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old steamer advice needed

Palmer Heating, in Rahway?

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  • chuckNJ
    chuckNJ Member Posts: 38

    I have recently aquired an approx 40 year old Peerless oil boiler on a one pipe steam system in a smallish 80 year old home. It was retrofitted with an modern burner about 4 years ago. I was hoping to go thru at least one heating season to benchmark the old system and house performance. (I have replaced/upgraded the mains venting as advised here). However I just discovered that the old boiler is losing water slowly, but surely. A small puddle dripping in the rear which was not there until recently.

    So first question: is it reasonable / appropriate to be shifting my thinking to replacing it sooner rather than later? I'm thinking that at this age most likely one leak will lead to another and so any repairs would be short term at best, and no repairs means more new water and more leaks even faster....a downhill progression

    Second question, does it make sense to think about cleaning the system rather aggressively using the old boiler with idea that whatever can be gotten out of the piping before the new boiler would help reduce the post-install cleaning effort and lead to a happy new boiler more quickly?

    thanks for your insights and advice!
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    A small leak now

    will be a big leak on a 10 degree day. Replace it now, and flush out the returns with a hose while they're disconnected (or replace them entirely).

    Try the Find a Professional page of this site. If you're in the Baltimore area, contact me.

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  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
    old steamer

    40 years is a long time for any boiler, but a Peerless has a lot of cast iron in it. Find out where the leak is...it may be just a coil gasket that can be fixed easily. I Don't believe that the boilers have changed that much ( at least the one you mentioned...just my opinion) in the last 40 years..I put some of those in and they are still running. If you really would like to have a benchmark season with the unit, have a pro check it out. Today's technology will certainly give some some savings in efficiency, but some of those old boilers are still going strong. Well maintained is the key to longevity and efficiency. I would check it out thoroughly before making the jump. If it's affordable, sure, do it now. If not, check it out before condemning it.

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  • chuckNJ
    chuckNJ Member Posts: 38
    I'm in northern NJ

    (Union county, just up the road from Gorton)which I suspect is a bit out of your service area Steamhead.
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