Leaking boiler--What are my options?

Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: Scottsman On: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:23 pm

Three years ago I got into coal by paying about $2,600 for the installation of a class A chimney and a handfired stove on the first floor, and leave my oil fired boiler in the basement for backup and hot water. If I only knew three years ago that it would start leaking oil--I probably would have just replaced the whole thing with a coal (maybe dual fuel) boiler and forgot about putting anything on the first floor.

In talking to the guy who services my boiler, I can:
1. Just replace the burner for about $750, assuming it is only leaking oil from the burner
2. Replace the whole boiler with a comparable one (1-pipe steam system) for about $4,500

It's a really old Weil-McLain boiler. Not sure how long it will last.

Other options:
A. I could just get a coal-fired boiler, but that would cost a lot, too, and I'm not sure I'd have the clearances for it down there, since the oil tanks are only a couple of feet away.
B. I could buy a 10-year old, Smith Cast Iron Boiler (Series 8 ) that someone is selling for under $500. I am imagining that installing it would be a lot of money, too. Maybe $1,000? I have no idea, really, never having done anything major with a boiler.

Has this happened to any of you guys??? You get a stove and wish you had bought a boiler instead?
Scottsman
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Salvo Machinery/Citation C-80
Other Heating: Weil McLain steam oil boiler

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: tsb On: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:30 pm

If you put in a coal boiler. The oil tanks would go.
No more clearance problems.
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:37 am

wait, it's just leaking oil???!! Fix the leak! if your "boiler guy" was the one who suggested that a new burner is the way to fix an oil leak, get RID of him! Fix the fitting, seal, 0 ring or part that's leaking. post a pic and myself or someone on this board will tell you exactly what to fix, how to do it, and likely how much the part costs. Unless you like throwing away money, you don't replace a boiler OR a burner for a oil leak. having said that, if you want a coal boiler, that would be an excellent choice - but you don't "have" to replace your current boiler with a coal one at this time, just find a "boiler guy" that doesn't lie to you.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal


Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:14 am

New boiler due to a fuel leak? That seems silly. Find out what is leaking fuel, it could be as simple as a loose fitting or bad seal in the pump. I put a new Riello burner on my 66 series Weil McLain boiler last fall, and my old burner is still sitting in the basement. The blower motor and transformer was shot, but the fuel pump was fine. You are welcome to the pump if it will help you out. Can you post a picture if the burner?

-Rob
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: blrman07 On: Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:39 am

"assuming it is only the burner leaking oil"??????????? The boiler can't leak oil, only fittings or tubing or the pump in the burner. The Weil Mclane boiler will last and last and last. Get a different "boiler guy" to look at it and give you a quote to fix the leak.

And yes post some pics so we can get a better idea of what this leak is.
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Baseburners & Antiques: rebuilding a 1906 March Brownback Double Heater, reblacking a UMCO 1920's Pot Belly
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: 009to090 On: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:15 am

From the original post, I was assuming the pump on the side of the burner must've been cracked somehow, or the "repair guy" tightened up the pipe fitting too much on the pump and striped the threads out.....
A picture sure would help to determine where the exact leak was coming from..... :idea:
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: europachris On: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:24 am

LOL, sounds like your "boiler guy" is getting jealous of your coal burning. Is he a "boiler guy" that's also associated with the "oil guy", too? I seem to recall living on Long Island that we had Jacobus Quickflash for oil and they also were the people who serviced the oil burner.

He must be in need of some cash and thought he could pull one over on you and didn't realize that you are "connected" to the coal burning "mob".
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: Scottsman On: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:02 am

WIll get you guys a picture tonight. Yesterday was hectic. Definitely don't want to overkill this repair. I heard that Weil McLains last pretty near forever.

On the positive side, I've been burning Harmony coal in my Magnum Stoker and it's keeping the house Nice and Toasty :D :) :D The boiler doesn't come on for heat at all (just hot water)!
Scottsman
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Salvo Machinery/Citation C-80
Other Heating: Weil McLain steam oil boiler

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:06 am

Scottsman wrote:I heard that Weil McLains last pretty near forever.


Mine is 33 years old and still runs like new. Efficiency is another issue...I think the stack temperature on mine runs around ~480 degrees right after a cleaning.

-Rob
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: Scottsman On: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:47 am

OK, so here are the pics. As I'm looking at this, there is nothing at all leaking from the boiler, all I see is a little puddle of oil underneath the burner. (The floor overall is still discolored from an oil leak I had last year). So, yeah--why was I even thinking of replacing this boiler?
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oil leak under burner
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The best I can tell, it is leaking from somewhere onto this black part, then dripping onto the floor.
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leak onto black housing
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Scottsman
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Salvo Machinery/Citation C-80
Other Heating: Weil McLain steam oil boiler

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:50 am

It is most likely the line from the pump to the burner nozzle leaking inside where it runs up to the gun nozzle and then leaks out. That is the only thing that has oil in it inside the burner, what else could it be? I had a similar problem a few years ago after having the boiler serviced. The technician failed to tighten the tube connection after having it apart. The line itself may have failed, they can crack from vibration or over tightening. As others have mentioned, a fuel oil leak fix of this nature is probably going to cost less than $10 for parts if it is leaking after the pump. You really need a new boiler guy, that's the only reason you are thinking of replacing the boiler.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: 009to090 On: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:15 am

coaledsweat wrote: You really need a new boiler guy, that's the only reason you are thinking of replacing the boiler.


That was confusing, I'll rephrase it: You really need a new "boiler guy" IE: Service Tech, that's the only reason you are thinking of replacing the boiler

The first time I read that, I interpreted it as : You really need a new boiler, guy. :o :shock:

Yeah, get a 2nd opinion from a reputable Service Rep. Don't call in Joe's brother's friend's cousin's ex-brother-in-law, who's fulltime job is a greeter at Walmart, who always wanted to work on a foriegn transmission, etc...
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:55 pm

Take the cover off the burner and take a look at the right side. Do you see a small line running to a "jack" that opens and closes the air shutter? Some Riello burners have a hydraulic piston that opens the shutter with fuel pressure, they are known to leak...others do the same thing with an electronic motor.

-Rob
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: Scottsman On: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:42 pm

I'm not sure exactly what the service tech said to replace--the boiler or the burner. He told my wife (who was home when it was serviced last month), "I see these leaking all the time. When they get old, they do that. I tightened it up, best I could, but eventually you'll want to replace." So I don't know if he meant replace the boiler or the burner. When I called him back, I asked him how much it would cost to replace the boiler or the burner, and that's when he gave me the quotes. If I remember right, he said that if only the burner was leaking, don't mess with the boiler itself.

I looked at the serial # for the burner and it started with 94, which the manual says means it was made in 1994. It is a Riello 40 Series F5, and I believe they are still making these. So if they are still making these, I don't think I would gain much efficiency by replacing the burner, would I? I couldn't find an efficiency rating for this burner.

Let me try what you guys said and see if I can fix the leak without going the replacement route. Before I tinker--anything I should know to be extra safe, besides turning if off before I start?
Scottsman
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Salvo Machinery/Citation C-80
Other Heating: Weil McLain steam oil boiler

Re: Leaking boiler--What are my options?

PostBy: whistlenut On: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:12 pm

Power first, then I'd shut off the fuel with the fireamatic by turning it counterclockwise.
As Mark Viii says, if your burner has the 'hydraulic jack' style air damper control, perhaps your trouble is right there.
It uses fuel pressure to operate the damper until the combustion chamber purge delay is satisfied. (starts air flow without fuel added).
In any event, a brand new part is not a deal breaker, however the burner will 'skin you' for $485.00, at cost, plus setting up the unit after the change-out.
I need to read more about your situation, but meanwhile get a small tray with some 'speedy dry' to soak up any oil.
That stops the oil on the floor issue......There is a Keystoker K-6 for sale with the boiler option right here on the forum....I'd go there before I replace the boiler....the burner is an easy fix, but you will get 900.00 in it if the 'service guys' are nice or 1200.00 if they are greedy hogs.
Being a frugal Scotsman, I'm recommending you get a second opinion about the burner issue, and ask about a dual fuel, if you want to go that route. Let us know.

PS: I just noticed that CoalJack boilers are offering a special price for the St Patty's Day Holiday. Look them over, also. If you want a used refurbed unit, they are also available for a reasonable cost.


What kind of Scotch do you enjoy....if that is not too personal?
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB