Gas Fired Steam Boiler - Cracked above the water line?

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  #1  
Old 09-10-14, 07:59 AM
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Gas Fired Steam Boiler - Cracked above the water line?

We have a 16 year old Bryant Boiler. The house is old ( 1930's) and was once coal fired, then converted to heating oil and then natural gas.

Late last winter I noticed I was losing water and came home from a trip to a very cold house. I suspected my return pipe may be leaking but it is buried in the basement floor. At the same time I did notice a dark molasses like sludge coming from my chimney trap door (not sure what you call it). This liquid would crystalize and harden. Obviously a real mess.

I just had my plumber come in and he suspected a cracked boiler. His "steam boiler guru" identified it as a crack above the water line causing steam to escape out the flue, cooling and collecting with years of crap in the chimney (which does not have a metal liner.

I am being advised I need a new boiler and my chimney lined with stainless or aluminum.

Does this sound right?
 
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Old 09-10-14, 08:14 AM
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I think a replacement boiler is in order. But, regarding the chimney, is it presently lined? With what?

Putting steam up your flue could result in the formation of goo, even if the chimney is lined. If there is a liner, and it isn't cracked, then maybe just cleaning would solve that problem?
 
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Old 09-10-14, 08:51 AM
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Liners are now code for all gas fired appliances. Once the boiler is cracked there's no repairing it. I would say to recipe the return to get it out if the floor if possible. I like to be able to see pipes and fitting to make sure there's no leaks. Might be a good time to convert from steam. It's the most inefficient way to heat.
 
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Old 09-10-14, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for confirming. We are going to replace it before the heating season which means real soon. I would also like to see the return above the floor but it is on the other side of the basement right in the mid section of the house and would not be possible.

Changing to hot water would require baseboards and all new piping including a return line from each baseboard, correct? We know from installing central air ductwork a while back that our two story dutch colonial is not agreeable to adding pipes.
 
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Old 09-10-14, 01:49 PM
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Liners are now code for all gas fired appliances.
Can you state this in the code?
 
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