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snow melt boilers damaged by flood

pat_3pat_3 Posts: 89Member
Recently replaced two KBN 500's that were damaged during hurricane flooding.The mechanical room actually didn't get flooded,flood water entered the boilers through the fresh air and venting piping on the exterior of the residence .Both boilers were about 5 years old and were rarely used since they were for snow melt only.If the equipment wasn't so expensive i would just scrap it. I have never attempted to repair equipment damaged this way , considering the labor and parts needed i'm not sure what to do. Not looking to cut any corners ,if the boilers can't be rebuilt to function as new i'm not interested .Anyone ever do a rebuild like this? Thank you in advance for any responses.


  • pat_3pat_3 Posts: 89Member
    i guess its scrap

    i waited a month to hopefully hear from someone that may have rebuilt boilers damaged this way,but i guess silence is just as good as words in this case and as i stated in my original post if they cannot be rebuilt to as new condition I'm not interested .i would just like to thank anyone that may have taken the time to read the post and also thank all the pros that have helped me over the years.Happy Easter to all.
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    edited March 2013
    have you called Lochinvar

    to see if they have any guidance?  As long as the HX did not get soaked in salt water, there might be some hope.

    Edit:  I just re-read this and see that you already replaced them.  I could never assume the liability risk of reselling them, so unless I had a good use for them myself...
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    Hey Pat

    Just seen your post, I did this with a Buderus GB142 and an older Rinnai unit. No hurricane but the homeowner thought it would be a good idea to run his sump pumps drain down to a pond the edge of his property, so after a quick trip to home depot he succeeded, and did a good job burying the pipe... EXCEPT he did not install a check valve and ended up emptying that pond into his basement, I honestly never seen so much water in a basement before {and this has happened to more than one customer of mine, LOL}, first time that pump ran it filled the pipe and when the pump shut off it came back into the basement and never stopped...

    But anyway, He needed new everything, circulators, units were about 2 years old at the time, breaker box, ect... I replaced the units and kept the old ones, I took the buderus completely apart, dried it out and reassembled it with new seals {just like if I rebuilt one for a customer}, powered the unit up and it worked, just the am10 was bad... Next was the rinnai, that needed a board, fan motor, and a flow sensor but they are both still in service today, the GB went to a fellow tradesman for his own house and the Rinnai is in one of my properties....

    So I wouldn't scrap them, and if you are send me some pics Ill give you something for them.... The fist thing I would do is get one open on the bench, and completely go through it.... Then power it up, you may be surprised, and if it needs a few parts, you make the decision then if its worth it, Rinnai covered all the parts I needed and I had an extra am10 buderus shipped me and ended up not being the problem from another unit, so it was a score all the way around for me...

    It was salt water, correct?, From rain or ocean?
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,752Member

    It is so completely not worth the risk. I've seen electronics catch on fire and water heaters explode months after being "dried out". If anything ever happened, it would be 100% your fault.
  • pat_3pat_3 Posts: 89Member

    thanks heatpro,

    IT was salt water from the hurricane,the water came in from the flue and fresh air piping.i wouldn't sell them ,i was actually hoping i could use one for a snow melt system at my elderly parents home.i guess when i get some time i will take them apart and maybe post some pics.I had spoken to the lochinvar rep soon after the storm and he said they were scrap but after realizing that he probably must say that due to liability issues i figured someone on the wall may have rebuilt similarly damaged equipment.Tanks again
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    edited March 2013

    If the salt water wasnt in there to long, I would think you could get them to work safely... Like I said I did it, I didnt sell them as new, I kept one fore myself and gave one to a friend like I said, but still if you have the time, I would think its worth the effort.... I am that type of guy though, I remember rebuilding the flooded buderus, It sat on a shelf in my home garage for a while, then that winter on the day after xmass, my house was full of people who came up for the holidays {we have 3 spare bedrooms so end up entertaining any out of town family} so I was in the garage looking for some silence when I grabbed the boiler and threw it on the bench, I actually had one of my techs bring me the seal kit that was on his truck... It didn't take long, and that thing looked brand new when I was done, I could have sold it as new but wouldn't just because its not worth the risk, not that anything would happen but what if the customer calls for a warranty and they say "that unit is 3 years old", so you don't do things like that if your name is on the doors....

    Take some pics... Did you rinse them out when you pulled them out, that would have helped with the salt water for sure... Sucks to throw away a million btus of boilers..
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member
    Salt Water

    Salt Water flooding is a gift that gives forever. I have customers who had flooding in The No Name Storm of  October, 1991. They cheated and cut corners. They still have problems with the salt water. Salt water went less than 2" up on the sheetrock on the first floor. They ended up covering the entire first floor with 1/4" wainscoting to cover the peeling paint. The salt migrates up the sheetrock. Today, over 20 years later, the paint is starting to peel at the top of the wainscoting.
  • pat_3pat_3 Posts: 89Member


    Totally understand what your saying and respect your opinion.flue and fresh air vent piping were flushed with fresh water for about a 20 minutes each unit.if the equipment was submerged i would not consider repair,its only that the damage was somewhat isolated since the salt water came through the venting only that i would even invest the time
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,752Member
    edited March 2013

    I know you want to save money, and save equipment, but it's still not worth it. If you or someone gets killed, would you still be glad you did it? The insurance companies aren't going to care about your good intentions if a house blows up. It's just plain irresponsible.

    The only way I would ever recommend it, is to replace everything that got wet, and be 100% sure that everything else was untouched. To me, it's not worth the effort.
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