My boiler is leaking

Roundgunner Posted By Roundgunner, Feb 20, 2019 at 11:44 PM

  1. Roundgunner

    Roundgunner
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 26, 2013
    320
    159
    Loc:
    Rural CT
    I have been fighting a crack for a couple years. It is thin (1/8 -3/16) cheap stainless, I had a welder try to weld it and it burned thru, and when we turned it down it tore. It’s not like a typical crack I have seen.

    20190129_142230.jpg

    After trying to weld it a few times I filled it with high temp JB weld, that held water for about a month. When it started leaking bad again I cleaned it out real well and filled it with regular JB weld, and drilled a hole to a piece that did not pass thru the water jacket. I made a plate of 1/8 cold rolled steel and covered it with red permatex gasket material and screwed it tight. It held for almost a year.

    This season I have redone it twice and now I even covered the plate with a 1” insulating material to try to keep it cooler. It’s leaking bad again. I would like to try to make it thru the rest of this season without shutting it down again.

    When I do it next time a welder friend told me to try braising the crack. I’m good with that but I would like to hold off till it warms up.

    I’m going thru 6 gallons of water a day. I thought it was horrible but then I think about the old steam locomotives and I know those things leaked into the firebox. Is that much water going to hurt anything I haven’t thought of?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. E Yoder

    E Yoder
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 27, 2017
    274
    41
    Loc:
    Floyd, VA
    What model and brand is it? 1/8" stainless shouldn't be impossible to weld. If it tears there's a stress issue going on perhaps.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    9,747
    2,032
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    I don't think you could hurt it much more than it is hurt now as long as you keep the water level up. But it is more or less bound to spread & get worse, I'd think.

    I think I would be wanting to cut the losses & get something else, I would have no confidence or peace of mind with it even if I got it patched up & the leaks stopped.

    An Empyre was on my look list back when i did my project, it was the only one available semi-locally. Some glad I passed it by.

    Good luck though what ever you end up doing - that kind of sucks.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. Woodman1

    Woodman1
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 15, 2018
    77
    21
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Ya that metal in the picture looks pretty horrible. I think I would be looking for something else. There are always used owb on Craigslist. $1500.00 for the right boiler might buy you quite a few years. Or check the classifieds here. There were some guys selling some eko's for not much more than the price of scrap
     
  5. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    4,464
    1,306
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    From the limited photo you are not fixing that crack. IMO, you need to cut out a whole lot of metal and get to place where you can weld it. Once stainless cracks up like that you are going to be chasing cracks forever.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. warno

    warno
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 3, 2015
    1,231
    304
    Loc:
    illinois
    1/8 to 3/16 is not thin by any stretch. If it was mine I would cut out the whole bad area and cut up a filler plate and weld it back in. What weld procedure did your friend use? Did the bevel out the crack and clean all, or as much as possible, the corrosion from the gap? If you just tried burning through what is pictured, it doesn't surprise me it failed.
     
  7. gfirkus

    gfirkus
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 28, 2014
    53
    19
    Loc:
    central wisconsin
    Drill a hole at the end of the crack before welding up. It will help stop additional cracking
     
  8. Hydronics

    Hydronics
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 3, 2008
    380
    12
    Loc:
    Northern CT
    That's what I'd do also. Drill holes at the ends of the cracks then weld a plate over it of the same material with round corners to reduce stress concentration points. -Or drill ends and try brazing.

    I can't help but wonder how bad the efficiency is converting all that water to steam... Can you just switch to an alternative boiler - Oil or gas until you address it properly?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    9,747
    2,032
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    This time of the year, I suspect you'd either have to keep putting the water & fire to it until the end of winter, or throw in the towel on it all together & plan a trip to the scrapyard.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    salecker likes this.
  10. BoiledOver

    BoiledOver
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Apr 14, 2013
    615
    223
    Loc:
    43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
    Sorry to hear of your troubles, I too looked in that direction while shopping. Best of luck in finding a viable solution or replacement.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. Roundgunner

    Roundgunner
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 26, 2013
    320
    159
    Loc:
    Rural CT
    Well I got it cleaned and ready for the welder but he got delayed a few days so I used JB weld and permatex again. here are a few of the pictures I took as I went along. I squeezed the JB weld in between the plates pretty well and then put some insulation on the top to try to keep the heat down. I have had it running a few days now. it is losing some water but not as bad. 20190224_152430.jpg 20190224_194626.jpg 20190224_205327.jpg 20190225_190925.jpg
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. KC Matt

    KC Matt
    Burning Hunk 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 29, 2016
    116
    76
    Loc:
    Kansas City
    Yeah that is at the end of it's life cycle. To weld dirty metal, your only option is a cracker box and that's going to burn through that thin metal. Best of luck, but you're probably going to have to scrap that one.
     
  13. Eureka

    Eureka
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 4, 2018
    240
    140
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    Yeah that’s some hideous looking stainless. Hope you can finish out your season with the patch
     

Share This Page