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  • Steam Generator Failure

  • guest

    Member
    November 28, 2017 at 12:00 am

    I have a customer who is about to replace his 3rd boiler in 5 years on a Cleveland 36CGM steamer. His water company adds a significant amount of chlorine to the town water, which is very hard to begin with. I realize chloramines are one of the biggest contributors to pre-mature boiler failure. Presently using the Everpure SRX Kleen Steam system, uses Dissolve solution twice a month, blows unit down twice a day. I was on site today and removed approximately 5 lbs of scale, basically large rocks from his boiler. Has anyone had similar experiences and what were your practical solutions that actually worked? I am testing an RO system on a well water supplied public school steamer, who happens to also have an on site licensed water quality control person, he regularly tests the water. Any thoughts from those who have lived through this would be appreciated.

  • olivero

    Member
    November 28, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    I am in  Clearwater and I have the 36 CGM as well. Why is it being replaced? Got pictures of the failure? I am very interested as I would hate to see that on my own.

  • ares

    Member
    November 28, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Ironic, you’re in “Clearwater” . I did not take pics, but I can tell you every single time it is “above” water line failure. And when I use the Cleveland Dissolve in unit, I make sure it is full to top & circulated as recommended. Probe extensions are constantly rotting off, anode is toast. I literally had this conversation with him today as I was pulling giant chunks of scale mixed with his rotting boiler out of unit. I feel for him as he is also a lifelong friend of mine, Ive tried to convince him to go Combi, but it’s a small account and he doesn’t want to spend that kind of $$, which over the life of this unit, he will inevitably spend. I will get some pics later this week, as boiler makes it’s way here. 

  • ryantruck9

    Member
    November 28, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I read about the pounds of scale! 

    In my area we have the complete opposite water quality from most. 

    Ihave worked in other markets and have  learned some but am no expert on water

    Here TDS is often too low for water level sensors…

     

    Where do the boilers fail and leak? Chlorine is terrible, especially when boiled off into gaseous state.

     

    I guess what I’m getting at is where is the leak? Way above water level, near or at water line or way below the water level?(normal operating)

     

    At the very near top perhaps chlorine gasses attacking the metal. 

    At or Below where 5lbs of scale are insulating the bottom plate and heat exchangers tubes(is it a 250 or 300BTU?)

     

    I also can’t help but think even with dissolve who(as an end user)has the time to properly flush the unit after especially that often 

     

    There is also the annode for galvanic corrosion. 

    We need a weaker metal then boiler plate steel to attack with all these dissimilar metals.

     

    Honestly if a failed boiler was tested/inspected I’m sure someone could tell you exactly what has happened.

    Where it leaks and how it penetrated can often tell the tail.

  • ares

    Member
    November 28, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Failure is always above water line, I literally reach in and up and pull mounds of scale off top inside of boiler. Last one at this location looked like swiss cheese around heat transfer tube welds. We do not drink the tap water in this town as it smells like a swimming pool. 

  • ryantruck9

    Member
    November 28, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I’m thinking you have a few problems…

    It’s mounds of scale above the water line?

    Not handfuls of rust or large rust”flakes”

    Does the scale go all the way to boiler top?

     

    I have heard the charcoal filter does a great job for chlorine.

    Will not help with calcium or scale or silt

     

    Swiss cheese tubes sound kinda like annode.

    We can’t just hang it off a support, need to sand clean the support and hose clamp the annodes “rat tail” to it then ohm it out .

    Bottom of annode to plate steel should be a dead short 0 ohm

     

    That said if bottom 1/2 of boiler and tubes are thick in scale means they are insulated so they are glowing on call for pressure if their only energy/heat release happens just above water line how long could the tubes live through that.

     

    Do you get that purple ish layer in the thick hard layer around the tubes?

  • olivero

    Member
    November 28, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Interesting, stainless rusting out has got to be an electrolysis/anode problem. I could see the steel having a hard time under chlorine but you can filter all that out with some carbon blocks.

     

    Here is what my boiler looked like after the first 2 years.

  • fixbear - ADK NY

    Member
    November 29, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Nice pic’s olivero.  Interesting to see all the pitting from electrolysis.  I’m very surprised that they didn’t make a more positive electrical connection for the anode.  It almost looks like cavitation electrolysis corrosion.  Does the burner have any vibration?

     

     

    Ryantruck9:  Where do the boilers fail and leak? Chlorine is terrible, especially when boiled off into gaseous state.

    Chlorine does effect the molecular structure of stainless,  but the levels necessary would be dangerous to people as well.  In the gaseous state it is extremely  poison.  Remember, you can not smell chlorine.  Only Chlorides that come from the chlorine doing it’s job. If you can smell it the system has some form of organic material in it that is changing the chlorine to chloramides and needs to be shocked with chlorine. Just the opposite of what most believe.  You can easily get a La Motte test kit for chlorine.

  • olivero

    Member
    November 29, 2017 at 8:32 am

    fixbear wrote:

     

    Chlorine does effect the molecular structure of stainless,  but the levels necessary would be dangerous to people as well.  In the gaseous state it is extremely  poison.  Remember, you can not smell chlorine.  Only Chlorides that come from the chlorine doing it’s job. If you can smell it the system has some form of organic material in it that is changing the chlorine to chloramides and needs to be shocked with chlorine. Just the opposite of what most believe.  You can easily get a La Motte test kit for chlorine.

    Article: Selection of stainless steels for handling chlorine (Cl2) and chlorine dioxide (ClO2) 

     

    It also depends on what grade the stainless is, if they chose 308 or 316, that would make a bit of difference.

     

    Like I mentioned in the other post, I would add more carbon filters and see if they help, it should.

  • fixbear - ADK NY

    Member
    November 29, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Can’t argue with that.  If your on a chlorine, fluorine, or any system with taste or smell problems Japanese charcoal block filters are the answer. They work a lot better than bagged  or pressed charcoal and have a more consistent filtration.

  • badbozo2315

    Member
    November 29, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    >Interesting, stainless rusting out has got to be an electrolysis/anode problem.

     

    >Chlorine does effect the molecular structure of stainless

     

    Just to be clear, I believe the photos above are of a Cleveland nickel-plated boiler shell, not stainless. That option was/is several thousands of dollars more than the base steel shell, and will last much longer, according to Cleveland. My info about this comes from about 20 years ago, though, so things might be different these days.

     

    We just don’t see many boiler-base units down here in the High Plains of the southeast us low country.

  • ares

    Member
    November 30, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Im going to follow another tech on here and try my own anode experiment and install a couple extra anodes and make certain of a mechanical connection of the anode to the boiler, one of the reasons I always like the Market Forge approach to anodes, threaded connection as opposed to Cleveland with the hanging hook. I would be very curious to see the decay process of anode slightly above water line, although mitigation of corrosion to boiler shell above water line would be minimal, would still like to see level of corrosion to anode placed there. Unfortunately all this experimentation is on my customer’s dime. Fortunately I have a large sample pool to choose from with many varied water sources. 

  • olivero

    Member
    November 30, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Yeah, good idea. You could add carbon filters to it as well.

  • guest

    Member
    December 1, 2017 at 5:33 am

    I think Fixbear touched on this first. Electrolysis can be the result of many sources, and anodes may not be enough. Anodes will take care of the dissimilar metal/mineral issue in the boiler. The minerals in the boiler sort of create a battery effect, inside the boiler. The anode creates a discharge path, through the hanger/strap. The chemical reaction occurs because of the dissimilar metals and eats the anode. You may be experiencing some additional electrolysis from outside the unit.

     

    Electricity leaking from other sources can also cause this. You might try grounding the snot out of the unit and see if this helps any. Or, the opposite, insulating it from outside sources. IE; insulate the legs from the floor and the gas line, if possible.

    Good luck ! Let us know how things turn out.   

  • fixbear - ADK NY

    Member
    December 1, 2017 at 7:13 am

    There is a reason they put dielectric unions on quality water heaters piping with their anodes

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