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Cracked Boiler?

Babe Member Posts: 1
A PSE&G reepairman in New Jersey has stated that my boiler is cracked. He put a red tag on it but did not shut off the gas to it. He is claiming that the crack is in the top part of the boiler. There is no water leaking on to the floor. A local plumber has tested the boiler and said it is working fine and he thinks there isn't a crack at all but maybe a hairlilne one.

Questions: (1) If there is a small hairline crack that doesn't emit water is it dangerous to operate the boiler?

(2)  Should the boiler be replaced?

(3)  Is there a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning?


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,433
    That depends...

    on where the crack is, exactly, and from what to what.  If it is from the firebox or flue passages to the house air, yes it is dangerous.  Carbon monoxide poisoning is insidious and deadly.  If it is from the firebox or flue passages to the steam chest area, you may wind up using a lot of water, but it really isn't dangerous.  Uses a lot of extra fuel, though; steam up the chimney isn't really helpful.  You may see a nice plume of steam, though, when you look up at the chimney with it running.  If it is below the water line, again it isn't really dangerous if it's small, although the firebox will corrode faster.

    All that said... I've yet to know a crack which got smaller with time.  And the only cure is a new boiler.  Sorry about that.

    Even if I was pretty sure that the crack was not from the firebox to the house air, first thing I'd do is get a carbon monoxide detector -- a really good one -- and plan on having the boiler replaced as soon as you can.  If there is any thought that the crack is from the firebox to the air, I'd say to get it replaced sooner than that, and use it as little as possible until then.  And get the carbon monoxide detector.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • acl10
    acl10 Member Posts: 349

    What are those chemicals that you put in a boiler that are supposed to seal it up
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    cracked boiler?

    your boiler has been put together in sections, and it may be more economical to replace a cracked section, than to replace the whole boiler.

    one method of checking for a leak is to over-fill the boiler, when cooled down a bit, and look for leaking on the floor, or in the firebox. what make/model of boiler do you have?--nbc
  • TomM
    TomM Posts: 233

    just wondering what the methodology was to determine that your boiler has a crack in it?  High CO levels?  X-Ray?  Can you specifically say that the boiler is cracked from a CO level?   Just wonderin-

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,441
    usually you...

    pull part of the jacket off and/ or pull the smoke pipe off....if it is at the water line it will be pretty easy to see.

    chemicals may or may not work and if they do it will only be for a short time.kpc
  • TomM
    TomM Posts: 233
    just sayin

    im just sayin cuz Guy A says there's a crack, and Guy B says no crack.  I just figured that that Guy A had a CO reading over 10ppm and said its cracked.   red tag.  freak out homeowner.   we'll be back next week to replace your boiler$$$.  rather than taking the time to find it and point it out to you.  Not saying its not cracked or dangerous, but it sounds weird.  

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113

    I live in a area where pse&g do service and i am not surprised that they did not shut the gas off but i have to say usually when they say there's a crack or hole above the water line they are usually correct do not get me wrong i don't trust them all that much and would have some one come in and confirm that there a crack or hole in it ,just because there is no water on the floor don't mean a thing .it seems the water in my area is very hi in chlorides and i see alot of boilers develope hole right above the water line which can be dangerous because this type of leak will effect the draft of the boiler and will leak CO into your living area ,if you are going to have any one put some type of stop leak crap in your boiler make sure you have a good working CO dectector other wise you are taking your saftey and well being in danger,If your boiler is shot please do yourself a big favor and find some  one who is going to do the right job there are alot of hacks in that pse&g servie area and you get what you pay for and a cheap job is just that except it works like crap and costs more to operate and no one can ever do a proper water side cleaning how do i know i see it on 9 outta 10 steamers that need service peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
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