I had a boiler installed last fall. It didn't go as well as I had hoped, despite my best efforts and intentions to have it done right. Basically the installer kind of misrepresented to me that he had read and agreed with Dan's books, pumping away, etc. I was gone for a few days when they came to do the install, and my wife sent me pictures of the progress, which prompted many phone calls on my part. They ended up throwing the pump on the return, using too small an expansion tank, setting the system pressure to 22psi (cold - exactly 20 ft from basement floor to top of system), reversing the supply and return connections to the old gravity pipes, installing the exhaust and intake too close together, and failing to install a boiler bypass.
Heckuva list, eh? In the end, they lowered the pressure, swapped the supply and returns, and called it a day. Long journey later, I did manage to recoup about 90% of the 'labor' costs and gave them many scathing reviews. We lived with the boiler as it was for the winter as shutting it down to repair was not an option. And honestly, it heated the house fine. But....nagging thoughts persist.
We had our roof replaced last week. Before they started, I sealed the exhaust and intake pipes (this is a Burnham ESC4 nat gas boiler) to prevent all the dust and shingle bits from possible getting in there (sidewall terminations). I thought, Boy, I don't want to trap all this horribly humid air in the boiler. It's off for the summer. So I removed the inspection/air box cover so that it can stay dry (I run a dehumidifier in my basement ALL summer to keep the humidity around 45% -- was pretty swampy when we bought the place).
I took my phone and took a few blind pictures up into the boiler sections. What I'm wondering is, does this look like it should after one 7 month heating season? Seems...excessive. But I'm no boiler expert, I'm a heavy equipment mechanic by trade.
On the list for this summer are: re-packing all the hand valves on all the radiators (we have all cast iron rads), installing a proper size expansion tank, moving the circ (which is now a Bumblebee) to the supply after the PONPC, and installing a boiler bypass. This is my concern...Is the rust/buildup indicative of condensing flue gasses? I know we run relatively low water temps. Maybe maxing out at 140* or so. The Burnham is rated to handle 110* return water...while it may get there eventually, I think it's condensing the whole way there.
I'm just concerned, as I want this boiler to last as long as possible with as few problems as possible.
Sorry for the long-winded post, and happy Sunday to everyone out there.
Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems