In August of 2007 our six-unit apartment building installed a Burnham V9A
series boiler (oil burning). The warranty was for one year.
When we had our spring inspection-servicing recently, we discovered that the
three-inch round glass lens on the rear, which the service manual calls the
Rear Observation Port Cover, was broken -- undoubtedly from the heat.
Our local service company says this part will cost $215 -- an astounding
amount for a small piece of glass.
My question is, do we really need this thing replaced?
You're quoting a part price and the part is still under warranty, so
why should you have to pick up a material cost? Hopefully your
contract with the boiler installation company included a one year
parts and labor warranty. In some places that's the law, but you'd
have to check for your area.
Small condos and apartments have a knack for using one of the tenants
with barely any knowledge of construction to run the show, then when
there's a problem they find out that the contract was full of holes.
Hopefully that's not yours situation.
Sounds like it should be under warranty, unless they're claiming it was
broken by something not covered by the warranty.
That does sound expensive -- 3" dia x 1/8" thick extreme heat resistant
glass disc is under $50 at www.mcmaster.com
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
Yes, it should be replaced. It's unusual for one to break on its
own--they're a refractory glass so temperature shouldn't be an issue
unless it wasn't mounted properly in the frame so could handle the
If the unit didn't go in until 08/2007, would seem the 1-year warranty
should be in effect.
I doubt it was from the heat. They are made to take heat, lots of it. The
ones on my boilers are 12, 14, and 25 years old.
It broke because it was either mishandled during installation of the boiler
or someone hit it with something.
You can probably find it cheaper elsewhere. It may be covered under
warranty but that will have to be determined.
Yes, it must be replaced. Looking through the glass is one way of
determining if the boiler is firing properly, if ignition is taking place at
the right point, if the burner is sooting up. What scares me is that this
was not noticed until the spring inspection. Someone must be checking on
the boiler on a regular basis.
Rather than complain about the price of the part, you should be taking
someone to task for negligence. Boilers large enough to heat a six unit
building are in need of checking by a competent person that knows the signs
of trouble and they should look through that glass too. There should be a
checklist that is signed on a regular basis. Frankly, since you are asking
if it is ok to cheap out on the maintaining of a brand new boiler, you are
not the one to be in charge. It is an expensive piece of equipment and
should be cared for to protect your investment.
If you think $215 is expensive for a piece of glass, wait 'til you get the
cost of repairing parts that were not maintained.
Try here for your part
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