Did you ever wonder why many of the largest cast iron boiler manufacturers in the country are making pre/post purge, interrupted duty ignition cad cell controls STANDARD on their oil fired residential boilers? These controls offer micro-processor based operating systems, pre-purge, post-purge, interrupted duty ignition, fifteen second safety timings, alarm contacts, diagnostic LED lights, serviceman reset protection and longer warranty periods. But all these features MUST cost significantly more money than the old constant duty, forty-five second safety timing controls? So are these manufacturers buying the pre/post purge, interrupted duty controls and spending that extra money because they are great guys??? Well, maybe, but I think perhaps there is an even better reason! That reason is significant, measurable, cost effective operational improvement in the burner.

Pre/post purge, interrupted duty ignition controls utilize an oil valve to provide outstanding cut-off for the fuel unit on shut down. The pre-purge feature insures full oil atomization on start up and proper air fuel mixing instantly in every application. This results in elimination of over 95% of the soot generation commonly found on burner start-up and shutdown. This will give you the ability to stretch traditional annual service periods to as long as two, three or four years. There are staggering fixed costs being faced by service departments today. Labor costs, insurance, vehicle costs, gasoline prices, employee benefits, and the limited return on service contracts are just some of the issues service departments must confront. In order to deal with these issues, stretching service periods has got to become the number one priority in the fight to make the service department a profit center as opposed to a necessary evil.

If you choose NOT to replace a pre/post purge, interrupted duty control with a control of equal features you have taken a GIANT leap backwards in the fight to stretch service periods. No Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. The country’s largest boiler manufacturers are not installing pre/post purge, interrupted duty controls out of the goodness of their hearts. They are utilizing these controls because they have proven the cost savings and technological advantages provided by these components. While these advanced controls will cost you more up front, they will also provide you with the ability to stretch service periods and amortize those staggering fixed cost of running a service department. Ultimately this will make for greater service department profitability.

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