Weil-McLain...cracked block


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Old 02-05-17, 06:41 AM
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Weil-McLain...cracked block

I'll apologize up front, as this isn't so much a DIY thread...more of a vent, and a sharing of misery. However, maybe the discussion will have some use to someone in the future.

Came home last Thursday to wife saying: "Uhhh, there's water all over the basement floor."...and found this:
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I knew pretty quickly (from the glycol smell) it was a cracked block.

Boiler info: Weil-McLain WGO-4, installed when house was built late 2004.

Boiler tech came over, and sure enough, we found this:
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(this pic is just after wiping it clean - leaks considerably more when circulating) Crack is about 2" long, horizontal, approx 7" up from the bottom in the center section.

Tech put in 1 bottle of stop-leak (which seemed to slow it down), and also applied some epoxy (which he admitted probably wouldn't do much)

After touching base with WM, he called me late Friday with the quote:

$4522 - which will include:
- new block
- new EXTROL expansion tank
- 4 techs (which he said will be required due to weight of block)
- after WM receives and inspects the defective block, I 'should' receive a check from them for $1400 from the warranty (which I thoroughly read and understand - final cost to me $3122).

My thoughts (and questions):

1. Although limited, I do have some knowledge of the foundry industry (from a past life)...and I'm pretty certain a crack like this is a factory defect - most likely from sand in the casting (I've seen it before). A cast iron boiler section receives no 'wear and tear', and (as Trooper has pointed out) sees no O2 necessary for rust (internally). Other than a defect, or user-abuse/negligence, and if properly installed and maintained, there's really no reason they should ever need to be replaced (at least not within the lifetime of the rest of the system's components). That said, how can a boiler manufacturer offer a 'pro-rated' warranty? And I understand the warranty on newer units is even more restrictive (10 years w/no pro-rating).

2. I'm fairly comfortable with my tech's quote, understanding that it's predominately labor. However, any idea why he would be replacing the expansion tank? I understand the expansion tank's construction and purpose...but my ignorance makes me wonder why replacing the block would require a new expansion tank. Anyone's thoughts?

3. I admit...I'm a 'helicopter' customer. I'm very, VERY careful not to be an obstruction, and ONLY ask questions when I truly don't understand what's being done, and think it may be an important thing for me to know. I'll even run out to the truck for a needed tool, or offer a beverage. I make no apologies, since I'm writing the check, and I'll 'own' the final product. All that said, is there anything I should be looking for during the replacement process? Any critical steps I should be watching for?

Again, I suppose there's not much DIY knowledge to be gleaned from this - replacing a boiler section is, for many reasons, a job for the pros. Nonetheless, I appreciate y'all letting me share my misery, and (as always) appreciate any words of wisdom you may offer.

Wally
 

Last edited by Wally107; 02-05-17 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 02-05-17, 07:20 AM
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Maybe the "stop-leak" would have rendered the Expansion Tank questionable ?

Also, certain of the air vents could be affected, and may need to be cleaned or replaced ?

I had some stop-leak in my steel boiler several years ago, and it certainly stopped all leaks; but at a cost. I did it to myself.
 
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Old 02-05-17, 07:41 AM
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Thanx VT!

Ahh, never thought about the stop-leak affecting the expansion tank. My tech said he's very careful when using the stuff, and rarely (if ever) puts in more than 1 bottle, due to the potential consequences.

Thanx!!
 
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Old 02-05-17, 08:08 AM
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I'm surprised the whole boiler not being replaced but just the Cast-iron block? I'd probably get a quote for a Brand new boiler and expansion tank installed, etc. Same 10 year warranty on the block?
 
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Old 02-05-17, 08:33 AM
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Hey there mikk1!

From what I've read / been told...it's fairly common for manufacturers to replace just the block (under warranty). I briefly considered a whole new unit, but that would have been over $6K versus the $3122. I suppose there would be tax credits, etc. to figure in...but I just don't have $6K sitting around.

The new block will be under warranty, BUT will fall under the 'new' version, which is 10 years, then that's it...no pro-rating (i.e. gotta buy a new one).

Thanx!! Wally
 
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Old 02-05-17, 10:07 AM
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Wally107,

Oh I see... your better off going the route your taking then. Too bad there not paying the $3122 and you paying only the $1400 for the inconvenience, etc..
M
 
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Old 02-05-17, 10:13 AM
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Amen brother! I should also add: the $4522 also covers the Thursday evening after-hours call-out (which I know isn't cheap)...so again, I'm fairly comfortable with their quote.

Also, I have agreed to have it done. Scheduled for Tuesday.

I suppose at this point I'm just wondering: What should I be watching for, to make sure I get a $4500 job?

Wally
 
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Old 02-05-17, 10:20 AM
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Any cast iron boiler that cracks always concerns me. It could be a manufacturer defect if they have many boilers crack at the same place. Not sure if this has a track record. I do know that more boilers crack or leak due to rapid expansion and contraction due to cycling caused by over sizing, improper piping and flow issues.
I assume if the home is 2004 vintage this system probably has copper tube baseboard. Is this correct?
How many zones?
What size is the home in sq. ft.?
From what little we can see from the pick I quickly see two flaws although not a cause of this problem. Is the current service company the same as the installing company?
 
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Old 02-05-17, 10:35 AM
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Hey rbeck...was hoping you'd chime in!!

Yes, copper tube / fin baseboard.

4 zones (#1-1500 sf 2nd floor; #2-1100 sf 1st floor; #3-650 sf M-I-L apartment on 1st fl; #4-IDHW)

Sadly, the orig installer passed away several years ago. However, from the research I've done (much of it on this forum), and others that have looked at the system...he did a nice job.

My current technician(s) are from my oil supplier (who do minimal maintenance), and a larger company sub-contracting to them (fairly well-respected in the area).

I have lots of other pics... what do you see?

Wally
 
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Old 02-05-17, 11:03 AM
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IDK that seems like a lot of $, and its probably due to having to take the whole heat exchanger out.

That boiler is only 2000 bucks. To cut the piping and slipping this boiler in would be far more easier to do then replace the heat exchanger..

Get 1400 for your old heat exchanger and when you get the check then the boiler costs you 500 bucks..

You can find a guy im sure to install that boiler for 1000 bucks or less.



386-700-829 - Weil Mclain 386-700-829 - WGO-4 126,000 BTU Output Gold Oil Boiler

I wouldnt have let them put in the stop leak crap.

Your getting taken for a ride a bit IMO...
 
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Old 02-05-17, 11:11 AM
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I'm assuming that the Weil-McLain combustion chamber is surrounded by multiple identical cast iron sections, and that the differences among the boilers sizes are (were) just a variation in the number of cast iron sections that were bolted together in assembling each boiler.

So a defect in the form, or a weakness in the casting of one section might exist in each of the identical sections being used for the different sizes of that model Weil-McLain boiler ?

Can your detect any irregularity in any of the adjoining sections, on this side, or on the reverse side of this unit . . . . assuming that the cast iron sections are symmetric, and can be reversed as the assembly is being performed ?

I ask because you're probably going to receive a boiler comprised of cast iron sections poured using the same exact form as was used to create the failing section you have now. While you are still in possession of this boiler, is there a visible "boiler plate" identifying the casting that was used to make up the boiler you currently have, so that you could compare it to whatever is sent to replace the one being removed ?

It may be that the casting defect was discovered sometime over the past 13 years, and improvements made to avoid future warranty issues.

I'm not trying to create trouble, it's just that once it's left your property on Tuesday, that information won't be available again.
 
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Old 02-05-17, 11:49 AM
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Lawrosa, I totally agree I would not allow any stop leak to be introduced into a heating system unless a severe financial issue and there is no other choice.
When I was a service manager none of my 28 tech's carried or could use without my permission. The stuff works but coats everything and reduces thermal transfer from iron to water and water to radiation. May also change flow in system. Lower flow reduce heat output.

Vermont, every section poured is a new mold.

Lawrosa, again I agree I would use the money towards a new complete boiler for two reasons.
1. Easier changout
2. Get the proper sized boiler installed, less expensive.
If my numbers are correct
1500 sq ft
1100 sq ft
650 sq ft
Equals 3250 sq ft.
Being that the home was built in 2004 that normally means attic insulation is probably R-25 - R-38, maybe foam. Sidewall insulation may be around R19 - R24 again maybe foam. First floor to basement is probably insulated and a good wrap on the outside of the home. Good numbers or the doors and windows. Not sure how much glass installed.
After doing over 1000 heat losses my guess would be the heat loss is probably less than 77k. If this is the case your largest zone is close to half of the load. Input 145K and a zone that may require 35K - 40K.....Rapid expansion. Oversized boilers drop efficiency. I assume there are zone valves.
You asked what I saw from the photo. Again not part of the problem just not up to date practices.
Circulator is on the return side of the boiler. Circulator manufacturer's changed the location around 1958 to the supply side after the expansion tank.
Make-up water should always be between the boiler and the expansion tank. The fill valve will not see pressure changes caused by circulator starts and stops.
 
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Old 02-05-17, 11:59 AM
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Hey guys! Lots of good stuff...and making me want to ask lots of questions. But CRAZY here at work all of a sudden (911 dispatch). Will jump back in when I get home (at least till the game starts!)

Thanx!!!! Wally
 
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Old 02-05-17, 12:14 PM
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Equals 3250 sq ft.

yup about 80k btu is all thats needed..

If my home I would install the 2 series. 86 k btu. 1400 bucks. with his rebate of 1400 bucks boilers free. Find a guy to swap out for 1000 of less and call it a day..

386-700-827 - Weil Mclain 386-700-827 - WGO-2 75,000 BTU Output Gold Oil Boiler


If I lived near you I would do it... Sheesh 1000 bucks for a days work.. Id probably have it out and switched over in less then 5 hours.

Try to do a good flush of the total system with the old boil still hooked up..

Antifreeze turns acidic if not maintained. Possibly that was part of your issue too. Warranty may not cover.. You would have to prove you did litmus test every year...
 
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Old 02-05-17, 04:41 PM
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Just got home. Had all of this rambling thru my mind on my drive.

First things first: This...THIS...is why I come to this forum! You guys are like an ocean of encyclopedia sharks waiting to pounce on a problem, and clear away my clouds of ignorance and show me the way! For that, I will be eternally grateful.

I called my boiler company on the way home (I know...don't drive and talk on the phone...whatever). I spoke to the owner's wife. I tried to explain that 1. a new unit can be had for $2K delivered, and I wanted to change our plan. Unfortunately, she got kinda defensive, even though I tried to explain that I still wanted them to do the work (assuming they give me a decent install quote), and that changing out the entire unit (one-for-one) should be monumentally easier than changing out just the block...and therefore they may even make a little MORE on the deal. She launched into "Well, we've already ordered the new block..." (which is odd, since we just spoke Friday evening), and "you may need new zone valves..." (huh??) and "Weil-McLain may not pay the warranty claim if a new unit is installed" - but don't they still need to?? Honestly, I don't think she was processing it all the way through, as I've done today with y'all. Anyway, she said she was going to see if the block was indeed ordered and call me back. The call didn't go well, and I'm afraid this may be the end of our relationship (depending on what she says), which is sad, 'cause I've gotten oil from them for many years, and they've always seemed like good people.

My conscience is kinda bothering me, as I did verbally tell her to go forward with the original plan...but then again, I didn't sign anything. Ugh...

Anyway...other thoughts:

1. I've always wanted to do a true heat loss calc, but never found the time to do it. It's a modular, built 2004 (installed Jan-Feb 2005)...approx 3200sf. R30 in the attic (prob much less R-value now) and R19 in the 2X6 walls. Here's some outside shots to give you an idea of windows:
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I have a lot more to ask y'all...but the game's on. We'll reconvene this meeting tomorrow.

Have a great night! Matt
 
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Old 02-05-17, 05:06 PM
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Usually you just get the check from weilmclain.. If a block is sent for replacement, which is dumb we would just scrape it...

Ive never replaced a block ,as I said far easier to replace boiler. Cheaper too IMO..

Heat lose is probably right around 80K and that smaller boiler $1500 bucks would be fine... The boiler is essentially free with the WM check..

Have them leave the old boiler in your basement. Just place it in a corner. remove it at a later date...On craigs list and with your bilco doors someone will surely take it for scrap..
 
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Old 02-06-17, 01:49 AM
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Hey guys. It's 3:50am, and this boiler thing is stressing me out. I figured since I can't sleep, I'd take a minute to give an update:

Had a long conversation with the boiler company owner's wife (Colleen - who I've been dealing with throughout). Colleen advises:

- The replacement block has indeed been bought and paid for. Scheduled to be delivered to my house Tuesday morning. She was going to call the supplier this morning to see if it can be returned. We'll see. Not sure how this is going to pan out. I do feel somewhat obligated, since I did give them a "verbal go-ahead" Friday evening.

- She states that WM will only issue a warranty check if the block is replaced. If we go with a new unit, there will be no warranty check...period. Not sure if I totally believe this. I plan to call WM myself this morning, explain the situation, and see if they tell me the same thing.
***Question: Do any of you have any experience with warranty claims to WM (or any other manufaturer?

- I explained to Colleen that: 1. I now have a rough idea of what a new unit should cost, and 2. I now also have a rough idea of what the install should cost (I did NOT mention any of you)...and those 2 numbers together should be less than the $4522 she quoted for the replacement block.

- She countered by saying that I should NOT purchase the new unit on-line, nor on my own. She believes this will cause problems if there's ever another warranty issue. I've read the WM warranty (several times), and it does state that warranty claims should be handled through a contractor (see paragraph G on this: http://s3.supplyhouse.com/product_fi...9-Warranty.pdf) but my gut tells me that this can be worked through, even if I made the purchase. I have a feeling that they just don't want to lose any markup profit they would get if they made the purchase. In the end, I told her that if they could get it cheaper, than I don't mind them making a few bucks...HOWEVER...since I now know roughly what it should cost, I will choose the cheaper option (them or me).
**Question: You guys are contractors. Am I being a jerk? Are there any pitfalls to allowing the customer to buy the boiler on their own? I'm a little torn.

- Colleen also mentioned that - if I want a new boiler - they reccommend the Burnham MPO. I've heard positive reviews of this, but they're a little more expensive.. ***Your thoughts?***

We finally ended with her agreeing to have her sub-contractor (Ricky - who will actually be doing the job) call me this morning. I will go over all of this with him, and see if we can't come to a resolution.

My talking-points with him will be:

1. The original plan of replacing just the cracked block is null...we will NOT be going that route. If he tells me the new block can not be returned, then I will request a copy of his supplier's invoice to him, and I will offer to reimburse him whatever he paid for it, and have it delivered here as planned. Hopefully, I can then contact WM, return the cracked block to them, and get the $1400 as originally agreed.

2. I want an itemized quote on replacing the old boiler with an identical new one. I will look for the boiler to be between $2000-3000, and the labor to be approx $1000. (rbeck: I will ask him to include relocating the circ pump and make-up valves, as well as a complete system flush prior to removal).

3. I also want him to do a proper heat loss calc, and then determine for sure if I really need a 126K or something smaller. I'm not doubting you guys, but I think it would be beneficial for him to do one anyway.

I apologize for the sleep-deprived babbling. But I sincerely respect y'all's opinion. Am I on track and being reasonable?

Thanx as always...

Wally
 
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Old 02-06-17, 06:25 AM
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Good Morning All! Just a quick update:

Had a very tense, and somewhat heated, phone conversation with Ricky this morning. Now telling me: $2600 for the new boiler, plus $3022 for the install. I tried - as tactfully as possible - to explain to him that $3K for the install was just too high. He began to rant about "requires 4 guys!" and "no one's gonna do it cheaper!" - pretty much hung up on me.

I am now making other inquiries for quotes.

Interesting: some of the companies I have spoke to are pretty much insisting on replacing the zone valves and return valves ("ceiling down"), and gave me the impression this was standard procedure. I admitted my ignorance, but also my puzzlement why should we replace perfectly good zone valves (and a bunch of other perfectly good parts)...doesn't make any sense?

Is this really the standard procedure?

Wally
 
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Old 02-06-17, 10:21 AM
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Woohoo! Light at the end of the boiler tunnel. Spent the entire morning on the phone. Highlights:

- Completely squashed the "replace block only" plan.
- Made arrangements to purchase new boiler for $2097.41 (includes tax)
- note: this is just the heat exchanger, firebox, and jacket...everything else will be switched over from the old boiler (burner, aquastat, transformer, switches, etc)
- Confirmed with WM that I will receive a warranty credit of $1357.86, and it will be applied against the new boiler. Boiler final cost: $739.55.
- Receiving quotes on install - so far ranging between $1000-2000. Hopefully will resolve today.

Another question: antifreeze...yes or no?

Thanx! Wally
 
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Old 02-06-17, 10:46 AM
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Im going to the doctor now so cant reply much..

I would say no antifreeze.. Unless you leave the house empty for months at a time away during the winter...

Antifreeze is most used for summer homes...



puzzlement why should we replace perfectly good zone valves (and a bunch of other perfectly good parts)...doesn't make any sense?

Is this really the standard procedure?
No its not standard in my book... Depends on what the customer wants...

Your current install looks clean... ( More pics would help but I assume it looks good)

Ill post back later..

Umm what size boiler you going with?

And elaborate more on your WM conversation please...
 
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Old 02-06-17, 11:30 AM
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I agree with Mike, stay away from any kind of anti-freeze if at all possible.
 
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Old 02-06-17, 12:34 PM
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Hey guys! Mike...hope all goes well at the doc!

I wondered about the antifreeze...house is never, ever empty. Boiler always running. I wonder why the original installer put it in? Hmmm....

The price I've gotten is for a direct replacement boiler to what I have (WM WGO-4 126K). It's available locally, and can be here tomorrow. I haven't actually purchased it yet, so I'm not committed to it.

Please, please don't think I'm disregarding you're advice regarding "downsizing". I really want whoever is going to install it to do an actual, on-site heat loss calc.

"Boiler Company A" (prob shouldn't use their real name here) should be here any minute, and "Plumber Friend" (old family friend who has done many installs) should be here this evening.

Wally
 
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Old 02-06-17, 12:55 PM
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...ooops, forgot this:

Regarding my conversation with WM: I wanted to speak to them, so I had not yet done so directly. Everything up to this point I was getting from Ricky (who was originally going to replace the block). I wanted to get the info "from the horses mouth", so I gave them a call.

Had a very nice conversation with Shannon in the WM Warranty Department. I had been told by more than one person that WM was very hard to deal with, but frankly - Shannon could not have been nicer nor more helpful. She explained that Ricky had sent them photos of my cracked block (I think Friday morning), and they (she) had immediately approved the warranty claim. The boiler is just entering it's 13th year, and therefore qualifies for a 85% credit (i.e. owner pays 15%) of new block cost. In my case, this equals a credit of $1357.86 (new block = $1597.50)

Ricky had already ordered a new block from a local supplier, and at the time of my call, the credit was set to be applied against that. I explained to Shannon that I was NOT going that route, and instead was going to purchase a new boiler.

Shannon said that I...as the owner... could do whatever I wanted with the credit, including apply it towards a new boiler, which is the way I'm going. I gave her the contact info at the supplier I'll be buying it from, and she said she would contact them with the credit info...easy peazzy.

She also said WM does not want/require the old equipment, and I could do whatever I want to with it.

A very pleasant experience.

Wally
 
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Old 02-06-17, 01:04 PM
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Some overall photos...for everyone's viewing pleasure:
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I apologize for these being rotated. I'm still a little groggy, and don't have the brain power to figure out how to get them right side up (like they are in my 'Pictures' file.

Work with me people....
 
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Old 02-06-17, 02:10 PM
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Well great story about WM phone call. Im glad. That original dealer with the block was unfortunately taking advantage of you IMO.

As I said I usually scoot the old boilers off to the side and let the home owners get rid of the old boiler at a later date.

The few blocks ive done under warranty, we always changed the boiler and not the blocks.

Man thats a clean install.. no reasont to change the zonevalves, exp tank, etc. Maybe the air vents is all.

As I said flush the crap out of it with the old boiler installed.. ( When I did mine I used house pressure to blow the loops out at the purge valves and ran a hose outside from the bottom boiler drain...

Get that leak stop crap out..

Last is possibly they over sized the boiler because of the indirect water heater..

Ill look up the specs. can you get a model # off it?

Last make the boiler a cold start boiler if its not already.
 
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Old 02-06-17, 02:19 PM
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That bocsh looks like an s32. Thats good for an 88k btu boiler per spec sheet..

Um Possibly meet down the middle and downsize the boiler one size to a 100 k btu?

I would do the smallest boiler if it were my home though. But its up to you..

And that indirect wants 8gpm flow. It should have its own circulator to get that flow rate. The indirect also should be on a priority. I dont see a taco control panel to control the zone valves, so priority may be done with the boiler controls, but I doubt it..

Not sure what control the boiler has. Looks like a beckett?
 
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Old 02-06-17, 02:20 PM
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To move the circ to the supply side of the boiler will be a lot of work. I know it was suggested but I would leave it where it is.

And as a direct replacement if the smaller boilers are different dimensions then just put the same size boiler in... Its simple to remove the circ and turn out that steel pipe on the return and re install on the new boiler.

On the supply I would cut the copper center just below the zone valves. ( A coupling will reconnect them later) Disconnect flue and low water cut off electric, and turn that whole manifold off and reinstall as one piece on the new boiler...

Easy peazy!!!!
 
  #28  
Old 02-07-17, 05:54 AM
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Hey Mike!

As I said I usually scoot the old boilers off to the side and let the home owners get rid of the old boiler at a later date.
Haven't decided yet if I want to keep it, or just let the installed lug it away. It's not really worth anything, even as scrap.

Man thats a clean install.. no reasont to change the zonevalves, exp tank, etc. Maybe the air vents is all.
Like I said, most of the people that see it say the old guy did a pretty good job, with a few quirks.

Last make the boiler a cold start boiler if its not already.
It is.

Last is possibly they over sized the boiler because of the indirect water heater..

Ill look up the specs. can you get a model # off it?
Bock 50CT

And that indirect wants 8gpm flow. It should have its own circulator to get that flow rate. The indirect also should be on a priority. I dont see a taco control panel to control the zone valves, so priority may be done with the boiler controls, but I doubt it..
I'll ask about a separate circ. And the topic of the IDHW being priority being priority came up some time ago in one of my other threads...but I honestly can't remember what the resolution was.

I did swap out the old a'stat to a new L7224U a while ago. I will say, we seem to have all the hot water we need, whenever we need it.

To move the circ to the supply side of the boiler will be a lot of work. I know it was suggested but I would leave it where it is.

And as a direct replacement if the smaller boilers are different dimensions then just put the same size boiler in... Its simple to remove the circ and turn out that steel pipe on the return and re install on the new boiler.

On the supply I would cut the copper center just below the zone valves. ( A coupling will reconnect them later) Disconnect flue and low water cut off electric, and turn that whole manifold off and reinstall as one piece on the new boiler...
LOL...both of the guys last night agreed with the 'concept' of the circ being on the supply side...but then (like you) said if it's working where it is...leave it.

Both agreed on the flush out, and the install will be pretty straight forward. The only additional issues are adding unions where there are none (to help the next guy that has to do this!), and adding some 'slope' to the vent stack...it's almost perfectly level (horizontal).

Waiting for both guys to give me their quotes (hopefully sometime this morning). And I need to run to the supply house and figure out (and buy) the new boiler.

Wally
 
  #29  
Old 02-07-17, 07:20 AM
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Quotes are in:

Plumber Friend = $2000
Boiler/Oil Contractor = $1800...will include 1 year service contract

Probably going with Boiler/Oil Contractor.
 
  #30  
Old 02-07-17, 01:15 PM
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What boiler do they recommend?

So youll end up saving money and getting a new boiler.. Excellent..

FYI since your boiler is in basement you need no pick up alowance really for your piping..

http://www.supplyhouse.com/Weil-Mcla...iler-7206000-p

So the WGO 2 boiler DOE is 86k btu. Thats big enough for a 3500 sq ft home. There is a 20% fudge factor so even that boiler is probably oversized for the home..

IBR ratings are for large pipe pick up allowance why we normally us DOE ratings.

Now how many feet of actual baseboard do you have again? Let me re read below.................


After doing over 1000 heat losses my guess would be the heat loss is probably less than 77k. If this is the case your largest zone is close to half of the load. Input 145K and a zone that may require 35K - 40K.....Rapid expansion. Oversized boilers drop efficiency. I assume there are zone valves.

So If your total home say has 160 ft baseboard total for example. The most you can get heat wise out of that base board is 88k btu. So why put in a bigger boiler? If you have less then 160 ft of BB then its really ridiculous to oversize the boiler..

You can put a 300K btu boiler in but still only get 88 k out of the baseboard..

And thats just an example if it was all one zone. Being thats your zoned off with 3 zones and no zones really come on at the same time, so the boiler is just trying to heat 1/2 of what its capable of. As the example above that one zone may be 45k BTU only..

I hope you understand this..

IMO get the indirect on priority, or its own pump..

Easy for priority with a taco control. Simple . 100 bucks about..

http://www.supplyhouse.com/Taco-ZVC4...-with-Priority
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 02-07-17 at 01:35 PM.
  #31  
Old 02-08-17, 03:40 AM
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Baseboard Anti-Freeze

I am heartened by both Furd and Lawrosa's suggestion to avoid anti-freeze.

Here in Vermont, many, if not most, FHW Systems have antifreeze protection in their baseboards . . . . but I don't.

Everytime it gets cold, I'm reminded of the one time I had partially frozen pipes (January 9th, 2004) when we experienced outdoor temperatures of -48 at the same time the power went out for over 6 hours. I could see my breathe indoors !

Even after the power came back on, it took us another panicky 12-16 hours of treating to coldest spots with hair dryers to get water to flow through the baseboard again. No pipes burst; but the contents must have turned to slush.

For the past 10+ years I've been toying with the idea of adding propylene glycol to my system; but it's a $240 commitment each time it's pumped in, so I've delayed doing it until there no reason to drain the system in the offing . . . . like when all components are behaving like new and have a life expectancy of more than 5 years.

Then I read that Companies like TACO invalidate or limit their product Warranties when there has been any "petroleum based fluids or certain chemical additives in the system" which gave me further pause.

So I guess I'll save my money, and feel comfortable draining my boiler anytime I'm tempted; but I still feel somewhat apprehensive any time the temperature dips below -40F, or any time the power goes out . . . . or when both occur simultaneusly.

And now, if I freeze to death, I can blame Furd and Lawrosa !
 
  #32  
Old 02-08-17, 06:33 AM
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So I guess I'll save my money, and feel comfortable draining my boiler anytime I'm tempted; but I still feel somewhat apprehensive any time the temperature dips below -40F, or any time the power goes out . . . . or when both occur simultaneusly.
IMO...If I had FHW and power outages were common occurrence in my neck of the woods I'd invest in a generator to run my heating system , Refridge few lights, etc. Whenever been out for hours at a time. I have lost power here from storm for 3 days in winter like 2010 and glad my heating system is steam. My non power needed gas vent free fireplace. heated the living room well.
 
  #33  
Old 02-08-17, 06:53 AM
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Good Morning guys!! Boys are in the basement as we speak.

VT: yup, no antifreeze. My boiler runs enough that the basement never really gets below 60 deg (give-or-take). I guess my only concern would be the pipes that run up the exterior walls, but I think it would be running enough that they should never be a problem.

Mike:
What boiler do they recommend?
Had a discussion with the salesman at the supply house where I bought the boiler. If I understood him correctly, he said the Bock 50CT water heater alone uses about 44K. He agreed the WGO-4 may be a little too big...but not by much.

And thats just an example if it was all one zone. Being thats your zoned off with 3 zones and no zones really come on at the same time, so the boiler is just trying to heat 1/2 of what its capable of. As the example above that one zone may be 45k BTU only..

I hope you understand this..
Well...kinda. I guess my only contrary thought would be that, I'm fairly certain there can often be more that 1 zone open at any given time. I know I've heard the toe-kick fans running both upstairs and downstairs at the same time.

So If your total home say has 160 ft baseboard total for example.
This surprised me. I'm lousy at 'estimating'...but gosh, seems like I have more that that. As soon as I can, I'm gonna get out the tape measure!

Anyway...I went with another WGO-4.

Please, PLEASE, don't think I'm disregarding your advice. I guess part of the problem is that I'm still in "panic'd, frazzled, stressed-out homeowner" mode, mostly due to the time of year. If this were July, I probably wouldn't feel so 'rushed', and would probably be able to do a little more due-diligence. Getting the same boiler just seemed like the 'safe' thing to do...if not the most economical. Forgive me?

IMO get the indirect on priority, or its own pump..
I agree, and I'll look more into this. But, I will say that - with 6 people in the house (including 3 kids who went through their teens and are now gone) - we never ran out of hot water (and often had 2 showers running simultaneously). Suppose I got lucky.

Anyway - they're downstairs now tearing into it. I'll post back later with an update.

Thanx! to ALL.

Wally
 
  #34  
Old 02-08-17, 07:04 AM
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Oh...forgot to mention...I did go with the Oil Company.

So, final cost to me is:

Boiler: $2097.41 - warranty credit $1357.86 = $739.55
Install: $1800...includes 2 year service contract, and 2 years discount on oil (amount to be determined - this company is usually the cheapest around anyway)
 
  #35  
Old 02-08-17, 07:54 AM
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Haha! This is why Mike's in the business, and I'm not. Just ran around and measured the baseboards:

Zone 1 (mother-in-law apartment on 1st fl): 30' + 1 toe-kick fan
Zone 2 (1st floor main area): 39' + 1 toe-kick fan
Zone 3 (2nd floor): 51' + 2 toe-kick fans
Zone 4 (IDHW)

Total: 120' + 4 toe-kick fans + IDHW

Who'da thought? Like I said...I'm lousy at estimating!!!!
 
  #36  
Old 02-08-17, 09:56 AM
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Install: $1800...includes 2 year service contract,
Does that include a yearly tune up? Sounds pretty good.
 
  #37  
Old 02-08-17, 10:53 AM
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zoesdad: Yup, everything that's in their normal contract - cleanings/tune ups, emergency calls, misc parts. Just my 'piece of mind' is worth it!!

Well, they just left (9:30 to 1:15). Overall went pretty well. I had them do a 'service' (nozzle/filters, etc) as well as the flush-out that we talked about earlier. 2 minor hiccups:

1. There were 3 guys, but they still had a bear of a time getting the old boiler (645#) up the stairs (Bilco door). They crushed the aluminum threshold at the bottom of the stairs. They immediately said they would replace it, no problem (I didn't even notice it till they said something).

2. Look at the 'boiler inlet' pipe into the water heater (it's in the rear of this pic):

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It's a little 'bowed' towards the boiler. To me, it looks like - somehow - the boiler end (above the zone valve) is about 3/4" lower than it was. None of us can figure out how this is, since the other 3 zones piping are perfect, and the whole manifold (obviously) was removed/re-installed in one piece. Very odd. Nonetheless, I pointed it out, and expressed my concern that this may be putting a little stress on the union and the elbow fittings. The tech didn't seem to think it would be an issue...but we both agreed I would monitor it.

Overall, I am pleased with the job.

Wally
 
  #38  
Old 02-08-17, 03:09 PM
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Yup 120 ft... And is that element or covers?

If element thats 66k btu.. Thats the most heat youll get out of the basboards. You could put a million btu boiler in and still get only 66k btu out..

Now kick heaters range in size... Most are 4k btu.

So if 4k then total kick emmitters are 16k additional so that = 82 k BTU..

Again there was no reason to go with the larger boiler... Just was trying to help you save some oil..

The indirect does not count really because the load is 45 K as you stated. This is why we put it on priority.. Only your heating or indirect will run, never both.

And since thats the BB you have in the home 120 ft and 4 kickers of 82K total my math runs true of 25 BTU per sq ft of home.

3250 x 25 = 81250 btu heat loss of home. Thats more or less why I stated to put in the WGO2 @ 86K BTU.

The wgo2 has a nozzle size of .70 gph ( Could probably put a .50 in) where the WGO 4 is
1.20 gph.. So essentially you may have been able to cut your yearly oil bill in half.





Please, PLEASE, don't think I'm disregarding your advice. I guess part of the problem is that I'm still in "panic'd, frazzled, stressed-out homeowner" mode, mostly due to the time of year. If this were July, I probably wouldn't feel so 'rushed', and would probably be able to do a little more due-diligence. Getting the same boiler just seemed like the 'safe' thing to do...if not the most economical. Forgive me?
Ha ha... No worries really. Most homeowners are afraid and think they will not be able to heat their homes with a properly sized boiler. I deal with it all the time. I only ask people to trust me..I was trying to save you $ in oil and put in a cheaper boiler to save you $.

I wouldnt worry about the bent pipe, but ask them to fix it if it bothers you...
 
  #39  
Old 02-08-17, 03:15 PM
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and to understand why your baseboard puts out only that much heat is because @ boil water temp of 180F your heat emitters put out 550 btu per ft... So simple math..


And really I was glad to help and happy it worked out well for you...
 
  #40  
Old 02-09-17, 05:51 AM
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Firstly - a sincere thanx! to all of you. I suppose - looking at the 'Silver Lining'...it could have been a lot worse. Was never without heat, and the biggest inconvenience was shop-vac'ing up the puddle a few times a day, and the stress of dealing with not-so-honest contractors. Really wasn't a big deal.

Ha ha... No worries really. Most homeowners are afraid and think they will not be able to heat their homes with a properly sized boiler. I deal with it all the time. I only ask people to trust me..I was trying to save you $ in oil and put in a cheaper boiler to save you $.
LOL - maybe I'll get "lucky", and the block will crack again in July. With my new-found knowledge, I'll replace it with a smaller version!

Since the original thread topic is resolved, I'll probably start a new thread...but I did want to discuss 2 other issues related to this (Mike...let me know):

1. My previous oil company put a 1.25 nozzle in (Beckett AFG). If I recall, that was during the 2013 cleaning, and I think he said that was spec. Yesterday, the tech said that was way too big, and put in a 1.00 (A?) Thoughts???

2. I want to look into a Beckett Heat Manager. This company says they charge about $300 to install one. I've only done a cursory review of them...but any chance it's a DIY job (I'm pretty handy!)

I know both of these have been covered in other threads...so I'm off to wear out the SEARCH button.

Wally
 
 

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