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Old 03-18-2017, 07:54 PM   #1
bigdog
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Default Hot water issue - furnace ?

I've been having hot water issues in both my showers, and thought it may be related to the mixing valve in the Delta handle.

I decided to pull in a plumber to diagnose the issue. Much to my surprise, he didn't believe the issue was related to the mixing valve, but related to the furnace !

He checked the furnace, and the hot water pipe coming out of the boiler,
which feeds the house with hot water, and it was only warm to the touch, and he said it should be so hot you shouldn't be able to touch for long.

His diagnosis, was the coil in the boiler was 'toast' ! Furnace is 30 yrs old.
Installation is basically removing 4-5 bolts on a plate, removing and replacing the coil, and reassemble. Didn't have performed at the time.

Does this sound like the 'coil' is the root cause ?
If so, how much time should it take for replacement ?
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:11 PM   #2
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He is probably correct, I would have your furnace guy check it for a 2nd opinion.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:02 AM   #3
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How is the hot water in the rest of the house? If it's fine, then the coil isn't the problem. Also check your mixing valve, there might be a buildup in it.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:48 AM   #4
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Thanks to all who have responded to my thread here !

I was also planning to have my furnace/oil dealer check out the issue.

Rest of house water from faucets coming out hot. but the washing machine
water start hot then goes to lukewarm within a minute or two.

That said, I still think the issues is related to the furnace, not being able to keep up with the demand.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Thanks to all who have responded to my thread here !

I was also planning to have my furnace/oil dealer check out the issue.

Rest of house water from faucets coming out hot. but the washing machine
water start hot then goes to lukewarm within a minute or two.

That said, I still think the issues is related to the furnace, not being able to keep up with the demand.
Had the same problem. Mine turned out to be the burner controller, it was waiting far to long to kick the burner on. Initially I attempted to screw with the temp adjustments but it didn't do a damn bit of good. In fact right before I replaced it - the burner would fail to start so I'd have to manually reset the burner. Replaced the controller and all was good. Before I did that however I did check to ensure the temp controller was operating correctly. Simple to do with a multi-meter.

My furnace has a Beckett burner. New controller was about $70.00 at FB Webb. In fact before I bought it I talked to the guys down there just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. They have some good knowledgeable folks working there. As it turns out the controller I had (brought in the part number with me) was known to be problematic and the new controller I got was updated one that supposedly addresses several problems. So far so good, in fact I've noticed that the false starts I had been getting pretty much since day one are no longer occurring. That should have been a clue there was a problem but at the time I figured since it was intermittent that it was normal behavior.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:07 PM   #6
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Thanks MAXUM for the tip about 'burner control' !

When I have furnace tech review, I will mention the burner control as the possible issue... TBD
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:43 PM   #7
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You say you have hot water at other points but the washer soon gets cooler. Before I assume its the coil run the other water points that seem fine for a while and see if they cool down. If so then I would suspect your coil could have caked up minerals that keep it from exchanging the heat from the boiler water to the hot water feed. I've replaced mine and it was very simple. In my case the boiler water pressure kept getting too high and the relief valve would open. Turns out I had a leak in that coil that would allow the higher water pressure to enter the lower pressure boiler water chamber. Easy fix though.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
I've been having hot water issues in both my showers, and thought it may be related to the mixing valve in the Delta handle.

I decided to pull in a plumber to diagnose the issue. Much to my surprise, he didn't believe the issue was related to the mixing valve, but related to the furnace !

He checked the furnace, and the hot water pipe coming out of the boiler,
which feeds the house with hot water, and it was only warm to the touch, and he said it should be so hot you shouldn't be able to touch for long.

His diagnosis, was the coil in the boiler was 'toast' ! Furnace is 30 yrs old.
Installation is basically removing 4-5 bolts on a plate, removing and replacing the coil, and reassemble. Didn't have performed at the time.

Does this sound like the 'coil' is the root cause ?
If so, how much time should it take for replacement ?

The Plumber is correct, mine does the same thing. I have to replace my coil every 2 years or so.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:01 PM   #9
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The Plumber is correct, mine does the same thing. I have to replace my coil every 2 years or so.
This must be an oil burner. I have a Celtic natural gas boiler and have the original coil. Installed in 1978
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:24 PM   #10
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BroadHopper,

You are correct, I have an oil fired boiler, with Becket burner.
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:05 PM   #11
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Really shouldnt matter what the boiler water is heated with cuz neither flame enters the boiler water. Its more of a function of water chemistry.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:45 AM   #12
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The Plumber is correct, mine does the same thing. I have to replace my coil every 2 years or so.

Had an estimate for coil replacement by oil dealer between $800-1,000
Coil $450 +/-
Replace anti-scalding mixing valve $150
2+ hrs labor.

On a 25+ year old furnace this may not be the most practical solution, considering the age.

They also gave an alternative suggestion to have a new valve installed on the furnace, on the water intake to the coil, and inject CLR calcium/lime treatment or vinegar, through that new valve, to remove the sediment on the coil, however, this may or may not work 100%. The downside of this treatment, it may create pin-holes in the coil , then big issues could occur, That and the fact the treatment may clog the water lines with sediments through the hot water house lines.

Another alternative solution, would be to install an electric hot water heater in the house, in a water/electrical closet I have. That estimate was $1,000. Still a TBD if this could be done ?

Thoughts?
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:11 AM   #13
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I would suggest you do not replace the coil on a 30 year old boiler... putting $1000-1200 into a boiler that old is asking for trouble! Especially if the boiler decides to leak shortly after you spend the money! As has been suggested, either install an indirect or stand alone tank, either electric or if you already have propane, a power vented one. You can check if the coil is the problem merely by drawing hot water and grabbing the hot side of the coil... is it blistering hot or does it become out warm. It better be blistering hot! Please stop calling boilers furnaces... there is a DIFFERENCE!
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:37 AM   #14
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Here is one thought....
#1. Do you like your place at the lake?
#2. Do you expect to own it for at least a few more years?

If so, spend the money and replace the boiler completely. Not usually a huge job and most likely under $5000. Be done with all the fooling around. Given its current age, it is likely on life support anyway and you will have to replace it at some time in the future. If you sell at some point, it will be a selling feature. At least look at this alternative before making any further decisions. Get three quotes to do the job.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:02 AM   #15
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My new boiler was $3k plus the install costs, which ended up being beer (I had a friend install it). My old one would have needed almost $2k in repairs and it was older than me.
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:02 AM   #16
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Plus with a modern efficient boiler you will save on fuel costs over a older unit.
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:12 AM   #17
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Usually when the coil fails on a 30 year old boiler it is not worth trying to replace. You may not even be able to remove it if the steel or cast iron has rusted it in place. I would lean towards replacing the entire boiler, as others have said. Another choice would be to add an indirect water heater. (superstore, etc). You'll need to add a hot water zone to the boiler, but that is easy. It's a much better setup than the coil on the boiler, and isn't "a waste" even if you change out the boiler in the next few years.
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:24 AM   #18
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Check out link below. New boiler cost DELIVERED is $1930. These are great boilers...incredible castings. I have two in use...oil... at two different locations and they are over 10 years old. Still at 86%+ efficiency with annual cleanings. They also have gas/propane options. European castings are so much better than US. Check out your boiler size...could be slightly higher or lower cost depending on your needs. I heat my NH home year round....2300 sq. ft. with all my hot water off boiler with indirect 50 gal tank....and use around 800 gal's of oil per year. In the winter, we set the thermostats at 60 when we are not there. So with a little plumbing work to make the connections and an indirect water heater/tank, you can do the job for under $5000. Think long term.....and yes, you will save oil to offset costs as well.

http://www.houseneeds.com/heating/hy...st-iron-b10-b4
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Check out link below. New boiler cost DELIVERED is $1930. These are great boilers...incredible castings. I have two in use...oil... at two different locations and they are over 10 years old. Still at 86%+ efficiency with annual cleanings. They also have gas/propane options. European castings are so much better than US. Check out your boiler size...could be slightly higher or lower cost depending on your needs. I heat my NH home year round....2300 sq. ft. with all my hot water off boiler with indirect 50 gal tank....and use around 800 gal's of oil per year. In the winter, we set the thermostats at 60 when we are not there. So with a little plumbing work to make the connections and an indirect water heater/tank, you can do the job for under $5000. Think long term.....and yes, you will save oil to offset costs as well.

http://www.houseneeds.com/heating/hy...st-iron-b10-b4
I need to tell you that I'm in the business and have been for decades... your boiler is not 86% efficient! Maybe 70--75%! Any efficiency rating you're seeing is from the burn of the burner not the boiler! The only oil boiler that is truly efficient in the mid 80's is an Energy Kinetics System 2000!

http://energykinetics.com/afue/
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:20 PM   #20
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Leaning toward total replacement of furnace.

Brands considering: Lennox, Rheem, Carrier, Trane and Ducane.

Any one have knowledge about these, good or bad info appreciated.

Thanks,
BD
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:14 AM   #21
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These units are manufacturers of warm air furnaces. They do not make hot water. The efficiency that you mention is a snap shot of the operation of the oil burner when the unit was tested. I too have been in the business for over forty years. If you decide to replace the boiler have your contractor quote any cast iron, wet base American made boiler. I be glad to answer any other heating or hot water questions. Enjoy the day and be safe.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:58 AM   #22
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Can't comment on a Rheem boiler but had a new Rheem hot water heater replaced last year and had to switch out the igniter coil "thingie" within two months! The plumber that installed it (one man show) was away on vacation not to be back for 10 days. I called Rheem, they diagnosed it then I had to find a supply house for the part. Total PITA for a two month old water heater. I'm not mr mechanic and it wasn't to bad to swap out.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:08 PM   #23
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I contacted my oil dealer to discuss boiler replacement options, and Biasi Fuel Oil Boilers was his first choice. He said these are so reliable, efficient and the best value.

I had concerns about parts and service for this brand, but he said most of the service techs in the area, are familiar with this product, and made me feel comfortable with this choice. Biasi boiler would require a separate indirect water tank for the hot water side.

His sales to customers of Biasi, have so few issues, and last for years, he feels like the Maytag service guy, with very little to do !

Planning to pull the trigger soon on decision.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:50 PM   #24
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Follow-up.......

Just spoke with another HVAC professional I've dealt with for many years....
He recommended 'Crown' boilers (The burner comes packaged with the boiler).

Consumer testing reports gives 'Crown' high marks !

Anyone have this brand boiler, if so how dependable are they ?

Thanks,
Bigdog
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:11 PM   #25
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I have had the Biasi boiler with the indirect storage tank for a year now and I am very happy with it. Stafford oil recommended and installed it. The hot water amount and temp is much more consistent than the hot water coil.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:28 PM   #26
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I have had a Biasi in my NH home since 2005 and not one single problem. Service folks love the easy which they can be cleaned. At my MA house, right after I installed the NH Biasi , my Burnham had developed a leak and I had to change it out. I called my oil guy and told him to get a Biasi for me. He had no idea where to go, but i put him in touch with the US distributor in Portsmouth NH. He got the boiler....was surprised at how easy to install. I told him at the time that it would not be the last one he installed. Fast forward to now....he installs ONLY Biasi unless a customer requests a specific boiler. Has had hundreds of them installed and ZERO problems. My MA boiler is his first and the fleet leader he watches should any problem arise. So far, it runs terrific. BTW, you and I were going to chat off line...... Need more info, google QHTinc.com and give them a call in Portsmouth. I chatted with them a number of times before I ordered my boiler. BTW, my Biasi is installed in a first floor closet in my home....not even in the basement. I can send pictures if you want.
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:53 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tummyman View Post
I have had a Biasi in my NH home since 2005 and not one single problem. Service folks love the easy which they can be cleaned. At my MA house, right after I installed the NH Biasi , my Burnham had developed a leak and I had to change it out. I called my oil guy and told him to get a Biasi for me. He had no idea where to go, but i put him in touch with the US distributor in Portsmouth NH. He got the boiler....was surprised at how easy to install. I told him at the time that it would not be the last one he installed. Fast forward to now....he installs ONLY Biasi unless a customer requests a specific boiler. Has had hundreds of them installed and ZERO problems. My MA boiler is his first and the fleet leader he watches should any problem arise. So far, it runs terrific. BTW, you and I were going to chat off line...... Need more info, google QHTinc.com and give them a call in Portsmouth. I chatted with them a number of times before I ordered my boiler. BTW, my Biasi is installed in a first floor closet in my home....not even in the basement. I can send pictures if you want.

Hi Tummyman...
Yes, I've been meaning to call you, and will as soon as my work schedule frees up, hopefully soon !

My furnace guy also recommend Biasi boiler, but I have a unique setup.
My boiler is actually in a separate building attached to the main house, and he isn't sure that the boiler and a indirect water unit would fit into the same space ? How much space do you need for the Indirect unit ?

FYI, my furnace guy is in MA and hasn't actually looked at the storage space issue, where everything will be housed.

Thanks for your feedback, will call you soon.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:28 AM   #28
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Anyone have boiler/furnace services by Laconia Heating and Cooling ?

Compiling a list of HVAC providers for boiler replacement.

Thanks,
BD
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:00 PM   #29
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I'm with longtimelurker, I have been using Stafford and am very happy with them. Bob in service is very knowledgable and will answer all my questions without complaint, very patient.

I also agree indirect storage tank is the way to go. Never runs out of hot water, always consistent. I never had luck with coils in the boiler. Also you could install the indirect storage tank now to take care of the hot water problem and wait on the boiler if there are no problems. Why replace the boiler now if its only hot water issue that indirect tank would correct?

during summer your boiler will run a lot less frequently with indirect storage tank. Its much more efficient that the hot water of your boiler with coil.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:02 PM   #30
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Forgot to say, the indirect tank will last forever and you can still use it when its time to replace the boiler. You don't get many years with a separate electric hot water heater. Will need to be replaced every few years.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:20 PM   #31
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Quote:
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I'm with longtimelurker, I have been using Stafford and am very happy with them. Bob in service is very knowledgable and will answer all my questions without complaint, very patient.

I also agree indirect storage tank is the way to go. Never runs out of hot water, always consistent. I never had luck with coils in the boiler. Also you could install the indirect storage tank now to take care of the hot water problem and wait on the boiler if there are no problems. Why replace the boiler now if its only hot water issue that indirect tank would correct?

during summer your boiler will run a lot less frequently with indirect storage tank. Its much more efficient that the hot water of your boiler with coil.
A 30 year old boiler needs replacing regardless. I agree, an indirect storage tank is the best. I just went through this last year. It's not my primary residence so I just went with the new boiler with a new internal coil. It works great and the boiler is so much more efficient. Eventually the coils lose their efficiency but when they are new they work fine. I could be dead by the time that happens. "Forever" is not in my vocabulary anymore.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:59 PM   #32
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A 30 year old boiler needs replacing regardless. I agree, an indirect storage tank is the best. I just went through this last year. It's not my primary residence so I just went with the new boiler with a new internal coil. It works great and the boiler is so much more efficient. Eventually the coils lose their efficiency but when they are new they work fine. I could be dead by the time that happens. "Forever" is not in my vocabulary anymore.
Thanks Biggd.....

I'm in the same situation, not my primary residence either !
I do use the property year-round, but not permanent.
I will either be renting or selling this property (condo), within the next year,
so looking at cost justification for new boiler. $$$ I'm planning to purchase permanent residential home at the lake this year or next.

Will review with HVAC contractors, if I can install just the indirect storage tank,
beside the boiler, but I have serious space limitation if this is even feasible TBD ? The boiler runs fine, just does not provide adequate hot water b/c of the coil. Boiler is 25+ years old, so I understand the fuse is set, and only a matter of time before it dies. Don't want that to happen in the middle of winter, it's a dice roll !

If I go the course and install new boiler and be done with it all. as you stated "I could be dead by the time the new boiler fails again' !
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:08 PM   #33
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Thanks Biggd.....

I'm in the same situation, not my primary residence either !
I do use the property year-round, but not permanent.
I will either be renting or selling this property (condo), within the next year,
so looking at cost justification for new boiler. $$$ I'm planning to purchase permanent residential home at the lake this year or next.

Will review with HVAC contractors, if I can install just the indirect storage tank,
beside the boiler, but I have serious space limitation if this is even feasible TBD ? The boiler runs fine, just does not provide adequate hot water b/c of the coil. Boiler is 25+ years old, so I understand the fuse is set, and only a matter of time before it dies. Don't want that to happen in the middle of winter, it's a dice roll !

If I go the course and install new boiler and be done with it all. as you stated "I could be dead by the time the new boiler fails again' !
I think you are going to find that installing an indirect storage tank with a circulator is going to cost almost as much as installing a new boiler with a coil. My situation was similar as I have a 3 1/2 foot high basement so I needed a side clean out boiler because a top clean out would very difficult to clean. I called a few burner companies but because of where it was located they wanted a lot of money. I Found a top cleaning boiler on line and I was able to find an oil burner guy from Mass willing to do it on the side. Total job cost me under 4K. I had to help him get the boiler into the basement which was a two man job, they are heavy. Plus I told him not to skimp on shut off valves and drains incase I had to drain the system down or shut things down if pipes leak. It was probably another $500.00 in extra valves and piping which a heating contract would not include in a basic boiler replacement. Of course this was all done after I had spent $800.00 on an emergency repair by Stafford oil and then told I needed a new boiler.

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Old 05-03-2017, 02:00 PM   #34
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2 years ago indirect tank $2400.00 installed. Understand the reasons why others were going with tankless coil. I just would not like the boiler constantly firing up to maintain temp for hot water. The indirect tank keeps water hot for hours.
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:19 PM   #35
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2 years ago indirect tank $2400.00 installed. Understand the reasons why others were going with tankless coil. I just would not like the boiler constantly firing up to maintain temp for hot water. The indirect tank keeps water hot for hours.
I agree, If I lived in my house year round I would have gone with the indirect tank. But where it's a second home I didn't opt for the extra expense. I will say that this new boiler has saved me a ton of money on oil over the 30 year old boiler that I had in there before so I feel I will recoup my money back in oil savings real quick.
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:52 PM   #36
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Latest estimate to replace my boiler with coil with same type, came in around $5500, materials and labor. HVAC company gave me the estimate but did not break-out line items for boiler cost and labor hrs. have since asked for that info.

This includes all new burner setup, piping valves, etc, and disposal of old boiler. They added extra 5 yrs to warranty and 2 yrs of annual cleanings to sweeten the deal. HVAC contractor is a HUGE dealer out of Concord, with lot's of experience and a great reputation.

Labor per hours is pretty much standard $75-100 hr per man.
Boiler costs, they tend to pad, and build in fluff !

I have a oil burner guy in Mass, who can do the job probably for less, but would require him to, come to property here and do the job same day. I would also have to purchase the boiler myself and have delivered to property.
In the end I may only save $500-700 +/-. Not sure it's worth the trouble ?
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:00 PM   #37
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Latest estimate to replace my boiler with coil with same type, came in around $5500, materials and labor. HVAC company gave me the estimate but did not break-out line items for boiler cost and labor hrs. have since asked for that info.

This includes all new burner setup, piping valves, etc, and disposal of old boiler. They added extra 5 yrs to warranty and 2 yrs of annual cleanings to sweeten the deal. HVAC contractor is a HUGE dealer out of Concord, with lot's of experience and a great reputation.

Labor per hours is pretty much standard $75-100 hr per man.
Boiler costs, they tend to pad, and build in fluff !

I have a oil burner guy in Mass, who can do the job probably for less, but would require him to, come to property here and do the job same day. I would also have to purchase the boiler myself and have delivered to property.
In the end I may only save $500-700 +/-. Not sure it's worth the trouble ?
How big of a boiler do you have? Mine was a 3 section. The bigger the boiler the bigger the cost.
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:02 PM   #38
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Were I you I would have the coil cleaned and replace the mixing valve if the boiler is not leaking. That should cost a few hundred bucks. A lot better than $5,500. Once they flush it out I doubt you would have any sediment issues. Personally I hate coils and would never install another were I putting in a new boiler. In fact, my coil started acting up on my summer house and I put a super stor in, worth every penny in my opinion. That was about 6 years ago, old boiler is still going strong. But if money is an issue, I would have the coil cleaned and put a new mixing valve in.

I don't believe in replacing boilers until they start leaking, any increase in efficiency is small compared to the cost of replacement. I like to get every last penny out of stuff.
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:37 PM   #39
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Biggd,
My boiler is a Weil McCalin (coil type) 'contractor grade' for condo, 2 zones, about 100,000 btu's.

ITD,
To answer your question regarding removing and replacing the coil, it's sort of a crap shoot ! By that I mean if the bolts on the plate housing the coil are rusted, they could snap off, then the bolts would have to re-tapped, running up the cost. The coil costs about $450, with maybe 2-3 hours work depending on unforeseen issues during replacement, and no guaranty it won't leak at that connection after work completed. So bottom line, about $700-800, and I still have a 25 yr old boiler..... I could be throwing good money to bad on this option, a roll of the dice ! A lot of "if's" to replacing coil !

So difference between coil replacement and new boiler about $4000-4500, still a lot of money, but I'll be able to sleep at night, and know I have hot water for another 25 yrs., but I'll be dead by then !
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:49 PM   #40
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Were I you I would have the coil cleaned and replace the mixing valve if the boiler is not leaking. That should cost a few hundred bucks. A lot better than $5,500. Once they flush it out I doubt you would have any sediment issues. Personally I hate coils and would never install another were I putting in a new boiler. In fact, my coil started acting up on my summer house and I put a super stor in, worth every penny in my opinion. That was about 6 years ago, old boiler is still going strong. But if money is an issue, I would have the coil cleaned and put a new mixing valve in.

I don't believe in replacing boilers until they start leaking, any increase in efficiency is small compared to the cost of replacement. I like to get every last penny out of stuff.
My oil consumption went way down after replacing my 30 year old boiler. I estimate a five year payback after seeing my oil bill drop this winter and this winter was much colder than the year before. And oil was more expensive this winter than the year before. Since it's a second home I sleep better not worrying about a 30 year old boiler crapping out and my place freezing up. To each his own.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:57 PM   #41
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Biggd,
My boiler is a Weil McCalin (coil type) 'contractor grade' for condo, 2 zones, about 100,000 btu's.

ITD,
To answer your question regarding removing and replacing the coil, it's sort of a crap shoot ! By that I mean if the bolts on the plate housing the coil are rusted, they could snap off, then the bolts would have to re-tapped, running up the cost. The coil costs about $450, with maybe 2-3 hours work depending on unforeseen issues during replacement, and no guaranty it won't leak at that connection after work completed. So bottom line, about $700-800, and I still have a 25 yr old boiler..... I could be throwing good money to bad on this option, a roll of the dice ! A lot of "if's" to replacing coil !

So difference between coil replacement and new boiler about $4000-4500, still a lot of money, but I'll be able to sleep at night, and know I have hot water for another 25 yrs., but I'll be dead by then !
Yes, I hear you on that. I suppose if money is not an issue then go for it. If money is an issue I would try cleaning the coil and probably replacing the mixing valve. No matter what you choose I hope it works out for you.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:20 PM   #42
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My oil consumption went way down after replacing my 30 year old boiler. I estimate a five year payback after seeing my oil bill drop this winter and this winter was much colder than the year before. And oil was more expensive this winter than the year before. Since it's a second home I sleep better not worrying about a 30 year old boiler crapping out and my place freezing up. To each his own.
So my point on the pay back. If you are at 75% efficiency now and go to 85% efficiency with a new boiler and you burn 1,000 gallons of oil a year. You will save about 100 gallons of oil per year give or take. At $1.50 per gallon you will save about $150.00 per year. For a $5,500 investment it will take you 36 years to pay back your new boiler, not sure how you get 5 years, unless my math is way off.

A new boiler can crap out too, I monitor my house for temperature in the winter.

I went through this same scenario 5 or 6 years ago, my boiler is still going strong, but it's time is coming.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:56 PM   #43
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So my point on the pay back. If you are at 75% efficiency now and go to 85% efficiency with a new boiler and you burn 1,000 gallons of oil a year. You will save about 100 gallons of oil per year give or take. At $1.50 per gallon you will save about $150.00 per year. For a $5,500 investment it will take you 36 years to pay back your new boiler, not sure how you get 5 years, unless my math is way off.

A new boiler can crap out too, I monitor my house for temperature in the winter.

I went through this same scenario 5 or 6 years ago, my boiler is still going strong, but it's time is coming.
Then I guess my boiler was below 75% and my new boiler is rated 89%. I spent less than 4K on a new boiler and it was money well spent. Like I said, to each his own. I'm happy with my decision to replace it. I'm 63 so now I don't have to deal with it again in my lifetime. And I paid more than $1.50 a gallon this season past winter for oil. I also monitor my heat with a WIFI T-stat but I'm 2 hours away and don't want the hassle of driving up there at a moments notice.
Also, flushing out a heating coil almost never works and a heating contractor would never guarantee it would. 9 times out of 10 you would be throwing money away. Just like the $800 I spent on an emergency repair on my 30 year old boiler the winter before I replaced it. And changing the mixing valve will do nothing if the water coming out of the coil is not hot enough.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:11 PM   #44
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Then I guess my boiler was below 75% and my new boiler is rated 89%. I spent less than 4K on a new boiler and it was money well spent. Like I said, to each his own. I'm happy with my decision to replace it. I'm 63 so now I don't have to deal with it again in my lifetime. And I paid more than $1.50 a gallon this season past winter for oil. I also monitor my heat with a WIFI T-stat but I'm 2 hours away and don't want the hassle of driving up there at a moments notice.
Also, flushing out a heating coil almost never works and a heating contractor would never guarantee it would. 9 times out of 10 you would be throwing money away. Just like the $800 I spent on an emergency repair on my 30 year old boiler the winter before I replaced it. And changing the mixing valve will do nothing if the water coming out of the coil is not hot enough.
Best of luck Biggd, I hope it works out for you.
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:33 AM   #45
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Then I guess my boiler was below 75% and my new boiler is rated 89%. I spent less than 4K on a new boiler and it was money well spent. Like I said, to each his own. I'm happy with my decision to replace it. I'm 63 so now I don't have to deal with it again in my lifetime. And I paid more than $1.50 a gallon this season past winter for oil. I also monitor my heat with a WIFI T-stat but I'm 2 hours away and don't want the hassle of driving up there at a moments notice.
Also, flushing out a heating coil almost never works and a heating contractor would never guarantee it would. 9 times out of 10 you would be throwing money away. Just like the $800 I spent on an emergency repair on my 30 year old boiler the winter before I replaced it. And changing the mixing valve will do nothing if the water coming out of the coil is not hot enough.

There is no boiler with a tankless coil that will get over 55-60% efficiency or is there a boiler that will get you an 89% efficiency! I'm confused where everyone is getting these numbers from? You are right when you suggest never to get the coiled cleaned... your wasting your money. Unfortunately many heating "professionals" aren't professional they'll say and do what ever to get your money...
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:41 AM   #46
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These units are manufacturers of warm air furnaces. They do not make hot water. The efficiency that you mention is a snap shot of the operation of the oil burner when the unit was tested. I too have been in the business for over forty years. If you decide to replace the boiler have your contractor quote any cast iron, wet base American made boiler. I be glad to answer any other heating or hot water questions. Enjoy the day and be safe.
Why would you suggest a pin style boiler over a triple pass or a brittle cast iron boiler over a high efficiency steel boiler? If you've been in the business for 40 years you must know who makes the most efficient oil boiler and it's not cast iron...
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:17 AM   #47
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Best of luck Biggd, I hope it works out for you.
My boiler at my residence in Ma is over 20 years old. I have had at least one issue every year for the past few years where it has stopped working on the coldest nights. I'm milking it because I plan on selling in a few years when I retire so the next guy can worry about it. No heating coil in that one, I have a external storage tank. Everyones situation is different.
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:28 AM   #48
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There is no boiler with a tankless coil that will get over 55-60% efficiency or is there a boiler that will get you an 89% efficiency! I'm confused where everyone is getting these numbers from? You are right when you suggest never to get the coiled cleaned... your wasting your money. Unfortunately many heating "professionals" aren't professional they'll say and do what ever to get your money...
Well we certainly all have quite a few differences of opinion. None of us can know who on here is a trusted source or just blowing smoke so you should really seek out a trusted oil burner tech for advice. The best advice I can give is deal with heat issues in the summer because when cold weather roles around and it's an emergency situation the price goes up. When I did mine that's what I did. I bought my own boiler and my installer told me the boilers and burners to stay away from and which ones had the least amount of issues.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:45 AM   #49
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There is no boiler with a tankless coil that will get over 55-60% efficiency or is there a boiler that will get you an 89% efficiency! I'm confused where everyone is getting these numbers from? You are right when you suggest never to get the coiled cleaned... your wasting your money. Unfortunately many heating "professionals" aren't professional they'll say and do what ever to get your money...
I have a condensing boiler with on demand hot water. It has 95.5% efficiency.
Check out: https://www.energystar.gov/products/...icient/boilers

Unfortunately there are no oil burners on the list nor is there and on-demand hot water on oil.

A friend of mine replace his oil burner and electric hot water heater with propane condensing boiler with on demand. His energy bill is less from prior year even though propane is a little more expensive. It's in the efficiency.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:29 AM   #50
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There are condensing oil boilers that get over 90% AFUE.

I've had a coil cleaned and it worked out just fine for about 5 or so years, then I had it cleaned again and it was good for another 5 or so years. Money was an issue at that point in my life. Then the boiler cracked (Burnham) and I replaced it, I put in a Superstor at the same time and haven't had a problem since.

Biggd wants a new boiler, and that is great, go for it.

The payback numbers are pretty simple math, for an engineer anyway, they may not be perfect, but I suspect they are within 10% at least of being accurate. If you go from 55% to 75% then it would take about 18 years to pay back a $5,500 boiler if you burn about 1,000 gallons per year, which should be pretty close for 100,000 btu boiler and a reasonable house. Unless I screwed up my math, I've been wrong before, but please show me the correct way if I'm wrong.

As far as your issues with your boiler at home Biggd, I suggest you change your contractor. Oil burners aren't rocket science, they are actually pretty simple, especially a contractor grade boiler, as long as you clean them annually and change the parts your service guy recommends, you should not be having problems. I have two houses, the last emergency service call I had was because Fuller ran me dry on automatic delivery. I fired them that day because they would only bring me 10 gallons of oil. That was a few years ago. The guy servicing your boiler makes a big difference.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:50 AM   #51
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There are condensing oil boilers that get over 90% AFUE.

I've had a coil cleaned and it worked out just fine for about 5 or so years, then I had it cleaned again and it was good for another 5 or so years. Money was an issue at that point in my life. Then the boiler cracked (Burnham) and I replaced it, I put in a Superstor at the same time and haven't had a problem since.

Biggd wants a new boiler, and that is great, go for it.

The payback numbers are pretty simple math, for an engineer anyway, they may not be perfect, but I suspect they are within 10% at least of being accurate. If you go from 55% to 75% then it would take about 18 years to pay back a $5,500 boiler if you burn about 1,000 gallons per year, which should be pretty close for 100,000 btu boiler and a reasonable house. Unless I screwed up my math, I've been wrong before, but please show me the correct way if I'm wrong.

As far as your issues with your boiler at home Biggd, I suggest you change your contractor. Oil burners aren't rocket science, they are actually pretty simple, especially a contractor grade boiler, as long as you clean them annually and change the parts your service guy recommends, you should not be having problems. I have two houses, the last emergency service call I had was because Fuller ran me dry on automatic delivery. I fired them that day because they would only bring me 10 gallons of oil. That was a few years ago. The guy servicing your boiler makes a big difference.
I'm happy with my decision, you're happy with your decision, we are all happy. I'm certainly happy with the service guy that I have now. Let's leave it at that.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:59 AM   #52
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Curious what you guys are referring to when you say to "clean" your coil. Do you mean internally or the outside of the coil if it has mineral deposits accumulated? Wondering how you clean a coil internally. My Burnham boiler is over 25 years old. I replaced the coil at least 10 years ago as it was leaking into the boiler water. No issues since.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:16 AM   #53
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Curious what you guys are referring to when you say to "clean" your coil. Do you mean internally or the outside of the coil if it has mineral deposits accumulated? Wondering how you clean a coil internally. My Burnham boiler is over 25 years old. I replaced the coil at least 10 years ago as it was leaking into the boiler water. No issues since.
I believe they used an acid or some type of cleaner that clears the mineral deposits inside the coil. They basically choke down like a cholesterol choked coronary artery which chokes off the flow of water and the build up prevents heat transfer too. Water treatment helps the problem tremendously, but I have never been a fan of them, the coils.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:53 AM   #54
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Curious what you guys are referring to when you say to "clean" your coil. Do you mean internally or the outside of the coil if it has mineral deposits accumulated? Wondering how you clean a coil internally. My Burnham boiler is over 25 years old. I replaced the coil at least 10 years ago as it was leaking into the boiler water. No issues since.
I'm in the auto repair business. We do this on car heater cores for the cheap people that don't want to repair it the right way. I always tell them there is no guarantee. You will pay me the labor to do this whether it works or not. And If it leaks after I'm done or a month from now then you will have to fix it the right way by replacing it. It's a 50/50 shot but eventually it always ends up leaking a few months down the road. If you have had it done more than once and it hasn't leaked then you are one of the lucky ones. Car heater cores use to be copper just like boiler coils. Now they are aluminum and plastic. The new ones are very cheap and pretty much throwaways. They will leak very easily when flushed.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:14 AM   #55
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On another subject. I've had quite a few friends that have been talked into those new gas instant boilers the size of a suitcase that hang on the wall. Everyone of them have had problems with them every year. They are very efficient when they are working. One of them had to have his replaced after only 5 years. The unit was under warrantee but not the installation. This is the way the industry is going. Just like every other appliance made today, they are only made to last until the warrantee is up. You will never get 30 years out of one of these units.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:31 AM   #56
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On another subject. I've had quite a few friends that have been talked into those new gas instant boilers the size of a suitcase that hang on the wall. Everyone of them have had problems with them every year. They are very efficient when they are working. One of them had to have his replaced after only 5 years. The unit was under warrantee but not the installation. This is the way the industry is going. Just like every other appliance made today, they are only made to last until the warrantee is up. You will never get 30 years out of one of these units.
I beg to differ. There are about 100 units in my HOA. All were built in the mid to late 70's. All were equipped with the latest European 'suitcase' state of the art boilers at the time. Built in Scandinavia they were extremely reliable and efficient. After 35 years, they start to wear out and parts are hard to find. Most of the problems during the 35 years are attributed to the plumbing and not the boilers.

Most if not all the replacements are condensing boilers. Any complaints in the last few years were from faulty installations, faulty zone switches, and circulators. They have nothing to do with the boiler manufacturers. They are added on by HVAC. Seems like the add ons are giving the boiler manufacturers a bad rap. In fact my HVAC guy even told me that when I had concern about the quality of the Rinnai. Talked to a number of Rinnai owners that had their unit for a decade or more have confirmed this fact.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:41 AM   #57
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I beg to differ. There are about 100 units in my HOA. All were built in the mid to late 70's. All were equipped with the latest European 'suitcase' state of the art boilers at the time. Built in Scandinavia they were extremely reliable and efficient. After 35 years, they start to wear out and parts are hard to find. Most of the problems during the 35 years are attributed to the plumbing and not the boilers.

Most if not all the replacements are condensing boilers. Any complaints in the last few years were from faulty installations, faulty zone switches, and circulators. They have nothing to do with the boiler manufacturers. They are added on by HVAC. Seems like the add ons are giving the boiler manufacturers a bad rap. In fact my HVAC guy even told me that when I had concern about the quality of the Rinnai. Talked to a number of Rinnai owners that had their unit for a decade or more have confirmed this fact.
From what I've seen that hasn't been the case. Many circuit board issues. None of the issues have been related to installation. Many more problems than a regular gas boiler. My best friend and my brother inlaw both had them installed in their homes and both have had problems and one had to be replaced after only 5 years. I'm not sure what brand they have, I believe they were Navien, but both are regretting their decisions to install them. Unlike oil fired boilers, regular gas fired boilers almost never need servicing. I built a new house about 10 years ago, which my son now owns. I installed a regular gas boiler with external hot water storage tank. That unit has not been touched since installation while my friends have all had multiple issues with their suitcase style units that are newer.
I see the attraction of not having a dedicated space for a boiler and hot water tank where this unit does both and just hangs on the wall out of the way. And builders love them because they don't need expensive chimneys cutting down the costs of a new house. But I wouldn't install one in my house unless I had limited space issues.

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Old 05-05-2017, 09:42 AM   #58
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And builders love them because they don't need expensive chimneys cutting down the costs of a new house. But I wouldn't install one in my house unless I had limited space issues.
No opinion either way here but with today's high efficiency boilers there really is no need for a chimney unless you don't want a forced draft system. Heck a lot actually have pvc for exhaust flue.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:10 AM   #59
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No opinion either way here but with today's high efficiency boilers there really is no need for a chimney unless you don't want a forced draft system. Heck a lot actually have pvc for exhaust flue.
The real expensive homes still have brick or stone chimneys and real wood fireplaces. A brick or stone chimney can add another 10 to 20K to the build so unless it's a multi million dollar house you won't see many anymore. The last house I built 10 years ago a brick chimney with two flues and one fireplace cost me 12K.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:31 AM   #60
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From what I've seen that hasn't been the case. Many circuit board issues. None of the issues have been related to installation. Many more problems than a regular gas boiler. My best friend and my brother inlaw both had them installed in their homes and both have had problems and one had to be replaced after only 5 years. I'm not sure what brand they have, I believe they were Navien, but both are regretting their decisions to install them. Unlike oil fired boilers, regular gas fired boilers almost never need servicing. I built a new house about 10 years ago, which my son now owns. I installed a regular gas boiler with external hot water storage tank. That unit has not been touched since installation while my friends have all had multiple issues with their suitcase style units that are newer.
I see the attraction of not having a dedicated space for a boiler and hot water tank where this unit does both and just hangs on the wall out of the way. And builders love them because they don't need expensive chimneys cutting down the costs of a new house. But I wouldn't install one in my house unless I had limited space issues.
OK, I see you are referring to oil burners. I am referring to gas. No issue there.

As far as builders and developers are concerned, you are absolutely right about cutting cost. You will see inefficient HVAC on all new construction unless the homeowner request otherwise. I see a lot of homes built along an existing natural gas pipeline, not being hooked up. Builders do not want to go through the hassle and inspection of gas lines, but rather put in oil. Again unless the home owner asks.

A lot of homeowners believe the latest RBC includes energy efficiency. Unfortunately it does not. Its up to the homeowners to work with the builders if they want 5 star efficiency.

I talk to one well known builder/developer who claims to be the 'Premier Builder in the Lakes Region' about why the homes he build are not efficient.
'Why pay the additional expense, if the new owner is going to sell the home eventually. After all you can't take it with you and oil is cheap!'
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:52 AM   #61
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OK, I see you are referring to oil burners. I am referring to gas. No issue there.

As far as builders and developers are concerned, you are absolutely right about cutting cost. You will see inefficient HVAC on all new construction unless the homeowner request otherwise. I see a lot of homes built along an existing natural gas pipeline, not being hooked up. Builders do not want to go through the hassle and inspection of gas lines, but rather put in oil. Again unless the home owner asks.

A lot of homeowners believe the latest RBC includes energy efficiency. Unfortunately it does not. Its up to the homeowners to work with the builders if they want 5 star efficiency.

I talk to one well known builder/developer who claims to be the 'Premier Builder in the Lakes Region' about why the homes he build are not efficient.
'Why pay the additional expense, if the new owner is going to sell the home eventually. After all you can't take it with you and oil is cheap!'
No, I was referring to the on demand gas boilers that hang on the wall. I've never seen a suitcase style oil burner that hangs on a wall. Do they even have them?
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:17 PM   #62
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No, I was referring to the on demand gas boilers that hang on the wall. I've never seen a suitcase style oil burner that hangs on a wall. Do they even have them?

If they have an oil fired boiler that hangs on the wall, I WANT ONE !
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:35 AM   #63
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From what I've seen that hasn't been the case. Many circuit board issues. None of the issues have been related to installation. Many more problems than a regular gas boiler. My best friend and my brother inlaw both had them installed in their homes and both have had problems and one had to be replaced after only 5 years. I'm not sure what brand they have, I believe they were Navien, but both are regretting their decisions to install them. Unlike oil fired boilers, regular gas fired boilers almost never need servicing. I built a new house about 10 years ago, which my son now owns. I installed a regular gas boiler with external hot water storage tank. That unit has not been touched since installation while my friends have all had multiple issues with their suitcase style units that are newer.
I see the attraction of not having a dedicated space for a boiler and hot water tank where this unit does both and just hangs on the wall out of the way. And builders love them because they don't need expensive chimneys cutting down the costs of a new house. But I wouldn't install one in my house unless I had limited space issues.
You are right... I wouldn't put one in my house! That being said I service heating equipment including wall hung boilers , not only do they only have warranties for 10-12 years they MUST be serviced yearly! All gas appliances need to be serviced yearly! The 2 biggest problems with these boilers are poor installations and misapplied application. Wall hungs will not give you those high efficiencies placed on a system that requires 180* water, they need to condense to get there! One of the biggest complaints we get are from customers that say it take forever for the house to get warm or that the circulators run forever... both true with outdoor reset on those types of systems! These units were designed for radiant, cast iron, and panel heaters, all low temp applications! I've talked to many that have said that their fuel cost them more now than when they had oil! The combi units are wonderful til something happens and it will and you have neither heat or hot water while being told it will take 1 to 10 days for parts!
For those suggesting Rinaai wall hung water heaters, you need to understand that these have to be flushed yearly or you lose your warranty on the heat exchanger... unless you get someone to lie for you. These also are prone to the screen being plugged and poor water quality creating issues. Why would someone would pay over $3000 for a way to heat their water when they could get it done much cheaper and as cost effective, I'll never know and understand?
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:39 AM   #64
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No opinion either way here but with today's high efficiency boilers there really is no need for a chimney unless you don't want a forced draft system. Heck a lot actually have pvc for exhaust flue.
The only thing that can be installed legally with pvc is a gas furnace, unless it's a Lennox and it that case you could not. All boilers need to be vented with polypropylene.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:56 AM   #65
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The only thing that can be installed legally with pvc is a gas furnace, unless it's a Lennox and it that case you could not. All boilers need to be vented with polypropylene.
I didnt mean pvc specifically but plastic in general. You knew what I meant. These boilers will discharge flue temps of about 140 degrees which mean they dont need a mortar chimney.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:05 AM   #66
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The real expensive homes still have brick or stone chimneys and real wood fireplaces. A brick or stone chimney can add another 10 to 20K to the build so unless it's a multi million dollar house you won't see many anymore. The last house I built 10 years ago a brick chimney with two flues and one fireplace cost me 12K.
Just replying to your comment that builders love them because they dont have to build expensive chimneys. They dont have too unless somebody wants one. There is no need for one on many of todays high efficiency boilers. In fact, you cant use a chinmey for exhaust draft because the flue temp is so low. You need to have a forced draft.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:33 AM   #67
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Just replying to your comment that builders love them because they dont have to build expensive chimneys.They dont have too unless somebody wants one.There is no need for one on many of todays high efficiency boilers.In fact,you cant use a chinmey for exhaust draft because the flue temp is so low.You need to have a forced draft.
I understand that but down here in the expensive areas of Mass they still build brick chimneys on the million dollar homes even though they use high efficiency gas boilers. For instance, I live in Waltham and most of the new homes are under a million. Those new houses have no chimneys and gas fireplace inserts. Next door is high priced Lexington where most new houses start at 2 million and go up from there. Those houses get brick chimneys with real wood fireplaces. Some get multiple brick chimneys even though they have high efficiency boilers. Rich people want what they want and they still want wood burning fireplaces even if they put fake logs in them.

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Old 05-10-2017, 03:03 PM   #68
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Rich people want what they want and they still want wood burning fireplaces even if they put fake logs in them.
You lose me with the "rich people" comments but I do however see a smiley.
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Old 05-10-2017, 05:56 PM   #69
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You lose me with the "rich people" comments but I do however see a smiley.
Well I think people that buy a house in the 2 million and up range are fairly wealthy. You are either paying cash or you have a very LARGE mortgage that would require a very LARGE salary.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:29 PM   #70
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I didnt mean pvc specifically but plastic in general. You knew what I meant. These boilers will discharge flue temps of about 140 degrees which mean they dont need a mortar chimney.
That's NOT true! Those boiler will discharge temps up to 180 degrees! Only furnaces will discharge temps in the 140 degree range. I'm not here to argue with you , but it's apparent you don't understand how these boilers work and I feel some people will get confused by what you're saying.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:09 PM   #71
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Not sure why your calling me out here.You clearly have not done your homework.I was just stating that flue temps on high efficiency boilers in general are too cool to draft properly out a conventional chimney which was the purpose of my response.They would have to have a forced draft.Can they have flue temps higher than 140?Of course.Thats not what the point of my post were.Regular pvc softens at 140 so it would not be my choice but it has been used for years.Would I use it?No.But thats not the point,.I stand by my post.

Because of the special heat exchanger technology used by a condensing
furnace, heat is extracted from the fuel combustion process for a longer period of time, to the point where the combustion exhaust gasses have "cooled" and condensed. The exhaust gasses are depleted of heat until the water condensate drips out of the furnace's heat exchanger and the low-temperature flue gasses escape from special plastic pipe instead of a chimney.
Traditional gas-fired, forced-air furnaces used metal venting, usually routed into a chimney stack, then exhaust the combustion gasses. But in the modern high-efficiency condensing furnaces, special plastic pipe material (most often PVC, ABS or CPVC) is used for air intake.

Generally, for a new condensing water heater or boiler, the stack temperature will be about 20 degrees higher than the water temperature.

http://www.plumbingengineer.com/cont...ial-flue-gases

The point was that chimneys are not needed for these boilers and in fact need a forced draft.And yes it sure seems you are here to ague.I'm done.
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