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Burnham Revolution leaking, fixes, replacement recommendations?

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DCMA1
DCMA1 Member Posts: 17
I've got a Burnham Revolution RV7. It's leaking inside. Tons of condensate in the exhaust, the flue pipe was leaking from one joint into the basement. Probably only noticed it because the water in the heating loop smells like turpentine for some reason? Very strong smell. I've known that for years, probably should have flushed the system. Just measured the Ph of the water with a strip and it is 4, which probably contributed to the demise, but maybe that's because of the leak, don't know what it may have been before. It still heats fine, so hopefully I have some time to get it replaced. I assume it's not possible to fix something like this, it appears to be leaking internal to the cast iron sections. I put in some Hercules Boiler Liquid which seems to have diminished the leak.

The unit appears to be way oversized to what I need - 190,000 BTU input. 2000 sq.ft. house but most of it is uninsulated. Hopefully I'll have that rectified in another year. That would change any heat loss calculation done. But should it be sized to the radiators in the house regardless?

Would appreciate any recommendations for a replacement boiler. I'm not in favor of fancy new things so much, I'd rather get something built from standard parts that can be serviced in the future. The other consideration is the layout. The Revolution has what seems to me to be a non-standard layout, with the vent pipes up front and the water circulation lines on the left. I'm sure a competent plumber can fit anything in anywhere, but my workshop surrounds this boiler and it seems to me that something with a similar layout will fit in much easier. I don't really want to move the vent lines because all of this will affect headroom in the basement.

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  • exqheat
    exqheat Member Posts: 188
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    Post pictures and operating habits.
    John Cockerill Exquisite Heat www.exqheat.com Precisions boiler control from indoor reset.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,448
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    Big question is Why a pH of 4 in the boiler water... A replacement wont last much better. What is the radaition like? radiant floor?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,649
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    steam or hot water?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    They didn’t come in many sized, interesting boiler that had a built in mixing device with a VS circ

    also had Honeywell Smart Valves on the gas train

    Parts are probably not easy to find

    what type of heat emitters 


    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,448
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    steam or hot water?

    The revolution was a high eff. (87% afue) gas water boiler that was built to match what Weil had w/ the GV.
  • DCMA1
    DCMA1 Member Posts: 17
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    exqheat said:

    Post pictures and operating habits.


    Here's what it looks like. Actually installed improperly since circulator is supposed to be on supply and not return. Operating habits are normal thermostat, it's setback at night.
    kcopp said:

    Big question is Why a pH of 4 in the boiler water... A replacement wont last much better. What is the radaition like? radiant floor?

    The radiation is all old cast iron upright radiators.

    steam or hot water?

    Hot water.
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,716
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    what's more important is where the ex tank is connected,
    before or after the circ?
    (hard to see from this picture)
    known to beat dead horses
  • DCMA1
    DCMA1 Member Posts: 17
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    neilc said:

    what's more important is where the ex tank is connected,
    before or after the circ?
    (hard to see from this picture)

    The expansion tank is connected on the supply output of the boiler. The circ is on the return pushing into the boiler. On the Revolution, the circ was supposed to be pulling out of the boiler so as not to interfere with operation of the internal circulator as per Burnham, but the installer didn't read the I&O manual apparently.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    One of the smallest cast iron boilers you can but would probably be enough for 2000 sq ft of reasonably well insulated home.

    A load calc would help decide, and a radiator assessment.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • DCMA1
    DCMA1 Member Posts: 17
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    hot_rod said:

    One of the smallest cast iron boilers you can but would probably be enough for 2000 sq ft of reasonably well insulated home.

    A load calc would help decide, and a radiator assessment.

    Well, reasonably well insulated doesn't describe this home at the moment. It's probably closer to 2300sq ft with the 3rd floor (finished attic). That floor is insulated but has no heat. Stays reasonably warm anyway. Only other insulation is in the kitchen, which is pretty far from the radiator.

    That said, I measured/estimated 364.1 EDR in the 10 radiators. I think that means I only need 84000BTU? So the current boiler is more than 2X oversized? Given the radiation, which is working, do I really need another load calc?

    Burnham X-PV5N or maybe a 4N seems to be the closest to what I currently have that they sell now. Not sure I want the fancier stuff. Weil-McLain GV90+4 seems to be a good blend of old and new? Or Peerless Purefire PF110 if I want the more modern condensing system. Should I be looking at something else? I like the warranty on the cast iron systems, but not sure what the warranty is on the secondary ss heat exchanger on the W-M.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    with a with a fixed output boiler you want to match all 3 ideally. The boiler to the load and the radiators to the boiler 

    if you are over radiated you can run lower SWT. Which also helps boiler efficiency 

    Now IF you could cover the load with 130 SWT at design, a mod con would condense. And modulate!
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • DCMA1
    DCMA1 Member Posts: 17
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    hot_rod said:

    with a with a fixed output boiler you want to match all 3 ideally. The boiler to the load and the radiators to the boiler 

    if you are over radiated you can run lower SWT. Which also helps boiler efficiency 

    Now IF you could cover the load with 130 SWT at design, a mod con would condense. And modulate!

    SWT = Supply Water Temperature, I think?
    I'm not going to change the radiation. But I do hope to change the load in the future, by insulating. That makes the mod-con better for this application than the GV, which is only condensing?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    The GV and Revolution were cast boilers designed to be used on low temperature, like radiant systems. So the manufacturer included a return protection device. The early GV had Hoffmann thermostatic mix valves under the hood, the Revolution had a tekmar control running a VS injection protection under the hood.

    If you lower the load, you may be getting to a point where a mod con makes sense.

    Even at occasional high temperatures I would still suggest the mod con for modulation and all the other control settings included.

    At www.caleffi.us you can download Idronics 25 for some ideas
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream