how long will old boiler last?

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Because you have to run the boiler and keep it hot enough for your domestic hot water even in the many months that you do not need the boiler for heat. Even with an efficient boiler, the fuel to do this is more than what is needed to just heat the water in a standalone WH.
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Peace,
BobJ



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"Marilyn & Bob" wrote in message

Because you have to run the boiler and keep it hot enough for your domestic hot water even in the many months that you do not need the boiler for heat. Even with an efficient boiler, the fuel to do this is more than what is needed to just heat the water in a standalone WH.
--
Peace,
BobJ

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On 10/29/2010 2:50 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Does anybody make an indirect DHW that uses the boiler to heat the DHW during the cold season, but has a secondary heater (electric or gas) for the warm weather when the boiler isn't being used?
If not, then at this point, I'm thinking that next year the ideal might be a new gas boiler (keeping all the old radiators), with possibly a separate gas DHW heater. That way, costs might be the least, especially from not being hijacked by OPEC and the oil companies/speculators when the recession ends and petroleum starts to skyrocket again.
Here's another wrinkle regarding gas vs oil: two years ago, the oil burner one afternoon just didn't come on, even though the thermostat was calling for heat. It did fire up again once I'd hit the reset - but what if I was away for a few days? That could have been the nightmare scenario of a burst pipe (even in the short section between where the water supply enters the house and the house's main shutoff valve). Btw, the service guy that came a week later didn't have any explanation as to how/why the burner failed to light. But he did say that oil was less reliable in that way than gas.
I'd guess that the total nightmare is ending up with a cellar filled with a gigantic block of ice? Then what... you can't even live in the house until the springtime? I won't even leave the house overnight in winter anymore since that scare two years ago.
[sorry for the delay in responding - something came up and I couldn't concentrate on this until today]
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NO, because it is not needed. New boilers are very efficient and even in summer will be cheap to operate for DHW. My boiler is oil and is much cheaper than electric and has more capacity than a stand alone gas heater. If no water is needed, it will not run at all for days since the storage tank is well insulated. A heat exchanger moves the heat to the water tank. An efficient system moves virtually all the heat from the boiler to the tank too. .

My old boiler used to do that at time, the new one not at all, at least not yet. Oil is more prone to go out on the reset than gas from my experience. If you don't get ignition for any one a a myriad of reasons, it trips for safety. Pump did not pump enough, igniter did not spark well enough, a piece of carbon got across the tip of the igniter, etc.
That said, any heater with any fuel has the potential to break.
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On 11/8/2010 11:16 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Thanks. One thing I hadn't mentioned was that there was no smell of oil after the failure to ignite incident. (I did swivel open the hatch at the time, and I'd suppose it'd take a while for fuel oil to evaporate from the closed chamber up the chimney.) So I'd guess that tends to argue against lack of spark. Yet why would it not pump oil during the failed instance, but then start right up later? I suppose it's possible that the burner motor wasn't getting electricity momentarily, but the sensing-controlling circuits were...
There had been one occasion a couple of years previous, where the burner wouldn't run at all until I'd removed certain wires and re-attached them to their terminals. It is a damp cellar, too.
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It may not smell, especially if there was a time lag before you noticed it. If it happens again, just reach in and rub the electrode with your finger and it may start. All it takes is a hairline piece of carbon from tip to ground to stop it from firing.
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For just boiler pros post at www.heatinghelp.com I have a 55yr old Kewanee that is now looking shot, but it has been flooded in summer many times. Old Kewanee commercial boilers were made to be repaired but I have no idea on the construction of your unit. If its hot water heat you might save 20-35% on a new condensing boiler, if its steam savings will be less but you could sav e 20% easily, so energy savings should be something you should look into, not just how long will it last.
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The only thing on it with moving parts is the burner, and you've replaced that. It's 35 years old, no autofill, probably no low water cutoff, it's really unlikely to suddenly have a catastrophic crack. I certainly wouldn't lose sleep over it.

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"Tom" wrote in message
Here's my question stated simply: How long do boilers generally last? I'm trying to determine if the one in my home will last through this coming heating season. Is there any way to check besides looking for leaks?
Here are the details: I've got a Utica oil-fired boiler with radiators, in a single family home. It's a Utica O.U. Series. I'd guess the boiler is roughly 35 years old. The burner on it was replaced, I think in 1995. The boiler also has copper tubes running inside it to heat the home's hot water.
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Utica was one of the better, but they all fail in time. I replaced min at 30 years, a friends replaced theirs at 29 years. From talking to a couple of installers, that is a common time for them to start to fail. That said, I know a few that are over 50 years.
The copper coil for hot water will also plug in time too. They are fairly expensive to replace ($450 to $700) and they are not the best way to heat water. When operating properly, they make a lot of hot water fast, but they also lose heat and run far too often just to keep a reservoir hot and ready for use. How often do you hear the boiler start up when not heating? All that oil is wasted. Many boilers today use heat exchangers with indirect tanks.
Since you have a sight glass, I'm guessing you may have a steam boiler. Steam has many advantages, but not often used in residential service. If this is new to you, be sure to find out how to operate it it properly.
Boilers can often be repaired, but the cost may be high. The burner m ay be better than the original, but still not as efficient as the newest ones. In my case, the house was build in 1978 and I put in a new boiler almost two years ago, a System 2000 by Energy Kinetics. With the state rebate, the federal tax credit and the savings for oil (38%) it is paying for itself just with oil savings. It may be worth looking into the real cost of buying new and having better, reliable heat.
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On Mon, 25 Oct 2010 22:48:54 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"

As wasteful as it sounds, an oil fired water heater coil is still far cheaper to operate than a free standing electric water heater.
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