Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

New Boiler Size & Brand Help - Freezing in MI

Current 26 yr old Slant Fin Galaxy gas steam boiler needs to be replaced ASAP for 2 story house. Specs: 1) DOE capacity BTU/Hr-172k, 2) AGA input BTU/Hr - 210k, 3) net steam sq ft 538.

Bids from 4 contractors all have different input BTU/Hr -- 175K, 200K, 225K, & 250K. How do I pick? I am just an old lady that knows zero about boilers?

I read about Weil McLain and was leaning towards it. Contractors say con't get a Weil McLain for 4 - 8 weeks. They can get a Utica in a week or so. Thoughts? Should I look at other brands?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,268
    They (the contractors) can only pick the correct size boiler by using one method and that is measuring every radiator in the hose and adding up their ratings to get the total installed EDR. If they size the boiler by any other method they are wrong.

    If they tell you they know better because they have been doing this for 40 years..beware!

    Weil McLain, Slant Fin, Peerless, Smith are all good boilers. Personally I don't like Burnham but that's just me. Dunkirk and Utica are sometimes looked down on because their steam outlets come off the side of the boiler but they are ok if the installer pipes them right.


    That being said, most everyone on here will tell you the installer is more important than the brand of boiler.

    keep these things in mind;

    Don't allow them to use any copper piping for the steam lines that's a no no

    Copper can be used on return lines below the boiler water line only and for city water make up etc.

    Make sure they read and follow the piping diagram furnished in the boiler manual. Most contractors don't and we here all the horror stories on this forum.

    Make sure their quote includes "skimming the boiler" to remove dirt & oils.....it's in the manual and you can download the manual on line after you pick the boiler.

    The quote should include new air vents if needed.

    You can also check "find a contractor" on this site.

    And post where you are located, someone may have a recommendation

    If you are confused by the quotes being all over the place and no one measured the radiation be very cautious
    IronmanMarie_WatsonMikeAmannAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,461

    They (the contractors) can only pick the correct size boiler by using one method and that is measuring every radiator in the hose and adding up their ratings to get the total installed EDR. If they size the boiler by any other method they are wrong.

    Make sure they read and follow the piping diagram furnished in the boiler manual. Most contractors don't and we here all the horror stories on this forum.

    Make sure their quote includes "skimming the boiler" to remove dirt & oils.....it's in the manual and you can download the manual on line after you pick the boiler.

    take this a little further,
    have the proposing contractor(s), after doing the radiator EDR survey, show you in the manual that they download, how they will follow the piping diagram, and point out the skim provision, etc,
    consider initialing same, then , if, you get into discussions, after the fact, , , ,
    Marie_WatsonCLamb
  • Marie_Watson
    Marie_Watson Member Posts: 6
    Thank you so much for the great, detailed guidance! And input re brands!

    2 of the 4 contractors measured each radiator. One came back with 175k (Weil Mclain), 187K for Utica. Other contractor 250K for Weil Mclain.

    Gas steam boilers are not widely used where I live in MI (zip code 48301). Houses with them are often torn down or completed gutted & forced air installed. I have one of the few old (pre 1940s) homes in the neighborhood.

    I selected "good contractors" to bid based on Google & Next Door ratings -- but very, very few are for steam or any other boilers. The sole contractor on this site is too far away.
    I will do another post for contractor suggestions!

    I will make sure that they do not use copper pipes - like was used with boiler. And will make sure the quote includes skimming the boiler & new air vents.

    I will attempt of make sure they follow the install manual - this is so far out of my area of expertise.

    I have a feeling that being a woman is not working to my advantage in this situation !


    Thank you again!



  • offdutytech
    offdutytech Member Posts: 36
    Where in MI are you located? It shouldn't take a week to get a Utica boiler in if they are going to the right supply houses. I would also question if the contractors sized the boiler right as others said. I might be able to help steer you in the right direction if it's in SE MI
    Marie_Watson
  • Marie_Watson
    Marie_Watson Member Posts: 6
    Great suggestion. Will have them show me how they will follow the piping diagram, and point out the skim provision, etc.

    Will take you up on initialing diagram !!!!
  • Marie_Watson
    Marie_Watson Member Posts: 6
    Yes it is SE MI. Zip code is 48301 - Bloomfield Twp. About 22 miles north of Detroit.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,123
    edited November 15
    That is some nice work right there ^^^. Good luck Marie, from a former Michigander. Did the contractors who measured your radiators indicate on their estimate how much radiation they measured?

    It would be a number labelled "EDR" or "Sq Ft of radiation", or "Net Sq Ft", something like that. The number maybe is around 400?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    offdutytech
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,696



    I will attempt of make sure they follow the install manual - this is so far out of my area of expertise.

    I have a feeling that being a woman is not working to my advantage in this situation!

    You're doing just fine, Marie. I'm glad you're here.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,268
    @Marie_Watson

    If you can get @offdutytech involved in your project you will get a good job based on what I have seen
    JUGHNEoffdutytech
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 2
    Hi Marie,
    I am a homeowner from Ann Arbor area.  We are super happy with our Peerless steam boiler which is 23 years old and going strong.  The Peerless boiler has wider sections than the other brands so it will be less sensitive to dirty water.  The cast iron sections are 1/4" thick so it is less likely to rust out but it is heavier so more of a challenge for the installer.  It cost about the same..  Piping is beefier but the installer can order a piping kit.  If it were my house I would find someone willing to install a Peerless series 63 boiler
    ethicalpaul