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Burnham Furnace - Steam heat

cj_brunocj_bruno Member Posts: 1
I noticed that i had a significant amount of exhaust coming out of my chimney flue compared to my neighbors and I'm wondering if this is normal in the winter months, or if could be something else.

Other thing I noticed is that the water is automatically filling a bit more often. It levels out a few times a day.


  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,500
    edited January 2020
    Most likely indicates that at least one of the cast iron section has rusted through, above the water line, sending steam up the chimney. Time to take the jacket off of the boiler or at least the top cover and see what's there.

    You can also shut the boiler down, let it cool a little and over-fill it and see if water runs out onto the floor.
  • JohnNYJohnNY Member Posts: 2,589
    Shut off the boiler.
    Fill the boiler up to the top of the glass gauge and then add some more water until it is probably filled to the top.
    Open the relief the valve to check to see if the water is there yet.
    If water leaks out from under the jacket, you’ve got a leaking boiler.
    For troubleshooting and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F Mechanical, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is the Boilers and Hydronic Heating Systems Course Instructor at NYC's Mechanics Institute, a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
    For residential service and installations in New Jersey, please see Toro Plumbing & Mechanical and fill out our contacts page, upload pics, and submit, or call (973-672-1000).
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,865
    Where are you located?
    Check above on the main site for "Find a contractor".
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,295
    edited January 2020
    In all likelihood , there is a leak in the upper part of the boiler. Steam will leak out the top and go up the chimney
  • B_SloaneB_Sloane Member Posts: 56
    Copper does have many times the expansion of Steel pipe
    but it is unlikely that in the very short length of the Header there was significant stress on the Sections
    There is a substantial amount of clamping force exerted by the tie bolts
    I would expect the copper joint to fail long before a section moved enough to leak
    someone advised letting the boiler cool, and over filling it
    that was good advice
    you should remove all of the Jacket that is practical, some will be trapped by piping, or controls

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