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White smoke from chimney

Brad White_9
Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
will go down the toilet (you are dousing the fire is a way to look at it). Corrosion in the combsustion chamber and moisture damage to any masonry (freeze-thaw cycles in brickwork and mortar especially if the chimney is not lined). Corrosion within the boiler and piping of course.

In other words the area of damage is beyond just the boiler, not to alarm you just to have you be aware and vigilant.

If you do run out of water, your low water cut off should *should* protect you but I hate to see you rely on a safety device for normal operation.

Does it appear your make-up water has increased? It may be that we are having a cold snap (here in Boston/NE in general at least).

Comments

  • JACOB_2
    JACOB_2 Member Posts: 2
    WHITE SMOKE FROM CHIMNEY

    i HAVE A GAS FIRED STEAM BOILER ABOUT 18 YEARS OLD. I HAVE RECENTLY NOTICED WHITE SMOKE COMING FROM THE CHIMNEY, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE IT HAS BEEN HAPPENING FOR A WHILE. WHAT IS IT?
  • ed wallace
    ed wallace Member Posts: 1,613
    white smoke

    you have a possible steam leak how often are you adding water to the boiler

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  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440


    That or you have a new pope! :)
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    New Pope!!!

    Just having fun... Are you sure it's smoke and now water vapor? I think it would be great if you could perform a combustion test on the equipment and give us some #'s. I am wondering what the stack temp is, what else is vented into the same exhaust etc... Is it chimney or double wall pipe thru heated space etc...
  • Tom R.
    Tom R. Member Posts: 139
    If the \"smoke\"

    disappears when the weather warms, you have a leaking boiler.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    But seriously...

    It could be a water leak into the combustion chamber (the houshold equivalent of a blown head gasket on your automobile engine), it could be entirely normal that in cold weather the dewpoint of the combustion gasses is reached closer to the chimney and the plume is more dense.

    As Ed suggests, take a look at your rate of water make-up.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Reminds me

    of when the new pope was elected... I sent congratulations to my seriously Catholic co-worker, a birth announcement:

    It's a Boy!

    :)

    Being a lapsed Episcopalian, you just know where I will be spending eternity....
  • JACOB_2
    JACOB_2 Member Posts: 2
    FOOLOW-UP ON WHITE SMOKE FROM CHIMNEY

    THANKS TO THE QUICK RESPONSES TO MY QUERY. iT APPEARS THAT THE CONSENSUS OF OPINION IS THAT IT IS A LEAKING BOILER. i WOULD RATHER NOT REPLACE/REPAIR IT UNTIL THE HEATING SEASON IS OVER.
    IS THAT ADVISEABLE? MY BOILER HAS AN AUTOMATIC FEED AND AUTOMATIC SHUT-OFF SO HOPEFULLY IT WOULDNT HAPPEN THAT THE BOILER WOULD KEEP ON GOING WITH NO WATER.

    WHAT KIND OF DAMAAGE CAN HAPPEN (DAMAGE TO CHIMNEY, FLOOD IN BASEMENT, ETC)( AND WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT IT.
  • Robert_15
    Robert_15 Member Posts: 62


    if there is lime (white powdery)coming through on the sides of the chimmney & dripping from the top of the flew cape
  • Steam from boiler.

    > THANKS TO THE QUICK RESPONSES TO MY QUERY. iT

    > APPEARS THAT THE CONSENSUS OF OPINION IS THAT IT

    > IS A LEAKING BOILER. i WOULD RATHER NOT

    > REPLACE/REPAIR IT UNTIL THE HEATING SEASON IS

    > OVER. IS THAT ADVISEABLE? MY BOILER HAS AN

    > AUTOMATIC FEED AND AUTOMATIC SHUT-OFF SO

    > HOPEFULLY IT WOULDNT HAPPEN THAT THE BOILER WOULD

    > KEEP ON GOING WITH NO WATER. WHAT KIND OF

    > DAMAAGE CAN HAPPEN (DAMAGE TO CHIMNEY, FLOOD IN

    > BASEMENT, ETC)( AND WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT IT.



  • Steam from boiler.

    > THANKS TO THE QUICK RESPONSES TO MY QUERY. iT

    > APPEARS THAT THE CONSENSUS OF OPINION IS THAT IT

    > IS A LEAKING BOILER. i WOULD RATHER NOT

    > REPLACE/REPAIR IT UNTIL THE HEATING SEASON IS

    > OVER. IS THAT ADVISEABLE? MY BOILER HAS AN

    > AUTOMATIC FEED AND AUTOMATIC SHUT-OFF SO

    > HOPEFULLY IT WOULDNT HAPPEN THAT THE BOILER WOULD

    > KEEP ON GOING WITH NO WATER. WHAT KIND OF

    > DAMAAGE CAN HAPPEN (DAMAGE TO CHIMNEY, FLOOD IN

    > BASEMENT, ETC)( AND WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT IT.



  • Steam from boiler.

    Jacob,

    If there is steam flowing up your chimney from a leak above the water level in your steam boiler, the moisture inside the chimney can cause irreparable damage to the chimney.

    Also, when was the last time that your LWCO was actually taken apart to clean & test it? If it was not within a year, you may or may not have protection from a low water condition.

    The very water that would be entering the boiler through the auto feed, to replenish the water lost up the chimney, would greatly accelerate the corrosion that would build up in your LWCO, to disable it.

    I think that you should have a professional look at the problem and asses the condition of the boiler and also the interior of the chimney now. He can then tell you if the problem that you have, can wait till spring, or for safety purposes must be dealt with now.

    Good Luck,

    Ed
  • Eddie M
    Eddie M Member Posts: 26


    I had a steam leak above the water level but i never saw it come out of my chimney. Where was the steam going then? I assume it just fizzles out of the jacket
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Depends

    on the rate of leak, the stack temperature, ambient temperature and ambient relative humidity.

    Chances are it re-evaporated (or remained as vapor more accurately), remained warm as invisible vapor.
  • boiler smoke

    Turn boiler off at service switch.Over fill boiler to where you think the water level is above the top of the boiler, in the boiler header,pipes above the boiler. check to see if water is leaking from boiler onto the floor,if so boiler is shot.PS white smoke from a gas boiler is common when it is cold outside
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