Removing heating element

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MDR

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Nov 29, 2021, 11:08:41 AM11/29/21
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Hi All,
Dead heating element on steam boiler. Broken free with impact wrench and then unthreaded with regular ratchet.

I cannot get the element out of the boiler. The diameter of the element coil winding seems to be greater than the threaded hole in the bottom of the boiler ?????  Any ideas?  I can go the grinder route,  but that shouldn't be necessary.

Also, any other things to replace while it's torn down? I hate it when one component fails and the machine goes out of service (for my wife and me) for a week waiting for a part.

Thanks. Murray

Eric Christoffersen

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Nov 29, 2021, 11:33:26 AM11/29/21
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Awesome. Well it went it that hole so should come out….

I’m guessing there’s a concretion of minerals? Fill boiler with vinegar and let sit overnight will soften up the mank so you can pull it free.

Things to replace… you’ve got it all apart, nows the time to thoroughly demineralize. Soak as much as you can with vinegar.

I can’t think of parts to preemptively replace… maybe pump if it’s cheap. Maybe just break fittings free and blue lock tite so future part replacement will be easier? 

Kevin Maciunas

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Nov 29, 2021, 5:40:10 PM11/29/21
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I have experienced a similar issue with a NS Oscar.  The heating element
was coiled and the coils just expanded a tiny bit.  One coil was the
primary problem - it was the site of the rupture of the element.  The
Oscar has a copper boiler which is pretty thin and bendy, so I pulled
the element out as far as it would go and cut it off, then kind-of
'unwound' the spiral element with two pairs of angled pointy nosed
pliers.  The inside of the element had a softish ceramic material that
made a mess but yielded to the bending.  After a bit of wrangling, the
remaining coils kind of 'unscrewed out' the hole...  I have to admit I
did look up the price and availability of a replacement boiler during
the exercise.....

If the fit is just a tiny bit off, it is probably just scale and oxide
build up.  So as suggested: acid.  I'd use citric rather than vinegar,
but that's just me :)

Cheers

/Kevin

MDR

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Nov 29, 2021, 8:36:21 PM11/29/21
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Thanks all - it's out.

Chatted with WLL tech. He suggested that the element may bend when it fails. They just use a screwdriver to bend it back into shape and then pull it free.  I did so and was able to bend it enough to get it out.

So new element ordered. While it's in transit, I'll descale the boiler and clean up other bits. Still debating whether or not to pull apart the solenoid and clean.

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