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Steam Boiler Leak

dss Member Posts: 3

I have been looking through some threads on here and I was hoping for some help. This is my first time posting and I am relatively new homeowner in NJ. I have a 16 year old crown steam boiler in my house (house built in 1902). About 3 weeks ago I noticed I had to start refilling almost every 24 hours. Boiler auto shutoff on me twice in consecutive days due to low water level. I hardly had to pay attention to the water level prior to this. I called in a local plumber who overfilled the boiler (no leaks anywhere else that I could tell before calling him). The boiler started leaking into the floor once overfilled. He said it indicated a hole/ leak above the water line and says I need a new boiler. I was then waiting on some quotes and figuring out a date for install so over the last 3 weeks I have been refilling daily just to make sure it says warm and to get us through the season. I have noticed some white smoke coming out of the chimney (last 2 days especially but it has been very very cold). I am committed to getting new boiler but want to make sure I am not doing any additional damage to the system. I know I am heating the neighborhood and wasting money on gas service because of the leak,  but want to make sure I am not doing any serious damage to the chimney liner. Was replaced 7 months ago. It was an expensive job and I want to make sure I am not being an idiot limping along for another week or so?



  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
    Your fine to limp along until the boiler gets replaced.

    On the replacement, make sure they size it properly and install to manufacturers specifications.  This website is filled with nightmares of people finding out after the install that the contractor was clueless.  Don’t assume they will do anything right just because they are quoting it, or sound knowledgeable.  Steam is a specialty and the devil is in the details.

    @EzzyT is one of the best steam contractors around and he happens to work in NJ.  I strongly recommend getting in contact with him for a quote.

    I’ve hung around on this site long enough to know, if I was in NJ, he’s the only one I’d allow in my house.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • dss
    dss Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the quick reply. I will follow up on your referral. I have been reading some nightmare stories about a leak causing serious damage to the chimney, in particular the masonry work. It is hard for me to tell if this is more an issue if you do not have a liner. Again I have only really had the leak for 3 weeks but I want to make sure that I am not damaging a brand new stainless steel chimney liner by introducing this leaking steam or doing damage to the chimney itself.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,833
    edited March 2022
    Crown Boiler may have some warranty left on that cast iron block. Check with them thru your local Velocity Boiler Works distributer. or call the tech support line at (215) 535-8900 and ask for tech support. Have the serial number ready.

    Now that boiler should last much longer than 16 years. So make sure the new boiler is installed properly. I love Crown Boilers because they are very specific on the minimum near boiler piping. They even give you a pipe and fitting list for each model, each size. Can't get any easier than that.

    If your crown boiler was not installed like this... then that may be the reason it only lasted 16 years.

    Be sure to get a good steam installer. Find a contractor link above is a good source

    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,637
    the steam could be a problem with an unilined chimney or a terracotta lined chimney under certain conditions but it isn't likely to be a problem with a stainless liner