amtrol boilermate

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Old 01-27-08, 08:42 PM
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amtrol boilermate

Today my hot water started coming out very rusty looking, we have a amtrol boilermate hot water maker.. Anyone ever seen this before??
 
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Old 01-28-08, 07:25 PM
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I've seen some pretty nasty stuff come out of hot water heaters ... I would think that something in the system is rusting ...

how old is the boilermate ?
 
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Old 01-28-08, 08:21 PM
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I can't tell how old it is, when we bought the house there was no literature on anything. There is no date on the the unit that I can find except that it complies with ASME 1986. The problem we had was that when the hotwater was rusty looking it was also very lukewarm, so I guess we were getting to the bottom of the tank. I thought maybe the honeywell zone valve from the boiler was going, but that should only make the water lukewarm, not rusty looking? The cold water looks fine. It happened last night but tonight everything seems fine so maybe we just maxed it out somehow.
 
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Old 01-28-08, 09:54 PM
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Does your model have the 'flush valve' on the bottom ? or is there a drain valve on the incoming domestic cold water supply ? I'm not crazy about that aspect of some of their models, there's really no way to 'power flush' them to get sediment out.

You may have sediment built up in the bottom of the tank, and for whatever reason it got 'stirred up' ... perhaps by higher than normal demand.

Are there any steel pipes in the water supply stream ? or is it all copper ?

Are you by any chance on well water ?

Take some pics if you want, and post them on www.photobucket.com (free) ... let me see what the piping and valves look like around the boilermate ... maybe there's some way to flush it out.

Honestly though, this only marginally belongs in this topic, because it is after all a "water heater" ... but it DOES say BOILERmate on it , right ?

But let's see some pics if you have a camera, and if we can't help, we'll maybe move the thread over to the other topic ...
 
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Old 01-29-08, 10:39 AM
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Sorry I had to go plow the driveway last night so I didn't get time to take any pics.. I'll take a few when I get home tonight. Yes it is a boilermate, there is a drain valve on the incoming cold water supply but nothing on the outgoing hotwater. There is a blowoff valve on the top but it doesn't seem like I could flush it that way?? I'll take some photos tonight and see if you have any insight on flushing the tank. We do have well-water, the heating system is a boiler that feeds three hotwater baseboard zones plus the boilermate. The cold water supply comes from the well in plastic than is copper from there, although obviously the well casing is iron, so possibly we got a blast of rusty water from there.
 
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Old 01-29-08, 04:55 PM
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How much snow didja get ?

I'm betting that you've got some form of water conditioning equipment also, perhaps a softener that uses salt to recharge ?

Most water heaters have a drain on the bottom as you probably already know. Problem I see with these boilermate tanks is that if you shut off the cold, and then open the drain, the hot water system will de-pressurize, and you can't actually flush any sediment out of the bottom of the tank!

If you open the drain, with the cold supply on, all you will get is cold water from the well...

No, you probably can't flush it from the blowoff (relief) valve, I wouldn't try ...

Amtrol does have other models that are fed from the top, that DO have a proper drain/flush valve... but that apparently isn't the model you have...

I would think if you got a slug of iron from the well, you would see it in the cold also.

If you're real lucky, with valves in the proper locations, I can think of a way to backflush the tank with a hose, and a cross connection to another hose on the cold supply, but my guess is that your setup won't have the valves setup like we would need.
 
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Old 01-29-08, 11:06 PM
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Well we've gotten about 24" in the last week, plus 40 mph winds, kinda makes plowing a nightly job lately.. Plowed last night and when I got up this morning it was all drifted in again. Fun stuff! Took a few pics, not sure if it will help.
http://s275.photobucket.com/albums/jj291/dpritham/
Looks like I can't backflush like you suggested, there is no shutoff valve for quite a ways on the CW supply side, but I can drain it from the bottom and try to get some sediment out that way. The water softener you asked about hasn't worked for a while and I have it bypassed. Thanks for the help NJ Trooper!
 
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Old 01-30-08, 05:31 AM
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The Boilermate WH7 has a plastic liner. There is nothing to
rust, unless the plastic liner has been compromised. I'd
suspect the tank is rapidly approaching a point where it
will develop leaks.

Have you called Amtrol customer service and asked them
for an opinion?

Pete
 
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Old 01-30-08, 05:35 AM
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The Boilermate WH7 has a plastic liner. There is nothing to
rust, unless the plastic liner has been compromised. I'd
suspect the tank is rapidly approaching a point where it
will develop leaks. The usual failure mode is a cracked
O'ring on the top fitting, that allows water to enter between
the liner and tank, causing rust and leaks. If the inner
chamber is showing rust colored water, I'd bet on
a cracked liner.

The tank can opened from the bottom for inspection--but
that is a major undertaking. Power washing is usually done
via a wand through the top port.

Have you called Amtrol customer service and asked them
for an opinion?

Pete
 
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Old 01-30-08, 08:11 PM
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thanks radioconnection, I hope the liner is not cracked but like you said no other way to get rust in there unless its from outside, but again no rust on the CW side of things. The rust spewing event hasn't occurred since, so maybe there is a bunch of sediment building up in the bottom that we got into through high usage. I think once it warms up out here I'll disconnect the whole unit, put in in the garage and take the bottom plate off for a thorough inspection and cleaning, and hopefully if the liner is not cracked at least replace the O-ring on the top fitting. Thanks everyone for the help!
 
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Old 01-31-08, 11:09 AM
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You may need to replace the lower gasket if you break the
seal. If you talk really nice to customer support at Amtrol
via email, they can be persuaded to send you a free
o ring for the top connection. A cracked ring could cause
the problem you're seeing.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 08:58 PM
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Thanks Pete, I'll shoot Amtrol an email.. Just as soon as I finish plowing the damn driveway again.
 
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