New Boiler Questions!
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  1. #1

    New Boiler Questions!

    Hello HVAC experts. I am the least handy guy ever and am in need of a new gas boiler for my house. I have large hot water rads. The house is roughly 2000 square feet and was built in the 1930’s. It has 3 floors.

    I’ve had several quotes over the last week and the costs and (incl. instillation) they all in the same ballpark, yet I find it very difficult to tell the difference between the brands of boilers being offered to me. The internet is full of corporate propaganda, telling me how great each product is, but I feel like I need some un-biased professional opinion. So here I am.

    These are the boilers (High Efficiency on top, low on the bottom) I’m being sold on. I would be very grateful if any of you pros could weigh in on the quality of these products, as I live in Canada and it’s getting cold!

    • New York Thermal Trinity tft 110 96%AFUE
    • Prestige Solo 110 water boiler from Triangle Tube.
    • Visseman Vitodens WB1B35

    • Slant fin is the VHS120 120,000 btu
    • Weil Mclain is CGI -5PIN 133,000 btu.
    • Olsen OSVB Boiler

    Will I really stand to save that much on monthly costs over the next 10-15 years if I go with a 95/96% rather than a mid-reange?

    Other details…

    I have drainage in the boiler room
    Also a chimney that would need to be lined.
    Have a tankless hot water system (Rinnai) that vents outside, so I don’t need a combo.
    I also have fresh air venting into the room.

    Thanks so much for your time. It is genuinely appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,207
    In a severe heating climate like I believe Canada is it is well worth getting a high efficiency boiler over a standard efficiency. In my local its not that necessary bc we have mild winters but I hear the veisman is a good product.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    4,872
    Quote Originally Posted by Monscadis View Post
    Hello HVAC experts. I am the least handy guy ever
    Welcome, my favorite type of customer!

    The Triangle Tube is a solid boiler.
    My company does not suggest weil-mclain high efficiency boilers.

    Here's the biggest thing. Your chimney being "lined".
    These new high efficiency systems don't use your normal metal flue systems, like your old one did. They use a white PVC pipe.
    This white PVC pipe MUST start at the boiler, and end all the way outside. Stopping at the chimney, does not count.

    So, if they are going to "line" the chimney, it must be with this white PVC. It would stick out the top of the chimney a bit, and run all the way down the chimney to your boiler.

    Or, you could vent it out the side of your house, like your Rinnai.

    Here's where i see alot of savings for you:
    If you install a high efficiency (white pvc) boiler, that uses 2 white pipes, (one is fresh air, on is exhaust), you could (most likely) close that fresh air venting, keeping that cold weather out!

    The point of that fresh air venting, is to bring in air for the equitment to burn. Your new rinnai gets it's air from outside. With a high efficiency boiler, so would you boiler. Most likely, you don't have anymore large appliances that need that much fresh air, and you can close it up.

    The added cost of fresh air coming in through that pipe/grate is not counted in the savings, but it is worth alot.

    Another great setup with these high efficiency boilers, is called "modulating".
    Instead of stoking up a roaring fire, heating the water to 180* on a mild day, high efficinecy boilers can trickle a little fire, heating the water to 120*, just enough to keep you comfortable.

    Woah, I just saw you live in canada.
    Get a high efficiency boiler.
    "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."

    Dad adjusted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,815
    Now being the spoil sport, remember the other side of the coin. Sure there is payback and a good way to go with big old rads, BUT, mod cons are salty to install and you don't want a major repair out of warranty. It will cost. The 80% especially atomspheric boilers are very simple, parts low priced and reasonably reliable. The complexity of the mod cons is there as is the cost of repair. And the reliability of all this high tech stuff these days scares me. You'd certainly want a 10 year parts & labor warranty by a firm that isn't gonna take the money & run as many warranty companies have. Boilers aren't like furnace where a few bucks takes you from 80 to 95% and other than a drain and a secondary heat exchanger, they are the same. Mod cons are picky about installation. No more slide out slide in. Have to be done right, usually 2 pumps for primary secondary so extra piping. A cast iron boiler can go years with no maintenance, won't get that out of most mod cons. A hot surface ignitor for a Bryant BW9 (Dunkirk Quantum 90) costs 14 times what the ignitor for a Bryant forced air furnace costs the dealer.

    But you have a tankless WH so you are close in technology and future repair bills as a mod con!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    3,783
    I am for efficiency but a 80% atmospheric boiler that is properly sized and tuned will be just as good.

    Also, as baldloonie has stated. If you have to repair the hi efficiency boiler it won't be cheap and it might eat all that you saved.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,207
    Quote Originally Posted by gravity View Post
    I am for efficiency but a 80% atmospheric boiler that is properly sized and tuned will be just as good.

    Also, as baldloonie has stated. If you have to repair the hi efficiency boiler it won't be cheap and it might eat all that you saved.
    Agreed

  7. #7
    Thanks to all of you who posted. This has been very insightful.

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