Blown gasket on tankless water coil, water shooting out

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Old 12-16-11, 09:40 PM
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Question Blown gasket on tankless water coil, water shooting out

Don't worry, I shut the system down I was in the living room and I heard a hissing noise. I ran to the boiler and opened the door (its under the stairs, no basement). There was stream of hot water shooting out, hitting the door. I quickly shut off the boiler and water, dodging the stream of hot water.

It looks like the gasket on the tankless hot water coil "blew out", its protruding out in one part where the water was streaming out.

The boiler is a peerless WB-3, installed in '93. My question is, is this common? The technician who showed up seemed surprised to see it and searching the net, I see plenty of "leak" problems with the tankless coil gasket but no "blow outs".

Do I need to replace the gasket, the coil or the whole boiler?

Thanks for any help, I am a new home owner and I am a computer guy, this boiler stuff is all new to me!
 
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Old 12-17-11, 07:16 AM
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First the coil has to be removed. After doing so & cleaning the coil plate & boiler surfaces a determination can be made. If the plate is rusted to the point where a new gasket won't seal, the coil will have to be replaced. If the boiler surface is the damaged beyond sealing, then it's time for a new boiler. Best case is to simply replace the gasket.

I've never seen a gasket suddenly blow out.
 
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Old 12-17-11, 07:30 AM
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I think it might be an excellent idea to examine and test the pressure relief valve!

If it's that rare an occurence that Grady has never seen one, perhaps there is something else going on... hopefully someone didn't PLUG the relief valve because it was leaking! If they did, you are probably extremely lucky that the gasket DID blow out! Lucky that you are still alive!

Please have the whole thing checked out... I would have the relief valve REPLACED if it's more than 5 years old.
 
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Old 12-17-11, 07:53 AM
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Thanks so much for the quick responses, this is a great forum. The engineer is coming shortly, he has a new coil, I will make sure he checks the pressure release valve. We will see what kind of state the boiler is in once he takes the coil out. I want to make sure we get to the root cause of the problem so I don't have to worry about this boiler every time I leave the house, I would have had a nice flood on my hands if I wasn't home when this happened.

I had the yearly inspection about a month ago, no problems reported. I also had the coils cleaned about three weeks ago which dramatically improved the hot water performance in the shower / bath etc. Not sure if its related, just throwing the info out there.

I'll update after the engineer has left.
 
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Old 12-17-11, 08:00 AM
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I also had the coils cleaned about three weeks ago which dramatically improved the hot water performance in the shower / bath etc. Not sure if its related, just throwing the info out there.
It's certainly one of those things that "makes you go hmmmmmm"...

Good Luck!
 
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Old 12-17-11, 10:22 AM
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I just saw where Grady stated if the surface of the boiler is rusted to the point a new coil gasket would not seal, that the boiler would have to be replaced.This is standard practice by the service industry. Since i am a machinist and millwright, in this situation i weld a flanged box to the boiler and reinstall the coil.
 
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Old 12-17-11, 11:23 AM
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If you can weld a flange on that cast iron boiler, you're pretty darned good. Secondly, you are modifing the manufacturer's design & thereby become liable for any problems related to that modification. If you want to take that resposibility, that's up to you but I'm not doing it.
 
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Old 12-17-11, 12:19 PM
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Well the engineer just left and we ended up with the "best case" - he simply replaced the gasket. He said the coil looked too be in fine condition as well as the plate on the boiler, no apparent rust or damage. The pressure release seemed fine but he replaced it just to be safe. In short, he has no idea why the gasket blew out, neither did his manager who also came by. I suppose time will tell, it makes me pretty nervous. I notice some rattling in a copper pipe now when one of the zones calls for heat, could it be air? Perhaps it will work itself out.

Just curious, is there some device that will detect water on the floor and shut the system down? I know of the reverse, devices that detect water and turn a pump on.

Thanks again for the help everyone!
 
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Old 12-17-11, 12:52 PM
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Glad things worked out well. There are switches which when wired thru a relay could shut off the power to the boiler. You would need some sort of electrically operated valve to shut down the water. It could certainly be done. I just don't know off the top of my head exactly what parts would be needed.

The noise is likely air & if you have automatic air vents will probably work it's way out. It may take a few days to do so.
 
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Old 12-17-11, 01:10 PM
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notice some rattling in a copper pipe
Rattling? like 'tink a tink' ? or like air and water sloshing through?

Could be just air, he did have the boiler drained to do what hadda do... and since there is a lot of fresh water now in the system, you may have more in the next week or two... that's what happens when fresh water is added to a system because there's lots of oxygen dissolved in the water. After a number of heating cycles it gets driven out of the water and should be released by the automatic air vents.

Just curious, is there some device that will detect water on the floor and shut the system down?
There are a number of different things on the market for that purpose:

WAGS ( Water And Gas Safety ) valves.
Taco-Hvac: WAGS Valve

Watercop automatic water shut-off system

System Contents: Controller Sensors Water Shut-Off Valve | WaterSafeTM

Automatic Water Shut-Off Plus Alarm for Water Heaters

Many of these are designed specifically for water heaters but could probably be adapted for a boiler.

...and I'm sure many more. Google around using any keywords you can think of and you will find them.

About the new gasket... keep an eye on it for the next few weeks months... the bolts should probably be re-torqued after a number of heating cycles.
 
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Old 12-17-11, 02:58 PM
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If when the coil was cleaned it was removed and when reinstalled anything was put on it such as pipe dope the gasket could be pushed out,it must be installed dry.
 
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Old 12-17-11, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by saves View Post
If when the coil was cleaned it was removed and when reinstalled anything was put on it such as pipe dope the gasket could be pushed out,it must be installed dry.
All depends on the manufacturer. Some specify a bead of silicone. I believe it's Weil-McLain who ships a tube of silicone with the coil. This is what comes with some coils. http://www.permatex.com/products/Aut...sket_Maker.htm
 
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Old 12-17-11, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mflanagan View Post
Just curious, is there some device that will detect water on the floor and shut the system down?
Another one to add to Trooper's list: Hot Water Heater Feed Water Alarm/Shut-Off - Floodmaster

I have personal experience with the Floodmaster - solid components, easy to install, works exactly as advertised - although IIRC it was a couple of bucks more than some of the others I looked at...
 
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