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3rd boiler in 10 years!

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I have a new client with a Burnham steam boiler which has rotted at the top of the sections. His 50 year old boiler was replaced 10 years ago with a burnham, which rotted after 5 years, then replaced it with another burnham which is now rotted 5 years later. 

Can the near boiler piping cause this? I checked the ph level and it was about 8. Thanks

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  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
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    It isn’t piped correctly, but I don’t see that causing it to rot.

    How much makeup water is it using?

    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    Make sure they or the feeder isn't overfilling it because it is throwing water up in to the system and the draining it down when it turns of and the condensate returns too, although it is more likely a more conventional leak or leaks.
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    Burnham's have issues.

    But it isn't piped right. I would be sick and tired of paying for boilers. Hopefully it get's done right. Amazing being done 3 times and still not piped right Surprised it hasen't been converted to scorched air
  • FreddyMac
    FreddyMac Member Posts: 2
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    @KC_Jones not sure how much make up water they are using, but how much is too much?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    I just had a leak in a radiator union and it was a quart every two or three days. It was very noticeable to me as a drop of 1/4” on my gauge glass per quart (but my boiler is only 3 sections and a larger boiler’s level won’t move as dramatically). I have graduated marks on my gauge glass.

    since I fixed it a couple weeks ago I have lost an almost immeasurably small amount.

    Some people lose a gallon per day or more from a hole in the boiler.

    Maybe they should try a peerless or Weil-McClain next time?? Just a suggestion!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    FreddyMacSuperTechHap_Hazzard
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
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    FreddyMac said:
    @KC_Jones not sure how much make up water they are using, but how much is too much?
    A lot of opinions on this, but in my estimation for that approximate boiler size, 1 gallon per month max.  My boiler is slightly smaller than that and I use 1/2-3/4 gallon per month, and still trying to improve on that.

    When you replace it I strongly recommend the VXT water feeder that has a digital meter, monitoring water usage is important.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaulFreddyMac
  • Dave0176
    Dave0176 Member Posts: 1,177
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    It’s a V series. Forget them with steam, even Burnham recommends to use the Megasteam now. I’ve pulled probably 50 V8 series Burnhams all rotted just like that. It’s seems unfortunate but none of those boilers lasted more than 15 years.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
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    ethicalpaulFreddyMac
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 2,164
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    Forget about using Burnham. They are known for their quality issues,  especially the V7 and V8 series. I'm with @ethicalpaul, go with a Peerless or Weil Mclain and correct the piping. 
    FreddyMac
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,432
    edited December 2020
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    I just had to replace a 8 yr old Megasteam as it was leaking between the sections. It was piped perfectly. Burnham wouldnt even respond to the warranty claim. I installed a Peerless.
    Whats the incoming water make up there....makes me wonder if the town/ city has changed the chemistry.
    ethicalpaul
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,526
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  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,230
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    I'm drawing a blank at the moment but doesn't the leak being above the water line narrow down the failure options?
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    JohnNY said:

    I'm drawing a blank at the moment but doesn't the leak being above the water line narrow down the failure options?

    it does. That system has a leak somewhere. Check for leaks at radiator unions, bad vents, buried return lines.

    it also helps on a V7 or V8 boiler if you can down-fire the burner a bit, so the iron doesn't run as hot.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
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  • New England SteamWorks
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    The culprit is fresh water. Find the leak. Then install a MegsSteam. 
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    Hap_Hazzard
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 393
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    What pressure is it running at? If it has plenty of main venting and slow radiator vents and isn’t oversized, it should run under 8oz. If it regularly hits over 1psi, leaks are far, far worse.
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 393
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    Says when you see a boiler piped wrong the way it is. All they had to do was shift the first header down and move the 2nd take off up to switch the order. Upsizing to 3” would just be a bonus.