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Rotting from the top

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So. I'm just curious. The boiler sales rep tells me that he spoke to his engineer and they both agree that this boiler has rotted because of taking on too much new feed water over its relatively short service life of sixteen years. And I have no reason to disagree. but it does raise a question for me. How come This boiler only rotted at the inner top of the two outermost sections and not at the water line? The inner sections (to the naked eye) look brand new.






critwel

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,739
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    Any answer is going to be speculation in large part.  My guess would be the turbulence of the boil was causing those areas to be affected more than the others, given they are end sections where the steam is exiting.

    There are many factors, but the primary one is generally the amount of make up water bringing in oxygen.

    Hopefully they fix the boiler piping and figure out the reason for the excess make up water. Was sizing verified with the replacement?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
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    Your near boiler piping is not to standard but probably not the issue.  I am curious how much water you add per season and the pH of the water.

    I saw a This Old House episode where the top of a newer Weil McLain. boiler rotted out so I guess it's not unheard of.

    My 23 year old Pearless series 61 is still going strong.  I have not installed the VXT water feed but have spent a few hours tracking down small leaks over the years.  Its "double header" is similar to yours but each header services a different main.
    john walsh_2
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    Speculation: At the water line, the temperature of the iron is moderated by the sloshing boiling water. But up high it can get much hotter. That higher temperature combined with the oxygen that is getting released by the fresh makeup water might increase oxidation rate there.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    john walsh_2mattmia2
  • john walsh_2
    john walsh_2 Member Posts: 64
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    @KC_Jones
    This is a boiler that was not closely monitored. It has an automatic water feeder so I don't have an answer. What you say makes a lot of sense. Regarding sizing of the new boiler, yes it was sized to the connected load. But so was the old one. Regarding the near boiler piping, Although it's definitely overkill having two three inch headers, I think that would only contribute to slowing the steam velocity out of the boiler and making drier steam.
  • john walsh_2
    john walsh_2 Member Posts: 64
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    @ethicalpaul

    Makes sense.
  • john walsh_2
    john walsh_2 Member Posts: 64
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    @cross_skier

    Yes. I thought that 16 years was a poor run. But in fairness, I'm sure that diligence was lacking regarding detecting leaks throughout the system over the years
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,544
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    @john walsh_2

    Sadely in this day and age 16 years is not a bad run if the boiler is not maintained. It's not uncommon to see 6 or 8 year old boiler rotted out
    john walsh_2
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,861
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    @KC_Jones
    This is a boiler that was not closely monitored. It has an automatic water feeder so I don't have an answer. What you say makes a lot of sense. Regarding sizing of the new boiler, yes it was sized to the connected load. But so was the old one. Regarding the near boiler piping, Although it's definitely overkill having two three inch headers, I think that would only contribute to slowing the steam velocity out of the boiler and making drier steam.

    So all the radiators were measured and the EDR properly calculated?


  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
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    I'm pretty sure 3 pass steam  boilers where the flue gasses stay under the waterline will last at least twice as long.  I am told almost all boilers rot at waterline or above.  

    Intense heat against dry iron may be the problem.

    Anyhow my next boiler will be the Megasteam with gas burner conversion.  I'm hoping that by then it will be manufacture option or at least well documented.
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
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    Looks like Slantfin Intrepid may be the only smaller 3 pass wet jacket steam boiler that is currently approved for use with a gas burner.

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/153026/new-slant-fin-intrepid-with-ez-gas-burner

    If you are trying to avoid steam boiler rot this may be worth investigating

  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    Anyhow my next boiler will be the Megasteam with gas burner conversion.  I'm hoping that by then it will be manufacture option or at least well documented.

    You should be aware that the noise from the gas burner will take some getting used to if you're used to an atmospheric boiler. The efficiency is very attractive, but I'm not sure I'd want that much noise in my basement. I'll probably get a Peerless 63-04 when my 40year old 561 gives up the ghost, but I might consider a SteamMax, unless they show the same tendency to rot as the Independence series. The jury's still out.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
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    Thanks for the noise warning on the gas burner.  I do like the 3" feeds and the 2.5" return on the Peerless 63-04. It is a solid choice.

    But if the 3 pass Megasteam is going to last 40-50 years I will be ok with the basement noise.
    Hap_Hazzard
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,670
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    Is that header arrangement a recommended arrangement? It looks like each riser has its own equalizer then the connection off each riser is tied together then tied to the main?

    I think you are overthinking the rotting out thing, figure out the excess water usage and stop that.
    critwel
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
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    I totally agree.  I kind of hijacked the thread and apologize. 

    I am shopping for my next boiler.

    I did find out in the last hour that the Megasteam is the only small 3 pass boiler where ALL of the heat transfer occurs underwater so it has the most potential to be extremely durable.

    john walsh_2
  • john walsh_2
    john walsh_2 Member Posts: 64
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    pecmsg said:

    @KC_Jones
    This is a boiler that was not closely monitored. It has an automatic water feeder so I don't have an answer. What you say makes a lot of sense. Regarding sizing of the new boiler, yes it was sized to the connected load. But so was the old one. Regarding the near boiler piping, Although it's definitely overkill having two three inch headers, I think that would only contribute to slowing the steam velocity out of the boiler and making drier steam.

    So all the radiators were measured and the EDR properly calculated?


    Yes. That is correct.
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 393
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    I wonder if there was a lot of surging. So the water line at the outlet would drop, metal gets hot, then the water surges up and cools it…. Rinse and repeat with oxygenated water if there a lot of makeup.

    Or, 2nd theory, water boils at the point of lowest pressure. the outlets would be the point of lowest pressure. So there’s a lot of steam flashing at that point combined with oxygenated water and high dissolved solid acting also an an abrasive. Added to surging.