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Sort of a random question (painting)

KC_Jones
KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,092
I have a feeling I will have a lot of these over the next few weeks and months.  So on my failing boiler the outside of the cast iron is quite corroded (giant chunks of rust).  It got me thinking, do new boilers come with any kind of paint or coating on the outside?  I know paint wouldn't hold up to the flame very well and really wouldn't need to, but what about the top and sides?  Would there be any long term benefit to painting the outside of the boiler with some high heat paint?  Seems crazy I know, but after looking at my old one it really got my brain working.  I don't know if the corrosion is from leaking that i just now found this year or because my basement is notoriously damp.  I generally keep an oiled rag in a sealed metal can that I use for wiping tools down because of the dampness.  Anybody have thoughts on painting a cast iron boiler or am I asking something no one has thought of?  I searched the wall and didn't really see anything on this.  Like I said random question.
2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15

Comments

  • Binnacle
    Binnacle Member Posts: 126
    won't help

    Painting the outside of the boiler will not help that leak.  Can't imagine any benefit and it could cause problems.  Rust on the outside of cast iron is common and a thin non-flaking layer protects the metal.



    If the boiler is large enough replacement of a bad segment may be worth consideration.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,092
    I understand

    It won't help the leak I was referring to it's new replacement.  Understand most of my dealings with cast iron is on car engines and in that world all corrosion is evil and hated.  I basically work from that perspective.  And as far as non flaking, that is what my current boiler has, but it's above the leak and it's a massive amount that's what made me think about it.  As far as rust protecting cast iron, that's a new one on me?!  I have seen cast iron rust into oblivion so not sure how a layer of rust can stop the chemical reaction of the iron with the oxygen?  I do know there are some newer alloys that are by design intended to rust slightly as an oxygen barrier, but wasn't aware that cast iron was one of them.   I am not disagreeing with you, but I despise rust and on my new boiler I am trying to think of any possible thing to increase it's longevity.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,310
    The best thing you can do

    for a steam boiler is to make sure it gets piped correctly. It's not cheap but considering it can last 20 - 30 years you want to make sure it's done right.



    The next thing is to find out why the old one failed and do what it takes to make sure that cause is fixed. If you don't correct the cause for failure, the new one will fail the same way but quicker because new boilers use thinner cast iron.



    In my opinion painting a boiler block is a waste of time because they fail from the inside out. Put the effort into having it piped correctly and make sure you don't have any water quality issues.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,092
    Thanks

    To you both for the input.  Like I said it was just a random thought I had.  Like I said I have a lot of experience with cars and cast iron engine blocks and such and I paint everything I see so it's probably just a habit to think about it.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 323
    Our boiler was painted

    After we had some repairs done to the boiler base, it was painted "as a matter of course" - granted, our boiler is 80 years old, but preventing corrosion on the exterior would seem to me to be cheap insurance, particularly if you have a damp basement.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,092
    linseed oil and graphite

    Is an old steam train trick for coating the smokebox area against corrosion.  Not sure what that would smell like in my house!  lol of course they are dealing with much higher temps and are outdoors.  I am kidding of course!
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15