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SPW
Replacement of WBV Oil-Fired Boiler

I have a cracked Boiler and it still operates but I need to replace it. Quotes to furnish and install a new WBV-3 has ranged from 5k to 8k. I can get a unit pretty inexpensively and I was wondering how difficult it is to replace by myself. I am somewhat handy and I am not changing the type of system and or number of zones.

My question, is a boiler replacement a job for a weekend warrior or just leave it to the professionals? If it is a job a wkend warrior can take on are there any recommendations and or suggestions?

SPW

NashuaTech
Re: Replacement of WBV Oil-Fired Boiler

WBV:

I assume you've already checked to see if there is any partial warranty left on the cracked boiler you have now---sometimes Peerless will give the contractor a break on a cracked heat exchanger if you agree to buy another Peerless---how old is the current boiler???

I would get as many separate estimates for the job as possible---at least 5 or 6---the quote you have now seems too high.

The Peerless WBV is a standard-issue cast iron boiler that is very common & popular in the heating industry---besides Peerless, good ones are made by Crown, Burnham, Dunkirk, Slant/Fin, Utica, Smith, & New Yorker, among others.

This type of boiler if bought at the wholesaler's (or Home Depot in the case of Slant/Fin) will cost you ~$1500 + $1k installation costs & take out the old boiler, & $1k for an indirect HWH & other valves, etc. = $3500 to $4000 as a low-ball, reasonable amount to pay for a replacement.

If you take enough quotes, you should find someone who will do it for closer to $3500-$4000 than $8k.

On the other hand, there are lot's of reasons for not doing it yourself---most towns have an ordinance that allows only licensed heating contractors to install boilers; you would void the warranty on a diy install; these units weigh ~600 lbs & are delivered to your doorstep---it's up to you to get it in the cellar & get the old one out---you risk serious injury or damaging the unit if it slips while going down the cellar stairs ---just renting a dumpster will cost ~$400.

Setting up a burner flame requires expensive combustion analysis tools to minimize soot, smoke, co, co2 & maximize a fuel-efficient flame.

I would recommend a separate indirect hot water heater, if you don't have one now, rather than ordering a boiler with a hot water coil, which is an inefficient way to make hot tap water.

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