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Should I replace or repair this boiler?

John_38 Member Posts: 5
We recently moved into a 30 year old house with a 30 year old American Standard G-2 Gas Boiler. The boiler runs a three zone system controlled via TACO values. The system has a single BG Circulating pump (series 100) on the return side (not pumping away).

When we moved in, I put set back thermostats on the upper and main levels and set the thermostats to setback to 56 degrees at night, running 70 during the hours when the house is occupied. Unfortunately, during a January cold snap, the upper and main levels froze up so that no heat was getting through to these zones. Luckily the basement level continued to work. However, when the temperatures rose during the day, the upper level started to work again followed by the main level two days later. I dodged that bullet and have kept the setbacks at 70 degrees until a week ago when the sticker shock of the heating bill ($524.00) caused me to lower the temperature to 68.

Because of these problems, I had a contractor come over and look at the system and assess what my options are. He told me that we should repipe the system using smaller higher pressure themostatically controlled pumps (thereby achieving the desired pumping away affect). In addition, he wants to put on an Outdoor reset controller to setback the boiler temperature when the outside temperature warrants. Thirdly, he wants to have the new boiler also provide domestic hot water to the house.

I'm having some difficulty with using the boiler to create domestic hot water. Currently we have a brand new gas water heater supplying hot water to the house. I don't see any reason to replace it. The contractor was aware that the unit was brand new but thought having the boiler create hot water would be more efficient. Also even though the boiler is 30 years old, couldn't the TACO values be replaced with pumps or at least the circulating pump moved from the return side to the expansion side? It seems that this old boiler may have more life left in her and I could save a few bucks with these repairs rather than replacing it.

I'd appreciate any thoughts that other readers of the Wall might have. Thanks in Advance.


  • Uni R
    Uni R Member Posts: 663
    Should I replace or repair this boiler?

    You should replace it. But the first thing you should do is fix what it has to heat. Make sure that your home envelope is tight and properly insulated. That is where you will save the most money. This gives you the added advantage that when you move on to Phase 2 either this summer or next summer and put in a new boiler, that the boiler system can be better sized to the new heat loss requirements.
  • Mike Kraft_2
    Mike Kraft_2 Member Posts: 398

    Uni R is right on.Insulation should be addressed.30 years is along run.I would check with several contractors.Use the "Find A Contractor" feature on this web page.If the H2O heater is new,then make provisions on the new system for an indirect water heater at a later date.

    Setting back the t'stats to 56* is quite a setback.I guess you found that out:)But IMO in the dead of the heating season dropping the temp by 12*-15* is pretty much.Outdoor reset is a very good thing.Even if you have hot water baseboard.If your boiler is sized to the heat load of your home,the emitters can be used to provide you with very comfortable heat.

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