Advice needed on my 17-18 year old boiler

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Old 05-19-18, 08:00 AM
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Advice needed on my 17-18 year old boiler

Hello all

I live in Canada, and I have a situation with my (14 year old) oil furnace.

The furnace itself is a NY Thermal unit, that runs perfectly. The unit is serviced every year and we achieve our domestic how water requirements directly from the heat coil located on the left side of the unit.

This coil flange has been seeping a bit of water over the years, (as you can see from rust marks).

Some time ago, my servicel provider changed out the rubber seal between the flange and coil face, but I am now noticing that the cast iron metal is beginning to corrode and flake away, my worry being that it will soon need to be changed out entirely.

My question is this....can this flange that be replaced as a part? or is it one complete unit.

If this is so, then I assume I am looking at a complete furnace replacement due to the eventual failure of the flange?...especially around the fastening bolts.

I have included pics...

Thanking everyone in advance for your input

Jim
 
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Old 05-20-18, 04:41 AM
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Hot water boilers like yours can last a life time. I have seen this type boiler last 50 or more years. If I were you, I would wait until summer, have the boiler company remove the heating coil, clean both metal surfaces, the coil and the boiler flange, and then make an assessment. If the coils surface is deteriorated I would replace the coil. If the boilers flange is deteriorated I would get prices to replace the flange which may require a certified welder. If the deterioration is minimal or the costs too high I would try to buy a new thicker neoprene gasket, reassembly the coil and wait till the leak gets a lot worse. A little oozing of water at the gasket surface is usually "no big deal". Looking at the bottom picture showing the gasket , the one shown looks to be cracked which may indicate the wrong type gasket installed.I would contact the boiler's manufacturer and ask what type gasket they recommend and buy that specific gasket. If they offer a slightly thicker gasket I would opt for that one or try to buy the a slightly thicker neoprene gasket. Never use a red rubber gasket, since most will cause a quicker deterioration of the metal surfaces.
 
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Old 05-20-18, 05:54 AM
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Thanks for the input. I will call them tomorrow and see what my alternatives are.
 
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Old 05-20-18, 04:56 PM
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If you want to DIY I would suggest that after you open it up that you power wire-brush the gasketed surfaces and before reassembling with the thick (and soft) Neoprene gasket suggested that you also add a layer of high temperature RTV (silicone rubber) to both sides of the gasket. Pull up the nuts or bolts finger tight and let it set overnight before torquing them to the proper range.

It is best to use new nuts or bolts (or both if the boiler flange is not tapped) and "chase" the threads in the boiler flange (or studs) using a proper size tap or die with some penetrating oil. Re-using rusted nuts or bolts with rusty threads in the flange is just asking for trouble. A bit of anti-seize compound on the threads is also a good idea.
 
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Old 05-26-18, 06:43 AM
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I have an update to my boiler flange problem.

My particular boiler, (NTI VS160), is apparently still available for sale in Saint John NB. however they don't advertise them as they want to push there more efficient units like the Caprice or Trinity models...totally understandable.

With a direct replacement unit, I could switch out my burner, circulator pump and aqua stat, (the latter two items being brand new as a year ago), thereby reducing my cost considerably.

I have a few connections in the industry, so I was able to get a price on the boiler, less burner for under 1200 bucks taxes in.

When I called my local oil provider with this information, they sort of flipped out, as they had initially quoted me a price of 5k for same furnace replacement and never assumed I would be able to get the price of the actual hardware. (the manufacurer will not give out prices as they sell wholesale...so the price I got was a wholesale price from a buddy who runs a construction company).

I requested an updated quote for direct labour cost, which they are still working on, bur now they want to do a full inspection of my chimney for possible replacement as well. (Seems they want to get there 5 k somehow).

So my next question is this.....I have a selkirk brand stainless steel chimney, approximatley 25 feet in height, however it is enclosed on the outside of the house.

The chimney has never been cleaned or inspected, so they might have a point for replacement I am not sure....so here is my question for those of you that are in the know;

Does an oil fired furnace create enough residue over a 17 year period to negate replacement of this type of chimney?

At present I am hiring an independent company to inspect the chimney in question before I allow anything to move forward.
 
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Old 05-26-18, 09:14 AM
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The repair to your 14 year old boiler is a fairly basic repair.
Have you considered that or are you just canning it ?
It'd be a shame to scrap it.

As far as I know..... a stainless steel chimney will last a lifetime. Certainly a lot more than 14 years. However, it may need a cleaning.
 
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Old 05-26-18, 11:56 AM
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Thanks Pjmax

I was considering a fix, but thought I might as well change it out for a new one if one was available. Especially if I can get it for under 1200. My post title is a bit mis-leading as well...i meant to say 17 to 18 years, not 14 years.

Also thanks for the heads up on the chimney. I like to arm myself with information from people like yourself who are 'in the know' before I sign off on any work.
 
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Old 05-26-18, 01:02 PM
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Whether that Boiler is 14 years old or 17 years old . . . . it still looks new to me !

But I'm sure you'd be able to find an HVAC concern who'd be happy to replace it for you . . . . and then feel quite comfortable selling and installing this one for someone else for an even healthier profit.

My own Boiler is pushing 70+ years of age . . . . but I have the same Beckett Burner and Transformer as yours !
 
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Old 05-26-18, 01:06 PM
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Title changed to 17-18 years old.
 
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Old 05-26-18, 01:12 PM
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Thanks Pjmax!

You might have something there Vermont...everyone is telling the life expectency of this furnace is 15 to 20 years.

I might start looking at the flange welding option again
 
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Old 05-26-18, 03:16 PM
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That plate that you are calling a flange is actually part of your coil. Instead of replacing your boiler just replace the coil and you will get the plate and coil which are connected plus a new gasket and bolts all in one package.

The place that sells the boiler should be able to help you with this. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it before. It is done all the time.

Hope this helps a little.
 
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Old 05-26-18, 04:56 PM
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Hello Spott,

If you actually look closely at the last photo, you will see the coil flange, then the black gasket, then the boiler flange.

The Boiler flange is the issue and it is attached(welded) to the unit itself.

This flange in question is rusted and falling apart allowing water to ooze and drip past the security bolts. The Coil flange is fairly good shape.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 03:34 AM
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re-read my first reply and the reply of @Furd. . Following both of our recommendations should solve your problem. As I stated in my first reply, these boilers should last a lifetime. I have seen hot water boilers last over 100 years, They were not pretty but they still did a great job. Buying a new boiler just to save a few $ due to increased efficiency is stupid unless you can by it cheap and have it a lot of trouble free years. However if you have extra money laying around, "go for it" and replace the boiler.
 
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Old 06-05-18, 06:26 AM
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update....

Still waiting for my two estimates to change out the furnace.

Have not decided which way to go yet....however another issue has come up and I need some additional information on this device.

Following inspection of my existing furnace, they are telling me it's now "code" to have a pressure switch installed in the chimney.

As you know this switch shuts off the furnace if there is an obstruction etc.

My question is this.....how reliable are these things...and when I say reliable...is this one of those installs that over reacts and is more trouble than its worth? or is it an acceptable solution (to a problem that never existed)
 
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Old 06-06-18, 07:38 PM
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Given Mach7's occupation as an airline pilot can understand his concern about leaks.

A leaking tankless coil flange at 12 psig is not likely to result in catastrophic failure.

There are many ways to stop the leak. The summer is as good time to fix it. Find a real boiler mechanic and save a $1,000

Pressure switch in chimney??? Down here in New York that ranks with people who sell visitors bridges.

If you do not have one install a chimney squirrel screen.
 

Last edited by doughess; 06-06-18 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 06-07-18, 06:08 AM
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Ask them to cite the specific code and to provide you a copy of it.
 
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Old 06-11-18, 04:52 PM
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@Doughness,

You are correct on that one

I will also certainly check the code...however they have now quoted me a price of over 5k....they took my initial desire to replace the unit with the exact same model and then turned a small problem, (flange leak) into a major concern.

Following a lengthy conversation last week which ended up in me losing my temper, they called back and agreed that if I was to purchase the hardware, (same furnace body) that they would install it and insure it at there labour rate minus 400 dollars off the top for being a loyal customer. (I have been with this provider for close to 20 years,,,9 in this house and 11 in previous homes).

So now my cost has decreased from 5200 to under 2k. 1200 for the unit, and 450 for the install.....(The initial labour cost is 850 for install less 400..so 450)..
 
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