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Best Equipment thread

SpeyFitter Member Posts: 422
So the famed "Best Boiler" thread lives on in the archives of this site, with many picking the 1st generation Vitodens 200 as arguably the best modulating condensing boiler available for the residentail market.

But I'd like to start a thread to survey some of the contractors of this site that goes a bit farther then just simple boilers. Many of you base your reputations on various pieces of heating equipment & technology out there. The stuff that lets you sleep during the winter monthes with few to no call backs and just regular maintenance calls during the off season monthes to service this equipment. Also, this equipment you select perhaps has good local product support with a easy to contact local rep who offers you relentless assistance with your requirements if/when something does happen, including training, perhaps subsidized training travel, factory parts, etc.

So including boilers, what hydronic equipment do you base your reputation on? Why?

Also, have you had any problems to the extent that have required you to switch manufacturers?

What caused you to select this equipment? Was it quality? training? good local product support? Your previous knowledge? all or some of the above? Are you loyal to this manufacturer or do you carry more then one brand? Or are you a **** installing anything and everything that comes your way (understandably, not every manufacturer can cover all applications). Do you have any stories that can shed light on how you decided to pick a said manufacturer?

(If you want to know what equipment I'm talking about, think boilers, pumps, controls, accessories such as air seperators, mixing valves, diverting valves, zone valves, air purgers, hell even pipe, fittings, etc.)
Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber


  • Al Letellier_21
    Al Letellier_21 Member Posts: 402
    best equipment

    Here is my list:   Weil McLain: Buderus: Viessmann; Taco; Honeywell; Tekmar; Watts; Extrol; Hydrolevel and McDonnell Miller. For all the reasons you mentioned. Rarely have I done a job without at least a few of these products as part of the system.

    Simply put: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" I've had great success with these products and have worked hard to build good relationships with suppliers and reps to provide my customers with quality products that work and last. With proper maintenance and upkeep, these products have shown their worth as dependable and long lasting stuff with minimal problems and excellent support when issues do arise.
  • My picks

    Boilers: For steam Slantfin: about the only company I have dealt in with in any area of life that fully backs thier equipment and fesses up when problems occur.  Thier little Galaxies are exceptionally easy to clean up and make incredibly dry steam. Thier Intrepids have huge combustion chambers that work great with gas burners with no chamber.  For bigger units I have been using Dunkirk's,,however if there are problems from the company, they do little to back thier product.  Also, thier best techs are now gone.  Burnham is likely going to be thier replacement, due to a much better reputation with me.

    For Hot water:  Triangle Tube. Superior design and excellent local reps (same as Burnham) however, their seems to be increasing quaility control issues..... just like everywhere else it seems.   I use a few Dunkirk XEB's for budget or very small jobs.  I had been using Lochinvar, but factory and local support was horrendous and in general design quaility was nor even near that of Raypack.

    Circulators:  Grundfos for most and Wilo for the Stratos.

    Steam Accesories:  Hoffman and Tunstall/ Macon controls,  Danfoss for low budgets (excellent local rep)

    Microproccessor controls: Tekmar, but they tend to be in thier own world when it comes to user friendliness (getting better though), but generally very reliable until recently there seems to be some decline like everyone else.   I will be beginning to use B+D electronics controls for steam, and some hot water because of the first class support and exceptional working relationships and long proven robustness. 

    Burners:  I have been using Heatwise for my little Intrepids and they are nearly in a class by themselves as both primary and secondary air is readily adjustable.  Very clean burning with tight flame down to very low O2.....less than 2%.  For small gas modulating, Power Flame X4M......there are no others and with a recent change in local reps support is much improved.  They do need to make them easier to set up.

    General controls:  Pretty much anyone except Honeywell.   Honeywell has tanked in quality with many new controls defective or out of calibration and with short lives.  Fortunately someone is looking into making a high quality substitute for typical vaporstats.....lets hope they go to production. 

    Really neat new product:  Rayes boiler out of Chicago.....85% commercial gas steam boiler with condensing heat recovery unit in the works.

    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert

    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
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