Well the furnace finally went in June ...

The furnace in my house is the original 1959 HB Smith oil boiler that was put in when the house was built. Since I moved in it has been performing rather badly and failing often. It first started to shut down and opening it up to clean it, one can see that the combustion chamber liner is falling in on itself and the intercooler and flue passages are filling with soot much too quickly. The hot water started to fail, but it heated the house OK so I installed an electric hot water heater while nursing the boiler along for a few years. Then the burner pump went, next the burner motor and then the coil for the igniter. This, coupled with the high cost of the electric water heater and the inefficiency of the old unit prompted me to try and find a new one. When it finally crapped out altogether in June, I bought a brand new Slant Fin TR 30HP boiler unit.

With school and taking care of the house and kid by myself, I put off installing the unit for a couple of months. Then as it was time to install the unit, I had to take the baseboard out of the bathroom to fix the floor so that project had to be finished before I could complete the hydronic loop. This is the story of the furnace install

This is the old monstrosity

Old gravity style expansion tank in the rafters

Another view

I took a few pictures to remember how the original pipes were set up

New unit on front steps, it was easy to unload it from the pickup truck like this. With it, I got a new diaphragm style expansion tank, circulator pump, and other new fill/flow valves.

Down in the basement, a difficult move as it weighs a few hundred pounds dry.

Old unit moved out

New heat exchanger

Old heat exchanger, bit of a difference! At one point I had pulled out a few dead burnt squirrel carcasses from this hole!

The two units, side by side

The old unit had the circulator pump on the return side as most older units do and a big gravity expansion tank in the rafters. In this new replacement I have bought all new valves and pumps. I first started by putting the new diaphragm expansion tank with air separator close to the boiler where it will take advantage of the hottest point with the most expansion to do it's job. I then put in the circulator because you always want to be pumping away from this expansion tank and the newer units have the circulator on the feed side to push the water rather than pull it. Then I added a shutoff valve to both sides of the circulator to make replacement easier and took advantage of the flow control valve having a right angle fitting to turn the corner to the hydronic baseboard loop. After this flow control valve I'll add a hose fitting to make bleeding the system easier.

On the return side I installed a water pressure regulator for the fill along with an anti-backflow valve. I then put a union in and a shutoff valve. At the top I have an automatic air vent and a hose fitting for easy bleeding. There is a boiler drain on the very bottom. I also installed a low water cutoff valve for safety and a high pressure cutoff on the top of the unit.

I lined up the flue pipe so it is a straight shot to reinstall, the old furnace had a side outlet

Starting to dry fit the piping

The flue piping put in.

return side valves

feed side valves

more to come, still in progress

Now I have to flare and install the oil feed pipe to the oil burner and wire up all the electrical items. I also have to move the studs out from the unit a few more inches to give it sufficient clearance.