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Weil McClain WGO-4 vs. Burnham V8H4?

debstamb Member Posts: 3
Hi All - We're getting ready to install a new boiler - i have 2 estimates that are basically identical in price but two different boilers. Anyone have experience on either of these? I've heard that Weil McClain while a good name has gone down in quality in the last years - but have nothing that i can actually verify with other than seeing reviews where it seems to have been installed wrong. Thanks!
We have oil heat, baseboards, 3000 sq. foot house, and 3 zones.


  • SeymourCates
    SeymourCates Member Posts: 162
    Clearly, nobody has bothered to do a heatloss for that house. A WG03-RD will probably be more than sufficient unless you live in Canada or Alaska.
  • debstamb
    debstamb Member Posts: 3
    thanks Seymour - any opinions of whether the Weil McClain is still a quality product if installed correctly? in all honesty my house does lose a ton of heat - windows and doors are next on the list (all the non-sexy stuff that we get to spend money on!)
  • SeymourCates
    SeymourCates Member Posts: 162
    One can never tell if the current manufacturer offering is a "quality product.". This is by definition. He could have changed specifications yesterday and one could never know. Any evidence or opinions that you receive are regarding units that are at least 10 years of age and must be considered strictly anecdotal.

    You are focusing on the wrong item. The boiler is largely irrelevant . The contractor and the installation, and the proper boiler size are critical for a decent longevity.

    You may think you lose a "ton of heat", but I seriously doubt it is above 85,000 BTUH...........the AHRI rating on the more efficient WGO3-RD.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    I'm just curious why you haven't looked at a 3 pass boiler design? Your making a long term purchase and would think you'd be looking at maximum efficiency. I'm with Seymour, as far as brand and heat loss. The install and service down the road will dictate which is best. I believe the warranties are close to the same.. Proper sizing is a big factor..
    GrallertHVACNUTSuperTechNew England SteamWorks
  • SeymourCates
    SeymourCates Member Posts: 162
    The WGO3-RD is an interesting product . Weil understands that they can get more efficiency out of the same piece of cast iron when they downfire it. They take the identical machine, the WGO-3 and reduce the nozzle from .95 to .80 and the efficiency climbs from 85.3 to 87,

    Other manufacturers should be as wise.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,128
    I would recommend doing the heat loss and sizing accordingly. Even if windows and insulation are next, factor them in to the heat loss, and size accordingly.
    I wouldn't install either of those 2 boilers. If you need domestic hot water too, an EK or a triple pass boiler with an indirect.
    If you don't need domestic hot water, a triple pass.
    I wouldn't worry about oversizing/downfiring, just proper sizing.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,987
    I agree with @lchmb that there are better boilers than that W-M and that Burnham. W-M has their Ultra Oil series and Burnham has the MPO series. Then there's Buderus, the Biasi, Solaia, Slant/Fin Eutectic and others.

    All these units are "three-pass" boilers which are inherently more efficient than the WGO and V8H series. Plus, they're a lot easier to maintain, since they don't rely on those hard-to-clean pins to absorb the heat.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,023
    I agree with all from above. I currently have a WM WGO-3 (was here when I moved in and instantly repiped it and installed a Riello) and will very soon install an Energy Kinetics Resolute. Look into it as well as the Buderus G115. IMO, stay away from the pin HX boilers.
    SuperTechNew England SteamWorks
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,919
    I would vote for an Energy Kinetics Resolute or EK-1 Frontier. Especially if you are using the boiler for DHW
  • I've never had a problem with Weil McLain and use them quite a bit.

    Having said that, I'd also vote for a 3-pass boiler. I like the European models, Biasi, Pensotti, & Viessmann, with a Riello burner.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
  • debstamb
    debstamb Member Posts: 3
    thank you all - much appreciated!