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Is this this what a brand-new Burnham steam boiler looks like?

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Coopy
Coopy Member Posts: 10




I had a brand-new Burnham MST 396 boiler installed just over a year ago 3/12/21, I researched the serial number and found it was manufactured 8/26/20, around 6-1/2 months old prior to install, right now the boiler is losing water and is being investigated by the installer, when the jacketing was removed I thought for sure we had found the leak! But the installer said that the rusted section is normal!
Is this the condition U.S. Boiler Company sends out its boilers…pre-rusted? The overall quality of the assembly is crude where caulking is either missing or haphazardly daubed on, this was only one side of the boiler, I have yet to see the other!
I have experience with restoring cast iron wood stoves so I know what it takes for cast iron to get this rusty, it definitely is not flash rust but looks to be left out in the elements for some time.
is there anybody out there experienced with this that can tell me if this is normal? Or more to the point, acceptable?
Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,527
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    Completely normal to have surface rust but usually all the sections look the same.

    I am not sure the sealing between the sections is correct though
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,230
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    The rusted section is normal and typical.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
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    Heating in NYC or NJ.
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  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,376
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    I think you’re being mis-directed. Surface rust is quite normal and NOT the cause of your leak.

    The sections are joined with push nipples and it’s unlikely they’re leaking on a new boiler.

    The main cause of leaks on a cast iron boiler are oxygenated water, improper water chemistry, thermal shock, leaks on the system causing fresh water to be constantly added.

    Of course, a defective section or improper assembly is possible.

    Are you sure there’s a leak on the boiler or could it be on the system? Like on a wet return?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Coopy
    Coopy Member Posts: 10
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    Thanks Ironman, the leak is currently being investigated by the install company, my current concern is the rusty section and the sloppy way the boiler was assembled, not the quality I would expect in an appliance retailing for around $3500, it does not look to me that any skill was involved in putting together, what I do know about rust on cast iron is that it continues to rust, especially in a sometimes-damp environment such as my basement, when I see work like this it just leaves me with no confidence that the thing will last.
    U.S. Boiler Company/ Burnham, should be embarrassed to put out a shoddy product such as this.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,841
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    @Coopy , I'll second @JohnNY 's post. Some surface rust is normal. The cast-iron in a MegaSteam is quite thick, as you'd know if you ever tried to move one. That degree of surface rust will not cause a leak, especially at this point in the boiler's life.

    I'm pretty sure, as others have said, that you have a leak in your system somewhere, and that's what killed your old boiler. Look for leaking air vents, loose valve packing nuts, buried return lines etc.

    If it does happen that the boiler is leaking, the MegaSteam line has the best warranty in the business.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
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    mattmia2IronmanEdTheHeaterManAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Coopy
    Coopy Member Posts: 10
    edited April 2022
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    Thank you all for your input, for everyone else out there, like me you may have searched online for images of what is under the hood of a U.S.Boiler Company/ Burnham MegaSteam boiler, like me you probably could not find any, I will be taking more pictures as time goes on and posting them with close-ups of the sloppy, unskilled way it was assembled , I think it's only fair that everyone should be aware just what they can expect when purchasing a boiler from this company.

    “Anybody can do bad work, but not everybody does good work”
    Paul Simon.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,526
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    I agree. Please take Steamhead’s advice. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • Kickstand55
    Kickstand55 Member Posts: 110
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    Hi Coopy,
    I see some blackened insulation at the bottom rear as well as what appears to be that area on the boiler.
    Poke around to see if combustion gasses may have been leaking.
    A slew of pics to include all piping from 360 deg. around may help us to narrow down potential install/piping issues.
    I suggest having your cold water tested to see what's in it. If you have municipal water, that provider should be able to get you the results. Consider water filtration for the boiler feed to include a water softener cartridge that can help reduce mineral build up. Feeding the boiler using hot water can reduce oxygen corrosion. If there's chlorine in the city water, a carbon block filter can help. Look for brass fittings and valves bleeding a soft white fluff. That's most likely chlorides off gassing through casting pores.
    Hope this helps.
  • Coopy
    Coopy Member Posts: 10
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    Hi Kickstand55,
    I will certainly check out the possible combustion gas leak, I did notice the blackened insulation and wondered what might be causing it, as far as the piping is concerned, with the help of Don Holohans book/articles, thank you Don! (and many others) I have determined there are no leaks in my piping, that includes pipes, radiators, vents, valves and nothing is buried or hidden, the near boiler piping is installed to Burnham specs and insulated throughout.
    only boiled make -up water is used and have added Rectorseal to bring the PH up to the manuals recommended 9-12, also installed is a de-scaler filter but more for the hot water coil than anything else. I have been wondering how to control the Chlorides in the water and will check out the carbon block filter, I read somewhere that because Megasteams combustion chamber is below water level that there is little or no damage/corrosion due to chlorides, that is why they offer the corrosion warranty, still, it’s better safe than sorry.
    Thank you for your suggestions.
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,972
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    @Coopy .How much water are you loosing?  Quite possible that the boiler left Burnham with zero rust. Maybe distributor or wholesaler was storing boiler in an humid environment. 
  • Coopy
    Coopy Member Posts: 10
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    Hi Steam doctor
    Its losing about four times a month the amount deemed as excessive in the manual, as I mentioned earlier the installer will be doing tests on the boiler so will update the findings when that happens.
    No, I looks like it was assembled that way as I am sure the other sections would be in a similar condition.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,653
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    I mean it is easy enough to flood the boiler and wait a couple days and see if any water appears on the outside. If you're losing 4 or 5 gallons a month through the boiler you will see drops.
    CLamb
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,838
    edited April 2022
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    I have looked at thousands of boilers that are in crates, with a plastic bag covering between the crate and the boiler. I see nothing wrong with the picture of the surface rust. As a matter of fact, I'm surprised the other two sections are not rusted also. Perhaps @Coopy's extensive experience with metallurgy should be a lesson to all of us with years of experience on boiler metal only. You know the customer is always right. If I was the CEO of Burnham Boiler, I would be out there with a can of silver paint as soon as I saw that picture posted on the internet. We can't have unreasonable... check that unsatisfied customers posting pictures like that.

    This message has been brought to you the


    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    DJD775STEAM DOCTORbucksnort
  • Coopy
    Coopy Member Posts: 10
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    yes, that's the plan when time permits.
  • Coopy
    Coopy Member Posts: 10
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    Hi Ed The Heater Man,
    You ever considered selling used cars? I think you would do really well at it.
    Please MR CEO if you read this I would prefer Stove Black not Silver, if it’s not too much trouble, all that brown! so yesterday!

    EdTheHeaterMan
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,526
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    Jamie, not a single word wasted. Thank you. 👏
    Retired and loving it.
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,284
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    Thank you, @STEAM DOCTOR. Please be respectful of one another.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com