I have done a search several ways on this topic and just couldn't find a suitable thread that addresses my question.
3000' two story home at 4,200 elevation in California. Fuel source is propane. Home has radiant heating in all rooms plus a wood burning stove. Home is 15+ years old and original owner installed a 50 gal. residential hot water heater for the radiant heat next to an identical 50 hot water heater for the domestic (which I replaced 3 years ago). Needless to say the radiant was never used to fully heat the home (only selected rooms).
I am replacing the radiant system with a boiler meant to meet the btu needs and fully use the radiant heated floors. I am also replacing the wood stove with a propane unit (my back needs a break).
I was looking at a Laars JVi 125 boiler that has been spec'd by a local heating company when I noticed that Laars also makes a combo boiler with a 30 gal. stainless steel tank meant to supply the domestic side. When I asked the heating company rep about it he was less that knowledgeable about the subject. My question to you guys is this, Should I opt for the "combo boiler" and have only one gas fired heating device or should I purchase a storage tank with recir pump and use the Laars JVi boiler to heat the domestic water as a separate zone or do I keep the 50 gal water heater in addition to the Laars boiler? Did I mention that my wife loves to fill her jacuzzi tub with all 50 plus gallons of hot water from the current heater and would love to have about 20 more gallons available. I encourage her to take as many of these steamy baths as possible since we both benefit from them.
Thanks for your help and advice.
LOL.Smokey if I may...the combo unit sound good but with only 30 gal of storage capacity and a hot little wife with
Jacuzzi, 30 gallon is not going to cut it.
Supplement is key here,use the three year old heater along with the combo that way you know she not going to run out of hot water,however be warn with that much hot water you could just be left out of the party.
Oh forgot to mention, air bubbles or another supplement tool one could use instead of hot water.
the recovery rate on those units is a farce.
I think someone was paid off to keep their mouth shut.
Combo's and jacuzzi tubs don't mix. If you're running radiant, you should consider a modulating/condensing boiler with an indirect tank. Have the unit run at 110-120° max most of the time but ramp up when it needs to make hot water.
Look into the Energy Kinetics System 2000 boiler. It will do everything you want and you could save a few bucks by using your old electric hot water heater as the domestic storage tank (the storage tank for the EK is nothing more than a tank with a stat in it anyway) and if you really want to go high efficiency you can use the other hot water heater as a buffer tank for the radiant. We have tested the EK-1 for domestic water production and found that if you run a jacuzzi fixture at up to 6 gal/min this boiler can produce 130 degree water FOREVER and never run out. The EK-2 can produce more but we didn't test that one. One of my builders spec.ed a 40 gal jacuzzi and then installed an 80 gal and the customer complained about running out of hot water. The fixture was flowing 12 gpm! When we turned it down to 6 gpm the boiler had enough time to recover what was pulled from the storage tank and continue to produce hot water at that rate indefinately. I love these boilers...they exceed what the manufacturer claims they can do.
Enough with the System2000 advertising. He has gas why mention an oil boiler. Even with a gas burner, it still can't modulate or condense.
I'm not advertising. I honestly believe this is the best boiler i've installed. They have oil, propane, and natural gas models although I like the oil best.
Go with a modulating/condensing boiler.By the time you add the controls and devices to supply low temp water to the infloor the price will be close. Buderus,Viesmann,Munchkin,Weil McLain, Trinity, Peerless,Lochinvar, all have good boilers. Get someone who knows boilers and systems.
You will also gain 10% efficincy over a standard boiler.
I love my job, but paydays Thursday
Thanks for the prompt replies! Even though there are differing opinions here the one common theme is clear, DO NOT USE THE COMBO BOILER. Simpleman thanks for the attachment advice but right now I am the only attachment she seems interested in. LOL The hot water and bubbles seems to do the trick.
Now then I have heard a lot of boiler names used by you guys and I understand that some of you prefer certain brands or types of boiler. No one mentioned the Laars boiler at all which I take as a negative for this type of unit or is it the brand?
I have looked at a Munchkin which is more pricey and more efficient but my heating rep says that there were some issues with these and they are not quite as reliable as the Laars unit. He compared the Laars boiler to a Chevy small block engine, simple and rugged.
So my take from you guys is to go with a condensing High efficiency boiler at a 25% initial cost increase over the standard Laars boiler, and then use a storage tank for domestic HW right? My existing DHW heater is gas not electric, does make it a good candidate for a storage tank or should I look for a high efficiency storage system such as a Superstore tank? These are pricey right?
[Edited by smokey12 on 12-27-2005 at 12:55 PM]
Methinks your rep sells Laars.
Nothing wrong with them, just quoted one for a commercial job. If you go with a 80% boiler, you will have to add mixing valves or an injection system. The condensing boilers don't need them, so it is usually a wash. You will need a tank with a coil built into it. Superstor is an ok choice.
The issues with the Munchkin have been resolved, they have great factory support. EVERY boiler can have problems, especially if they are not installed properly.
BTW, I have never installed a munchkin. And I have a commercial Laars that is giving me grief, but I will still quote Laars.
I love my job, but paydays Thursday
I was leaning towards the Munchkin unit but was afraid of recovering the initial cost would take too long. Is Superstore just ok, and is there a better or cheaper brand out there I can compare with? My understanding is that a storage tank can cost as much as a boiler itself? I know you can't discuss prices but am I really looking at spending XXX to XXX FOR A storage tank???
(No pricing, due to site rules )
[Edited by jultzya on 12-28-2005 at 12:03 AM]
The endurance is not a condesing unit. So it still needs stainless steel venting. Used to have problems with boards and pressure switches. For the price you can probably do better. You're way over on the indirect tank price. Checkout Phase III or any tank does doesn't have a finned HX coil.
[Edited by johnsp on 12-27-2005 at 01:45 PM]
I guess one should ask what type of floor emitters and floor covering do you have?
I would assume if you have a waterheater doing the bulk of the load now they must be in the slab or above the subfloor.
Do you have any info that your emitter will support a higher water temp without going above the surface temp limits?
I always see red flags going up when I see infloor with a wood stove in the center of a home.
Lets talk distribution system...then we can get back to the boiler room.