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When to replace Steam Boiler?- Bergen County NJ

Puffy
Puffy Member Posts: 3
edited October 2022 in Strictly Steam
Hi Everyone,

I have been viewing this forum on and off for a few years. I'm now making my first post.

My cape cod style house was built in 1943. I have a milivolt steam boiler. (My heat works if I lose power) The brand is Sears Homart. I know that the boiler is very old and it might be original to the house. If not original it's likely the first replacement steam boiler.

I currently have PSEG worry free. Every year something needs to be replaced on the boiler in addition to maintenance. PSEG has been responsive and I have no complaints with them at all. More than one service engineer suggested that I hold on to this system as long as I can as milivolt boilers are no longer manufactured. The point being my heat works if I lose power.

While parts are replaced every year, my steam boiler still works. (I'm knocking on wood) :smile:

At what point do I proactively replace my steam boiler? A new boiler would be energy efficient. Would the cost savings be significant that I should consider replacing? Do I use my current boiler until replacement is required? Thoughts?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,467
    Keep it. A new boiler might be somewhat more efficient, but it's unlikely it would be enough more to justify the expense of replacement.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Puffy
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,970

    In My opinion, Bergen county should have been replaced years ago. The problem is with Essex, Passaic and Hudson the only counties nearby, there are no good replacements.
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    PuffypecmsgCLamb
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,142
    Keep it as long as it is combustion tested and no Co and the boiler doesn't leak keep running it.
    Puffy
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 669
    Puffy said:

    At what point do I proactively replace my steam boiler?

    Never.
    Puffy said:

    A new boiler would be energy efficient.

    Not significantly more so.
    Puffy said:

    Would the cost savings be significant that I should consider replacing?

    No
    Puffy said:

    Do I use my current boiler until replacement is required?

    Yes.
    Same Hobart as the early KitchenAid Dishwashers, Bakery Mixers, and Deli Meat Slicers (Seinfeld episode)?


    Puffy
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,567
    Contact member @EzzyT
    None better!
    Let him decide what to do. 
    Puffy
  • Puffy
    Puffy Member Posts: 3
    All - Thanks for the responses. I do appreciate the good humor. LOL So far I corrected the title post and brand name. (Made correction)
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,221
    @Puffy the best way to reach me is at 2018878856.
    Puffy
  • Puffy
    Puffy Member Posts: 3
    @EzzyT Thank You!
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,053
    Here on America's internet, the rule is if it's not actively leaking or on fire, keep that fuel-burning, carbon-monoxide producing, scaled-up, no-safety-devices boiler right there where it is in the envelope of your home where your children sleep and hope it all goes well.
    Despite what anyone tells you, "hope" most certainly is a solid strategy.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting
    Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
    Take his class.
    PuffyCLamb
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 669
    In my world contractors install 6 foot horizontal water heater flues, and leave their combustion analyzers at home. I live in the middle of a cornfield 100s of miles from the nearest competent boiler professional.
    If i was in @EzzyT or @Steamhead service areas I would ask if I could hire them to come out, look over my boiler in person and give me their professional opinion. Its kind of like offering a paid internship. The contractor assesses your boiler and you assess the contractor. Never know when you might need to hire a contractor to replace something in January. When I bought my house 5 years ago I did just that with the local contractor. He was OK. Not in Ezzy and Steamhead's league. To be fair, this is forced air country.
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 669
    @JohnNY How's my MTBF?


  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 669
    Old picture. I ran pipe off the safety valve with stuff I had on hand in my nipple tote. Not copper. Doesn't matter, because I test it annually. It works, no drips. No LWCO. Water to boiler is valved off. KISS.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,053
    edited October 2022
    WMno57 said:

    @JohnNY How's my MTBF?

    I wouldn't know from here. Have you ever checked your flue temperature when the boiler reaches working temperature? How about carbon monoxide levels? Those are easy to check with a basic analyzer and will tell the story for the most part.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting
    Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
    Take his class.
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 669
    It's on my to do list. I'm going to buy a combustion analyzer. Thinking one of the basic Testo's. It will get used on two other natural gas furnaces and two natural gas water heaters. I have no knowledge of how to tune a burner, but I'd like to know the current numbers. I'd like to replace the Midco as preventative maintenance. Good idea on the flue temp. I'll start another thread with that.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,890
    WMno57 said:

    It's on my to do list. I'm going to buy a combustion analyzer. Thinking one of the basic Testo's. It will get used on two other natural gas furnaces and two natural gas water heaters. I have no knowledge of how to tune a burner, but I'd like to know the current numbers. I'd like to replace the Midco as preventative maintenance. Good idea on the flue temp. I'll start another thread with that.


    The main thing that stopped me from buying one was the need and cost to calibrate it.
    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
    ethicalpaul
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 669
    edited October 2022
    ChrisJ said:

    The main thing that stopped me from buying one was the need and cost to calibrate it.

    Exactly. The customer is paying for:
    • Hourly Wage
    • Thousands of Dollars of Tools
    • Travel Time
    • A Service Truck
    • Plates and Insurance on the Truck
    • Maintenance on the Truck
    • Inventory on the Truck
    • Liability Insurance for the Business
    • Unemployment Insurance
    • Health Insurance
    • Workers Comp Insurance
    • Union Dues
    • Professional License Fees
    • Continuing Education and Training
    • Having a Lawyer on Retainer
    • Office Staff Support
    • Advertising
    • I'm sure I'm missing something - Business Surprises?

      The billing rate will be several times the hourly wage. When you think about it, most of the Pros on here are a bargain.
    Long Beach Ed