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Burnham vs. Columbia boilers

Reilly Member Posts: 1
Entertaining estimates of a new steam boiler for my steam heating system (radiator) in 90 year old house. 

One company says they use Burnham, it's better than Columbia. 

The other company says they use Columbia, it's better than Burnham. 

Are they equally solid products (sort of like Toyota v. Honda)?  Does one have the reputation as generally being better than the other?


  • Unknown
    edited November 2009
    Steam Boilers

    Hi- I just ran across this post by accident. You probably should have posted in the Steam section as you were more likely to get a reply there.

    It's quite normal to get recommendations based on what boiler the installer gets the biggest discount on locally or what boiler the supplier that extends him the best credit stocks. That doesn't necessarily mean that the boiler  the installer recommends is bad, it just means you have to do your homework and do some research on your own.

    You didn't mention whether you have a gas or oil burner . If it is oil, the pros seem to consider the Burnham Megasteam as the front runner. If it is gas, the Slant Fin Intrepid or Smith G-8 boiler- They are wet-base units and while normally oil-fired, are certified for use with power gas burners. They have roughly a 6-7% better thermal efficiency than the usual atmospheric gas boiler.  These aren't the only good boilers but seem to be a favorite of several of the experienced steam pros on this board.

    I would also suggest that you get a couple of books which are available on this site before you make a decision on your new boiler. The first is "We Got Steam Heat"


    and the second is "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". These are available as a package deal with a 3 rd worthwhile book.  [url=http://www.heatinghelp.com/products/Super-Deals/14/129/A-Steamy-Deal]http://www.heatinghelp.com/products/Super-Deals/14/129/A-Steamy-Deal

    These books are easy reading, humorous and in a few evenings you will know a lot more about steam and be able to make the proper informed decisions about having your boiler replaced. Believe me these books will pay for themselves many times over and you'll be sure to get a good economical properly operating steam system.  There are a lot of heating professionals out there that install steam systems but unfortunately not that many understand steam and what you need is a steam pro. The books will give you enough knowledge to be able to recognize whether the pro you are talking to really knows steam. You might want to take a look the "Find a Professional" link at the top of this page as they have some good steam pros listed there.

    - Rod
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