Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

Mom Needs New Boiler

ChasMan Member Posts: 459
Your local plumbing supply may cut and thread black pipe to your specifications for you. Heck, Even home depot does this.

I dont think too many people here will advise changing a whole boiler out without some experience. Lots of things can go wrong. You need special tools to adjust the burner as well after the plumbing is done. Plus with a tankless coil, once you shut the old boiler off you have no hot water in the house.

You will need help just wheeling the old one out and a new one into place. You might have to reconfigure a lot of pipework because not all boilers are the same configuration. The Veissman Vitola is a longish afair with the pipes on the back as oposed to a Slant Fin with the pipes on the side.

There are a lot of code requirements too for clearances and venting etc. Some of the better boilers will require a chimney lining. Do you want a fresh air supply? So many things to think about.

I dunno, I could do it given a week and a pro to help with the tricky bits. My wife would not want to go without hot water that long I dont think.

As for best boiler, a properly sized boiler installed properly will be better than the best boiler that is wrongly sized or not installed properly.

The better the boiler the more tweaky they are.

Folks here seem to like Veissman, and Burnham.. They are Euro Boilers. The Veissman line has two choices. One high endish that can take any return water temperature called the Vitola. Burnham just has the regular triple pass I think. Then there are many fine American units. Low Mass, High Mass, there are folks here on both sides of that debate.

There are lots of control options too for outdoor reset etc.

If you just want the easy route you can rip out the one thats there and replace it with one almost the same. Can't go wrong that way (probably cant go right either). But for a few bucks more you might save half your fuel bill and get a lot more comfort by calling a pro.


  • Frankie Smyles
    Frankie Smyles Member Posts: 1
    Mom Needs New Boiler


    I heard about this site at Fine Home Building's BreakTime.

    Mom's oil burner/ boiler just broke down. Had the oil supplier maintainance guy come by and told her that after 27 years of use it is time for a new one.

    House is about 1,500 sqft.

    6 Rads 30" h x 30" w (1 downstairs and 5 upstairs - 3 Bedrooms and 1 bath).

    2 Rads 24"h x 72" w (both downstairs Living Room and Dinning Room).

    1 Burnham baseboard Rad 96" (downstairs, Kitchen).

    Single thermostat.


    Hot water for radiators. Not steam.

    Hot water on demand for shower.

    1 half and 1 full bath.


    1. What brands are good, best? Names being thrown around are Burnham, Peerless, Weil-Mclain and Williamson. I will need a heat coil tank(?) for the on demand hot water.

    2. Coincidently an oil guy visited one of my jobs today and he offered to buy whatever boiler I want and give it to me at his cost to return a favor. Got any idea of cost?

    3. Is this something I can install myself? I know plumbing (have plumbed many houses) and electrical (can run new circuits, install boxes and outlets).

    4. Variation of #3 - Do I need special tools to do the install? Instead of enting/ buying a pipe threader, can I plumb most of it in copper and then use a dielectric union?

    5. What are the restrictions/ limitations involved in getting rid of the old boiler?

    6. Will be reusing existing flue.

  • Al Letellier_18
    Al Letellier_18 Member Posts: 7
    mom's boiler

    Frankie, all the boilers you mentioned are good units. I'm partial to Weil and Buderus, but the others are good too.
    As to doing it yourself, it sounds like you may have the skills but not the knowledge or the experience. Talk to the oil guy that will get you the stuff. Maybe he will be willing to work with you to do the job. He gets some work and his favor, and you get some OJT with an experienced tech showing you the way...what a deal !!
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Uhhh, ChasMan

    Burnham is as American as you can get- cast in Zanesville, Ohio and assembled in Lancaster, PA about 2 hours from where I live. You must have been thinking of Buderus, which is German.

    They both make real good boilers.

    Burnham's oil-fired 3-pass is called the MPO, they also make the V8 series which is a pin-type, and the steel RS series.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • ChasMan
    ChasMan Member Posts: 459

    ChasMan is an idiot. Take his post and change Burnham to Buderus (from Johann Wilhelm Buderus) and then read it again :-)


    Signed Chasman
  • Don \"Grumpy\" Walsh
    Don \"Grumpy\" Walsh Member Posts: 184
    Every man to his craft

    While I personally don't think anyone who is not fully trained should ever touch a boiler or any other form of combustion device, I can appreciate someone wanting to try and save a buck. This brings me to my wife's OB/GYN, he called the office after one of her appointments, and said he was happy to find a boiler man among his clients family members. He was going to spend a Saturday acid flushing the tubes in his office boiler and needed some procedural questions answered. I agreed to stop by and talk with him. I showed up at his office wearing a gore-tex coverall suit, swim mask, snorkel, and elbow length gloves. The receptionist looked at me very suspiciously and asked "What are you here for?" When I replied I was there to help the doc with a really messy tube problem, I thought the three ladies in the waiting room were going to faint! After a few minutes everyone calmed down and finally had a good laugh about it. Oh, and the doc decided it was really not in his field of specialty after all, and hired me to do the work.
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,777
    What, no heat loss calc?

This discussion has been closed.