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Cracked Burnham Boiler?

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Posted by Dave on October 31, 2006 at 10:45:40:

We have a 19 year old Burnham Series 4B gas boiler (steam system). We had a plumber come out to do a cleaning (add the silicone based cleaner into the boiler). Anyway, before he put the cleaner in they tested the low-water cutoff and determined that it did not work. So we get the cutoff replaced and upon filling the boiler with water all the way to the top of the gauge glass, it's determined that the boiler has a crack. We were told that since the low-water cutoff was bad that the boiler probably ran out of water while operating thereby cracking the boiler. We've lived in this house for only 2 winters and I've always been extremely vigilant with keeping the glass gauge filled properly (it's never run below the glass). The boiler has never leaked before and I didn't see the crack (neither did they) because they didn't open up the boiler (besides removing the service door). I also didn't see it leaking because it had been shutoff and cleaned up and drained before I had a chance to see it. They said I can still operate it, but not to overfill it. My question is this: Is it possible there could be another problem, or does this sound like a crack? Is there anything I can do myself to test it?

By the way, I would drain the water/sediment from the low-water cutoff every 1 - 2 weeks in the winter, and was probably adding water every couple of days. The boiler heated our 2-story 7 room house quite well. Our heating bills were quite expensive, but so was everyone's last year. Sorry if I am asking some basic questions, the thought of spending 3-4k on a new boiler really worries me.


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