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Old 12-27-2006, 10:10 PM   #1
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heating gone bad


noticed today that the radiators didnt heatup...went down to the basement to look at the boiler....the part around the water level is burnt......i see the flame burning but none of the radiators are heating .... is the boiler totally dead or could it be rescued?

thanks

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Old 12-28-2006, 07:06 AM   #2
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heating gone bad


Hi,

Best to post this in the heating forum...
http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/

jeff.

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Old 12-28-2006, 07:27 AM   #3
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heating gone bad


Photo would help?
Is there water in the system?

Last edited by redline; 12-28-2006 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:33 AM   #4
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heating gone bad


Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
Photo would help?
Is there water in the system?
I think it is dead....i didnt see any water...i opened the water valve and water started leaking from under the boiler... boiler didnt fire on today.
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Old 12-29-2006, 05:04 AM   #5
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heating gone bad


Did the inspection of the house mention the condition of the system?
Did the system work prior to buying the house?
Is this a steam system or hot water (hydronic) baseboard system?
If it is a hot water baseboard system then the pump may have a worn out seal.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:38 AM   #6
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heating gone bad


Hi christy123

I was just thumbing through and saw your problem. There could be several things that cause this problem. But if the water is coming from under the boiler, that is not a good sign. Chances are the boiler had never been treated and it has ate a hole in one of the cast cells. If the boiler is new enough you could look into rebuilding it. But generally the best way to go is to replace it.

Good luck
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:27 PM   #7
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heating gone bad


boiler is old...probably >25 years...

inspector ran it for half hr.....it worked fine....there was no problem for a month since i bought the house...

I believe it is Burnham ...but i wouldnt know if it is water or steam... my guess is water...
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:44 PM   #8
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heating gone bad


Steam heat usually has tall radiators. Hot water baseboard usually has lower profile that have longer lengths.

A hot water system has a motor/pump (circulator) located on the side of the unit.

Steam systems do not use a motor/pump but rely on the steam to rise to the radiators.

The inspector should have looked inside the unit and checked the heat exchanger and other parts to see if the items appeared normal and functional. At the very least the inspector should have said that the system should be looked at by a service professional if that was not part of the inspect. If the inspection has any type of warranty against failures not addressed with the house then the inspector may be liable for the oversight.
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by redline View Post
Steam heat usually has tall radiators. Hot water baseboard usually has lower profile that have longer lengths.

A hot water system has a motor/pump (circulator) located on the side of the unit.

Steam systems do not use a motor/pump but rely on the steam to rise to the radiators.

The inspector should have looked inside the unit and checked the heat exchanger and other parts to see if the items appeared normal and functional. At the very least the inspector should have said that the system should be looked at by a service professional if that was not part of the inspect. If the inspection has any type of warranty against failures not addressed with the house then the inspector may be liable for the oversight.
Ok...finally figured out...it is Steam Boiler..
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:40 PM   #10
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heating gone bad


if this is a steam boiler there should be a sight glass on one end or the other.you need to look to see where the water level is.there is usually a lowwater cutoff that may not let steam boiler fire.this is so that you will not " dry fire " the boiler.this will ruin a boiler.
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:09 AM   #11
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heating gone bad


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Originally Posted by trollmastergeneral View Post
if this is a steam boiler there should be a sight glass on one end or the other.you need to look to see where the water level is.there is usually a lowwater cutoff that may not let steam boiler fire.this is so that you will not " dry fire " the boiler.this will ruin a boiler.

there is no water in that sight glass....i noticed smoke inside it. Also i noticed that a meter attached to the boiler was burnt. i opened the valve to run water through glass but found out that water leaked from under the boiler and collected on the floor
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:47 AM   #12
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heating gone bad


hi christy , if you can see exactly were the water is comming from that would be helpful.you just want to make sure its not comming out of a drain or something.I hate to say it,but it does sound like the boiler may have been "dry fired " already.
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:36 PM   #13
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heating gone bad


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hi christy , if you can see exactly were the water is comming from that would be helpful.you just want to make sure its not comming out of a drain or something.I hate to say it,but it does sound like the boiler may have been "dry fired " already.
Since I have home warranty with AHS, i called them this morning and they sent out a heating guy... he told me the boiler had cooked itself..

burnt due to low cutoff failure...he broke open the water cutt off system and it was frozen inside...he said the system was probably not flushed for a long time...

It was a 170 K BTU Burnham....He gave me a quote of $5500 but the warranty will cover a maximum of $1500.00

I think that $5500 is kinda steep ...What would be a fair price for this boiler? Are there any cheaper brands available?

thanks
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:55 PM   #14
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heating gone bad


Hi christy123

You just verfied what my suspicion was in my original response. Sorry to hear it was that bad.

Good luck
Rusty
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:50 PM   #15
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burnt due to low cutoff failure...he broke open the water cutt off system and it was frozen inside...he said the system was probably not flushed for a long time...


If the system has been operating then this water shut off normally would not freeze up. During the heating season the boiler would occassionally fill the system back up to the proper water level. Has the house been vacant for an extended period?

It was a 170 K BTU Burnham....He gave me a quote of $5500 but the warranty will cover a maximum of $1500.00

The 170,000 BTU seems a little large. How many square footage is the entire house? (2,000 or 3,000 square feet...)

I think that $5500 is kinda steep ...What would be a fair price for this boiler? Are there any cheaper brands available?

thanks
$5500 is not extremely high for the size of unit. If you live in a higher cost of living area then it would be a fair price. You must remember that the prior system lasted for over 25 years. I just wish I could buy a new car for $5500 and have it last 25 years ?

The price may also reflect the fact that it is winter time and the heating company is in high demand.

The boiler along may cost upwards of $2,000 before they even start to remove the old unit.

Side note - It may be wise to add more insulation in the attic.

The inspector should have found this if the water level was low.


Last edited by redline; 12-30-2006 at 03:56 PM.
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