Boiler Leak

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Jdgatc2920
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Post by Jdgatc2920 » Sat. Mar. 16, 2024 8:56 pm

Hello! Long time reader first time posting.

I have an efm boiler that has served me well for the almost decade we've lived in our house. Unit is from 1980. I have not serviced the unit in two years because my guy retired and I can't find anyone to do the job. In the summer I clean it and brush the build up off the inside, shop vac it out, etc.

Today I fired her back up because we're getting a cold spell these next two weeks, originally shut it down when it was 60+ (wishful thinking I know). While I'm waiting for it to pressure up I hear a sizzle like water hitting a hot stove. I start investigating and find water dripping (slowly but still dripping) out of the back of the unit onto the exhaust pipe.

I'm not handy enough to disassemble this unit, nor could I fix the problem if I somehow figured out what the problem is.

First question: is this a sign that something real bad has happened? Am I looking at replacing this beast?

Second question: anyone know of any coal boiler techs in the Scranton area? I can't find ANYONE.

Thank you all!

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Jdgatc2920
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Post by Jdgatc2920 » Sat. Mar. 16, 2024 8:57 pm

Another image of where the water is coming from.

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lincolnmania
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Location: Birdsboro PA.
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350
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Post by lincolnmania » Sat. Mar. 16, 2024 9:50 pm

It's probably leaking around the domestic coil seal. if the nuts aren't scary looking try to tighten them. spray some penetrating oil on them first. then add some boiler seal.
If it's real bad you will have to get the boiler repaired by a welding shop.


 
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CoalHeat
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Post by CoalHeat » Sat. Mar. 16, 2024 10:18 pm

Could be the coil just needs a new gasket.

 
Dave 1234
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Post by Dave 1234 » Sun. Mar. 17, 2024 7:54 am

As the guys have said, most likely, it's a gasket in the back . The tin cover will have to come off first . If it's just started to leak you might get lucky and it will only need to be snugged up .

At the same time if system has a bladder type pressure tank , change it out for a new one . If it's an old house and has a big old tank with a sight glass on the side . Be sure it's not full , and now the system can't expand , hence , pops the DHW gasket .

 
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Richard S.
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Post by Richard S. » Sun. Mar. 17, 2024 8:26 am

Leaking around the flange is common problem and they changed the design of that. Van Wert has same basic design and they have tendency to leak too. When I was at EFM many years ago Stokerman showed me a part they had to retrofit older units but it had to be welded on.

As far as plumbers this is not a recommendation because I don't know the quality of his work but I did sell him boiler a few years back and he seemed like a decent guy. He is not just familiar with boilers but specifically coal boilers.

In Carbondale: https://www.regalplumbingandheating.com/


 
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nepacoal
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Post by nepacoal » Sun. Mar. 17, 2024 9:14 am

You mentioned that it was shut down recently... It is very common for the DHW gasket to leak a little when the boiler cools down. Likewise, the leak may stop once it gets back up to temperature for a full day. Have you been able to double check it after it's been back up to temperature? It may have stopped but will likely need to be snugged up gently once you shut it down for the summer. Gently, don't crank down on those 45 year old bolts. Spraying the bolts like mentioned above is a good idea before you tighten them.

 
Jdgatc2920
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Post by Jdgatc2920 » Sun. Mar. 17, 2024 10:38 am

Thank you all! Good to hear it may not be a catastrophic thing.

I shut it back down once I saw the leaking, I was scared it was going to leak more or that the increasing pressure was going to blow the back of the boiler off.

I will reach out to Regal and see if he can or knows someone who can get down to my house, I'm about 30 minutes away from where he's located.

BREAK OUT THE SPACE HEATERS!

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