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Steam boiler

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Snowmelt
Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,418
I took one apart Friday, waiting for customer to have money for new boiler. My supply house boiler guy took a section , dropped it on the ground and it broke in two, he thinks it was dried firered.


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  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Looks like good ole..rotted out. Can't seem to click on the pic to zoom in.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,661
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    Could be just rotted. Could also be... brittle failure. Keep in mind that cast iron is brittle, not ductile (why bashing a cast elbow can break it off so you can replace it!) and perhaps your supply house guy dropped it far enough for the shock to break it. Impossible to be sure unless you can study the fracture surface closely.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,418
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    He dropped a few sections and didn’t break, he dropped the 4th section at same height and it broke, then you can see the fresh metal vs the metal that was all rusted. If that makes any sense?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,661
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    Just depends on exactly how it hit. Possibly with latent flaws in the casting. Plink!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,798
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    Just for clarity...what's the question? :)

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,418
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    Question is, where the hell all that soot come from, and if I never saw water on the ground that doesn’t mean it didn’t have a leak
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,798
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    I can't tell from the photo, but how much of that pile is soot vs rust I wonder?

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    Why would dry firing it make it brittle?

    I would expect the typical conditions to anneal cast iron if anything. I don't think it was dry fired based on the evidence provided.

    Cast iron is brittle by nature.
    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
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,661
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    ChrisJ said:

    Why would dry firing it make it brittle?

    I would expect the typical conditions to anneal cast iron if anything. I don't think it was dry fired based on the evidence provided.

    Cast iron is brittle by nature.

    Quite correct on all counts, @ChrisJ !
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,418
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    I have another pic of a section I saved
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 839
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    Dry fire would damage all sections.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
    edited September 2019
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    gennady said:

    Dry fire would damage all sections.

    Hi Gennady,
    What kind of damage is usually seen on a dry fired boiler?
    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
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 839
    edited September 2019
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  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 930
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    Dry fire a cast iron boiler long enough and the sections will melt. Actually, firing any boiler, steel or cast iron and they will melt. I have seen it happen many times.