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Leaking Burnham V84 Steam Boiler

I was cleaning my boiler and noticed corrosion on one section near the top. After filling the sections up above the normal water line to test, water started leaking out. The boiler was installed in 2003. What would my options be? Can this be repaired? The boiler is oil, but I would be interested in replacing it with gas if it came to it. Any recommended contractors in the Somerset Co. NJ area?

Other questions. If I have oil now, do I need to dispose of the tank if we went with Gas? How much would that cost?
Would an HVAC contractor perform the work of putting in a chimney liner? What would be an estimated cost for this be? (2 story house with basement and chimney is roughly in the center of the house).
Thanks for your help. -Barry


    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,833
    edited September 2017
    I don't know what the block warranty on the V8 is for steam. Might be 15 years.
    If it's out of warranty, Burnham offers its Mega Steam line which is an excellent boiler. I think I remember reading a thread here that you cannot convert to gas with the Mega Steam, but I'm not sure. The steam pros can verify that.

    We don't discuss pricing here, but if you click the "Find a contractor in my area" link at the top of the page, you'll find some top rate pros.

    Can you post some pics? Be ready for critiques if the piping is not correct, and any contractor on this site won't do a block replacement only if the near boiler piping is not correct. You don't want it slapped in. You want it done right.

    If you go with a block replacement, you can convert to gas with a conversion burner, a stainless chimney liner, repipe the flue with a gas draft regulator and spill switch.
    You might need to pull permits for the conversion, and have it inspected.

    Why would you even think about leaving the oil tank? If you convert to gas, get it out of there.

    Lastly, you do you own maintenance of the system?
    Burner included? Do you own a combustion analyzer?
    If not, how do you know the burner is adjusted properly? Correct draft? 0 smoke?
    Improper combustion could be the cause of the leak.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,376
    More than likely a water side issue. Chlorides at elevated temps where the flue passages in the boiler are above the water line. The MegaSteam was specifically designed to eliminate this problem.

    Could also be excessive make up water due to leaks on the system. This would include air vents spitting out water.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    New England SteamWorks
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,477
    The V8 series of boilers is known to have casting problems so if one section is leaking the others may not be far behind. I would give serious consideration towards replacing that boiler.

    In most areas if you switch to a gas fired boiler you are REQUIRED to remove the oil tank and the fill pipes. Some contractors will arrange for everything that has to be done while others will only do the boiler itself. I would write out a request for quote and start making some calls.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,295
    @barnic send me a private message I cover the whole state of NJ.
    E-Travis Mechanical LLC
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,505
    edited September 2017
    V8 has such a bad reputation I wouldn't fool with it. And, personally, I would keep the oil and go with a MegaSteam. It's that much better of a boiler. @EzzyT and @Dave0176 are both excellent steam men. Sometimes, if you are really lucky, you can get both of them on the same job. Now that would be heaven!
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
  • SeanBeans
    SeanBeans Member Posts: 520
    I wanna tag along too!
  • SeanBeans
    SeanBeans Member Posts: 520
    I come with wrenches and a cooler of water.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,671
    If you've got gas in the area you'd be a fool to go with oil. It's still more expensive than gas and comes with a whole boat load of pain in the butt.
    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
    New England SteamWorksHVACNUTRomanGK_26986764589
  • newagedawn
    newagedawn Member Posts: 586
    burnham boilers have a long history of bad casting, stay away buyers and techs beware !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    yes, someone will take the oil, and in my experience chimney guys would do the liner, we dont discuss pricing here, thanks
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • barnic
    barnic Member Posts: 16
    I just wanted to follow up and thank everyone for all of their suggestions especially the recommendation to go with @Dave0176. You can see his work at my house here: https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/162923/steam-replacement#latest

    The warranty for the Burnham sections is 10 years and it covers defects in "workmanship and materials" so water corrosion is not covered.

    I decided to go with gas because with gas already in the house I would be financially foolish to go oil. As a comparison, even with the
    Burnham megasteam at 86% efficiency, the oil prices are 2.2 times more expensive than the equivalent output BTU with the 83% efficiency gas unit I have. I just wanted to share this fuel cost comparison website to others trying to make a decision like this in the future : https://coalpail.com/fuel-comparison-calculator-home-heating. This gas boiler should eventually pay for itself with these fuel savings and I think with my newfound knowledge about boiler water chemistry from this site, my new boiler should make it a lot longer than the 10 years my Burnham V84 did. (my water is ~6.2 pH. It's funny no record exists of the oil service companies modifying the pH of the water when performing the yearly maintenance). Also, with the gas I won't forget to order oil in time again...

    As far as the liner goes, I had a local chimney sweep come in and do an inspection with a camera. We don't even have a tile liner it seems, so we are putting in a stainless liner. I looked for a contractor here, and the one I chose seemed very professional (quote was 4 pages long) and their techs were knowledgeable: http://www.csia.org/ (Chimney Safety Institute of America).