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  1. #1

    Hmm

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this. I've been researching new furnaces thanks to an issue 2 days ago when we stopped getting hot water. My question is reagarding whether or not it's a better invenstment to replace or fix our old furnace (is it worth fixing?).

    Quick specs: home is about 1400sq ft, 1-story ranch w/ basement, built 1955. New replacement Anderson windows, new siding, new roof in 2003 (just prior to us buying the place). Oil tank is a standard 275 gal. We live in New England (enough said on needing to stay warm!).
    Furnace is a Crane model 70-122, not sure of age (no mfr date on label). Researched, unable to find any info. Got this from another post on this site:

    "CRANE: Stopped making HVAC products in 1968. Furnace technology sold to Amana."

    I'm guessing I've got at least a 38-year old furnace. It's oil-fired, steam=381 sq ft, water=106100 BTU's/hr. Burner capacity (light oil) is 1.10 gph. Min relief valve cap is 122 lbs/hr. Max working pressure: steam - 15psi, water 50psi.
    Burner says CFR Oil Burner, MP 1998 model A1. Firing range .75-1.25 gph.
    Our hot water runs off this too, so that's a factor to consider. Don't want to have to buy a separate tank if we don't have to. There's just a small expansion tank in-line now.

    Okay, think that's it. (Bear with me, I'm an HO with no HVAC background.)
    Long story short: lost hot water 2 days ago, checked furnace & verified it wouldn't stay lit (ignitor no good?). Had svc tech out & he replaced valve where oil feed comes in. Looked like solder was gone & valve cap was crammed back on originally. The furnace started working and did so for a couple hours. Now less than 24 hours later, the hot water is gone again and the furnace will not come on.
    Does this even sound worth fixing, or are we setting ourselves up to be boned hard in the long run?
    I've got pics, but they're large files - don't want to clog your site. Follow this link to my online photo album:
    http://community.webshots.com/album/554688804nTzjYE
    (Maybe you'll like the pics for your "shame" collection - I know it's ugly.)

    The condition of the beast is not good - lots of rust & corrosion when we bought the place 2 years ago, and it hasn't gotten better. It's been on the to-do list for that long, pending the $ to do it.
    Again, is this old thing worth fixing? What's it running at efficiency-wise? I know it's hard to tell without being there, but educated guesses will at least point me in the right direction.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read and (hopefully) answer my questions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,918
    Looks like you've gotten your money's worth from that baby! ANNUAL efficiency, which is how much of the heat you are paying for stays in the house, is probably no more than 60%. That figure jumps to the mid 80s with today's boilers.

    Find a dealer who knows STEAM!!! A plumber or heating dealer not experienced in steam may have trouble. This is great heat but not forgiving to installation errors.

    You can get a new unit with a tankless coil for hot water. You might ask about an indirect tank, which is a separate tank heated by the boiler. I think they can do that with steam. That way the boiler isn't kept hot constantly 365 days a year. Pretty much unlimited hot water and you don't have to worry about 2 faucets on at the same time.

    Check http://www.heatinghelp.com in their "find a professional" section to see if any of those guys service your area. They are mostly "wetheads" that know this technology. Also a couple of boiler gurus from the manufacturers visit us. Maybe they'll know a good dealer if you post what town you are in.

  3. #3
    I'm guessing even a cleaning and a pipe purge won't help this thing at this point?
    Don't know anything about the brand itself, whether or not they were any good, but if that's how old it is I guess it's time.
    Is our setup an indirect tank, since it's got the little expansion tank above or is it a tankless coil, with the little tank being something else?

    Thanks for your patience and advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,918
    No Cranes around here, not many boilers around here. My cousin has one in Detroit. I replaced the pump for him and I think he had to change the thermocouple but otherwise works fine. He whines about his gas bill though.

    You have a tankless coil for domestic hot water, it's in the picture with the valves.

    Looking at the pictures, I'd say you have forced hot water heat not steam. I guess because of the tankless coil which are more common on steam systems. When you talk to dealers about replacement, I'd sure ask about an indirect tank.

  5. #5

    Question

    Okay, after all that it looks like we're going to have to ditch the old beast and replace it. We found the pump has been the problem with our old one, but it still runs intermittantly even after replacing that.
    The info we got on the possible replacement was for either Buderus or Weil-McLane. On the latter, our local company only offers up to a 5-year warranty. We can get up to a 12-year on the Buderus.
    Unfortunately, I can't find much for reviews or feedback on this supposed higher-end brand. I've heard good feedback on the W-M, but am looking for more than 5 years worth of warranty if available.

    Has anyone heard of Buderus, or know anything about their reputation? I'll admit I'm biased towards the better coverage, but I don't want to pay for the supposed "best" if I'm not getting anything more than the "lesser" ones.

    The co. did recommend the indirect tank as opposed to the tankless setup - if there's that much of an efficiency benefit, I'd like to go with it.

    Thanks all for your advice. You may end up saving my sanity this winter!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,918
    Buderus is an excellent boiler, you should have great results from it. And sure wise to go the indirect. All the hot water you could imagine! An excuse to buy that big whirlpool tub you've been dreaming of!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,376
    Originally posted by BaldLoonie
    Buderus is an excellent boiler, you should have great results from it. And sure wise to go the indirect. All the hot water you could imagine! An excuse to buy that big whirlpool tub you've been dreaming of!
    AMEN Brother BaldLoonie
    Climate Control Solutions for your Home or Office

    Serving Northeast Philadelphia and Surrounding Areas

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