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Amateur Hour gas boiler install

TRob Member Posts: 20
Usually it is a steam boiler with a problem install.

How many problems are there here? I am not a plumbing professional and I have seen a few!

Forgive the split photos, but I merge these in a Word document and it looks good there.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,842
    Is that

    a rental property?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    What I like is that...

    coil of copper in the first Pic.  Looks like expansion joint to the Max but with quite an artistic flair. Gotta get one:)
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    What I like is that... coil of copper in the first Pic.

    Gee. I thought it was part of a still, disguised as part of a heating system so the revenooers would not notice it.
  • northernboiler
    northernboiler Member Posts: 55

    I think I would call that the CG-a Salvador Dali Series boiler.

    That is what I call a cut it out & make it fit installation.

    I see stuff like this all of the time, unfortunately. On both oil & gas boilers.

    Usually for a landlord that has rental properties with a considerable amount of overcrowding of tenants. And the rest of these houses are in fairly poor condition also.

    It is a mindset. If a boiler is installed like that, and the "owner" believes it is OK or just doesn't care what it looks like because it is "running", I'm fairly certain that they got exactly what they paid for.

    Some people are not concerned with quality or proper workmanship. It is a matter of "as cheap as possible".

    It's very sad, but unfortunately it is the reality. The worse part is that there are installers who will do this type of work.

    Just my opinion, but I do see this far too often. Seeing stuff like this only really hurts us, the ones who care about & take pride in our chosen profession.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470

    Are you sure that it's not a still? Is this in Kentucky?
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    edited June 2013
    What is it !

    What is the coil? I can't tell if it's connected to the domestic or the space heat. Is it a homemade radiator for the boiler room, or a preheater for the domestic hot water with black fittings? Inquiring minds would like to know!

    And is that a flex connector at the top of the gas line for the boiler

  • TRob
    TRob Member Posts: 20
    Amateur Hour for a rental property

    Yes. The rest of the house was similar.

    The following is what I wrote up about the boiler install. You Pros will see that I have a lot to learn:

    1. The three vent pipes enter the chimney with the opening left unsealed, possibly losing the necessary chimney draft. The two hot water heaters should be vented into a larger size, common collecting flue pipe to the chimney.

    2. The gas supply to the boiler uses a flexible tubing, not appropriate for a fixed appliance installation.

    3. The electric control relay box should be mounted in a location away from the boiler escaping heat.

    4. The flue draft damper is not connected to the boiler controls.

    5. The pressure / temperature gage should be installed directly into the assigned boiler casting tap, not on a remote elbow.

    6. It appears that the safety valve is not installed in the correct boiler tapping.

    7. The air separator with a short run to the expansion tank should be piped before the circulating pump.

    8. The original supply piping was left hanging low overhead, just right for a person to hit their head.

    9. The room should have a direct source of fresh air.

    10. A modern installation has three safety feature not seen here:

    a. The thermostat on the flue draft hood should be on a bracket that places the thermostat where hot gases spilling out from a blocked chimney would shut off the thermostat. The installed thermostat just measures the metal temperature – wrong.

    b. A second heat spill thermostat should be installed on the lower from near the gas manifold burners – the purpose of which is to detect a blocked boiler condition where the flame rolls out and up the front of the metal housing.

    c. A low water sensing switch that shuts off the boiler should the boiler water run out - preventing a ‘dry fire’ situation.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    edited June 2013
    It may cost you

    It may cost you a customer, but you need to get that system shut down! If someone gets injured or dies YOU will be a defendant in a very long and costly trial Since you were the last one to look at it, it's your responsibility as a contractor to ensure it is safe to operate! If the owner refuses to fix the deficiencies immediately, you need to contact the gas company and the local AHJ. Do it in writing and get certified copies. You only get one chance to save a life and save your ****!

    P.S. Look at the latest post from the "Carbon Monoxide Awareness" section and read the article. The contractor notified the property managers about the CO problem, however, he did not shut down the equipment. I GUARANTEE he will be named in the lawsuit.

  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    coil of copper

    it's an old trick we used to use for water hammer. The only thing I see that was done just OK
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    The relief is in the right tapping

    If it is in Massachusetts it should have non ferrous pipe for it's discharge though.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • heatpro02920
    heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    the gas lines worry me

    that last water heater has no drip leg, looks like no service valve, and either someone forgot their threader or home depot had a sale on nipples and couplings. Then the boiler looks to have a stove flex line and no service valve...

    Rental properties are tough, usually decades of shoddy work stacked ontop of the cheapest or hand me down equipment you can find, with bandaids, and no service history at all... I wouldn't even touch that unless the property owner wanted me to start over.

    Let me run new gas lines start to finish for all 3 appliances, pipe all the drip legs down correctly, make sure the boiler had all safeties installed and working, all service and emergency switches installed, all smoke pipes screwed and sealed, hard wired co per Ma code, and probably a lot more...

    7 out of 10 will get another contractor after they get the price, but that is FINE with me... I hand them the bill for one hour and they can pay if they want to, if not don't call me again...
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Speaking of gas lines

    Isn't that first water heater piped with galvanized?
  • heatpro02920
    heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    hard to tell from the pic

    but it looks like it...
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 773
    Whats wrong with galvanized?

    Our local Natural Gas company makes us use galvanized outside and black inside so the pipe outside won't rust, is that a problem?
    Montpelier Vt
This discussion has been closed.