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Old B-Line Boiler Near Dayton OH - Need Service Help Please!

I own a house built in 1980 that has a water radiant heat system running on a B-Line Model 98WA boiler. I am not a heating person, but I am good with tools and a mechanical engineer. We have lived in the house for 22 years and I've mostly maintained the system regarding leaks, impeller and pump seal replacements, dialing in the Aquastats, fixing valve leaks, etc. The thing is just ancient but other than the occasional hard start, it seems ok.

I had the gas valve replaced early on and the guys doing the work got the pressure wrong (way too high). I put on a modification kit myself and got the pressures down to around 2.5 psi if I recall.

A couple of years ago after begging several times, I hired a commercial boiler guy to come out to give it the once over. He did a CO check and combustion analysis, and said everything seemed ok.

When the original accumulator died I had a local HVAC company come out to replace it. They promptly got it undersized and had to come out with another one which is also undersized, but works ok. I keep air in the 3rd floor radiators to act as a buffer accumulator; I like the water pressures I'm seeing when it gets hot. While they were here, they opened up all the vents on all the burners without doing any kind of testing. I was pissed, they went away. It ran ok last year but I'm really concerned. This thing needs someone that really has the know-how to dial in the combustion and make sure it's safe.

We are in Piqua, OH which is just north of Dayton. Can anyone point me to someone that actually knows what they're doing with this type of system? I'd be most grateful.


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,353
    that is an old timer for sure. Many don't want to touch anything that old and will recommend a replacement as soon as they walk in the door which is probably something you should consider.

    Check "find a contractor on this site"
  • Scott Rodriguez
    Scott Rodriguez Member Posts: 5
    I tried the "Find a contractor" but nothing came up within 75 mile of me at 45356. We're moving next year so I don't want to dump $10k into a replacement and then leave, but I do want it safe for a little longer. I would expect the new owner will deal with the replacement.
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 893
    That looks a lot older than 1980. And it must be an awfully big house. Can you take a picture of the rating plate?

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    Perhaps @captainco or @Tim McElwain knows someone in the area that they trained. Those burners need to be taken apart and cleaned as well as being adjusted.
  • NoelAnderson
    NoelAnderson Member Posts: 48
    Try Christian, he knows steam very well and I think he does hydronic.

  • Scott Rodriguez
    Scott Rodriguez Member Posts: 5
    Thanks everyone, this is a hot water boiler, not steam. The house is about 5800 square feet, 2 1/2 story with a basement. The rating from the old B-Line brochure says 422,400 BTU, 12.6 HP. AGA rating, 2820.

    It keeps the house at 68 °F running about 110 °F on the boiler thermostat where I have it set to kick the pump on. I gets up to a max of 120 °F when we have several days in a row in the low teens. When it's in the low 50's at night like it is now, just the two pilot lights will keep the place at 68 from the water natural convection cunning through the pipes.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 943
    obviously something wrong with your pilot flame size if it's keeping the water warm enough to satisfy your thermostat.
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,236

    I DIY.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,618
    edited October 2022
    Seems like the system was designed for low temperature operation that contradicts the notion of low return water temperatures that can promote flue gas condensation. Since it is in operating condition and you are leaving the property soon, I believe that minimal service is needed here. Unless there is an actual problem with the combustion process and or you have a carbon monoxide detector that is constantly going off, I would say "If It Ain't Broke... Don't Fix It. You do have a working CO detector in the boiler room!
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics