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steam boiler life expectancy

D-man Member Posts: 17
Is it common for a steam boiler to require replacement in ten years or less?


  • toolmantim
    toolmantim Member Posts: 3
    A little too early

    A bit too early for end of service life.   Many variables come into play.  Which make boiler, installation type(residential/commercial), properly sized, properly maintained, leaky system/freshwater makeup gallonage??
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,432
    Boiler life

    I have a 15 year old Burnham v75 steam boiler and that replaced a 50 year old Delco boiler. The v75 has not had a good reputation because they thinned out the cast iron to pump up the efficiency and that left the boiler very susceptible to water quality problems like high chloride content.

    A propel installed and maintained boiler should last more than 10 years if the water supply is good and the system has no leaks. Getting the boiler installed correctly is the tough part these days. I would not put an automatic water feeder on a boiler in my house because it leads to neglect and a neglected boiler is not going to be long lived.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Greg Maxwell
    Greg Maxwell Member Posts: 212
    Boiler Failure

    Are you saying your boiler has failed, or are you just wondering how long your boiler will last?
  • D-man
    D-man Member Posts: 17
    steam boiler life

    Thank you for the responses.  To answer your question, I am just wondering about how long a steam boiler should last. 

    If anyone believes 10 yrs. is a reasonable life expectancy, then I would like to hear from you.  If no one chimes in, then I will presume you all agree it should be > 10 yrs.

    Thank you,
  • edge
    edge Member Posts: 5
    steam boiler life

    If everyone agrees that around 10 years is reasonable life expectancy then I guess I am unreasonable as I have a Peerless JOT steamer that has to be  around 30 years old which I have no plans of replacing untill I have problems.I am now in my 60 s so it really doesn't seem that old.I'm using some tools that were made before I was born.It seems that iron can wear better that we can.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,476
    Boilers should last for decades

    but some don't. Excessive make-up water can eat up a boiler, and a bad low-water cutoff can cause it to dry-fire and crack. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,311
    Many boilers do die in 10 or less years

    Most are due to poor installations and poor maintainence. There are some due to poor manufacturing but they are rare. Decades not years SHOULD be normal.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Babs
    Babs Member Posts: 1
    Peerless steam boiler

    Had a peerless steam boiler installed on 1999. I maintain it well n add water only when cool. It needs water every 8 hrs n is making loud hissing noise. Think it needs replacing Is this the average life???
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    edited January 2014

    The boiler may be leaking. You can overfill it with water to see if the water ends up on the floor or inside the boiler.