My heating guys says he will replace my old coal converted boiler
(covered with asbestos) with a new oil fired Weil McLain.
Are these boilers reliable? He says that the new boilers are only
designed to last 25 years. Do the new boilers have the same capacity
as the old boilers?
The old boiler is about 70 years old and still going strong. I have 2
zones. Price is about $6000 for asbestos removal + boiler removal an
Also, some people tell me that I'm wasting my money by replacing the
old boiler. Granted, the pay back will take probably 10 years, but if
I want to sell my house, the crappy asbestos alone would lower my
Last year I used 1100 gallons of oil, total cost about $2400. The
heating guys says I will save about 1/3 in heating costs.
I had an old boiler with asbestos in a house I bought in '93. Subject
never came up in the inspection or anything. Probably should have, i
think I was railroaded.
I personally would not mess with this. If it ever came up as an
impediment to selling the house, deal with it then. It is up there
with radon as something that people are scared of but doesn't generally
cause problems except in peoples' minds. I am a proponent of leaving
flaws in place until sale time, as long as they're not hazardous, and
not getting worse and worse like a crack in a foundation or bad
You do need to make sure the asbestos isn't flaking, etc. Also, some
of the pipes carrying hot water away from the boiler may be wrapped in
asbestos so check them too. You'll see a metal pipe with about a 3/4"
wrapping around it.
Asbestos - aside from killing a lot of miners - is a very effective
material. You have to be around it for a while to get health problems.
The poor miners that were done in by this mineral breathed it a lot
over a long time, before people knew what a problem it can be.
When they were building the World Trade Center, the bottom half of the
steel inner core was covered with asbestos to retard fire. Then
everybody freaked over asbestos, so the top half of the steel was not
coated. This is one reason the towers collapsed so quickly.
Weil mc Lain is good, but your energy savings is up to you to figure
out, old units hold alot more water and dont have a flue damper. If you
are looking at an 80% unit you may not be happy with the savings, if a
condensing unit then yes its worth while.
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