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Fuel cost of not replacing holey boiler?

Jim Franklin
Jim Franklin Member Posts: 170
Landlord won't replace a holey steam boiler. I'm estimating it uses 1/2 gallon per day of water. At 970 BTUs to make steam, per pound, that's 3880 BTUs per day, giving me 36 days to go through a gallon of oil. Is this math right?

I'm leaving out the efficiencies gained by a "sealed" system, i.e. no holes etc. And I'm definitely leaving out the collateral damage because it's not my collateral.




  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    operating a steam boiler with a hole?

    Aside from water lose and fuel wasted according to your math , there's more to consider like chimney damage from all that moisture going up the chimney and then freezing on-the off cycle  and the bill for that repair.Also the other problem i have seen with this is that the steam going up the chimmey is directly going to effect is the draft of the boiler and possible spillage of flue gases into the building (better have a co detector or a lawyer later) Low level CO poisoning is very serious and effects the very young and very old the worse.Even though you are figuring very little fuel lose due to the hole what about the fact that the boiler is probably not reaching it's operating pressure due to the hole.One of the other problem is that all the constant make up water you better make dam sure that low water cut off is working properly before it dry fires due to a sticking float or a probe getting coated with calcium or chlorides  and still giving a reading of continuity .There's no good that comes from operating a steam boiler with a hole in it except it save a cheap landlord from spending his money to repair or replace and putting some stop leak type of crap is a fix i would never take the liablity for and never works for any lenght of time.A land lord who knowling continues to operate a steam boiler with a hole in it has no conern for his tenants except is conerned for his checking account .What a rat peace and good luck  and do yourself a favor a great a good CO dect clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
    After over 50

    years in the business I have one horrible memory going back to 1967 right after going on the night shift at the gas company, Got a call from fire dept of an explosion. Upon arrival I entered the basement with the fire chief and found what had happened was a steam boiler that was leaking water down onto a atmospheric gas conversion burner causing the gas to not completely light after several cycles the boiler final blew.

    The rest of the story, the landlord tried to sue the gas company as the conversion burner had been installed by us. However he was in deep do do because three days earlier our day service man had shut the boiler off due to the fusible plug in the old cast iron boiler leaking water. The boiler gas line was disconnected and the boiler red tagged. A registered letter was sent to the landlord which he claimed he never got sorry we had the returned receipt that someone in his rental office had received.

    Leaking boilers are very dangerous for many reasons not the least of which is Carbon Monoxide issue which someone else already mentioned.
  • Jim Franklin
    Jim Franklin Member Posts: 170
    Just clueless

    I don't think she's a rat, she really has no idea how serious it is (and neither did I). I'll take both your replies to her and see what I can do.


This discussion has been closed.