Oil Boiler/Steam Radiators

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Old 01-12-12, 02:04 PM
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Oil Boiler/Steam Radiators

I have an old boiler (efm) eastern foundry (division of peerless industries) boiler number OBT-440C3-W-S
Serial # OBT-5372

My house is over 100 years old.

I think it's time for a new one. Heating bills are through the roof.

Can you recommend an efficient replacement?

Note: Room farthest away from boiler has radiator that only gets hot on a few ribs. Never properly heated the room.

Thanks !!!
 
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Old 01-12-12, 03:02 PM
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Before any recommendations, let me ask what steps might have been taken to try and reduce the consumption? There may be some things that will help in the short term...

When you say 'steam radiators'... you're sure they're steam and not 'hot water', right? You've got a gauge glass on your boiler and have to watch the level? There's steam vents on the radiators?

That room that only gets partially heated... have you looked at the steam vent on that radiator?

The problem of that cold rad probably won't be solved with a new boiler.

If you can locate the 'Pressurtrol' device, tell us what the settings are on that.

Do you know if your main steam lines in the basement have MAIN VENTS on them?
 
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Old 01-12-12, 03:52 PM
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Don't forget the most important main pipe insulation.
For Steam FAQ see this
Steam FAQ
 
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Old 01-12-12, 04:00 PM
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The best way to reduce fuel consumption is to insulate and air seal the home. Given the age, that is properly your main culprit.
 
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Old 01-12-12, 04:08 PM
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Your house may be over 100 years old, but your boiler certainly isn't. Maybe yours will be an exception that proves the rule - but seldom can you economically justify replacing an operating boiler solely to save fuel cost. A new boiler, with all the trimmings and installation, might cost $10,000, or more. What are you now paying, per year, for fuel, and how much do you hope to save? Compute your own payback period.

How well insulated is your century-old house? That might be the first place to look.

Heating bills through the roof? Compared to what? Last year, etc.?

There must be a reason why one room is cold - but Trooper is right, I think. It's not likely to be resolved by replacing the boiler.
 
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Old 01-12-12, 04:39 PM
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Steam systems can usually be made more efficient by pipe insulation, radiator and main venting and system balancing.

but seldom can you economically justify replacing an operating boiler solely to save fuel cost
I agree with this to a point. How old is the unit and what shape is it in. When the unit will need to be replaced down the road and the fuel bills are higher it is harder to save for the future replacement. If it is older and maybe not in the best of shape, over sized, improperly piped etc to replace sooner than absolutely needed will reduce the fuel bill. The new boiler will need less repairs, less fuel a chance to repair possible near boiler piping problems. Steam boilers are different than hot water boilers. If the old boiler is producing wet steam due to improper near boiler piping the savings could be very substantial between dry steam and higher efficiency. One would need to look over the installation and determine if it is piped right.
Steam Piping Tutorial
Steam Piping Don'ts
 
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Old 01-12-12, 05:27 PM
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Compute your own payback period.
Otherwise, I fear that you will wind up in the hands of a boiler salesman - and the answer will almost always be to buy a new boiler.
 
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