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Independence Longevity

Long Beach Ed
Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,188
edited January 2023 in Strictly Steam
We all know about Burnham's problems with their Independence boilers when fired for steam in high-chloride water area. And we hear the stories and see the pictures of rotted ten year old castings.

I've specified over a hundred of these things in NYC and Long Island going back well over twenty years and haven't had one failure.

What is the oldest Independence you've seen in trouble-free steam service?

Comments

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,606
    edited January 2023
    I thought this was an AARP survey.

    I sold Crown Boilers from way before US Boiler purchased them!
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 942
    None more than 20 years in the Boston area. 1/2 of them would be failures in the 10-12 year range. And i use to install them exclusively as they were part of the oil to gas conversion for the local gas company
    Long Beach Ed
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,558
    Mine is 13 yrs old and fingers crossed. Chloride level here is 12mg/L.

    What is considered high chloride levels?
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,756
    I thought I had a hole in mine last season, but its not losing the water it did last yr.  Mine is exactly 20 yrs old. I'm a Big Burnham guy.  Mad Dog
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,188
    edited January 2023
    SlamDunk said:


    Chloride level here is 12mg/L. What is considered high chloride levels?

    For the Independence, Burnham specifies <30mg/l chlorides in makeup water and <100mg/l in boiler water. And pH = 7.0<pH<11.0 No more than 2 gallons of make-up water added per year (IN5).
    SlamDunk
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,756
    When I ran Triple Crown Fulltime, I had two V-8s that got holes in them after 4 years. One had an autofeeder, the other didn't. The late., great Chris Mc Corvey, Venco and Burnham did the right thing and gave me two new Megasteams. Never figured out exactly why but in both cases the people were NOT very understanding. I only charged them about $800.00 each just to cover my guys labor and the boiler ripout/bring down crew. All my local contractor peers said I was crazy to not charge full day-boat price, but I felt bad they went after 4 years, even though I didn't cast them in Lancaster Penna. Mad Dog
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,348
    I don't know what the chloride levels are here in Western Ma, but anything with Burnham written on it won't last even their HW boilers failed all leakers. I heard Boston and Rhode Island were two of the worst areas.

    Most of the HW stuff would fail in 15 years or less.


    I think only allowing 2 gallons of MU water a year is pretty absurd
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,214
    I had one fail a couple years ago that I installed right before moving back to Chicago. It was just around the lake from Chicago in Indiana. I think it lasted 10 years and the owner was fastidious with maintaining water treatment. I've noticed 3 things that I think are likely causes for the early failures....1) the water level drops considerably when the boiler is running, which exposes a lot of the top of the castings to combustion gas heat with poor heat transfer 2) the pinning on the heat exchanger is still very dense at the top of the castings and 2, likely related to the first, very high stack temperatures despite the exhaust mixture being like most typical newer atmospherics with lanced steel burners. All together I think this is causing the castings to run really hot at the top, causing the casting to corrode rapidly and rot out.
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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,756
    Interesting theory.  Did Burnham ever release a serious study, besides citing chlorides in make up water??   Mad 🐕 Dog
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,214
    No, I don't think so, but to do so would be to admit there was a problem with the design. It is interesting to note that Burnham points out on the Steam Max that there is no pinning above the water line. Hmmmmm.......
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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,756
    uhhhhh huh.. I here ya Dave. Mad Dog
    Long Beach Ed