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Choosing new steam boiler

I'm looking to replace my steam boiler soon, and will be doing the job myself. I have a peerless wbv-04 now converted to natural gas using a carlin ez burner last year. I'm looking for boiler recommendations for what people would put in their own house.
I'm looking for a wet base boiler since I like the slightly higher efficiency plus less standby loss. I will need a boiler about 450 st ft of steam. I currently am looking at the slant fin intrepid tr-30 or the weil mclain sgo-4 with the carlin ez gas burner.
I also need a boiler with a tankless coil to feed an indirect water heater for 2 hot water zones in my basement and addition. I am open to any other suggestions.

Comments

  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
    The boiler block is not as important as what you do with the piping around it or how clean you keep it. 
    That being said, when I'm picking a steamer, I'm looking at the size of the supply tapping, the number of sections compared to the BTU output and the weight of the block. Bigger/ heavier sections says to me thicker casting and longer lasting. 

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,830
    What's wrong with your Peerless?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • steamnovice39
    steamnovice39 Member Posts: 22
    My peerless was severely abused when I bought my house. I spent some time bringing it back to life by cleaning, skimming, and treating the water with steam master tablets to keep PH in check. Plus I'm on city water so I have a lot of chlorides in the water. There was a lot of make up water introduced over its life, plus I fixed many leaks from near boiler piping, return line, and tankless plate. I repiped the riser, added a 3 in drop header, fixed the hartford loop, and changed wet return pipes.
    I contacted peerless to get a manufacture date from the serial number, but they said my boiler is too old for them to give me a date. I'm estimating the boiler to be about 20 years old based off other components in the system.
    I can be away from home for some time with my family there, and I want to preemptively change the boiler before I have any issues.
    Last year I installed a carlin ez gas burner, new flue piping, I lined the chimney with a stainless liner, and added a double barometric damper with spill switch. I would like to replace the boiler for peace of mind regardless of price.
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
    The peerless ECT models are great boilers.  
    Push nipple heat exchanger, has 2 options for tankless coils. 

  • steamnovice39
    steamnovice39 Member Posts: 22
    The peerless ECT-04 looks like a good option as well. Would definitely want the ECT-04 over the ECT-03 since it has 2 - 2 in risers. Does peerless certify their boilers to fire natural gas? I don't want to void my warranty.
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,295
    The ECT-03 has 2-2” riser tappings. There is no issues with installing a gas power burner on the peerless boilers.
    E-Travis Mechanical LLC
    Etravismechanical@gmail.com
    201-887-8856
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 627
    Is there any benefit to use a gas converted Peerless ECT-03 vs a Peerless 63 series that is already set up for gas?  
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
    The boilers heat exchange is a little bit more efficient and you have more control over the firing rate. 

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited January 2021
    The peerless ECT-04 looks like a good option as well. Would definitely want the ECT-04 over the ECT-03 since it has 2 - 2 in risers. Does peerless certify their boilers to fire natural gas? I don't want to void my warranty.
    Sorry to tell you that Peerless voids your warranty if you install it yourself. I’m not sure that’s legal, but it would cost 10 boilers to fight it in court

    why do you want a power burner instead of a nice quiet atmospheric?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,842



    The peerless ECT-04 looks like a good option as well. Would definitely want the ECT-04 over the ECT-03 since it has 2 - 2 in risers. Does peerless certify their boilers to fire natural gas? I don't want to void my warranty.

    Sorry to tell you that Peerless voids your warranty if you install it yourself. I’m not sure that’s legal, but it would cost 10 boilers to fight it in court

    why do you want a power burner instead of a nice quiet atmospheric?

    The phrase that covers them is "Installed by a Licensed Contractor " Your not going to beat them in court!
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737



    The peerless ECT-04 looks like a good option as well. Would definitely want the ECT-04 over the ECT-03 since it has 2 - 2 in risers. Does peerless certify their boilers to fire natural gas? I don't want to void my warranty.

    Sorry to tell you that Peerless voids your warranty if you install it yourself. I’m not sure that’s legal, but it would cost 10 boilers to fight it in court

    why do you want a power burner instead of a nice quiet atmospheric?

    The warranty is a decision that all of us that self installed had to grapple with. For me, given what the contractor pool looked like, it wasn't that hard for me to decide. Mines a Weil Mclain and they have similar verbiage in their warranty.

    "THE WARRANTY SET FORTH ABOVE DOES NOT
    COVER THE FOLLOWING:
    1. Products that were not installed in accordance with
    manufacturer’s instructions by a qualified heating or
    plumbing contractor whose principal occupation is the
    sale and installation of plumbing, heating, and/or air
    conditioning equipment; or unsatisfactory performance
    caused by improper installation. "
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaul
  • steamnovice39
    steamnovice39 Member Posts: 22
    If my warranty is going to be voided out if I install it myself, I might as well just put in a burham megasteam and throw my carlin ez on that. I was hoping to maintain the factory warranty, but I feel that buying the most efficient boiler that produces the driest steam is more important.
    I was also thinking of throwing a sediment and carbon filter in line with the boiler feed to help filter the water, and remove some chlorides. Any real world experience with that?
    ethicalpaul
  • steamnovice39
    steamnovice39 Member Posts: 22
    I want a wet base boiler because of slightly better efficiency, and less standby loss. Plus I just bought this carlin ez last year.
    My buddy who is a steam fitter for NYC DOE is going to help me install it, so I'm not worried about doing it right. I also know quite a bit about steam and my system. It just doesn't make sense for me to pay someone labor that I can do myself. Especially with how much contractors are charging to install steam boilers WRONG in connecticut.
    ethicalpaul
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 508

    Especially with how much contractors are charging to install steam boilers WRONG in connecticut.

    I know nothing about steam (so I can't help you there), but I am constantly amazed about how much more I know about oil fired hydronic systems than many pros (but certainly not all) here in CT know, and am even more amazed how little I know compared to the pros here on Heating Help know ...

    I can't imagine anything worse than paying all the money for a professional installation only to find out later that it's done wrong and more money will have to be spent to get it right. That is not an uncommon theme of posts here.


  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited January 2021
    That is not an uncommon theme of posts here.


    Lots of contractors do good work. I am reminded of that daily here on this forum with the amazing contractors who give their knowledge here.

    And of course on a forum like this, problem installations are self-selecting. Very few would come here to post to say "I had a great experience with a contractor installing my silent, boring steam boiler!" But we know it happens :)

    I want a wet base boiler because of slightly better efficiency, and less standby loss. Plus I just bought this carlin ez last year.


    Those are pretty good reasons (except the sunk cost reason of having already bought the Carlin). But consider that an atmospheric boiler (I think) requires a LOT less maintenance and is a lot more bulletproof and simple than an electricity-sucking power burner. Warning: this opinion is right out of my backside :lol:

    If my warranty is going to be voided out if I install it myself, I might as well just put in a burham megasteam and throw my carlin ez on that.


    Reasonable thinking IMO (except the power burner part haha)
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • nde
    nde Member Posts: 86
    The megasteam does seem to be the ultimate, you don't see many examples being fired on gas due to burnham's illogical reasoning but they must be out there.

    Having said that I had a WM sgo-5 installed this fall with gas power burner fired at 170k input for same 450 edr load and also uses tankless coil. The installer said the sgo5 give a little more depth for the burner flame vs sgo4 and more casting means it does not stress the boiler so much. So far working well and an improvement over the oversized 675 edr boiler it replaced.

    Installer has setup many sgo with gas burners with good results. I am sure he is just biased since they have a good track record for him, but when I asked about atmospheric he told me he would take the wet base on power burner even though noisier b/c of efficiency and reliability. He went so far as to call atmospheric burner setups "junk". The price for either wet vs atmospheric was about the same so I don't think it was a matter of cash vs his opinion on longevity/reliability.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
    Peerless EC works well, but steer way clear of the Peerless SC. I've used Slantfin Intrepids successfully too. Usable water content is pretty low on these models compared to the Peerless 63/64, so make sure your main vents and piping are set up well.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • steamnovice39
    steamnovice39 Member Posts: 22
    I have 2 gorton #2 at the end of one main, and 3 gorton# 2 at the end of the second main. I'm vented very well, and usually only make about 4 oz of pressure at the end of the heating cycle. I have a low pressure gauge plus a vapourstat currently.
    The only real downside I see with some boilers is smaller single risers. If the SGO had a larger riser or dual 2 in, that would seal the deal. The SGO and the megasteam are the easiest boilers for me to get in my area. The peerless ECT and the slant fin intrepid seem like good choices too, but are harder to get. Plus it's also the warranty stipulation. I'm not sure if any boiler manufacturer will sign off on the boiler if they inspect the installation after it's completed.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited January 2021
    Peerless would barely even talk to me when I had my inspection issue. There's no way they'd send an inspector IMO. Not that I blame them. They are not set up, nor do they wish to talk to homeowners. That's why they set up a distribution network.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737

    Peerless would barely even talk to me when I had my inspection issue. There's no way they'd send an inspector IMO. Not that I blame them. They are not set up, nor do they wish to talk to homeowners. That's why they set up a distribution network.

    I, inadvertently, got a regional sales manager involved when I bought my boiler. I had contacted the supplier asking if they dealt with the public for boiler sales, I did this through my work email account. I think they saw who I worked for and gave them pause in the sense that maybe I wasn't an average homeowner. So my phone rings and it's a regional sales manager, who is at the location I would buy from. He starts questioning me about the install, I answer every question, he laughs and says, well you know what's going on and proceeds to ask me what size I need, what options, etc., hands me over to sales person for CC info and down the road I went. Super nice people and gave me the benefit of the doubt based on my knowledge instead of judging me as "just a homeowner", that's respect, and I reciprocated.

    I think my ability to answer those questions correctly, because of this website and Dan's books, I was able to buy that boiler. Without this site, I doubt I would have pulled any of this off.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,516
    The manufacturers don't want to deal with homeowners. With a lot of lousy contractors installing their equipment the MFGs phone line would be burning up.

    It;s also a huge liability issue
    ethicalpaulMaxMercy
  • steamnovice39
    steamnovice39 Member Posts: 22
    Considering that the burham megasteam is a 3 pass boiler, how superior is that boiler compared to the other boilers mentioned such as : slant fin intrepid, weil mclain SGO, and peerless ECT?
    I mean superior as producing dry steam, efficiency, longevity, and ease of cleaning or service.
  • nde
    nde Member Posts: 86
    The megasteam is the most efficient steamer, at least they claim 86% with the oil, since they get upset about gas power burners you dont hear what efficiency you might get. I can say the combustion analysis on my installed sgo 5 with riello power gas burner tested 84% which is same as the oil burner, so maybe you can get close to 86 on megasteam with experienced tech to adjust the burner with analyzer.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,275
    If you actually are going to install this yourself -- with your buddy -- I hope that at the very least you have the necessary test equipment to set up and adjust that burner properly. You can't just stick it in there and flip a switch. Also, as you are probably aware by now, you will have no warranty and no factory support. That may not be an issue for you. What you may not be aware of is that you will not have a valid certificate of occupancy for your house any more, and your homeowner's insurance will not cover any losses related in any way to a problem with the boiler (and claims agents can be very creative about "related"...). Depending on how thorough a home inspection may be, you may also find that you can't renew a mortgage or sell the house.

    Just sayin'
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    @Jamie Hall that's just not necessarily so. In NJ and I'm sure other places, homeowners are legally allowed, and allowed by state and local codes, to pull permits, install their own appliances and have them inspected and certified by the local inspection authority.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    pecmsg said:



    The phrase that covers them is "Installed by a Licensed Contractor " Your not going to beat them in court!

    They could be beatable in court. In the same way that a car warranty is still valid regardless of whether you use the dealer, or a licensed mechanic, or your brother to work on your car. The auto warranty cannot be invalidated just because of who worked on it. If a flaw can be shown to be the fault of the factory, the warranty is valid to correct it. This has been tested in court, but I'm not aware of any boiler cases. I'm off-topic.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,275
    Thank you, @ethicalpaul . Sort of dismaying...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Less dismaying perhaps than paying a licensed installer and getting an inspection certificate and ending up with many of the installs we see here.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    CLamb
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,667
    Since when has everyone here become so against DIY?!?

    How many steamers do we see every year installed by professionals completely wrong?

    Regarding warranty, I'm curious what that warranty covers?  Does it cover labor?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
    How many contractors reading this have warranted a heating appliance and needed to prove the original insulation was conducted by a licensed contractor? 
    I've warranted boilers, water heaters, condenser, compressors, ect... never had to track down the person who installed. I've had to confirm the installation was to factory specifications, in some cases provided photo evidence. Never had a problem or even had to provide a license #. 
    OP sounds more qualified then probably half the plumbers in his state. 


  • steamnovice39
    steamnovice39 Member Posts: 22
    The boiler I will install will be above and beyond what code requires. I will be paying for someone after to do a combustion analysis.
    As for homeowners insurance and a new boiler, I'm not too concerned. I have spoken to the insurance company and they don't seem to care much as long as it's done by code. No inspections are mandated.
    I understand the consequences of my actions as I am an educated adult. What I care more about is the differences/ pros / cons of the equipment in question.
    ethicalpaul
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,264
    @steamnovice39, I stand with any and all DIYers. I don't have any helpful or pertinent advice for you, but I do thank you for sharing your project. I hope you continue to share it here.

    @ethicalpaul, I agree with you that a warranty fight in court could become cost prohibitive. The Magnuson Moss act might or might not apply.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson-Moss_Warranty_Act


    I DIY.
    ethicalpaul
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
    I feel the Peerless is better then the WM because it has 2-2" risers instead of 1-2.5" riser. 
    And Peerless has more then 1 options for tankless coils. 

  • acwagner
    acwagner Member Posts: 505
    I don't have insight into the specific brand/models of boilers, but I would offer as a fellow DIYer to consider the pipe sizes involved with the riser/header. Most basic power threaders can do up to 2" pipe. I would personally avoid a 2.5" riser for that reason, although you can purchase stock nipple lengths/fitting and possibly make it work without cutting and threading large pipe yourself. Anyways, food for thought.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,275
    Permit me to make a comment about do it yourself. I don't have a problem with it -- better not, since I do a lot of it!-- provided the individual makes himself or herself thoroughly knowledgeable about what they are doing. The same comment would apply, however, to any tradesperson as well. The problem with heating systems is that they tend to require a fair amount of knowledge in a variety of areas -- particularly the more advanced modulating and condensing systems, where controls can and do become remarkably complex.

    There can be a real advantage to a do it yourself job, if the person involved really takes the time to learn how the components of his or her own, specific, system work. Since each system is a little different, this can lead to the system being really optimized to do what the person wants it to do, and do it well.

    On the other hand, as we sometimes see, none of these things are what is called today "plug and play" -- and there is a significant fraction of the population for whom that is all they know.

    So it can have really wonderful results. It can also result in hard to diagnose and fix catastrophes -- and the most common problem I, at least, have working on the Wall is determining the capabilities of the do it yourself type for whom I am writing.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    @WMno57 thank you for that link. I knew of that law but had no idea of its name nor when it was created. But yeah if my boiler fails I’ll just have to shrug and buy another one 😅
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el