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1 Year Update (Oil to Gas boiler change)

jt3 Member Posts: 31
A year ago last month I had my old oil fired WM boiler removed and replaced it with a TT Solo 110 natural gas boiler.  Looking back I wish I and the installer had known a little more and things may have been done a little differently.  After the boiler installation I ended up replacing 20' of old Slant Fin 15 baseboard with new Slant Fin Multipak 80 plus added an additional 4' of the 80 to a hallway that previously had no heat.  I also changed out one of the Taco 007 circulators for a Taco Delta T to try and reduce the return temperature on that zone.  Even with those changes I was getting a lot of short cycling of the boiler, in the 1 to 1.5 minute range. 

Because of that I have a buffer tank that I am going to install and at the same time I will replace the other Taco 007 with one of the Taco Bumble Bee circulators.  Once that is done, if the budget allows I'm planning on adding some type of heat to the unfinished basement.  Old oil fired boiler used to loose enough heat to keep the temperature at around 60 in the middle of winter.  Not having that I took the old Slant Fin and tied it into the return line to grab a little more heat off the main zone. Want to replace that with either a suspended heater / blower unit or maybe one of the under cabinet heaters, whichever I can find reasonably priced.  Just want to be able to set it so the blower comes on whenever the incoming water is above 130 degrees. 

All in all I am very happy with the system.  I had hoped to cut my heating cost by around 50% which would have made the payback on the system 4 to 5 years.  Comparing the last 2 years heating bills, it actually cut the costs by almost 66%, more if you calculate the cost based on degree days and not just 12 months of heating since last winter was colder than the previous one.

I want to thank Dan for hosting this site and everyone who posted answers and suggestions to not only my questions but all of the questions that get asked.  I don't know if the "Professionals" on this board can truly comprehend the help you provide to the "Non-Professionals" who come here looking for answers. 

Everyone have a great holiday and weekend.  Stay healthy, enjoy the summer and get ready for winter.  It will be back.

Jim T

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  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Thanks for the follow-up

    It's always nice to hear back from people, whatever the outcome may be.

    Best of luck with the new(ish) system...
  • papashawngo
    papashawngo Member Posts: 7

    is there a low loss header being used in your system?
  • jt3
    jt3 Member Posts: 31
    No Low Loss Header


    The installer plumbed it Primary / Secondary, more or less.  I say that because the supply and return plumbing was 1" and the distance between the T's was 6".  If I understand the theory correctly, the maximum distance between the centers of the Supply and Return lines is 4 pipe diameters or in my case it should have been 4" max.  I don't know how the larger spacing effects the system but it has since been changed.  The attached picture shows the original piping.  Red is supply line, Blue is the return line and Green is the 3/4" return line from the indirect hot water tank.

    Due to significant short cycling last heating season I added a buffer tank.  The supply line was cut several inches below the unit, an elbow and T installed to eliminate the big loop shown with the boiler drain to the right.  The T was cut out and the line capped on the right side so the boiler drain is still functional.  The T to the left that connected the supply and return lines was replaced with an elbow so there is no longer a primary / secondary loop.  The supply and return lines now go to and from the buffer tank. (This is now the Primary Loop)  The 2 zones were redone to come off of and return to the buffer tank.

    The installer used 2 Taco 007 circulator pumps. I changed one of them last year to a Taco 008 Delta T circulator and changed the other one to a Taco Bumble Bee when I did the buffer tank.  I don't expect the changes to make a significant difference in the heating costs but hopefully it will reduce the short cycling making the operation a little more efficient and extend the life of the boiler and components.  It will be interesting to see how it works out.

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