Leak on Domestic Hot Water Coil for an American Standard Oil Boiler

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Pocono Pete
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing 111
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Location: Gouldsboro,PA

Post Tue. Feb. 02, 2010 10:20 am

I have a very old American Standard oil boiler and I believe the domestic coil may have a small leak. The level in the sight glass seems to be rising by itself. Is there any way to know if it's the coil or if it's the manual feed valve. I am thinking about having an electric hot water heater installed if it's the coil, I really don't want go through the expense of a new boiler not to mention any other problems I could run into trying to have such an old boiler replaced. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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SMITTY
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
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Post Tue. Feb. 02, 2010 10:26 am

If you can shut off the water supply to the manual feed valve & watch the level, I think that would be the easiest way.

My parents just finally got rid of their 37 year old American Standard boiler. They don't use it for anything but hot water, as they have a coal stove. But the hot water is endless. Before, the water would come out of the tap at 200°F & scald the crap out of you, then immediately fall to about 80° .... You had to take a shower at a trickle! Had been like that since I was a teenager! :lol:
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ...Such laws make things worse
for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to
encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with
greater confidence than an armed man."

- Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in "On
Crimes and Punishment."

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coaledsweat
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Post Tue. Feb. 02, 2010 11:10 am

Pocono Pete wrote:I am thinking about having an electric hot water heater installed if it's the coil, I really don't want go through the expense of a new boiler not to mention any other problems I could run into trying to have such an old boiler replaced.
I think the electric heater would be several times the cost of a replacement DHW coil as you have to buy the water heater, re plumb and purchase and install electrical components. It sounds like you have a steam boiler. If so, melt some candle wax on the nuts that secure the coil right now and every other day until you get it changed. It should come out nice and easy.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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SMITTY
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Posts: 11915
Joined: Sun. Dec. 11, 2005 12:43 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler
Location: West-Central Mass

Post Tue. Feb. 02, 2010 11:12 am

... not to mention oil is still cheaper than electricity no matter how you slice it.
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ...Such laws make things worse
for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to
encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with
greater confidence than an armed man."

- Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in "On
Crimes and Punishment."


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Poconoeagle
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Location: Tobyhanna PA

Post Tue. Feb. 02, 2010 11:40 am

Pocono Pete wrote:I have a very old American Standard oil boiler and I believe the domestic coil may have a small leak. The level in the sight glass seems to be rising by itself. Is there any way to know if it's the coil or if it's the manual feed valve. I am thinking about having an electric hot water heater installed if it's the coil, I really don't want go through the expense of a new boiler not to mention any other problems I could run into trying to have such an old boiler replaced. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
after the purchase and install of a electric HWH you will have spent bout 5-6 hun.

30 amp breaker
10 ga wire
flex connect hose
drain pan
decent 50 gal heater
pipe
valves and fittings

then you get to realize the yearly operating cost will be 500 bucks per year for the juice
oh and thats installing it your self...... yeah you can save a hundred or so with a cheap appliance but ya get what ya pay for.
p.s. the hard water around here reallys plays heck on the heating elements and anode rods.

how much is a new coil for the boiler?? 2 hundred 3?? there are pluses and minus's for all systems. from the looks of PP&L's new upcoming rates I would rethink the electric one tho...
"Do it Right the First Time" dont leave it for the next guy, as YOU may be the Next guy!!

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coalvet
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Post Tue. Feb. 02, 2010 11:59 am

If the boiler is very old I wouldn't consider replacing the coil, you could open up a whole can of worms. Many years ago I dealt with this problem and the age of my boiler and the corrosion around the plate of the coil said leave it alone. I put in a 50 gal. electric heater and haven't looked back since. By the way I still have the same boiler (60yrs old). I just shut off the valve to the coil and adjusted my aquastat to reflect the fact that I'm not using the boiler for domestic hot water.

Rich
Been cooking coal with the Crane for over 30 yrs.

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Poconoeagle
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Location: Tobyhanna PA

Post Tue. Feb. 02, 2010 12:24 pm

coalvet wrote:If the boiler is very old I wouldn't consider replacing the coil, you could open up a whole can of worms. Many years ago I dealt with this problem and the age of my boiler and the corrosion around the plate of the coil said leave it alone. I put in a 50 gal. electric heater and haven't looked back since. By the way I still have the same boiler (60yrs old). I just shut off the valve to the coil and adjusted my aquastat to reflect the fact that I'm not using the boiler for domestic hot water.

Rich
yes for cases of corosion around the plate there is a decision maker sometimes although many times a bit of cutting and welding can do wonders.

I think he has a water level issue tho... might be sumting else ;)
"Do it Right the First Time" dont leave it for the next guy, as YOU may be the Next guy!!

Pocono Pete
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Posts: 120
Joined: Tue. Nov. 18, 2008 6:58 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing 111
Coal Size/Type: Rice Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 111
Location: Gouldsboro,PA

Post Tue. Feb. 02, 2010 2:29 pm

Thanks for all your replies and ideas. The reason I was going to go with the electric hot water heater was because the boiler is so old, probably about 50 years and my plumber doesn't even think we could find a new coil. He said we could cap off the coil and just use the boiler for some occasional heat being I have a stoker. the other thing I was leary about was if I put in a whole new boiler I might open up more problems, not to mention the cost. I have made sure the manual fill valve is closed tight I just think that I might have a small leak in the coil but I don't know how to isolate the problem to make sure it's the domestic coil. I am going to keep checking the water level and call back the plumber at the end of the week. Thanks again for the input.


franco b
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Post Fri. Feb. 05, 2010 4:16 pm

Pocono Pete wrote:Thanks for all your replies and ideas. The reason I was going to go with the electric hot water heater was because the boiler is so old, probably about 50 years and my plumber doesn't even think we could find a new coil. He said we could cap off the coil and just use the boiler for some occasional heat being I have a stoker. the other thing I was leary about was if I put in a whole new boiler I might open up more problems, not to mention the cost. I have made sure the manual fill valve is closed tight I just think that I might have a small leak in the coil but I don't know how to isolate the problem to make sure it's the domestic coil. I am going to keep checking the water level and call back the plumber at the end of the week. Thanks again for the input.
Standard procedure is to open the supply valve and install a new washer to make sure it is not leaking. If you had a plumber he should have done this for you. Sometimes by putting a metal rod on the pipe and pressing it to your ear you can hear the water running.

There used to be people that would make up a new coil using the old plate. You might inquire at several plumbing supply houses. If you do decide to do it yourself I like the idea that coldsweat suggested using candle wax. I would add that to break the nuts loose, put tension on them and then strike the wrench to set up vibration. Do this in both directions until there is movement. An impact wrench is better still.

Pocono Pete
Member
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue. Nov. 18, 2008 6:58 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing 111
Coal Size/Type: Rice Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 111
Location: Gouldsboro,PA

Post Sat. Feb. 06, 2010 1:50 pm

franco b, thanks for the info, the plumber didn't come look at the oil boiler yet. He's has been servicing two boilers for me for about the last eight years, I just spoke to him over the phone, he said if I shut the valve on the cold pipe on the coil and watch to see if the level in the sight glass goes up than the coil is leaking at least I think that's what he was getting at. I really didn't understand what he meant and besides the leak must be so small the the level in the glass only rose a small amount in the last five days. He's stopping by Mon. or Tues to take a look at it so I'll have a better idea about things. As far as having a coil made my a plumbing house I think I would rather just cap off the coil and go with the electric tank. My only other recourse would be to install a new oil boiler( steam ) and I have no idea what that would run.

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SMITTY
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Posts: 11915
Joined: Sun. Dec. 11, 2005 12:43 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler
Location: West-Central Mass

Post Sat. Feb. 06, 2010 5:17 pm

If it were me, I'd cap off the coil & install an indirect fired boiler off a heating zone. The indirect unit will come with it's own circulator too. Will still cost less to install than a electric unit, if you DIY. Cost me about $800 including 3/4" copper pipe, fittings, etc...

Here's a PDF of the Amtrol Boilermate specs: http://www.amtrol.com/pdf/bmclassicbroch.pdf

Here's mine (gotta write instructions to prevent wife damage :D ) It's a 41 gallon. If I had to do it again, I would have got the smaller one:
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ...Such laws make things worse
for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to
encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with
greater confidence than an armed man."

- Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in "On
Crimes and Punishment."

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