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worth it to replace old boiler?

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jalcoplumb_7
jalcoplumb_7 Member Posts: 62
Go for the new one and don't look back. Make sure you insulate the piping. Someone removed the asbestos insulation years ago and never reinsulated.

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  • Carolyn Noah
    Carolyn Noah Member Posts: 2
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    worth it to replace old boiler?

    Our old house is heated with an old boiler. The system is forced steam and the burner has been converted from oil to gas. Last time we had it checked, its efficiency was in the area of 80%. Is it worth it to replace it with a new boiler if we only save a few percentage points on efficiency? Thanks!
  • Perry_3
    Perry_3 Member Posts: 498
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    Probably not

    As long as your steam boiler is still sound there is not likely a lot of fuel savings from replacing it (this is would not be true if you had just a hot water boiler - then the fuel savings can be fairly large).

    You might want to have one of the heating help steam professionals look over your system. Most improvements in steam heating systems come from properely maintaining and tuning up the old system.

    Perry (a homeowner)
  • jalcoplumb_7
    jalcoplumb_7 Member Posts: 62
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    How was the 80% figured?

    How old is old? How did you get the 80%? Was this the burner efficency?

    Have the system piping checked to make sure it was installed properly and check the venting. Make sure the steam pipes are insulated. Make sure you get someone who knows steam. Low to mid 80 AFUE is all you will get out of most gas steam boilers.

    Look at insulating your house and installing better doors and windows. This might make a bigger impact than replacing the boiler.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
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    That 80%

    might have been the combustion efficiency, which would mean the burner is working reasonably well. It might not mean the boiler is doing a good job of transferring heat to the water.

    Some older boilers, especially round ones that originally burned coal, were shockingly inefficient- about 40% according to some of my old books. If your boiler is one of these, it should be replaced immediately.

    If you're not sure what you have, take some digital pics and post them here. Also list the boiler make and model if you can find it.

    If you tell us where you're located, we might know someone who can help you make your system run as efficiently as it can. If you're in the Baltimore area, contact us.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Carolyn Noah
    Carolyn Noah Member Posts: 2
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    replace old boiler?

    Thanks for the reply - I suspect it describes our boiler, which is a Capitol and has no model number that we can find. I've uploaded a photo.

    We're far away from your area but really appreciate your insight.
  • Wow!

    That`s cool! Never saw one that looked like that,,most people would think this was a "water heater" LOL. With no real header persay, and looking at the way it`s equalized, wouldn`t this throw-out alot of wet steam? Be interesting to hear what Steamhead(Frank) says.

    Dave
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
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    Replace it!

    you should see a substantial fuel savings when you do. That's an old "all-fuel" boiler which has large flueways to accommodate coal burning. These make it less efficient.

    The multi-fuel feature is a good thing as long as you don't have to make provision for coal. Some boilers, such as the Smith 8 series, can be factory-equipped to fire with oil or gas, which would give you the ability to switch fuels if the gas company gets too greedy.

    The new boiler must be installed properly. Try the Find a Professional page of this site to locate a good steam installer.

    Dave, the old boiler has a large steam chest, so it probably produces good dry steam on its own. They actually used to test boilers for steam quality in those days.

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This discussion has been closed.