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Old 12-28-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
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Leaking Boiler


I left for a two weeks vacation in late Nov and turned the boiler to low. After coming back from vacation, I turned the water temperature to high and noticed a small leak (it was two weeks ago) and puddle forming at the bottom. Finally, I got around to take a look at it today and found water filled at the bottom of the boiler. Also the outside of the boiler near a pipe looks corroded although I didnít see the water coming out.


1. Can I repair this by sealing the leak?
2. Is this a fairly complex issue requiring an expert or if I can do it without any specialized tools?
3. Is the leak dangerous? Can I continue to use the boiler while figure out the solution?
4. Cost of fix?


Our boiler is about 8 years old.

I appreciate your help with this.

Mike
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:11 PM   #2
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Leaking Boiler


It is a hot water heater and not boiler. The leak is at the pressure relief valve and most of the time the threads in the tank are eaten away from rusting and it may not be repairable. Most of those tanks have a 6 yr leak warranty and it may spring a leak soon so I would not invest any $$ in repairs to it. Not dangerous unless it gets to leaking a lot worse. Probably would cost $200-300 to get a pro plumber to replace that valve. Once you tamper with it the leak may get worse and you may not be able to reseal it and then may need a new tank ASAP. When you cooled it off it contracted and may have started leaking. Reheating it expanded it and it may seal itself and go away.

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Old 12-28-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
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Leaking Boiler


Thanks Yuri. You get the idea of my knowledge in the matter when I called a hot water heater a boiler.

The corrosion I see outside - is that bad and going to get worse? The leak has not gone in the last 3 weeks of regular use so I am not sure if it will fix itself.

I wouldn't mind a little leak if it doesn't get worse or do bigger damage.

Anytype of sealing agent outside would work?

How long water heater last? Is this heater near its end of life and would need to be replaced soon (for this or other troubles)?

Thanks a bunch!
Mike
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:19 PM   #4
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Leaking Boiler


In England they call it a boiler. The leak will get worse as more metal rusts away and those tanks are notorious for failing 6 months after the leak warranty expires. No sealing compound will work. A highly skilled plumber may be able to build it up with LOTS of thick teflon tape and pipe dope and put a new relief valve in but that is usually a temporary measure and nobody will give you a warranty on that type of repair. I would replace the tank if it worries you. Will save you a flood/water damage/insurance claim.
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Last edited by yuri; 12-28-2010 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 12-28-2010, 03:13 PM   #5
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Leaking Boiler


Once the hot water heater starts to leak, it is generally history. Especially if it is more than five years old. Time for a replacement.
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