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Giving up on the Peerless SC boilers

I installed 3 of these early on when back in Chicago and have had lots of problems. Well the second of the 3 I installed has now burnt off the end of the burner head. They have tiny chambers and are pushing alot of btus into very narrow castings. Combustion numbers are good and the burners are the factory specified burners with welded flanges for insertion depth and no leaks at the flanges.
These are also the only boilers we have had problems with running out of water during normal heating cycles. Boiler water is so clean its looks drinkable + proper piping with 4 inch drop header. Mains are well vented to get steam out to the ends of the system quickly and water coming back quickly.

The EC models we have installed have had no problems...basically the same boiler but much less btus pushed into the chamber and castings.

The third one we installed we downfired a few years ago when we orificed the radiators to eliminate the radiator traps and reduce the radiation load.... this one is fine.

I'd avoid these boilers at all costs. Peerless seems to have pushed the design too far with too many btus and too narrow of castings and inadequate water content for good steam operation.

As of now, we are eating all the costs to replace them with WM 80s series boiler..... the several of these we have installed have operated nearly flawlessly ( with the exception of some defective parts that we fixed on the Carlin burners). Bigger chambers and lots more usable water volume.
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Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,353
    That's the story with all boiler made now. This is one reason we have more boiler issues now that they ever had with the old stuff.

    The MFGs are under the gun to be competitive, raise efficiency etc so the more BTUs you can push out of a piece of Iron the better off your are..................until it causes issues.

    If you go back in time it was the Smith 28 versus the Weil 86/88.

    They were in direct competition around here so say a Smith 6 section Weil needed a 7 section to get the same rating so Weil upped their ratings so then Smith did etc etc. This went on a few times

    The 28s have been around since 1977 was the first one I saw and the Weil's are older than that. You can only push them so hard.

    Plus they test in a lab under ideal conditions that can't be field duplicated
    STEVEusaPAkcopp
  • Kjmass1
    Kjmass1 Member Posts: 241
    As I contemplate replacing my 50 year old Pennco, I keep going back to "they probably don't build them like they used to." Better to put the money in to insulating the basement instead.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,416
    You’re eating the costs @The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)? How long is your warranty? 
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,214
    As I said the EC model seems fine. The Peerless 63/64 are fine. In fact the Peerless SC are the only steamers we've installed were we have had these problems. We have quite a few Smith 28/ Peerless TC in place with no problems. We do install them the 28/TC with the higher grade piping required by Peerless (all threaded), which Smith doesn't require. We've got some Slantfin Galaxys and Interpids.. also no problem.

    We're eating the cost because we recommended the owners go to these more efficient models and the have turned out to be crap.

    The bigger problem we've been facing is that about 2/3 of the boilers we install have some defect... castings, gas train, low water cut offs etc. We are seeing new electric motors with very light use only last 18 months. The whole market is making junk. We've increased our labor charges another 5% to help offset all the labor costs dealing with defective equipment. The manufacturers refuse to pay a dime... no matter how obvious the defect is.... like castings from Peerless where the nipple ports were machined out of alignment making the boiler look like a potato chip when assembled. I can see why a number of first rate companies have just given up and closed shop.

    The one exception to this pattern has been Slant Fin... they truly stood behind thier product when we had problems and they paid all the costs of dealing with the issue.... not like the unethical companies that just give us the parts for free. Actually it looks like we are even going to get stiffed on the warranty for parts now... we've been waiting nearly a year to be reimbursed by Peerless for a bad/ incorrect controller ( Honeywell).
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    WMno57ChrisJGordo
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,416
    But you didn’t make the product @The Steam Whisperer, and that’s why you have a warranty period. I’m sure it’s well beyond that period. You shouldn’t be eating the costs. 
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,214
    Oh I agree I shouldn't be eating the costs...Peerless should. Essentially they appear to have made a product which is incapable of doing the thing it was marketed for and they should be held responsible for that action. I wonder how many years in court it would take to even get some money back. They, like nearly all companies, only provide a warranty for replacement parts if a part fails. In a day when there was still some fundamental sense of fairness and responsibility, the company would step up and make things right (at least send someone out to look at the problem). That seems to have been nearly completely lost today. However, I prefer to not do business ( or any other part of my life) at that level... I recommended the product and will make it right by installing a product that will do the job it is supposed to do.
    It's really too bad...the wholesaler I buy Peerless from is top notch, but Peerless appears to be just like any other manufacturer... all that matters is how much money they are making short term while they destroy the company and the steam heating industry's long term viability. It's why I no longer exclusively use Peerless products as I once did. I use the 63/64 and the TCII, but that's about it. The 63/64 is hard to screw up ( though we have had bad or incorrectly machined castings 3 times). On the TCII we use everyone else's products so we can chose reliable components for the burner/ controls etc. We've only done one 211A and have been waiting nearly a year on getting a response on the controller we had to replace in order to get the boiler running and we ate all thousands in additional labor trying to figure out why a brand new product was not working. That may be our first and only 211, though there really is no good alternative. The LGB's need way too much height for venting to be properly installed in most boiler rooms and don't hold up as well, especially for steam.
    We now install lots of WM 80 series... we just put 2 in my church which will probably be only the fifth Energy Star rated church in the state of Illinois. The facility has already seen publicity due to the huge reductions in energy usage it has achieved and getting Energy Star Certified will certainly see some play in the Chicago Market. There are over 90 other Presbyterian Churches in Metro Chicago, so guess whose boilers they may be looking at once they find out about the savings achieved.
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    Gordo