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Need new boiler in Detroit area. Want to try a stopleak first.

Anne_5
Anne_5 Member Posts: 27
Hello everyone. I do not know where to look for a good steam guy, so here I am. My boiler has a crack and put out my pilot this am. I have to do something fast. I would like to try a stop leak first and hope like heck it works to carry me through the next few months while I work out getting a loan to get a new steam boiler.

Does anyone here have any recommendations?
It's supposed to knock. It's steam.
«1

Comments

  • wmtandson
    wmtandson Member Posts: 62
    yes
    Find a solution that cannot come back to harm you
    I,ve seen too many boilers that literally rot away from patches and come close to killing the home occupants
  • Anne_5
    Anne_5 Member Posts: 27
    The find a contractor lists only 1 within 50 miles of me.
    It's supposed to knock. It's steam.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    Who is that one? If he's a great one, that's the only one you need!
  • Anne_5
    Anne_5 Member Posts: 27
    Clearwater Construction Services. I have no idea about them, but they are the only one listed in find a contractor. You guys who do this work--put your ads up. I read it costs a dollar a day. Even if you get one call a year for an install you have made your money back.
    It's supposed to knock. It's steam.
    SWEI
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    Anne said:

    Clearwater Construction Services. I have no idea about them, but they are the only one listed in find a contractor. You guys who do this work--put your ads up. I read it costs a dollar a day. Even if you get one call a year for an install you have made your money back.

    Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with them either. I was hoping it would be one of the guys on this site that we all know to be excellent at steam. Seems like we've had issues with finding steam people in the Detroit area before. Maybe someone here will know of a good steamer in that area.
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    I found mine by doing a search on The Wall....he hadn't advertised in a while, but used to be active on the site. Maybe try that.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,090
    There is a gentlemen who posts under the name problemsolver. He does steam in the Detroit area, don't know the name of his company. He has a thread going right now on Strickly Steam.
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190
    Thank You Mark N!
    Anne: I serviced a hot water boiler with the same problem for a large church, about 4 years ago. I built a trough (out of 26 gauge sheetmetal) to catch the drip and routed it toward the floor drain. I returned 2 years later to replace an expansion fitting and the trough was still doing its job. Their drip "was" putting the pilot out like your's is.
    KC_Jones
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513

    Thank You Mark N!
    Anne: I serviced a hot water boiler with the same problem for a large church, about 4 years ago. I built a trough (out of 26 gauge sheetmetal) to catch the drip and routed it toward the floor drain. I returned 2 years later to replace an expansion fitting and the trough was still doing its job. Their drip "was" putting the pilot out like your's is.

    WHAT?
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190
    a trough is the same as a gutter
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,090
    I think he is talking about a temporary fix to keep the boiler lit until it can be replaced.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    Yea, I understand that but I'd hate to be a licensed contractor who put that temporary fix in place and have a major problem occur and have to explain that as part of any investigation. The better fix (for him and the property owner) is to give them a quote to repair or replace the boiler (whichever is possible) and advise them (in writing, on the quote) to shut it down or risk a hazard.
    If the homeowner want to try a stop leak, that is their call and it may or may not get them through the rest of the winter but not next season. JMHO.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    First off why is it cracked? And are u sure its cracked? There are a few steps to go thru before you condemn it….Take the jacket and vent hood off, flood the boiler and look for a leak….Static of course meaning not running….Not there, and no pic posted so I am only guessing…..Do not put a gutter under it….And do not take it lightly…If you find out you must replace it we will guide you thru the process…Where have all the steam men gone?
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190
    edited February 2015
    Mark N, is right. A temporary solution. j a, is also right - first investigate. As for anyone else who is claiming that a major problem or hazard could follow - "it's a leak in an unfortunate spot / above the pilot". What if the leak was dripping at the side of the boiler away from the burners and pilot? Yes, we would all investigate and then quote a price for repairs or replacement; but we would also leave the boiler running because it would post no immediate threat to the operation of the boiler. A trough correctly installed that does not interfere with the pilot or burners does not post a threat to the operation of the boiler. The only threat that exist is that the leak gets bigger and knocks out the pilot anyways. Unfortunately, I feel I need to explain further - I would only install the trough if the leak was a drip - period. But none of this means a single thing UNTIL IT IS INVESTIGATED.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513

    Mark N, is right. A temporary solution. j a, is also right - first investigate. As for anyone else who is claiming that a major problem or hazard could follow - "it's a leak in an unfortunate spot / above the pilot". What if the leak was dripping at the side of the boiler away from the burners and pilot? Yes, we would all investigate and then quote a price for repairs or replacement; but we would also leave the boiler running because it would post no immediate threat to the operation of the boiler. A trough correctly installed that does not interfere with the pilot or burners does not post a threat to the operation of the boiler. The only threat that exist is that the leak gets bigger and knocks out the pilot anyways. Unfortunately, I feel I need to explain further - I would only install the trough if the leak was a drip - period. But none of this means a single thing UNTIL IT IS INVESTIGATED.

    If the leak was at the side of the boiler and was just a drip, I'd say try to make it through the rest of the winter, then repair or replace. That is not the case here. The OP says it leaked and put her pilot light out. Clearly it needs to be investigated and fixed, one way or the other. I just don't think you want to assume the responsibility that might come along with the trougth approach.
    I know the OP needs to get her financing arranged (as she says) but some things need better fixes than others. This is probably one of those things and a more permanent fix i probably in order, for the sake of everyone involved (or who might be involved).
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190
    You're using strong adjectives: major, hazard, sake; to prove a point; what's the point? What is the "major problem" that can come from using a trough? What "hazard" will follow because of the trough? How will the trough affect the welfare of those involved in a negative manner? Such things could be said to just about anything in this trade and this life; but if you are going to say such things, then back it up with something concrete. I am an open-minded person, I will listen; and I have been proven wrong in the past. I just don't see clearly what your point is about not using a trough to redirect the water, temporarily. I know it's not the norm, but that don't make it wrong under certain circumstances.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    I don't mean to over dramatize the situation at all. My apologies if that's the way it came across. My concern is that you indicated you did a similar thing for another situation and that temporary fix is still in use after 2 years. That's not temporary and things can go wrong when water and burners are mixed. At some point controls can also be involved. I guess I was trying to look out for you and the OP. When you do something temporarily that becomes a fix that lasts longer than intended, no one will understand the fix or the logic, down the road, should it become an issue with only half the burner tubes firing, the gas valve corrosion/sticking, damper flue switches/ roll-out switches corroding/shorting, whatever.
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    What!!!!???? I guess they don't ever leak.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190
    I agree! The church job wasn't suppose to be around that long. The boiler is a 700MBH boiler from the 40's. Too big of a job for me to get involved to replace the hot water boiler. I recommended another company for replacement. I was shocked though when I went back 2 years later and seen the trough was still strong and keeping the boiler in operation (with no dangers insight).
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190
    I don't think Anne is coming back, see you all on the next thread
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Drop her a private message (pm). It will go to her email account so she'll see it even if she doesn't check in here.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    @ProblemSolver if the leak is dripping directly onto the pilot, how do you propose to install a trough to catch and redirect the drip without having the main flame (and pilot flame) impinge on the trough?
  • Anne_5
    Anne_5 Member Posts: 27
    edited March 2015
    Hi. sorry I have been tardy. Funny I checked this a few days and nothing. lolol. Problemsolver it did leak twice on the pilot. The first time when someone who is not familiar with steam that DTE sent out who flooded my boiler. The second time was the other day in sub zero weather. O that was fun to wake up to a house so cold it didn't even register on the thermostat. :persevere:
    It's supposed to knock. It's steam.
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190

    @ProblemSolver if the leak is dripping directly onto the pilot, how do you propose to install a trough to catch and redirect the drip without having the main flame (and pilot flame) impinge on the trough?

    like anything else, you figure it out when your there. If it can't be done, then it can't be done! I sure wish everyone would quit worrying about this trough; I would never put someone's life in jeopardy. I'm not stupid.
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190
    Anne: I tried signing up for advertising on this site, yesterday; but something went wrong and I don't think it went through. Are you still in need of service, or did you find someone?
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,194
    What problem did you have trying to sign up for Find a Contractor. Nothing came through on our end. Email me at [email protected] and I'll get you listed.
    Retired and loving it.
    KC_Jones
  • Anne_5
    Anne_5 Member Posts: 27
    edited March 2015
    ProblemSolver, I did get a quote yesterday from a company through Home Depot. I don't think you can beat this price. It's for a New Yorker 100k BTU. He said it's probably less than $150.00 in extra pipe and such and there's not much to do except make a real Hartford Loop. Plus raise some sagging pipes.

    I just checked a retail sight for the cost of the boiler, maybe you can do it for a little less. These poor guys have to pay Home Depot as well.
    It's supposed to knock. It's steam.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    Anne said:

    ProblemSolver, I did get a quote yesterday from a company through Home Depot. I don't think you can beat this price. It's for a New Yorker 100k BTU. He said it's probably less than $150.00 in extra pipe and such and there's not much to do except make a real Hartford Loop. Plus raise some sagging pipes.

    Who ever you go with, do yourself a HUGH favor and go through the Installation/Owner's manual and make them install it exactly like those instructions advise. Those instructions are the minimum requirements for the system to run properly.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,620
    Did they measure all your radiators to size the new boiler or just go off of what you had? The only way to size them PROPERLY is to measure all the radiators. We don't discuss pricing on this site, but if I must be honest...I would be nervous if I was you. Ask this installer for pictures of previous steam installs then post them here and we can let you know if this installer knows what they are doing. Don't judge it exclusively by price. It may seem cheap now, but if it doesn't work correctly how much more are you willing to spend to get it fixed again...and again...and again?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • Anne_5
    Anne_5 Member Posts: 27
    They didn't measure, just went off what I had. The Burnham seemed to be working ok and in my unknowable opinion heats well. He did ask me the square footage of my house to decide what size boiler to put in.
    It's supposed to knock. It's steam.
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Please post pics of these folks' reference work before beginning. I'm a little worried. Another fellow Ban also posted from the Detroit area for steam work. You really should get more than one opinion, as well as price. You only have once to get the best and do it right. With steam, the best is often cheaper. It's a simple system in theory, but the new boilers need exact sizing and piping and it's unclear if they've done that. The cost of an incorrectly installed boiler is comfort, noise, longevity and efficiency, which is another way of saying $$$$$. Save now or over the cost of the boiler. (We're not say these guys are bad, just post some representative installs and let's see.) Colleen
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,620
    Don't hire him...he doesn't even know how to properly size the equipment. This is a VERY basic thing that any steam boiler installer should know. What you have may heat fine, but what if it's over sized? Perhaps you could heat with a smaller more fuel efficient and cheaper boiler.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
    icesailor
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 1,864
    Anne said:

    They didn't measure, just went off what I had. The Burnham seemed to be working ok and in my unknowable opinion heats well. He did ask me the square footage of my house to decide what size boiler to put in.

    Find another contractor.
    icesailor
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    Anne said:

    They didn't measure, just went off what I had. The Burnham seemed to be working ok and in my unknowable opinion heats well. He did ask me the square footage of my house to decide what size boiler to put in.




    icesailorGeneralMarkS
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190
    I am LMAO. 30% - plus of my work is in correcting what other contractors screw-up. After all said and done, the HO pays out a couple grand more than if they just listened to what was being sold instead of listening to the price.
    icesailor
  • ProblemSolver
    ProblemSolver Member Posts: 190
    When she said 100k, that was it; I lost it.
    Let me put it this way: Anyone with the right tools can thread pipe together, wire the controls, re-connect the gas line, cut - crimp & screw the vent pipe in, and maybe level the boiler. But what the h*ll does any of that have to do with the necessary knowledge and science of installing a steam boiler / hot water boiler / or a furnace - A/C - duct system? Too many people out there who are passive about their work in this trade.
    icesailorHatterasguy
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    I can’t agree more…Whats even better is when Mr. h/o seeks the advice from his/hers work buddies….Or neighbor who installed one boiler in his life and knows it all...
    icesailor
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796

    When she said 100k, that was it; I lost it.
    Let me put it this way: Anyone with the right tools can thread pipe together, wire the controls, re-connect the gas line, cut - crimp & screw the vent pipe in, and maybe level the boiler. But what the h*ll does any of that have to do with the necessary knowledge and science of installing a steam boiler / hot water boiler / or a furnace - A/C - duct system? Too many people out there who are passive about their work in this trade.

    You sir have put it well...
    icesailor
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,620
    To the OP please don't be offended by the comments. Our reasoning is to encourage you to get this job done properly. We would hate to see you come back here in a few weeks or months saying how it doesn't work right then we all tell you it's completely wrong. As has been said it WILL cost you more to get it fixed correctly after the fact then just getting it done correctly by a proper professional the first time. I saw your other post about a leaking radiator. Did the contractor you had out ask about leaks? Did he ask about comfort? Did they ask about noises in the system? We have already established they can't size the boiler properly. If ProblemSolver is in your area I strongly encourage you to try and get them out there and look at your system.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
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