineer is advising you to line the flue either trust his knowledge or find another engineer.
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby baxybaxy on Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:56 pm

Thanks for the reply.

As I posted, the 'smell' problem has actually come in to play after the servicing and after the advice to get the flue lined.

Strange as the aga has been in place for several years and never had this issue before.

So it could be a change of engineer is called for; just a shame that means I will end up paying someone else for the same work
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby classicheat on Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:33 pm

The flue should be lined but if a lot of oil was spilt it will give off a smell. The shells do glow orange and when the cooker is on high fire if you look above them you should see a nice blue flame. Check the elbow just inside the burner door is not leaking also was the cooker off for a long time? If an oil AGA goes out it is important to turn off the oil at the control valve as oil will still creep into the burner which over time can lead to the insulation becoming contaminated with oil, this gives off a very bad smell and the cooker has to be repacked.
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby RobbieRocketPants on Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:56 pm

Hello,

We had this problem when we were first getting used to the Aga. It was caused by only one (of the two) wicks being lit. I cured it by simply blowing the flame until I was sure both Inner and outer wicks were lit.

Cheers,
Rob
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby john on Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:19 pm

If the engineer adjusted the fuel rate to demonstrate the blockage ( a dubious way of demonstrating this )
then it is possible the oil rate would increase as the cooker heated and it may now be overfired .
It is good practice to return and check the flame picture when the cooker has heated.

An "overfired burner may have an orange flame ( or one which has an orange core ) and may soot up the cooker .
Turn the Stat to high and then after ten minutes observe the flame above the shells.
It should be a clear violet blue with no tendency to orange in the core of the flame!
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby Steve N on Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:03 pm

Hi All.

Just new to this site and trying to find out a bit about oil smells on AGA/Rayburns too.

We have a Rayburn 208K which is 7 years old - cooker only and no boiler. This ran perfectly until a year gone October. We normally turn it off about May and back on end of September to mid October, normally getting it serviced just as it's turned back on.

After the service we had done in October 07 we immediately started getting bad oil smells and the Rayburn seemed to be running a lot cooler. At first the servicing compant told us it was the quality of the oil. Strange we thought as it was the same oil as before we'd turned it off, but we had the oil independently tested and the result came back perfect. At this stage we were having the engineer out weekly to try and adjust the Rayburn. Fortunately at their expense.

Eventually they told us the burner was the incorrect one and we should have a 6" burner fitted instead of the 8" one that had been in from new. We said this was rubbish as it had been no problem and what difference would a smaller burner make other than running cooler and maybe saving some oil. They then said the oil contol box was not functioning correctly and needed to be replaced.

A new one was ordered and fitted. In the process they said the original control box was the wrong one (a 9cc I think) and it should have been a 13cc for an 8" burner. They fitted the new one and as a result the Rayburn ran at the top of roast and would not get any lower. We eventually spoke to AGA technical who confirmed the original set up for our Rayburn was a 9cc control unit and 8" burner. The engineer said they had re-calibrated the 13cc one they'd fitted down to that of a 9cc. AGA technical confirmed to us that it was not possible to do this and the engineer was basically talking rubbish. Bear in mind we were supposed to be using the North Easts premier AGA/Rayburn sales and service company. I was wholly unimpressed when I asked the engineer how they had set the oil flow on the new control box and they said from years of experience and looking at the height of the flames.

By now we were into March 08 and having weekly or daily visits. With the final advice from AGA technical we asked for our original control box to be refitted and the flow rate set as if the system was being set up from new using the correct flow metering equipment. Low and behold our Rayburn ran perfectly. We can only think that in the original service the engineer missed something and put the flow rate out of calibration. I'd therefore suggest you ask for the AGA you have to be properly re-calibrated.

That said we turned our Rayburn off in May this year and back on early in September. It was running perfectly until about 3 weeks ago when we had a fresh delivery of oil. The smell of oil fumes returned immediately after delivery and we are finding we have to have the contol unit turned up to 2 to 2.5 to maintain its idle temperature and not have any fumes. We are certain therefore that there is an oil quality issue. Has anybody else expereinced this?

Cheers
Steve N
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby john on Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:56 pm

Fuel has been quite variable of late but a manually controlled 208K should have no difficulty with it !, you just turn it up to compensate if the Setting is too low ! The smell could have been caused by a wick going out so you would get incomplete combustion. This is usually accompanied by a drop in temperature. A 208K should idle at somewhere between 230- 270 F. (130 -150 C) but there can sometimes be problems getting a dry model down to these temperatures.

I suspect I would not three guesses to identify your service company.

The later 308K has a 6 inch burner and a 4-9cc range
208Ks always had an 8 inch burner and there should have been no difficulty turning down the oil rating to 9cc.
Experienced engineers (Myself included) do prefer to use the flame picture to confirm the settings. If you set the OCV rates when the appliance is cold then it will vary quite significantly as it heats up. No one has yet devised a satisfactory "hot" flow rating procedure!

The most significant problem noted by most engineers is a tendency for cooker burners to coke up more quickly .
We are convinced there is a quality issue but the powers will not own up to this
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby Steve N on Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:17 pm

I definitely think there is an oil quality issue based on experience of the last few weeks.

We are compensating by turning up the control unit as you suggest. I'm guessing that either the oil is a bit thicker in consistency or has some water content and when we turn the oil control unit down to the normal number 1 setting the oil flow is insufficient for the vapourising effect in the burner to work correctly. Basically if we leave it on that setting it would coke up more quickly. I'm assuming that turning up the control unit to 2 to 2.5 is increasing the oil flow and letting the oil burn/vapourise more effectively and stopping the burner coking up?

I also was wondering if there could be a build up of water in the tank if oil quality from suppliers has been deteriorating in the past couple of years. Much the same as you can get water in diesel. Does anybody know if there is a recommended draining and cleaning regime for plastic tanks to remove any water build up, or is this just not a problem?
Cheers
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Re: Oil Smell - "blinded" tank filter

Postby effsweet on Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:37 pm

re Steve N's post on 24/11/08,

"Does anybody know if there is a recommended draining and cleaning regime for plastic tanks to remove any water build up, or is this just not a problem?"

As an example my new Atkinson Tankmaster filter has blinded in 75days after about 1250litres of heating oil having passed through it. Then the Rayburn vaporising burner goes out!
I think that shows there's a problem with the oil in my tank
So, is there anyone "out there" who has any comments or experience on draining & cleaning out plastic tanks, or especially recirculating all the tank contents through a filter & back into the tank to eliminate anything likely to block the tank outlet filter.

I'd particularly like to hear, if you have tried filtering the contents of your tank, what sort of pump - for instance submersible or diaphragm type & what type of filter - in line or gravity free flowing & filter medium ie 50 micron 100 micron etc etc you've used.

TIA for your advices : Frank
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby oilman on Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:55 pm

Before cleaning the tank, you should establish the reason for the problem. Check for water in the tank. If there is any, suck most of it out. That's really about it. Then flush the oil line. Find why you had water in the tank (if there was any). It could be an exposed top to the sight gauge is allowing water to get to the filter. I would like to have glass (not plastic) bowl water traps before the filter, that way you can cath the problem before it occurs. I have never seen a water trap on a domestic installation.
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby AGA man on Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:13 pm

You've never seen a domestic glass bowled water trap???? there are(were) thousands out there about 2" dia 3" long, real thick glass bowl held in place with a wire bale....the only trouble is most are getting old now and you can't (or should I say could'nt) get new seals for them so made it a tricky job to take one apart, so most get replaced which was a shame as they worked very well.Then there was the Coopers filter I know the bowl was plastic but when they were newish you could see in and with a 489 filter in there as well you had the best of both worlds. the new plastic bowled ones are nothing short of a liability.....
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby oilman on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:05 pm

I said I had not seen them on domestic installations. If the seals aren't available, and they get removed, that could be why. It seems AC Delco still make one, also CAV/Delphi but they're around £28 each.
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Re: Oil Smell

Postby AGA man on Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:02 pm

Have you ever worked in Barrons way, Comberton? a lot of the original installations there had them.
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