Boiler Blows up

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LsFarm
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Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 12:21 pm

OK, a PRV only clamp on connector that can blow off with pressure.. a rubber or similar connector... to point it to the floor... those threads are just too inviting with the cost of a 3/4 pipe plug less than a buck..

We can create a whole bureacracy to design, regulate, inspect and legislate the PRV... or just let the idiots become a statistic ...

Greg L..

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Sting
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Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 12:22 pm

or just let the idiots become a statistic ...

This will get my vote -- thin the herd 8-)

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Freddy
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Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 12:42 pm

You can't screw a plug into the relief when it is piped to within 6" of the floor as the law calls for. Yes, there have been a few dum-dums that soldered a cap on the "drippy pipe". Maybe the law should demand black iron with no threads on the low end of the down pipe? Oh no! That pipe might rust shut. OK, stainless. Welded stainless! Welded stainless that terninates into a stainless wire cage that is bolted to the floor with tamper proof bolts!

Where does it end. Bottom line, things can only be made to a certain level of safe. We all live with some risk and none of us have an experiation date on the bottom of our left foot.

In order for my boiler to explode at least five things have to go wrong at the same time. The burner has to "stick on", the high limit has to fail, the water inlet has to suddenly have no water, the low water cut off has to fail, the pressure relief has to not function, and the leak that caused the water to be gone from the boiler has to be so small it will not let the pressure off. Hey, that's six! And you won't sleep at my house? Come on, take a chance.... free beer!

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Sting
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Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 1:11 pm

And the heat dump zone didn't launch!

Free beer???? :) :) :) :) :)

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Lumberjack
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Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 1:26 pm

Some of you forget the corralary to murphy's law.

Anything that can go wrong eventually will go wrong....

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stoker-man
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Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 1:57 pm

I ran copper for about 10 feet and then transitioned to pvc pipe and ran that from both of my boilers to the washing machine drain. I might not be able to tell if it's dripping, but at least I won't flood the basement if it opens and I don't know about it.

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Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 4:47 pm

The
coalkirk wrote:I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe lack of water would cause your boiler to explode. The pressure relief valve would still operate. purpose of a low water cut off is to keep the boiler from dry firing which would likley crack the boiler. A defective or improperly installed pressure relief valve could cause a boiler to build excessive pressure and explode. Sometimes a novice will install an extension on a pressure relief valve with a threaded termination. A no-no but even worse is if pressure is excessive the PRV starts to drip, they run to home depot and buy a cap to screw on the end of the pipe. That's a recipe for a rocket.
My bad.Your right. The boiler would not blow up. It would as you say crack from overheating.

That would most likely blow out the back of my firebox, toasting my house, and cause a total loss. Same terrible ending I think.

End result, calling the insurance company from the shelter :cry: .

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CoalHeat
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Post Thu. Jul. 03, 2008 8:05 am

Greg I think I had a nightmare a few nights ago about something that looked a lot like that photo of yours..... :D

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LsFarm
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Post Thu. Jul. 03, 2008 11:04 am

When I first looked at this place to buy,, I went into the cellar,, or basement took one look at the plumbing and started laughing... The owner of the house, at the top of the cellar stairs,, asked what was funny... I said I think the guy who did the plumbing had a bad hangover.... The owner said,, NO !! He was a Psycho on drugs !! :lol: :lol: :D

Now after working on the system for years,, I have to agree.. :shock:

Greg L

rberq
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Post Thu. Jul. 03, 2008 1:34 pm

Take heart, Greg, some day you will get credit for the whole mess. Years from now, some subsequent owner will show it to his buddy and say, "That Greg guy who owned this place must have been a psycho on drugs."

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gaw
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Post Fri. Jul. 04, 2008 5:59 am

The old pressure release valves were huge cast iron body contraptions. I don't know how prone they were to malfunction. Obviously something went terribly wrong for the lady in Orwigsburg. An old lady with 20+ cats and a few dogs and did not hear of a husband around so how well was the boiler looked after. At minimum everyone should do a weekly inspection of their heating equipment. Check pressure gauges, temps, and know the correct values, look for leaks and anything that looks or smells wrong. Many problems can be found and addressed as small problems before they get a chance to be big ones.

I know of a boiler with NO pressure safety device whatsoever. I told the owner about it and got a strange look like I didn't know what I was talking about. Will he ever install one? I don't know. He's an adult and I'm not his father, that's how I see it.

I saw a safety valve on an oil boiler that had no piping to vent any discharge to the floor and it was pointed directly at a receptacle on the wall. A normal discharge of water would probably not have sprayed the receptacle but it did have a nice professional look about it.

I guess we all do questionable things from time to time. I have my boiler installed the way most were in the 50's and 60's I guess. It lacks low water protection and no auto fill. I know what I have and I sleep OK and if it keeps unwanted house guests away that's OK too, more beer for me!

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LsFarm
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Post Fri. Jul. 04, 2008 9:52 am

Quote:
I know what I have and I sleep OK and if it keeps unwanted house guests away that's OK too, more beer for me!

:lol: :lol: :D :D

My sentiments exactly...

Greg L

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Freddy
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Post Fri. Jul. 04, 2008 11:15 am

gaw wrote: I know of a boiler with NO pressure safety device whatsoever. !
How can that be? All boilers (and hot water heaters) come with them pre-installed. Someone removed it to make room for a whiskey bottle cleaner??

rberq
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Post Fri. Jul. 04, 2008 11:46 am

A few years ago a guy here in Maine defeated the relief and safety valves on his pressure cooker. Sure enough it blew up and killed him. When we were kids my Mom let us play with just about anything, except the pressure cooker.

P.S. You can get a whiskey bottle cleaner? And here I have been throwing them out, one a day, for years!

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mikeandgerry
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Post Fri. Jul. 04, 2008 12:41 pm

Yanche wrote: Yes, I know the cautions about having a valve. I wire the handle in the open position and tag it with a caution sign. If anyone knows a published plumbing code that does not allow properly installed and tagged service valve please post a reference.
I love a good challenge, John!

The Mechanical Code of New York State

Section 1006: Safety and Pressure Relief Valves and Controls.

1006.5

Safety and relief valves shall be installed directly into the safety or relief valve opening on the boiler or pressure vessel. Valves shall not be located on either side of a safety or relief valve connection. The relief valve shall discharge by gravity.

I paid $300 for a set of NYS code books. The mechanical code alone is $70. The NYS code is an adaptation of the 2000 International Mechanical Code. There is no footnote indicating that this is a NYS only addition, therefore, it is international code.
Last edited by mikeandgerry on Fri. Jul. 04, 2008 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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