I've not found reviews for oil boilers on the web (plenty for furnaces!) and I have several questions before making a decision for a replacement for my home. I'd appreciate any help you would like to offer. (and if anyone could point me to reviews...)
My oil company recommends a Weil-Mclain (WTGO-3) cast iron boiler saying that cast iron lasts longer, that brand has few repairs, and it is more efficient than steel as water circulates around the whole core. I have a local plumbing company recommending a steel boiler (New Yorker FR98/122 in particular), saying these are more relliable and cast iron is no longer necessary.
The oil company tells me that oil boilers higher than about 85% efficiency are available, but they are not as reliable (need more repair). I am looking for the most efficient as well as most reliable system, even if initial price is slightly higher. Help!
Meanwhile, I have a brochure saying something called a System 2000 is truly more efficient than other oil boilers and that you can't go by afue ratings to determine true efficiency anyway. Comments?
As there are just 2 of us living here (about 2,200 sq ft in 3 zones and we conserve very well) and we don't place high demand on water heating, I was going to go with a direct hot water (tankless) coil rather than indirect or separate hot water heater. Thoughts on that?
Both are good boilers.
New Yorker is owned by Burnham now.
Tankless coils aren't very eff, since the boiler has to maintain temp year round.
Cast iron boilers don't transmit burner noise as much as steel.
I still work on 1970's vintafe NY boilers, so either should will hold well for you.
Never worked on or installed a 2000 so can't tell you anything about them.
Stay away from tankless coils. Poor efficency and the coil's gasket is always the first thing to leak. Some low end dry base boilers are steel, but there are some high efficncy models like System2000, Burnham LE or the New Yorker MicroTek3 (same boiler). Cast iron boilers aren't made like they use to. Few go 30 years anymore. You should get 20 years out of a well manintained steel boiler. System2000 is pricey. 3 pass sotch marine designed boilers are the most efficent and quietest oil boilers. Burnham MPO, Buderus G115. An indirect with priority controls will allow you to get a smaller boiler and save fuel. When the indirect calls for heat, the controls suspend heating the house for 10-15 minutes. Indirect reheats faster and overall saves money year round. You'll notice that the higher end European boilers don't bother offering tankless coils.
thanks for replying quickly, folks. An indirect water heater sounded like just another thing to go wrong (read: leak) to me, but sounds like I was not thinking about that correctly.
Can someone enlighten me about how an indirect works in the summer? The whole boiler isn't heated anyway?
JohnSp--the Burnham MPO and the Buderus you mention are the 3 pass sotch marine you refer to? Worth extra up front money, then?
I hadn't thought about the noise factor. Our current boiler is a consistent and not so quiet background noise. It would be lovely to lower that and I wouldn't want something louder.
We serve SE PA and do alot of PEERLESS with Reillo burners,we do the work for Sunoco and have found that Weil's failing early.
It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!
I've worked on quite a few WTGO's and they're good running oil boiler. If the boiler gets the Carlin burner, it's even better. Though I've never worked on a MPO yet, I would think that 3 pass boiler has got to be alittle more efficient than the std. single pass boiler. If your hot water demand is low (NO whirlpool tubs, small house) a tankless hot water coil in the boiler works fine. No 3 pass boiler has a tankless heater though. I'd never install a steel boiler in my house either. Cast iron is flatout superior to steel, especially if a fire chamber wears out or gets damaged, the cast iron boiler survives, the steel unit will burn out.
The 3 pass boilers will cost more and will require an indirect. They offer better efficencies. Your budget will make the call. An indirect will require the boiler to run, but there's no need to keep it @ 160° all summer long as with the tankless coil. The better indirects are stainless steel, but you have models that are glass lined like a gas hot water heater. These should still last at least 15 years. (stainless should give you 20 years +).
If your HW needs are small, a 30 gal indirect should be more then enough. A small steel boiler like the Burnham LE or System 2000 are low mass, so they can heat up quickly to reheat the indirect.
With tankless coils, you normally have to add 40K+ BTU to the size of the boiler so it can handle heating and HW making at the same time. With an indirect, you just size the boiler to the heat load, normally more then enough to heat an indirect.
Biggest fuel saving comes from getting the right size boiler for your needs. Excess capacity is just sending your money up the flue when you don't use it.