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boiler selection help please

I'm trying to select a boiler brand and model for my home.



Ideally, I'd like a 3" or 2 1/2" main tapping, although (2) 2" tappings would also be OK. My goal is to get dry steam. I'd also like long life, I would assume a thicker casting and metal (cast iron?) push nipples would be good.



I need 230 sf of radiation.



Looking at these boilers. Please tell me your choice, or if there is a different one I should look at:



Weil McLain PEG 35 (but it only has (1) 2" tapping. 258 sf radiation)



Peerless 63-03L - (I like that it has a 3" tapping and is exactly the size I need-233 sf radiation)



Smith GSX-88 - is this the same boiler as the Peerless? stats are the same.



Burnham IN4 - (a bit too large. has (2) 2" tappings - 271 sf of radiation)



thanks in advance...

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,907
    edited September 2013
    WM

    Just wanted to mention the Weil McLain PEG 35 most likely has TWO 3 inch tappings.



    I would use both tappings on any boiler assuming they are offered, never just one. If the Peerless is the exact size you need, and you're 100% sure of that I would go that route. My EG-45 is the exact size I need and it works beautiful. Only time I saw it trip on pressure was after doing I think a 9 degree recovery and it took almost an hour and a half before it cycled once.



    Be warned though, I have to be VERY careful about how fast I vent my radiators. If I vent too fast, others get starved and stay cold.



    If you want long lasting it probably isn't going to happen and I think all of the boilers are basically the same. Keep leaks to a minimum, only manually feed the boiler and fire it immediately after adding makeup water. Also I personally use Rectorseal steamaster water treatment to reduce corrosion. Many guys swear by pure water but I swear by treatment. I monitor my PH closely and keep an eye on things.
    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
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,381
    Smith G8

    You might want to consider a Smith G8 with a Carlin EZ-Gas instead of the usual oil gun this boiler usually comes with. Wet based boilers are more efficient than atmospheric types like the GSX. The G8-3 is rated for 283 sq ft of steam but by drilling the right orifice you should be able to select the burn rate you need to satisfy your needs.



    Try to find someone who is familiar with the EZ Gas power burner so it gets set up prperly. These do make more noise than an atmospheric burner but they save fuel. Where are you located?



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,907
    edited September 2013
    maintenance.

    Bob, I don't think I've asked this before but do those gas guns need any annual maintenance?



    I'm wondering if the extra cost of the burner combined with constant maintenance would eat up any actual fuel savings. Personally, if I went that route I'd go with a Mega-steam for the lower risk of rotting the block. That alone would make it worth it to me. ** Burnham last I knew did not say this could be done, but I think I would do it anyway.
    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
  • Dsisson
    Dsisson Member Posts: 68
    thanks

    I'm in Providence, RI.



    I can't find a decent steam guy here at all. Beating my head against the wall.



    I'd go for the Smith 8 series with the carlin ez gas, but no one I've talked to has any idea WHY I'd want to do that.



    I've tried Gronski Plumbing, but they don't answer the phone. So I'm reduced to hiring someone who can competently install (sort of) an atmospheric system.



    What do you guys think about the Peerless? The "best" guy so far wants to install a Weil McLain, but I'm nervous about the gaskets. I've read that if it's installed properly, it will last, but still nervous about it cuz not sure any of these guys can install properly.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,907
    Gaskets

    I went with a WM because it was the right size and I liked the dual 3 inch tappings.



    Fact is the gaskets rarely leak and if they do I believe they are easy to replace. That said, chances are the block will be a problem long before the gaskets and all steam boilers are about the same with that.



    Everyone will tell you the installation is far more important than what boiler brand you pick. Many guys like the EZ gun in a wet based boiler, I personally felt it was too complicated for me to install and work with as I'm a homeowner and not a pro.
    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
  • Dsisson
    Dsisson Member Posts: 68
    did you?

    Chris did you install yourself?



    Just curious. I'd prefer a pro to a DIY job, but the 'pros' here are kinda lame. One gave me a long story about all the boiler's he's had go bad. I figure he installs them wrong cuz it's almost impossible for that many to go bad.



    *banghead*
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,907
    edited September 2013
    Install

    Yessir. I did all of it with the help of my dad and the great folks on this forum and of course Dan's books. Without this forum and Dan's books I would have been clueless.



    The link in my signature shows the story.
    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
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Look at Chris' pics!

    "banghead",

    Chris is the man with his install. Take a look at the pics... especially the stairs! Yikes!



    I'm also curious about the maintenance on the gas power burners. The Slantfin tech guy told me they need less maintenance than the oil burners for some reason, but he may have just been referring to soot.

    I'm mystified why installers shy away from the WB boilers; it's not like it's new technology. The install instructions are pretty clear, so I don't really see the difference, except for the gas or oil gun. That needs a combustion analyzer and a pro to install it. If my install weren't so complicated I would have considered doing it myself with a heavy dose of help and a pro for the burner.



    This install seems like it would be straight forward in such a small size. The WB boilers have a water line, but I think due to the way they function, may have longer life. Had I only needed to replace my rotted out sections, I would have gone the Chris route, but my controls (what controls?) were failing as they were about 60yrs old.



    P.S. Burnham didn't say it couldn't be done with the MS, only that they wouldn't warranty it, which is almost the same thing. However, I know there are at least a couple of people on this forum who have installed them with a gas burner. I'd love to hear how it's going for them.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,381
    I wanted the Megasteam

    Chris,



    My understanding is the flame rod has to be checked and perhaps cleaned, other than that you just do a general inspection. I could be wrong. I don't think the EZ Gas costs all that much more than an oil gun does especially against the total cost of an install.



    I considered the megasteam but knew I'd be throwing away the warranty on a brand new boiler, with my luck I would have gotten the one bad casting on planet earth. I contacted Burnham about a power gas burner on it but they did not want to hear it so I went with the Smith G8 instead.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,907
    edited September 2013
    wet

    Thank you for the compliments vaporvac.



    You may have noticed the boiler I ripped out was a Burnham V8 series. That boiler according to the paperwork that came with the house had its block rott out twice in 8 years. If I recall, it was changed the first time when only 3 years old and then it rotted out again at only 5 years old. We had just bought the house when i found out it was rotted.



    This is probably why I have no more respect for WB boilers than I do any other. Of course it was due to neglect and abuse, but it still rotted out just as an atmospheric would.
    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
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,907
    Warranty

    Hi Bob,



    Hard to argue with that.
    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
This discussion has been closed.