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Conversion options narrowed down to 2 - need help deciding

vdubin71
vdubin71 Member Posts: 9
Hi All,



I currently have oil heat, planning to convert to gas and have received consultation and estimates from 4 plumbers.  Out of those four I have narrowed it down to two.  I am having trouble selecting one over the other as the equipment they are going to use is different from one another.  Here is what they both offer.



Plumber 1:

Burnham Series 2 Boiler P205 w/ electronic ignition

AO Smith 50 gallon hot water heater

New boiler and water heater flue vents

separate circulator for each zone



Plumber 2:

Burnham ES2 5 Boiler

Techtanium TT 40 Indirect Hot Water heater

Stainless steal chimney liner, double wall

Grundfos smart circulator, 1 for all zones



Please help me decide on which would be the best option in regards to efficiency and ongoing maintenance needs.



Thank you for any help you can give me.

Comments

  • zacmobile
    zacmobile Member Posts: 211
    2

    I pick door #2, It's a higher efficiency unit and you will be getting high efficiency hot water out of the deal too. I've never been a fan of multi pump zoning, variable speed smart pumping is the way to go, it will save quite a bit in electrical costs, be quieter, be more comfortable and make for simpler piping. What is your existing heat distributors? rads, baseboard, radiant floor?
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Which One

    Provided you the heat loss? He's the guy I'd go with. If both then contractor 2 is giving you a better piece of equipment.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 830
    #2

    #2, BTW, why not 90+ boiler?
  • vdubin71
    vdubin71 Member Posts: 9
    .

    Hi All,



    Thanks for the replys.



    To answer some of the questions:



    I have three zones of baseboard.



    Non of the plumbers did a heat loss test. I did not find this site until last night and did not know about the importance of the heat loss test until then. The test was never mentioned by the plumbers but they seemed very confident in their selection of equipment after asking questions like "when was the house built? How much Sq footage? How many rooms? Etc" they all also took a look around the inside and outside of the house.



    Gennady, not sure what you mean by a 90+



    I like #2 as well because it seems to be modern technology but do not know much beyond that i.e. performance, efficiency, quality, etc. Please keep the questions and suggestions coming.



    Thanks again everyone
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Let's Take a Test

    How many feet of baseboard in each zone? Because I now recommend neither of them.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    I agree with Chris.

    I agree with Chris because if neither did a heat loss, they cannot properly specify the size boiler you need.



    I bought a new 93% boiler three years ago, a mod-con with outdoor reset. It is very important with a boiler like that not to oversize it as it kills the efficiency, especially in warmer weather.



    Normally a heating system is designed for "design day", a day so cold that only 2.5% of the days each year get below that.  All other days are warmer. But if a heat loss is not calculated, you cannot know what size boiler to use.



    Also, why not a boiler with higher efficiency? gennady is right to ask that too. These days you can get 93% or even a little higher, depending on how the rest of your system is configured. Since I have a radiant slab heating most of my house, high efficiency is easily attained for that zone. I have another zone with baseboard. To get higher efficiency there, I had two 3-foot pieces of baseboard replaced by two 14-foot pieces. There are other ways.



    I am not a heating professional, so do not take my word for it, but be aware that one must have done a heat loss to properly size a boiler, and if yours is oversize, it will cost you money in excess fuel bills every year as long as you have it.



    Probably the worst way to size a boiler is to look at the name plate on the existing boiler. Even worse is to put in an even bigger one "just to be safe."
  • vdubin71
    vdubin71 Member Posts: 9
    .

    Thanks agin for the replies.



    Chris,



    I just ran around the house measuring the base boards. One thing first, I fat figured the keyboard before, I have 2 zones of base board not 3. I also forgot to mention in my original post that I have radiant heat in the form of copper piping running through a concert slab in my back family room in the first floor. The first floor zone feeds both the base board and this radiant.



    Here are the numbers:



    1st floor zone: 52 feet of baseboard, in floor radiant as mentioned above heating a 218 sq ft room

    2nd floor zone: 72 feet of baseboard



    I have asked both plumber to include a 3rd zone for the radiant heated room as that room gets hot in the winter, like 75 with the stat set to 65.



    Jean and Gannady,



    Now I understand what you mean by 90+. Not sure why that was not offered. I believe maybe for a maintanance perspective. They both say that what they will be installing is almost trouble free.



    Thanks again
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    edited May 2012
    The Results

    Suggest younhave a heat loss done.



    52' of residential board in round numbers can only deliver 30,000 btu/hr

    72' of residential board in round.numbers can only deliver 40,000 btu/hr



    This has nothing to do with the heat loss of the zones, rather the capable output ability of the baseboard. That's a small radiant zone and I'll throw in 10,000 btu/hr for that and thats being generous. I'm at 80k and haven't done a heat loss, are you confident that the boiler choices given are properly sized and you want one of those contractors? I'd also lime to know what they quoted you on how they decided to zone that radiant.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • R Mannino
    R Mannino Member Posts: 434
    Ok Chris

    I get 75,000 BTu heat loss, not counting the 218 sq ft room.

    So my take is any boiler larger than 75,000 can't deliver it's rated output even if it wanted to (can anyone say mod/con? opps, Gennady said that already.) The ES 2 isn't a bad piece of equipment, but a 5 section?
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Vitodens

    Yup a nice little WB1B10-26 would probably fit fine in this job.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • vdubin71
    vdubin71 Member Posts: 9
    .

    Chris,



    Thanks for the info. The 2 proposals state the following in regards to separating the radiant to a zone on its own.



    Plumber 1: includes new thermostat and new tstat circuit from radiant zone to boiler

    Plumber 2: run feed and return radiant heat, separate run thermostat line



    Not to descriptive I guess.



    R Manino,



    Plumber 2 explained the 5 section as follows:



    3 sections for the 2 baseboard zones and 1 radiant zone

    1 section for the indirect hot water heater zone

    1 extra section incase I plan to finish and heat my basement in the future



    Thanks for everyone's comments, this really has me thinking.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    edited May 2012
    WHAT!!!!!!

    Please find yourself a heating professional and let these plumbers do what looks like they do best. Unclog the BS they are feeding you...His description is no better then the heating guy that 50 years ago used the finger method to size boilers.



    Ask them why there is no valve quoted to reduce the water temo fornthe radiant or how did they plan on controlling the radiant water temp....
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • vdubin71
    vdubin71 Member Posts: 9
    .

    Thank you Chris.



    I have tried the Find A Contractor page on this site and no results come up in my area. I live in the south shore of Nassau County on Long Island NY.



    If you could recommend some professionals to work with in my area it would be greatly appreciated.



    Thanks
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Mr Mannio

    a couple posts above since he's out in LI could possiblly help you out.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    What

    brand and model of boiler are you replacing, and how old is it?
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Why?

    What relevance does that have? Just curious...
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • vdubin71
    vdubin71 Member Posts: 9
    .

    I don't know anything about the old boiler. No name, ID plates, info or anything anywhere on the boiler. I think it is original to the house which was built in 1968.
  • vdubin71
    vdubin71 Member Posts: 9
    .

    I don't know anything about the old boiler. No name, ID plates, info or anything anywhere on the boiler. I think it is original to the house which was built in 1968.
  • R Mannino
    R Mannino Member Posts: 434
    We're Doing

    an installation in Baldwin on Tuesday http://www.technicalheating.com/
  • vdubin71
    vdubin71 Member Posts: 9
    .

    R Mannino,



    Thanks, I will give your office a call.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Chris

    Suppose his answer went like this......It's a shame, the boiler is only 5 years. It's a Smith 8 series,4 section.It's a moot point, given his actual answer, but I wanted to exclude a conversion burner.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Got Ya

    Thanks...Another mute point he's probably left out is that he's in Nat Grid territory and for oil to gas convernsions Burnham has a program with them to rebate the consumer back on the equipment. Sad part is it's just a Visa Gift card and they only have six months to use it.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • vdubin71
    vdubin71 Member Posts: 9
    Yes, National Grid

    Yes, I will need to use Natl grid for gas service.



    Plumber 1's equipment is not covered by their rebates but the boiler and Indirect HW heater from Plumber 2 are.



    Plumber 2 says that the Natl Grid rebates (www.powerofaction.com/efficiency) are a check but the Burnham rebate is a gift card.



    Plumber one does not like Natl grid's program so he doesn't use it, seems like plumber 2 uses it to keep the final pricing of the quote looking attractive in comparison to others - which it does.  The hassle of the rebates is not attractive though.



    Both plumbers are National Grid Authorized VPI installers, figured that was a good thing.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Funny

    All you need is a license and know how to fill out an online form and your in as a contractor in the Nat Grid program..There is no qualification other than that.

    The Visa Gift card is just that, a gift card and cannot be redemmed for cash. You have six months to use it or lose it. Any boiler installed that meets the AFUE requirement for the given EE is eligible for that rebate.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • R Mannino
    R Mannino Member Posts: 434
    edited June 2012
    Rebates are Great

    but wouldn't a correct installation be more important?
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    edited June 2012
    Nice Install

    Nice installl
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
This discussion has been closed.