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Replace entire boiler, or just Block?

dkirkwood Member Posts: 21
I have an 18 year old, gas,steam, Burnham IN8 that is either cracked, or has a hole. It boils out most of the water in a single cycle, so it clearly needs replacing. I can see the steam going up the flue by looking up into the vent hood.

The estimates to replace the boiler with a brand new unit are difficult for me to afford. Plus, I don't plan on staying in the house for more than a few more years. I am wondering if it would make more sense to replace only the block, and key controls: low water cut off switch, the auto feed unit and the pressurtrol.

I realize the plumber's labor involved will be essentially the same for ripping it down and installing the above parts, as it would be to install an all new boiler with all new controls. However, I am thinking the overall price would be considerably less, since I believe a block is about $600 and the controls about $600 -- a new IN8 with controls is about $4400, so the savings are significant.

I am of course assuming I can buy an exact 1:1 IN8 block that will exactly fit the model from the year 1999--but assuming it is possible, what do you guys think?


  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,427
    edited March 2018
    Feedback here is likely going to be the same @dkirkwood. Are you just looking for someone to tell you to replace the block only? If so, just listen to yourself. You’re your own CFO, not us. What you should do is replace the entire boiler and figure out why it failed so early in the first place. I would sell you a new properly sized/properly piped boiler with water testing/treatment as well as address any/all system leaks. Best of luck.
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 2,012
    edited March 2018
    Looking to save money? Make sure that you are not getting a boiler that is oversized. Also, there are boilers thay are less expensive then the burnham. Williamson, crown, new yorker.
  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 746
    Either way make damn sure you install a brand new low water cut off on that thing.

    In fact since this is currently running out of water please make sure the current LWCO is working or shut the boiler down for your safety, a hot boiler with no or low water can explode.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
    Are you positive you need a boiler that big? That is a pretty big boiler. To size the boiler you add up the EDR of all the rads and size off of that. Did your plumber do that? I am guessing no.

    As said perhaps you don't need a boiler that large. It's tough for me to see those kinds of savings, the only thing you aren't buying at that point is the sheet metal casing.

    Also we do not discuss actual pricing on this board.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
    Cheaper boilers will be side outlet models, and will need close attention to the manufacturer’s piping instruction diagrams, especially if oversized as yours may be.—NBC
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,902
    We already answered this in your previous thread:


    So why did you expect something different in this one?

    Also, I suggest you remove all mention of pricing from your original post. We do not discuss pricing on this forum.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service