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  1. #1

    How do you know when to replace

    While I trust the oil company I do business with, one is always apprehensive to pay thousands on dollars on a new heating system. So, how does a laymen know when it's time to replace the whole system, just the burner, or maybe it's just sludge in tank.

    We recently had the burner clog (happens 1x per year... do have a service plan) and ended up with a house full of smoke and the CO detector going off. Luckily I had just gotten up. The oil service tech came out and cleaned the whole unit but mentioned that it's on it's last leg (was told last year about this). He also pointed out the corrosion on the boiler. Being 37 years old I don't doubt that it might be time but who knows. The sales rep came out and gave me 2 options.... Burnham MPO 147-TL w/Beckett or Buderus G115 WS/5 w/Carlin (about 10% more).

    Any opinions on choice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Clermont, Florida
    Well I know nothing about oil systems, but I tell my clients that if they face a major repair, 800+ that its time to start weighing the options to replace especially when age is factored in. Do you want to invest a large X amount of dollars in something that is going to have to be replaced at some time anyway and I am sure that at 37 years its days are really numbered. Again I deal with heat pumps not oil boilers and 37 is ancient in the heat pump world.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Athens GA
    A couple of things.
    37 years on an oil boiler is without a doubt a long time.
    37 years ago the rule of thumb was to vastly oversize the boiler.
    You say the burner was clogged.I donb't know exactly what that means.If the boiler was full of soot the boiler needs to be scrubbed thouroghly and thwe chimney needs to be scrubbed also.If it was the filer,nozzle and end cone that was [plugged you have a tank with a lot of sludge in it or you have a burner that wasn't set up with instraments.I am also pretty sure you have a lot of scale and calcium build up on the inside of your 37 year old boiler.
    If you want to save money then a new properly sized boiler is needed.
    The Carlin burner is a better burner but so few service men are schooled in it that it is only a cautious reccomendation.Carlin parts are also scarce where as Becket parts are on most oil sevice trucks.
    With the new boiler get a new tank and a new 10 micron spin on oil filter with shut offs on each side.
    Every time a service man touches the burner an instrament set up is required.
    With a new boiler get a new Spirovent air eliminator as it is twice the unit that any other air eliminator is.Good luck on whatever you decide.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    it's a little more detailed but..............
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    There are generally 3 considerations as to replacement versus repair.

    1. If the unit is failed or failing, the need to replace is obvious.
    2. If the unit is costing significant money to repair and/or experiencing frequent repairs, then it's probably time to consider replacement.
    3. If the energy consumption of the unit is significantly worse than a new unit would offer then replacement with the more efficient unit would be advantageous.

    If your 37-year old boiler falls into one of those categories, then the answer is more obvious. For replacement I'd recommend something significantly energy efficient than what you have. The company that replaces your oil boiler should be able to present you with comparisons as to efficiency and cost so that you make the most intelligent choice for yourself. Your oil company may or may not be best suited to do that for you.

    Heavy cast iron boilers have their place in the market. Of more important interest is the type of distribution system. If you have copper finned baseboard and/or hydro-air distribution systems, I'd recommend a low mass oil boiler such as the System 2000 that can heat up quickly and will cool down quickly. For low temperature radiant heat and cast iron radiant and baseboard systems, I'd recommend a condensing oil boiler with outdoor temperature reset such as the Viessmann or Buderus.

    Please understand that there are many boiler manufacturers and the majority are hanging on to old technology in a new box. That is, cast iron or steel boilers with virtually no advancement in effiency since your present boiler was installed 37-years ago.

    You should also know that beginning in less than 1-year, January 1, 2012, all boilers will be required to have an energy manager very much likek the System 2000 Energy Manager installed. These have the ability to increase the efficiency of even a basic cast iron, high mass boiler. If the company proposing a replacement boiler hasn't at least offered that boiler with an add-on energy manager such as the Beckett Heat Manager, then I'd continue to shop for another installation company that is more in tune with the current marketplace.

    I hope this helps you.
    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!

  6. #6
    Thanks everyone for the advice. Since I easily hit 65+ on dandyme's decision sheet I guess it confirms replacement time. It appears my best bang for the buck is the Burnham MPO 147-TL w/ the Beckett burner. It's a 3-pass system which appears to be more up to date technology and more efficient (??). I have also been given the option for the outdoor IQ Reset which I may wait on and install at a later date. He did price the Buderus but at about 8% more I couldn't see the advantages.

    Anyone have any issues with this particular Burnham Unit?


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