Burnham water coil cover plate replacment. Rusty

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Old 08-01-20, 04:09 PM
J
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Burnham water coil cover plate replacment. Rusty

Got an older Burnham v7 with a hot water coil. That plugged up years ago, and was blocked off.

Since domestic hot water was not supplied by the Burnham, took to turning it off in Summer. Noticed the seal began leaking when it cooled down but did not seem too bad and was not noticeable once it was back in service.

Well, of course, now it is worse and for the moment have left it on to avoid, or mask, the leak.

I know there is a cover plate/gasket/bolt kit available, but it looks like a VERY iffy deal to try and move those rusted bolts. I've asked a couple pro's for ballpark and it is WAY too steep for me. Almost would make sense to rip out and go to propane.

Planning to let it cool down and give it a go. I doubt penetrating fluids of any sort will be effective as the gasket seem like it would prevent penetration of the threads at all.

First, I guess to try penetrating oils, Kroil and the like, and just try to wrench them free. If that fails, rather than go Gorilla and chance snapping the bolts, to just grind them down, remove the cover plate/ aquastat/gasket, then apply heat via oxy/acetylene to each exposed bolt in turn and try vice grips or, mig/tig a nut to each bolt and try that.

Failing all that, I guess try drill/extract? Drill/retap is, of course, the last resort.

Any experience to share?
 
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Old 08-03-20, 12:08 PM
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J,
Burnham had a lot of trouble with the V7 and V8 and had recalls on both because of bad cast sections made in China I believe. The sections were so thin they leaked, especially the ones with tankless coils because the meat was even thinner there so I'm surprised yours is still in use.

I put 2 V7's in a 2 tenement and within a year they leaked and Burnham replaced them with V8's but still had the sections made in China. Within another year those were leaking badly and had to be replaced with the next model but beefed up the sections and the boilers weighed an extra 150 lbs because of the change and now seemed to have solved the problem but they had gotten such a bad rap that most distributors in my area stopped carrying them plus Burnham was getting very difficult to deal with because of the amout of the claims. They made it very difficult for contractors because of what they were covering.

I mention this because if the bolts are that rusted and are that difficult getting out you could crack the casting where the bolts thread in and then your boiler is trash unless you replaced the front section which is ludicrous in this case and I'm sure after the problems they are no longer available.

What I used to do with a case like yours iscut the heads off which will let you remove the plate and gasket and then you can spray the bolts and you will have plenty of bolt to grab to remove. I used a 6" pipe wrench with an extender if needed and had pretty good luck. Just be careful not to crack the section.

Just a suggestion. Hope this helps a little.

 
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Old 08-03-20, 01:06 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Not entirely encouraging, but, I guess there is some hope.

I let it cool down and it does not appear to be leaking, for the moment anyway.

Guess I need to decide if it is worth working on, or just let it go till it fails. At that point, propane become a consideration instead of oil, as the tank is way old as well.

You did not mention heat, but I imagine using heat, if necessary, on the bolt remainders, should not damage the casting. I mean, it cannot be that thin. Can it?
 

Last edited by joe_a; 08-03-20 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 08-04-20, 04:12 PM
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For a threaded connection, you don't want to apply heat to the the male part - that will tighten the interference fit. Heating the female side of the fitting will tend to loosen the connection. Explanation: if you have a steel plate with a hole bored through it, when the plate is heated, of course the plate expands - but also the hole enlarges. Maybe a bit counterintuitive.
 
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Old 08-04-20, 04:32 PM
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Thanks for the reply. That does give me pause, given how thin the casting is said to be. Scary thought.

I was always told the idea was for the heat to break down the rust bond and never try to move the part until it was completely cooled. Usually heat it to orange or red, but sometimes only until I can see the rust "sparkle away". Many times it comes out with very little force after that. But, not always.

 
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Old 08-05-20, 03:57 PM
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So, the bolts would not move using a 14mm box end wrench. At least the one I tried. Soaked them with SiliKroil, at the bolt heads and at the gasket joint. Did several applications over an hour, then split for lunch.

Came back a few hours later with a 24" breaker bar and 14 MM socket. The bolt that would not move gave easily in the "make me more tight" direction, then a bit of back and forth and came right out. The other 5 came right out at well, some more reluctantly than others, but, they all came out with little fuss. Two were actually a bit loose, which was probably the only problem. Oh well.

I'll clean out the threads when the threaded plate kit come sit. But some questions:

It appears to be a rubber(ish) gasket. How tight to make the bolts? Does the gasket and/or the bolt threads require sealant? I was thinking of pipe dope on the threads, if for no other reason, to keep them from rusting again.

And, as old as this beast is, should I change out the drain valve and the relief, even though they do not seem to be leaking?
 
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Old 08-06-20, 10:03 AM
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Don't know how these rumors get started.
Burnham has never had a boiler section made in china.
They did have issues with the V7 due to increasing the input and too sharp of a radius on the block. They would crack near the boiler clean-out. The block was not any thinner than any others.
The early V8's had nipple problems around 2000 - 2003 when they were farmed out to a local machine shop.
The V8H was heavier due to larger iron for higher efficiency.
 
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