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I want to install a new boiler myself.



  • gehring_3
    gehring_3 Member Posts: 74
    Option B

    Going back to your original complaint that "flames shot out from underneath" and there was some water under the boiler...

    You may not need an entirely new boiler and you should ask your next pro when he shows up for the appointment accordingly. For example, the puddle of water could have come from some minor pipe leak nearby or even from condensation. The flames could have been from a dirty, scaled, or rusted out burner assembly.

    I am not a pro, but I do have some experience with gas fired boilers and I know a dirty, rusty burner assembly will produce an erratic flame.

    Ask your pro to check those items out and perhaps you might be lucky enough to get by this winter simply with some new parts rather than a whole new boiler.

    In any case, if you are clueless as to the workings of gas appliances then do not attempt this yourself as I personally know of someone who blew up his house and almost killed himself because he didn't know what he was doing.
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    No excuse...

    for poor customer service. Unfortunately, I get it (poor service) from just about any one entity I use at least once a day. I know people in Colorado who are considering moving back home (Boston) just for the better customer service! And even I (GASP:-O) have been guilty of poor customer service. You're right, crap happens, and sometimes you get hung up helping people in dire need (I.E. no heat with water damage occuring) and forget to take care of your commitments. Customer service means calling the customer and letting them know your status. If they can't wait, it wasn't meant to be... NEXT!!


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  • JM_2
    JM_2 Member Posts: 108
    If you have to ask

    Then you should not do it.
  • Glenn Harrison_2
    Glenn Harrison_2 Member Posts: 845
    To Vaughn Hill

    Might I suggest you go back to your link and download the installation manuals for this boiler, and also go to Raypak.com and download/read any other information that applies to the boiler you have selected. The model you have selected requires primary/secondary piping for best operation. I also would be willing to bet that your 100 year old house has very large piping, maybe even a gravity fed system, which means the pumping needs for the house are different than for the boiler. The Raypack boiler needs a high flow, high head pump, as the heat exchanger creates a lot of resistance, and the high flow is needed to prevent steam from being created. However, your house piping most likely needs a moderate flow/low head pump if it has always been a pumped system, or it may need a low flow/low head pump if it is a gravity/converted gravity system. Those copper tube boilers are very touchy in terms of water flow, and you could very easily find your self in a situation where your kicking yourself in the rear when it doesn't work right or not work at all. Another problem that could arise due to flow requirements is the boiler could short cycle, which will cause the heat exchanger to plug externally due to condensation from the flue gases, and shut down the unit. Then the whole boiler has to be torn apart, completely cleaned of some rather nasty stuff, and reassembled, sealed, and retested.

    Also, make sure you do a heat loss calculation. If you are in south east Michigan, you are straight east of me in the Chicago suburbs. Using a rule of thumb, I would bet that you could use a 135,000 or so boiler in that house instead of the 180,000. This is of course based only on your reported square footage and assuming there is some insulation in the walls. If there is no insulation, you really should weatherproof the house before replacing the boiler, as this will reduce the heat loss of the house, and reduce the BTU's needed in the replacement of the unit, and save you gas money in the long run. This is where the heat loss calculation comes in, so you know what you need, instead of what you have now.

    Here's another thought, is there any way you could just shut down this house for one winter? Drain all the pipes, both heating and plumbing, antifreeze the drains, and live in the other house that came with it for one season. That way you could save up, have the time to get numerous estimates and game plans, and save up to have a real boiler put in, and maybe put in some accessories to save additional energy and create a more comfortable house to live in. My personal feeling is that a Raypak is poor quality, short lived and a choice you would ultimately regret. I base this on the numerous Raypak Boilers and pool heaters I have serviced, and seen replaced in a short period of time.

    Of course your first best bet is to get a couple of sevice techs out there to see if the boiler is salvageable for one more season. I would not count on the guy coming out to quote you a replacement of the old unit, to be the same guy that looks at the boiler to see if it's salvageable. Call a couple of service companies, explain exactly what you are seeing it do, and ask for a service technician to see if it can be repaired. If it can, than fix it for a season, sell the old house, and save up for a real system, (as opposed to a cheap boiler). By the way, I would stay away from Sears HVAC, as they frequently seem to get hackers for subcontractors,and I have seen some of their service work to, and I'm NOT impressed, actually scared a little.

    Last thought, since you just bought this house, I'm sure you have no idea what condition the chimney is in. Find a ceritified chimney sweep to clean and inspect the boiler chimney. That 100 hyear old chimney may be falling apart, and/or collapsing. This means it will have to be abandoned, and a sidewall vented or condensing direct vented boiler installed, which means your Raypak choice is out of the question. If the chimney is O.K., make sure it has a good anti animal cap on it to keep the critters out.
  • Glenn Harrison_2
    Glenn Harrison_2 Member Posts: 845
    Michelle, I must strongly disagree with you.

    Living in Chicago, I'm sure you see the same news reports as I of houses burning to the ground and people dying or being mamed due to using space heaters in old houses, simply because they can't afford their gas bills. Space heaters can be dangerous, and space heaters in old houses with antiquated electrical systems is a fire/death waitng to happen.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but it is the TRUTH.
  • Mr Takagi
    Mr Takagi Member Posts: 26

    The ultimate DIY boiler. And yes, this should get a whole bunch of nice responses from some folks.


    Vaughn, it sounds like you're doing this yourself no matter what everyone tells you. Takagi says these can be used in radiant applications, and they are cheap. You have already been told in great detail how impossible it is for anyone other than a "trained" professional to put in a boiler. So skip the boiler and use a hot water heater that just happens to have some of the same characteristics of a boiler. You put water in one side, heat it up, and hot water comes out the other end. Run that water through your heating system and it just might keep you warm this winter.

    For the record, I do agree with most of these guys. You do not want to attempt this unless you have a good working knowledge of piping, venting, and electrical work. You cannot expect to come to a site like this and learn everything you need to know to install a boiler. But, to say that no DIY'r should ever consider doing this seems pretty harsh. It's your house, and your money..

    Good Luck
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    From a Takagi Distributor

    Your friendly local Ebels Supply & Hardware Inc.

    They are illegal to use as a heating appliance in Michigan. No ASME rating.

    Sorry Charlie, only the best get to be Michigan boilers.

    Can't say that I haven't run into a few applications they wouldn't be perfect for though.
  • Murph'_5
    Murph'_5 Member Posts: 349
    Not me Mr. Kolb....

    I USUALLY call them out when I see them, not this case. I see lots of techs giving bits of info without seeing the whole picture. If that was the case why not have a 1-900 # for people to call. Most that I have met in this trade (owners) would not give out this info without first seeing the job, the techs are just guaranteeing thier future wages. Anyway, Mark is busy trying to find a hiding place for all those dollar bills he gets for that "male stripper" gig (do not know which side he is on) I never see this as not being able to "afford" something but rather not wanting to spend what is needed. most do not complain about the cost of the product, only the mark-up or the cost of install. The feeling of having "aquired" a heating system stops with the metal, nobody wants to pay shipping and handling. I get the biggest kick from folks becoming an expert after six months on the internet.


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  • Kal Row
    Kal Row Member Posts: 1,520
    pity, cause tankless is also sealed combustion...

    and much safer for a DIY install,
    is rinnai or baxi OK SE?
  • Geno_15
    Geno_15 Member Posts: 158
    I'm confused,

    you say you have 3 houses, are they rented?? You originally asked for help because you knew deep in your heart that this would be biting off more than you could chew, have you checked with the gas co., as mentioned earlier, for assistance??? You waited till winter started settling in but that's typicle of homeowners, dunno, guess I'm not much help, I think you should take the original advice and hire a pro and see if you can get a cut in price if you take the old one out yourself.

    Good Luck
  • Vaughn Hill
    Vaughn Hill Member Posts: 12

    That is very interesting Mr Takagi i looked into that site.

    As for living in one of the other houses. The one i live in now isnt going to be mine much long hence my moving into one of the other houses i own. of the two houses left the one with the boiler is the better of the two house. the other house in order to live in it i would have to first get the critters living in it out, have the electric meter hooked up, Have a gas meter hooked up, tear out all the wet carpet (not even sure why its wet), paint over all of the graffiti that is all over on the inside of the house.Plus convince my wife to move into it. convincing the wife being the hardest one to do. So with that i beleave the boiler is the better way to go. I'll be calling more pros to see if one can fix the boiler to get us though this winter . Oh and if i havnt said it allready thank all of you for replying.
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    Rational decision Vaughn.

    this stuff looks Easy however given the spaces we get to do this that nd the third thing it really isnt all that easy. today 3 carpenters and the delivery guy got a buderas 235 down a 16' straight flight of stairs...with its water maker. normally that would be fun enough until i saw the 2500 gallon water tank in the same Room! oh its gonna be fun:))) how they got That in there Is like a miricale in itself:)))the location is in the second picture of my posts on Undergrounds..
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Nothing is accepted

    No appliances are accepted in Michigan unless they have an ASME rating. I have gotten away with water heaters used for heating limited areas of a home. The must however be isolated from the domestic side by a HX.
  • Kal Row
    Kal Row Member Posts: 1,520
    that was my next sugestion..ao-smith promax SL

    perfect for radiant - but if you want to use it for baseboard then you need to turn up the tank's temp and put in a thermostatic mixing valve for domestic hot water use - and if you go past 140, then you need two mixing valves in steps for safety - gets kind-a pricey...
This discussion has been closed.