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Changing to gas - two bids, which one??

boomingranny Member Posts: 2

I'm applying for a Mass Save loan that will finance switching from oil to gas at 0% interest.  I currently have steam/radiators - new Smith boiler, house needs at least two more radiators and oil tank is old.  Needs replacing.  House is small, approx 1200 sq ft and built in 1890.  Exterior walls will be insulated and attic will be insulated and sealed as part of the Loan requirement.

Option 1 (contractor #1 - decent reviews on Angie's List):  Vitodens  100 W gas fired wall mount condensing boiler (95%AFUE) with the european-style wall radiators (excuse my lack of expertise!) $17k OR

Option 2 (contractor #2 - need references - only one review I can find and it was not someone who contracted them but who lived in a building they did work in).  One Smith 93% GC160 Wall Mounted Gas Fired Condensing Boiler and 110’ of Haydon Hydronic Baseboard Set up on (2) Two Zones Along Outside Perimeter - $13750

Sorry about the all caps.  Any feedback is greatly appreciated.



  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    edited April 2012

    Spend your money with contractor #2 and get a system that cannot perform to that as contractor #1 is proposing. Panel rads will allow a condensing boiler to perform its job which is to "condense" much more then fin tube board.

    As for the boiler itself, I'd take the 316Ti Heat Exchanger the Vitodens offers with its llkmited lifetime warranty over the Smith that is oversized for the job. Why do you need a boiler that gives 160,000 btu/hr? The smallest Vitodens 100 WB1B10-26 which maxs it at 93,000 and thats oversized. I would have offered the Vitodens 200 WB2B-19 which maxs out at 63,000 but would calculate a heat loss to properly size my boiler.

    I would choose the contractor that sizes the equipment properly and make my product decision from that heat loss.

    By the way, you violated the main rule here. We don't talk pricing.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,248
    Why are you tearing everything out?

    No need for that. If you have a recent model Smith oil-fired boiler, it's probably an 8 series, which can be easily converted to gas using a replacement burner.

    You need to find a better contractor, who knows steam. Try the Find a Contractor page of this site.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469

    That's the best advice anyone could give you. Converting the existing boiler to gas would save you 50% alone. Then add thermostatic control to the radiators and the savings just keep piling up. All for around a third of your low replacement cost. Save your money for vacations.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,284
    What is wrong with steam?

    Some of the loans are written to exclude steam systems. Smith boilers are factory rated to fire on gas or oil depending on the burner used. I do service all of Mass when it really comes down to it so feel free to contact me about your system. If you click below it will bring you to my information with my phone number.I ack also stock a fair number of used cast iron radiators and I can get new if it is needed.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • boomingranny
    boomingranny Member Posts: 2

    Sorry about the price quote :-( 

    thanks for the info!
This discussion has been closed.