How to add Boiler Solder to boiler/leak


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Old 12-21-09, 05:43 PM
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How to add Boiler Solder to boiler/leak

I have a 19-year old Burnham boiler that has developed a leak over the last 12 months. The leak is in the side of the boiler and appears only at top temperature/pressure (180 degrees/~30). It leaked a bit during the spring/summer, making a small but persistent puddle, but then stopped for a while this fall. This was due to increased usage (cold weather) which burned off the escaping water before it could replenish the small puddle on the floor. Now, the puddle has returned, even with the single digit Connecticut December weather. Furnace pressure and temperature are fine, as is the heating performance in the house (2 zones, 2500 sq ft).

Through all of this, I have never added water to the boiler/system, so I am guessing it is self-replenishing.

Our annual service checkup found the entire system was in good shape – except for the leak. The service guy said that he has seen several Burnham boilers of that vintage with the same problem. He said he heard they had casting problems around that time. As we are not the original purchasers of the boiler, there is no warranty or replacement help from Burnham. The service guy said (off the record, of course) that adding Boiler Solder is an option to plug the leak from the inside, although his company is all over me about buying a replacement furnace (at retail pricing, from what I can tell). If possible, I would really like to delay that expense, so I have gone ahead and ordered Silver King Boiler Solder and seek your help on how best to get it into the boiler. I am somewhat familiar with the furnace components but don’t know how best to do this. Mine is a closed radiator system (no bleeding on the radiators).

Attached are pictures of my system. How can I get the Boiler Solder into the boiler? Has anyone else had luck doing this (boiler solder)?

Thank you for your help.
A.J.





 
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Old 12-21-09, 05:59 PM
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I see a shut off on the return pipe, and Taco zone valves on the supply pipes.

If you shut off the boiler and close the valve on the return, the taco's may hold back the water long enough to drain off some water and unscrew the pressure relief valve and add your boiler treatment there.

Follow instructions of the product, and be careful as you may be dealing with very hot water as some products need the boiler to be run up to temperature.

You may as well replace the pressure relief valve while your there too.
 
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Old 12-21-09, 06:06 PM
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I would not add this to the boiler. This stuff gets all over the system. It can ruin auto vents. It also slows down thermal transfer in the system. This stuff is hard to get out of the system later.
 
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Old 12-23-09, 04:24 PM
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Thanks, TOHeating. Have you had or seen success with this type of boiler leak chemical repair? Using this, is there any hope for a medium-term fix?

rbeck, thank you for your input. How can I tell if I have auto vents? Do you have any other suggestions on how to fix the leak other than replacing the boiler?

Thank you both.

A.J.
 
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Old 12-29-09, 03:07 PM
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I still seek guidance on a go/no go for adding Boiler Solder to a leaking boiler. Specifically, to anyone out there:

- Have you had or seen success with this type of boiler leak chemical repair (see thread below)? Using Boiler Solder, is there any hope for a medium-term fix?
- How substantial are the risks (e.g., potential for blocking auto vents)?
- Net: try it (Boiler Solder) or just let the boiler keep leaking (until the leak gets too big?) What is your opinion?

Thank you,
A.J.
 
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Old 12-29-09, 04:12 PM
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I think rbeck's reply says it all.
 
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Old 12-30-09, 12:31 AM
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Thanks, drooplug. So, is there anything else I can do on the leak front, or does the whole boiler have to go?
 
 

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