weil mclain boiler replacement

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Old 02-28-11, 12:45 PM
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weil mclain boiler replacement

I'm considering replacing a pretty bad-shape old Weil McLain oil-fired residential hydronic boiler with a similar used but newer Weil McLain model which is for sale by someone who upgraded their heating system and wants to sell this newer unit for a very cheap price just to get something for it. Other than it's in "decent shape", is "rated at 155k btus", and is "one of the gold series models" I have no further information about this one for sale (such as its age, etc) at this time. For purposes of comparison I examined my old boiler and can only identify through the serial number (CP2102773) that the boiler was manufactured in 1991, but have no way of determining it's specific model or btu rating or other such specs. The old boiler (which I'm considering replacing) had done an okay job in providing the necessary heat and hot water for the size of house its installed in over the years, but as I mentioned I don't have a clue as to its btu rating and such. My questions are as follows:

1. What year did the "gold series" models of these boilers begin manufacture?
2. Are these "gold series" models supposed to be more efficient than the previous similar-looking and sized Weil McLain boilers?
3. With the absence of any further identification plates, stickers, etc on the unit, any ideas on how I might be able to determine, at least roughly, the btu rating of my old unit? And without having to pay a pro to come look at it I mean.

I have a hunch the boiler for sale would be an appropriate replacement, but of course would like to be fairly certain of that in advance of buying/installing it.

Any comments/advice appreciated.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 02:32 PM
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I would e mail Weil Mclain with the S/N. They will tell you what you have.

Residential & Commercial Boilers, HVAC Equipment | Weil-McLain

Also as long as the cast is not leaking I see no reason for a new boiler. Everything other then the cast iron is controls and stuff. Rplace the controls that may be faulty, clean the internals and externals and your good to go.

155K is a big boiler. What heat emmiters do you have?
How do you heat your hot water?
How many square ft is the home?
What do you think is wrong with your current boiler?

Mike NJ
 
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Old 02-28-11, 03:11 PM
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Thanks Mike for the link to the phone number of the Weil McLain tech support. I did email them the S/N (to see if they could provide the model specs of the old boiler) today but of course have not received a reply yet. I gave the place a call too, but they have a recorded message that says they'll be closed until Thursday due to inclement weather.

Although I'm not certain, I strongly suspect the cast on the old boiler is leaking. I have in the past done the best I can to try to clean the internals. The pressure release valve chronically leaks/weeps, and has done so now for several years. I've been told the old boiler is probably generally undersized for the size of the house and is probably an "overworked" unit.

In response to your questions:
1. Baseboard hydronic radiator heat emmiters in each room of the house.
2. Old boiler heats hot water (with no separate water tank), as well as provides room/house heating.
3. Don't know square footage of the home. Could attempt to measure.
4. Just don't feel good about the old boiler. It's generally been neglected over the years, maintenance wise, and I'm afraid it's really not gonna last much longer. I'm fairly certain if you looked it over you might agree.

I'll take a picture of the old boiler and post it here, maybe you could determine the size as compared to the 155k "big" boiler? Do you mean big in dimension size-wise, or big heat-output-wise? Thanks.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 03:35 PM
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Mike means BTU wise... but perhaps he didn't notice that you are in Alaska?

The very first thing to do when considering replacing a boiler is to do a HEAT LOSS ANALYSIS on the building. This will tell you how big (BTU-wise) a boiler that you need. To oversize a boiler is a waste of money (fuel).

I've been told the old boiler is probably generally undersized for the size of the house and is probably an "overworked" unit.
I'm betting this is a line of BS. Even in AK, it's a good bet that your boiler is more BTU than you need. "Overworked" ? nonsense.

There should be a 'data plate' on the boiler somewhere. They all have them. Unless some crazy person removed it for some reason, there will be one on yours.

Yes, post pics... you can't post them directly here, you need to upload to a photo hosting site such as Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket (free account) and then come back here and leave a link to your PUBLIC album.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
The very first thing to do when considering replacing a boiler is to do a HEAT LOSS ANALYSIS on the building. There should be a 'data plate' on the boiler somewhere. They all have them. Unless some crazy person removed it for some reason, there will be one on yours.
I'll have to do some research on how to perform a heat loss analysis of the building. It sounds like it could be relatively involved and/or expensive, but I suppose it would be worth it. No if there ever was a data plate on the old boiler then it's not there anymore, I've looked quite carefully for such and it's simply not there, probably removed by a crazy person as you said. For now, for what it's worth, I took square footage measurements of the rooms within the house and here they are, I didn't add them up (all eight-foot ceilings except the one 12-foot one noted):
10 x 10
12 x 10
7 x 3
18 x 11
12 x 3
8 x 6 (x 12 high)
10 x 8
10 x 13 (times 5 because of 5 bedrooms this size)
8 x 5 (times 2 because of two bathrooms this size)
18 x 3
15 x 19
8 x 13

and here's some pics of the old boiler.

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb153/sgull1/004.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...ull1/002-2.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...ull1/003-1.jpg

It'd be great to get a fairly good idea, soon, if the boiler for sale would be an appropriate replacement for the old one, or at least get a good opinion or two whether it'd be worth the trouble. Because the boiler for sale is only $125 and that would be better than having to go out and spend the really BIG money for a brand new one. Because I know there's at least one very interested other buyer and if I can't make up my mind in a few hours the boiler for sale will be gone.
 

Last edited by sgull; 02-28-11 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 02-28-11, 05:00 PM
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The home is about 1780 sq ft. The 155,000 btu boiler will heat about 88 btu's per sq ft. That is way oversized if there is glass in your windows.
For more info on the importance of a heat loss see the link below
Heat Loss calculation
 
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Old 02-28-11, 05:34 PM
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Thanks rbeck for the link to the heat loss calculation article. Definitely a quite relevant, interesting, and informative read. And thanks for your assessment that the 155k btu boiler would be oversized for the home. Probably then if I make the decision to replace the boiler it won't be with the one I was considering.

What about those pictures, especially the weeping relief valve there, any comments about that maybe? Also, how can I get a good indication as to whether the cast is leaking anywhere? Probably since I'm so clueless about these things I'll have to "bite the bullet" and just hire a pro to come inspect the whole business. Thanks
 
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Old 02-28-11, 05:53 PM
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the weeping relief valve there, any comments about that maybe?
That's like a $25 part... at least down here... you might have to pay the Ice Road guys to bring you one... but still, that's a pretty easy thing to replace. Don't condemn a boiler just because the relief valve is leaking.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 06:00 PM
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I know some of our regulars don't care to much for 'rules of thumb', but just for a point of perspective:

A big old leaky, poorly insulated home might have a heat loss of like 40-50 BTU / sq ft, with an outdoor design temp of say 0F. At that same design temp, a reasonably well constructed home might be down around 25 BTU / sq ft. Dropping the design temp to say -10 would probably add maybe 15-20% tops...

So, an 1800 sq ft home might have as much 50 * 1800 heat loss, or 90,000 BTU.

Depending on your actual outdoor design temp, and the quality of the home (insulation, air leakage, etc) your number will obviously be different, but from this you can see why we are thinking too BTU big.

Are you in a really cold part of AK ?
 
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Old 02-28-11, 06:10 PM
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One other thing that might be informative... the fin-tube baseboards are typically around 500-600 BTU output per foot at 180F water temp.

How many feet of ELEMENT is installed in your home? (just the element, not the interconnecting pipe)... maybe 100 feet? Let's use that as an example... with 100 feet of element, you can distribute 50-60 thousand BTU/hour into the home... that's it.

You could put the biggest boiler you wanted in the basement, and you wouldn't be able to use more than 50-60K BTUH. Even if you had a nuke plant in the backyard...

I'm not saying that you should EVER size a boiler by the amount of installed radiation, but just pointing out that if the house is warm and comfortable with what IS installed, then using a boiler any bigger than that amount is too much boiler.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
Are you in a really cold part of AK ?
No, not particularly really cold part of AK (most of the time). Southeast "panhandle" of Alaska, relatively mild seasonal temperatures outside. Temps have recently been in the 20s during the day, teens at night. But those kinds of temps only for maybe three weeks out of the year typically at this location. Home is reasonably well constructed, not all that leaky I'd say.

And, to repeat, how can I get a good indication as to whether the cast is leaking anywhere?

Thanks again...
 
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Old 02-28-11, 07:09 PM
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how can I get a good indication as to whether the cast is leaking anywhere?
I think the first thing I would do is plan to shut it down when it gets warmer... close the water feed valve and watch the pressure gauge. This is going to leave you with no hot water for a while, but you would need to let it get to room temp and sit for a few days. So maybe that's not an option.

If you can't SEE any leaks, then a pressure test is really the only way.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 07:36 PM
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And, to repeat, how can I get a good indication as to whether the cast is leaking anywhere?
If you can lift the top panal and remove the back/and or side panels you can do a visual and look for leaks. But as Trooper said a pressure test is what is recommended.

The Weil Mclain site says test at 1 1/2 times the working pressure or 45 psi, and to check for maintained gauge pressure for more then 10 minutes. Of course you will need to plug the relief valve. If good then drain water, reinstall relief valve and fill to normal PSI.

Of course this is done on cold boiler.

Your boiler is this one.( I think the 66 series because although it shows a port on top for an auto air vent it does not talk about pipeing to it, and yours dont have it. On the other 68 series they show it and talk about piping to it. I think they used universal diagrams then.)
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...r/66manual.pdf
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...-boiler/78.pdf
Or this
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...r/68manual.pdf
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...-boiler/68.pdf

Mike NJ
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 02-28-11 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 03-01-11, 08:24 AM
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Thanks. During the warmer season I'll plan on taking the boiler out of service long enough to perform a pressure test.
Lawrosa, thanks for those helpful links. The second second link of the four you provided seems to be the parts diagram for the 78 series, but not the 66? So would there a specific parts breakdown diagram like that for the 66 available?
 
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Old 03-01-11, 08:35 AM
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I took a look at the unit for sale, just to see it. It's actually a model P-WTGO-4, and seems to have a manufacture date of 1996. Here's a pic and some description I found on the web: Weil McLain WTGO Oil Fired Boiler Review
This description for the unit seems to indicate the "IBR rating" is 126,000 btu, but on the unit for sale I looked at it actually said it had such a rating of 131,000b btu (even though the seller I think mistakenly informed me the sale unit was 155,000 rating.
Seller said it was removed from his house, which he said was 1900 sq ft.

So, depending on the various factors mentioned, I suppose the sale unit would still probably be considered an oversized application?
 
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Old 03-01-11, 08:59 AM
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Hmm click error.
Parts 66 series.

http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...-boiler/66.pdf
 
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Old 03-01-11, 09:11 AM
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Last page shows specs, if its is indeed a WTGO-4. The BTU guys can tell you more info if its oversized or not.

http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...ler_manual.pdf
Parts
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...parts_list.pdf
Maintainance
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...50-141-828.pdf

Mike NJ
 
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