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Burnham V75 with a hole in the heat exchange

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Last year, I began to lose water in my Thermal System; I limped through the system, vowing to check it over in the warm days of summer... which I did not (predictable!)
Anyway, I thought the leak would be in one of the valves that needed re-packing, or something. While cleaning today, I found a particularly corroded section, and upon closer inspection found a nipple broken off and a hole in the section.
I assume it is toast (but I'm open to ideas), so I am considering just buying a new block, or buying a new boiler. Any thoughts?
Jake

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Comments

  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
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    I would recommend a new boiler. Sorry for the bad news. By the time you paid for a new section (minus any prorating if there is any) and shipping and the labor involved you will have paid for a new boiler.

    Rob
  • Don_197
    Don_197 Member Posts: 184
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    X2!
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    Will you be staying with oil or switching to gas?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    The v75 blocks had problems from the get go, I replaced mine when it was 16 years old and thought myself lucky it lasted that long. I agree repairing it really isn't an issue.

    You have to find a good installer and decide on gas or oil.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    As of last year, Burnham was giving incentives to replace a leaking V7 with an MPO or a V8.

    You are at a crossroads.
  • ThermalJake
    ThermalJake Member Posts: 127
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    Even without incentives, can I buy a V7 block? What about a V8?

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    Dianapagu
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    Go with a MegaSteam. It's a much better boiler.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    RobGbilltwocase
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    No, Burnham has the V8 series now with beefier sections. An upgrade would be the MPO/Megasteam.
  • ThermalJake
    ThermalJake Member Posts: 127
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    First of all, Thank you all for your comments and advice. The way I see it, there are 4 choices - all of which carry a different price, efficiency and benefits. So, I am trying to consider which option based on those principles:

    1) If I could buy a new 5 section block, whether a V7 or V8, at a good price, then I could just swap it in and change over the fittings and controls. This is not an unfamiliar job for me and would be the least amount of work. I just don't know if they are available for purchase (based on the responses so far.) I had my boiler running at between 79%-82% efficient. Not bad. If I had the block at my house right now, I could have it removed, installed, skimmed and cleaned in a week's worth of nights without even taking time off from work. So I think that this is the best choice - depending on price and availability.

    2) I could buy a new Megasteam and install it myself. Again, this is not unfamiliar work for me. I understand the tappings are positioned a little differently, so I would have to do a little more work to preserve my 4" header and other near boiler piping, but that might be better than using the supplied dropped header. The advertised efficiency is 86%, so it would have to be pretty cheap to be comparatively worth it. I don't remember that being a characteristic of Burnham. I understand that this boiler is better and newer - but the price determines the payback period. The only competing consideration is in less maintenance and longevity (which is hard to calculate.)

    3) I could hire someone to install a new boiler (probably a Megasteam, but maybe some other brand that he prefers). Obviously, this will be much more expensive than doing it myself, and the efficiency will not be any different than choice #2 above, so it will just draw out the period of financial recovery. However, I would benefit because I could just go to work and wouldn't have to spend the next week in the basement (I have mixed feelings about this since the basement is actually a reward sometimes!)

    4) I could hire someone to install a new high-efficiency, gas-fired, condensing boiler. Those suckers are advertised to run at 92%! However, this is by far the most expensive. In addition to the boiler purchase and installation, I would have to install the gas line from the road, and switch from steam to h2o (repiping either some or all of the existing risers and mains.) The improved efficiency is not so dramatic that it makes sense.

    So I am interested in some more advice, if you would be so kind:

    1) Of course, more efficient is better. But according to the numbers above, there is not so much of a dramatic change from choice to choice that makes the outlay of cash worthwhile. Am I right?

    2) I am biased towards the first one, because of price and familiarity; but also as a matter of pride. I'd hate to have a guy in my house walking right past my 48" and 36" wrenches to install a boiler for me. And I could also afford the first one without having to tap into my retirement savings - so that is always a plus. I'm trying to determine the best choice even if I discount my own bias.

    3) You guys gave me lots of good advice. But now I need to compare prices and availability. Can you offer any links to suppliers?

    As always, thank you very much.

    ThermalJake

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  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    If it's steam there is no such thing as a gas condensing steam boiler.

    i don't think you can get v7 blocks any more so that leaves you with a choice of the V8 or the MPO if you stay with Burnham and don't opt for an atmospheric vs the wet based style boiler you have now. As others have said the Megasteam is a much better boiler). You have to decide if it's worth the extra cost; better designs cost more but they last longer.

    If you do it yourself you can either buy the V8 block or a new boiler, this link takes you to an online supplier so you can compare costs, you might find better prices but the difference between models will be similar.

    http://www.supplyhouse.com/pex/control/search/~SEARCH_STRING=burnham steam boiler

    I would try to use a drop header because it will result in drier steam and should be easier to connect to your steam mains. Make sure you pipe it to the manufactures recommendations, any shortcuts will result in poor performance. If your existing boiler is correctly sized you should use both steam risers from the boiler and the header should be larger than the outlet pipes.

    Post pictures of the way the present boiler is connected and you can get some recommendations on how to do it so you don't run into trouble.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    Forget the V7 block. They are long gone. I would have a contractor assess the boiler and contact Burnham re incentive. With out his involvement you are on your own and might as well call around to buy either a V8 or MPO replacement, depending on your ambition level.

    Although you see on paper the MPO is "slightly more efficient", the AFUE is only telling part of the story. By design, the 3 pass transfers heat to water much better.

    There are no steam condensing residential boilers. The MPO is as good as it gets.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
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    The difficulty with condensing boilers and steam is that the flue gas cannot give out any heat under 225 degrees, versus 150 for water boilers. Therefore you would have to use the residual heat in the steam boiler flue to make some hot water, with an add on heat exchanger.
    If you think you may switch to gas, then you should be aware that Burnham will not condone, or warranty a Megasteam with a gas gun, even though it would work well!
    Another wet base boiler could be used for oil now, and switched to gas later with less problem.
    There may be a number of used oil fired boilers for sale as more people have switched to gas, and some of them may be very lightly used. That could buy you some time.--NBC
  • ThermalJake
    ThermalJake Member Posts: 127
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    Trying to get these 4 inch ells off. They are only about 5 years old, but tight!
    Plan "C" ids to get a longer cheater pipe and more guys.
    Plan "D" might include fire.
    Plan "E" will probably be scoring and smashing the cast...

    Any other thoughts or ideas?

    Jake

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  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    Maybe I am crazy, but those look like malleable fittings not cast so I wouldn't count on plan "E". I would lean towards a combination of C and D.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Dave0176
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    Heat and leverage.

    And is that a MegaSteam?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    SWEI
  • ThermalJake
    ThermalJake Member Posts: 127
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    Yeah. A 513. Any thoughts?
    Thermaljake.

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  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    +2 for identifying the MST block in an uncommented photo.
  • ThermalJake
    ThermalJake Member Posts: 127
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    Okay, folks. Against my wishes, I bought the Megasteam instead if being able to replace my old block. Anyway, I started rebuilding my old header and near-boiler piping. I could not get it apart with torches and 4ft wrenches with pipes and 4 guys! (sissies) So I started to build it this way... then I changed it to this way...
    Any thoughts?

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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
    edited November 2014
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    That's what I would have done. Nice job!

    You will LOVE that MegaSteam.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    That's creativity at it's finest! Should dry the steam out nicely! Maybe you need to find some stronger friends? lol
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15