Maintenance plan, yes or no?


Old 10-31-08, 08:34 PM
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Maintenance plan, yes or no?

I have a Peerless MCB-097 gas boiler with a Honeywell electronic ignition. There is 1 zone for the house (water baseboard heating) and it looks like it was installed in 1992. It has the old style expansion tank mounted above it on the ceiling.

I have lived here 6 years and other than draining the expansion tank the first year to get the pressure back down from 30 to less than 15 the boiler has run fine.

My gas provider can put me on a maintenance plan for $235 a year which includes a yearly tuneup and 24/7 priority service with free labor and parts.

What does a new boiler cost and how long should this one last? Should I go on the plan or just get a tuneup and see what the HVAC guy says?
Old 11-01-08, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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I'm unsure what they'd do for a tune-up of a gas-fired, cast-iron boiler. I doubt they're going to do a flue-gas analyis, but I guess if the flame doesn't look good, they could tweak the air on the burner - takes 5 minutes. Maybe they check for CO? You should install a $25 CO alarm in the vicinity of the boiler anyway.

If repairs are needed, do they have a maximum cost they'll incur per year or visit?

You asked how long a boiler like this should last. I think 50 years wouldn't be unusual. My boiler is nearing 60 years old, and runs fine.
Old 11-01-08, 04:47 PM
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With an oil hot water system - yes

With a gas forced air system - probably not

You are somewhere in the middle. Your worst case scenario would be a pump or boiler control failure at 10PM Saturday night on the coldest day of the year. If you can handle that situation yourself, then skip the policy. Find out exactly what the plan does and does not cover. If they replace a leaking or cracked boiler, what kind do they install?

If you are away alot and have babies at home, get the coverage. Otherwise, wing it.
Old 11-01-08, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Maintenance Plan

As an employee of a Gas Co that offers these plans I can tell you that they often are a waste of money. Very little preventive maintenance unless you have a circulator that needs to be oiled. Don't they offer a lesser plan that does NOT include a yearly "tune-up"? If so, it's just like buying an insurance policy. It'll come in handy if and when you need it. And no way they're going to cover a cracked boiler/ read the fine print, most everything that can go wrong is covered except the dreaded cracked boiler.

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