I'm living in Mexico and my landlord just installed a new boiler.

When it's turned on, it makes this huge noise. When you check the burner, you can see this flame below the main burner.

I asked my landlord about it, and he says it's normal, that the loud noise is simply because he turned in burner pressure to all it can be. (I'm not convinced it's normal, but he's stubborn about it)

After he left, I left it like that for a while and then checked the burner again and I see the burner metal glowing red from the underside 'cause of the flame that ignited there. This can't possibly be normal operation, right? So I lowered the main burner pressure (to the minimum) and it still ignites a flame there.

I'm wondering if I'm missing a gas pipe connecting the main burner and the pipe that extends from the control unit... but the few pictures that I've managed to find of similar models of boilers seem not have a pipe there, either.

So for a proper question: what do you suggest I do to fix it? (besides hiring a professional to take care of it for me, as my household is living on just savings right now, I can't afford one and, besides, I'd also like to know :) )

BTW, I've been Googling around and am surprised to see that it's difficult to find the type of boiler that I use. This is the type that you find all throughout Mexico, but all I see in the internet are these rectangular-looking ones.

Here are the pictures for my boiler.

Burner: Burner

Boiler: Burner

  • In the US, that's typically called a 'hot water heater'. Perhaps use that as your search term.
    – DA01
    Mar 29, 2013 at 0:10

2 Answers 2


You don't need to do anything, the burner configuration, while a bit crude, is as it is intended. This kind of burner configuration is notoriously loud. I have a small portable camp stove with this configuration that is named "Pocket Rocket" due to it's loud roar when burning.

The pipe you often see that appears to be missing will always have large air inlet holes to meter the mix air. Without this, the mix air is metered by the size of the lower plate's center hole, which is not very accurate, evidenced by the orange in the flame. You will notice burners with more sophisticated mix air metering will burn pure blue.

The glowing red is not unusual either, it's simply a lot of heat in a small area.

  • So far this seems to be the best answer, but I guess I shouldn't pick an answer yet as there's only two (or perhaps I should?)... I'll check again in the morning and pick then. Mar 29, 2013 at 4:42
  • Thank you, if anything is still not clear, just ask, I will do my best to explain.
    – bcworkz
    Mar 29, 2013 at 18:22
  • thank you. I hope it's not too late to ask you a question. Do you know why the flame below the burner is needed? Does it help in mixing the air and gas? Apr 3, 2013 at 17:57
  • You mean the little bit in the center of the reddish zone? It's not needed as much as it just happens. The gas jet does not ignite because it does not mix with any oxygen yet. When the jet strikes the burner plate, turbulence is created and the gas/air mix becomes combustible. It is not the optimal place for flame, but since heat rises, it's no big deal. This is partly why venturi type mixers are more efficient. They are also more expensive.
    – bcworkz
    Apr 3, 2013 at 21:01

Your boiler (water heater) is common in USA.

The flame appears normal.

Of some concern is the plastic bin on top, next to the exhaust. No material should be stored there.

Also not apparent (perhaps due to the photo) is how the exhaust is vented out of your residence. It must be connected outdoors via a properly rated pipe for exhaust. Perhaps it is connected to a furnace chimney.

  • 1
    Would it not be better to call it a cold water heater. Hot water is already hot.
    – Michael Karas
    Mar 28, 2013 at 21:10
  • How about just water heater, Michael Karas.
    – HerrBag
    Mar 29, 2013 at 0:08
  • yes, 'hot water heater' is a bit redundant, but part of the vernacular now. :)
    – DA01
    Mar 29, 2013 at 0:11
  • The plastic bin is for a leak in the entrance hose. You're right though, and I had not thought about it, it might get really hot there and might cause the bin to melt (maybe?). My landlord told me he would fix it later. Mar 29, 2013 at 4:21

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