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Weil Mclain vs. Lennox boiler?

I have quotes on a new boiler from 3 companies. Two of them recommend Weil McLain but the third quoted me only Lennox. The Lennox quote was quite a bit lower.

Also one of the companies that favor Weil Mclain did quote me a Lennox, which would save me about $700 vs. the Weil Mclain if I go with them.

I have a 3600 sq. foot house and the quotes are for a Weil Mclain EG65 250,000 BTU boiler vs. a Lennox GSB8-262E. Based on the quotes I have, I could end up paying anywhere from $7885 for the Weil Mclain to $6388 for the Lennox.

I should mention that I am replacing a Weil Mclain that was already in my home when I moved in 11+ years ago, and has given me various problems throughout although it doesn't seem ancient. (Not sure when it was installed.)

Any thoughts would be appreciated.



  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 2,938
    None of the above

    250K ? I'd be shocked if the heat loss was 80K. Keep looking,find someone who knows what they are doing!
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • ChrisChris Member Posts: 3,056

    250,000 /3,600 = 69.4 btu/hr sqft..I suggest you spend money on new windows and insulation. Lennox is a Dunkirk Boiler re labeled and I wouldn't touch a Weil if you paid me. By the way at that btu/hr output per sqft your curtains will be blowing like a kite in March...
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • readytogethosedreadytogethosed Member Posts: 3

    Surprised at these responses. We have a 250K Weil now. It is an old home with a steam boiler and radiators. Don't know if that makes a difference?
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 2,938

    Yes,it does make a difference! I assumed you had hot water,you need to measure the radiators to size the boiler properly for a steam system. I'd still be shocked if 250K wasn't almost double what you need.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    Hot water or steam

    Hot water and steam are two very different creatures. Can you post some pictures of your boiler? That we help in identifying what type of system you have. After that then we can help you get to step two. Best of luck.
  • ChrisChris Member Posts: 3,056
    A Steam System

    Is not sized by btu/hr but rather by square foot of radiation. The radiators needs to be measured for their edr out put..
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
    Steam boiler

    Most steam boilers are more or less the same. However there are some things to take into consideration.

    The Weil Mclain steam boilers do not have much in the way of upside. The are only two real benefit.Number one is that the sections are easier to replace should one develop some sort of leak.. However, one should never have to replace sections anyway. Assuming that the boiler is properly manufactured and properly maintained, section replacement should be a moot point(this is a debatable point). The other benefit is that the Weil Mclain's have bigger tappings the many other boilers. However, there are other steam boilers that also have similar tappings to the Weil Mclain and don't have the drawbacks of the Weil Mclains. There are two main drawbacks. Number one is that they are considerably more expensive(at least by my suppliers standards). The other potential drawback is the way that the sections are connected makes them more vulnerable to leaks between the section(this is also a debatable point). In my opinion, it is unwise to pay more money for a boiler that doesn't have much in the way of upside and possibly has some downside.

    I have zero experience with Lennox steam boilers. According to their website, the steam outlets are located on the side of the boiler. Personally, I would never install a boiler with steam outlets on the side. Their is considerably higher likelihood of water being carried over into the steam system when the steam outlets are closer to the boiler waterline.

    Sorry to beat the drum again,but this is really step # 2. Step # 1 is to find a competent steam expert who knows how to properly size and install a steam boiler. Any potential installer who did not measure the BTU output of the radiators should be kindly but promptly shown the door.

    Best of luck.
  • readytogethosedreadytogethosed Member Posts: 3
    Radiators were measured

    One of the companies did measure the radiators and then came back with a quote $2000 more than the others with the same Weil Mclain EG-65 250K BTU and 

    I-B-R rating of 654 Sq. ft. steam. I'm not going to pay almost $10,000 for the boiler so they are out. I guess I'm really trying to determine if the Lennox system is good enough for the cheaper price. I can't say I've been impressed with the Weil Mclain but it's sort of a case of choosing the devil you know over the devil you don't know. Buying the Weil Mclain would basically be replacing my boiler with the exact same model, which I'm not really excited about doing for $7000-8000. Wondering if saving $1000 with the Lennox makes sense or if I'm opening up a new can of worms.
  • ChrisChris Member Posts: 3,056
    Do Yourself A Favor

    Measure the radiators yourself and calculate the sqft of steam you need. It's not hard..
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • JStarJStar Member Posts: 2,668
    edited August 2013

    You get what you pay for. You don't get what you don't pay for. (I know I'm stealing somebody's signature from here)

    Go with the installer that gives you the most confidence. I'll put in any boiler and make it more efficient than anybody else. Ok, well any boiler except the side-tap steam boilers. Make sure that they thread their own black pipe and use black or cast iron fittings on all of the supply pipe. NO COPPER! Study the instruction manual, and make sure they follow it exactly, or go above and beyond the illustrations.

    Did they address the main venting or radiator venting? What pressure do they plan to run the system at?
    - Joe Starosielec
    [email protected]
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,449
    edited August 2013
    If it's a steam system

    If you have a steam system the boiler has to be able to supply enough steam for al the radiators. Boilers and radiators are rated by the square feet of steam that they produce or consume. Boilers are rated both in BTU's and Sq Ft of Steam. A boiler has to produce enough sq ft of steam to satisfy the EDR  (sq ft of radiating area) of all the radiators.

    Are your radiators single pipe (has a air vent on one end and a steam valve on the other end), or are they two pipe? Make a list of all the radiators that shows the height, the width, the depth (and the number of columns). Radiators are comprised of sections of columns that are swaged together at the top and bottom, there are tables that tell you what the EDR is of a given sized section.

    As an example my living room radiator is 38" high, 9" deep and about 20" wide; each section has 3 columns and there are 8 sections. Those tables tell me that a 3 column 38" high section has an EDR of 5 so if I have 8 sections that radiator is rated at an EDR of 40 and a sq ft or radiator (or edr) will put out 240 BTU so that radiator will need 9,600 BTU of steam to fully heat.

    If you list all the radiators and their EDR you will know how big a boiler you need to heat the house. Post pictures of a radiator (both ends), the boiler (from a couple of angles), and of the piping around the boiler.

    While i was typing you confirmed it was a steam system and that the radiators had been measured. Now the question is what kind of shape is the system in and how was it working. If it was not heating evenly and quietly you have more work than just replacing the boiler. It sounds like he just told you the rating of the boiler, did he give you a list of all the radiators and the sum of their EDR's? I agree that you should do the math yourself to be sure you end up with the right size boiler.

    Be careful with low bids, they usually don't get the result you want, having the boiler installed for a price does no good if the rest of the system needs work so it can work right.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • todd_ecrtodd_ecr Member Posts: 91
    Weil or Lennox

    More important than which brand to choose is to have a competent, qualified contractor who will correctly size the boiler and follow the correct near boiler piping procedures.  This is important to ensure that you get the performance, reliability and longevity out of the system that you expect.

    We manufacture the Lennox boiler.  From what i can see it looks like we offer a slightly better warranty on the cast iron heat exchanger, 12 years vs.Weil- 10 years.

    Another poster mentioned the side tappings on the GSB8-262 causing an increased likelyhood of wet steam carryover.  We locate the supply tappings at the highest point on the side of the heat exchanger.  Our testing has shown this not to be the case on a system where the near boiler piping has been installed properly and the boiler is properly sized. 
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540
    Various problems

    Measure your radiators, and find the total of the radiation in square feet. Following that, look at the manufacturers rating plate on your present boiler for the square feet of steam for which it is rated. In the case of your boiler having been correctly sized, then you can have the sections replaced, if it is leaking. At that time the steam supply piping can be redone to produce dry steam.

    Why not post some pictures of the boiler, and radiators; along with a description of the "various problems" you were having, such as:

    1.-noisy water-hammer.

    2.-excessive fuel consumption.

    3.-uneven heat.

    4.-whistling radiator vents.

    5.-excessive short-cycling.--NBC
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Where the near boiler piping has been installed properly

    is unfortunately not the norm.  A distinct lack of RTFM predominates...
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540

    Let's see those pictures of your system so we can help you.--NBC
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