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Posted by HeatPro on August 17, 2005 at 20:31:52:
In Reply to: copper vs cast iron boilers posted by Eli on August 17, 2005 at 17:13:29:
Why would you worry about it going out on you? It has lasted over 50 years because it hasn't been subjected to a leaky piping system that allows oxygen to corrode it and lime to fill it. As long as fresh water is not continually fed to it because of leaks, the boiler will last indefinitely and perhaps another half century. Mistreating a brand new boiler will kill it much faster than the old one. I can understand why someone coming from a warm air furnace house would worry about it because war air furnaces last a short while as they don't have the benefit of water cooling to prevent a burnout as a wet-base boiler like your Weil McLain boiler does.
Copper is nice and doesn't corrode if you intend to let the system leak; but cast-iron pumps and other steel parts will in the system. Coper boiler manucaturers don't make a wet-base copper boiler so it would be dry-base. The copper has the benefit of being less subject to corrosion if the boiler is underfired and condenses, so the boilers over 90% efficient are usually made of copper or bronze. More care is needed in piping the copper boilers as they contain little water and will hammer and bang if misapplied.
They aren't better than each other; the different way they are made is for different ways of applying them. It is like asking if apples are better than oranges, they are both in the category of fruit and people prefer one over the other because their tastes differ.
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