Hot Water Boiler Installation
This article is about the installation of a Weil McLain CGi 4 series 4 hot water boiler (replacement of a WM HE-4, series 3) in a house with baseboard heat. A few comments on the history of the old boiler are included along with photos, illustrations and other related (and unrelated--YIKES!) comments on the new installation.
Although this installation is of a WM (Weil McLain) boiler, the concepts could be applied to other boiler brands with modifications.
The WM boiler-1986 HE-4 Series 3
This WM boiler replaced the original (first) boiler, that was installed when the house was built in 1958. The original was draft (chimney) vented, oversized, and had a low efficiency rating. The original was replaced in 1986, and remained in use until replaced in 2023.
The 1986 boiler was still in relatively good shape, and everything was functioning when removed. I got a better inspection of the cast iron when it was dismantled--no leaks or cracks--it could have lasted for several more years--maybe! I replaced the inducer blower motor two times over the past 37 years, one gas valve, several flame sensors, and a purge timer. The inducer motor was partially my fault because I [and the tech that performed maintenance] didn't notice the second oil port (and partially because of the cheaper materials in the replacements over the years!)
When you hire a contractor, you expect them to be honest, knowledgeable, and have some experience in the field in which they work. In addition, I don't feel like it is my job to micro-manage a job...period, yet alone one where my experience (at the time) was no doubt less that a HVAC dealer with a good reputation and many years in the community.
When this unit was installed, I think the dealer that installed it did the best they could (while watching their costs) with the knowledge they had at the time. The owner/dealer told me this was something new, i.e., direct venting with stainless steel with higher efficiency, blah, blah, blah. He called a rep to the house to give him some pointers.
Reminds me of an townhouse that I rented years ago. The landlord built several townhouses and put one valve in for the whole house. Nothing under the sinks, etc. Then one winter the pipes froze in the garage, and you guessed it...water all over the place. I tried to shut off the main (ONE) valve, but the rubber washer was dissolved!
It took the water company several days (busy due to weather) to shut off the water so a repair could be made. Fortunately, the garage was on the ground floor with the utility room, and both had drains. It was NOT a fun cleanup. I digress...
WM CGi-4 S-4
You watched the install--didnt you?
This is actually a photo the WM HE II, which is similar in appearance to the HE
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...With lots of TLC, it did last 37+ years...
WARNING :This article is for educational purposes; I am just relating my personal experiences. I believe the information given to be accurate, but should not be used as an instructional manual. You should follow the manufacturer's directions and comply with all local codes. Your level of expertise and educational credentials/certifications may vary. When you are not confident, why not let a professional HVAC person do the installation?
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The only valves installed were the ones that came with the boiler, e.g., pressure relief valve (PRV) and the drain valve. There were no provisions for purging at the boiler or in the mechanical room. This created some problems and each baseboard unit had to be individually bled. But it did save a few $--but not for me!
>>PHOTOS and ILLUSTRATIONS on this site<<
This is an article about a boiler installation, and I am not affiliated with or sponsored by any boiler company.