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Hydronic Boiler Help?


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I see one maybe every two years. Don't know a whole hell of a lot about them.

Any thoughts on this one.

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Just think of it as a glorified moonshine still and you'll do ok. [:)]

Weil-McClain is a good brand of boiler, IMO.

The pressure seems to be high, IMO. Maybe the gauge is hooped (faulty).

That other control unit looks unreliable. It is all about 40 or 50 years old, and maybe the pipes are even older. The tank up in the ceiling is old school and there is a new pressure tank installed. The prerssure relief valve ought to be replaced for safety. I think the whole installation needs to be serviced by a competent boilerman.

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Pressure gauge is whacked, otherwise the TPR would be spewing. Otherwise, reasonably tidy...nice Bell & Gossett circulator. I like Weil McLain. My steam boiler is a Weil Mclain LGB series. Flush and service, it's common to get 30+ years out of them.

Boiler people get real obsessive, and it's fashionable to diss Weil Mclain in favor of Buderus, Burnham, some folks like Peerless, etc., etc. IMO, they're all chunks of cast iron and life is totally dependent on the guy putting the sections together. If they did it right, they last, if they didn't, they don't. I look at Weil Mclain like a Chevy...a decent working man's boiler.

Where do you get 40-50 years old? CG Series 1 was manufactured from 1999 to present. At most, it's about 15 years old.

The whacked pressure gauge is from the old unit, the tank in the ceiling is the old abandoned expansion tank.

I'm sure I could find odds and ends if I got obsessive, but it's looks reasonably tidy.

Circulation issues would be my main concern, as Raymond indicated. That said, sometimes you can do it "wrong" and everything still works OK.

Fire it up, wait a half hour, go around and check all the radiators. If they're hot at the bottom and cold on top they need bleeding. Not hard to figure out that part. Check all the valves...pretty common to find them stuck open.

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Gauge sez 40psi, TPR rated to blow @ 30 psi.

Whoever works on it gets to figure out if it's the gauge or the TPR. Gauges are highly fallible, TPR not so much.

Of course, one might refer it to a competent qualified hairdresser and dodge the call.....but I don't usually do it that way.

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I assume the old limit control is not used. A control is inside the boiler. The expansion tank is larger than needed for almost any size house, but that is not a problem. If the pressure gauge is reading correct, then I'd be real concerned. Gauges seldom go bad, but it does happen. Pressure relief valves can plug up.

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The pressure/gauge is an issue. pressure should be around 5 PSI per 8' rise.

Weil Mclain is a simple but good boiler. The push nipples between the cast iron sections can fail on older models at about 20-35 years. Now they use O-rings that can fail at about 20-35 years.

There's a white sticker on W/M boilers with numbers after "CP". Enter the numerals for the age here: http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/weil-mcla ... cp-lookup/

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Not that old... see these all the time... amen to all the above.. I'd have checked the boiler aquastat 'set temp' vs the 'gauge' temp... looks like the boiler might be kind of small for the load?? These are usually set to run at 180 Deg F (and this gauge says that.. which would be good).. but what is the 'set temp'? The pressure-reading may just be a faulty gauge.. I tap those a few times..often,, it will change right in front of your eyes.. No thimble at the chimney breech area... huge expansion tank.. was this a huge house Erby??? Those older larger-diameter distribution pipes impose a substantial load.. especially likely being un-insulated pipes...

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Just think of it as a glorified moonshine still and you'll do ok. [:)]

Weil-McClain is a good brand of boiler, IMO.

The pressure seems to be high, IMO. Maybe the gauge is hooped (faulty).

That other control unit looks unreliable. It is all about 40 or 50 years old, and maybe the pipes are even older. The tank up in the ceiling is old school and there is a new pressure tank installed. The prerssure relief valve ought to be replaced for safety. I think the whole installation needs to be serviced by a competent boilerman.

Frederick is available.

I agree that the pressure gauge is not working.

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Sediment trap on gas

gas pipe may not be properly supported

Is the shutoff within 6ft of the appliance valve?

Merchant coupling on gas riser

vent connector not supported

Is this chimney lined with a listed liner? Regardless, there should be a reasonable access to the base of the chimney and that shiny pipe sticking out of the wall means either a joint in the wall or inadequate access.

If unlined, it should be lined

Where's the clean-out if unlined? behind pegboard would be too low

Ensure min. three equidistantly spaced screws per joint on vent connector

Need backflow preventer

Need low water cutoff

should have some means of air removal even though not code

That's a pressure relief valve-not a temperature/ pressure relief or TPR as used on water heaters. Good pickup on the 40lb. gauge pressure on a #30 relief. Watts recommends replacing PRVs about every three years anyway.

While legal, the circulator on the return is less desireable than putting it on the supply. Get Dan Holohan's book on "pumping away.

Need to check expansion tank to see if it is water logged or not and if drain and isolation valves work.

Need isolation valves on that indirect tank with a check valve for one-way flow. Need drain cock on the indirect loop

Ideally should have primary/secondary piping when this boiler replaced or at min. a bypass with a globe valve to temper the return water.

These old Weil-Mc's are all over Philly and chug along. Not especially efficient but they get the job done. The burners do crud up so get it serviced. The relay and the vent damper are the common failures in these units over time.

How do you vent an appliance with a 7" vent connector into a masonry chimney with a nominal 8"x8" flue that has an actual 6.5" x 6.5" ID? This is why I disdain W/M boilers. They always oversize their vent connectors and draft hoods. A 7" for 140 MBH? Ridiculous. It would need only a 5" B-vent.

Do you have you MUA at 50 cubic feet x 140? That's about a 1,000 square foot basement required or MUA.

Grounded 120 vac service outlet within 25 LF of boiler?

Switched light to space with sufficient lighting for service?

Electrical disconnect within sight in same room clearly identified?

FYI, you can test pressure gauges for accuracy by attaching your simply hose bib pressure gauge on the boiler drain and opening the cock to read the actual static pressure and compare. I put an isolation valve on all boiler tricator gauges because they are so prone to failure.

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Frederick is awesome. I saw him rescue two children and a puppy from a burning building yesterday.

I heard that was Brian Williams. Not Fredrick.

I have included a report from a local newspaper below.

ATLANTA (MP) A massive fire destroyed a 5,000 unit apartment complex on Piedmont Road last night. The fire was so intense that the tires on two AFD pumper trucks melted. Authorities at the scene reported that there were no injuries thanks to the heroics of a passerby.

Witnesses at the scene reported hearing the cries of a puppy in distress coming for the building. Officials decided that the building, because of the massive fire, should not be entered and a rescue of the puppy was not attempted.

Witnesses also reported that a handsome, hunkin piece of love, that was walking nearby ran to the site of the massive intensive fire, jumped the police barriers and entered the building. The soot covered man exited the building a few minutes later with a child in each arm and a puppy in the youngest child's lap.

The hero would only identify himself as Fredrick, a home inspector from Florida. When Fredrick was asked how he was able to locate the children in the massive fire he said he used his compass to detect the magnetic abnormalities created by the children's belt buckles and the tags on the puppy's collar.

When Fredrick was asked how he learned this unknown method of locating stranded people with a compass he said "I'm an Eagle Scout. Eagle Scouts walk on the moon and save people and puppies."

Fredrick said he was walking back to his hotel after dinning at Fat Matts Rib Shack when he became an Atlanta hero. He said he was in Atlanta to receive the Governor's coveted non-citizen of the year award.

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