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cracked boiler

thanks todd. the insurance inspector's supposed to come this week, and should be able to give a decisive answer. but there is a white plume of vapor coming out of the chimney. the system has been working fine though - heating the building just fine at least. is there a danger of it exploding??


  • dave rempis
    dave rempis Member Posts: 2
    cracked boiler

    My condo building has a 33-year old Crane 400 series 800 BTU steam boiler. A service person recently came and pronounced it cracked, and said it needed to be replaced immediately for about 16K. We got another company to come and give us a second opinion, and they didn't find any sign of a crack or leak anywhere. They recommended asking company #1 where it was.

    Company #1 said it was near the top of the boiler. According to Dan Holohan's book We've Got Steam Heat, this could mean the steam that's escaping is just going right up the chimney, and there is in fact a fair amount of white smoke coming out when the boiler's on.

    So, does it need to be replaced immediately if at all, or can we wait until after this heating season? With another major project in the building scheduled for march, we don't have the money for it right now.....

    any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • Todd S_5
    Todd S_5 Member Posts: 1
    Cracked boiler

    Cranes are pretty old to begin with. It may be cracked and the second company may not have seen it leaking. If it is cracked, you will need to have this replaced right away. I would go outside while it was running and see if there is a white plume of water vapor coming up the chimney, may have to wait until morning to see it. Don't take this lightly, a potentialy very dangerous situation.
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 576
    Hydrostatic test

    Have the service company perform a hydrostatic test while the boiler inspector is present. Should be done according to ASME rules to 1.5 times the normal operating pressure. Also, according to the rules it should be done anyway because of the age of the boiler. (30 years plus)Good Luck!
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,360
    Regarding test

    Take the top flue collector off and hydro the boiler. This will show you exactly where it is leaking. You may not even have to Hydro as when you pull the flue collector off you will find alot of scale, wet etc inside which will tell you also. Sounds pretty evident although but we would verify to be sure. Tim
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