Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
In fairness to all, we don't discuss pricing on the Wall. Thanks for your cooperation.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Steam Boiler Leaks inside, as water gauge gets low

MIcoldMIcold Member Posts: 6
So, my pilot light on my boiler was out today, so I re-lit it and it went out again. I re-lit a 2nd time and then watched the boiler. It runs fine for about 10 minutes or so, and then when the water gauge gets low, just about to the point where I am expecting the boiler to turn off, due to the water being low, it starts leaking inside, to the point that it completely puts out all the flames, pilot and all of the 'heaters'. I re-lit a 3rd time and same thing. It runs fine for about 10-15 minutes, then almost like an internal sprinkler, a bunch of water falls/sprays on the boiler flames and puts them all out. If anyone has any ideas what might cause this, I would greatly appreciate the help.

NOTE: It's a one-pipe steam boiler system. Burnham Boiler.

Comments

  • Mark NMark N Member Posts: 1,036
    edited March 2015
    I t sounds like your boiler is rusted out. There is a hole in one of the sections of the boiler. Where are you located because sounds like its time to get a pro in there to check the boiler out. If it is rusted out it needs to be replaced. Also repost in the Strictly Steam section, you'll get more responces.
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,504
    The water level in a steam boiler should not fall by more than an inch. The boiler may be surging because of dirty oily water, that surging causes the water to find the rusted out hole in the upper area of the cast iron.

    Get someone in to take the jacket off and find the hole, then install a new boiler - it can not be fixed.

    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
  • MIcoldMIcold Member Posts: 6
    Thanks Mark, Thanks Bob. I called a Heating & Cooling Company this morning and hoping they can get out asap. I'm in Michigan and it's getting really cold, quickly, with no heat.

    Any idea how much a new boiler is going to run me, including install? :(
  • MIcoldMIcold Member Posts: 6
    MODS: Please move to "Strictly Steam" if possible. Sorry for the mix up.
  • HatterasguyHatterasguy Member Posts: 6,058
    MIcold said:

    Thanks Mark, Thanks Bob. I called a Heating & Cooling Company this morning and hoping they can get out asap. I'm in Michigan and it's getting really cold, quickly, with no heat.

    Any idea how much a new boiler is going to run me, including install? :(

    A word to the wise:

    Steam boiler installations are notorious for being done improperly. Spend a few hours on here and take a look at some of the disasters (with photos) that have been done recently. Many homeowners spend quite a bit of funds for a new boiler and they end up with a train wreck because the installer has no clue on how to pipe a steam boiler.

    Please do not let this happen to you. The boiler must be sized properly (by measuring every radiator in the house) and installed properly (by reading and understanding the manual).

    Also, there are installations that can be characterized as Yugos and installations that can be characterized as Cadillacs. You get the Yugo installation (if you don't do any homework) which won't be anywhere near as efficient with fuel as the Cadillac.

    Finally, I believe "ProblemSolver" is in Michigan and he is very knowledgable on steam. Contact him via private message through this site.

    Don't pick the wrong contractor..............even though I realize time is of the essence. The problems get worse if the boiler is the wrong size or installed improperly.
  • MIcoldMIcold Member Posts: 6
    Thanks Hattersaguy. I'm now on my 3rd company for steam boilers. The one I have scheduled to come out was recommended by a friend and neighbor. Without much else to go on, I'm trying to get multiple opinions and make the right decision. Ugh!
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,942
    MIcold said:

    Thanks Hattersaguy. I'm now on my 3rd company for steam boilers. The one I have scheduled to come out was recommended by a friend and neighbor. Without much else to go on, I'm trying to get multiple opinions and make the right decision. Ugh!

    Post pics of the steam boiler installations they have done in the past. You'll get a really quick assessment from those on this forum.
  • HatterasguyHatterasguy Member Posts: 6,058
    edited March 2015
    Understand it's a very difficult and time consuming task for someone who has limited knowledge of a steam system.

    Here's some points:

    1) Ask them what size boiler they would use and how do they figure that?

    You must get the following answer:

    "We measure every radiator in the house and size the boiler to the installed radiation."

    "We'll just use the size of the exisiting boiler". You're fired.

    "I've done this for 20 years. I know what size to install" You're fired.

    "We determine the size of the boiler by the heatloss of the house." You're fired.



    One more thing and quite important.

    Take a few photos of the existing boiler and the piping above and around the boiler and post them on here. We can give you a wealth of help regarding how to approach the install.



    Finally, if you want the boiler sized perfectly, we can do it for you. Take a photo of every radiator in the house. Be sure we can see how many sections it has (front view) and how many vertical columns it has (side view) and provide the height. A single shot from 45 degrees should do it for most of them. Post them on here.


    We'll size it absolutely right for you and the contractor cannot screw up.
  • MIcoldMIcold Member Posts: 6
    Thanks! I'll start taking some pics!
  • ProblemSolverProblemSolver Member Posts: 186
    Check your mail box; I sent you a message.
  • MIcoldMIcold Member Posts: 6
    OK, took me awhile to find a new site to host images, but here are a few of the boiler:








  • HatterasguyHatterasguy Member Posts: 6,058
    So far so good. But, we really need photos of the piping above the boiler. That's where the fun is.

    Talk to "ProblemSolver". If he is willing to get over to you, he's your guy. You don't need any more of our advice.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,249
    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
  • j aj a Member Posts: 1,693
    My guess, it leaked due to age…However there is indication of some flame roll out, maybe because sections were blocked up , or maybe confined space,or chimney issue..In either case besides applying all the good steam knowledge you have already gotten…Make darn sure your gas sizing, venting, and make up air are all part of the overall project….Best of luck
  • j aj a Member Posts: 1,693
    You can go to the peerless website and get a great checklist on surveying a steam system…..They make a great boiler, looks like, but of course not sure, your into a 63 series….Agree move posting to steam sec..
  • ProblemSolverProblemSolver Member Posts: 186
    @j a MIcold picked another contractor. I talked to him over the phone and he told me the other contractor did not count or measure any of the radiators in the house, but the contractor was local and therefore MIcold was comfortable with him. So I wished him the best, and that was it. Also, we live about 7 miles from each other. ;)
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,249
    Didn't measure anything? Wow I wish him luck with that.
    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
  • vaporvacvaporvac Member Posts: 1,512
    Explain it to me. Part of the problem is if it heats, the HO thinks they're good to go. Unless, it noisy it's fine. Doesn't realize it's costing a lot of money every month in more fuel. I just find it frustrating asthe difference in a bad job and a good one isn't much $$$ for the install, but a lot over the life of the boiler.
    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_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,249
    vaporvac said:

    Explain it to me.

    I don't think anyone can....it just doesn't make sense. It's like choosing on purpose to have something done incorrectly. I just can't understand that.
    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
  • ProblemSolverProblemSolver Member Posts: 186
    My helper is a sprinkler guy, so his employment is temporary with me. Since he has worked with me, I helped him balance his return air duct, by giving him advise / then explaining it. His home is much much more comfortable, but he told me that if he was a regular customer and I told him I could improve the comfort in his home for $$$; he would not have understood the value between $$$ and comfort. The ol mighty buck, blinds many people from seeing common sense; and what's strange is that it cost them more $$$ if they ignore the common sense.
  • HatterasguyHatterasguy Member Posts: 6,058

    The ol mighty buck, blinds many people from seeing common sense; and what's strange is that it cost them more $$$ if they ignore the common sense.

    I've said before:

    "There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are this man's lawful prey."
  • ProblemSolverProblemSolver Member Posts: 186



    I've said before:

    "There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse

    I've read it before
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!