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Burnham ES2 vs. Burnham Series 2

Charms
Charms Member Posts: 5
I live in NY and am converting to gas. I am undecided about which boiler to use - Burnham ES2 or the Series 2. I was leaning towards these two options because I already have an existing 6" stainless steel liner within my brick chimney. I am told that the ES2 unit is more efficient and therefore tends to condense more than a Series 2. An installer went as far as telling me that with the ES2 model I would have to also insulate the stainless steel liner. I tried to verify this with the manufacturer but was told that I would have to discuss it with my contractor.

I also have concerns regarding repair costs...Does the ES2 model have more bells & whistles that would cost more to repair? I also see that the ES2 has an option for an outdoor thermostat? What is the purpose for this? Is it something that I would benefit from or is it something else that may give me problems down the line?

The last factor is pricing...Series 2 has no rebates whereby the ES2 has a rebate due to its efficiency rating. Therefore, both units would be very close in price. Is it worth getting the upgraded ES2 version just because it is comparable in price to the basic Series 2?

I am not sure if the following info is a deciding factor : I have 4 heating zones (3 are baseboard & one of them is radiant floor heat in the basement). I recently installed a Superstore 45 gallon indirect water heater. I would imagine that this is on a zone in itself.

I was also told that the more efficient unit, ES2 would not be as efficient as it claims to be due to the fact that I have mainly baseboard heating. Is this accurate?

I would really appreciate any feedback. I have to make a decision ASAP because I have a limited quantity of oil left in my inground tank..

By the way, I have a 550 gallon inground oil tank...I am down to 15". I would like to use up as much oil as I can before the gas boiler is installed. Timing is everything and I don't want to be left with no heat. At which point (gallons/inches) should I call it quits with the oil and make the move to have the gas boiler installed?

I know I am asking lot of questions but I just want to make sure that I make the right decision.. Thanks again...

Comments

  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Apple and a Orange

    A better comparison to the Series 2 in Burnhams world would be the Series 3 not the ES2. Series 3 is 84%, ES2 85%. ES2 requires a liner period, Series 3 no liner. Series 3 and ES2 are the exact same boiler with the exception that Burnham installs baffles in the Series 3 to keep the stack temps up. The Series 2 does not condense period.

    The outdoor reset card for the Series 3 and ES2 provides outdoor temp feedback to the boiler to regulate the supplied water temp needed as it gets colder or warmer outside. In laymens terms. Cruise control similar to what is in your car. You only need the max water temp on the coldest day the control matches the needed water temp based on how the contractor sets up the control.



    I would ask if your contractor did a heat loss to size the boiler properly as well as measure the heat emmitters. No way he can set it up right without doing both.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Charms
    Charms Member Posts: 5
    HELP ME DECIDE, PLEASE...I AM CLUELESS !!!

    Thanks so much for your feedback. I am still a little confused. My question was : If I have a stainless steel liner already installed in my masonry chimney, which unit would I be better off with? The Burnham Series 2 or the Burnham ES2. They both will cost about the same under an incentive plan. I believe the ES2 is more efficient making it an upgrade. However, I was advised that the ES2 tends to condense more. Therefore, in addition to the stainless steel liner will I have to wrap it with some kind of insulation? I would like both exhaust/intake to take place in the chimney. In other words, I do not want any other holes/vents made to my house. Will I encounter this with any one of these units if I already have a lined chimney? Will I have to make any additional provisions with venting either one of these boilers?

    Are there more things that can go wrong with the ES2 model vs the Series 2 whereby it will cost more to repair in the future?

    In essence, which one would you use if you had to choose between those two models given my circumstances? And why?
  • Charms
    Charms Member Posts: 5
    HELP ME DECIDE, PLEASE...I AM CLUELESS !!!

    Thanks so much for your feedback. I am still a little confused. My question was : If I have a stainless steel liner already installed in my masonry chimney, which unit would I be better off with? The Burnham Series 2 or the Burnham ES2. They both will cost about the same under an incentive plan. I believe the ES2 is more efficient making it an upgrade. However, I was advised that the ES2 tends to condense more. Therefore, in addition to the stainless steel liner will I have to wrap it with some kind of insulation? I would like both exhaust/intake to take place in the chimney. In other words, I do not want any other holes/vents made to my house. Will I encounter this with any one of these units if I already have a lined chimney? Will I have to make any additional provisions with venting either one of these boilers?

    Are there more things that can go wrong with the ES2 model vs the Series 2 whereby it will cost more to repair in the future?

    In essence, which one would you use if you had to choose between those two models given my circumstances? And why?
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Find A New Contractor

    He has no clue. A drain tee is installed to catch condensate and no you don't need to insulate the liner. Suggest you visit usboiler.net and read the manuals since your contractor hasn't.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Charms
    Charms Member Posts: 5
    Decisions, decisions !!!

    It was not the contractor that I hired that told me this. It was someone else who gave me an estimate. My contractor keeps pushing for the Baxi ht 1.33 with a direct vent. The problem with using that particular unit is that a dual flue made of two 3" pvc would have to be run whereby it would not fit in my existing 6" liner or run a concentric flue which becomes pricey for the piping. Therefore, he wants me to abandon my chimney altogether and direct vent it. I do not want to do this because I have a perfectly good lined chimney. I would like to use it and not drill any additional holes for venting.

       I did some research and decided to go with the the Burnham. It is less complicated for venting. It could just be vented through my existing lined chimney. I was not sure which model to use and I was concerned about the condensation that may occur in the ES2. Since I had differing views from two different contractors regarding insulating the chimney liner, I was not sure who to believe. However, you answered my question regarding that and put my mind at ease. I am still faced with the decision as to which model to go for : Series 2 the old reliable that does not condense at all or the ES2 which is an upgrade due to its higher efficieny but has potential to condense. I believe that the ES2 also has an option for the outdoor thermostat whereby I am not sure if it is advisable to get it. What should I do??? Please help...I am at my witts end and am overwhelmed. I just want to get a third opinion. I never thought that his process was going to be so complicated!! Thanks again for your feedback and being so patient with me.  
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Contractors:

    Why are you dealing with a contractor that doesn't want to give you what you want?

    You sound perfectly reasonable and I can see no reason for you to be forced into abandoning a decent chimney that meets code. When figuring the added cost of more efficient equipment, I always contend that you may not live long enough to pay back the additional cost of installation with operating savings.

    I always give customers multiple choices, prices and the different values they offer. I let the customer decide. Price may be an issue that they don't want to talk about and become annoyed when someone "pushes" for something the installer personally likes but the customer doesn't want to pay for. I've had customers pick the lowest and the highest. Its their choice.

    If someone calls me on the phone, they want to spend money. My job (in business) is to figure out what they want and how much they are willing to pay. Then, go from there.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    I always give customers multiple choices,

    As you know, I am not a contractor, and never will be.



    I am curious about your giving the potential customer a lot of choices. As a homeowner, I would like several choices, perhaps three. Like low price, high efficiency, total cost of ownership. But more than that, what would I want to know? Should I pick the brand of boiler? I doubt it. I would not have enough experience with any boilers except the existing one in my house, so I would not be in a good position to choose. Besides, too many choices might only serve to confuse me.



    Remember the mother with her young kid in a Howard Johnson's and the kid was having trouble choosing which of 27 flavors of ice cream? The wise mother does not give the kid those choices. "Do you want vanilla? Yes or no."
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 928
    ES2 vs Series 2

    Take a look at Triangle Tube www.triangletube.com Prestige Solo or Prestige Excellence condensing gas boiler. This boiler is vented with PVC pipe check out other venting options. http://www.triangletube.com/documents/1/Prestige%20Vent%20Supplement_PVC_CPVC_%20PP_SS_102911.pdf  The nice thing about venting the Prestige series the exhaust and fresh air intake does not need to be in the same pressure zone. You can run PVC vent up the chimney and bring in fresh air from a side wall. The TT boiler might cost more but you can get up to 96% AFUE if you can keep your boiler condensing most of the year. You can also but a 5 or 10 year parts and labor warranty on this boiler. I would buy the 10 year parts and labor warranty that way if anything breaks you are covered. Have your heating professional do a heat loss. If you added insulation and replaced old windows and doors you might have enough baseboard to keep the boiler condensing mode. You can always add more baseboard. With the outdoor reset control you will only be running 180* F water through your baseboard when the outside temp is at design temp for your area. I have a PE110 TT boiler on cast iron radiators and it works great one of my friends has the same boiler on a copper baseboard system and his boiler stays in condensing mode most of the heating season. 
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Choices:

    There may be 28 flavors but they are all ice cream. If the child is allergic to berries or bananas, that will limit the choices. If the child doesn't like chocolate, less choices.

    When you buy a vehicle, the salesperson should be able to help you with the difference in the cars you are interested in.

    Its like Olympic scoring. You throw out the high, the low, and average the rest. Somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot. I find that to force something on someone that they really don't want, will make an unhappy customer.

    Whatever.
  • AFred
    AFred Member Posts: 81
    Opinion

    You wanted opinions so here we go.

    -They are both great boilers, I have installed alot of 2-series and 3-series(almost the same as ES2). I like the 2-series better, its a little more simple. The 1-5%(depending how they are selling the 2-series in your area) difference in efficiency is not worth much.

    -I don't think the outdoor reset will save you much. You have 3 high temp zones, and an indirect water heater also high temp, meaning you won't save on gas like you would if all of your zones were say cast iron radiators or in-floor(low temp).

    You should have no problem with your liner, as long as it is still properly sized for the new equipment. You can't go wrong with either boiler.

    Good luck,

    -Andrew
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    I hope you did not think I was criticizing your business methods.

    In general, I like your  approach. Since I never tried to run a business like this, I would not be in a position to criticize anyway. What I wonder about is how many choices it makes sense to give the customer.  The customer is not the kid in my example, so  it seems to me (s)he would like some choice so as to feel a participant and not just a bill payer.



    My installing contractor did not suggest putting more baseboard in my upstairs zone to get more condensing. So I had to suggest it to him to get it.  It did not cost all that much compared to the total cost of the job. And this way I can run a maximum termperature of 135F instead of 180F supply temperature. And it has to go 8F below design temperature to get that hot. I think he should have been the one to make that suggestion. He did not suggest alternative manufacturers of boilers. At that time, I would have had no idea how to select on brand over another; I still am not sure how to do it. I really like the Ultra-3, but have mild anxiety about the aluminum heat exchanger. OTOH, the system does not seem to leak, the pH is well within specification, and the concentration of the Sentinel X-100 is correct.. I knew I wanted a mod-con with outdoor reset, and the company only dealt with one brand of hot water boilers. They did a lot of work with hot air furnaces, but I definately did not want to convert to that.
  • Charms
    Charms Member Posts: 5
    Will it Fit?

    Thank you all so much...all the feedback is greatly appreciated.



    Andrew, I'm glad you you leaned toward the Series 2. That is what I was leaning towards also but I did not want to commit myself until I got an unbiased opinion from someone else. The liner I had installed a couple of years ago was a 6" type 316L stainless steel liner. This should fit with the Series 2, right? How long do these liners generally last? I'll tell you...this has been a learning experience. I feel much better now. I'd just hate to settle without knowing the facts. My next step is to order this boiler and then relax ! Hopefully, I can time it just right whereby I am not stuck with a lot of oil in my inground tank. By any chance, would you know how many inches I should run it down to before I lose heating? I have a 550 gallon tank and I have been measuring every week... I am down to 12". Timing is everything..I have to utilize every drop of oil at $3.39 a gallon ! Lol.

    Thanks again for your help...
  • Ironken
    Ironken Member Posts: 1
    In the same boat

    Greetings, I figured I'd hop in on this thread since everyone is already in the mindset. I'm burning off my oil, I have one zone currently, would like to go three. I have wall vectors in most of the rooms except for 20' of baseboard in the master-upstairs. Plan on putting baseboard downstairs to get some heat there. I brought in two guys, both suggested atmoshperic (chimney). Both said the ES2-4. One did also recommend the weil-mcClain CGA-4 because I had a burnham and thats what blew up (2 delayed ignitions). Now they both look good. There's 1% eff. better than the other. One is a good deal cheaper. The money is not a deal breaker, which model would you guys suggest? I have toddlers, so having a reliable heat source is a must.
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