35 year old Weil-McLain hot water boiler

Old 08-08-19, 11:59 AM
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35 year old Weil-McLain hot water boiler

We have a 35 year old Well McClain boiler with oil burner(2010) that is oddly piped into a former steam system with radiators and also two baseboard HW + HW tank.

The heating companies condemned the unit 4years ago and would not service due broken bolts on (1 of 4 holding) burner mount and the bolt to swing door broke off.

I have saved the money for replacement ~$9k with a third into fixing the piping mess.

My question is the oil burner/boiler has not been serviced at all for 4 years and works fine. It was serviced well before by me and prior home owner.

Do I do a preemptive replacement scheduled or just buy more time out of unit and replace when it dies?
Old 08-08-19, 02:46 PM
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When I bought my house 2.5 years ago, it had a 59 year old boiler. It was still fully functional, but I had it in my head that I should replace it before it broke down in the middle of winter. I knew nothing at all about boilers, so it took me a while to research them and figure out what I wanted, and even longer to find the right installer. Now that I've had it for a full winter, I think if I had to do it again I would wait til the old one died or at least needed an expensive repair. Cost me $6500 for a Columbia model including installation, new chimney liner and getting rid of the old one. I had bids ranging from 5000 to 10,000.

I wish I had found this site during my research phase. So many folks with great knowledge and willing to share it!
Old 08-08-19, 04:50 PM
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A 35-year-old hot-water boiler may be a long way from its end of life. Mine is 70 years old and runs like a champ, but I have updated it with new components, like pump, valves, and controls. Boiler salesmen will, of course, disagree.
Old 08-09-19, 02:56 AM
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I have stated this before but here I go 1 more time. Hot water boilers last until a section cracks and you can't get a replacement or the repair cost approaches the cost of a new boiler. A church in Butler,Pa. had what I believe, was a Higgins hot water boiler that was over 100 years old. It was originally coal fired and was not efficient by today's standards When a section finally cracked, a replacement was not available. WE could have isolated that section due to it's construction (similar to an H B Smith 3500 or 4500), and continued to use the boiler. The church decided it was time to replace the boilers.
Old 08-09-19, 11:52 AM
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My 1957-McLain Model 57 with original tankless coil has zero issues. Now has fourth burner, a Beckett AFG. Hope it is still running after I am gone.
Old 08-12-19, 06:16 AM
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Drill and tap for new bolts, easy fix. 4 years of no maintenance is hurting you in efficiency. Repair it, clean it up and let it run.

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