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Rinnai vs. Burnham Alpine 95% boiler

GKP1
GKP1 Member Posts: 4
I am looking to replace our 20 yr old (propane) boiler with a 95% efficient condensing boiler. I have 3 quotes, the 2 I am considering are for a Rinnai wall mounted unit and a Burnham Alpine floor mounted unit. System is forced hot water, 4 zones. I am trying to compare what seems like apples and oranges. Help / feedback is appreciated. Thanks

Comments

  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Heat Loss

    Have any of the contractors done a Heat Loss of the home to properly size the boiler? When going to a mod/con boiler, size is critical.
  • GKP1
    GKP1 Member Posts: 4
    Heat Loss

    They both estimated at 150,000 BTU. Is a heat loss analysis the same as measuring the baseboards? If not, how is it done?

    Any feedback on Rinnai vs. Alpine?
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Heat Loss

    Slant/Fin has a download for a heat loss calculator. Just out of curiousity, and not a perfect determining factor....how many sq/ft is your home? http://www.pvsullivan.com/Downloads.html
  • GKP1
    GKP1 Member Posts: 4
    heat loss

    we are approx 3100 square ft
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Suggest

    You do the Heat Loss. The difference between, say 120 and 150000btus, when it comes to a mod/con is huge. The boiler will not function properly if over-sized. It is  a completely different concept than the old way of heating a home....blast a lot of heat to the baseboards then shut off and wait to do the same thing. With the mod/con it produces just enough heat to counteract the outside temperatures. Longer burn times with lower flames keep the boiler condensing, and that is when it is most  efficient.It wouldn't make much sense to comment on one boiler,over the other, if neither was correct for you. You have 1 chance to get the boiler sized correctly, if you don't get it right, you might as well stand next to the boiler every day, and burn a $5 or $10 bill.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,981
    Firetube HX

    How have you arrived at Rinnai and Burnham?

    Rinnai's exchanger is fairly new, I would like to see how it performs in the real world before I pass judgement.

    Burnham is still using the Gionni exchanger. They require fairly large circulators and diligent maintenance to run correctly.

    I only install firetube HX. Triangle tube and Lochinvar both use them. They are an excellent low maintenance exchanger.

    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • GKP1
    GKP1 Member Posts: 4
    Rinnai v. Burnham

    I received 3 quotes. Burnham Alpine was from the current company we use for service. #2 was from Sears via Service Magic, who quoted a Dunkirk which I believe is also made by Burnham. I don;t trust Sears for customer service after the sale so I have pretty much ruled them out. #3 was also referred by Service Magic and they are quoting the Rinnai unit.

    Still pretty lost at this point. Alpine is the cheapest, which is where I'm leaning unless there is a good reason anyone can offer otherwise. Thanks
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Dunkirk

    If it happens to be a Helix VLT, it has a fire-tube HX and I'd give that serious consideration.
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