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Central Boiler Cast iron Door has cracked. Need some help.

Kevin in Ohio

Kevin in Ohio

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I have a Central Boiler Classic SCL 5648SB Titanium enhanced Stainless steel Boiler. Put it in myself in 2002. Pretty particular with my stuff and you can see the install via the picture links. Completely cleaned and inspected the stove as normal and checked the PH and everything was fine. I get inside the stove every year before firing it up and get everything out. Ran the stove about a month and noticed a crack has formed on the back of the door and extends to the damper opening.





I burn only dry wood and I have my Boiler inside a building I built for it and my wood is in there as well. Keeps everything dry and well as me when filling and maintaining. I searched and found others had had issues as well and their dealers had replaced them as the door has this on it.



I called the dealer I bought it from and said I had a crack and need it replaced under warranty. He then told me it was 17 years old and it would have to be "approved" before they could do anything. I needed to send him pics, which I did. He said their " Lifetime Warranty" is for manufacture's defects only. (Here we go.) Emailed me today and naturally they say they won't cover it because it was NOT defective. Their options are for me to pay to have someone weld it or buy the newly designed door for over $300.00. I guess they have moved away from cast iron and have an all steel plate door now?

If any of you have one I'd appreciate a picture since I'm left holding the bag on it. What have others done. I've repaired a lot of cast iron stuff with preheat and high nickle rod but have not repaired anything that has the heat cycles that a stove door would have. I'm wondering if scabbing a plate with an angle to the damper opening would be an option. Maybe bolt on with furnace cement behind but don't know about the differences of plate steel to cast. If the drilled holes to hold the plate in place would cause issues or not is another consideration. Another option might be to cut a whole center section out and create a new damper opening to attach the opening mechanism to.

Obviously I'll have to keep a close eye on it if it opens up enough to start causing an overheat condition if air can get in when the damper is closed. Want to see if I can make it till the Spring so I can take it off and take my time with it.

Again, any close up shots of a new style replacement door would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
milkie62

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I have a 1993 model CL 40 that has a steel door. My understanding from back then that they went to a cast iron door because the steel one was warping probably from having wood burning up too close. My door is fine after all these years. Is your outdoor part cast also ? I would think if the door is built like mine is to just drill holes through the inner part and bolt another piece of plate against it. I actually found a boiler repair guy that had installed over 300 Classics and knew right where mine was leaking this past year after 24 yrs. he also fabricated a new exterior chimney piece out of 1/4" rectangular tubing with a stainless chimney stub that should outlast me.
 
c5rulz

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Offer both the dealer and manufacturer one more chance to "do the right thing". If they choose not to, inform them that you will be forced to start a massive social media campaign via Facebook, Arboristsite, Firewood Hoarders, Hearth, and *** and will inform all that will listen what pieces of crap they are and will not stand behind their warranty. (I did this with a dispute Home Depot not honoring a price on their web site at the suggestion of a buddy who is an executive from a similar industry. BTW, worked like a charm)

In the event it doesn't work, $300 isn't the end of the world.

Try fixing it, you have nothing to lose.

Or even better, with your skills you could fab something up that would be worthy of a nuclear reactor.:bowdown::rock::clap::happybanana::cheers:
 
Kevin in Ohio

Kevin in Ohio

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I have a 1993 model CL 40 that has a steel door. My understanding from back then that they went to a cast iron door because the steel one was warping probably from having wood burning up too close. My door is fine after all these years. Is your outdoor part cast also ? I would think if the door is built like mine is to just drill holes through the inner part and bolt another piece of plate against it. I actually found a boiler repair guy that had installed over 300 Classics and knew right where mine was leaking this past year after 24 yrs. he also fabricated a new exterior chimney piece out of 1/4" rectangular tubing with a stainless chimney stub that should outlast me.
Mine has thin sheet steel on the outside which I assume has insulation under it. I've never had it apart so I don't know. The cast does come out and it has the rope seal groove cast into it. I found others that had the issue too and I think bolting a plate is what I will try first. My only concerns would be the damper opening face if that splits open wider that will allow air ti seep in more(causing overheating). I try to keep my wood back away from the door as I rake the smaller coals forward and pull the ashes out from there. As you know, the classic sytle of stoves have no fall through ash pans so you have to do something to get the most out of the burning coals.

Would you know the thickness they used on the plates? I'm thinking 3/8 to 1/2"?
 
Kevin in Ohio

Kevin in Ohio

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After owning something for 17 years, I don’t think I would have a problem putting 300 into it. Hopefully the new door will give you another 17.


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It is just the issue of them putting "Lifetime Warranty" just for the door itself and having them tell you sorry about your luck.
 
Kevin in Ohio

Kevin in Ohio

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Offer both the dealer and manufacturer one more chance to "do the right thing". If they choose not to, inform them that you will be forced to start a massive social media campaign via Facebook, Arboristsite, Firewood Hoarders, Hearth, and *** and will inform all that will listen what pieces of crap they are and will not stand behind their warranty. (I did this with a dispute Home Depot not honoring a price on their web site at the suggestion of a buddy who is an executive from a similar industry. BTW, worked like a charm)

In the event it doesn't work, $300 isn't the end of the world.

Try fixing it, you have nothing to lose.

Or even better, with your skills you could fab something up that would be worthy of a nuclear reactor.:bowdown::rock::clap::happybanana::cheers:
I've tried the dealer several times pleading my case and they say it's Central Boilers decision. Seems quite a few people have had this issue with them as when doing a searches, I have not found any other brands being talked about. Just stings that all the threads I've read others have gotten them replaced but because mine is SO old(17 years) I should expect it and be happy it lasted that long. That is the mindset I seem to get from them anyway. I see this at work a lot when they've run the design through computer simulations and under the given parameters, there is nothing wrong with our design so you have done something wrong. You know I'm pretty particular with stuff! LOL

I can buy a lot of steel for over $300.00. Normally I'd feel confident on fabbing/welding it up, but the heat expansion/contraction aspect is the unknown to me here. Different expansions of cast and plate steel could come into play which I'm no expert on. I'm thinking if I slight oversize the holes on one side (either on existing door or new plate) it could allow for that. Just reminds me of a buddy who welded and he would tell people all of his welds come with a lifetime warranty. When the weld breaks, it's life is over.
 

svk

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I belong to a number of cast iron cookware groups (the other thing that I collect besides saws). My understanding with CI pans is that if you can get it welded up without damaging it more, it will work just fine through repeated heat cycles. But I agree with c5rulz, if you have to put $300 into it after 17 years of use that wouldn't be the end of the world.
 
rarefish383

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Offer both the dealer and manufacturer one more chance to "do the right thing". If they choose not to, inform them that you will be forced to start a massive social media campaign via Facebook, Arboristsite, Firewood Hoarders, Hearth, and *** and will inform all that will listen what pieces of crap they are and will not stand behind their warranty. (I did this with a dispute Home Depot not honoring a price on their web site at the suggestion of a buddy who is an executive from a similar industry. BTW, worked like a charm)

In the event it doesn't work, $300 isn't the end of the world.

Try fixing it, you have nothing to lose.

Or even better, with your skills you could fab something up that would be worthy of a nuclear reactor.:bowdown::rock::clap::happybanana::cheers:
I agree with the 300 bucks is not the end of the world. I understand the logic of the social media threat. But, if the written warranty says "manufacturer defects", after 17 years, it might be real hard to prove any defects. It also might cost way more having it analyzed to prove a defect. I might make the threat to the dealer and manufacturer as an attempt to sway them. But, I don't think "I" would follow through. When you start saying things in public that you can't prove first, corporate lawyers can get touchy. I had a friend that had a pretty cool little retirement gig going. He was hand painting creek stones with logo's, slogans and then clear coating them. It looked like he was re inventing the pet rock. Then he did a Harley show one weekend. Monday a Harley lawyer was at the door with a cease and desist order. If they did change their mind and replace it, I would definitely post it here. The other thing would be to send them an email of every one they have replaced for others that you find and shame them into replacing it. I guess that brings up the other side of the "$300 coin" If $300 bucks is not a life changer for a buyer, it certainly shouldn't be for the maker.

I think Kevin is on the right track to get it safe until it's resolved.
 
Kevin in Ohio

Kevin in Ohio

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I guess that brings up the other side of the "$300 coin" If $300 bucks is not a life changer for a buyer, it certainly shouldn't be for the maker.

I think Kevin is on the right track to get it safe until it's resolved.
I'm not into strong arming someone into doing more than what I consider to be the right thing to do. As I said, it's just pretty useless to say you have a lifetime warranty when all it really is is something that should be in place without saying/extolling that. Basically you should get what you paid for. They felt the need to advertise it so in there minds it must be a plus to say, otherwise why even bother? If they want to play the word game then it should say "Limited Lifetime Warranty". Don't throw words out there that gives the impression of something more than what it is or isn't. To me, a design flaw is a manufactures defect. If something has broken in the same way numerous times, bite the bullet and fess up to the issue. That is how I was raised and deal with my situations in life.

I 100% agree with your last statement. I would definetly give them credit if they were to change their minds. there may have been some confusion in the relaying of info. It puzzles me though that no one has mentioned not being able to get theirs replaced before so I guess there may be a time limit, policy change or ownership change that may have happened. Seen that before.
 
CentaurG2

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We replaced the cast iron door on our first CB under warrantee from a similar crack. They provided us with a new door but wanted the old door back to “examine”. They would not pay for someone to replace the door but it was not a hard job. From what I remember, in order to weld cast, you need to drill a hole on each end of the crack to keep it from growing and then have it brazed. I have some cast pans that have had handles brazed and they do fine.
 
knockbill

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If it were mine,, I'd drill a hole at the ends of the crack to stop it from cracking further,, then bolt a iron plate inside, covering the crack, and most of the door,,, depending on the piece of cast iron you can find,,, A steel plate will heat and cool at different rates than iron, and may force the crack further apart...
Good luck with however you decide to go!!
 
milkie62

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Mine has thin sheet steel on the outside which I assume has insulation under it. I've never had it apart so I don't know. The cast does come out and it has the rope seal groove cast into it. I found others that had the issue too and I think bolting a plate is what I will try first. My only concerns would be the damper opening face if that splits open wider that will allow air ti seep in more(causing overheating). I try to keep my wood back away from the door as I rake the smaller coals forward and pull the ashes out from there. As you know, the classic sytle of stoves have no fall through ash pans so you have to do something to get the most out of the burning coals.

Would you know the thickness they used on the plates? I'm thinking 3/8 to 1/2"?
Where mine is exposed it is only 1/4" steel but it must be floating since it is bolted on and there are big fender washers on the bolts. I assume maybe that is so the steel can flex and move with heat cycles. My wood is never close to the door so I have never had problems. For a couple of years I needed to keep a putty knife close by since creosote would cause the flapper door to stick shut. Maybe keeping the wood further away from the door has caused less creosote.
 
avason

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I have a cast iron door on my CB but with (2) sheets of floating steel on the inside.
I also place my wood load merely inches from the door.
I'll have to follow this thread.
I also have those sheets of floating steel. When that damper opens up, it sometimes makes a vibrating noise. I suppose those are in there to protect the door. I’ve had mine for about 13 years. Good luck.
 
Kevin in Ohio

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Was sent some pictures of the new door they are now selling on the Classic stoves. Looks to be made from plate steel.









I'm assuming the standoff plate is to lessen the radiant heat to the center of the door? Maybe a sacrificial warp surface? Interesting to me they have chosen to quit the cast iron door and go to this. Yet another reason why I think they know there was a problem. Just leaves a bad taste in your mouth when stuff like this goes on.
 
Kevin in Ohio

Kevin in Ohio

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We replaced the cast iron door on our first CB under warrantee from a similar crack. They provided us with a new door but wanted the old door back to “examine”. They would not pay for someone to replace the door but it was not a hard job. From what I remember, in order to weld cast, you need to drill a hole on each end of the crack to keep it from growing and then have it brazed. I have some cast pans that have had handles brazed and they do fine.
How long did you have it when the replacement was done?
 
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