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Opinions on boiler replacement

Techclique
Techclique Member Posts: 3
I currently run a Valliant GA92-100 that has been an awesome boiler but at my last maintenance the tech said the exchanger was going bad. This didn't surprise me since it's been running for over 43 years with little to no trouble.

From reading the forums here and just life experience tells me a new one will not last nearly as long but I wanted to see what the pros would suggest for a replacement. I'm just trying to educate myself a bit before calling people out for quotes.

Ideally I am willing to forgo the high efficency units for something that will hopefully last longer than I will. What manufacturers really hold up to the test of time these days?

Thank you in advance for your opinions and experience.

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
    In a boiler the heat exchanger doesn't go bad... unless he sees leakage or corrosion. Find out what he is looking at and post some pictures.
    mattmia2
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,829
    That looks to be a standard atmospheric gas boiler. Doesn't get much simpler than that. They're all basically the same in the 84% range. 
    How is domestic hot water being made?
    You could Increase efficiency some and still keep it simple with a cast iron 3 pass boiler and gas power burner?
    What condition is the chimney in?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,832
    @Techclique , what was the reason he said the heat exchanger was "bad"? Is the boiler leaking?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Mad Dog_2mattmia2
  • Techclique
    Techclique Member Posts: 3
    He claimed there was a hissing like water was leaking and burning off. I never gave it too much thought since the boiler was so old I never expected it to last this long. Is there way for me to verify this other than calling someone else for a 2nd opinion?

    As far as domestic hot water there is an indirect heat water tank right next to it that is still in good shape, at least from the outside. The chimney isn't showing any outwards signs of trouble, I should climb into the attic just to check the part I can't see however. Attached is a picture I took and you can see just the top of that tank to the left.



    Thank you for the responses.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,276
    There is a very simple way to go after a first check as to whether your system is leaking. It doesn't isolate the boiler, but it's dead simple. Are you adding water? If so, and it's a steam system and more than a gallon or so a week, you have a leak. If it's a hot water system and you are adding any water, you have a leak.

    Now all you have to do is find it...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,832
    That's a hot-water system. If there are valves on the supply and return connections, you can close them, wait a while and see if the pressure drops on the gauge. If it does, you might have a leak. If not, the boiler is fine.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,441
    edited March 17
    My Dad said, 'If the rate of evaporation exceeds the rate of drip, you don't have a leak." I don't trust anyone telling me, I need a part, etc. "Trust but verify." Who said that??? I have seen too many good parts replaced by other savvy techs. Sure boosts the bottom line tho.
    @Jamie Hall & @Steamhead are right. Shut off any boiler feed and look to see if the pressure on the boiler gauge drops, eventually to zero. Leaks should show a mineral deposit at the leak site or some kind of discoloration.
    I'm especially leery of any tech telling me that I need a boiler replacement at a cost of $xxxxx Buckos. I guess you could always ask him if he's going to Hawaii after he finishes your job.