Lanair Products, LLC
How to Adjust the Flame in an Waste Oil Heater
In this video we will discuss how to adjust the flame of a Lanair waste-oil heater. We’ll cover modifying the unit’s fuel-pressure and compressed-air settings, combustion air and draft settings, and visually inspect the flame quality for confirmation.
For maximum product life, this procedure should be conducted at least once daily during operation and whenever operating or fuel conditions change.
It’s important to follow safety guidelines when working on mechanical, plumbing, and electrical equipment. Only allow qualified technicians to work on your system and ensure that the appropriate personal protective equipment and safe practices are used throughout the work.
Tools and equipment:
- A face shield or safety goggles should be worn at all times when or working closely with a unit that is in operation.
- Gloves to protect against heat when contacting hot, or potentially hot surfaces.
Safety Precautions and Prep
Before beginning, refer to the product instruction manual and ensure that the unit is properly installed and the burner startup procedure has been successfully conducted.
Most firing issues stem from fuel quality, rather than the function of the unit. Always be sure to collect and store your fuel according to the guidelines provided by the product instruction manual.
Avoid the collection of water, antifreeze, gasoline, debris, and other contaminants and unapproved fuels and be sure to service your collection tank annually to remove any of these that may have been collected accidentally.
Another underlying cause of poor flame quality is often that the fuel is too cold.
Maintain a fuel temperature of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and periodically check the preheater inside the burner to ensure that it is warm to the touch and functioning correctly.
If the temperature of the fuel-storage area is allowed to drop too low, it can take a long time for the fuel to warm back up.
In freezing conditions, any water that may have settled in the tank will freeze and begin to float back up into the fuel, carrying debris and other contaminants with it, potentially leading to additional issues.
Once proper fuel quality and storage has been confirmed, continue with the flame adjustment.
Establish a call for heat to the unit by setting the thermostat to its maximum temperature setting. If the red light on the burner’s primary control is indicating that the unit is locked out, you will need to press the reset button on the top of primary control to reset the burner. The unit should now attempt to start operating.
Allow the heater to run for at least 15 minutes to reach its operating temperature before proceeding.
When the unit has reached operating temperature, check the chimney draft to ensure that it is correct according to the product instruction manual. If necessary, use a gloved hand to adjust the damper door in order to achieve proper draft.
Ensure that the primary air-pressure regulator is supplying 30 psi to the secondary air-pressure regulator and that the secondary air-pressure regulator is supplying the appropriate initial air-pressure setting to the unit, based on the product instruction manual’s recommendation for your model.
Periodically inspect the air pressure regulators to ensure that they are free of moisture and debris, as these contaminants will cause a malfunction of or damage to the unit.
Next, ensure that the appropriate oil pressure is being delivered to the burner.
Once these initial settings have been confirmed, use a gloved hand to open the flame-inspection port cover of the heater cabinet and visually inspect the flame.
The flame should extend approximately ¾ of the depth of the combustion chamber and should not be contacting the walls of the chamber. No black smoke should be emitted from the chimney and the ash deposited in the combustion chamber over time should be white to off-white in color.
If the flame is contacting the walls of the combustion chamber, the unit is over-fired and will cause damage to the unit.
If the flame is too small, or under-fired, the unit will not deliver the rated amount of heat to the surrounding space.
In both of these scenarios, the unit will experience poor efficiency and product satisfaction, more frequent and intensive need for maintenance, and premature replacement of parts or the entire unit.
But this is exactly the reason your Lanair waste-oil heater was engineered to give you the flexibility to adjust to the specific conditions of your recycled fuel.
How to Fix Over-Firing Flame
Now that we can identify if the flame is well adjusted, let’s go over some steps to remedy a poorly adjusted flame.
Even if not obviously making contact with the combustion chamber walls, an over-fired flame will also appear darker in color. A dark-yellow, orange, or smokey flame is a sign of over-firing. You may also notice that the ash produced by an over-fired flame is a dark-brown or sooty-black in color.
If an oil-pressure bypass regulator is present on the unit, reduce the oil pressure in point-1-pound increments until the flame is correct, or down to approximately one-half pound below the recommended pressure range for the model, whichever comes first.
To do this, loosen the locking nut on the oil-pressure bypass regulator and turn the thumb screw counter-clockwise to reduce the flow pressure. Re-tighten the locking nut after making adjustments.
If further adjustment is needed or if no oil-pressure bypass regulator is equipped, slowly increase the opening of the combustion-air intake on the burner by sliding the air baffle away from the heater cabinet until the flame is correct, or by up to 25% more than the recommended setting for the model.
To adjust the flame further, increase the atomizing-air pressure at the secondary air-pressure regulator in 1-psi increments until the flame is correct, not exceeding 1-psi beyond the recommended air-pressure setting range for the model.
If the unit is still over-firing after adjusting each of these settings to their limits, contact Lanair technical support for further troubleshooting.
How to Fix Under-Firing Flame
For a unit that is under-firing, we will reverse our approach.
Begin by reducing the atomized-air pressure at the secondary air-pressure regulator in 1-psi increments until the flame is correct or down to 1-psi below the recommended air-pressure setting range for the model, whichever comes first.
If further adjustment is needed, slowly decrease the opening of the combustion-air intake on the burner by sliding the air baffle toward the heater cabinet until the flame is correct, or by up to 25% less than the recommended setting for the model.
If an oil-pressure bypass regulator is present on the unit, further adjust the unit by increasing the oil pressure in point-1-pound increments until the flame is correct, or up to approximately one-half pound above the recommended pressure range for the model.
To do this, loosen the locking nut on the oil-pressure bypass regulator and turn the thumb screw clockwise to increase the flow pressure. Re-tighten the locking nut after making adjustments.
If the unit is still under-firing after adjusting each of these settings to their limits, contact Lanair technical support for further troubleshooting.
When good flame quality is achieved, make a note of the changes made for reference and to assist Lanair technical support, should any other troubleshooting be necessary in the future.