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What happened to this 3 year old boiler?

Joseph_4
Joseph_4 Member Posts: 251
I have a customer who had a new boiler installed in January  2019.. they have an indirect tank so it is used all year. However, they called me last week cuz saw water on floor.  I inspected and found a gaping hole eating away  at cast iron section. They have copper tubing to indirect... 4 heating zones  using hydro air handler copper coils.. everything  was installed new.. no old rads reused.
Almost no cast iron except boiler sections and some regular black pipe on the header..The manufacturer  who is well known.sent rep to inspect.. he sent pictures  to company  warranty department...They said based on the reddening of cast iron above manifold.. the system accumulated " muck" on the bottom of heat exchanger and interposed between water and boiler flame so got too hot.. so its not covered under warranty..They offered 1000 rebate to buy a new boiler from them..This is a forced  hot water system with  id say 90 percent copper and oxygen barrier pex..They told me the  installer could have put a wye strainer on the system. I will post a pic...

What do you all think

Also. I never put a wye strainer on my cast iron boiler installs in 15 years..

Do I need to start using them?
Thx
Joe


cbprov

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740
    Where else is it leaking?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,149
    If that picture is from the top looking down, then I say it's a manufacturing defect. I can't see any muck accumulating up that high in 3 years.

    STEVEusaPA
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,429

    If that picture is from the top looking down, then I say it's a manufacturing defect. I can't see any muck accumulating up that high in 3 years.

    This. What is the make and model?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 251
    not leaking anywhere else.. its right above the burner tubes not the top.... I dont want to say manufacturer. afraid of defamation etc.. customer is trying to advocate for to get more but boiler manufacturer wont speak to him until rep gets back to me with info on who he said denied claim.
    thx
    Joe
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,959
    Any rep is going to tell you this is caused by an issue having led to the boiler needing excessive makeup water. I go through this a couple times per year.
    You're "afraid of defamation"? What the heck does that mean? You're not the first person to post a leaking heat exchanger on this site. We installers benefit from knowing whose products are failing more than others. From those pins, my guess is it's a Burnham.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber for Consulting Work
    Or for plumbing in NYC or in NJ.

    Or take his class.
    HomerJSmithSTEVEusaPA
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
     This is a hot water boiler. Highly doubtful that there was that much makeup water. Where did all of that leaking water go? Steam boiler is obviously different story. Steam evaporates and can go on unseen.
    JohnNYSTEVEusaPA
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    Manufacturer is blaming it on muck preventing the heat transfer to the water, and causing the cast iron to overheat. Boiler at this point is toast. Why not break it apart and see if there's muck over there. Have the manufacturer rep come down and watch you do it. Make sure he's not standing too close. We don't want his designer shoes or suit to get mucked up.
    SlamDunkHomerJSmithSTEVEusaPASolid_Fuel_Man
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,959

     This is a hot water boiler. Highly doubtful that there was that much makeup water.

    Reading comprehension may not be my strongest skill.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber for Consulting Work
    Or for plumbing in NYC or in NJ.

    Or take his class.
  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 251
    Because customer is trying to pursue..I also dont feel should say because maybe manufacturer will come around.
    JohnNY you've had manufacturers tell you on forced water boilers that its because of makeup water.. Its a closed system and there are No leaks

    Can you tell me how many times if ever a boiler manufacturer gave you a boiler under warranty.. In my
    experience water heaters they cover...i've never had a boiler backed by warranty. They ALWAYS say it not their defect

    Joe

  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 251
    I just want to know how can they say its makeup water when there is next to none?
    Joe
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,959
    Joseph_4 said:

    Because customer is trying to pursue..I also dont feel should say because maybe manufacturer will come around.
    JohnNY you've had manufacturers tell you on forced water boilers that its because of makeup water.. Its a closed system and there are No leaks

    Can you tell me how many times if ever a boiler manufacturer gave you a boiler under warranty.. In my
    experience water heaters they cover...i've never had a boiler backed by warranty. They ALWAYS say it not their defect

    Joe

    I was corrected. I thought it was a steam boiler. Clearly what I said wouldn't apply to you.

    I've gotten a few free boilers over the years. Mostly what I've gotten is no-cost replacement heat exchangers instead but even that is a hard-earned minor victory. Most recently, I've been "given" the heat exchanger for a discounted price of around $1,200 or so.
    Either way it sucks and the client will hate you forever even though it's not the contractor's fault.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber for Consulting Work
    Or for plumbing in NYC or in NJ.

    Or take his class.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,429
    My guess is a "sand hole" in the casting.

    And, what @JohnNY said about wanting to know whose products are failing like that.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    Manufacturer is blaming it on muck preventing the heat transfer to the water, and causing the cast iron to overheat. Boiler at this point is toast. Why not break it apart and see if there's muck over there. Have the manufacturer rep come down and watch you do it. Make sure he's not standing too close. We don't want his designer shoes or suit to get mucked up.
    👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆
    SlamDunk
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    How much muck do hot water systems have? This is not a steam boiler with 100 year old wet return. 
  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 251
    JohnNY and Steamhead and everyone at least I can show your posts to customer. Thank goodness im not the original installer. Contractor always is the"bad guy" But hearing from people more experienced than me helps
    thx
    Joe
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 188
    @Joseph_4
    Personally I have had very little trouble processing warranties for boilers. I'm not saying its the case this time, but when I go out to jobs to check out potential big warranty claims it is almost always an installation error causing trouble, it is very hard for an installer to view their own work objectively and be honest about mistakes they may have made. I just went through this yesterday with a plugged heat exchanger (water tube plugged with like a freaking SHOP RAG on new install), 100% installation error and the manufacturer will very likely be covering it.... Good warranty service starts with a wholesaler that will go to bat for you.
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    Why in the world would you put a strainer? What are you filtering out? You have barrier pex and copper. Even for a mod con, I would think that strainer is unnecessary. Certainly for a cast iron boiler with virtually no iron attached.
  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 251
    whats funny is the rep who came out originally said its an open and shut case and will get at least new cast iron block and i was surprised, but next day he said the engineers at company said red marks on nearby sections show its from muck so not covered but will give 1000 rebate
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 188
    If this is a burnham there was a recent post here about a job where they had 3 in a row failed heat exchangers
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/188105/3rd-failed-heat-exchanger-in-burnham-series-3/p1
  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 251
    Thanks Steam Doctor for your input and GGross.. the forum you directed me too is perfect
    and now that i see names are revealed I will say it . Its a Burnham ES2-7. If Burnahm decides to do better than the $1000 rebate on a new boiler. I will let everyone know so Burnham gets due credit
    thx
    Joe
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,955
    Joseph_4 said:
    I just want to know how can they say its makeup water when there is next to none? Joe
    How do you know this, is there a meter on the boiler?
    GGrossmattmia2
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    This is a water boiler. Leaks mean water leaks. Would take a lot of leaking, to rut a boiler out in three years. Is there any sign of water damage?
    DanHolohanJakeCK
  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 251
    no pipes go under ground. its a water system with auto feed, when there is a leak in a radiator. the wall or sheetrock or floor gets wet and your customer asks you to fix the leaking radiator. if it rotted a boiler in 3 years needed to be a lot of water. your right ameter would make 100 percent sure. so without it lets call it 98 percent sure
    joe
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 644
    Manufacturers have all kind of weird excuses to void warranty. They prey on the uninformed. Why would there be muck in only one section? Unless you dry fire cast iron it is pretty hard to crack. Make-up water is BS!!
    JakeCKMikeAmannSTEVEusaPA
  • Jersey2
    Jersey2 Member Posts: 106
    Manufacturer defect. I bet her prior boiler lasted longer than 3 years using the same water.
    I'm not a plumber or hvac man and my thoughts in comments are purely for conversation.
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    Manufacturer is blaming it on muck preventing the heat transfer to the water, and causing the cast iron to overheat. Boiler at this point is toast. Why not break it apart and see if there's muck over there. Have the manufacturer rep come down and watch you do it. Make sure he's not standing too close. We don't want his designer shoes or suit to get mucked up.
    👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    Easy to prove. Open up boiler and check for "muck".
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    Separate the sections. Take the defective section. Cut it into pieces with a grinder or a sledgehammer or with the proper sawzall blade. Diablo heavy metal blades are great. 
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    Ask the manufacturer if they would agree to such a method of determination. Make sure you have someone videoing as you go. Documentation documentation documentation.
    HomerJSmithSTEVEusaPA
  • Tim_D
    Tim_D Member Posts: 72
    The dark discoloration on the pins is indicative of overheating. If this had been a pin hole there would be mineral deposits going up into the passes which would have been carried there by the steam that would be generated. It is also a large blow out. What ever happened here happened quickly. Almost certainly due to lack of flow.
  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 251
    Tim..its a water boiler not steam. I've spoken to other manufacturers. They say this are is not an area where they have bad water.. Everything in system was brand new and copper coils.. no ECM pumps.. It happened over 3 years. I will do PH test.
    I dont know
    Joe
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 213
    come on man. its obviously a casting problem. the leak is right on the seam of the two part sand casting.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740
    Note that a boiler like this will be perfectly happy with no circulation whatsoever as long as it has a functioning high limit.
    GGross