econoburn leaking

Mauler Posted By Mauler, Apr 3, 2017 at 2:11 PM

  1. Mauler

    Mauler
    Member 2.
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    Jun 19, 2008
    65
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    Loc:
    Southern New York
    here's my story

    near the end of this heating season, my outdoor econoburn suddenly sprung 2 pin hole leaks in the rear wall. This unit is 5 years old and has otherwise been fine. Zero problems. Had a welder apply 2 patches over the holes and when I was refilling the boiler, immediately 2 more pin holes leaks started, this time in the front wall. All of these leaks were inside the upper chamber and are located at very specific spots. The spots are part of a perfect circle, where the inner jacket is welded to the outer jacket, I've heard them called "lugs" but I'm not sure what the proper term is. Because the upper chamber has a small access door and the leaks are on the front wall, the welder couldn't reach around to get at them. We even tried using a mirror inside the chamber, so that he could see where to weld. No luck. Presumably this is corrosion related? I thought getting a closed boiler system like econoburn would've minimized corrosion. Needless to say I am disappointed that this has occurred, as I was hoping to get at least 10 years out of it. My neighbors older non-gasser, open system, central boiler has lasted 11 yrs!

    I spoke with Dale at econoburn and they say that I have to ship it to them in order for them to see if it can be repaired, and to see if it would be warrantied. From the discussion it was not clear how they judge whether they would warranty the problem. I checked what shipping fees would be with a local shipping company and it was about $1500, each way. Dale mentioned talking with a company called Fastenal to see if they would do it cheaper, which I have yet to do, but I'm doubtful. I will call them regardless.

    My concern is that I spend money to ship it back, and they find they can't repair it or that they won't warranty it. this being my first boiler I'm not familiar with these kinds of problems/repairs. Is it worth the risk? or is it likely that I would be throwing away money? If they just throw some patches on there will it just form new leaks next season, etc? I know its hard to answer but I would appreciate any opinions.
     
  2. goosegunner

    goosegunner
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    Oct 15, 2009
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    I sent you a PM
     
  3. S.Whiplash

    S.Whiplash
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    Oct 28, 2012
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    First question, did you register your warranty at the time of purchase?
     
  4. Fred61

    Fred61
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    Nov 26, 2008
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    I hope I'm wrong but -----

    I fear that if you return it for inspection you may be kissing $1500.00 good bye.
    What you're describing are the classic symptoms of cold return water. Either your return protection device failed or your system was not equipped with one. Cold return water causes condensation in the upper chamber throughout the burn causing it to "rain" acids on the walls of the chamber causing the wall to erode and become thinner over time. The back wall is most likely spot for this to happen because it is the coolest area both from the fire and it is just above the return line.

    If you could find a way to reach in there you should try to weld in a whole new back wall. I think you will need to remove the refractory in order to find material thick enough to weld to. At this point the wall is mostly paper thin.

    Wish you the best of luck/
     
  5. S.Whiplash

    S.Whiplash
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    Oct 28, 2012
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    If installed the way Econoburn recommends in their manual an extra circulation pump is used to prevent cold water return. If that pump or a return protection device was never installed, you're probably right and he's voided his warranty. This is the first time I've ever heard of an Econoburn leaking, so something went wrong.
     
  6. leon

    leon
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    Feb 3, 2013
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    Loc:
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    If your boiler has pinhole leaks around the stay bars(lugs) that separate
    and support the inner and outer water walls that pretty much
    kills the entire subject and it needs to be scrapped as it suffered
    "cavitation corrosion" damage from boiling hot spots.
     
  7. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    Nov 28, 2014
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    I'm in the 1500.00 burn category and that's each way. $3000 goes far on a replacement unit.
     
  8. S.Whiplash

    S.Whiplash
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    Oct 28, 2012
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    Shop around, that sounds like a very bad freight quote. Maybe try YRC.
     
  9. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    Nov 28, 2014
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    Loc:
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    I'm not shipping it. I'm saying that that the return of the boiler will most likely be a waste then if repaired under warranty it gets another 1500 ride home. The OP also did not mention if he would be taking the boiler off line and setting it onto a trailer or into a truck. If he can't that adds more money to the project.

    FWIW I know very little about outdoor boilers because I didn't want one. My research was confined to indoor units only.
     
  10. Tar12

    Tar12
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    Dec 9, 2016
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    I got 18 years out of my Wood Master boiler before it sprang a leak...bought repair panels and welded them in myself...very easy to repair and sold it for half of what I paid for it....that was 3 years ago and its still running...no complaints with that open system.
     
  11. goosegunner

    goosegunner
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    What would cause that?
     
  12. Mauler

    Mauler
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    Jun 19, 2008
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    Loc:
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    yes, I'm actually a few weeks shy of the 5 yr mark
     
  13. Mauler

    Mauler
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    Jun 19, 2008
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    Loc:
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    could you expand on this? a google search seemed to suggest a water quality issue? it was filled from my well, one time, no additives, and none were recommended. This is a closed or pressurized system
     
  14. Mauler

    Mauler
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    Jun 19, 2008
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    Loc:
    Southern New York
    I do not have storage, but that was not a requirement and does not appear to affect a warranty claim
    I use well water, has bit of iron in it but otherwise unremarkable, no additives were recommended. I did not use antifreeze.
    I do have return protection but the manual doesn't appear to make that a requirement, and unless I am mistaken does not indicate that it should violate the warranty anyway.

    in its five years it paid for itself and a bit more, but its hugely disappointing. Not sure what I'll do. I've thought about using the Kubota to put it on a trailer and haul it up there myself. Its 6 hours each way, 2 trips a week or so apart, 24 hrs of driving. PITA but for all that what am I left with? Absent a hail mary repair, the consensus here seems its a total loss and that the warranty is just a piece of paper?
     
  15. gfirkus

    gfirkus
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    Nov 28, 2014
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    I thought my well water would be fine, but after a test it was pretty high in sodium chloride. It is fine for consumption but was told to not let it near my boiler. Test was done by wood boiler solutions. I hauled my water in from the local city bulk supply
     
  16. Mauler

    Mauler
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    Jun 19, 2008
    65
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    Loc:
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    I can't say about salt content, but I do appreciate everyone's comments.
     
  17. salecker

    salecker
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    Aug 22, 2010
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    Hi All
    6 yrs on my 200 outside model that i have inside a building with storage,and have the cold water protection pump that Econoburn recommends.I hope to get another 19 yrs without any major issues.
    If i was Mauler i would be loading it up and taking it to the factory myself if there wasn't an option to $1500.There is a couple of websites that you can post your load and people will bid on the price that they will charge to haul it.
    But there is an advantage to hauling it yourself,you can discuss the issue directly with the people at Econoburn.6 hrs is a short drive where i am from.We have to drive 2 hrs each way to go grocery shopping .
    From my experience Econoburn will go the extra mile to help their customers.I would think that they would want to see the boiler to try and find the reason there is a failure.By the sound of it if one spot was repaired and another started leaking i would be concerned that there is a good possibility that whatever caused the first leak has also weakened every stay bar weld and there are multiple areas ready to leak.
    Too bad you never kept a sample of the water you had in it when the first leak happened.It could be analyzed to see if water quality is the culprit.Even if you don't go with Econoburn again it would be good top know it the water is good to use.
    I am very interested in seeing what Econoburn can find out about the failure.I wouldn't want to be without a boiler for long in the Winter.Their warrantee is 25 yrs on the firebox if i remember correctly.i am hopping to get way longer than that out of mine.
    Thomas
     
  18. S.Whiplash

    S.Whiplash
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    Oct 28, 2012
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    It sounds like your Econoburn should be under warranty, so it's probably worth the trip IMO. If they find a reason not to, which would honestly surprise me, you should be able to convince them to refurb. it for you and you'll get another 10 years out of it at a reasonable cost.

    As another poster mentioned, water quality is extremely important, it should be tested and next time use a boiler additive to to prevent corrosion and balance the PH. They really should include that information in their manuals.
     
  19. Fred61

    Fred61
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    Nov 26, 2008
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    If the culprit is the water quality, why are the leaks only in the upper chamber? I stand by my original thought that the wear originates on the fire side.

    Sent from my SM-G900R4 using Tapatalk
     
    Karl_northwind likes this.
  20. goosegunner

    goosegunner
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    Oct 15, 2009
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    Can anyone with a Outdoor Econoburn tell us if the recirculation pump is already piped on the outdoor model. I thought I read somewhere that it is pre-piped inside the enclosure somewhere.

    It also has preheated combustion air.
     
  21. mark cline

    mark cline
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    Dec 20, 2012
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    Cavitation is deadly to steel. No cold return protection , creates a liquid creosote which is highly acidic . . Dale explained this to me 2 weeks ago and how to avoid this from happening , it will corrode a boiler in a few years . Treated water is a must , knowing the chemical make up of your well water would determine if it can be used in your boiler. Where are you located?
     
  22. Fred61

    Fred61
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    Nov 26, 2008
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    I would think that boiling is least likely to occur in the vessel surrounding the upper chamber since that is where the coolest part of the fire is. It's basically a relatively cool charcoal pit and oven supplying gas to fuel the nozzle.
     
  23. salecker

    salecker
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    Aug 22, 2010
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    Mine did not come with the cold water protection loop plumbed in.It did come with a pump which was plumbed to circulate to your building.I removed most of the plumbing that came with mine when i set it up in the building with my storage
     
  24. S.Whiplash

    S.Whiplash
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    Oct 28, 2012
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    I think you're correct the re-circulation pump is pre-plumbed on that version. With the indoor models they ship it in the upper chamber, so it is also included in the purchase price.
     
  25. mark cline

    mark cline
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    Dec 20, 2012
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    Loc:
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    Any chance there is some boiler water still in your system that can be tested? If you didn't flush the system you might be able to get a sample to see make up of your water .



    Sulfite
    Sulfite is used to consume dissolved oxygen in steam boiler systems. If dissolved
    oxygen is permitted to exist in the boiler, it attacks the steel in the boiler forming oxygen
    pits. This pitting causes serious damage and eventually tube failure.
    Amines
    Return condensate is naturally corrosive because of its purity. The pH of pure
    water is easily decreased in the presence of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide dissolves in
    the water to form carbonic acid. Oxygen readily dissolves in pure water also. Both low
    pH and dissolved oxygen lead to corrosion in any water system especially in the presence
    of heat.
    Boiler water balance is essential to a long lived boiler .Corrosion from inside and outside (creosote) must be controlled .Yearly testing and treatment is required to keep your system in check.
     
    Marshy likes this.

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