Is My Boilermate Indirect Tank Shot?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-05-12, 03:42 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 409
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Is My Boilermate Indirect Tank Shot?

Hi Folks,

Well, I came home this afternoon, went down in the basement, and to my surprise, I found a small puddle of water under my Amtrol Boilermate. I've never seen that before, and so I'm concerned. Examining it closer, the leak appears to be coming from where the boiler supply tube goes through the bottom plate and hooks up with the copper coil inside. The gasket looks to be OK, no moisture around the edge that I can see. So right now I'm thinking the problem is indeed the heat exchanger.

I'm letting the tank drain right now and then I'm going to disconnect it and remove the exchanger for a more thorough examination. Looks like I'll be having a late dinner tonight.

Anyone ever had or seen a similar problem?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-05-12, 07:09 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 409
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I'm not sure but I think I might have found the problem. As I noted, the leak looked to be coming from where the boiler supply tube goes through the bottom plate and hooks up with the copper coil inside. After removing the HE and wire-brushing the supply pipe area on the other side of the plate, this is what it looks like:







From what I can tell, a part of the brazed joint has failed (I assume it's brazed). You can see a nice smooth bead where it's labeled "good" but there is virtually nothing where it's labeled "bad". The "bad" part of the joint corresponds directly to where I saw the drip on the other side of the plate.

So.....I'm thinking maybe this was a defect with the unit coming out of the factory, but it took several years before the joint failed enough actually allow leakage. Lots of heating and cooling of that pipe over the years probably further weakened the defective joint until it finally failed.

Agree? Any other theories?
 
  #3  
Old 01-05-12, 07:17 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I think I would agree with that theory...

So, you gonna try to find a welding shop that can re-braze that for ya? or pop for a new one?
 
  #4  
Old 01-05-12, 09:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 409
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
So, you gonna try to find a welding shop that can re-braze that for ya? or pop for a new one?
Amtrol actually has a replacement HE for the model (WH-41) and I've been thinking about that. But the more I consider the whole picture, the more I think I'm better off going with a new tank.

You may recall I installed this tank about 5 years ago at my place. It was a "hand-me-down" from my sister who was replacing the boiler at her home at the time, and she decided go with the whole kit-and-caboodle. The tank was working fine, so I grabbed it. Downloaded the I/O manual and I was one my way.

My sister bought her home around 1998-99 and the tank was installed already. So I'm at least the 3rd owner. Which means also that the tank is at least 14 years old, and probably older. So with that in mind, I think it's probably time to put it out to pasture. I don't want to have to worry about an older tank that's already showing signs of breaking down. I would rather fork over some dough now and get the peace of mind that a new tank will bring.

So I suppose the question now is, what is a good, solid workhorse indirect tank brand/model? Nothing against the Amtrol Boilermate, but I'd like to keep an open mind on this. I've been reading about the stainless steel designs that get good reviews for durability....
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-12, 03:32 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I would look at the stainless designs myself, but would first have my water tested for chloride content to make sure the tank didn't turn to swiss cheese before it's time was up.
 
  #6  
Old 01-06-12, 06:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 409
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Thanks for the heads-up Troop. I wouldn't have thought about something like that. But I did some searching, here and on the internet, and I understand now what high chlorides can do to stainless steel. As I understand it, lower is better, and anything more than 100 ppm (mg/L) is troublesome for SS hot water units.

The latest water quality report I have for my town (2009) indicates 45 ppm of chlorides. Could be better, but everything else being equal, it appears I'm in safe territory. Or so I hope.
 
  #7  
Old 01-06-12, 08:22 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: US
Posts: 552
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hello Rockledge,
I have a 20 year old Super-Stor and it's been better than perfect.
For this time period i have had all deep well water. Never tested it for salt but i think it is minimal to none.

Before the SS i had a Triangle Tube Phase III, brand new in 1984. That thing also worked the nuts, I never ran out of hot water and i had a 120G whirlpool tub. And all i had was a 55,000 btu LP Burnham boiler.
The Phase III started leaking very slowly around 1990.
But the thing is from 1984 to 1987, my water came froma dug well out near the street.
Tons of road salt in it. That killed the Phase III. So i think they are probably good units.

I think the Super Stor is great, or was, i don't know if they still make them like they used to or not. But i've had 5 total installed in various entities over 15+ years ago and they are all still working fine today.


Peter
 
  #8  
Old 01-06-12, 08:27 PM
rbeck's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,450
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Don't overlook stone lined tanks as you do not need to worry about anode rods, water condition and usually makes more hot water with smaller boilers.
 
  #9  
Old 01-06-12, 09:16 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 409
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Very informative feedback guys, thanks! What I like about both the SS and stone-lined designs is that they come with excellent warranties. From what I can tell, the SS brands Peter mentioned get great marks for standing behind their products. And I hadn't really considered a stone-lined tank but rbeck points out some real benefits. I'm going to look into them some more.

Another factor in my decision will be availability. Once I pull the trigger on a new indirect tank, I'm not going to want to stand around twiddling my thumbs for too long.
 
  #10  
Old 01-07-12, 03:57 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 2,459
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
FWIW, been very happy with the HTP Superstor Ultra in my solar DHW system. Very good build quality and excellent performance.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: