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Rehashing the old Williamson vs Weil McLain comparison, and new boiler specs

5horizonsrr
5horizonsrr Member Posts: 52
Hi all,

I'm finally going to get my very old weil mclain replaced, after limping through winter with boiler plug fluid.

Anyhow, my plumber said this is entirely up to me, but he recommends a Williamson vs a Weil McLain branded boiler, as they are identical (or near it) and a matter of branding. I've looked at old posts, but they were exactly that (old), so I thought I'd ask for current affairs: are they the same thing?

Also- I have a 1 pipe steam system, and am assuming all the plumping away from the boiler will remain untouched, but the boiler and near boiler plumbing of course changing over with the new unit. I do trust my plumber, but other than the unit itself, what should I be asking for or making sure he does?

Old boiler I'm told is way oversize at 184,000BTU. He calculated EDR to land between 125-150, so we are downsizing in any case

As always, this forum is a wealth of information, so thanks in advance!

Comments

  • 5horizonsrr
    5horizonsrr Member Posts: 52
    Al

    so, an image of the current setup if helpful:
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,157
    I hope he calculated the EDR right. 150 EDR is only 36000 btu.

    Williamson and Weil are the same boiler for all practical purposes. Make sure he cleans and skims the new boiler and follows the MFG piping requirements
  • 5horizonsrr
    5horizonsrr Member Posts: 52
    edited June 10
    ah sorry, 125000-150,000 btu for the new boiler! (it landed at 130,XXX) which brings a good point- better oversize or under?

    Thanks on the cleaning and skimming...
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 986
    I've looked at both just recently and the Weil Mclain is 1 % more efficient in the ratings. I believe this is due to an additional steel panel between the sections that was recently added to the Weil McLain. The Williamson doesn't have this panel. I'd say that the Willimson is just the previous model Weil McLain boiler just like the Crown being the previous Burnham boiler model.
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    5horizonsrr
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,342
    Crown Boiler was a locally owned business in Philadelphia until recently. They would purchase castings and build their own steel boilers back in the day. Within the last to years or so, US Boiler purchased the Crown Boiler Co. So now Burnham and the former Crown Boiler have the same owners but they are operated independently.

    Since they have access to the same castings but are operated independently I can see where there will be some difference. But I have noticed that Williamson uses the same cast iron sections as Weil McLain. I wonder if Williamson might have a slightly lower standard for what is acceptable, so a casting that might not pass the Weil McLain standard might be acceptable to the folks at Williamson. I'm not saying that is the case, I am just wondering!

    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    5horizonsrr
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,157
    @EdTheHeaterMan

    Just a wild guess because I don't know but I would bet both boilers (Williamson & Weil) come out the same factory door. Only some are green and some are yellow. It would be interesting to know, just a guess
    5horizonsrr
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,342
    edited June 11
    Not sure on Weil/Will, but I know that Velocity Boiler Works (what used to be Crown) are still in Philadelphia on I Street. (Yes Philadelphia has number and alphabet streets, the letter I ). No Burnham boilers there!
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    5horizonsrr
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 986
    Thier steamer appears to have the same castings as the Burnham Independence.
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    5horizonsrr
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    @The Steam Whisperer. I don't think so. The tappings and controls are not in the same spot. The flue is very different. Maybe the castings are the same and they are just tapped differently?? At least until recently, the Williamson sections said Weil McLain on them. Maybe the still do. 
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 986
    I believe the castings are turned 180 degrees on the base.
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  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    Interesting. Didn't know that. 
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 986
    I'd double check, but I'm pretty sure that is the case.
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  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,752
    The one difference I recall was from the controversy a couple years ago where WM started only providing a steam supply tap on one side instead of both for those smaller boilers that only needed a single supply.

    Installers didn't like this because it removed flexibility and also a lot of them like to use both supplies even if the boiler doesn't make enough steam to need it.

    WM relented and put the port back on both sides, but I recall reading that they left the "off-brands" with just the single port.

    So if that's important to you for flexibility then it might be worth looking into. My personal opinion, backed up by experiment on my Peerless is that for normal installations, you only need to pipe it how the manufacturer recommends--you don't need to exceed it.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    Williamson removed the right hand steam tapping for a while. Williamson reversed course around 2 years ago (timing might be off). The Williamsons now have both steam tappings again. 
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,752
    edited June 13
    Hmm, it's my clear memory that yes, WM restored it for their Weil-McClain brand boilers, but not for their discount brands.

    The Williamson manual on their web site today shows a single port.

    Of course if you have personal experience looking at a recent one, that would trump all of the above.

    PS: If it were me I'd definitely buy one of their discount brands, that is, if Peerless didn't exist :smile:


    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,752
    edited June 15
    That one is too close to the controversy for my comfort...are they still coming out that way? If so, they are counter to their published documents

    But setting that question aside, to answer the original question, would you have any hesitation buying a Williamson vs a WM brand, @STEAM DOCTOR ?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    That one was maybe 9-12 months after they removed the second tapping. I have put in a whole bunch, since that posting in late 2020. They have all had the second tapping. Pre controversy, Williamson had the second tapping, but didn't list it anywhere. Post controversy, the box mentions the optional 2nd tapping.  If I had to choose between WM or Williamson (assuming both tapping were in existence) I would certainly choose Williamson. Same boiler, few less buckaroos. There are some benefits to WM. They come with tankless coil option (haven't done one in a while, but I hear they are hard to get, maybe harder then other boilers) and they come without plugs in the tappings (99% sure about that). And WM comes without jacket and controls installed. Could be a plus or minus, depending on the situation. 
    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,080

    That one was maybe 9-12 months after they removed the second tapping. I have put in a whole bunch, since that posting in late 2020. They have all had the second tapping. Pre controversy, Williamson had the second tapping, but didn't list it anywhere. Post controversy, the box mentions the optional 2nd tapping.  If I had to choose between WM or Williamson (assuming both tapping were in existence) I would certainly choose Williamson. Same boiler, few less buckaroos. There are some benefits to WM. They come with tankless coil option (haven't done one in a while, but I hear they are hard to get, maybe harder then other boilers) and they come without plugs in the tappings (99% sure about that). And WM comes without jacket and controls installed. Could be a plus or minus, depending on the situation. 

    My EG series didn't have any plugs installed back in 2011, but I also ordered it completely unassembled except for the block.

    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
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,510
    I think that is standard for WM,gas, steam (at least the ones that I have delt with). Block assembled, no plugged tapped tappings and controls and trim/jacket in boxes.