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Which boiler is best?

I understand what the oil company says about a contractor's experience with a product....I think that's very important.

But, I want to note that the installation of the Vitola is no more "critical" than anyone else's unit. Installation is critical for everyone's products. Installation can make or break any boiler.

(And just so you know, I don't work for Viessmann. I work for a different boiler company.)


  • mjj_2
    mjj_2 Member Posts: 22
    boiler choice quandry

    My parents have a hot-water CI heating system and are finally deciding among oil-fired boiler options. Their contractor of choice (since he's the only one to offer a heat loss) has experience installing the following: Olsen OBC boilers, the Burnham MPO, and the Veissmann Vitola. The installer and salesman, both older gentlemen who've been in the business a long time have switched employers to a new company, and left all of their references with the old co. so I'm hoping to get some boiler opinions here on the Wall.

    Our heat-loss ranges anywhere from 78,000 BTU's (as measured by the contractor) to 98,000 BTU's (as calculated by the energy audit rep.) Unfortunately this seems to exclude the Burnham MPO as a possible choice since this boiler comes in DOE heating capacities that are either too small (74,000 BTU's) or oversized (129,000 BTU's). I was hoping for a reliable boiler with a 3-pass design, are there any suggestions?
  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
    which is best

    Of the 3 you mentioned, Viessmann blows the rest away in my book. Buderus makes an excellent boiler and of the American made stuff, my vote is for Weil McLain....great stuff, less money and very efficient.

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  • Viessmann

    I would go with the viessmann perfect boiler to match the radiation in your parents house. If you go with american the Weil ultra oil seems to be a good looking package, I have only seen it never installed. Go wit hthe mighty Viessmann and you will be extremely happy.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    I believe that the Viessmann Vitola is the only non-condensing, cast iron, oil fired boiler with zero restriction regarding low return temperatures. Such can be a significant concern with in an old standing iron system--especially when the boiler is properly sized to the heat loss. Only complaint I've ever heard here regarding the Vitola is initial cost. With the dollar dropping against the Euro and heating oil costs in the stratosphere, I'd say now is the time to buy--hopefully from a stocking distributor who uses FIFO (first in, first out) accounting...

    If you have a guaranteed source of low-sulfur fuel oil Monitor Products makes a true condensing oil boiler and Slant Fin has an oil boiler that can handle condensing temperatures (like the Vitola) but they don't go quite as far as saying "no low return temperature limit".

  • mjj_2
    mjj_2 Member Posts: 22
    install is \"critical\"

    The Vitola sounds like a formidable boiler, however we hear about how a contracter's experience with the brand and model are more likely to determine the success of an install than the type of boiler.

    I'm a bit concerned that our installer can't give me a reference for the one Vitola he's installed, and the oil company that services his boilers tried to steer us away from the Vitola, stating that the install is "critical" to the success of this brand. They recommended the oversized Burnham MPO instead, said it could be down-fired to match our heat loss. It doesn't help that we're in natural gas country, there's very little demand for oil boilers up here.
  • Uni R_3
    Uni R_3 Member Posts: 299
    Why oil?

    Gas is $0.50 all in per cubic meter and with a modcon you get most of that back in heat. #2 heating oil is $0.80 per litre with roughly the same number of BTUs but you'll send far more up the chimney.
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    The Monitor would be real close match,

    little bit squeaky close though if the Heat loss is correct...
    some auxiliary heat is always good to have about should some problem occur....
    the Slant Fin Eutectic(3 pass) is fancy enough right out of the box.

    and The Viessmann is right close on the available BTU's.

    there is a Viessmann oil fired condensing unit only minor technicality is getting one. i wonder if Viessmann sent one to Canada to be used in their educational classes....sorry,...i am daydreaming again...

    the MPO (3 pass) might be a shade "Large" i have yet to see one of the new Peerless condensing here ..buh at least mention it to your friends.
  • mjj_2
    mjj_2 Member Posts: 22
    Oversizing? and V-8?

    No contractor has suggested the Weil McL., the Eutectic is not yet available in our area and my chosen contractor likely has no experience with the Vitola. This leaves me considering the oversized Burnham MPO. What are the risks of installing an oversized boiler with a DOE capacity of 129 000 in a house with a heat loss of ~90,000 BTU's? How much shorter is the lifespan of such an over-sized boiler? Is the comfort level reduced? What are the dangers of down-firing an oversized machine? The 40-yr-old boiler we have now is definately oversized, yet has served us well.

    Alternatively I'm considering the Burnham V8 which is closer to my heat load. I sympathize with the V7 owners, now having to deal with their leaking boilers. Has anyone experienced a leaking V-8?
  • dge74
    dge74 Member Posts: 1
    buying new boiler

    i live in ma. 1400 sq.' open floor plan,cath cieling 2nd floor
    looking at boilers @ 120,000 btu. radiant heat, one bath. concidering biasi b4,crown freeport odv, burnham or buderus
    any suggestion or feedback would be greatly app.
  • Uni R_2
    Uni R_2 Member Posts: 589

    What about getting the smaller MPO and a small electric boiler like a Thermolec to make up the gap? You probably wouldn't even need the electric, even on design but it might be a solution once we get smart meters and use it for some over night heat. If you can get overnight rates under 7 cents it'll be cheaper than oil. There's also some redundancy for your parents in case the tank goes dry or something.

  • mjj_2
    mjj_2 Member Posts: 22

    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions, but I can only choose the brands available in our area. UniR, I appreciate the suggestion of installing a back-up electric boiler, although I would like to keep things simple for the installers and for my folks, however, its a possibility.
This discussion has been closed.