Boy I wish my leak were resolved. Still leaking about a cup of oil a day. Fortunately I have a pan under it. I cleaned it up real good Saturday to figure out exactly where the leak was coming from, and have determined that it is that thin copper tube (think it is called a capillary tube) that connects to the pump. It is dripping right where it connects to the pump. I tried tightening the nut around it, but that doesn't help. It may be stripped. I also tried shutting the power and oil off and putting a bunch of Plumbers Goop around the fitting to seal it. That didn't work either. Probably wasn't dry enough to adhere right, but I didn't want bleed it and then risk messing it up when I tried to run it again. So I finally cried uncle and called a different boiler service place (the one who installed it over 10 years ago), and am waiting for them to come by in a couple of days to take a look. I figure it could either need a new capillary tube and nut or a new pump if the fitting is stripped, or both. Here's my hard to think through issues:
1. I can try to talk to my service and repair guy into just replacing the leaking parts. But the guy who serviced this was talking about replacing the whole burner "cause its old." $750 to fix a little oil leak seems like overkill to me. Can I talk him into just replacing the pump, which I know is only $70 at Simply Plumbing.com? What if he balks and says the part alone will cost him $150, plus labor? I don't mind a plumber charging reasonable markup, but honestly, it feels like a lot of these guys just go to the same supplier year after year instead of getting the same part from a cheaper supplier. I've often been charged double for the same exact part (brand and everything) that they have at the local hardware store).
2. I can replace the whole burner, but will I gain anything? I only burn about 500 gallons of fuel a year. Seems like I'd have to increase a lot in effeciency to justify the cost of replacing a burner that is still being made.
3. If I use the guys who originally installed this boiler-then I'm using the same company that delivers my oil. But I've heard that it's a bad idea to use your oil man to service your boiler, because they don't have any interest in it running efficiently. I know that sounds terrible, because probably 90% of these fuel service places are honest, but how's a guy to know who to trust?
My trouble is, I don't think like a HVAC pro. I don't know their perspective. All I know is I don't want to overspend on a little leak. But I don't want to tick them off unnecessarily either. Maybe I'm overthinking this.