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2 Pipe Dunham Vapor Boiler Repllacement -- Advice

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Tony_33
Tony_33 Member Posts: 2
Homeowner here, in Englewood, NJ (near GW Bridge and NYC). Have been getting quotes about replacing my 299,000 BTU HB Smith G5 boiler. The contractors I've spoken with seem familiar with my system (it's hard to tell).

In any event, one was very down on Weil McClain since they use a rubber gasket (nipple) between the boiler sections. He said he's always ripping these out when they fail in 5 years. He suggests a Peerless, but said he might have to put together two smaller boiler because the large Peerless does not come in sections and our basement access might make it difficult to get the larger one into the basement.

One of the other contractors looked into another Smith boiler, but they don't have the right size. He proposed to go with Weil McClain.

A third contractor said he always uses Utica.

1) any comments or advice on the boiler issues above?

2) anything beyond what Dan H. recommends in his book about evaluating and dealing with a contractor? In particular, anything I should be sure to consider/evaluate/include since I have this 2 pipe vapor steam system?

Thanks

Comments

  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
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    boiler replacement

    You didn't mention if your contractors did a heat load survey and sized the replacement boiler correctly. That is a very large boiler. I assume you have a big house???? That is about 1245 sq ft of steam.....It really bugs me when guys slam Weil for its "rubber" gaskets...Smith uses them too. I have installed over 350 Weil Boilers in the last 13 years of business and have NEVER lost a boiler at the seals, and I do a lot of steam. A Weil 80 four section will do the job and it comes unassembled and is very easy to put together. We recently did one in a church parish house, and with the local Weil guy helping us out ( OJT for him), we had it together, with burner and all controls mounted in less than 4 hours....no pulling and tugging wrenches or hydraulic jacks. Weil makes a QUALITY boiler and when it comes to steam, is the ONLY boiler I use.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    What does your gut tell you?

    I replace alot of WM's that leak at the sections at about the 20 year mark. In all fairness they are the most popular boiler so that may also be why the number of leakers seem slanted. You can do multiple boilers, or assemble one on site. or use a peerless split block..most contractors (my self included) are creatures of habit and will want to use the product they are familiar with. get it set up for two stage firing to make it work best on vapor.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    I might add

    that any boiler (Weil, Smith, what have you) with rubber gaskets will leak if it's mistreated -- there are some chemicals to avoid.

    On the other hand, if you treat them the way the manufacturer intended you to (in other words, kindly read and heed the directions) they should last as well as any other boiler.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Tony_33
    Tony_33 Member Posts: 2
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    Thanks for the advice

    Only one of the contractors (Weil Mc guy) did a heat load analysis (measured all the radiators) and he came up with a need for about 260,000 BTU, close to the 299,000 BTU I now have The other stats on the current boiler are 229,000 BTU output, 715 Sq Ft of steam (the old boiler is HB SMITH G 300-5).

    I'm not sure about my gut, yet. My gut feeling is the Weil-McC guy's been the most thoughtful so far (heat load analysis) and had planned to do a Smith boiler and then decided Weil was a better fit.

    On the two stage firing to get the best out of vapor, what's done differently? What should I be asking for?
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    If the weil guy is the most thoughtful

    then use him..like Jamie said, if its taken care of it should last..on a steam boiler installation there really isn't vast difference in boilers..there is vast difference in installers..weil also has some of their bigger boilers come from the factory set up for stage firing..vapor systems work best on a long steady burn..you don't want the boiler to shut off on pressure..you want it to jockey settings on the gas, the same way the damper regulator controled the coal boilers fire.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,752
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    Regarding boiler replacement

    If you are anywhere near Floral park, try Matt Sweeney. I can't remember his co. name but Email him at Sweeneyflrlprk7@aol.com and maybe he can look at the job.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,112
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    find a pro

    Have you tried the find a pro section on this site if not try it matt sweeney companies name is triple crown i believe he has ad in the fap section,i have used alot of larger weil 78 and now 80 and have had no issues but stay away from chemicals and be sure to have the water side cleaned and flushed every 2 years or so ,also be sure that nipples and caps are used to make this easier in the future ,also make sure they use both tappings and follow the manafactures near boiler piping for header size i usually go 1 size bigger and use a drop header, dryer steam is not a function of the boiler but is the function of the near boiler piping and insist on steel pipe and find out if the contractor has the equiptment for cutting and threading pipe over 2 inches like 3 and 4 also insist on full return sizes and a properly sized equilizer and a vapor stat peace abd good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,112
    Options
    find a pro

    Have you tried the find a pro section on this site if not try it matt sweeney companies name is triple crown i believe he has ad in the fap section,i have used alot of larger weil 78 and now 80 and have had no issues but stay away from chemicals and be sure to have the water side cleaned and flushed every 2 years or so ,also be sure that nipples and caps are used to make this easier in the future ,also make sure they use both tappings and follow the manafactures near boiler piping for header size i usually go 1 size bigger and use a drop header, dryer steam is not a function of the boiler but is the function of the near boiler piping and insist on steel pipe and find out if the contractor has the equiptment for cutting and threading pipe over 2 inches like 3 and 4 also insist on full return sizes and a properly sized equilizer and a vapor stat peace abd good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,112
    Options
    find a pro

    Have you tried the find a pro section on this site if not try it matt sweeney companies name is triple crown i believe he has ad in the fap section,i have used alot of larger weil 78 and now 80 and have had no issues but stay away from chemicals and be sure to have the water side cleaned and flushed every 2 years or so ,also be sure that nipples and caps are used to make this easier in the future ,also make sure they use both tappings and follow the manafactures near boiler piping for header size i usually go 1 size bigger and use a drop header, dryer steam is not a function of the boiler but is the function of the near boiler piping and insist on steel pipe and find out if the contractor has the equiptment for cutting and threading pipe over 2 inches like 3 and 4 also insist on full return sizes and a properly sized equilizer and a vapor stat peace abd good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
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