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Pilot tube leaking at gas valve

Stapes
Stapes Member Posts: 9
Hello,
I had a small leak at the pilot tube of an old natural gas, standing pilot boiler. I tightened it and tested and it was fine, then a week or so later after the boiler was serviced I noticed a small leak again. I tested and tightened it and retested-all good. Since the unit had just been serviced I chalked it up to an accidental bump by the tech but asked the company to come back to check on the unit. They did so and found no leaks anywhere with the sniffer. They were responsive and helpful and I have no issue with them, but they mentioned that if it leaks again I should replace the gas valve not just the pilot tube and nut/ferrule fitting. I am thinking this is out of an abundance of caution but I was hoping to solicit another opinion. Would it be inappropriate to start out with a new pilot tube and fitting in the event that there is another small leak? In the interim, I plan to not touch it, as the cover is back on and there is not currently a leak. Any thoughts are appreciated, thank you.

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,222
    Is there enough tube to cut off the end and replace the nut and ferrule?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Long Beach Ed
  • Stapes
    Stapes Member Posts: 9
    Yes, I think so actually.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,222
    Like this
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Larry Weingarten
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,190
    The ferrules harden after they've been sitting around a while. Heat it up with a torch and let it cool if it is old to anneal it.
  • Stapes
    Stapes Member Posts: 9
    Thank you both for your help, I appreciate it.
    The nut is tightened nearly all the way into the gas valve but I tightened it very slowly and gently, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn all told over two campaigns. I never cranked it down and it wasn't stripped.
    It sounds like you both think that there is no reason to believe that, should it ever leak, I wouldn't be able to replace the nut and ferrule it without having to also replace the gas valve (which is discontinued according to the company and the replacement installed is nearly $1700).
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,190
    Find a better tech. Unless it is a mod con the valve can be replaced with a generic valve. If the threads aren't stripped in the valve and the seat isn't somehow damaged there is no reason to replace the valve. If the nut wasn't very tight and the tube got moved during service the nut could have loosened up. There is a type of wrench called a line wrench that can better grip that hollow type of compression nut without collapsing it.
  • Stapes
    Stapes Member Posts: 9
    Thanks for your thoughts mattmia2, much appreciated.
  • gyrfalcon
    gyrfalcon Member Posts: 94
    I agree with @mattmia2, my old boiler had a leaking gas valve, the factory model was discontinued but the contractor found a suitable White Rogers and it was a direct fit. It’s a shame across many industries that sometimes people don’t care , don’t understand , operate off of fear or just want to up sell equipment.  ($1,700 dollars is a nice bit of money towards  a new boiler!!) 
    Slant Fin Galaxy GG100(1986) , 2 zone hot water baseboard, T87 Honeywell thermostats.