Was told need a new boiler! Do I?

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Old 02-25-07, 10:27 AM
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Unhappy Was told need a new boiler! Do I?

Thanks for taking time to help!

My fuel oil supplier came to change gaskets on a circulator last November.

The mechanic said there was no need to clean the boiler as the combustion chamber
was falling apart!

I thought this was strange because the same company had been cleaning this boiler for 35+ years with no mention of this before.

I took him at his word and have gotten 2 prices for a new boiler since.

Last night while taking photos for a no hot water problem which I posted on this forum,
I took the cover off to see how bad it was in there.
I saw nothing falling apart, just what looks to me to be a boiler needing cleaning!

Photos can be viewed @: http://good-times.webshots.com/album/557838585wZZxOV

Am I not seeing something?

The system is H.B. Smith boiler 1968 "Smith Pac 14",
White Rogers aquastat rebuilt by Sid Harveys, Model C3187R 843A30.
40 gal hot water storage tank which is heated by a .boiler coil
(coil replaced 5 years ago and there is no hard water problem in the house)
The ouse has 3 heating zones which are working properly.

The pump on the hot water tank is working, pumping water thru the coil, it turns on and off as it should.
Recently, the boiler stopped kicking on when the water tank pump comes on, .
and there is no hot water at any plumbing fixtures in the house.

The outflow hot water pipe coming off tank is hot to touch.

I heated the water tank up to 180 degrees by manually starting boiler while the water was pumping thru the coil (the aquastat is not kicking the boiler on).
Still do not have hot water anywhere in house.

This to me says cold water is not coming into coil to push hot out.

Could this be a bad mixing valve?

Is this the "T" shaped copper device on the cold supply to coil marked "3/4" with "125" under? See photos.
When I feel the cold supply pipe, it gradually gets warmer towards coil after passing
that device.

Could this be as simple as a bad mixing valve?

Can I take it apart to clean or just replace inner parts?

Should I trouble shoot the aquastat?

Thanks, very much, in advance!
 
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Old 02-25-07, 12:40 PM
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I'll post an answer later tonight. I've got a few DIY projects of my own I have to work on now.
 
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Old 02-25-07, 04:41 PM
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Whilst waiting for furd, I looked at yer pics...

I think the one you are calling "chamber" is really the heat exchanger portion, and yes, it could use a cleaning!

The "chamber" is where the oil burner fires. There's high temp refractory material in there and that must be what's in bad shape. The chambers can often be rebuilt...
 
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Old 02-25-07, 05:41 PM
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Chamber

I agree with Trooper. The photos show the heat exchanger, not the chamber.
As Trooper said, chambers can often be rebuilt or lined with new refractory.
Regarding your question about gasket material: Kaowool strip is what I use most of the time on flat surfaces. If there is a gasket groove, kaowool rope of the proper size is the proper material.
 
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Old 02-25-07, 05:50 PM
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How do I look @ the chamber to see if it is needing repar?
 
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Old 02-25-07, 05:54 PM
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Chamber

The chamber can usually be inspected thru the flame observation port above the burner. A flex head mirror can be a big help.
 
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Old 02-25-07, 08:28 PM
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Grady and NJ have given you good advice. There are reasons to replace an old boiler but so far your service company has not given you a good one. There is no question that cleaning this boiler and replacing the combustion chamber along with a general overhaul of the oil burner would improve its efficiency but if you really want a sizable increase in efficiency then a new boiler is the answer.

I'm wondering, is this boiler in a home that is currently unoccupied? Perhaps one that you are in the process of selling?
 
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Old 02-26-07, 09:12 AM
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Yes it is unoccupied now and for sale.
I do however rent the house out for short term vacation rentals.
 
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Old 02-27-07, 04:59 AM
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Smile Update!

Thanks to all!

There are 3 Moen fixtures in the house, today I found the one which is the major problem, the shower valve upstairs.

I got hot water when I turned off the second floor water!

Seems the other two: 2nd floor bath sink and kitchen sink may need help also.
Water pressure is being effected by something,
could it be these partially failing valves?

When this whole thing started, I had a plumber who replaced the
cartridge in this shower at which time he said the
valve needed to be replaced.
He recommended Moen Legend model 3270,
said it was a good basic shower valve better than what I had.
He gave an estimate of $420. to replace.
Seems High??

The following day I found there was no hot water
anywhere in the house.
I thought I had better fix that problem 1st,
maybe it was the hot water tank or aquastat
that caused the shower to have no hot water, not the valve.

I called the plumber and called off the valve replacement.
He thought the problem may be the aquastat and I should call
the oil company to have them fix it.

Round and round we go!

Now I know the lack of hot water is due to the shower valve!

Can I replace parts in it or do I need to replace the whole thing?

On the combustion chamber...I looked in the port in front saw kind of spongy orange stuff, then opened the side access panel and could see the chamber and this soft material, there was more of this orange stuff on the fins which I scraped off and allot on the bottom of the chamber. Everything seems solid in there seems like it just needs to be vacuumed out.
There is probably 4-5 inches of accumulation on the bottom of chamber.
I probed around with a long dowel.
There does not seem to be any signs of water from gaskets failing.

I could not open check valve, which I thought was a mixing valve,
tried hard to do so, did not budge.
 
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