Boiler replacement

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  #1  
Old 01-27-18, 12:29 PM
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Boiler replacement

We have a 35 year old well McClain 130btu that is reliable however has some issues:

*The service bolts on front to burner box are severely rusted and heating company hesitant about cleaning so neglected for 3 years now.
* only 1 of 4 bolts hold the burner on due to snapping and not informed by techs.
* The Beckett burner is from 2003

I had no issues in last three years till expansion tank failed.

Is it worth trying to address the rotted bolts and retap the burner bolts or just buy another.

Three quotes came in at $10k due complexity of piping that needs to get cut back and itís steam converted to water. Also they all recommend Buderus as it can take heat cycles better of 8 radiators on one zone

Recommendations?

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  #2  
Old 01-27-18, 12:55 PM
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A,
Opinions differ but if your only problem are rotted bolts that can be removed and replaced or spend $10,000.00 on a new one.

Does it really require an answer unless you have that extra money just laying around.

If your system has already been changed from steam to hot water the price should be cheaper because the equipment is cheaper for one thing and the installation much more forward.

It sounds like your bolts were snapped when the new burner was put in and should have been fixed at the time but that's water under the bridge now. 2003 was 15 yrs. ago. Why is this becoming an issue now.

Weil McLain as any good cast iron boiler really has no age limit as long as there are no leaks.

My WM is a 1984 installation and still going strong with reasonable yearly maintenance.

.W.M. is a major brand and with your model and serial number you could possibly get a whole front door panel for your boiler if you did not want to take the time to replace the bolts.

As far as one boiler taking the heat better than another, they all have to meet certain specs to be UL approved.

My guess is these people sell Buderus which is a good boiler that I have installed but not because they take the heat better than any other.

Issues with an expansion tank can happen anytime and have nothing to do with the boiler.

Just my thoughts, hope this helps a little.
 
  #3  
Old 01-27-18, 01:50 PM
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Saw the pic after the initial post. Same boiler as I have.

That boiler went in as hot water and not steam. Nothing special about piping.

How many zones to do have. Looks like a Taco box on the side of the boiler.

Do not see a tankless coil. Do you have an Indirect hot water heater hidden in the back.

Basically straight forward installation. If you got the same price from all find out if they are related or maybe a little collusion or they don't care if they get the job or not but if they do it will be well worth it to them.

Personally, I would work on the bolts is that's your only issue.

One thought here. If they do install the Buderus all the piping does come off the back so there will be changes.

If you go with another W.M. or conventional boiler the piping you have will match up pretty much the same way.

Go to this sight and type in BOILERS and you can see what is available. These are all things that are available to the public and the prices.

http://www.supplyhouse.com/

Just a thought, hope this helps a little.
 
  #4  
Old 01-28-18, 08:30 AM
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andrew_j
The service bolts on front to burner box are severely rusted and heating company hesitant about cleaning so neglected for 3 years now.

That raises multiple red flags. greed, incompetence, flim flamer, dangerous possible criminal negligence., etc.

Start with understanding the boiler service companies are there to make money . Replacing boilers is biggest ticket item. For 3 years they have not done basic service, i.e. annual cleaning. That can lead to fires. Your fuel cost have risen because of uncleaned boiler decreased efficiency increasing their profits.

I would not let those people in house again. They are dangerous.

andrew_j
Is it worth trying to address the rotted bolts and retap the burner bolts or just buy another.
Any experienced mechanic can remove and replace rusted bolts. It is a common issue. There are many ways and tools to do it. Start by getting an experienced person to replace bolts. Then find new qualified service person or become DIYer.

Oil burners are designed to be easily serviced by persons with minimal training. Unfortunately for homeowners many service people are incompetents working for greedy companies. Again another reason to become as DIYer. This site and YouTube are great sources on "how to" information.

On cold winter nights sleep better knowing that whatever happens to heating I can deal it with quickly. My Weil McLain Model 57A boiler is 60 years old. It should last until long after I am gone.
 

Last edited by doughess; 01-28-18 at 10:46 AM.
  #5  
Old 01-28-18, 11:51 AM
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Any decent boiler guy should be able to drill out the old bolts, re-tap the holes & replace the bolts. If a front door is available, it might be cheaper to replace the door instead of paying the labor to repair the broken bolts. Certainly worth looking into. I agree with the others on the subject of boiler replacement.
 
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Old 01-28-18, 06:39 PM
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Grady:
Any decent boiler guy should be able to drill out the old bolts, re-tap the holes & replace the bolts.

That is issue here, finding a “decent boiler guy”. The original post from andrew_j describes his guy as no good. His guy cannot even deal with a rusted bolt. Many other DIY posts reflect poor service.

My recommendation is become a DIYer or at least a knowledgeable home owner to deal more intelligently with issues. I advise friends to watch the oil guy who come to service their system and ask questions.

Residential oil companies set up home systems in the most profitable way for investors, not the most efficient, low cost for home owners.

Along with saving money on cost of service DIYer can save making system more efficient.
 
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Old 01-28-18, 06:52 PM
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Grady: Any decent boiler guy should be able to drill out the old bolts, re-tap the holes & replace the bolts.
That is issue here, finding a “decent boiler guy”. The original post from andrew_j describes his guy as no good. His guy cannot even deal with a rusted bolt. Many other DIY posts reflect poor service.

My recommendation is become a DIYer or at least a knowlegeable home owner to deal more intelligently with issues. I advise friends to watch the oil guy who come to service their system and ask questions.

Residential oil companies set up home systems in the most profitable way for investors, not the most efficient, low cost for home owners. DIYer along with not paying for service can reduce fuel costs by making systems more efficient.

Petro Corporation describes itself as “the #1 heating oil provider in the country, with over 100 years of experience,” Oil burners are not 100 years old. Petro buys up companies that are 5, 10, 20, 30 years old then says Petro has 65 years experience or whatever. Around here Petro has trucks with names of companies they bought out 30 years ago. They all come from the same depot.
 

Last edited by doughess; 01-28-18 at 07:10 PM.
  #8  
Old 01-29-18, 04:23 AM
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You have gotten a lot of good recommendations from the other guys so I am not going to weigh in with more comments. Cast iron boilers last until; a boiler section cracks and a replacement section costs more than a new boiler. A church in my area had boilers over 100 years old that provided good heat every winter. As for the rusted bolts, I would spray them weekly with a little "liquid wrench or P B Blaster" and after a couple months they should turn out without breaking. Remove and replace the burner if you desire, paint the outside jacket with spray paint and 'SHAZAM", you have a new boiler at a much lower cost.
 
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