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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6

    New Furnace in NJ, 100 Year Old Boiler: Advice, Please.

    Hello Everyone!

    Okay, so I'm a fairweather fan, this is the first day I've been here. But, hey, it's not like I'm replacing furnaces every day! In looking around, this looks like a really cool site.

    So, here's the deal. Any advice you can offer me would be so appreciated! I'm a total heating noob; please be kind.

    I've got a 100 year-old house with a serious boiler in the basement. The home is approximately 2,000 sq. feet). It is the orignal furnace, and was originally COAL! It was changed over to oil. The furnace, actually, it running very well; it purrs like a kitten. However, the pipes are beginning to show thier age, and the system is springing leaks left and right; and since everything is covered in warm/cozy asbestos, well...tt's time to replace her.

    So, mainly I'm working with Metro Fuel out of Ridgefield, NJ (good or bad comments, please PM me). They are my oil provider, and they are also one of the Home Depot guys around here.

    So, they are suggesting a Peerless ECT furnace, and it seems like it's a pretty heavy-duty piece.

    So, what the questions I'm asking are there:

    1. Has anyone had experience with Peerless ECT boilers? Good/Bad?

    2. Any shining recommendations for furnace replacement guys in Northern, NJ?

    3. What should I be prepared for re: installation, etc.

    Anyway, I'm sure stuff will pop up as the hours and days go by, but it's getting close and - while it's kind of exciting - I want to try to do everything I can to make the outcome a happy one.

    Thanks So Much!

    ezt

    ps - You want to see pics of the old boiler, don't you? We'll see.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6
    While I'm at it, I'll also ask this: in the end, isn't oil heat the more effective one? I guess the gas heating question is also coming up, but I feel that oil is the way to stay.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,675
    A couple of things

    You might wanna try posting this in the hydronics section

    HeatingHelp dot com

    Give this website a holler and post this message on "The wall"

    Look around there it is loaded with all kinds of wet heat advice

    Between this site and that one you should be able to make a well informed decision

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,189
    Prices for removing a monster and going modern will be steep. We took one out a few years ago, 4200 pounds worth!!! Went way over in time but worked great when done.

    Is this steam? If so, even more critical that things be done right. Steam is super heat if the boiler is installed & piped correctly. If not, it's a nightmare. Even hot water heat going from a relic to modern requires special piping to protect the boiler. Not done and you will be replacing sections fairly soon. So don't skimp and look for a low price, you probably will regret it.

    The lead to "The Wall" is great. Their "find a professional" section probably will have a local contractor in it. These guys know their stuff and will give you good advice.

    And yes, we do want to see pictures!!!

    http://www.appelheat.com/boiler/boil.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for the help guys! I have cross-posted over at "the Wall", and I've even gotten a few responses. It seems the Peerless ECT has done well for some folks. I suppose it is Peerless; yoink!

    Anyway...

    Water, or steam? Good question. Ummm...the furnace holds water in it. So, water? I don't know, how can I figure that out? We've got plenty of radiators; currently, somework better than others, but I think that's probably a bleed valve thing. At least, I hope it is.

    It's going to be expensive, to be sure. But, at least right now, it's cheaper than moving.

    The asbestos removal guy was here today, and he didn't seem too fazed. So, that's a good thing, I suppose. I'm waiting for the estimate for removal...cringe.

    I'll try to take/post some pics this weekend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    You would see a site glass on the boiler if it was steam,Peerless is great.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by heatpumpguru View Post
    You would see a site glass on the boiler if it was steam,Peerless is great.
    Well then, it's steam for sure.

    We're going to have Reiner come and take a look on Monday.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,675
    Wow

    While you and the contractor you select have a task ahead of you remember it isn't insurmountable

    And when sizing a steam system/boiler

    It isn't sized to the heat loss of the house.

    The Boiler should be sized to the existing radiation of the home

    In other words the radiators need to be measured to determine the actual size of the boiler to be installed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6
    Well, it isn't insurmountable because it's CAN'T BE insurmountable. You know? We really don't have a choice on this one, and we don't owe this boiler anything. It's just - financially - it's unexpected (like most things) and I have a tendancy to not take things "one day at a time".

    One Day at a Time.

    The radiators were measured, and the Peerless ETC was what was recommended. We've got some big radiators in the house, and we showed him all of them.

    Some of them have been cool as of late, which could be any number of things; and probably not the boiler; as they did work with that boiler not so long ago. He told me that - after the boiler is installed - all the radiators that aren't throwing off heat ought to be looked at and dealt with.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6
    This sure has been a long process, but I guess it's good to do homework.

    After delaying the inevitable all summer, the Northeast regions recent touch of chill has re-alerted us to the fact that we've got to get this boiler project done and we've got to get it done now.

    If you guys could - either on the forum here or in a private message - let me know if you've all heard good or bad about R.G.M Heating & Cooling in Wayne, NJ?

    Also, Acco Contractors in Paterson, NJ for asbestos removal.

    Both seem to be very capable in my eyes and their prices are extremely competitive.

    Don't worry, those pics might still end up here yet. I just dread going into the basement to look at the beast. Especially now that we're really on a roll.

    Thanks So Much For Your Help!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    glad you said something about getting the asbested removed/ This is going to be a big undertaking.

    one thought is as i have seen done in rumson is to have it sealed and leave the old beast sit. They remove what is on the pipes and seal them
    then seal the old boiler up with the understanding it wont be touched

    you mentioned pipes leaking or knowing they are for the most part the same age. This would be the time to replace the ones that are weakest. You will find the returns being the most rotted.

    also after a asbestos company is do you will also need to reinsulate all the pipes again. If left uninsulated they will not deliver enough heat to the farthest rads. The steam lines will also start to condensate and cause a loud bang when the steam hit the condensation. So reinsulating is very important

    as far as the rads that arent working at this time. Since the old dog is still working now is the time to see what is wrong with them. Might just be as simple as replacing a few vents or require the rads to be pulled and cleaned or replaced. This would make sense before the cold sets in and before you dump a lot of money into a system you may decide to abandun and have a differant type of heating system installed at a lesser cost

    just replacing the boiler isnt going to solve any of your piping problems or rad problems

    get some other prices and opinions on what you need to have done

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,189
    Gonna get cold soon

    It was suggested to check out heatinghelp.com and go to their find a pro section. These guys are all hot water and steam gurus. If you can find a steam pro in your area, that would be better than dealing with just anyone.

    Even if there isn't someone near you, just reading the posts on steam will enlighten you.

    One other boiler highly respected "over there" is the new Burnham MegaSteam.

    Sounds like old Tinknocker knows more than just tin

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