Asbestos around the big boiler vent pipe

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Old 01-08-13, 08:53 PM
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Question Asbestos around the big boiler vent pipe

Hi,

Someone came by to talk about my boiler today and noticed the asbestos insulation around the vent. I knew it was there, but I've only been in the house for a couple of months and planned to mitigate it in some way. He suggested that there was no way to seal it there and seemed to suggest that my only way out was to get a new boiler. I realize that can't possibly be the case.

I see that there's some stuff out there like fiberlock, but I've never used anything like that, wouldn't know which one to buy, and I'm worried about it withstanding the high temps on the exhaust pipe.

Are there other options? Am I even on the right track with something like paint on fiberlock? I am thinking that one might be able to mist the insulation, secure loose portions using some wire tied around the tube, and then paint the insulation with something like this: Asbestos Abatement Products - Encapsulants

Here's a pic of my problem:

 
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Old 01-08-13, 08:59 PM
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As it sits it fine. As soon as you start to mess with it....it crumbles and becomes airborn. That's when it's hazardous.

If what we see is all you have......don't mess around. Call an asbestos removal company. It's just not worth the risk of that stuff getting into the air.

New boiler......NOT........(at least not from the insulation)
 
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Old 01-08-13, 09:58 PM
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seemed to suggest that my only way out was to get a new boiler. I realize that can't possibly be the case.
OMG, now I've heard everything!

That's it Mr. Salesman, use SCARE TACTICS to try and separate our friend from his hard earned cash.

I pray that you will not allow Bozo the Salesman back into your home.

Why do you suppose it's there? Are the electric conduit and the other pipe that close to the flue pipe that someone was afraid that they would get too hot?

If so, and the pipe is too close, a metal 'radiation shield' can be installed in it's place.

Are those the only two pieces that you see? The rest of the pipe has none?

I would get an estimate from an abatement company just to see how much they would charge... I don't want to say what I would do next...
 
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Old 01-08-13, 10:10 PM
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I'm guessing you'll get a quote of $300 to $600 to remove the asbestos. It seems like a lot for the required work but they have to do a bunch of paperwork, suit up, and dispose at a Class I landfill.

You can try to encapsulate it but I'd remove it. Plus, if you ever go to sell the house, you'll have disclose the presence of the asbestos.

As far as heat resistance goes, there are ceramic fiber blankets that can easily take the heat.
 
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Old 01-08-13, 10:19 PM
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NJ Trooper

Yeah, the guy was heavy into the scare tactics. Told me there was no way, "absolutely no way" the boiler would make it through another two seasons (been around a looong time. could go anytime, of course). He said this before even looking inside, after which he did later say it looked better than he expected in there. He also told me that the controller is original (looks so much newer to me) and that when that goes the boiler may overheat and explode. If I touch a single valve the whole thing is going start leaking (that's possible). If I buy a thermostat from Amazon or Home Depot I'd better expect problems. In between all this he talked about their financing options.

There's a few patches along the same pipe. It looks to me like there was more of it and they removed most of it. I don't see what they were trying to insulate. I just went down there and looked around carefully. It looks to me like the vent control must run on the inside? I attached a pic showing the vent electronics at the base, but there's no visible wire running on the outside so I don't think that's an issue.

It makes sense to contact a company to get a quote. They can't force you to take action if you're not interested, can they (understanding that laws are different everywhere. I don't see anything like that with CT when I try to google it)?

 
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Old 01-08-13, 10:23 PM
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PJ and Sparky. Thanks for input as well. Sounds like I'm going to be best off not disturbing the stuff and then waiting until I can afford the removal. With my list must-spends, I might not be able to come up with half a grand for this for at least a year. Who knows, might not be as bad as that.
 
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Old 01-09-13, 06:36 AM
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Craig, is there anywhere along the length of the flue pipe that it is closer than 18" to 'combustibles'? That's the general rule... (NFPA codes).

That's just pitiful that the salesman would resort to such tactics... pitiful... Little to none of it is probably true.

I don't see what they were trying to insulate.
I wonder if they were trying to keep the heat in the pipe to keep the flue gases hotter in order to avoid some condensation issues with the chimney? Or perhaps the boiler room gets very warm? I don't understand why that would be a bad thing... that heat eventually makes it into the home.

He also told me that the controller is original (looks so much newer to me)
I'm sure that it is newer. As evidenced by the abandoned 'stack control' in the last picture.

Along with this, I'm also certain that your actual burner assembly has been replaced as part of the upgrade.

That stack control was part of an older 'primary control' scheme that was used on oil burners until most manufacturers started using CAD cells built into the burner to sense (actually SEE) flame presence... much more reliable method.

That stack control has a bimetal strip that heats up when the flue gases pass by. It was this heating action that 'proved' flame and allowed the burner to continue running. If flame was not proven in a certain amount of time the burner would shut down. They were an electro-mechanical nightmare.

They can't force you to take action if you're not interested, can they (understanding that laws are different everywhere. I don't see anything like that with CT when I try to google it)?
Don't know! Good question... maybe Sparky can answer?

Tell ya what... take a whole bunch of pics all around the boiler... piping, valves, controls, etc... let us, unbiased as we are (ha ha ha) take a look and see what we can see...
 
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Old 01-10-13, 10:12 PM
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NJ - Nothing nearby looks combustible to me, except the repair tag the PO's repairman hung I think you are exactly right about the upgrade. I took a good photo tour around the boiler and it really burns me that the guy had so many tales of immediate danger. A lot of it is original, but the technology I see and the burner itself look newer, like from the early 70's perhaps? That's just a guess. I tried to google up some part numbers but I didn't have any luck.

Here's a link to a whole gallery of pics for the beast in my basement: 262 - Boiler - Nutmeg Muse Photography Photo Vault

And here's a few posted directly to the forum:



















Lots more in the gallery link above. I don't exactly know what everything is, much less when it's from or whether it is ready to kill us all, as the boiler guy suggested, but I'm hopefully on my way towards getting my hands dirty when the time comes.

Thanks again,
Craig
 
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Old 01-10-13, 11:37 PM
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No, there is no law requiring a homeowner to remove asbestos from their home. If it was a rental or commercial building, it would be different.
 
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Old 01-11-13, 07:56 AM
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Actually, i should clarify. There is no law requiring a homeowner to remove asbestos if they leave it undisturbed. Demo and rennovation can trigger a requirement to remove the asbestos.
 
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Old 01-11-13, 02:36 PM
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Is the pizza pan under the pump because it leaks? If so, that should be addressed. Nothing a competent repair person can't fix with maybe a hundred bucks worth of parts... unless the leak is from the flange itself and not the shaft seal... if that's the case parts cost will be nil... where does the water appear to be coming from?



It may also be possible to replace the pumps with newer models that draw much less power. Depending on the model of the pump that is there now (specifically the 'flange to flange' dimension, you might be able to 'plug and play' a Taco wet rotor model right on the same flanges. If those are 6-3/8" from flange to flange, it's a piece of cake.

I don't see another water heater, so I think you are still using the one attached to the boiler?

On top of that water heater is a brass can. That's an 'automatic air vent' ( AAV ) and it looks like it may be leaking... is the cap on the top loose or tight? (it is supposed to be loose, but if it leaks, leave it tight).



Thing about that vent though... on a system with a steel compression tank above the boiler (the green one) such as you have, there shouldn't be any AAVs. So for now, just leave the cap tight.

We'll talk more about the tank and maintaining it a bit later...
 

Last edited by NJT; 01-11-13 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 01-11-13, 02:50 PM
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A couple leaks here... at the shutoff valve (replace with a FULL PORT ball valve) and at the green Thrush valve... should be fixed someday. Likely no iminent danger of a sudden shower.



You may have to replace the Thrush if the threads are too far corroded... and you won't find them anywhere. The B&G SA valve is basically the same thing and I think you can still get those, but there are other options for flow check valves as well. Somewhat complicated by the fact that the compression tank is piped off of it, but that's nothing a competent plumber can remedy right quick with a tee fitting...

Bell & Gossett Flow Control Valves , Bell Gossett Flow Valves , B&G Flow Valves - PexSupply.com

The connection point for the tank isn't 100% correct by today's standards, but it serves it's purpose. It would be better if there were a proper 'air scoop' on the piping that the tank connected to, but I wouldn't worry about it I don't think.
 
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Old 01-11-13, 02:57 PM
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When we get to talking about the compression tank service, this hand valve is one that you will use to isolate the tank from the system before draining it.



This is also the pipe that will have to be 'moved' because the SA replacement won't have the same type of connection. The tank CAN be piped to the other port, the one that is plugged on the red valve.
 
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Old 01-11-13, 03:09 PM
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This may or may not be a bit of a concern:



Whether it is or not depends on where the water that caused the rust around the pipe is/was coming from. I see some teflon tape on the pipe off of the tee, and that is obviously newer. I wonder if that means that the leak has been repaired? If it's leaking where the pipe joins the boiler, it MIGHT be an issue...
 
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Old 01-11-13, 03:16 PM
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Why aren't you complaining about the oil leak stinkin' the place up? This most definitely needs corrected. It might be leaking from that small plug on the top of the filter housing. The big nut appears dry.



Put a pie plate under this too, with a bit of kitty litter in it.
 
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Old 01-11-13, 03:23 PM
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Earlier I said this:

He also told me that the controller is original (looks so much newer to me)
I'm sure that it is newer. As evidenced by the abandoned 'stack control' in the last picture.

Along with this, I'm also certain that your actual burner assembly has been replaced as part of the upgrade.

That stack control was part of an older 'primary control' scheme that was used on oil burners until most manufacturers started using CAD cells built into the burner to sense (actually SEE) flame presence... much more reliable method.

That stack control has a bimetal strip that heats up when the flue gases pass by. It was this heating action that 'proved' flame and allowed the burner to continue running. If flame was not proven in a certain amount of time the burner would shut down. They were an electro-mechanical nightmare.
But, after looking at all the EXCELLENT PHOTOS! I see that the stack control and other controls are most definitely still being used.

Your burner does NOT have the CAD CELL safety.

It CAN be upgraded to one, but with what techs charge these days, it could be fairly expensive to do so.

I see NOTHING in the pictures that screams "REPLACE ME OR DIE!"

Yes, there are a few maintenance issues, but other than that, nothing major.

As old as it is, you would likely save some fuel by replacing, but there is no imminent danger that I can see.
 
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Old 01-11-13, 03:25 PM
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By the way, NICE job on the workbench! and I have that EXACT SAME STOOL in my shop, and mine has the backrest broken off also! Have you been raiding the same dumpsters that I have? You want two more of those? I've gottem!
 
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Old 01-12-13, 10:35 AM
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On top of that water heater is a brass can. That's an 'automatic air vent' ( AAV ) and it looks like it may be leaking... is the cap on the top loose or tight? (it is supposed to be loose, but if it leaks, leave it tight).



Thing about that vent though... on a system with a steel compression tank above the boiler (the green one) such as you have, there shouldn't be any AAVs. So for now, just leave the cap tight.
Just an FYI ...that HW tank looks like it might be an Everhot External Tankless, or something very similar. TFI-Everhot requires an AAV be installed on top of these tanks tank for hot water applications (manual coin vent for steam systems). See: http://www.tfi-everhot.com/pdfs/TFI_...alTankless.pdf
 
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Old 01-12-13, 03:56 PM
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TFI-Everhot requires an AAV be installed on top of these tanks tank for hot water applications
I would pipe it up to the compression tank then.
 
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Old 01-12-13, 05:10 PM
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The requirement of an AAV on the External Coil Tank seems a little bit inconsistent with a compression tank air-control system, wouldn't you agree Troop? I haven't found anything in the TFI-Everhot online literature regarding that issue.

I'm wondering, would it matter if the External Coil Tank had it's own supply and return to the boiler, independent of the Heat supply and return?
 
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