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Old 12-29-2008, 07:26 PM   #1
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


I just got the the news that the thermocouple on my 58 year old boiler may need to be replaced. It went out Christmas eve...how convenient *sigh* Now, a few years ago (5 or so) the circulation pump was replaced (forced hot water-baseboard heat) and after that we were told that continuing to repair the old beast was not worth the expense (not to mention it's already REALLY inefficient and costs us a ton every year-and that's only keeping it set to about 60 degrees) and that finding parts for it will soon be near impossible. So, i guess what I am asking, is this an expensive repair ? Is it worth while to keep the old boiler up ? We were told that the part is rather cheap, but the labor may be 2+ hours...and require the boiler to be pretty much broken down and reassembled We are on a very tight budget ( a brand new baby-6weeks old) and I just want to know what I may be jumping into ...

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Old 12-29-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


It probably has a conversion burner which may be so old it may fall apart when they take it out and is obselete. The pilot burner etc may be obsolete and in the worst case scenario there may be asbestos gaskets/material in the old BEAST. Seen way too many of them in my day. I would recommend a new Weil Mclain boiler which will probably pay for itself in 5 yrs with the fuel savings from the old beast.http://www.weil-mclain.com/
We sell quite a few of the CGi model. Good meat and potatoes unit and value for the money $$. http://www.weil-mclain.com/products/...ired%20boilers
There usually are some government/utility co rebates/grants which may help you upgrade to a more efficient unit.

Good Luck

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Old 12-29-2008, 08:58 PM   #3
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


I just installed a Weil-Mclain WTGO-3 boiler in my house today, and so far, i must say its amazing how much more efficient it is than my 50 year old American Standard Boiler... Using the same on/off temps, this boiler takes roughly 45-60 seconds to go from low temp to hi temp with the circulator pump running, as where the old boiler took 1-3 minutes to do the same thing. I put off replacing my furnace for 3 years after I was advised to... And it gave me alot of little problems... But I fixed it myself, so it didnt cost me a fortune... I also replaced it myself which saved me money, but I agree... Its time to replace...
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:04 PM   #4
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


If it is a really OLD beast some of them are sealed with stove cement which can fall off and have the SERIOUS potential of CO Carbon monoxide leakage if it does not burn properly. CO is 10-100X more toxic for infants than adults (along with lead). I would not be able to live with myself if that happened to my 2 month old nephew. NO JOKE!!
Post some pics of it here and we can give you more info/advice about it if you have not already bought a new one.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:05 PM   #5
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


^^^What they said. Parts of my furnace were sealed with Stove Cement, and I dont doubt that I had CO leaks... (Need to replace the battery in my CO Detector).
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:09 PM   #6
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


If you are replacing it make sure you have it tested for asbestos B4 they rip it out. It can be wrapped in plastic/encapsulated or have the asbestos removed by Pro's first. That crap is not what you want the infant breathing in for the next 18 yrs either.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:27 AM   #7
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


well if it were me i wouldnt mention anything about the asbestos the price may rise 2000 to 5000 for "proper removal" lets face it that stuff was around for along time and really the only people affected by it were the people that worked with it day after day after day. im not saying to be stupid about it either just not to freak out about it. seal off the basement door with plastic when the boiler is removed, mop the floor after its out and be done with it. many older guys on here have worked around it for years but not constantly and as for me i have zero health problems and have lung xrays recently (for rib fractures)
on another note thermocouples are about 6 dollars and are located where the pilot flame is located so it has to be somewhere thats accessable i cant imagime the boiler being torn down for its replacement methinks me smells a salesman afoot (although a 50+ yr old unit is def. due)

and let me add this is my opinion so im sorry if you dont agree but its nothing more than my 2 cents so no flaming pls

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Old 12-30-2008, 07:20 AM   #8
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


Depends on set up, it could take a little time to replace the thermocouple.

Depends how tight money is.
You may want to replace it now. It isn't real efficient.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:24 AM   #9
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


Quote:
Originally Posted by nperkins View Post
I just installed a Weil-Mclain WTGO-3 boiler in my house today, and so far, i must say its amazing how much more efficient it is than my 50 year old American Standard Boiler...

Using the same on/off temps,

What are the on off temps.

this boiler takes roughly 45-60 seconds to go from low temp to hi temp with the circulator pump running,

What circulator does it have.

Is it cast iron rads/baseboard, or copper fin basegoard, or copper convectors.

as where the old boiler took 1-3 minutes to do the same thing. I put off replacing my furnace for 3 years after I was advised to... And it gave me alot of little problems... But I fixed it myself, so it didnt cost me a fortune... I also replaced it myself which saved me money, but I agree... Its time to replace...
A 60 second burner on time, is actually very inefficient.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:59 AM   #10
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


160 on, 190 off, which is about the same as what i had before, it is a Taco 3250rpm Circulator which is same as before, has a flow control in line, same as before, and it is Copper Fin Baseboards. What should it be?
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:18 PM   #11
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


What is the differential set for.(Black knob above low limit)

High limit temp is only used during heat call.

40 seconds is about how long it should take just to maintain the water temp at a 10F differential.

With the circ running. If the boiler isn't oversized. A min of 5 minutes on a warm day, Steady increasing time as the temp outside drops.

Is there another flow check above your boiler?

The original circ, didn't have an inline flow check. They weren't invented 50 years ago.

If there is another flow check above the boiler, then your water GPM is very low.

What model number Taco, is it a 007.

If so, the one with out the inline check is too small for most applications.

The one with the inline check is too small for 90% of the systems, if there is a flow check already in the system.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:33 PM   #12
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


The differentials are at 10 degrees. Its a Digital AquaStat controller. Outside temps are about 30 degrees... There is a flow check, i reused it from the old boiler. It is closed SLIGHTLY... Should I take it out of the loop or open it more? The Circulator is a Taco 007-F5.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:48 PM   #13
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


The flow check above the boiler, adds a couple foot of head resistance.

I would have installed a new flow check.
And used a non inline check valve circ.
Possibly a 008 or 0010.
The 007, is the most misapplied circ made.
Its only good for very small systems.

How much baseboard do your have(element, not cover).

The 10 diif is good for your domestic water, but poor for yoiur oil use.
Try 15, or 20.

You did install a mixing/tempering valve, right?
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:53 PM   #14
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


I am adding a mixing valve this weekend.. The old furnace didnt have one, but a friend explained the advantage of one (Other than the whole scalding hot water thing)... My house is only 850 sq ft, single level, i would say roughly 35' to 40' of total baseboard element.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:15 PM   #15
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thermocouple replacement-50+ yr old boiler


You have a 115,000BTU output boiler, for 24,000 BTU's of baseboard.

The boiler should have 10 GPM flowing through it.
Your baseboard, should only need 4GPM.
If you run your baseboard at 10GPM, you'll have a very loud system.

Wrong boiler/size for your application.

A tempering loop for the heat loop would have helped it.

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