Crack in boiler?


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Old 10-16-08, 10:57 AM
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Crack in boiler?

I have an older forced hot-water Weil-McLain boiler with an internal hot water coil.

When we turn on the heat, and water enters the system to bring up the pressure, water leaks out once the pressure gets above about 10lbs. This is not enough pressure to get heat to the second floors. The water leaks from inside the boiler itself (not the pipes running to and from it)

I was told this is likely a crack inside boiler and probably caused from low water pressure during the summer or just old age (installed in the 70's).

I was also told we could probably fix this temporarily for the winter so we could hold off converting to gas (can't start now as its too late to install a gas line to the house this time of year).

I would rather like to avoid buying a new oil boiler if possible.

Pleading with you experts for advice!

Thanks!
joe
 
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Old 10-16-08, 04:45 PM
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Leaking Boiler

These older Weil-McLains are somewhat notorious for leaking thru the "elastomeric seal" between the sections. The seals are not available as far as I know. Even if I don't like the stuff, boiler seal might be worth a try. It is a liquid poured into the boiler & the boiler then heated.
 
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Old 10-16-08, 04:53 PM
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Have you accessed any panel to make sure it is not leaking say where circulator pump is attached or something? When it leaks, does it drip onto the burners and sizzle? Or haven't you even bothered firing it up, as it already leaks at 10 psi cold?

I'm not sure how tall your house is, but most older even tall ceiling 2 story homes I work on, only require about 10 psi to fill the standing type radiators half way. And this amply heats the upstairs, since much of the heat is coming through the ceiling from the first floor.

Albeit, if you have a leak, it needs to be properly addressed, if that is even possible.

Was the person who thought the leak coud be temporarily stopped have qualifications in the boilers business? Or was it someone guessing that since you can stop a car leak with some stop leak that something like this might work for you?
 
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Old 10-17-08, 07:45 AM
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Problem averted, at least for a while.

I used the sealer stuff, ran it for an hour and had some slight leakage at the beginning, but after that was mopped up, no more water leaked out and the sealer seems to have worked!

This was just what I was hoping for! Now I can get through the winter without major worries.

Edit: My guess is you were right Grady, about the "elastomeric seal" between the pieces of cast iron. My guess is there was never a crack in the iron, but just one of these seals failing.

joe
 
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Old 10-17-08, 01:42 PM
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Wow that was fast. Just remember you have just coated all the pipes, radiation, boiler and everything else in the system with that junk. You have slightly reduced the heat output. This is something you cannot just flush out when the new boiler goes in. You may need to flush very well with a cleaner when the new boiler goes in. Do not install the new boiler and fill it before that is cleaned out. Should clean while old boiler is in so it does not get into the new boiler. We think antifreeze changes the heat transfer...geeeez!
 
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Old 10-17-08, 05:19 PM
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Boiler Seal

The stuff does indeed make a mess of all the piping, radiation, etc. Rbeck is absolutely right about using the old boiler to flush the system.
Boiler seal works best on boilers which stay hot. If yours is a cold start, don't be surprised if it starts leaking again pretty quickly.
 
 

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