Is Buying A Used Boiler A Gamble?

Your old boiler system has quit working, and instead of replacing the boiler with a brand new unit, you would rather track down a used boiler system and save some money. Buying a used boiler system can be somewhat of a challenge. Not only do you need a boiler that matches up to the system you currently have as far as size goes, but it can also be difficult to find a used boiler that does not have problems. Some would say that buying a used boiler system is definitely a gamble; you never know if the thing will function like you want until it's installed. Here are a few things to consider about your upcoming boiler installation

Buying a used boiler can involve a lot of retrofitting during installation. 

Boiler systems rely on steam or hot water to carry heat, which means any unit will have to be connected to multiple pipelines in order to work. If you pull out an old boiler and replace it with a used model that is not exactly the same, you can be dealing with a lot of retrofitting and alterations just to complete the connections. This will be a time-consuming process and a process that will drive up the costs of installation a lot higher than what you may expect. 

Buying a used boiler should never be done without seeing the unit in action. 

If you find a used boiler for sale and it is sitting under a tarp in someone's garage, you probably should steer clear of it. It is never wise to buy a used boiler system without seeing it in action first. Go to the house where the unit is in use, and ask the owner to watch the boiler go through a cycle so you can see it in action. While this will not always mean the system won't have problems after installation at your house, it will help your odds. 

Buying a used boiler should involve a pressure test by a professional. 

Boilers have to be able to retain pressure to push heated water or steam throughout the lines in the house. If the boiler has a lot of deterioration or internal problems, it will lose pressure and not push adequate water or steam through. Before buying a used boiler system, bring in a professional to have the boiler system pressure tested. Even if the system seems to function, it will not always mean it still has good pressure, but a professional will be able to tell right off.