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Multi unit w/ steam and hot water

Have a 15 year old Peerless oil steam boiler that heats 4 units. 3 of the units (residential) have steam radiator heat; 1 unit has a hot water baseboard heat (nail salon, so door opens and closes fairly often). The hot water unit is heated off a hot water zone or loop (i think that’s what it’sm called) running off the steam boiler. year I was getting no heat calls and they’ve been ongoing ever since, and also noticed significant corrosion on the boiler. I’m assuming the problem is the separate zone. I’m looking to do an oil to gas conversion where I install one gas hot water boiler for the hot water unit, and a gas steam boiler for the other 3 units. A plumber suggested a single Weill Mclain EG 50 S (or 9) 150k btu gas fired steam that can heat the steam units and can run a separate zone for hot water baseboard; he’s claiming the install of the zone on the Peerless was incorrectly done.  My concern is that this will just continue the same issues after a year or so.  Any thoughts or suggestions. Thanks a bunch!


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,111
    Did anyone ever manage to figure out why you were getting no heat calls? Was it the boiler not firing? Was it only in the nail salon? Was it only in the steam units? Was it ...

    There are any number of possibilities. It is remotely possible that putting in a new boiler or boilers will solve the problem -- but highly unlikely.

    So... step one is to figure out what units were getting no heat calls, and what was wrong. The problem might be the separate zone... might not be. You just don't know, and assumptions can be very very expensive.

    Now corrosion on the boiler is probably not related to the no heat calls in any way. Is this corrosion on the outside of the boiler? If so, it might no be a bad idea to find out where any leakage is occurring. It might be the boiler -- but again, it might well not be.

    It sounds to me as though you need a good heating man -- not a plumber -- who can actually find out what the problem or problems is or are and suggest fixes.

    On a new boiler -- particularly with steam, but also with hot water, it is essential that the boiler be sized properly. Did the plumber measure all the radiation in the units and add it up to determine the correct size? There's no other way to do it. And again, assumptions and incorrect sizing can be very very expensive.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,442
    If the hot water zone is large in comparison to the total load I would go to a separate boiler. A Separate hot water boiler is the better choice but is more expensive install with two boilers.

    A steam boiler with a hot water zone will work fine if done correctly but

    The hot water load cannot exceed the "pick up" factor of the new steam boiler

  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 885
    I believe you stated that the no heat complaints is new. here is what may have occurred, The boiler was drained for cleaning and the water heating system lost its prime there fore no water is circulating in the loop or the system became air bound, there fore no circulation. See enclosure,it will show you how the system should be installed and how to prime the system. See the enclosure, although it shows thw system supplying heat to a second floor it also applies to a first floor and basement.

  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,058
    There may be other issues with the salon.
    Baseboard in stores is not best idea although it is common.