Rayburn 3 with wetback question.

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2 years 10 months ago #554992 by Meonthehill
We bought a lifestyle block a few years back & have just stumbled on this forum. I have done a search but not found what I am looking for.

We have a Rayburn 3 that has a wetback that we have been told needs replacing, based on a very quick look inside the firebox with the comment that the wetback has “ballooned”. But to me it looks as though it was manufactured in the shape it is in as it is very uniform without any signs of heat stress to any area of the wetback.

I’m hoping some helpful people can help the noob by taking photos of their rayburn (or similar) wetback as seen from the firebox opening and posting it here to see if I am missing something. Thanks all.

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2 years 10 months ago #554994 by tonybaker
if it does not leak and it has an open vent (a pipe from the wetback to open air) all should be ok.
Are you sure it;s not been subjected to high pressure caused by boiling? It's unlikely that Rayburn would make a ballooned shape where a straight sided one would do. If it is copper and not steel, I would say it has been plumbed up wrong and has nearly exploded or run dry and collapsed partially due to excessive heat. All the diagrams on the net seem to indicate the the wetback is just a copper rectangular box with inlet and outlet pipes, quite normal.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
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2 years 10 months ago #555000 by Kiwi Tussock
The Boiler on the Rayburn # 3 s cast iron and all the ones I have seen or worked upon, I have never seen a balloned one. Anyway, it would have burst did they are subjected to high pressure.
Has the cooker been given a steel replacement Boiler at some time. If so,.... why?
I progressively test them, to just 30 psi. (with water, not compressed air!
In the back of the cast iron boilers, is a Plug with a gasket and the Boiler.
To remove the Boiler, isn't a major job to remove, but to find a replacement (IF it is damaged) will be an issue for you. There is a difference in the Boilers of a LH Oven cooker and RH Oven cooker.

Like Tony said,/questioned, is the radiator system vented? Is there a separate, small Header Tank in the ceiling? If you are unsure if the system is vented, then I'd go take a look up there and take a look reasonably close to the Header tank, and preferably allowing expanding waters back into the Header Tank.
The Tank may only be about 20 - 40 litres in size. It doesnt need to be a large tank. (its a good place to test the pH of the waters & add needed rust inhibitor plus add top up waters if and when it needed.)
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2 years 10 months ago #555001 by Meonthehill
Thanks KT

Were the cast iron boilers (wetbacks?) flat fronted/sided or were they shaped?

You said in the back of the boiler is a plug with gasket. I can see nothing on the external back wall of the Rayburn.

The current system connected has no vent pipe but has a high pressure relief valve within the hydronic system close to the rayburn.
The previous owners had connected the wetback to a heat exchanger connected to the solar hot water without header tank, vent, or any pressure relief system.

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2 years 10 months ago - 2 years 10 months ago #555002 by tonybaker
wow, sounds dodgy! The boiler can't be cast or it would split, maybe it's a steel replacement. if it is not leaking then stick with it. The solar setup sounds very scary, you need to have an expansion pipe and i do not trust those pressure relief valves so get someone who knows what they are doing to check it out. The most likely scenario from what we know so far is that the original wetback has been replaced with a steel one and the relief valve has not worked properly or was incorrectly set so that the expansion of the water has ballooned the sides of the wetback.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
Last edit: 2 years 10 months ago by tonybaker.
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2 years 10 months ago #555005 by Kiwi Tussock
Yep, I agree with Tony again.
You asked if the Boilers Rear Plug can be seen at the back of the cooker.
No, it can not.
The reason for the Plug is (as I understand it) so as the internals can be cleaned out if its particularly clogged with crap. It would need an 'opening' for its manufacturing also.

The Rear Casement Panel would need to be removed, as well as the insulation, so as you can get to the plug. OR, you would be able to access it by lifting the flue.
Draining the HWC
Disconnecting the 1" Pipe work
Lifting the Rayburn and putting 3/4" or 1" pipes under it, and rolling it forward so as to gain access to the Boiler side of the cooker
Removing the Top Rear Fire Brick
Removing the Refractory Cement down the sides off the Boiler
Undoing the 2 or 3 PK screws on the Fire Box side Casement Panel
Drawing out the Boiler.

The Boiler sits on a solid cast iron 'U' shaped component but it is not actually bolted by any fixing.

You asked if the Boiler has just a flat front surface. Yes, if its an original Rayburn cast iron Boiler, yes, its pretty much flat on all 6 sides. There is a bit of a dimple on the TOP, where the top delivery pipe screws into it (which helps prevent any air staying in the Boiler and making noises when its near boiling hot waters running through it)

In all honestly, the plumber needs to be called back. In my opinion, it NEEDS to be a vented system. These systems don't need to be pumped. Thermo-syphoning is way safer! The trouble is, these days its more difficult to get someone who KNOWS what has to be done, to make it thermosyphone naturally. If they are purely pumped and the cooker is working, then a back-up electrical system needs to be installed at the same time as the plumbings and pump is installed. Thermo-syphoning doesn't need all that electrical back-up system.

Good luck
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2 years 10 months ago #555006 by Kiwi Tussock
If I may ask, what part of 'the woods' are you in?

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2 years 10 months ago #555008 by Meonthehill
Hi Kiwi Tussock,

I’m out near Te Aria Point on the edges of “Auckland”, bordering Northland.

The Rayburn was decommissioned last year due to flue issues making it unsafe and we are trying to get help with sorting it out. But, as they say, too many cooks spoil the broth; we have experienced vastly divergent opinions on what is wrong and what should be done to fix it. Vested interests and conflicts are becoming apparent to me already with what has been said here.

So for your clear and helpful thoughts, Kiwi Tussock and Tonybaker, I thank you with appreciation.

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2 years 10 months ago #555010 by tonybaker
I would have thought that a Rayburn was a bit of an overkill for that area? Is your house single or double storey? You really need to have a SPIROLOCK chimney as these fires need a good draught up the flue.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
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2 years 10 months ago #555011 by Meonthehill
You’ll enjoy this Tony. It’s a single story house with other fireplaces/ovens installed as well.

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2 years 10 months ago #555033 by tonybaker
must have belonged to a cold hearted firewood merchant then? :lol:

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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2 years 10 months ago #555034 by Meonthehill
That, or a tropical pyromaniac.

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2 years 10 months ago #555045 by Bjorny
There's a terrific fellow in Whangerai who will be able to help you. He's as straight as an arrow and very knowledgeable. Let me know if you want details.
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2 years 9 months ago #555238 by rees777
Yes please! Could you advise the details of the person in Whangarei. Thanks very much

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2 years 9 months ago #555239 by Meonthehill
Most likely Homewood Stoves in Whangarei.

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