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Thread: Boiler help needed

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member brfwizard's Avatar
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    Default Boiler help needed

    I just bought a new house. It has an old burnham natural gas boiler. was told it was aprox 30 yrs old. system was running and was shut down and winterized supposedly about 10mths ago but today i cracked open the valve on ceiling mounted air tank and there was water still in there but has been mild this yr so maybe no damage. What I want to know is if possible to get this system up and running my self instead of paying someone to try then say it's bad etc (wants $500 to dewinterize). The tag on this monster is missing a lot of numbers so was wondering if someone is familiar with it and what it would be a replacement for this model. The tag is as follows from top down of what i could make out......

    burnham
    _ _ _ estas (missing some letters here)

    p-60-w (model number maybe)

    108000 (btu input ?)

    635 (no idea could be a point in there somewhere)

    720 (no idea could be a point in there somewhere)

    144 (no idea could be a point in there somewhere)


    Any info on this would be greatly appreciated. I only want to get this up and running for roughly 2 mths until it gets warmer then get new system in fall put in.
    Last edited by brfwizard; 03-01-2012 at 03:56 PM.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I suspect it's an old Burnham Fiesta which was in it's day a fairly decent cast iron boiler capable of efficiencies in the mid 80's or so. As for getting it up and running, that's going to depend on what what was done to winterize it. If it was just drained down then you need to fill it back up and purge the air out of it. If it was anti-freezed then you need to make sure there is abour 15 lbs pressure on the system and then light it off. The operating manual for the boiler can probably still be found on Burnham's web site.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  3. #3
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    The replacement for it shouldn't be a direct swap for another boiler of identical output. Odds are high that it was oversized the day it was installed, and more than 2x oversized for the heat load of the house has after improvements. Get a room-by-room heat loss calc done on it by a pro using pro tools, and use THAT as the basis for what replaces it. An oversized high-mass boiler will run at lower than tested AFUE, and won't provide the comfort that a smaller "right sized" unit would.

    I thought the Fiesta was an oil-fired beast- it may have been retrofitted with an external gas-burner(?).

    For $500 + the cost of the gas to run it for two months you could probably rationalize just using electric space heaters to make it tolerable inside for now and scrap the thing right away.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    If replacing it I would be looking at a mod con, probably a Buderus GB or a Viessman
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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