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Does the boiler need replacement 

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Tom bates
Tom bates Member Posts: 29
Hi, my friend has this older (1960s) columbia hot water boiler. He has been having issues with the burner not igniting and the techs that have been coming out recommended due to the age of the boiler and lack of parts, as well as the corrosion on the domestic hot water coil,
please see photos. They recommend a replacement boiler, would you agree this boiler is in need of replacement? .. money isn't a factor in this, he's just looking for a technical point of view regarding the equipment.






Mad Dog_2

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,833
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    Parts for that burner are not an issue unless the burner fan or the end cone burns off the blast tube. Those parts probably couldn't be found but are not the most likely to fail.

    However, the boiler and burner should be replaced as the equipment dates to the 40s or 50s in my guess and newer more modern equipment will save fuel and increase reliability.

    But don't jump into it, it will likely last till summer do your homework get quotes from good contractors and size it properly it could well be oversized don't automatically size the new boiler off the old burner or boiler size.
    GrallertunclejohnIronmanMad Dog_2
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
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    Would have agree w above comments ,a new boiler will most likely drastically cut oil usage by a mim of 30 %. I will suggest if sticking w oil to look at 3 pass boiler like a buderus . Also don’t forget to have your chimney inspected and a stainless steel liner installed even w oil ,it s much cheaper then repointing and re building your chimney . That boiler that is s there now has served it time well and was installed when oil was just about free it’s not free any more . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    STEVEusaPAMad Dog_2
  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 669
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    Boy I've seen a lot of those but rarely in that clean of shape!! But yes it is time for a replacement.
    Miss Hall's School service mechanic, greenhouse manager,teacher and dog walker
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,166
    edited February 2023
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    If money was an issue, that boiler is built like a tank. Extra thick steal welded in a 4 pass configuration is one of the most efficient designs of the era. I might suggest a modernization. That is where you take the burner out and install a new combustion chamber (because it is a dry base boiler meaning there is no water jacket under the combustion chamber) to better reflect the heat from the flame up to the heat exchanger. Then replace the burner with a modern flame retention burner, with all of the bells and whistles that make new boilers so efficient, Down fire boiler (lower the firing rate) to more closely match the actual heating requirement while still maintaining a high enough stack temperature (350°) to prevent flue gas condensation.

    Since the steel boiler and the system piping is in good working order, I might just wire brush the rust from the DHW connection and paint it with some green Rustoleum, until I could abandon the tankless water heater in favor of an indirect as money became available to upgrade to more efficient hot water option.

    Since money is no object, It is time to replace. System 2000 would be my go to for lowest operating cost with oil heat. If there is an option to go with natural gas then There are so many good Modulating Condensing boilers available that I can't pick just one brand.

    Just know that anything you do will not last 70 years like that model Columbia boiler. ModCon Gas = 17 to 22 years. Oil fired boilers maybe 30 years on average. I remember the first time I replaces a boiler that I installed as a Younger technician. That is when I realized that I had learned so much in the 20 years since I installed that first boiler.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    SuperTechMad Dog_2
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,833
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    I always told my costumers that it’s not a 55 Chevy that you take out if the garage for a spin on a nice Sunday afternoon. It’s your heating system it needs to be upgraded.  
    SuperTechMad Dog_2
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
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    But @unclejohn -- my '70 Chevy C10 is the most reliable vehicle on the property! When nothing else runs, it will.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    WMno57Mad Dog_2
  • vtfarmer
    vtfarmer Member Posts: 101
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    Likewise @Jamie Hall my newest tractor was made in 1978 and it arguably spreads manure and mows hay better than a new tractor when you take into account the capital and repair costs, availability of parts, simplicity of repair, etc.

    @unclejohn I wouldn't use age as a reason to replace a well made boiler. Things can certainly be done to make it more efficient as @EdTheHeaterMan describes, but from a reliability standpoint you will have a hard time beating what's already there with something modern.

    This mindset in residential HVAC of replace it if it's more than 10-15 years old and has nothing specific wrong with it is wasteful of materials and does the consumer no good.


    WMno57Mad Dog_2
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408
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    Keep the boiler. Get an electric resistance or heat pump water heater. The oil burner can be replaced if needed.
    If any of the Pros recommending replacement have a 20 to 70 year old truck for sale, I'm buying. You guys must be too busy pushing new sales to repair your equipment. Let me take that old jalopy off your hands. I'll come pick it up with my 2002 3/4 ton Suburban (no longer made), or 1988 Ford Diesel (simple is better and more reliable) and trailer. Not really a car guy, but I'd make an exception for a tri-five Chevy.
    I can come get it in the winter too. My 75 year old boiler will keep my house heated just fine while I'm gone.
    Mad Dog_2
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,833
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    @EdTheHeaterMan

    When you replace equipment that you installed twice (as we both have probably done ) then it is retirement time
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,166
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    @EdTheHeaterMan

    When you replace equipment that you installed twice (as we both have probably done ) then it is retirement time

    But I was still in my 50s... My son was pre-school on the first, helped on the second. How time's fun when your having flies.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    Peter_26
  • Tom bates
    Tom bates Member Posts: 29
    edited February 2023
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    Hi, an update my friend got the boiler replaced with an Ascent from EK.  However they left the old oil lines abandoned in the floor, is it possible to cut these off at the floor? If so, are there any special precautions ? 

    Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    Oil lines...The installer didn't finish the job!  He left YOU holding the bag...not cool.  Those lines are holding #2 fuel.  When you cut them flush, they are going to spew oil on the floor. 1) Either leave them alone for the next owner (Not cool). 2) Have installer back and tell them, you don't want a drop of oil spilled! 3) borrow an oil burner push-me-pull-me pump (Sid Harverys) get two good men (or a good female!) A pack of absorbent oil spill pads (Sid Harveys) and very slowly and carefully...NEVER MIND...THIS IS TWO PIPE AND PROBABLY STILL CONNECTED TO A BURIED TANK.  GET THE OIL COMPANY IN TO DO THIS...ABOVE YOUR PAY GRADE - Most Likely.  Mad Dog 🐕 
    kcoppWaherCLambCorktown
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    I'm ALL about preserving history and if you or your brother ARE  oil burner techs or THE BRILLIANT KING OF FUEL OIL AND OIL BURNERS - ALAN MERCURIO (MY BUDDY), then You could rebuild this 🐶 Puppy and keep it running another 100 yrs.  But, if you're not, you have a great system.   My choice would be a Buderus G 215 with Riello and Logamatic Control with ODR.   Jimmy The Gent Burke (Long Island King of Boliers -semi-retired in West Palm ⛱ Beach) and I put in over 100 of these.  Got them all from the Buderus King 🤴 of Long 🏝 Island, Mr. "JOHN PECC " (Peccorella
    Nice Irish boy from Farmindale!) Of Acme Rasol in Copiague.   RIP buddy....What's happening 😳 man???  I'm becoming the elder statesman now? The old curmudgeon 
    Who the young guns come to?  Well, I guess I had a "battlefield commission"  I'm leading the trench battles...the hydronic Wars...now.  No Problem,  my turn, kinda liking this..IN FACT..I RELISH THE ROLE....I've learned from the best of my era....Holohan, Jimmy O'Brian, John Nolan, Chuck Pannepinto (my rabbi) Big Uncle Val
    Nunzio Valore and his lovely Wife Aunt Jean Valore of How'beach Queens, the old neighborhood , Richie English, Mike Pedicini, Jimmy The Gent (the Best Boiler and controls guy and worker in the Tristate area ,.Joe Carraher
    (US ARMY VIETNAM 11TH REG.CAVALRY THE FAMED BLACK HORSE REGIMENT.  Owner of Christ Plumbing Supply in New Hyde Park (est 1810) w Chris Smith. My buddy.  Joe is the controls GENIUS who I went to when Jimmy was in Florida or the ONE time Jimmy was stumped on a whacky Spark Ignition module problem. That the best techs from Honeywell could not solve either....Joe said.  Bring the control to me
    I did..he took it apart at the counter (NERVE) took out a magnifying 🔎 glass...took out the mini soldering iron and voila! Fixed!   Big Joe is hurting these days..please keep this Nam Vet Hero of mine in your prayers 🙏.   I hear my man Gregg Allman singing..."NOBODY LEFT TO RUN WITH ANYMORE....'  MAD DOG
    Corktown
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    And...more recently Last 25 yrs. HOT ROD, Timmie Mac, Jim Davis, Ellen Rohr, Frank Blau, Mark Eatherton, Mark Brommann Chicago Fire 🔥 Sprinlker Engineer/Author, Mark Hunt (Peerless) Dan Foley, Johnny NY, Alex the Wire Nut, Ken Secor, Noel Murdough RIP, Tim Doran, Jon Diresta, Richie Bruno, RS English, Tony Bifano, The Miller Bros, Bobby Gramman, Hunter Botto, Bill Traube Sea Cliff & Maryland. Gerry Gill and Steve Pajeck. GORDO and the ONR AND ONLY FRANK  STEAMHEAD WILSEY...my man!!!  John Brown FDNY and old old owner of Christ Supply (my only supply house in 40 yrs.. )  Robert Obrien, Tommy Schwarz TGO (RIP).  Big Paul Deegan and his dad.  JOHN Steffgen Hempstead Inspector, Jimmy Dalto.  Hempstead Inspector, The Brilliant...the man who will NOT be outsmarted, bullied or outgunned (verbally) by ANY man.  Period. Robert Steinhardt (Ret. Florida).  Alan Mercurio, good Friend Joe Armelinno Semi retired Fla.  Jimmy Schubert. Best plumber I ever knew with a license.  Thank you Mr Schubert. You taught me alot...old school
    "We don't need no stinkin Electric Snake. . Grab the rods Matthew...6 foot 3/8" snap together flexible rods.  With a tee handle on the end..a thousand year old sewer cleaning tool...cool... we also NEVER used soap for a gas leak...Bic Lighter....ha ha.  Jim also did NOT own a chipping gun...16 pound sledge...start there Matty...thou he was real old school, his work was very neat and squared away...Ahh the great men...I have in my heart mind and soul...all my teachers
    Yesterday today tommorow...They make me look reeeeeeel smart..... ha ha Mad Dog

    Corktown
  • jimna01
    jimna01 Member Posts: 36
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    Homeowner.  14 years back I replaced my battleship Crane Sunnyday boiler with a three pass cast iron boiler (Solaia ( rebranded Biasi)). I cut my oil consumption by 30 percent.  It has paid for itself many times over.  The only drawback, well not really ,  my basement is colder as the Crane had huge standby heat losses . 
  • Roger
    Roger Member Posts: 344
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    Thank you for your post, @tom bates . Please have your friend call the installing contractor to address the oil line concern, and ask them to call Energy Kinetics to help facilitate if any issues. 908 735-2066.
    Best,
    Roger
    President
    Energy Kinetics, Inc.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    edited February 2023
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    Oops. How could I forget the Great Siggy and his unbelievable drawings...and books. I treated Jimmy The Gent to a Overnight seminar in Pittsburgh from John. It was in an Embassy Suites .  I don't know if they are all thus way but it was an open atrium w huge. KOI AND carp ponds.  Free cocktails from 5-7pm...what a great place. I was ready to be baffled by physics and engineering math...this was not the case. He was engaging funny and awesome teacher.. if he didn't live in Holland Patent NY, I'd take his classes...Mad 🐕 Dog
    Corktown