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Steam Boiler, leaks

BAB Member Posts: 118
You said in your post "The HVAC company says...there was once a leak, although there is no present leak,...they say leaks stop from calcium build up." Then what necessitates the almost annual replacement of 7 burners?

I keep rereading your statement that "...they say leaks stop from calcium build up." You should listen to the advice of some of the gentlemen on this website & call a real pro, ... pronto! Could save you a lot of money. Bromley


  • CJ Squeri
    CJ Squeri Member Posts: 1
    Steam Boiler, ocasional leaks

    We have a 5 year old, Dunkirk 400,000 BTU Steam Boiler. Every so many years a leak in the boiler, causes us to have to replace the 7 flames. The HVAC company says it is because there was once a leak, although there is no present leak, because they say leaks stop from calcium build up. DOES THIS MEAN THE BOILER IS CRACKED or THE MAIN FRAME IS CRACKED NEEDING TO BE REPLACED.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,937
    Complete boiler replacement is in order, sir

    This is an accident waiting to happen. Mad Dog

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  • oil-2-4-6-gas
    oil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641

    its a leaker it should be replaced, the typical scenerio it will leak to the point of needing replacement in the middle of the heating season ,replaced on overtime 'or higher priced than if it were scheduled-or you'll get a quickie install,or the worse case scenario --if you loose the water in the vessel completly ,the low water fails --it either melts or can explode causing serious damage to proerty or life
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    How often do you have to replace boilers

    they should last at least twenty years.

    If you are changing more often you may be loosing water someplace and rotting them out.

    If so you need a pro to check your system.

    Mitch S.

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  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    Before replacing the Dunkirk...

    Find the problem. If it's hard water, the problem is only partly the water. Even very hard water is acceptable, as long as the steam system is tight. Tight as in only having to add water once a month, or in fall and spring, once every six weeks or so.

    The addition of so-called "boiler cleaner" chemicals can also damage steam boilers. The cleaning takes place via flocculanys and the water impurities float to the boiler block base. The intense heat from the burners intimacy (flames as you call them), makes the jelly like detris that has precipitated out of floatation onto the block base/bottom. Over time, the lejjy-like captured impurities becomes a layer of concrete-like eggshell. This eggshell has a different expansion and contraction rate than cast iron or steel and exherts huge tension on the metal it has by now become affixed to. The stress can result in stress fissures in the cast or steel. Fissures = leaks.

    You may in fact need a new boiler. But then again, perhaps you first need to find out why! Most boilers are warranted for 10 years against cracks and leaks. Have you checked into this?

    It also troubles me that the company doing service seems to be interested in fixing a leak, not the cause.

    Maybe it's time to find another contractor? Almost for a certainty, the boiler is not the problem. Whoever installed it however, may very well be. If they installed a new boiler in a steam system that was leaking from the system, not just the old boiler, they completely missed the boat.
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