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Boiler Recommendations - Please

NatickDanNatickDan Member Posts: 14
We are converting from oil to NG and now that the gas line is now in, it's decision time. I'm now having a difficult time selecting a manufacturer and I could use help from those of you who have an opinion based on your experience.

My issue is that I was looking at the Burnham Apline (with a SuperStor water tank), but I've had two contractors tell me I am making a mistake going with Burnham because they are not as reliable as other manufacturers and they are more difficult to maintain. One contractor is suggesting a Prestige Trimax Boiler with a Triangle Indirect HWH. The other contractor is recommending a Weil McLain Ultra ( with a megastore HWH ).

I want to make the right decision based on reliability, warranty, parts availability, ease of maintenance and price. Even after the research I've done, I'm still not comfortable making a decision. Any help, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank You! Dan


  • Smith19Smith19 Member Posts: 75
    edited November 2012


    Burnham IS not the best for residential, and this is because the shape (from what I've experienced) of the cast iron heat exchangers do NOT take thermal change WELL. But in terms of the Alpine, There have been poor reviews of Burnham condensing boilers (vs. cast iron) circulating. I agree with your contractor there. Bad idea to go with a Burnham.

    Weil McLain is better, but not by a whole lot...The ultras are very popular, however I have heard lots of complaints about costumer service not honoring warranty.

    The prestige trimax is a great boiler. I'd go with that one. I would also take a long look at the line of Lochinvar and Buderus products, The most pricy but highest quality on the market in my experience. Hope that helps.:)

  • NatickDanNatickDan Member Posts: 14
    Thank you!

    I'm getting a quote for a lochnivar today!
  • JasonJason Member Posts: 293
    edited November 2012

    I on the other hand have had excellent luck with the Burnham ES2, ESC and Alpine boilers. The Alpine is no different than many other products on the market as many use the same heat exchanger, gas valve and blower. The hearts of the boilers.

    The Cast iron boilers mentioned above is proven top be very good even at lower return water temps. My interest was in the 110f return temp to a cast iron boiler and the use of ODR. This really improves system efficiency.

    Many problems encountered with boilers is sizing and installation. Choose a good contractor is most important.
  • tim smithtim smith Member Posts: 2,226
    Re: boiler selection

    I would go with Triangle or Lochinvar, the vertical firetube units. Verify that the contractor you select carries parts for the unit they are installing. Neither one has had much for failure problems but I still feel you want a comany who is ready to support these high tech pieces of equipment.  I am always frustrated when do not have or cannot get a part right away for a major important device like these.  You will be happy with either one if installed correctly and supported properly. Have it serviced once  a year for cleaning condensate trap, electrode/flame rod. Check combustion and system pressure.  Good luck.  Tim 
  • ChrisChris Member Posts: 3,056
    edited November 2012
    Burnham Cast Iron

    I'm not a big fan of cast iron boilers but your statement concerning Burnham is not true. As a matter of fact the opposite. The design of the "G" iron with more pins and diffusers in the returns of each section keep water temp across the iron even. It is capable of handling 110 degree return water temp. Just want to clarify.

    I'm also not a fan of alum blocks in condensing boilers. Not fun cleaning the sludge ( the alum) out of the trap at service. Gives a funny feeling a product of high cost is eroding in front of my eyes.

    Lochinvar, Triangle same HX design both good boilers would take those over any boiler with a gionnoni hx.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Lochinvar quote

    As long as it's a WHN, you are getting the best heat exchanger design.  The older Knight series is based on the somewhat infamous Giannoni HX.
  • Smith19Smith19 Member Posts: 75

    I have had many bad experiences with fracturing burnhams. I have not heard of people having to get sludge removed from a condensing heat exchanger? This seems strange.
  • ChrisChris Member Posts: 3,056

    If your referring to the old V7, yes there was an issue with the old cast. That

    was a long time ago. The "G" iron used in the Series 2, Series 3 and ESC is

    not a comparable comparison.

    Yes I the trap, looks and feels like sludge but it's not. It is the alum HX

    slowly eroding away..
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,751
    Burnahm has...

    gotten a bad rap unfairly. They were very generous and took care of everyone that was deserving. Every Mfg has had a problem at one time or another.

     I am changing mt perception on Aluminum. I have serviced a number of Aluminum blocks and am not seeing the so called corrosion.... some have suggested that any sediment is the byproduct of the combustion process...especially w/ LP gas.... much like the "coffee grounds" that show up on the SS HX.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Every Mfg has had a problem at one time or another

    So true.  It's the response to these sorts of issues that separates great companies from the rest - first by their initial response (taking care of existing customers) and then going forward (redesigning or replacing the product.)
  • NatickDanNatickDan Member Posts: 14
    Thank You

    Thnx for all of the responses. I have learned that researching a right boiler is far more difficult to researching a new car. For that reason, the participation by those of you in this profession is a godsend to fols like me.

    I have my decision down to either the Burnham Alpine or the Lochnivar Knight. I'm expecting additional info by Tuesday and will make my decision on Wednesday.
  • ChrisChris Member Posts: 3,056
    One Last Tid Bit of Info

    Under the re certification testing that all mod/cons are

    under taken the Alpine 80, 105 are coming in at

    91.5% AFUE, the Alpine 150 and 210 92.2% while the

    Knight is coming in at 95%.

    New AHRI certificates are up at
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
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