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section replacement

ZachZach Member Posts: 41
Based on a recent thread, the possibility has come up that I MIGHT have a leak in my Weil Mclain EG-65 boiler above the water line.  Looking at the rust on the burners, I suspect that it is the right-hand section that has a problem (there was rust ONLY on the rightmost burner, no others).  The LWCO/auto filler never runs, so I don't suspect the leak is big at all.  I suppose it could just be a bad elastomer seal but I fear it could actually be a bad section.

IF this is the case, how easy is it to replace a section in this boiler?

Some background:

1. The boiler is from 1998, we think (prior homeowner kept poor records), It is only 15 years old and should still have lots of time left in it. 

2. The near-boiling piping, as some of you may recall from prior threads is completely wrong and I already intended to fix that this summer with swing arms and a proper drop-header.

3. Some others may recall that St. Louis seems to be completely lacking in anyone who knows anything about steam heat systems.  Everyone I talk to is about 20-25 years old and wants to talk me into converting to forced air.  No one can even name the parts of a steam heat system.  I basically trust no one to install or service it correctly.

4. I am pretty adept at doing most jobs myself (I can do plumbing, electrical, rough construction, plastering, tiling, floors, etc) and I am a fast learner.  My professional background required quite a bit of hard science education (physics, lots of biology, inorganic/organic/analytic chemistry, lots of calc and statistics) so I am able to understand HOW and WHY things work, not just blindly follow step 1,2,3...etc.


  • RJRJ Member Posts: 484

    I would wait to warmer weather and pull apart all the sections for inspection, at that point you can determine if any others have a problem. If you have never installed boiler sections I would hire a pro to do it, your back will thank you
  • ZachZach Member Posts: 41
    def waiting

    I am definitely waiting for warmer weather, no doubt about that.

    Like I said in my post, I just don't think any "pros" in St. Louis know what they are doing and I don't trust them.  Is it a technically challenging jobor is it just tough because the sections are so heavy?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,704
    Not really technically challenging

    although it isn't something the average chimpanzee can manage.  There are two main points -- first, the sections are very heavy.  Not so heavy that one pperson can't handle them, but that one has to know what he is doing with large, heavy, unstable objects.  Second, while the reassembly isn't rocket science, you do have to follow the directions, particularly with regard to properly placing and seating the gaskets and pulling the whole thing together.  Mistakes or shortcuts doing those things will result in leaks, if not immediately, dismayingly soon.

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • RJRJ Member Posts: 484

    Get a hold of the Weil rep in your area ask them if they know of anyone that assembles there boilers,  When I was working with Peerless boilers the rep worked with a  co. that specialized in section tear down, replacement and old section disposal.  This was in the SF Bay Area. If you want to do it yourself get the boiler I.O.M. and review the install section.
  • Mark NMark N Member Posts: 1,035

    Be realistic I doubt it is worth the effort to replace a section in a 15 year old boiler. If the boiler has a crack or a rot hole it is time for a new one.
  • ALIGAALIGA Member Posts: 194
    dont bother, get a williamson equivalent

    once you open it, this is what you may find:
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,630

    I installed my own EG-45 I see no reason you can't install one yourself.  With appropriate permits from the town fo course.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Member Posts: 1,660
    Have you inspected yet?

    It's not that hard to take off the top cabinet panel.  Once you have that off, you can remove several screws and lift of the flue collector cover.  Once you've done that, you'll be looking right at the top of the block and you will be able to see if you have a problem or not.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
  • ZachZach Member Posts: 41
    i am

    I think I am being realistic.  A replacement section for the boiler is about $400 plus my time.  A new boiler is at least $4000 plus an HVAC guys time.  If I can repair it, why replace it? 

    With that extra $3600+ I can do a lot of other stuff to my house not to mention I save a boiler from the landfill and prevent the use of the massive amounts of energy to make a new boiler. 

    I think we would all be better off try to fix broken things rather than replace them.  Besides, if we did that manufacturers would build them better and would make a nice side replacement parts business.

    Isn't this why we all slave over our 100+ year old steam heat systems?  Otherwise, why not just put in a forced air system and laminate floors!?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,630

    My Burnham V8 series went to scrap not a landfill.  If you can replace a section your self why can you not install a new boiler your self?

    I think the reason everyone is saying to replace the whole thing is because of its age.  You're typically lucky if you get 15-20 years out of a block.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • RJRJ Member Posts: 484

    If you want to replace a section there is a good chance the section next to it has a problem also. Once you start taking sections loose you compromise the tightness of the remaining sections. I would take apart all the sections, lift them off the stand and check all the nipple ports( round openings on top and bottom ) for any sign of metal erosion at faces, You can also inspect the base and inside panel refractory for damage. At this point you can decide how many sections and other parts you may need. You than can order your sections,gaskets ,rope,adhesives, draw rods, nuts,washers, etc. I would always number the panels, makes it easier to reassemble. Some times the hardest part is getting the risers loose from the sections, you may need to cut your header piping and weld in some companion flanges.
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