Can 6 section boiler gaskets be replaced?

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    • #277394
      Avatar photoAnonymous

        My 20 yr old Weil Mclain steam boiler started dripping water. My fuel company told me I needed a new furnace for $8500 as it wasn’t economically feasible to repair. Upon removing 2 screws at the back & opening up the side panels, I discovered the threaded rod holding the outside (facing on right) sections had rusted completely through and was in 2 pieces. I replaced the rod and now the leaking has stopped.
        My questions are:
        1. What would cause the rod to rust out?
        2. Out of curiosity, is it a big job to take the sections apart and put in new gaskets should a leak develop in the future. That is, why is it different from replacing seals in a transmission or rear axle. You don’t get a new car when gaskets go.

        Regards, Ron

      • #296124
        Avatar photoRetired plbg1

          If I remember the boilers I took apart I don’t think there were gaskets in them. I think we had something in a can we brushed on and then put them together, of course I was an Apprentice at that time and maybe the Plumber did it that way. I dont know. But I do know you need a steel wedge and heavy hammer to take them apart and some help because they are heavy. Could have been some condenstion or a small leak that rusted the rod. Leave panels off and see what happens.

          Art retired plbg

          » This message has been edited by John Aldrich on 24 October 2004

        • #296125
          Avatar photoracefanone

            Your boiler should have neopreme gaskets between the sections.The older boilers have tapered nipples which snapped together when the stay rods were tightened.Need to know the model and serial number to know for sure what you have.It is not a big deal to replace the gaskets.Condensation could be coming from alot of things from venting to burner adjustment.If I were you ,I would have a reputable firm dealing in hydronic heating checkout your boiler. Condensation probably was caused from the leaking gasket.

            » This message has been edited by racefanone on 24 October 2004

          • #296126
            Avatar photocove3

              OK, thanks. The boiler is a 1983 or so Weil-Mclain A3-666E=HE Series CP No. 772747. I had thought the fuel company servicing my boiler was reputable but they didn’t catch the rusted out rod. The leak stopped when I lowered the water level about an inch, which tells me the rotted rod being near the top of the boiler was the cause. Replacing the rod did stop the leak & I see no steam coming out anywhere.

              The seals between the sections seem to be more of a rope calk rather than a neopreme seal.

              My service company said it wan’t practical to replace seals on boilers due to the labor & they didn’t want to do it, so I don’t know if anybody does that kind of work today. I know in really old cars or old electronics it doesn’t pay to have work done, as something else is apt to go out. I’m not sure if this is true of boilers, however, as their doesn’t seem to be a lot of other things besides the seals that could go wrong. Instead of laying out 8,000 for a new furnace, it would seem somebody could rebuild it in a couple of days for under a thousand, and maybe get another 10-15 years out of the thing.

              Thanks & regards, Ron

            • #296127
              Avatar photoracefanone

                The gaskets can be replaced, I have done it on several boilers.Along with replacing sections.Some boilers do have rope gaskets.If everything else on the boiler is fine ,I would replace all the gaskets.A newer boiler would be more efficent .Look in the yellow pages for a shop that works on boilers ,give them your numbers and see if they can get the gaskets for you .If not I will get the part numbers for you when I am at my shop next week. I am sure they would like to sell you a new boiler as opposed to repairing an existing one.If you have a gas inspector or utility company gas person have them look at the boiler and tell you what they recommend.Not being able to see the boiler ,it is hard for me to judge.Good Luck

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