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Maintenance on Weil McClain EG-45 natural gas steam boiler

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718wwwww
718wwwww Member Posts: 1
edited December 2019 in THE MAIN WALL
I have a steam boiler that was converted from oil to gas in 2014 in my 104 year old home. The plumber who did the conversion came by once a year to do a complimentary inspection to ensure the boiler was was working properly. At this point the yearly inspections will be $. I asked my friendly local plumbing supply guys if they thought there was a need. Two of them said there was no need. While I was talking to them a local plumber came in and was purchasing steam pipe connections so I thought I would ask him. He said it was important and he did it once a year for his customers and the fee was $ the same as my plumber. Do you recommend annual inspections? I am pretty experienced doing relatively simple plumbing repairs such as changing copper pipe and sweating new connections, changing PVC drain pipes, changing the main and radiator steam vents, and insulating all the steam pipes myself. If I can do my own repairs I prefer to do that. Is there a DIY you- tube video, you can recommend, to go through the steps of yearly maintenance? What are the parts that are most likely to fail on this unit? Can you recommend a DIY video site for making repairs to this unit. It has an automatic feed, electronic ignition. I appreciate your advice. Thanks

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426
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    Absolutely. Even gas soots up a little, so the boiler needs to be cleaned, the fire box inspected, the gas pressures checked, draught checked and adjusted and combustion checked and adjusted.

    And it can't be done without the correct, properly calibrated, test instruments. If you have them and know how to use them, go for it. Otherwise, let someone who does do it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • 718KW
    718KW Member Posts: 21
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    The licensed plumber who installed the boiler is coming by on Monday to do an annual inspection, based on your recommendation. My plumber has many years of experience with steam boilers just like you and I respect your knowledge and his. My plumber says my boiler should last about 20 years, based on his experience. I am curious why Weil McClain customer service said there was no real need to do the annual inspection. She said perhaps every two to three years, but she did not particularly feel there was even a need for that. I believe she said due to my unit being a cast iron boiler than runs clean. The manual says it needs regular maintenance.
    The plumber on yearly inspection does not appear to have the time for real cleaning. How would you suggest I clean or he clean the boiler? The plumbing supply store guys recommended adding Hercules with silicone to clean out boiler once a year followed by draining the unit. Thanks for your help.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
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    Does the water in the sightglass look dirty? It should be looking like weak tea.
    I would see no benefit to draining all the water out and refilling, as water does not wear out, or get contaminated, unless there has been a constant leak, with the auto fill adding lots of fresh makeup water, which would cause calcium deposits in the sections.
    Was the boiler ever skimmed after the installation?—NBC
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    What does he do at these yearly inspections? I think that information is important to be able to give any feedback on this subject.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,231
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    718KW said:

    I am curious why Weil McClain customer service said there was no real need to do the annual inspection. She said perhaps every two to three years, but she did not particularly feel there was even a need for that. I believe she said due to my unit being a cast iron boiler than runs clean.

    What am I missing here? You said you asked the plumbing supply guys. How would they even know? And at what point did you speak directly to a Weil-McLain employee....one that told you the boiler doesn't need to be maintained annually?

    I feel like something was miscommunicated. Every mechanical thing in the world needs maintenance. Most especially, the ones that use electricity to burn fuel to make fire and carbon monoxide and live with you in your home with your family to keep them warm.

    Does this sound like something that doesn't necessitate an annual going-over and testing by a qualified tradesperson?
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
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