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High Efficiency Wall Hung Reliability

WoNHUSA Member Posts: 34
I am looking to install a new boiler in my house. I have had a few companies come out and give me their thoughts. One suggested a System 2000 oil boiler, another a direct vented oil boiler as well as a Rannai Combo unit and the third suggested a Lochinvar Knight wall hung unit. Switching to propane from oil would save us space in a couple of places in the basement (which is being finished into living space and the reason for the change to a boiler). Cast iron boilers have been around "forever" but the high efficiency wall hung units have not...should I be concerned about the "life expectancy" of a high efficiency wall hung unit? Reliability? I do not have any experience with these, so any help is appreciated.


  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,699
    Wall hung....

    boilers are pretty reliable if you go w/ the brands that have a track record. That is pretty much all they use across the pond. They will have a 20yr avg life span but that will depend on water quality and if it is serviced regularly. I am in the seacoast of NH...where about are you?
    WoNHUSA Member Posts: 34

    I am in the Lakes Region about an hour from the seacoast. It gets cold here, but not like the North Country. Thanks for the info.

    Do you have direct experience with the wall hung units?
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,699
    Yes I have....

    a bunch of different models installed. Triangle tube, Bosch and Smith. Both Combi and w/ an indirect.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,699
    edited September 2013
    Here is.....

    A Bosch...sorry about the angle. First time posting from the phone.
  • NYplumber
    NYplumber Member Posts: 503

    For the most part they are great when installed properly, and maintenance is done. However, I always suggest that in the colder climates one should have a backup source of heat (wood, ductelss minisplit, or if you have central air add an electric element). When these units go down it can sometimes take a day or more to get a part and having a backup heat source to take the chill out of the air is comforting.
  • DonP152
    DonP152 Member Posts: 18
    Good and Bad

    I went through a nightmare converting from tankless oil burner to a wall hung high efficiency gas.  See this post:

    First was the 3 Rinnai's that they couldn't get to stop exploding on startup (including the Rinnai North American Service Manager and 2 engineers from the Rinnai factory.

    Finally replaced with a Navien against my better judgement.  The Navien broke down 10 times in 3 months and finally was replaced with a new ASMI (?) certified model.

    I've had this one for a year now with no issues.  It is noisy, but it's functioning well.

    The only advice I would give you is to install a recirculation loop for your domestic hot water if possible.  The combi boilers take forever to get hot water to your shower/faucet etc...  The Navien allows a recirculation loop without voiding warranty so I went ahead and installed a dedicate loop in my basement because I have a single story house.  Put a timer in the kitchen to activate the recirc pump and as long as you remember to push the timer button, you will have instant hot water at every faucet after 30 seconds or so.  Keeps you from dumping a lot of water down the drain waiting for it to get hot.
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,306

    Those are tankless water heaters masquerading as boilers,whose main selling point is price.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • HomeOwner1
    HomeOwner1 Member Posts: 134
    Our Navien heats up relatively quick

    We have a Navien Combi ASME. Hot water takes about the same time as it did with the old water heater. We notice no appreciable lag.

    Same good experience with some of our friends' other brands tankless water heaters as well.

    We have our settings set at 130 degrees for hot water and put on the Well Pump setting. Those appear to be the settings that work best for us.

    I would imagine it is always going to take some time to get all of the water already in the pipe after the water heater out before the hot stuff starts coming out.
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