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Old 05-12-2018, 06:37 PM   #1
Charlie T
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Default Oil Heat Service

Does anyone have any recommendations for a really good oil heat servicer?

I've used the local same guy for 10 + years with requests for yearly tune ups and cleanings. Today we had no heat/ hot water so I called "my guy" who told me he didn't have time for me and to call whoever delivers my oil.

I called Eastern who sent out a Fabulous service tech. The tech evaluated the system and upon inspection told my son who was at the house for the weekend that "in 27 years I've only seen one oil boiler that had a bigger build up of soot and ash. He said there was no way "my guy" had been properly servicing the unit over the years as the fire box and areas between the boiler sections were filled completely and he had to saw them out to clean the thing. I'd be thrilled to have this guy from Eastern do all my service but I fear with a big company that you get who you get and some may not be as great and thorough as this tech was. Does anyone have comments on Easterns service tech's in general? If they are all top notch like the tech that visited today, I'm more than happy to continue to use them for service. If anyone has other recommendations I'm open to suggestions. Just as a foot note, the system is a burnam boiler with a Riello burner and power vent system which seems to be the item that causes the most difficulty for techs that don't fully understand how they work and how to adjust them ..... Other than getting someone to actually clean the damn boiler properly .

Any advice is appreciated.

Charlie T
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:24 PM   #2
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I have used Eastern for the past 20 years, and never had a problem with their techs or service.

I purchased my home new in 1998, and it had a Weil Mclane Gold oil burner with a power vent. Oil burners do not operate as clean as gas or propane fired burners, and using a power vent does create some issues. In my case, the long length of exhaust pipe to the vent created an odor of fuel oil when the unit shut off. We extended the run time of the power vent once the unit shut off, but it really did not help. The power vent seemed to run forever on cold nights.

I had Eastern install a propane Weil McLain Ultra propane unit. This was about 15 or 16 years ago, and the unit was plagued with problems. It had an aluminum heat exchanger that would get plugged with scale among other electrical issues. The install by Eastern was extremely professional, and all their techs were top notch in my opinion. After seeing how many problems this unit experienced, I purchased a Blue Ribbon Plan from Eastern which included an annual cleaning, and free labor and parts for any future problems. The plan also included replacing the unit at no charge if could not be fixed. The unit must be fairly new and approved by Eastern before they will insure it.

I was somewhat skeptical, but Eastern installed a new Viessmann Boiler last year at no charge under the service contract. I also use them as my propane supplier.

I hope this helps.

Cobalt
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:01 PM   #3
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We've used Eastern both for oil and service for the past three years and have been satisfied with both.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post

I was somewhat skeptical, but Eastern installed a new Viessmann Boiler last year at no charge under the service contract.

Cobalt

Was this a wall hung or conventional system?

Wall hung systems were developed for radiant heat not baseboard and in my experience, shows that they are eventually destroyed by the higher heat needed for those systems using BB. Wall hungs must condense in order to not be destroyed from within, that means they must operate at low temps. The concept is wonderful, but the reality is painful! Wall hungs are a 10 year boiler that are very expensive to service properly, which by the way almost never get done properly even though you believe they had( yes that is a strong statement I will stick by), while a conventional system can last 20+ years. Any company is only as good as the tech they send out. By the way I just retired from the HVAC field and have seen and heard it all. The one thing I've found is that homeowners are gullible and are easily led into a false sense of security by the ones they should be on the alert about. The biggest lie is that wall hung boilers are better than the old boilers that were the main stay for over a century! For those wanting to replace a boiler Energy Kinetics System 2000 in my opinion is the best boiler out there and their condensing boiler is far superior for baseboards use that any other! Then again ... I am bias... I actually cared about the customer AFTER the sale and always wanted for them to have the best system available. That doesn't mean there aren't good systems out there, but no wall hung would ever be on my list.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:05 AM   #5
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I'd stick with Eastern if I were you since you had a good experience. That said, I use Foley oil, on about my 5th year with them, no problems.

Brushing and vacuuming the heat exchanger is probably one of the most important parts of the service and one of the messiest and not fun jobs. Beyond that setting the electrodes and checking the combustion after is also important. A lot of guys eyeball the electrode setting rather than using a gage or ruler, they think they are that good, they are not. Then they skimp on the combustion tests. You can tell usually if the burner bangs when it starts. I think it's more important to have a good company that is too busy to want to keep doing service calls so they want to get it right the first time.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:25 AM   #6
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I've used Stafford oil for 4 years with no issues but I have a new boiler so I've had no reason to call them for service.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:07 PM   #7
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The unit is a wall hung unit, and I agree with everything you said.

I wish my home had a chimney to use a conventional boiler. The noise from the power vent located under our bedroom, and the odor of fuel led me to a condensing boiler with internal fan. It was quieter, but the maintenance issues are not worth the higher efficiency. Also, traditional boilers are more efficient today. Unfortunately, the builder chose power vent over chimney to save money. I can't think of any other reason.

It seems the greater the efficiency, whether boilers or refrigerators, the lower the useful life.

I don't know the life expectancy of this boiler, but it is covered under a replacement warranty. Time will tell.

Cobalt
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:40 PM   #8
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We used Stafford Oil for the 10+ years we were on the lake. They were flawless with everything. I would highly recommend them.

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Old 05-14-2018, 01:00 PM   #9
Charlie T
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Thanks to everyone for the replies. Based upon the comments it seems like Eastern has a great crew of service techs. I'm more than happy to continue to use them for my service.

Cheers

Charlie T
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:31 AM   #10
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Default Oil heat service

I have used Stafford for several years. So far great service.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
I wish my home had a chimney to use a conventional boiler. The noise from the power vent located under our bedroom, and the odor of fuel led me to a condensing boiler with internal fan. It was quieter, but the maintenance issues are not worth the higher efficiency. Also, traditional boilers are more efficient today. Unfortunately, the builder chose power vent over chimney to save money. I can't think of any other reason.

Cobalt
Had the exact same issue with my new to me house then. Power vent right under my bed was very noisy and it created a negative pressure in the house that caused air to come back through the boiler to equalize and thus brought oil smell in. I cut in a louver vent next to the boiler which fixed that problem but not the noisy blower. I had a chimney but at the other end of the house so I installed a metal insulated chimney and that solved everything. FWIW
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