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

Can we post a Steam Boiler For Sale Here?

chip_10 Member Posts: 15
I cannot find anything about being or not being able to post a one year old steam boiler that we have to sell, on the wall?
Can anyone tell me if this is acceptable?

Thanks In Advance!


  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    I'm sure it's okay, but...

    None of us would be very interested I'm afraid.

    The reason? Installing an even "slightly used" boiler assumes huge liability issues. By buying a new boiler, we get near lifetime warranty coverage by the manufaturer via the wholesaler. By buying it from you, we lose all warranty coverage, open ourselves to all the ambulance chasers lurking in our lives and would have to deal with delivery nightmares (no steamer is light), testing to assure functionality on a boiler that is disconnected from the fuel, power supply and chimney, and basically buy a pig in a poke.

    The cost to buy a brand new boiler, with warranty, delivered to the home by the wholesaler is in the $1,000 to 2,000 price range anyhow (assuming residential size unit). We add all te piping, stack, venting, wiring, overhead, labor and profit "in the field."

    If the boiler were free, few if any of us would want to wase the money and labor to clean it up and make it "like new" anyhow. Not when we can buy a brandy new one for under 2K.

    If you did a Google search, you might find a vendor specializing in "used boilers," but they typically only dabble in boilers the size of your house, not one's that go in it.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,526
    The Wall is not a place to sell used equipment.

    Or new equipment, other than through the sponsor's ads. They make this site possible.

    Thanks for asking before doing it.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Supply House Rick
    Supply House Rick Member Posts: 1,404

    Might help you...
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Hey Scott

    How long have you been married?
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • chip_10
    chip_10 Member Posts: 15

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Unfortunately the boiler is a 70hp and we are not going to reach the market we need to.
    At this point, I doubt we are going to be able to sell it ourselves at all.
    Oh well, we have gotten stuck with it due to our suppliers negligence (used input numbers to size it not output and it's 30hp short!) and now I guess they'll either have to take it back or pay us back for it since it was their mistake anyways.
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    Wait a minute !

    Did you put the new one in yet?

    If not, the new one may be far better than the contemplated one!!!

    Almost everyone involved with 70HP size boilers made the same mistake. They sized the replacement on the basis of "what was there" NOT what was actually needed!

    If you've already done the deed, my point is moot; but, if not, you may want to rethink your move.

    Boilers must NEVER be sized based on what was there; only based on what a heat load (or in your case, being a steamer) - what a standing radiation count demands.

    You may end up very fortunate indeed.

    Got questions as to what I'm writing about? Fire away.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • chip_10
    chip_10 Member Posts: 15

    Thanks For the Thought Ken,

    Fortunately with everyone's help here on the wall we were able to redo the contractors EDR numbers to double check them and found #1 that since we have a one pipe steam campus type system that they should have used a 1.5 or greater pickup factor instead they went with the usual 1.3 and #2 after final EDR was determined they mistakenly used the input numbers of the boiler itself rather than the boilers output numbers to determine which model to go with!!!! Fortunatley they did factor in for all the missing radiators or I don't think we would have made it through last season.

    Also several others here on the site helped us with their own EDR calcs that just cemented our belifes that they undersized the boiler in the first place by a signifigant amount.

    Funny enough that when they first told us which boiler they were going to reccommend to us they had it sized for a 60hp and we about laughed as the original boiler was easily a 150hp!!

    They have dragged their feet and tried to offer us all kinds of wacky off the wall ideas about running it all the time and using zone valves to evenly heat each building but no matter how you do it, that still uses signifigantly more gas than the old 1917 boiler that was 150hp.

    Our question Why would we spend $100k to replace a boiler system only to spend signifigantly more money to heat the complex each year??? and, Since their salesman had been working with us on our system for over 10 years and knew perfectly well that our entire system was built to be cycled and that was the only way to keep the heating costs down, why would they try and give us these wacky ideas and spend more money to not accomplish the original goals of tenant comfort and energy savings by using less gas??? Anyways sorry if I went off on a tangent there but the whole situation has us a little "STEAMED"! haha If anyone else has any good suggestions please let me know as we have been trying to figure out a way to either sell the boiler or get another distributor to buy it and resell it or something....

    I don't know....

    Thanks Guys, Chip
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    I don't know who told you...

    1.3 is inappropriate. It is the gospel according to I=B=R and the data they gleaned from, ASHRAE. It is a totally legitimate standard, and if for some reason it becomes a stretch, one can always super insulate the pipes - if some outrageously long main runs are present. Anyhow, the so called "pickup factor" is only applicable on cool days, not the coldest! On the coldest days the pickup factor is nil - since the boiler should run damn near all the time! There is NO pickup factor unless a cold-start is occuring!

    Second, you state you already went though an entre winter? You have physical evidence then. Here's the only question I need to ask: On the coldest days of last winter, did the boiler run non-stop, 24/7 during that time-frame of bitterest cold. Did it not cycle once or twice - even for a minute or two only - during a 24 hour day/night period?

    If you can honestly say for a certainty the boiler NEVER turned off or recycled, never met pressure limits or turned off as a result of pressure or LWCO limit telling the boiler "you made the limit - now I'm turning you off until your pressure returns to the "on" set-point," Then, and only then, will I agree with your decision to up-size the unit.

    Cold rooms? doesn't count! The ONLY thing that counts is if the boiler actually never stopped for ANY reason during the coldest days/nights - and ran 24 hours straight.

    If you can document that event, you have little choice. You must upsize the unit.

    Last question. Are all the mains AND returns well insulated - elbows too?

    BTW, is this a faite accompli? Is the year old boiler already pulled? If so, I'm sorry for wasting time.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Supply House Rick
    Supply House Rick Member Posts: 1,404
    Being a former supplier

    If boiler has not been installed and is still in crate, they should have no problem taking it back. Seen it many times in the Hudson Valley, all suppliers are not the devil...

  • Rich Kontny_4
    Rich Kontny_4 Member Posts: 73
    Scroll down

    To "Laundry Hot Water" this thread may be of interest to you. Seems to me that a 15 hp steam boiler was being considered for additional steam generated hot water.

    I thibk the original postwas from a Canadian.

    Rich Kontny
  • Christian Egli_2
    Christian Egli_2 Member Posts: 812
    One campus, one pipe

    Key operand word here is one pipe steam.

    I have no clue about your detailed heating needs and climate, but my mind sees about 100,000 to 200,000 square feet of floor space spread over a bunch of buildings. The buildings each are one pipe beauties while the underground tunnels contain the connecting mains and very probably a wet return. You have air vents everywhere. I'm only guessing.

    This scenario makes it very important to have enough puff power in the boiler to get the whole system heating. It's not either bad or good, it is just important and much more so than in the more usual two pipe radiators with thermostatic traps. Your large boiler dealer is almost certainly thinking two pipe and traps.

    Your description of having bigger heating bills with the new and half size boiler fits the one pipe miss-sizing diagnostic. It's depressing but don't think either that such sizing issues only matter in steam - they matter for all heating systems. Just try huddling around one candle instead of a real campfire. Effectiveness is gone while system efficiencies are lost in the dilution of the minimized heat into something only so very slightly hot it is of not much useful value anymore.

    All that is true of all heating systems (and a whole lot of other things in life too). With steam though, the symptoms are very obvious and you are rightfully reacting to the sting of the fuel bill. It's good we can feel steam.

    Zoning the system by putting valves on the various main branches of this one pipe system is an ill conceived idea. One pipe systems do not agree well to having gated steam. It is entirely possible to either fully open and close valves on each radiator, but doing this on a main branch is something else altogether and quite a bit more tricky. If the radiators were on two pipe and trap, along with having main returns at atmospheric pressure (or more technically on a pressure differential with the steam mains) then the steam zone valves would be the easiest and most natural thing to do.

    One acceptable way to artificially spread the heat around is to use metering orifices. Dunham did it even on one pipe systems. This is a job that will call for huge balancing skills.

    One wildly exotic method for accelerating steam distribution is to attach all the radiator vents to a small air line that leads to a sucking vacuum pump. This vacuum pump will be a substitute for the undersized boiler's shortage of air puffing power.

    I'm also hoping your system is properly vented and that you have more than adequate main branch venting. You need lots. Perhaps your system is suffering from unbalanced venting which would just make your boiler problems even worse.


    This may be of value no matter what you do, it is perfectly possible to zone the heat in a one pipe system; again you can't zone steam so what you do most simply is to zone the air. You put zone valves on the air vent. It is the common practice of using thermostatic valves, just all wired up. All common supplies too.

    Remember though, that this air zoning is of no help whatsoever in overcoming the shortages of an undersized boiler. You need puffing cycles to get the system to modulate. (Which you mentioned to your installer... :)

    And in the same vein, modulation being something good, instead of scrapping your current boiler for a bigger one, perhaps adding a second one would work wonders. A duo often yields more harmonious high low fire efficiencies than what can be done in just one big boiler.

    Options for disposing of a good boiler, check out companies that lend boilers in an emergency - they sell that stuff all the time. Some machine dealers also keep good stocks of used boilers. Try also some consignment sales websites. If you are in an industrial area, this should be easier.

    Best of luck. At least you didn't get a 300 hp boiler.
  • ttekushan_3
    ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 958
    I think Chip is referring to these two threads:

    Check out these threads, which show the full ordeal that chip has endured:

    Challenging situation

    L.E.S. Boiler Burner Questions!

  • Jed_2
    Jed_2 Member Posts: 781
    Yah! Rick

    A 70 HP boiler is going to be in a crate. Enjoy the registers.

This discussion has been closed.