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New Oil burner choices

Jim & Jamie Pompetti, at Pompetti H/AC. Go here for their info:

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  • Jim_90
    Jim_90 Member Posts: 6
    New Oil Burner Choices

    I live near Philadelphia, PA in a house from the 1930s with upgraded windows and attic/wall insulation and have a Bethlem Dynatherm oil boiler that I think is from 1945 probably firing at 165MBH. It runs very little even in mid-winter. The oil guy says I should get a new, more efficient burner before this one breakes and calculates I need only 85MBH. I have 4 zones and an Amtrol HW tank. Choices are:

    New Yorker Micro Tek III - $5560
    Peerless WBV-03 - $5990
    Weil McLain WGO-3 - $6345

    Includes 2 Taco 007 circulators, Watts auto fill, 2 B&G flo valves, Extrol expansion, Spirovent air eliminator, low water cutoff, isolation valves.

    Questions are:
    What's the best choice or would you keep the Dynatherm?
    Could I downrate the Dynatherm with a smaller nozzle (i.e. 0.85)?
    How are these prices?
    How much in % might I save with a new unit?

    The chimney guy came and says there is some flaking in the flue and it will be too big for the new unit (it is rectangular) but no catastrophic problem. He wants to put in a stainless liner for $1300!!! I almost fainted. Should I do it?

    The whole project will come to almost $8,000 and I burn about $2400/year at today's prices (2.56) which at 30% savings is about a 12 year payback so I am hesitating.

    I greatly appreciate your advice,
  • David Sutton_6
    David Sutton_6 Member Posts: 1,079
    Hi Jim...

    First thing is we don't talk money here at all.

    as far as your choice, you should have a proper heatloss done on the house first! that will determine what size boiler is needed,
    Get more then one priceif you have a amtrol , you sould be looking into a three pass boiler with outdoor reset, i would try using the find a pro section of this site!

    good luck ..David

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  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,385
  • Cosmo_3
    Cosmo_3 Member Posts: 845

    Dynatherm has conversion kits that can make it just as efficient as a newer boiler. Try to get a Riello burner.

    If it was my house, I would be tempted keep the Dynatherm, as long as it is in good shape. I have worked on a few, the factory is in Quakertown and not far from me.

    My only complaint with these boilers is that there are more parts to clean and maintain than a new style three pass cast iron boiler (i.e. Viessmann VR series, Buderus, Burnham MPO, Weil Ultra Oil) that includes an easy open swinging burner door, and no refractory material.

    My 2 cents

    Good luck!

  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    I'd forgotten

    Dynatherm was still operating. Thanks for the reminder.

    Jim, with that said, the Dynatherm may still be a candidate for replacement- if it's grossly oversized. The fact that it runs so little makes me suspect this. Have a heat-loss calculation done to be sure.

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  • dynatherm

    it sounds like you have a model 48 dynatherm, which means the boiler is approx 48" long minus the end heads and burner, if boiler has no leaks, and water coil and gasket area are in good shape you can install a new front head with a riello f10 burner fired at 1.50 gph @ 150 psi which gives a firing rate of 1.80. that is the lowest rate boiler was tested at,,, if boiler is not sized correctly then maybe a new dynatherm is a choice they have four boiler sizes,with 3 firing rates per boiler check out their site www.dynatherm thanks mike
  • Cosmo_3
    Cosmo_3 Member Posts: 845
    I'll second that Frank

    Definitely get a heatloss... Money VERY well spent.

    How many times do we rip out an old boiler and replace it with a new one almost half the size.

  • Mikey B
    Mikey B Member Posts: 9

    I would defintly call dynatherm boilers, along with Carlin tech they are both helpful. The boiler design was way ahead of it times, i would have to say it was the original 3 pass boiler design, somebody might be able to confirm. I installed one with a Carlin EZ burner and it didn't smoke until i reached 14.2%co2 i was amazed. i set it up to factory spec and was running 88% eff. model FP36. the service company probably want to put in a chimnry liner due to condensation that could just crumble your chimney, Good Luck

  • Ken D.
    Ken D. Member Posts: 836

    The Dynatherm is a very efficient boiler. The experts in the northern Phila. 'burbs is Farm and Home Oil Co. H.Q. Telford Pa.
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 882
    80 y/o chimney?

    Before you squawk at liner prices, consider this:

    You have an 80 y/o flue that went from coal to or oil with little or no maintenance during that entire time, you are contemplating changing out to a boiler of roughly twice the efficiency of the old with no water heater std. pilot to preheat the flue and you're complaining about spending a couple of bucks on a properly sized stainless liner that won't collapse in or rot like mortar and tile, heats up quickly unlike TC, contains the water vapor unlike TC is listed and warranted by a mfr. unlike TC, is easier to sweep and maintain unlike TC, and is CODE REQUIRED????

    As for the unmentionable prices, do a little shopping around to see what the real local prices are before you complain.

    As for the boiler, start with the heat loss and liner then choose a contractor who you've checked out will service it. Get their list of service checklist points then shop and compare. Do they change burner orifices, clean the HX, pull the smoke pipe and inspect the breeching, change filters, test the circuits, then run a combustion analysis and adjust accordingly, leaving a proper complete record including all readings? Once you have all that lined up, choose your boiler and burner from them. Make sure the liner has a cleanout incorporated.

  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Decisions Decisions..................

    Here's what you need to do

    1. Get a heat loss calculation done. Not someones estimate or guess but a real calculation that you can see on paper. Even if you have to pay someone $200+ to do it, it'll be the best money you can spend on your project.

    2. I'm not familiar with the boiler you have but from what some of the guys are saying here it sounds like it can be fairly efficient. The question that remains though is if it's properly sized for your house. If it's more than 20% over calculated load get rid of it. No matter how efficient you make it by installing a new burner, it'll still waste a lot of fuel due to short cycling and excessive flue losses.

    3. Find a good contractor that refuses to give you a price without performing a heat loss. That's a good clue for sorting the wheat from the chaff right there. Ask about their service and maintenance policies. Do they set up the burner with a combustion analyzer. (I wouldn't hire anyone who doesn't regardless of references) If you're satisfied with what they deliver regarding the items above then ask for a price.

    I realize it's a lot of dough but if you find a good contractor who installs good equipment correctly you are looking at a 20-30 lifespan on your purchase. How long did your last car survive and what did you pay for it? You're talking about something that can ruin your house, cost you gobs of money in excess fuel usage and deliver far less than expected or required comfort if done poorly. Price should only be considered after all the questions of installation and equipment quality are answered.

    My personal choices in order of preference are Viessmann Vitorond 200 or Buderus G-115 1st, then a Crown Freeport series followed by Burnham and Peerless. Use a Riello F series burner on whichever one you choose. Please research and consider an outdoor reset control with the Viessmann or the Buderus as they are both designed to work with greatly reduced water temps. These controls produce system efficiencies better than the rating of the boiler and will deliver an extra 10% reduction in fuel use from my experience.

    PS: The liner is mandatory due to the low flue temps achieved by these higher efficiency boilers. Most of the Viessmann and Buderus units that we install run flue gas temps less than 350*. Your old boiler probably goes over 600*. The low temps will not prevent condensation in your flue which will ruin your chimney in a matter of a few years. Price out replacing your complete chimney as opposed to the liner. You'll see what I'm driving at here.
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