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What's the best oil boiler I can buy?

We had a Burnham V7 and it cracked after three years.  It was replaced with a V8.  Our serviceman just told us there is a hole at the top on the inside of the boiler.  He said it is defective.  It was installed October '02.  Still under a ten year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship, Burnham will "generously" offer us a pro-rated cash rebate,  after we pay for and install a new boiler from them ourselves. Can you imagine the nerve of these people?  These guys are crooks!  I have read that there is a big LA law firm compiling a class action lawsuit against them, which I will gladly join.  We have a 1,200 sq. ft. cape.  Could anyone recommend the best boiler we could buy for the money.  (NOT a Burnham)  What about size?  Thanks for your help.


  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,123
    I find it is often

    The installation not the boiler. Do you have photos of your boiler you can share?
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,123
    BTW Burnham has the best oil boiler

    for steam on the market.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • KeithCKeithC Member Posts: 38

    The best oil fired steam boiler on the market is the Burnham Megasteam. I can understand that you're a little fired up at your defective unit, but it happens and the company is honoring their warranty. You didn't buy a lifetime installation anymore than you buy a lifetime automobile. Parts wear.

  • Kelly GilbertKelly Gilbert Member Posts: 86
    After two Burnham boilers in less than ten years...

    Why would I want to buy another one?  The V7 had a rot hole in less than 3 years and the V8 has a rot hole in less than 8 years.   They're going to give me a few hundred dollars back and tell me we're even?  Are you kidding me?  Just what I want...more headaches in the next ten years!  I really need to be out another 6K too. 
  • what caused the rot?

    do you have a picture of the hole? if the previous owners stored bleach, or water-softener salt next to the boiler, for instance, the rot-hole from that would look different from the early burnham cracked blocks, from their casting problems.

    your first job should be the selection of an experienced steam contractor [not just a plumber]. then you can rely on his selection of a boiler. however the burnham is in the top drawer of boilers, and in cases where the cause of the block cracking was clear, they honored the warranty "against manufacturing defects". there are many other potential causes of failure which have more to do with the improper installation of, or lack of maintainance of the boiler.--nbc
  • Kelly GilbertKelly Gilbert Member Posts: 86
    edited September 2010
    I am the original owner of this boiler...

    It was installed by a professional in '02.  I never stored bleach or salts or anything of that kind near the boiler.  I don't have pictures of the rot hole as the last serviceman put the thing back together last week before declaring it defective.  After reading about this happening to hundreds of other people online, I believe it is the boiler itself that is the problem.  The professional who serviced it does, too.  If the water in New England is too much for a Burnham boiler, then Burnham better wake up and do something about it. (Like putting some iron back in the crap they call "cast iron.") 

    As far as honoring the warranty, all we have been offered is a pro-rated rebate check from Burnham (with two years left on the ten year manufacturer's warranty against defects in material or workmanship, I was told it won't be much) and ONLY if we purchase a new boiler from them and pay to have it installed.  We are talking thousands of dollars here, folks.  Now if THAT is called "honoring" a warranty, why bother having any warranty at all?  Burnham may have once been "the best" but try telling that to anyone who has owned a tin can V7 or a V8 in the past twelve years and had to deal with trying to get these lemons replaced!  They KNOW better!  
  • Boiler failures

    i can understand why you are so pissed, a boiler should last for decades. Do you have any feeling for the experience of other boiler owners in your area? If nobody else is seeing these problems then maybe you have to see if anything else could be causing the failures OR maybe you should write a letter to Burnhams management (as high up as you can get) and ask them WHY you would want another one of their boilers. Give them all the facts and ask them to reconsider. Make it clear that you want to be treated fairly.

    Are you on well water?

    Are you firing up the boiler to boil off any dissolved oxygen after adding water to the boiler?

    I have a Burnham V75 that was installed in 1997 and has no known issues (other than being over sized). I had the annual cleanout done this week and the tech said it looked fine inside.

    let us know how all this turns out.


    I'm just south of Boston (Quincy) so I'm on Quabbin water which is pretty neutral.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,123
    Ms. Gilbert please take a moment and consider

    Both boilers rotted out in short order. I have seen the same thing with Weil McLain and the owners got nothing for warranty coverage as it was rot not manufacturers defect that caused the issue. I have found the boilers were installed by incompetent people and no boiler would stand up to these installs. The Photos of your boiler would help us all alot.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • KeithCKeithC Member Posts: 38

    I've installed maybe a hundred steam boilers. Worked on more than i can ever count. A properly maintained block will not rot. All I install is Weil Mclain and Burnham. They're the best out there whether you choose to believe it or not.
  • Long Beach EdLong Beach Ed Member Posts: 700
    edited September 2010

    The Laws of Chemistry are not superseded by the Laws of Economics.

    Put your anger at Burnham on the back burner for a minute and ask yourself why two of their boilers installed in your building would rot in ten years when many thousands of other Burnham boilers are serving for forty and fifty years elsewhere.

    Did they pick you out to receive bad castings? 

    There is a problem with either your water quality or the piping, both of which are the most common cause of waterline holes in modern boilers.   I've seen this a hundred times. 

    But I'm sure Brunham already explained that to you. 

    Listen to us and save Boiler Number Three, no matter who makes it,  from a similar rusty demise.  That's in your best interest.
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 3,499
    Where in New England?

    How was the boiler piped? in steel? Was it done in copper? Does it have a tankless coil or just for heat? Is the basement "dry" or wet a lot?

     Something wierd is going on here..... Pictues of the boiler (w/ or w/o The hole showing would help us help you.

    I have not used Burnham a lot for steam but I do wish I could do a Mega steam...

     I prefer Smith and would try a Peerless too. Even still find out why it happens so you can do better this next time.
  • Al Letellier_21Al Letellier_21 Member Posts: 402
    Brunham boilers

    Not to defend Burnham because it is not my favorite, but a hole on the inside of steamer is usually attributed to too much oxygen getting into the system. I have seen many boilers of all makes with holes large enough to put a fist thru because there has been little or no maintenance on the is where water is most likely to leave the system and be replaced by more water...and a load of oxygen. Don't be too quick to blame the boiler. Make sure your heating guy pulls it apart and checks the location of the hole. IF at the water line...oxygen is the culprit.

    It has been my experience that Burnham has gone the extra mile in replacing defective boilers. They have a problem for sure, but calling them crooks ???? I do have a problem with that. I used another manufacturer's boiler for years, and I do lots of insurance inspections, and a failed boiler is a failed's just not always the boilers fault.
  • mike m_3mike m_3 Member Posts: 10
    Water treatment?

    Would any of the various boiler treatment products help ?
  • Kelly GilbertKelly Gilbert Member Posts: 86
    Someone from Burnham has contacted me

    He said they want to take a look at the boiler and see why it failed.  They suspect it may be the water in the Northeast is too rich in salt (sodium chloride) and that is why these boilers are rotting out.  They want to test the water in our boiler and see if their suspicions are correct.  He talked about the new Mega Steam boiler  that they created as an answer to this problem that will not corrode from chlorides in the water.  He said it has an excellent track record so far.  I believe some people here have already recommended it.  I believe he wants to make good on the warranty. 
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,823
    Go for the MegaSteam

    Not only is it the most efficient residential steamer on the market, but it has the best warranty. Here are some we've installed.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • Ron Jr._3Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 595
    What makes the MegaSteam the most efficicent ?

    There are a few more that have the same or better AFUE ratings and all of them are within a point or 2 ( new models )  .

    I'd sacrafice a slightly lower AFUE for longevity any day for a steamer .

    From what the original poster wrote , it sounds like the leak is higher than the water line ? I'd love to see a pic showing where the boiler rotted out . I'd highly reccomend a small water meter for the new install , just to track how much water is being added .   

    We mostly use the Peerless line . Over 85% AFUE and very long lasting . I've been installing them since they came out mid 90s and haven't had to replace one yet . Even on systems that had buried return leaks for a season or 2 . First one I could find on my computer . Don't mind the copper pipe on the header . Someone added a new rad to the old system with copper . We used type L copper , increased the size and used silver bearing solder to make sure it lasts . Knock on wood :)
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