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Question on Peerless WBV-03 boiler/burner selection

phjphj Member Posts: 10
I am looking to replace a 30 yr. old New Yorker boiler and am looking at the Peerless WBV-03 with a Riello burner. Based on my current heating situation it looks like the WBV-03 with a .60 gph consumption rate can meet my heating needs. Because of this lower rate a Riello 40 F3 is specified.

All the other WBV-03 configs specify a Riello 40 F5 which has much greater capacity even though the F3 could easily handle other, higher firing rates as its rated up to 133MBH. But since the F5 does not go down as low as the F3, the F3 is specified to achieve the lowest firing rate.

So here is my question.

If I commit to the lower burn rate/capacity using the WBV-03/F3 boiler/burner combination to meet my current needs will there be any problem in the future of upfiring this burner/boiler combo by putting in a larger nozzle (like .85 or .95 gph) to increase boiler heating capacity if I need/desire it? Since both the boiler and burner are rated for these higher number is this ok to do or are there some things that I am missing and the F5 really is necessary to properly achieve those higher rates in this boiler? Is is this a case of the the F5 selection for the higher firing rates driven more by manufacturer standardizing on specific burner configs to make things simpler for them and installers?



  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,202
    Not a fan of Riello's. Too many specialitie parts and expensive parts.

    That being said, a burners rating is from the burner mfg and it's a generic rating. They don't know what boiler it will be installed in. The boiler company (Peerless in this case) take the burners and applies them to a specific boiler

    So they test these as a "package" and determine the best burner for that particular boiler.

    You would have to find out from Peerless what the difference is between the two burners
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,317
    edited July 2019
    The first thing is to size the boiler to your heat loss only, period.
    Unless you have a big leaky house, the smallest size is probably oversized, and bigger is definitely NOT better.

    The installing contractor is the most important piece of the puzzle.

    A few thoughts about boiler selection.
    Don't put in the Peerless.
    Another thought, don't put in the Peerless.

    Do you need this for domestic hot water?

    I'd only put in any triple pass boiler if you don't need domestic hot water, or a triple pass boiler with an indirect if you do need domestic hot water, or an Energy Kinetics for with/without domestic hot water. EK's are awesome and boast endless hot water.

    A coil is the worse, least efficient, least comfortable way (1920's technology?) to make domestic hot water. It is the cheapest for initial cost, but that boiler will run practically anytime you turn on a hot water faucet, even in the summer time.

    The main reason I'll never put in a pinner (which is boilers like the Peerless boiler) is that it's very rare to get a tech to properly clean a pin boiler and over time it will get dirtier and less efficient. Plus an over aggressive tech with a brush usually destroys the fiber chamber-I've replaced a lot of chambers over my almost 30 years.

    A triple pass is easy to completely clean, more efficient, and set up properly burns super clean. This fall I'll open it up to clean it and that will be 4 years (It was perfectly fine last year). So a properly set up burner-double filtration, proper draft, true zero smoke, proper combustion air may only need maintenance every 2 years or so.

    Many triple pass boilers have multiple firing rates. For example, the Burnham MPOIQ 84 & 115 are the same boiler/burner, just baffled different and different firing rate. So basically 64k btu's to 87k btu's (net).
    Some other models can use 3 firing rates.

  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,317
    edited July 2019

    Not a fan of Riello's. Too many specialitie parts and expensive parts...

    I love the Riellos. Bullet-proof, advanced technology they came up with 50 years ago, and the rest are still trying to catch up.
    You buy the kit and have all the parts you'll ever need.
    I've only had one part I ever had to order-the small oil line that ran from the pump to the hydraulic jack, which I now have a few plugs I keep on hand if I ever need one. And I only ever needed one.
    I'd take it over a NX any day.

  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,472
    The F3 at a .60 GPH for the WBV 3 makes it Energy Star rated if that means anything. But there are much better, more efficient boilers as said.
    If you use the WBV anyway, consider the BF3 Riello and use the top, not rear flue. Its quieter.
  • phjphj Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for the comments so far. I really like tapping the collective knowledge of a community that has so much good information to share.

    A little more detail on my situation. I really believe my current setup was oversized for my house/hot water needs. I did begin exploring more efficient three pass boilers and the added expense of adding another zone and indirect water heater. I did not look at all options but I did look closely at the Buderus - and yes, one of the first things I noticed was how much easier it looked to clean and the fact that that the fire chamber did not require thermal materials that could be damaged in cleaning.

    My first price quote kind of took my breath away and that did not include the non-committal on the part of the contractor as to whether I would need to have my chimney relined in order to accommodate the lower stack temperature and the potential of condensation destroying the existing chimney liner. I asked whether I needed to do it and he said, run it for a year and see how things go. Not being able to nail down that additional expense up front was also hard to swallow.

    As for the tankless. Yes, I do understand how much less efficient it is but its not as bad for me as for others. My hot water needs are modest and my burner controls allow me to call for hot water production (boiler ramps up to high temp setpoint) rather than simply letting the burner maintain temp all the time for that moment you need it. I have timers which allows us to call for hot water only when we really need it and thus we eliminate almost all extraneous burning in the summer. Other than showers/baths the burner stays more than warm enough from residual heat to give us warm water at other times. I also turn down the boiler temp in the summer too since we don't need all that heat that the boiler could deliver even when we are firing up for "peak" demand.

    Of course in the winter the burner is heating the house (I live in the Northeast) so its even less of an issue.

    So, for me its weighing the much higher costs of going indirect on hot water vs. what I would save in the long run given that my approach now is much more frugal then a typical tankless set up.
    My relay based control system using two stage thermostats even allows me to modulate the boiler temp in the winter because I can call for max boiler temps for hot water only when I need it.

    That is why I wanted to see if I could better match my heating plant for the winter where the bulk of my oil expense goes anyway.

  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,220
    phj said:

    My first price quote kind of took my breath away and that did not include the non-committal on the part of the contractor as to whether I would need to have my chimney relined in order to accommodate the lower stack temperature and the potential of condensation destroying the existing chimney liner. I asked whether I needed to do it and he said, run it for a year and see how things go. Not being able to nail down that additional expense up front was also hard to swallow.

    You'll be lining the chimney with WBV firing .60GPH. It's rated at 1.05GPH max.
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  • phjphj Member Posts: 10
    Are you saying that if you fire at the lower rate stack temperatures in the WBV will yield same issue as with the more efficient 3-pass boiler designs?
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,220
    edited July 2019
    phj said:

    Are you saying that if you fire at the lower rate stack temperatures in the WBV will yield same issue as with the more efficient 3-pass boiler designs?

    Yes. The heat exchanger is designed for 1.05GPH input. What happens when you reduce that by better than 40%?
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  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,472
    Liners and timers and relays, Oh My!
    Figure a stainless liner regardless of boiler or burner.
    What model is the New Yorker? Steel, KD...AP? What burner is there now?
    Did your contractor discuss the benefits of an indirect over a tankless coil because the Peerless, and you mentioned Buderus, both offer the Hydrostat 3250 Plus and blows your timers and relays to smithereens.
  • phjphj Member Posts: 10
    My New Yorker is a steel boiler from 1983 with a tankless coil. Can’t even tell you the model since there is no id plate on it. Burner is a riello mectron m3 with a .75 60W nozzle so I believe at the 160 psi operating pressure its consuming .95 gph.

    No real discussion on tankless vs indirect - just provided me two options since it was acknowledged that tankless is inefficient and not the optimum way to go.

    Since my boiler does not run continuously in the summer to maintain some set temp, but only based on our demands, tankless inefficiency is not as bad as one would expect. Also, in the winter demand for heat is initiated with 2-stage thermostats which provide separate controls over circulation and boiler firing. Boiler fires only when demand cannot be met by heat in the boiler water being circulated via stage 1 of the thermostat.

    Typically boiler will never fire to its highest temp. Boiler temps are modulated based on heating demand since the boiler only fires if circulating water cannot meet the needs to heat a zone and then the second stage of the thermostat kicks in to cause the boiler to fire.

    Over the last 11 years I have averaged ~600 gallons of fuel per year for both heating a 2000 sq ft 2-story home and hot water.

    The one thing that was really nice about this control system setup - not one failure in 36 years. Can’t say that about the riello ignitor box but then the quality of the ac power where I live (which I have instrumented with a fluke power monitor) sucks big time.

  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,472
    edited July 2019
    Ok. Well you get the Hydrostat anyway so you'll likely make some changes after you see the options it offers.
    If you lift the cover of the jacket, on top between the flue and the front of the boiler there might be a stamped plate with all the boiler info.
  • phjphj Member Posts: 10
    thanks for the info,

    I will check that.
  • phjphj Member Posts: 10
    Well I popped off the top and here is what I found (see pics). Its a New Yorker FR-98 built in 1983. I was shocked to still find these on their website. The new FR series is updated a bit but it looks the same. Do they really still sell these? Anyway, at least now I know how much capacity this boiler has with my Riello burner and my burn rate.

    The boiler still looks in good shape but the reason I was looking to replace is that late during this last heating season the burner began to drip oil. It appeared to be coming from the air tube and dripping out past the mounting flange. After the techs replacing lots of expensive parts on the burner which did not fix the problem I went on line I finally found my problem description and diagnosed it as a probable nozzle overheating after shutdown. I found that the thermal insulation on the one wall in the firebox that the burner attaches through is separating from the metal. I am told this is a throw away boiler and that any fix here would be a jury rig at best. Don't know if that was true but I thought I had an ancient boiler but there it is - still on the new yorker site with marketing brochure and all the rest.s

    Could new insulation be installed or is this really a disposable boiler at this point?

    I have attached a couple of pictures after I popped the top off.

    I thought I was looking in the bowels of a ship 8^). Anyways, HVACNUT, thanks for helping with directions on finding out what this was.

  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,931
    According to the manual, the current version has a swing-out door that the burner mounts to: Series I&O.pdf

    If yours has the door or a removable plate at that location, the liner should be replaceable.
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    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
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  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,317
    Baffles are better than pins. And they're not vertical so they won't burn off and fall into the combustion chamber for flame impingement.
    Probably not as efficient, but if you have to have a coil I guess it's ok.
    To the OP, if it's just the chamber, it's fixable. And it could've been damaged by improper cleaning.
    They should've been taking the front off to clean the chamber annually anyways. And if the firebox is retaining too much heat causing after drip, a little post purge could fix it. I'm sure (hope) the newer model has a more modern primary control with post purge.
    However after drip could've simply been a slight vacuum leak or improper bleeding.
    It's a shame they threw parts (and your money) at it without properly diagnosing and fixing it.
  • phjphj Member Posts: 10
    No door or plate - the burner flange is mounted directly to the front plate of the firebox (which is the only surface the insulating material is applied.)

    I don’t think it was a bleeding issue as the number of times they took pieces apart (new pump strainer, new pump, new nozzle, checking pipe from pump to nozzle) they did multiple bleeds and the problem persisted. As for vacuum leak I don’t know. Never saw any work that suggested they were looking at the fuel delivery beyond changing the garber filter at the tank and the pump strainer/pump/nozzle at the burner.

    I think they mentioned trying to put some new liner material in the firebox as a temp fix but based on access it would not be an easy job.

    Based on how they cleaned this burner I never ever saw them doing much with respect to the bottom of the boiler. From what I can see the insulation just looks really tired and is disintegrating.
  • phjphj Member Posts: 10
    On the topic of post purge. The burner is a Riello Mectron 3M which looks pretty much like a Riello 40 F3. Both use a 530 SE ignitor box and there is no post purge. With no more demand for heat from the boiler the boiler relay kills power to the burner control box and the burner shuts down immediately.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,317
    You can add post purge to a Riello. Or use a Beckett or Carlin.
    I don't think your after drip is from the chamber getting hot.
    It's either air, or a problem with the fuel pump. Did anyone properly check the fuel pump for cut off?
    Did anyone properly bleed the fuel line?
    If they didn't test for a vacuum leak, how does anyone know if air isn't getting into the fuel line? You can have a vacuum leak and not a fuel leak.
  • phjphj Member Posts: 10
    They did not test the pump or solenoid valve cutoff. They just replaced them. And as I said they replaced so many parts over multiple visits they must have bled the system 5 times.

    The problem developed at the end of the heating system. The yearly maint was performed just before the start of the heating system.

    I would assume adding post purge to the riello would require a new control box and different control wiring?
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,472
    Lynn Manufacturing shows a chamber kit for the NY, FR. Not sure if its retro to '83 but they offer refractory board, gaskets, amulets, etc. so a professional repair can be made.
    The post purge uses the existing control box but adds a SS board and rewiring through the sub base. I've never done one on a Mectron though.
    If the front plate refractory, and or chamber kit get replaced, with the correct insertion depth, burner adjustments and tests, the drip should stop.
    Any idea what the air tube end cone looks like? If it wasn't protected it might be charred and warped.
  • phjphj Member Posts: 10
    Don't know what the air tube looks like but I can remove the panel which provides access to the tube for cleaning and use a mirror to see down into the firebox. When I looked the last time I was paying more attention to the insulation on the front plate and not the air tube. I did notice the turbulator was wet a bit but I guess that would be expected if drops of oil were dripping on it after shutdown.
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