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Final Boiler Decision: Peerless PF vs Weil McLain GV 90

Hi All,

I'm in the middle of my first oil-to-gas conversion in Massachusetts and would love some insight from contractors and home owners alike.


narrowed my search for a hot-water/gas-fired boiler down to two. I know

both brands have been discussed on The Wall, but it seems like the

head-to-head comparisons are best done on a case by case basis.

My first option is a 91.4% AFUE Weil-McLain GV90+5 cast iron boiler w/ indirect HW.

My second option is a 95% AFUE Peerless Purefire 110N also w/ indirect HW.

My concerns are as follows:


I've been told that 95% AFUE units have sophisticated features so that

it's not just a 3% efficiency upgrade, but it's a smarter boiler (and thereby saves you more energy money). For example, I'm told the 90-92% units don't offer the full outdoor

reset and constant circulation with burner modulation features.

Is this accurate and a legitimate reason to upgrade to a 95%? How much value am I gaining?

2. I've heard bad things about Peerless (more so than other brands): the PF units are prone to malfunction early, the repairs are costly, the warranty is not at all comprehensive, and the customer service is no good.

Can anyone speak to dealing with a Peerless PF unit and with Peerless as a company?

Right now, I'm leaning toward the 91.4% Weil-McLain because it seems like the more durable option.

Assuming both contracts are legitimate and can get the install done right, can anyone provide any insight as to which unit you would choose and why? 

Let me know, thanks for reading.


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,113

    "Assuming both contracts are legitimate and can get the install done right". That's a huge assumption! Particularly the latter part.

    Like most home owners, you're missing the major issue and majoring on the minor one.

    You appear to assume that contractors are all about the same and the big difference is in the appliance. Just the opposite is true!

    Most folks assume that because a contractor has a business and a license that he knows what he's doing and the job will be done correctly. Maybe, maybe not. It's more not in this world of hydronics.

    The contractor is 98% of the equation in this business. A good hydronics man can take any boiler and make it work fine; a knucklehead will ruin the best boiler on the planet. And there are a lot of knuckleheads available.

    I would highly recommend that you re-direct the effort that you've put into boiler research into contractor research. Get references from people you know, then get them from others for whom he has done work. Let him show you pics of his work. The "Find a Contractor" tab above is good place to start.

    Once you're confident that you've found a good one, let him recommend the make and model that's best for your situation. He'll be a thousand times more qualified to do that than the internet.

    I don't sell either of the models that you mentioned but I'm somewhat familiar with them.

    The general consensus of the pros on here is for a down fired design like those that use the fire tube heat exchanger found in the T.T, Lochinvar WHN, HTP Elite FT. I would also recommend the Utica SSC at the bottom of the page under "Product of the Month". I would not recommend anything with a Gianonni heat exchanger for the U.S. Market. Americans don't seem to know how to service them and failures are high as a result.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,441

    How did you arrive at these 2 options?

    The WM is a conventional single stage cast iron boiler with some sort of condensing unit attached. I really don't see any advantages as it does not modulate and it costs about the same as a mod/con.In the perfect setup you might see 90%,I really doubt it.

    The peerless is using the outdated, higher maintenance Giovanni design.

    If you like like WM, why not go with the 97% firetube model?

    I agree with Bob that finding the right contractor is the first step.

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    re-direct the effort that you've put into boiler research into contractor research

    As a homeowner who has some homeowner friends, I think this is extremely good advice as far as it goes, but it is nonetheless fraught with problems. If I ask my friends who they recommend for electrician, plumber, heating specialist, doctor, etc., they almost always recommend the one they use. And that just means that whoever they use has not killed them yet. They would not know a good wiring job if they saw one. They would not recognize a bad plumbing job unless it leaked a lot in obvious places. Their heat works, sort-of, but they do not realize it is too noisy, too uneven, and uses too much heating oil or gas. And a friend of mine went blind because her opthalmologist insisted she was imagining things and gave her eye drops.

    So if a friend says a professional is just awful in a way you can check, maybe that would be useful advice. Around here anyone in the BBB is automatically rated OK, and they will not comment on non-members. And even a good heating contractor can go downhill if they grow too big or too fast.

    I do not know what the solution is, but I imagine you are right that a lot of it depends on how good the heating contractor is. While you cannot make a silk purse from a sow's ear, you can quickly turn a silk purse into a sow's ear if you are a knuckleheaded contractor.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,441
    edited November 2013
    Here is one...

    Here is a super knowledgeable guy in your area.

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Springfield
    Springfield Member Posts: 2


    Thanks for the feedback, really good points all around.

    I did some more research on the guy and he is BBB accredited, but also has references.

    I guess the last question is what to get. Can anyone speak to floor mounted vs wall mounted?

    I'd prefer the floor mount as my foundation wall is brick and could use some touch-up. I don't want to work around a boiler if I can avoid it.

    I like the look of the Utica SSC, but I'm wondering about any other suggestions for either type of unit.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,441

    Most fire tube models are wall mount, as are most smaller mod/cons in general.

    You can set a wall mount on the floor using a kit. You could also frame a small wall in the basement for the boiler. Wall mounts are nice to service, they also will fare better in a minor flood.

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Did your contracter

    Did your contractor do a comprehensive heat-loss on your home?
  • carefull

    Careful about BBB acredited ratings...not a goverment agency and its pay for higher ratings profit corp.
This discussion has been closed.