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HELP hole in steam boiler

Hello I have a spencer L1 type cast iron steam boiler in my home, converted to run on gas. My system went from needing water occasionally to needing it every few hours because it wasn’t reading on the view bulb. I ended up turning off and overfilling...well water started flowing. Above the upper left door, I reach my hand in and I can feel a hole crumbly and big enough to fit my finger. Is this even repairable or able to be patched with anything? I need a quick temporary fix to last me until summer when I can actually fix this thing.


  • Leon82Leon82 Posts: 653Member
    edited December 2018
    If it crubled enough to push a finger thru it's probably pretty corroded.

    You can post a picture, but it sounds like it's not salvageable.

    You put a finger thru the sheet metal cover or the actual iron boiler? Does it leak steam into the basement m
  • ridcoskyridcosky Posts: 4Member
    Here’s a few pics, one of the front of the boiler and where abouts I felt the hole, in the wall side towards the door. The second pic is the doo open and you can see the water, third pic is where the steam goes up and branches left and right.
  • ridcoskyridcosky Posts: 4Member
    When the boiler is running full steam, there’s no steam in the basement. I have no auto fill for the water, so every few hours I have to check and refill. I currently have electric heaters in the house making the furnace not kick on as much but that’s really a temp fix. As you can see in the pics, no real way to get to where the leak is, unless it’s off and you access from the door under the one shown. I feel like I’m screwed
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,530Member
    It looks like it is time, the old boy lived a good life.

    Read about bad installs here and how to avoid it being done to you. Check in "Strictly Steam" for recent new installs that have severe problems.

    Could you post a picture straight on of the pressure gauge and also the lower door of the boiler?
  • ridcoskyridcosky Posts: 4Member
    Sadly I can’t do much at all due to money. Hoping I can limp it along, or get it patched. Is there a product to repair holes of that size
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,530Member
    Where are you located?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 12,128Member
    The problem is that the hole you feel is likely to be only the worst part of a much larger area of corrosion and failure -- it just hasn't fallen apart yet. I wouldn't take a hammer to it... nor even push on it.

    Which means, no -- there really isn't good way to patch it. Well, that's not quite true; if you were a ship at sea and had to get to port and had a first class damage control crew on hand, yeah, you might be able to. Otherwise, doubtful. I know of no epoxy or plastic product which would do the job -- JB Weld works wonders, but with nothing sound to attach to...
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • FriendlyFredFriendlyFred Posts: 27Member
    Take a look at some of the recommendations in this thread to help ‘limp along’ until the next few paychecks come in.
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