Buderis vs Weil-McLane boilers?
We have several quotes to replace a (40 yr old?) boiler.
The 2 we are considering are the only ones who pointed out that our chimney may need to be steel lined - I have a call in now to a Chimney specialist. Our Queen Anne house was built in 1886. I seriously doubt that lining was ever done, but don't know how to check myself. At this age, the mortar could be shot & fumes leaking?
One man is quoting a Buderis boiler. The second a Weil-McLane, for more than $ more. (I don't have the second quote in writing, yet) New "everything" connected, but not with hot water heater - we have separate unit. Both quoting cast iron units.
How do these boilers compare, in general, since I do not have info on specific models?
What am I not asking these contractors?
Thank you for your assistance
Last edited by beenthere; 07-19-2012 at 07:39 PM.
Reason: price difference
Gas or Oil?
You didn't state whether it's gas or oil. But to give you a generalized answer: the W/M is a good middle of the road boiler; the Buderus cast iron is the best in the world.
More important than the make of the boiler is the installer. Get references and job photos of boiler installs they have done. See what ancillary parts and equipment are being included in their quotes. The minimum should include a boiler trim kit (Fill/Back flow, MBR, Expansion tank), new circ with isolation flanges. If it's oil, a Tiger Loop. Quote should also include proper flushing of system, balancing and combustion analysis with digital instruments. Again, if it's oil, may need new oil line(s), tank flushed or replaced if sludged up.
The installer is 98% of the job. Get the right one.
What area of the country are you in?
Is this a water boiler, or a steam boiler? There is a big difference.
Most area's in the north, I would highly suggest a higher efficiency boiler, if it's a water boiler.
If your steam, you can convert to water at a high cost, or you could just go back with a "standard" efficiency system.
I'm glad to hear that you are looking at having the work done during the summer. It truely is the time to do boiler work.
Quick way to check if your chimney is lined (although I promise nothing):
Look at see if a flexible metal pipe is sticking out of the chimney. If there is some metal flex sticking out, you probably have a liner. If no flex, probably no liner.
usually, your HVAC contractor can run a liner.
Alot of contractors suggest a liner, for a multitude of reasons. Leaking/drafting problems mostly.
"Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."
"Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."
"Just get it done son."
Buderis vs Weil-McLane boilers?
Thank you for the advice.
It is an oil burner, hot water system
The more expensive contractor also convinced my husband that we need to replace the oil tank. Extra cost, of course. But since I've been saying that for several years I am glad the contracor made the point, finally.
The chimney man will be here to check us out next week.
I am printing your comments for reference.
In selecting an oil boiler, you should consider a few things. Chief among them is the distribution system in your home. An older home may very well have cast iron free standing radiators or cast iron baseboard, as opposed to the more commonly installed finned copper baseboard in more modern homes. Or you could even have an old radiant heat system. Either way, if you have the cast iron or other radiant product, you can benefit in both cost of operation as well as improved comfort using a boiler that has the controls allowing for an outdoor temperature reset and a knowledgeable installer. This allows the boiler to run considerably cooler than it otherwise would, saving you money. The distribution system will also run cooler when possible, thus you'll have longer heat cycles and greater comfort. The reset temperature/heat curve is adjustable so you'll be assured of great comfort when properly adjusted.
If, on the other hand, you have either finned copper baseboard, kickspace heaters or hydro-air units, you're dealing with a high temperature application and outdoor reset will be of limited advantage. In that case, I'd recommend you continue to search for a low mass oil boiler that can heat up and cool down quickly, saving you untold cold start and stand-by losses up the chimney. I like the System 2000 for that application and have many happy customers who've saved considerable money over the years with their boilers. Other low mass boilers should also be considered.
Weil McLain boilers are good, cast iron boilers, including the Ultra model but I wouldn't use it for a high temperature application and the cast iron is not well suited for an outdoor reset control because it can't tolerate condensing temperatures. The right model of Buderus boiler can be used with outdoor reset and will tolerate operating temperatures in the condensing range, likewise certain Viessmann boilers can also be found with those capabilities.
If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.
If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!
Cast iron boilers will benefit from weather sensitive controls (outdoor reset) regardless of fuel source. We have installed many Burnham E-3 with a plug-in ODR module and had good results where a condensing boiler was not chosen.
It is true that high temperature radiation will not benefit as much as low, but we hardly ever install a new boiler serving radiant ceilings, floors or even old cast iron radiators since comfort and economy will be improved and a non-condensing boiler protected from low return water temperatures with the same ODR control.
It is never a mistake to add weather sensitive controls to any boiler burning wood, oil, gas or electricity.