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Burnham Boiler Casting Problems

joel_19
joel_19 Member Posts: 931
that flue damper is not even on the one i just inherited and it is a v9 not very deep 3 section ? should they all have the damper I am not familar with this model. Could explain the sooting , besides the super cold water .

Comments

  • Burnham Casting Problems

    Has any one had problems with Burnham V9 sections leaking at the rounded stubs that stick out of the castings. We had to replace three sections last year(the boiler was installed in Jan 2003) now there are three more sections leaking. They were all leaking at the same spot, and the sections that that are leaking are not next to each other?
    When we rereplaced the sections last year, the new sections did not have these stubs on the sections. They must of had a design change. At this point our customer wants us to replaceall the other nine sections and not just the three that are leaking at this time. Even to the untrained eye there appears to be a problem in the castings. I am waiting to see if Burnham will stand up to their warranty.
  • Mike

    The round protrusions you are referring to on the V9A sections are Crown Sheet Inspection Port bosses for the few jobs where an engineer will require brass plugs to be installed at those locations for instection of the internal crown sheet for mineral buildup, etc.. We removed those bosses from the sections last year simply because they are very seldom used. The cracks you are encountering are more than likely caused by three things. They can be either individual or combined but the end result is the same none the less. These are excessive temperature reset schedules causing too cool return water coming back to the boiler(s) for prolonged periods of time, intermittent flow through the boiler from various zoing devices changing the temperature rise through the boiler drastically and the possibility of boilers maintaining high limit temperatures to be on standby for domestic water production and heating zones turning on with relatively cool return water for prolonged periods of time.

    These situations are not only occurring with Burnham products, they can occur with any manufacturer of boilers, cast iron, steel or otherwise. We have dealt with these issues by developing a Return Water Control (RTC) system that constantly monitors the return water to the boiler(s) and actuates a primary-secondary boiler injection pump, three-way motorized diverter valve and takes control of firing the boiler. The control will do whatever is neccessary to ensure that the boiler never sees return water below 135°F for prolonged periods of time by blending heated boiler water with its own return water at modulating rates. Contact your local Burnham representative and he will more than likely request a jobsite visit to determine what type of system you have, how it is controlled and what must be done to keep this from happening again. If this is happening time after time, there is something causing it to happen and that is what has to be dealt with. The RTC controls will allow the boilers to operate in the conditions that may be prevalent on your job. See the post below regarding an installation in Long Island with two V9A's and RTC control systems. Hope this helps.

    http://forums.invision.net/Thread.cfm?CFApp=2&Thread_ID=30955&mc=46

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Neil_5
    Neil_5 Member Posts: 179
    Prolong Period of Time

    Glenn:

    What is considered prolong period of time for low temp return? I think all boilers should have the boiler protection built to avoid this. I have been to numerous family/friends houses and seen the direct piping with no bypass or boiler protection, including my house. Are all these boilers prone to failure soon due to lack of protection or, protection is only needed with high mass systems?

    Neil
  • Prolonged Periods

    The boilers referred to in this post are Commercial Pressure Fire Cast Iron boilers that produce millions of btu's by means of power or high pressure burners. It is important to maintain proper flow of water through these boilers as well as proper temperature flow in order to maintain the proper temperature rise through them at all times. With system water temperature reset dropping to minimums during Spring and Fall climates, the temperature rise through the boilers can exceed the desired maximums. This has always been an issue with commercial boilers of all types but is much more prevalent today with more and more commercial systems using reset controls that may be allowing to cool return water to come back to the boiler.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Neil_5
    Neil_5 Member Posts: 179
    Clarification

    Thanks for the clarification Glenn. Is this (boiler prtection) a big issue on the smaller residential boilers?

    Neil
  • Neil

    Return water protection is still an issue on smaller residential boilers but more for protection against possible condensing in the flue passageways. There has always been verbage regarding the installation of boiler bypasses or system bypasses in our residential manuals to be able to deal with this possibility. Other methods such as boiler loops, primary-secondary piping and injection method also work well but are still no guarantee unless the return water temperature is monitored. Our Revolution gas boilers and MPO oil boilers have protection built into the boiler when you get them. Hope this helps.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931
    Glen

    Excellent post . We are replacing a V9 that is dying a pretty rapid death do to similar problems to what you decribe . It is in a house with a huge gravity cast iron system , it gets freezing return water for long times and according to the owner has sooted up the house because it plugs up . She hates big blue .

    I defended you guys stating that it simply should never had been installed that way to begin with . That it wasn't ment to be abused like that. That it should have been protected with a 4way mixing valve or piped primary secondary or something , anything . They just piped right in and out and let her fly she runs a good 15minutes before the temp gauge moves off stone cold.

    I see alot of your steam boilers headed south as well because of nasty piping . Any way you guys can control this ? i've gotta think it costs you guys and everybody else a fortune .
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,452
    same problem!

    Thanks for the information Glen. I have 520,000 btu W.M. with the same leak at the same location. I read your response and will now have to look at the piping layout. I think it is not going to be good. This one is about eight years old and being used in a carwash for hot domestic water and radiant heat. I suspect it has no bypass on it at all.
    Question for you Glen: why is it that the boiler will only spray out water out of the crack when the burner is firing? I have seen this three times and on different boilers.
    Thanks for being on this site to answer all of our questions and giving out tech support for Burnham.
    Rick in Alaska
  • Joel

    We have been watching the steam boiler issue very closely and have been visiting those jobsites that seem to kill them. We see the same things time after time though. Uninsulated mains, bad or no main vents, leaking radiator vents and valves, missing radiator vents and of course auto water feeders with no provision for water usage monitoring. Unfortunately in the competitive world we live and work in, most installers will not and are not replacing the pipe covering for fear of losing the job to someone else.



    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Rick

    The reason the water only sprays out while the boiler is running is that the pressure increases while the burner is running.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Jim Cooke
    Jim Cooke Member Posts: 3
    Thermal Shock

    Hi Glenn,

    Can you explain why we see thermal shock problems in large commercial cast iron boilers, but rarely in residential cast iron boilers?

    Thanks,

    Jim
  • Mellow_2
    Mellow_2 Member Posts: 204
    Glenn Stanton

    Can you tell me what I should look for in the V-9 boilers for temp rise. I know not to go lower than 135 deg but you said not to change the temp too fast. How fast is too fast.... on this boiler (the V-9) what should be the gpm through the V-9 and what kind of delta T??? I have 2 V-9 boilers with seven indirect heaters from the 1900's. I did not install them but they plug every year. This could be from cold return water because the boilers do see a cold return most of the time. I want to fix this so the limits of this boiler would be helpful. thanks
  • Jim

    I attempted to explain that in a post above but here it goes again. The commercial V9A and V11 boilers like all commercial pressure fire boilers have a ton of btuh input with a fairly conservatively sized vessel. As stated throughout our installation manual, it is of utmost importance that the flow rate through the boiler be within the 40°F temperature rise range. We publish the desired flow rates and pipe sizes required to maintain either a 20°F or 40°F temperature rise through the boiler in the I&O manual. In general, the gross output divided by 10,000 will give you the desired flow rate for a 20°F temperature difference and the gross output divided by 20,000 will give you the flow for a 40°F temperature difference. The near boiler piping for a 40°F temperature rise will also be much smaller than that for a 20°F rise.

    We address in the I&O manual when it is OK to use parallel flow through the boiler(s), when to utilize Primary-Secondary piping and when it may be required to use the RTC control (Return Temperature Control) all based on the likelyhood of prolonged operation with cold return water (<135°F) and the possiblity of intermittent zoning with cold return water. Take a look at the online manual for the V9A or V11 and you will see how much we spell out in there.

    Smaller residential boilers do not have nearly the btuh inputs that the commercial boilers have and are less prone to the thermal issues. They are, however, susceptive to flue gas condensation and for this reason return water temperatures and proper flow rates are still critical.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Mellow

    I have addressed the first part of your post in the post directly above to Jim. As far as the plugging goes, I am assuming you are referring to soot buildup. On the majority of jobs that I have the opportunity to visit involving V9A or V11 "pressure fire" burners, I find that the flue outlet damper is wide open. The flue outlet damper has to be adjusted with its locking arm to maintain positive pressure over fire, through the boiler and at the boiler side of the flue outlet damper. Normal or negative conditions will normally be prevalent after the damper or in the chimney or lateral connection.

    You will absolute not maintain a clean fire unless the boiler is setup correctly. If the outlet damper is not adjusted correctly, negative conditions will affect the quality of the flame as chimney conditions constantly vary. I would suspect that this is the case with your boilers. Simply look at the adjusting arm on the flue outlet damper on your boilers. You will see a semi-circle of various holes where the adjusting arm with its wing-screw can be set and secured. If yours is all the way to one end or the last hole, you are wide open and not operating under pressure fire conditions.Here is a photo of one that is not set correctly. Hope this helps.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Joel

    The damper should be at the flue pipe connection to the canopy. It should be there! The canopy has a square opening that the flue outlet connector bolts up to. This connector transitions the square opening to the round pipe your flue pipe connects to. It may be either on the rear of the canopy for horizontal discharge or on the top for vertical discharge. The top outlet connectors sometimes make it more difficult to see the damper, but it should be there because its integral to the connector.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • DFry
    DFry Member Posts: 1
    Leaking V9 sections

    We have a Burnham V9 with 8 sections, and 2 were found to be leaking this year.  Upon disassembly, 2 more were found to be leaking, maybe more.  Local dealer - Petro Oil - services, and states they cannot get a replacement V9, meaning any replacement would have to include a new header, which includes a lot more work (and $$$). This boiler serves a large church and connected buildings.  Half is steam, half is hot water through an exchanger.  Weekly daytime temps in hot water parts of building is 55; Sunday temps to 70.  Most of steam section heated daily, except Saturday.  Boiler is about 15 years old.  Any ideas on why the early failure?  And is it possible to obtain another V9 somewhere local to North-central NJ?  Not a lot of money - we are a church - and not a lot of time right now.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    edited November 2013
    Leaking church boiler

    Have you enquired about replacing the sections? Surely they are available.

    When you replace them, take the time to find out why the boiler failed. Bad piping may be the cause, and if so should be corrected when the job is done, following the installation instructions. Not every plumber is capable of working on steam systems, which when properly installed should have a life span of 30+ years.

    If you must replace the boiler, measure the radiators properly for their capacity, in feet of EDR . Do not simply follow what was there before.

    Possibly, you could separate the system into a steam portion, and a water portion, using much smaller boilers for each. If one zone is needed at different times, then it would be more economical to have separate controls.--NBC
  • Mike Reavis_2
    Mike Reavis_2 Member Posts: 307
    A potential scenario

    Apartment complex with appreciable amount of water in the system. Convector radiators requiring higher output circ pump. Pump connects radiation directly to boiler. Power outage (fuse, starter heater, etc) to the pump. 2-6 hours goes by when the tech, or maintenance man either repairs it, or cuts on the back-up circ. Boiler is not interlocked with pumps to enable only with flow. Boiler reset control responds to cold outdoor temp. and has boiler temperature turned up. Boiler goes from 140-190 degrees to 60 degrees in moments.

    Under these conditions only a miracle, or a supervised start-up can save the castings.
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