I live in central CT and have a 20 year old Burnhan v73 120K btu oil boiler with a becket burner. The boiler is cracked with a slow leak so I've been researching for a replacment and contractor. Since I'm not the origonal owner Burnham offered no rebate.
My house is around 2300sq ft., uses base board heat (3 zones + indirect Phase III hot water heater all off of one circ pump).
I've gotten several quotes and am trying pick the best contractor and configuration. This is really challenging and this site has been quite enlightening on the process and the importance of selecting a good contractor.
I been focusing on the Boderus G115 series for a replacement. This seems to get consistantly good reviews. I am also considering an ODR to help reduce heating costs. Currently burning about 850 gallons/year.
Another concern I had was if the 1 circulator is sufficient for my home and am considering going with one circ/zone. Two of the bedrooms on the end of the upstairs tend to be cooler. Some contributing factors are that the thermostat is located in our bedroom and to two bedrooms on the end are over the garage. Also if one circ pump goes I'd loose heating for the whole house vs. one zone.
zone lengths are: 124' for main floor (14 ft ceilers and a large window facing south), 127' for down stairs living room, and 154' for the bedroom level.
Here's the quoted configuraions and concerns I have:
Contractor #1(my current oil and service provider:
They're a large provider in the area and have been in the business a long time. No BBB rating.
Bordeus G115-4, Riello Boiler, 1 taco circulaor, aquastat control relay, low water cut-off, auto valve feed, back flo preventer, extrol tank, drain valves, flue pipe to chimney, piping/fitings, start up/efficieancy test.
They did not recommend going with multiple circ pumps as they they really liked my current plumbing and that the one pump is sufficient (see pic). He did give me a quote for this as an option.
Also for ODR he recommended Tekmar. Said it's more current and economical than logimatic. This is not included in the quoted price.
Concerns with this contractor:
So orgonally when the service man showed me the crack during it's anual checkup they recommended a Wiel Mclain. They did not do a heat-loss calc or provide a written quote. I got a couple of other quotes for this model for significantly less and didn't consider them. During my research on Buderus, I contacted a distributer in the area and asked if they knew any contractors. They said they'd have someone contact me and this same company was the contact. I told them about my concerns on the orginal quote, and lact of heat-loss calc and they offered to come out and do the test and discuss options. Besides the quote on the Boderus, they quoted me on the Wiel Mclain WG3 but this time the quote was $300 more.
Also I asked if they get certification from Buderus and he explained that his S1 license (Which he showed) allowed him to work on any type of equipement. He said the went to the Boderus class about 10 years ago but they install a lot of these and know what they're doing.
Also he said I should wait a year to put in an ODR to see how the new equipement operates and what difference the ODR makes. Sounds like he just wants to sell me more oil. I'm inclined to not use him.
Small company with 3 guys. Seems very knowlegable and helpfull. He's been in the field for 26 years and has had his own business for 8. A+ on BBB, no complaints. He did the heat loss calc and recomended:
Bordeus G115-4, Beckett NX burner, 1 circ pump/zone and all of the trimmings mentioned above. Price about the same as quote #1(withthe 4 circ option). He said the new aqausmart controler on the 2012 models on the boiler would provide odr functionality and h/w prioitization. The logimatic, while it has some addtional features, wasn't worth the additional costs for my set up. Is this true?
His second recomendation was a PurePro Trio for about $400 less. He said it's a reliable boiler and provides all of the heat mgt functions as the logomatic. I haven't seen too much on this brand so I'm not sure if this is a good choice. The Buderus I'm very confortable with based on the feedback here and elsewhere.
So far I like this contractor the best. My only concerns are the size of his business and he doesn't offer any service contracts/ext labor warranties.
He's been in the business 8 years, 6 with his own business. Has 10 people working for him. BBB rating of 'A' with 3 complaints in last 3 years, one of those this year. I found a site ( http://www.servicemagic.com ) where people can post reviews of contractors and he got mostly good ratings.
Did not do a heat loss calc.
Configuration recommended was a Buderus G115-5, Riello burner, 4 circ pumps, logimatic controller. Same price as the two above. The 3 were within $100 of each other. I was surprise as it included the logomatic controller. Includes 5 year labor warantee as well. Notice the burner size is not in line with the other two quotes but is bigger. He seemed helpful in discussing options and went out of his way to make the appointment even after he was delayed to an emergency service call. His office did call to inform me of the delay and said he could make it after the call if I still wanted or could rescedule.
My concerns here is he did not do the heat loss calc, and his # of years in the field vs other contractors. The labor warentee seems good as well as the price.
Does it make sense to put in a circ pump/zone?
Does the default controller on the G115 provide sufficient odr capability, if not what are your thoughts on logomatic vs. tekmar or others.
What are your thoughts on PurePro Trio vs. Buderus?
Should I keep on looking for other contractors? I noticed folks here had mentioned NATE certified contractors. What value does that add and does it require on going re-certification? There are only a couple in my general area, Think it's worth calling them?
The oil company had put stop-leak in my boiler about a month ago but it's starting to leak again so I'm looking to get this done soon so I don't come home to a flooded basement.
Also I'd like to add that this site has been quite helpfull in educating me on home heating and I'm impressed with the professionalism displayed in the posts. Everyone is respectful, helpfull and professional.
Here's my current set up: