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Delavan it depends on what you mean by cheap. If you are looking for cheap right out of the gates then try the UEI C50 or C75. If you are looking for the cheapest over time then the new UEI c155 and c157 are what you want. The C155 and C157 use light as their detector, so there is no replacement of cartridges. The Co detector has a 5 year warranty and the O2 is good for 10 years, the unit itself has a 5 year warranty. The cost of ownership for many people is approx $750 a year (cartridges and calibration). So over a 5 year period that is $3750 to tack on to the cost of your combustion analyzer.

There are several other manufactures to check out as well: Testo, Bacharach, Wohler and Alnor all come to mind.

JJ
 

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Actually Jon is right, the true cost of a combustion analyzer is in the replacement of cartridges or service. If you buy a $300-$900 combustion analyzer expect to pay a few thousand over years of ownership. Not to mention anything less than $900 (new prices) will generally not display both Co and O2 (usually one or the other), and is junk. All combustion analyzers have to figure O2 and Co2 in order to know the other (as well as draft pressure and some other numbers). Make sure when you are reading the specs it does both calulations and display. Often times customers get confused that if a combustion analyzer figures something then it should display it, and that is not true. There are other features out there that are important as well, if you need them. Draft pressure, stack temperature, O2, Co2, Co, NoX, data logging, IR printer, and the list goes on. Out of all of those NoX is very important. If the gas hits the Co sensor and the NoX is not filtered out, the Co figure can be off by as much as 25%.

As my previous post stated I highly recommend the C157 UEI, because of the NoX filter, if you are looking to save money up front go with the Testo 327-3. The 327 also has a built in NoX filter, and right now the 327-3 is cheaper than the 327-2, they are $250 off through the end of the year. The -3 comes with an IR printer, the -2 does not. The 327-1 does not come with the printer or a case, the -4 adds on a smoke spot tester to the -3 kit. For the C157 you will be in the $1500 ballpark for the kit. In the $1350 range, or so, for just the meter, probe and case. The 327-3 is in the $1k ballpark, and so is the 327-2. The 327-1 is right around $900. The 327 has cartridges to replace and a 3 year warranty, the UEI c157 does not use cartridges and has a 5 year warranty on the unit and the Co sensor, and a 10 year warranty on the O2 sensor.

Just remember test & measurement equipment are not like power tools, if you buy cheap that is exactly what you get, or your cost of ownership over time is much higher. With power tools, providing you stay with the larger name brands, it really is the Chevy vs Ford arguement in many cases.

JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Actually Jon is right, the true cost of a combustion analyzer is in the replacement of cartridges or service. If you buy a $300-$900 combustion analyzer expect to pay a few thousand over years of ownership. Not to mention anything less than $900 (new prices) JJ

I got this cheap analyzer. I have been using it for some time now. What I can say - nothing better is needed! There is professional logging capability in the latest software version. This device is sometimes better then all high-end products starting from $5000. http://www.elkom.com.tw/files/LMBD3_v111_Advanced_analysis_example.zip
The price of servicing equals to the lambda probe every 2-3 years - some bucks like $70-$90. If you have question I can tell you everything.
 

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Hmmm... since they say it's designed to be used with the cheapest automotive type sensors, I would think that unless the oil burner used unleaded, even with a smoke number of 0 to 1, the combustion deposits and sensor contamination would prevent accurate readings and reduce the sensor life, sort of like it does in a car that’s engine isn’t tuned properly... but maybe not.

How does that unit calculate things like air free CO, excess air, stack temp and % efficiency, which are helpful for assessing burner performance?
Also wondering if it uses some sort of inline filter or trap to prevent moisture contamination of the sensor when used for combustion analysis on gas furnaces?


With that unit, wouldn’t you also need to bring your laptop or notebook in with you on a service call in order to be able to view test results as well as be able connect to a portable printer?

Have you done side-by-side comparisons with traditional combustion analyzers... it would be interesting to see and compare the test results.


Anyway, I guess if it’s working for you then fine, but I still generally believe that test equipment should be designed and calibrated to operate within the parameters of the systems to be analyzed.
I could recommend a cheap Bacharach Tech 60 like I bought new for like $450.00 as a backup unit. It’s basic and accurate, but does need the O2 sensor replaced every other year though.


BTW: I think that Fyrite Pro offered in the post above is a steal at that price, functioning O2 sensor or not. If I had need for another, I would snatch that thing up in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Look how good quality this combustion analyzer LMBD3 is. I have this for some time now. I would never pay for anything else.
I saved 600 gallons of oil this winter!
This is before and after furnace/oil burner adjustment.
 

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