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How to find leak sending steam up the chimney

As the weather warms, how exactly do I find the leak that is sending steam up the chimney from my WM SGO4?

I assume that I will fill the boiler to the very top. Is it then a matter of just waiting? Do I need to take the sheet metal cover off, which will require removing the many things that are screwed to the steel? Or will the water simply end up running down the boiler onto the floor, at which point I would lower the water level to prevent flooding my floor? Would the water end up coming into the combustion chamber, in which case I should open the door that holds the burner?

All advice is appreciated.

Any contractors that service Newton, MA, please feel free to contact me. This will be a warm weather project. The boiler if 9 years old.

Thanks,

Steve Garson
Newton, MA



Steve from Denver, CO

Comments

  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,541
    Section rotted out above water line or possibly a bad seal between sections,either way it's time to start boiler shopping
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
    Yes fill and wait. Open the fire chamber and remove the sheet metal.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
    25 gallons a season may not be a leak in the boiler.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    I took off the PRV from our old American Standard, and screwed in a vertical pipe to the tapping. I filled the boiler until the water was at the top of the extension pipe, and could see the level going down fairly quickly.
    The higher the new pipe is, the more pressure will be exerted on the sections of the boiler, and wet returns. Examine everything carefully, and you may find a leaking return, instead of the boiler--NBC
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    A leaking return isn't going to send steam up the chimney. In all probability, if steam is going out the chimney, there is a leak in the boiler block, above the water line. Take the top panel off, to the extent you can, as well as the side panels and fill the boiler till water is in the risers from the boiler to the header. Then watch for water to leak out.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
    I will be in Milton on Wednesday I can stop by on my way home.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    RobG
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850

    I will be in Milton on Wednesday I can stop by on my way home.

    You can't go wrong with Charles. Take him up on the offer. It sounds like your boiler has "given up the ghost". If you can get Charlie to replace it you will be well served.
  • Steve Garson_2
    Steve Garson_2 Member Posts: 712
    Charlie, thanks for your response. I won't be around on Wednesday. I'll send you an email directly. The large amount of water usage only happened during the six week period of real cold weather. Besides that, it has not been unusual. The work you did to move the radiant from the Combicore to the Everhot heat exchanger worked perfectly. Heating bill went down 5% even though the heating degree days went up.

    Steve
    Steve from Denver, CO
    Charlie from wmass
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Leave a key with a neighbor so that he doesn't have to make a return trip. JMHO
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
    I will also be out East Friday to pickup my sons. I can stop before I pick them up or after I pick them up so 8.30 a.m. or 4.00 p.m.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    RobG
  • Steve Garson_2
    Steve Garson_2 Member Posts: 712
    Charlie, Wednesday could work. Talk to you off line.
    Steve from Denver, CO
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    "Any contractors that service Newton, MA, please feel free to contact me. This will be a warm weather project. The boiler if 9 years old."

    If this boiler is only 9 years old, dig out your paperwork and, after you find the leak, maybe Charlie can help you get a replacement boiler/Block from WM under the 10 year warranty.