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Suspect Crack Steam Boiler

Achua
Achua Member Posts: 11
I recently noticed there are some substance around fire tube of my steam boiler and I suspect the tank could be crack ?

Attached are two photos taken:

1st photo - when the boiler fires up and i can there are some stuff appear to be dropped from above.

2nd photo - using my mobile phone and I took a picture of the above tank when the boiler was shutdown.





Comments

  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    Model information of the boiler.

    Model of my Boiler
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 368
    Any water puddles anywhere? How much makeup water are you adding per week? Any known leaks elsewhere in the system, even just a slight hiss that doesn't drip?

    And when was the last time the boiler was serviced and cleaned out?
  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    There are no water puddles sighted, all dry around the boiler.

    I did all the servicing myself by flushing off the water and add 8-WAY at the end of each winter season and clean out the fire tube.

    Last year , I replaced couple of parts:

    1) Faulty vent damper/motor that cause the boiler failed to fired up.
    2) Spark cable and a fuse near the ignitor
    3) sight glass



  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,184
    It’s time for a new boiler.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 4,321
    Might just need cleaning and adjustment by someone that understands combustion analysis. Does it leak if you flood it?
  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    I am hoping that there might be something I can do to fix it before going the route of replacing it.

    It appeared to me that the water may be leaking from the tank above and got burn to ash like substance over the fire tube.

    Any suggestion on how to flood the system?
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,618
    To flood the boiler, turn off the gas, then turn on the valve to add water to the boiler. Time how long it takes to reach the top of the glass, turn off the water and check for leaks. If you don't see any, run the water for the same amount of time it took to reach the top, turn it off and check again. This should fill the boiler sections to the point at which water will leak from any cracks that are above the normal water level. Don't run any additional water or it might start coming out of main vents or radiators.

    There are some other signs to look for. First, how much water are you adding to maintain the water level? If you go outside and look up at your chimney while the boiler is running, do you see a larger than normal cloud of white vapor?
    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: 147
    If you put your hand on a riser where it enters the boiler you'll feel the cold water when the boiler is full.
  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    So far I have not added any water over past 2 weeks and strangely I noticed the water level was filling up to the top on the sight glass and I have to released some water to bring it back to the normal level have did that 3 times since then.

    I thought the inlet valve was leaking even though it was shut off but I double checked and confirmed it wasn't leaking from the valve.

    I will continue to monitor it over next few days to see if there's a need to add water and check for white clouds. Will flood the system over the weekend and let you know how it goes.

    Thanks again for all your expert advice.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,618
    Could there be an automatic water feeder installed? It's not unusual, when a system is losing water, that the LWCO first detects low water in the middle of the cycle and fills it to the water line and restarts the boiler, then, when the cycle is over condensate returns from the system and raises the water level. If there's no counter installed you might need to watch it for a while to see what's happening.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    Yes, there's automatic feeder and i forget to shutoff the inlet valve , over the weekend it overfilled water up to top of the sight glass. I have to let out at least 3/4 of bucket of water to bring it down to the correct level.

    There are no sign of water leakage around the boiler when the water was overfilled.

    I see white smoke coming out of the chimney , does this confirmed that my boiled is cracked?
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,561

    To flood the boiler, turn off the gas, then turn on the valve to add water to the boiler. Time how long it takes to reach the top of the glass, turn off the water and check for leaks. If you don't see any, run the water for the same amount of time it took to reach the top, turn it off and check again. This should fill the boiler sections to the point at which water will leak from any cracks that are above the normal water level. Don't run any additional water or it might start coming out of main vents or radiators.

    There are some other signs to look for. First, how much water are you adding to maintain the water level? If you go outside and look up at your chimney while the boiler is running, do you see a larger than normal cloud of white vapor?

    Do this to confirm.
    mattmia2
  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    ok I followed your instruction to flood the boiler:

    1st - 13sec of adding water
    2nd - 13sec of adding water
    3rd - 13sec of adding water
    4th - 13sec of adding water
    5th - 13sec of adding water
    6th - 13sec of adding water
    7th - 13sec of adding water
    8th - 13sec of adding water
    No sign of any leak around the boiler.

    Should I go on until i see leak at this point ?
  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    at 10th attempt i see water leak down to the fire tube !
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,561
    Then its shot.
  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    I drained off approximately 67 litres of water to bring water level back to normal
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,028
    @Achua , where are you located? We might know someone near you who knows steam....
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    Essex , NJ.


  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,367
    Congrats and welcome fellow northern NJer, Look in Find a Contractor and you'll find at least two very good contractors, e-travis and toro
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,766
    You don't even need to look at Find a Contractor. PM @EzzyT or @JohnNY or @clammy , to name three really good ones (there are others, but my old memory doesn't always connect...)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,184
    @Achua you can reach me at 2018878856 and hopefully we can set up an appointment for me to come out and take look at your boiler and system.
  • Flapjack3
    Flapjack3 Member Posts: 2
    edited January 13
    Curious (and ignorant): Why is the fluid in the sight glass reddish? ALSO Do I see suspected ACBM pipe insulation in the same photo?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,367
    edited January 13

    You don't even need to look at Find a Contractor. PM @EzzyT or @JohnNY or @clammy , to name three really good ones (there are others, but my old memory doesn't always connect...)

    I like to send people there because it's more fair to the other contractors who are in the various locales and may not be as well known, or may be able to offer better pricing due to availability or whatever.

    Who are we to say that the other two north jersey contractors (in this case) who support HH via Find A Contractor aren't worthy?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,367
    edited January 13
    Flapjack3 said:

    Curious (and ignorant): Why is the fluid in the sight glass reddish? ALSO Do I see suspected ACBM pipe insulation in the same photo?

    It's water treatment. From the color it may be 8-way or probably a few other possibilities. Some of us, and some boiler manufacturers, recommend measured use of water treatment to boost PH or for other reasons. Others of us, and some other manufacturers, swear by plain water.

    Lots and lots of people have asbestos in their buildings. Could be.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,263
    Flapjack3 said:

    Curious (and ignorant): Why is the fluid in the sight glass reddish? ALSO Do I see suspected ACBM pipe insulation in the same photo?

    For the insulation are you referring to the yellow on the pipe near the sight glass?
    That is the same product you see thru the knock out opening below it of the boiler
    jacket.

    I would call that fiberglass....Johns Mansville color.
  • Achua
    Achua Member Posts: 11
    To answer the question to the fluid in the sight glass reddish? Yes i added 8 way into the system. It was kind of dark purple color at first but it turned dark reddish now after awhile.

    The yellow insulation is the fiberglass with reinforced foil and paper that i got from Homedepot but the diameter was not the right fit so i have to cut them so that it can be wrapped the pipe and i removed the reinforced foil paper.

  • Flapjack3
    Flapjack3 Member Posts: 2
    I wasn't referring to the FG insulation. In the upper left, above the Carrier logo and left of the flue, it looks like painted asbestos pipe insulation; corrigated and banding strap. Something to be aware of
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 4,321
    It looks like fiberglass with a reinforced paper outer covering to me but it could be aircell, it is hard to tell from that picture.