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To convert or not

AnneRI Member Posts: 1
I need to have my old (probably 70+ years) oil tank removed from my basement.  It is not weeping, but I'm sometimes away from the house for a month at a time and don't feel I can risk this any longer.  The question is whether to convert to gas at this time.  Here are relevant points:

House: :  96 years years old; very poor insulation in and around windows/doors;

                  steam radiator heat; 2200 sq ft living area

Current boiler:  HB Smith 8 Series Boiler-Buner, installed 1987 (circulator motor

                            replaced 2000)

Hot water:          Amtrol Boiler Mate Indirect-fired, installed 2002

Amount of time I'm likely to be in house before selling:  5 years.  A realtor has told me that gas would be a positive selling point when the time comes.

I have consulted the gas company and know I have a live gas line to the house (which hasn't been used in over 30 years -- probably over 70 years).

My chimney is not lined.

I live in RI.  A friend has suggested that I convert to gas without getting a new boiler, considering my probable time-line for moving.

I would appreciate any thoughts you have on any of this.  --Thanks


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited March 2014
    Oil tanks:

    I'm not commenting on your gas situation except to say that if you're worried about a 70 year old oil tank rupturing, I'd be far more concerned about a 70 YO unused gas line.

    As far as the oil tank, I've never seen any oil tank, just rupture like delivering a child one day. They usually show some form of weep first along the bottom or a side seam. I'd be far more concerned about driving down the road and being T-Boned by someone running a stop sign or a red traffic light.

    And if you are not a current gas customer, there is a possibility that with some previous gas system improvement, the gas company disconnected and abandoned your unused service. Check with them to find out.
  • heatpro02920
    heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    edited March 2014
    You need to get a pro out there...

    I happen to know one, lol.....

    I would not worry about a decent tank leaking, I would be more worried about your 12 year old amtrol bursting than a steel oil tank from 70 years ago....

    If its not broken, don't fix it... BUT If you are looking to save on energy costs, then look further into natural gas. If you are looking to sell the home in the near future it is a tough call, will adding a new boiler improve your resale value greater than its initial cost? Most likely it will. Will it cost more than leaving your working equipment, YES it will, $0 vs X amount for a new boiler....

    Looking at your ages of your equipment and my experience with them specific items, I will say you are well past the middle of their life spans, and with the tank, its a tough call it could last another day or another 30 years, I notice tanks from 30 years ago may leak after 25 years, but tanks from a decade before that last 50 years... If its in a dry basement and kept full all the time, it will last longer than if its outside and always ran to empty and left under 1/2 for long periods of time, or near the ocean...

    But your best bet would be to have a contractor come in and give you some options, get a few prices talk to a few companies and weigh out all of your options, contrary to popular belief more options in a situation make for an easier decision...

    Where in RI are you?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,480
    I am in RI just too old

    to do installs anymore, however if you give me a call I can connect you with someone who can help you. By the way Heatpro who also answered you here is in the RI area. My number is 401-437-0557 or e-mail [email protected] I would definitely have a professional look at what you have and recommend what is best and most efficient and economical to meet your situation.

    What is your location in RI?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,838
    Smith 8 series boilers

    run very well with Carlin EZ-Gas burners. Smith actually sold them with these burners.

    But you say this is a steam system- is the circulator you mention pumping the Amtrol?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • AnnieRI
    AnnieRI Member Posts: 1
    Limits of my understanding

    Truth be told, I don't know what the circulator is pumping.  I wrote a note to myself when I had to replace it in 2000, but I didn't really understand what I was replacing.

    I live in eastern Cranston, RI.
  • heatpro02920
    heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    I can take a look at it for you

    I will be in your area Thursday and Friday, I am actually changing a daycare {on wstrn promanade st off of park ave in eastern cranston} from steam to 95% forced warm air tomorrow and Friday,
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,838
    I'd suggest our Find a Contractor page

    but there aren't any listings for RI. Any contractor in this area who's reading this- get listed! We did and it's one of the best moves we ever made.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    Please call Tim

    He knows good people who can get this working well for you. Tim get one of your guys to put up an add, it helps keep the wall working for us all.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726