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Quality and Durability of Oil Fired Boilers

mikecos Member Posts: 1
Are Pennco, Utica and Weil McLain of equal quality and durability? Also who has the best warranty-Real Warranty?


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
    For the most part yes. But it's like cars. One mfg might make a good PU truck but their SUVs suck.

    Boilers are the same way. Hot water or steam? We all have our favorites.

    As far as the best warranty I don't know but the supply house/distributor has a lot to do with how that is handled. The more boilers an installer buys the better luck he will have on warranty coverage. But that does not make him a good installer
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,832
    edited December 2022
    As a homeowner, your best "REAL" warranty coverage is with the installing company. It has little to do with the manufacturer's warranty.

    There are 3 reasons for a failure.
    1. Installer Error is the most common. If the company you deal with is willing to admit their mistake and pony-up with the proper fix at little or no cost to you, then you have a great warranty.
    2. Manufacturer defect is second reason for a failure. I include recalls in this category. The manufacturer has a warranty that is included in the packaging with the boiler. It is the same for everyone. no matter how many boilers an installer purchases from a supplier, the warranty is a written legal document, and there can be no changes unless you get them in writing.
    3. Misuse by consumer or end user. This is the least frequent cause of failure. Mostly because an end user has a vested interested in keeping their 5 figure investment in good working order. No one is going the intentionally cause a problem to test the warranty. (usually). Landlord/Tenant issues being the exception but still rare.

    So to answer your question "Which one is the best?" all boils down to the installing contractor. Find the contractor that has the best warranty reputation in your area and take their advise on what they believe is the best piece of equipment for your home or building.

    I had a policy where you were given the benefit of the doubt as a consumer. If there was a legitimate failure, that was no fault of the consumer, my company covered the warranty and did the paperwork to recover from the manufacturer for factory defects if any.

    Read the warranty part of the contract from the installing company. If it is very brief like "20 year warranty per manufacturer" then you have no warranty on labor. That is because the manufacturer of boilers only give warranty on the parts they sell. The labor is not included because the manufacturer does not provide the labor.

    My contracts always included 1 year parts & labor warranty since I was in my first business in 1980. The manufacturer may have provided 10 or 20 or lifetime warranty on the boiler, but it did not include the burner, controls, insulation, gaskets, or any other part. that stuff was as little as 90 days but no more than 1 year. The longer term was on the cast iron (or steel heat exchanger) part of the equipment only, and often, that was pro-rated.

    You can look up the manufacturer warranty document on line to see what is actually covered.

    Mr. Ed
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • Labenaqui
    Labenaqui Member Posts: 72
    Within Oil Boilers, you must make a distinction between the Weil-McLain UO Triple-Pass and the Gold Two-Pass Boilers ..... a world of difference! Similarly with other manufacturers.
    The W/M Golds were the industry standard until the UO Series technologically surpassed them. They are up to twice the weight of US & Foreign units and W/M has reclassified them as Commercial Grade.
    We have over 160,000 hours accrued on our patented, UO-based Appliances with no service incidents.
    BTW - No Magnetite Alleviation or Return Water Tempering required with this Delta-T Managed "Beast"!
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,264
    edited December 2022
    Labenaqui said:

    We have over 160,000 hours accrued on our patented, UO-based Appliances with no service incidents.

    Do you work for Weil-McLain? I have a 75 year old Weil-McLain number 57. I think it is triple pass. Works great! Wish I could buy a new one just like it.
    I DIY.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,632
    Perhaps they did not understand the electronic controls and were not installing and setting them up properly.
  • Labenaqui
    Labenaqui Member Posts: 72
    Complimentary burner choice is paramount with the triple-pass UO. We specify the Beckett NX only. Our Betas operate in a variety of field conditions including undersized flue liners, "cold" chimneys, direct vented, etc. The pressure-fired NX just keeps you out of trouble.
    Still waiting for our first service call after 160,000 hours.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 2,159
    I've had nothing but trouble with every single UO I've encountered.  Typically I first encounter them packed with soot.  After spending hours cleaning them I'll make adjustments on the NX so it's running clean. Usually after that at some point I'll go back and find the boiler packed with soot again. 

    The NX is definitely not my favorite burner.  I don't know why this boiler isn't available with a Carlin or Riello.  I don't see as many issues with the NX on other boilers and furnaces as I do with UO.