Boiler: Possible Internal Leak

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Old 11-22-17, 12:27 PM
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Question Boiler: Possible Internal Leak

Hello,
I'm looking for an opinion on what I think is the beginning of needing a new boiler. I removed the flue pipe to do a vacuum and brushing on the boiler and found rust where I believe two sections of boiler come together, this would also be where the hot water coil sits inside the boiler. I haven't called a local company yet, wanted to see what you think so I know a bit more about it. I will upload a picture. Does anyone think this is fixable? Thank You, Ted


Weil McLain 68 Boiler approximately 23 years old

Model # P-468V-WT
 
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Old 11-22-17, 12:41 PM
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If it was dry, "I" would brush on a chemical rust converter (that chemically changes ferrous oxide to ferrous phosphate and stops the rusting process), and then give it a little coat of paint . . . . and check in on it again next year.

If it was wet I would want to watch it under differing amounts of pressure and/or heat.

Is it a Steel boiler or Cast Iron ?

The rust could date from the original installation, or a little condensation from inside the chimney/flue pipe.

Unless it's a wet crack, I guess I wouldn't get too excited about it; but I'd put it on my list of things to be watching.

My Steel Boiler is now about 66 years old, and I've had many false alarms . . . . I'm sure one of them will be serious.
 
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Old 11-22-17, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for the quick advice, It's cast, I attempted to upload a picture but it has not appeared. will try again,
 
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Old 11-22-17, 01:14 PM
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Is that vacuuming and brushing something you routinely do every fall . . . . or is this the first time you've been inside the boiler shroud and examined this area ?

I'm no one to rely on for expert advice; but that accumulated elongated mineral deposit might well be 23 years worth of a very slow drip leaving behind whatever it was carrying as it evaporated. If the orientation of the photo shown on my screen is representative of gravity, then the drip vaporized before it had a chance to make a puddle anywhere . . . . is that a correct observation ?
 
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Old 11-22-17, 01:50 PM
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Last year I has a service do the cleaning, I usually do it myself, so I haven't seen the inside in about 2 years, I wasn't like that 2 years ago. I agree what ever is leaking is running from the top down. Being that looks like a seam I worried that some sort of sealing ring has gone bad. If you look a bit to the right on the picture you can see another normal looking seam
 
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Old 11-22-17, 02:45 PM
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I'm not familiar with the way the Cast Iron "segments" of that Boiler fit together; but it would appear to my eye that the seam is midway between the flanges that show in your photo towards the bottom, where a bolt is entering from the left and enters the corresponding segment on the right. If that's true, then that particular seam is completely free of any leakage. Am I seeing that correctly ?

Above the mineral deposits or rust, there appears to be some type of machine screw entering the Cast Iron Segment from above . . . . is that screw hole the origin of the leak (deposits) ?

The trail of deposits enters the shadow in your photo, so I can't see how it ends, or where it goes.
 
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Old 11-22-17, 03:18 PM
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Looking through the observation port it looks like the water has been going down into the burner chamber for some time. Looking at the blown-up picture you can see the deposits. I think your right on how it bolts together and leaking from above, I found a link to a schematic, on page 22 you can see the bolts you are talking about. I don't know what that bolt on top is yet that might be the source of the leak. I will have to remove the top casing to get a better look. Possibly not leaking with heat expansion and leaking when it cools?

http://www.oiltechtalk.com/pages/old...clain6868v.pdf
 
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Old 11-22-17, 04:09 PM
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Maybe that area of the combustion chamber would benefit from a couple fingerfuls of refractary cement; now that you know about it ?
 
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Old 11-22-17, 04:17 PM
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Great info Thanks, If all goes well with the top I intend to remove the burner mounting plate and clean up inside. Check and replace if necessary the refractory blanket and related parts.
 
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Old 11-23-17, 06:09 AM
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Your boiler is a cast iron sectional unit that is usually brought into the home or building in pieces and put together. The picture of the corrosion could be from a small leak at the push nipple where the sections were assembled. All cast iron boilers, except the very small ones, are usually assembled in the home, due to their size and weight. That bolt in the picture and there is more than one, is how the boiler is assembled and held together. (Although once together you really do not need the bolts). Unless you have heavy corrosion in your heating system, and you are having to replace supply or return piping, I would not worry too much about that little bit of build-up at the connection point. If however you have been replacing system piping It may be time to have the boiler re-nippled. By the way, is this a steam or hot water heating system? To give you an expert assessment, I would have to be there to visually inspect this boiler. hope this helps
 
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Old 11-23-17, 08:06 AM
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Thank You Steamboy, Yes this does help and gives me some piece of mind that this is somewhat of a normal thing. The breakdown you have laid out is awesome and sounds spot on. It's a hot water baseboard heating system. Over the past 22 years I have replaced the hot water heating coil twice, I did do some re piping due to a few of the old gate valves were frozen, I haven't had to replace any supply or return piping, I do have a watts 2000 M5 check valve I have to tap on once in a while because it seems to stick open and the closest radiator will get hot without the thermostat calling for heat. Our water is from a community well and does come with a lot or minerals I suspect. We do get deposits on the shower and faucets. Member Vermont also said he would leave it alone.
 
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