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The heat exchanger must be free of cracks and holes due to the potential of carbon monoxide leakage. You can probably make a short term repair with sheet metal and high heat furnace refractory cement, but that is a quick fix only.
Please be aware of the potential for a lethal situation due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Burner pot needs to be removed from heater, for hearers of this vintage, Best advice is to have the burner pot and heater serviced and replace ignition element at same time, I can do this,live in Adelaide. Probably cost $250 inc parts, test run, calibrate.
To check them you should power the unit down, then using your volt ohm meter check the limits. These limits should read normally closed or dead short, if it is open that is your culprit. If it happens to be one of the limits in or around the burner chamber please inspect the(burner chamber) heat exchanger for cracks or pin holes as this would leave carbon monoxide to be released in to your home.These limits are for over heating and that occurs once you have holes in the heat exchanger letting hot gasses escape out to the blower area of your furnace.
If they are just hair line cracks I would not be overly concerned,just something I would recommend that you monitor. If they spread apart a bit further you can clean and wire brush cracks as good as you can ,then wash down and allow to dry. You can use a thin coating of hi-temp furnace cement with a temp rating of 2000 degrees. Follow instructions on container and it should help. Thank you.
Perhaps a small animal, bird, etc, maybe has fallen into the burners or close by, this often happens you need to have a look for any ...Umm .. foreign matter, in or around your unit, and remove it. There is a product called "Nil-Odor" this removes and neutralise's bad smells.
Your Laser 55 burner mat has erroded away. The fuel is pooling someplace in the burner rather than spreading smoothly over the bottom. The stuff on the igniter may be hardened carbon from a poor flame. Bottom line is some burner work. A new mat, ring and cleaning the burner air holes is in order. Don't be surprised if the heat chamber is cracked beyond repair when you get it off. NOW for the bad news. The Laser 55 and 72 are older heaters. You will find just about all the electrical parts are going to be hard to find. They are no longer being made. Your 55 will be able to use the newer 56 blower, mat and burner ring. You will also be able to use the heat element off a 56 as well. If there is a problem with the fuel pump causing your poor flame you will be out of luck.
it is a fiberglass composite. it will not burn. its function is to soak up the kero coming into the burner pot for ignition. from the factory it is held in place by a refractory cement that tends to dry out after time and the edges of the mat curl up. I do repairs on my own monitor 441 and I use a 500 degree silicone adhesive that I got from the hardware store made by rutland stove cements.