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Boiler warranty refused

Nomatch Member Posts: 4
We have about a 6 year old oil fired steam furnace. The plumber says the tank (block?) is leaking. The boiler manufacturer says the warranty does not cover the damage as it is corrosion. A different plumber in town says he has not heard of this before, in his 24 years. picture below.

Does this seem right?


  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,605
    Doesn't seem right but you didn't share a ton of information. What brand?
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,397
    I just went through this with Burnham. Warranties don't cover "corrosion"...you can try and fight them on it, but you probably won't win. Burnham offered the particular block for $700, or a $500 rebate for a completely new boiler.
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,472
    Need a lot more info, but sounds about right. They will want to see the installation and make sure everything was done to spec. And then (and only then) you might get a credit or rebate which will likely be offset by the new labor. But do send us some pics of the boiler and it's piping. We'll know more afterwards.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
  • Nomatch
    Nomatch Member Posts: 4
    Thanks to everyone who has joined to help on this. It is a Burnam k85 boiler. I am not in NYS state where it is, so the plumber sent the picture. I have not much confidence in the skills of the plumber. Long story my parents had him do the work. My sister lives there and is with a caregiver all day.

    The installer guy's offered options are to replace with original version of block or Replace it with the Mega Steam which fits and is an adaptable block (needs new cover?) Burnam rep says the Mega is lined to avoid corrosion,,,The Mega steam block is $3500? but that may include labor.

    I have another installer, the guys that have serviced the heater for several of the years. Now, the servicing guys said the water feeder was bad and that they would order parts. I have a call in to them to go over first thing this morning to give a second opinion.
    The next guy, the one who installed it, said the block was bad, and took the picture you see above. He has no idea why the tank failed other than what the rep says is corrosion.

    Do I need to call the rep?

    The lady who takes care of my sister can probably take and send a picture.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,188
    For a block to rot through in that short a time you have a water quality issue or Air contamination... ( salt or bleach left in the near vicinity).
    The water feeder would only add water if there needed to be water added.
    We don't talk pricing here.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 14,408
    The tops of the sections are rotted!?!?
    That's a first for me on here, anyone else ever seen that?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,409
    If that is indeed a picture of your boiler it's shot and needs replaced. Worrying about a water feeder right now is kind of a waste of time and money IMHO. Where is the boiler located? We may know a good steam contractor that can help you out. For steam systems you need the right people and not all contractors know what they are doing with it.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Nomatch
    Nomatch Member Posts: 4
    I just spoke with the local water company and they said they have been treating the water to correct for corrosion issues since 2000.
    The home is in Sullivan County NYS.
    The latest,,, the company who have done service on it, are going there this morning with the Burnam rep to see what is up.
    The original installer inspires little confidence.

    Can an incorrect installation cause this to happen?
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,409
    Nomatch said:

    Can an incorrect installation cause this to happen?

    It depends....
    May not have been installation issues, but the installer not doing due diligence to look at the system for leaks or other issues. Corrosion is typically a water related issue either too much make up water bringing oxygen that corrodes the boiler or bad water corroding the boiler. Personally I wouldn't trust what the water department says I would have the water tested at an independent lab to see what's in it. Their idea of treating for corrosion and what can corrode a cast iron boiler could be 2 different things, the test would tell the tale.

    Anytime a steam boiler is replaced the system as a whole should be looked at by the installer. Some pictures of the current installation would help us assist in evaluating what you have going on.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,409
    Also not sure if any of the New York or New Jersey steam guys will go that far? Anyone?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Nomatch
    Nomatch Member Posts: 4
    The "other guy" (M) went and looked and says that the installation was not done correctly. There were not valves replaced that should have been and the furnace got too much water, which means oxidation, paraphrased,,,the rep will go look at it and tell me if the install was not done correctly, which slides it back into the plumber's (L) lap. This fits with everyone's idea that the water quality is not the problem.
    We are going to have "M" survey and size the system, decide if the correct furnace is in there and then make repairs or replace as needed.

  • oilheater
    oilheater Member Posts: 2
    I know that I am answering this late, but don't see the answer I think it should be. I remembered reading about this problem and have seen it in steam boilers in Southwestern Connecticut more than once. I found the article I was thinking about here on the wall and written by Dan, no less. Not sure if I have permission to excerpt his article, sure someone will let me know. Here is just a portion of the article:
    What makes a steam boiler fail?
    Published: June 23, 2014 - by Dan Holohan Categories: Steam
    I'd hear about the holes often on the Wall at HeatingHelp.com. Contractors and homeowners would say that the boiler was only a few years old, but now it had a hole in it, and right at the waterline….. I went back to the old books and confirmed that a leading cause of this is often too much fresh water and the oxygen it brings along with it…..the laboratory suspected that there was something in the water in that area that was causing the problem. It turned out to be high levels of chloride…..The combination of the chlorides in the water, and the very hot pins in the steam section of these modern boilers (it's too bad they have to be so hot), creates a condition known as "graphitic corrosion." You can Google that and learn more, but if you're not up for that, just know that graphitic corrosion eats cast iron. You wind up with holes at the waterline through which you could toss a tomcat.

    I would look for a leaking return and also have the water tested. The odds are that the boiler is not the problem, but rather the result of a water problem. Also, install a feeder that will track water usage so you can tell when a leak happens again.
    newagedawnj a_2
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,238
    edited May 2017
    I agree , I been trying to think how an improper installed , missing valves can cause rot like that ..

    Once you tighting up on the system and repair all the leaks , how much water do you add ? A few gallons an year .. Thats the problem with auto feeders , the connivance of the auto feeder tells no tales .
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,119
    'Thats the problem with auto feeders , the connivance of the auto feeder tells no tales ."

    Unless you use one with a flow meter. Like this:

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
    ChrisJ said:

    The tops of the sections are rotted!?!?
    That's a first for me on here, anyone else ever seen that

    Of course we have ,its very common, amongst boiler failures....that's why people say to look for white smoke coming out of the chimney. If the boiler is installled correctly it has absolutely nothing to do with the installer...