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Tune-Up/Maintenance....Steam Expert or Regular Guy?

AdmiralYoda
AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 321
I've got a 35 year old Peerless gas fired steam boiler. In the past I've had a plumber friend clean things up, do an inspection, and do some minor adjustments every couple of years.

I was going to move on from the boiler just because "it's old", but with the advice of this group I've decided to keep it in top notch shape. No sense replacing it, if it ain't broken.

That said, my plumber friend has moved away and I find myself needing a "professional" tune up for the first time. Is this something I should convince a Steam Expert from this website to perform? Or is it simple enough for the local HVAC guys to do?

Plenty of modern guys around....but I wonder how many are familiar with the older boilers.

What would you do?

Comments

  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,347
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 321
    I'm in central MA. There are a few in the state....but my question really is.....is that complete overkill for an expert to travel an hour or more to me for a simple tune up?

    I just don't trust the local Oil & Gas guys just because of all the bad work I see on here.
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 482
    If you are near Springfield, there is a guy there who has been giving me advice for over a year. I am near Schenectady, NY. He is in the list of contractors. Use 01108 zip code. If you do talk to him, tell him you got his name from a guy near Schenectady, NY with a converted two family. His usual territory is Burlington, VT to the CT shore, so he may be close enough to you.

    Technically he has been the best; head and shoulders above the locals I have used for my steam heat.
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 482
    My first answer should have been to go ahead and use an expert, then decide if you want to continue or find someone else.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,606
    The man @SteamingatMohawk mentioned is Charles Garrity -- @Charlie from wmass -- who also takes care of Cedric for me. He's the man you need.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 321
    Yup. He's the man! Comes very highly recommended! I'll probably touch base with him in a month or two once the heating season calms down.
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 368
    Hang out here long enough, and you'll start realizing you can do the maintenance yourself... with a little help from your new friends :)
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
    AdmiralYoda
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 321
    > @Precaud said:
    > Hang out here long enough, and you'll start realizing you can do the maintenance yourself... with a little help from your new friends :)

    That's the plan! Although I would like a CO/etc test done....that test you guys do when you put a probe in the chimney pipe.

    I want to make sure everything is functioning as good as it can....then I'll take care of regular upkeep.
    ethicalpaulHVACNUT
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,347
    so there's working on the steam side of the boiler, which as others and yourself have mentioned, are things you can mostly do yourself, with a little knowledge and mechanical aptitude.
    There are books for sale here which you should buy and read.

    As for the burner side,
    that's best left to a pro, with the "probe in the chimney pipe" thingy, and the knowledge it, and more, requires.
    You could get lucky and find a local guy to just service the burner side, but vetting the tech / company will be required.
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 368

    That's the plan! Although I would like a CO/etc test done....that test you guys do when you put a probe in the chimney pipe.
    .

    Your local gas company can and will do that.

    6 or so weeks ago, I suspected something was "suddently" wrong with the nat gas here, it was burning really orange. I called them, they sent someone out within an hour. He tested at the meter, at the gas supply lines in the house for leaks, and the exhaust of all of the connected appliances for CO, etc. There was no charge. They really are concerned about safety.
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,084
    > @Precaud said:
    > (Quote)
    > Your local gas company can and will do that.
    >
    > 6 or so weeks ago, I suspected something was "suddently" wrong with the nat gas here, it was burning really orange. I called them, they sent someone out within an hour. He tested at the meter, at the gas supply lines in the house for leaks, and the exhaust of all of the connected appliances for CO, etc. There was no charge. They really are concerned about safety.

    That's different. That was a CO test only. A combustion analysis must be done at annual maintenance.
    Hap_Hazzard
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 368
    Ah, ok.
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
  • gfrbrookline
    gfrbrookline Member Posts: 648
    Agreed @Charlie from wmass knows his stuff, if he is not available try Ryan @New England SteamWorks. Central MA can be share territory. Can't go wrong with either of them.