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HB Smith 19A leaking soot
I have an HB Smith 19A. 4 sections, 3.6GPH. Carlin 301CRD burner.
We're getting soot ghosting throughout the house. I haven't heard any puffbacks, and don't see any obvious damage to the boiler. I think there's a "slow" leak of soot somehow.
After taking the service panels off the side, I there's soot on the cast iron sections on one side, and none on the other. The boiler tech who did the last cleaning came back and said the seals must have failed on the cleanouts, which was causing soot to escape. He sealed them up with furnace cement. When the boiler is running I can still feel pinhole leaks from the cleanouts, and from the flange where the flue attaches.
I had a chimney cleaner look at the chimney. He cleaned it and said it is fine, other than the metal liner being a little close (it's within 4 inches) of the chimney cap.
a) Is it acceptable to have small pinhole leaks in an older (14 years) boiler?
b) If the leaks are an issue and should be gone, is this a case of being worth trying to keep kludging along with furnace cement and chewing gum, or should I bite the bullet and look at a new boiler?
c) Should I assume that there will always be soot from any leak? Or is the soot itself an indication of a badly tuned boiler?
Thanks so much for your help,
A confused first time oil boiler guy