leaking boiler - replace with high efficiency unit?

(Note - also posted to alt.hvac)
I have a hot water system in my home with the old fashioned cast iron radiators, currently heated by a Peerless gas fired boiler dating to 1980. It appears to be leaking - started it up this weekend and now there is water on the floor around it. Not a lot of water, but some - never happened before. It is not coming from the pressure relief valve. Also the pressure is reading zero, which I have never seen before. Two questions - (a) any chance it does not need to be replaced? (b) If it is time to replace it, should I get one of those ultra high efficiency units? Any recommendations? Thank you, -- H
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Could the moisture have been condensation on the tank from the incoming cold water??????
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On Monday, September 24, 2012 11:12:45 AM UTC-5, hr(bob) wrote:

Sorry if I was unclear: this is the home heating system, not domestic hot water. I'm pretty sure this is not a condensation issue. -- H
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On Mon, 24 Sep 2012 11:01:50 -0700 (PDT), heathcliff

radiators, currently heated by a Peerless gas fired boiler dating to 1980.  It appears to be leaking - started it up this weekend and now there is water on the floor around it. Not a lot of water, but some - never happened before. It is not coming from the pressure relief valve. Also the pressure is reading zero, which I have never seen before. Two questions - (a) any chance it does not need to be replaced? (b) If it is time to replace it, should I get one of those ultra high efficiency units?  Any recommendations?  Thank you, -- H

Locate the source of the leak. Only if the water jacket is leaking should you replace the unit. Unless gas is high in your area, replacing with a high-efficiency unit might not pay back. Your call. The unit could have years left on it.
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If it's thirty years old and leaking it's likely not worth repair. A modern condensing boiler would half your present gas bill. You nede to do some research as to which one, they are complex and less reliable than of old. Some are very unreliable.
You need to get your entire system checked out, it may be buggered too, the corrosion may not be confined to the boiler.
You need to get several quotes for the work. Bad timing, at this time of year these heating engineers can put the prices up. Be wary, there are lots of crooks about. Personal reccomendation is the best.
Think also heat pump maybe if cash is no object. You need to do your sums.
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Ask your friends and neighbors who they trust, for heating work. Call for estimates. We can't see it from here. It's possible it can be repaired, it's possible the newer system will pay for itself. We can't tell you what to do.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
(Note - also posted to alt.hvac)
I have a hot water system in my home with the old fashioned cast iron radiators, currently heated by a Peerless gas fired boiler dating to 1980. It appears to be leaking - started it up this weekend and now there is water on the floor around it. Not a lot of water, but some - never happened before. It is not coming from the pressure relief valve. Also the pressure is reading zero, which I have never seen before. Two questions - (a) any chance it does not need to be replaced? (b) If it is time to replace it, should I get one of those ultra high efficiency units? Any recommendations? Thank you, -- H
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If you have access to the boiler and can't tell where it's leaking from, it's going to be kind of difficult for us to determine the problem and therefore the cost to repair.
The best I can do is relay this anecdote:
My dad has a very old oil fired boiler for hot water baseboard heat and domestic hot water. The system is old and clunky and he's preparing the house for sale before he and my mom get much older.
He is having the boiler replaced with a modern (read: more efficient) gas fired unit and separate gas water heater. He's having gas run to the kitchen and laundry room. The electric stove is shot, so he's buying a new gas range. The electric dryer is old but working so he's going to hold off on that. The gas pipe will be there when needed. He's having the oil tank removed from the area of the basement that constitutes his workshop which will free up a lot floor space.
Yes, he is paying a little bit extra to have the gas run thorughout the house, but the gas company rebates on the furnace will offset a lot of that. He's actually replacing two boilers since it's a double house with my sister living in the other side. He's getting a rebate on both furnaces, so the cost to run the gas pipes is just about covered.
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On Mon, 24 Sep 2012 09:04:14 -0700 (PDT), heathcliff

radiators, currently heated by a Peerless gas fired boiler dating to 1980. It appears to be leaking - started it up this weekend and now there is water on the floor around it. Not a lot of water, but some - never happened before. It is not coming from the pressure relief valve. Also the pressure is reading zero, which I have never seen before. Two questions - (a) any chance it does not need to be replaced? (b) If it is time to replace it, should I get one of those ultra high efficiency units? Any recommendations? Thank you, -- H
Replace it. I did just that and I'm heading into the 3rd winter with my System 2000 by www.energykinetics.com
I was hesitant to replace, but my 1978 oil fired boiler was going to its death. I'm paying for the new unit strictly from the savings in my oil use. The old boiler used 850 gallons a year, the new one about 500 gallons. At the price of oil, saving 350 gallons is a lot of money. Gas is probably less costly, but still a big chunk of change.
Check for rebates from the state and power company too. I was able to get $500 from the state, a Fed. tax credit and 0% financing from the state.
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