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Question about leaking 8-year old Burnham steam boiler

SHS111SHS111 Posts: 3Member
Eight years ago my plumber installed a new boiler to replace the old one that had failed. This "new" one apparently has developed a leak. While he initially thought it would be covered under warranty, I got this back earlier from him (my plumber) today: " ... received this from the Burnahm rep regarding your boiler: Failure in a steam boiler of this type is not considered a manufacturing defect. Rather it is factor of the age and tightness of the system (piping) as well as the quality of the water in the city, chlorides are not good."



They then went on to offer to sell the plumber a replacement block and base. Plumber has quoted me a total install cost of this block and base of approximately half the cost of a new boiler (installed).



It just seems absurd to me. What's your opinion?
· ·

Comments

  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Leaking Boiler

    Hi- One of the Forum rules is that we don't discuss pricing. Your best bet would be to get other bids and then compare them. 

    Chlorides can shorten the life of a boiler. Where are you located? Eastern Mass. around Boston is one area where this seems to be a big problem.

    - Rod
    · ·
  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,716Member ✭✭✭
    Chlorides kill castings

    The quality of the water between Boston and Providence does have high chlorides, MWRA water is fine. Ask around and see if any of your neighbors have had this problem.



    I would get a few more bids before installing a new boiler, if it was caused by chlorides the brand of boiler won't matter. The key would be to find out what you can do to prevent this from happening to a new boiler.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    · ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,497Member ✭✭✭
    Steam

    Where are you located? Ay picture of the boiler and near piping?
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac.com
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac

    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.
    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    · ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,528Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    My opinion

    Is replace the block, fix any and all leaks.  If you have a standard autofeeder without a water meter get rid of it and have a VXT feeder installed but only use it for emergencies.  Normally you should be personally adding water to the boiler when necessary and ONLY before a heat cycle to ensure the water is boiled immediately.  Fresh water should never sit in the boiler for more than a few minutes.



    I also highly recommend using Rectorseal steamaster tablets in low dosage (1 or 2 pills at the most) or Rhomar boiler pro 903.  These products greatly reduce corrosion.  Also keep an eye on the PH of the boiler water and try to keep it betwen 8 and 9.
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    · ·
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 3,233Member ✭✭✭
    Many failures I see

    are based on poor installation or system maintenance that leads to either an unstable water line or excess fresh water usage. Photos of the current piping would help as the cost does not matter if you have to keep changing the block every 8 years be cause it is piped poorly.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    · ·
  • SHS111SHS111 Posts: 3Member
    edited April 2013
    Thanks for the comments

    And my apologies for posting the estimates, should have realized that wasn't proper form. Helpful comments from all, and I appreciate it.



    Location: Newton MA
    · ·
  • SHS111SHS111 Posts: 3Member
    Thought I'd post an update. I did have the block replaced, and then paid more attention to where there might be water leakage from the system. Found the culprit: turned out there was an old overflow valve that was stuck in an open position, causing water to be released into a drain sink in another room in the basement. I pointed this out to the plumber, who closed the valve. All works perfectly now, it's rare that the system calls for more water, and also the banging and clanging is gone altogether. So it took me nearly 17 years in this house to get all the problems worked out, but I think I finally have.
    · ·
  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,716Member ✭✭✭
    I'm glad to hear you found and fixed the cause for excess water use. I hope the new boiler hasts a LONG time.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    · ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,528Member ✭✭✭
    It's good to hear you found where a lot of the water was going. I still recommend checking your PH and consider using some water treatment such as Rectorseal Steamaster or a Rhomar product.
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    · ·
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