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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    6

    Need help with boiler replacement and contractor concerns.

    Hi,

    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.

    Contracor #2:

    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.

    Contractor #3.

    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.

    So....

    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:
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    Thanks...Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Altmar, New York, United States
    Posts
    4,563
    keep getting quotes until you run out of places to go. buderus is a very good unit. they have been around a long time. proper installation is worth more than the most expensive equipment out there. ask to have heat loads done ans ask for referrals. pay attention to little things as you are talking to them. take notice to how the person represents himself and his company. also pay attention to how the company represents itself. do they have clean vehicles, clean cut employees, not covered in tattoos head to toe. sorry, but i don't like seeing a person that looks like this. he may be the best person in the world, but customers tend to look down on them and they represent a company. i refuse to hire people like this because of this. it's not personal it just makes a company not look top notch, too me.
    i can't say much about the logimatic, i don't install buderus. it used to be a unrealiable control as i was told. my business is 90 percent boilers, i install biasi and lochinvar. as far as multiple pumps go, it is mostly prefferance. i use zone valves with a dedicated circ for domestic hot water.
    to me, nate certified is not important. i have many, many certs, they have never once landed me more money, only bragging rights, which will not produce a pristine job.i have never heard of pure pro. the best advise i can give is to research everything.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    280
    Sounds to me like contractor #2 would be my choice based on what you have written. The Aquasmart is pretty much hands off once installed, the Logamatic really works best with some customer/consumer involvement with the "tuning" of the control. The Logamatic does more, but is also costs more. Also with ODR you really need to watch your thermostat setbacks. Most people really can't comprehend not using the setback at the thermostat and letting the Logamatic handle that job.

    Are we really sure that a G115 4 is necessary? Oversizing is what really costs efficiency wise.

    Just my 2 cents

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by R Mannino View Post
    Sounds to me like contractor #2 would be my choice based on what you have written. The Aquasmart is pretty much hands off once installed, the Logamatic really works best with some customer/consumer involvement with the "tuning" of the control. The Logamatic does more, but is also costs more. Also with ODR you really need to watch your thermostat setbacks. Most people really can't comprehend not using the setback at the thermostat and letting the Logamatic handle that job.

    Are we really sure that a G115 4 is necessary? Oversizing is what really costs efficiency wise.

    Just my 2 cents
    The heat load calc was around 80K btus. So my current furnace is way over-sized. Same with the G115-5 that one contractor quoted. Yea I've read that about the set back feature on the logimatic and auto settings on the thermostat. So it seems like the setback feature would apply to all zones? So if I have different settings on my programmable thermostats today I have to either loose that or not use setback feature on logimatic?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,578
    I would go G115/3 and save some more oil. Longer run times are best.

    How old is your house? I do not see how a house that size could have the high of a heat loss unless it is an old farm house.

    Unless you have a large soak er tub and need the BTU's for water heating.
    Aire Serv of SW Connecticut- Gas heat, dual fuel and central a/c systems installed and serviced

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    6
    it's 20 years old. Also we're having a home energy assessment done tomorrow.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    280
    The outdoor reset feature of the Logamatic lowers the temperature of the water that the boiler sends out to the heating system based on the curve settings in the control and the outdoor temperature. Running lower water temperatures makes for a more comfortable heating experience and as an added benefit saves energy. In using setback thermostats that in effect turn the heat in the house off, the lower temperature water in the heating system will need a longer time to recover the temperature in the house that is comfortable. ODR works better when treated like cruise control, set it at one speed and leave it.

    There is a setback feature in the Logamatic that lowers the water temperature during that time. I leave my thermostats set to 68 alll the time and let the Logamatic do the setback.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by R Mannino View Post
    The outdoor reset feature of the Logamatic lowers the temperature of the water that the boiler sends out to the heating system based on the curve settings in the control and the outdoor temperature. Running lower water temperatures makes for a more comfortable heating experience and as an added benefit saves energy. In using setback thermostats that in effect turn the heat in the house off, the lower temperature water in the heating system will need a longer time to recover the temperature in the house that is comfortable. ODR works better when treated like cruise control, set it at one speed and leave it.

    There is a setback feature in the Logamatic that lowers the water temperature during that time. I leave my thermostats set to 68 alll the time and let the Logamatic do the setback.
    Thanks. So makes the programmable thermostats obsolete. How much fuel savings do you notice with the logomatic? Also does the default aguasmart controller on the 2012 Buderus model come with an odr?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    280
    The ODR is an option with the Aquasmart, it has a wireless sensor so correct placement is easy. Savings should be similar between the Aquasmart with ODR and the Logamatic. The real savings is in replacing your oversized boiler with the correctly sized one and one with a better heat exchanger (3 pass vs. single pass) but I'm sure the ODR is worth something not to mention more comfortable to boot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,578
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr View Post
    it's 20 years old. Also we're having a home energy assessment done tomorrow.
    A properly sized boiler will save you much more than any outdoor reset. You really need a heat loss done and do not add BTU's for water.

    Install a 40 or 50 gallon indirect and a boiler sized to your load.
    Aire Serv of SW Connecticut- Gas heat, dual fuel and central a/c systems installed and serviced

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    6
    So I had another contractor come up today. Had A+ ratings on BBB and angies list. Also, I had asked the company that did our home energy audit (best spent $75 bucks btw) and they also recommended this company and they're from different part of the state. Anyways this guy was very professional. Measured all of the rooms, windows, etc. Took the CFM numbers from my energy report for input into the form J. He spent about 2 hours with me. We discussed ODRs, proper boiler sizing, various setups with circs vs. zone valves, and different burners. His opinion is most burners are decent if installed and sized correctly. He didn't have any particular boiler preference and said burderus are great boilers. He wasn't keen on the logomatic and thought honeywell IAQ would give me more bang for the buck. He also deals a lot with crown (freeport) and burnham mpo burners. Also NTI (NY Thermal) Odysssey as a low mass alternative to the Pure Pro trio. The crown and nti he gets 5 year parts and labor as that's the main brands he focuses on but does work on most and is certified on buderus. He didn't think the 5 yr warrantys are all that important and most failures occurs right away or soon after installation if manufacture defect and rarely if installed right. He said he would want to replace everything from thermostats down to zone valves so he knows everything is done right and in proper order. Better than getting hit for a service call 3 moths down the road on an old part.

    Will have to see how the pricing comes. Your thoughts on the crown and nit boilers? Also seems like this contractor is the most thorough so far. #2 contractor from original post is probably my second choice.

    Also Feezeking 2000 I have a 40 gallon Phase III, 6 years old. Works great so far.

    Thanks for all of the feedback so far!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,578
    He should have given you numbers on the spot. I done see why you cant just replace the boiler, circulator, water feed and backflow as well as add the low water cut off.

    A 3 or 4 section boiler, slide it in and maybe leave the rest for now......i was not there but the rest seems to be in nice shape. Got to see how much top quality costs. You heat loss was what?

    Brian
    Aire Serv of SW Connecticut- Gas heat, dual fuel and central a/c systems installed and serviced

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    6
    He was doing the calc and the quote tonight. But if he's way out of the ball park I'd go with # 2.

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