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Old 04-29-2017, 06:08 AM
 
122 posts, read 97,629 times
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We had an inspection done on a home we are trying to purchase. The home inspector noted that the boiler was original to the house (~40 years old), rusted, and imminent need of replacement. We asked for a credit to help defray the cost and sellers responded that at some point they had had the boiler completely rebuilt, "Like you would rebuild an engine". They offered a one year home warranty instead of a credit. My inspector said that was ridiculous but admittedly is not an HVAC guy. So I'm posing the question to you fine folks: Is it possible to rebuild a boiler? Does this greatly extend the life expectancy of the unit? Would we still see indications of rust on a rebuilt boiler? Is it more likely that they simply replaced a few parts? TIA
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Old 04-29-2017, 06:37 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,487 posts, read 62,101,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubiquecartas View Post
....sellers responded that at some point they had had the boiler completely rebuilt,
"Like you would rebuild an engine".

Is it possible to rebuild a boiler?
Yes; but doing it right... is not often a lot cheaper than doing it over.

The Q comes down to how many of the external parts (pumps, controls, valves, etc)
also needed to be (or were) replaced at the same time.

Then there's the oil burner or gas burner/controls and efficiency levels.

Quote:
Is it more likely that they simply replaced a few parts?
This is where you go deeper than just a home inspector.

You need to have a real plumbing & heating guy come in and evaluate.
If you don't have one in mind... ask your friends for some names.
---

Jumping ten steps ahead:
Quote:
They offered a one year home warranty instead of a credit.
The warranty should come from the licensed and well regarded contractor who did
the rebuild job and presumably has been maintaining the system since then.

Last edited by MrRational; 04-29-2017 at 06:46 AM..
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:36 AM
 
Location: UNMC Area
749 posts, read 433,140 times
Reputation: 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubiquecartas View Post
We had an inspection done on a home we are trying to purchase. The home inspector noted that the boiler was original to the house (~40 years old), rusted, and imminent need of replacement. We asked for a credit to help defray the cost and sellers responded that at some point they had had the boiler completely rebuilt, "Like you would rebuild an engine". They offered a one year home warranty instead of a credit. My inspector said that was ridiculous but admittedly is not an HVAC guy. So I'm posing the question to you fine folks: Is it possible to rebuild a boiler? Does this greatly extend the life expectancy of the unit? Would we still see indications of rust on a rebuilt boiler? Is it more likely that they simply replaced a few parts? TIA
Yes, it is possible to rebuild a boiler. Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing whether it was done, or to what specs.

That said, I've found that "home inspectors" often do not have Clue 1 about a lot of things. I could tell a couple horror stories, but won't.


If this house is an otherwise great deal, and the seller will give you a 1 year warranty - in writing and fully legal - I'd be okay with it.
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Old 04-29-2017, 08:41 AM
 
4,541 posts, read 8,417,403 times
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You dont rebuild a boiler unless you have weeks of time and "you" know how to rebuild boilers. Boiler only costs $4k or so. Easier to simply buy another one.

That said..... if its over 40 years old, I know old Weil-McLain boilers didnt use any gaskets at all. They were precision milled at the factory and used metal sleeves that made a water tight seal. Sometimes these boilers last forever, although all the parts attached to them dont like burner, pumps, electronics, etc.

The newer boilers use gaskets and have a limited life span about 25 years before the gaskets go. Typically its simply cheaper to buy another boiler at that point.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:39 AM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,517,376 times
Reputation: 7686
Quote:
Originally Posted by 399083453 View Post
You dont rebuild a boiler unless you have weeks of time and "you" know how to rebuild boilers. Boiler only costs $4k or so. Easier to simply buy another one.

That said..... if its over 40 years old, I know old Weil-McLain boilers didnt use any gaskets at all. They were precision milled at the factory and used metal sleeves that made a water tight seal. Sometimes these boilers last forever, although all the parts attached to them dont like burner, pumps, electronics, etc.

The newer boilers use gaskets and have a limited life span about 25 years before the gaskets go. Typically its simply cheaper to buy another boiler at that point.


THIS !


I moved to my farm in 1978 and there was an oil fired hot water baseboard heat,
( house was built in 1955)


Around mid 80's I put in a new oil fired boiler /furnace..........much more compact than big old one.


In 2012 when I sold farm to son I had a new propane fired boiler/furnace installed.


The cost was under $3,000 so to me it wasn't that big of a deal if you are talking about a house furnace.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:02 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,368,175 times
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Depends upon the construction of the boiler.

Many older brands were designed to be rebuilt as needed.

We've got a HWBB Propane Fired Slant-Fin brand boiler from the 1970's that has been rebuilt once. In service now for 23 years without any problems since rebuilt.

Consider, however, the efficiency of these older boilers as part of the calculations as to whether or not to rebuild the old boiler compared to replacement. The old Slant Fin at best is an 80% efficient boiler. New designs approach the high 90's%. What would you save in operating cost to heat the house with a more efficient boiler?

I wouldn't take a warranty from the seller. I'd have the boiler inspected by a knowledgeable outfit and if it is due for major overhaul, replace it. Get their bid on the project so you know what the numbers are for the decision.
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