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Can someone plz tell me

maroo
maroo Member Posts: 29
there’s a gas boiler in this place and I was hearing a strange scraping noise when it cycled on so maintenance came to check it and said there’s no water in the boiler. My question is how does that happen and is it dangerous? Can it explode without water? 

Comments

  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,173
    edited February 2021
    SHUT IT OFF & DO NOT ADD WATER
    maroo
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,903
    You're sure this thing is a boiler, and not a forced air furnace? If it's a boiler, and there's no -- or even not enough -- water in it, it should not have been able to fire: at least one safety device had to be missing, bypassed, or failed. But no, it wouldn't explode -- by itself. It could fail in a number of other ways and cause a fire. However, if someone decided to put cold water into it while it was firing with no or inadequate water, that water could flash into steam -- and the boiler explode.

    What the F___?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    maroo
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,173
    If it 'dry fired', that is, ran without water, the metal of the boiler could be overheated. Adding water to an overheated boiler can result in a steam explosion. Make sure the boiler is cooled off before adding water, & figure out where the water went.

    Is this a steam system, or hot water? Post a pic showing the piping around the boiler.

  • bucksnort
    bucksnort Member Posts: 160
    edited February 2021
    After you shut it off and let it cool down you need to find out where the water went if this is a non steam system. Do you have water on the floor from a pressure relief valve letting off? If this is a closed water system your circulator pump could be shot from not being cooled by water too.
    What did your maintenance person say caused it?
  • maroo
    maroo Member Posts: 29
    For a month I kept smelling a burning smell from the vent where the heat comes from and I knew something was wrong but they kept saying nothing was wrong and then the noise it started making like a scraping sound that’s when they figured out it had no water. It made the scraping sound at the beginning of it cycling. 
  • maroo
    maroo Member Posts: 29
    I was told before that it’s steam heat. 
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,879
    maroo said:

    For a month I kept smelling a burning smell from the vent where the heat comes from and I knew something was wrong but they kept saying nothing was wrong and then the noise it started making like a scraping sound that’s when they figured out it had no water. It made the scraping sound at the beginning of it cycling. 

    This tell me you have Forced Air.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,750
    edited February 2021
    Pictures of the equipment will answer a lot of questions here.

    Also show your heating vents.
    ratio