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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Denver, CO
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    Flames rolling into flue

    I had a call yesterday afternoon that was in a historic theater built in 1893. The original coal fired steam boiler was in the basement next to the natural gas steam boiler I was sent to work on. Anyhow the complaint was only a few radiators were heating. I go down into the basement to find the boiler satisfied at the thermostat, no pressure and a hot steam main. So I turn the thermostat up and the first thing I notice when this 1.6 MBTU boiler fires was the bright yellow flames and some roll out in the front of the boiler. I check the draft diverter and I can literally see the soot flowing right into the flue. Fouled heat exchanger I assume so I let it run so I can see it build pressure. Thirty minutes go by nothing, smoke a cigarette go back in maybe 1/4 PSI but I hear something. I turn up my hearing aids and I hear flames like in an induced draft furnace. I go look in the draft diverter and see flames rolling out with force into the flue. Right then I knew it was a hole in the heat exchanger. So to test my theory I open the relief valve and fire the boiler this time the flames were gone. I opened the boiler today and it would appear that the joint between two sections started leaking and then totally rusted out fast.
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