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oil fired hot water heater vs indirect off boiler ??

ronron Member Posts: 94
I posted in here about upgrading my boiler,

have another question regarding if i wanted the most efficient setup.

right now it's a 103k btu burnham boiler with 30 gal bock indirect tank.

thinking of replacing the 25 year old boiler with a new one around 70k btu, or whatever the smallest one is.  that being said i can either continue to use my bock 30 gallon indirect with the new boiler, or chose to get a new oil-fired boiler.

In the long run which would be the most efficient and use the least amount of oil?

house is 2 floor colonial built late 80's, calculated 45k - 50k btuh heat loss for the house at 70° dtd.  house as new windows and siding, it's fairly tight.  realistically it's probably around 40k btuh once i replace the front/rear doors.



  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 1,484
    In your situation...

    Making sure we're comparing apples to apples, is the 30 gal Bock an indirect or an oil fired hot water heater?

    Assuming properly sized/installed equipment, new boiler with indirect would be cheaper
  • ronron Member Posts: 94

    the current setup is an indirect hot water tank which is a bock 30 gallon. it is not oil fired.

    wondering if when i upgrade the boiler, if it's worth it to go with a separate hot water setup that is an oil fired tank, completely separate from the boiler.  i'm wondering if this will be better for maybe close to 6 months of the year when i don't need heat and would not need use of the boiler.
  • Pughie1Pughie1 Member Posts: 116
    Oil Fired

    Just my 2 cents - If I were you I'd go with the indirect. First, why maintain two burners & controls. Second the indirect should last longer than an oil fired hot water heater - the burner flame firing directly against the bottom of the tank in the oil fired unit tends to cause them to not last as long as an indirect. I've lived in this house since 1989 & I'm on my third oil fired tank. (wish I had a boiler). I will say the latest is a Bock center fuel 30 gal model (2006) and seems to be holding up very well. Hope this helps.

                                                           John Pughe
  • earl burnermannearl burnermann Member Posts: 126
    edited February 2014
    Go with an indirect

    The only time I see a direct fired water heaters these days is when the customer is heating their home with a furnace.

    It's not a good idea to shut off the new higher efficiency boilers for the summer. The ash inside tends to get wet during the summer and turns into high grade cement when turned on the next heating season. I've seen more than a few boilers replaced because they couldn't draft properly even after hours of trying to clear the sections.

    Two other thoughts are you are going to need two oil lines and two vents to the chimney. One of my favorite calls is when the boiler or water heater won't stay on at the beginning of the heating season. The boiler hasn't really fired much during the summer so the slight restriction in the filter doesn't effect the flow. Now you have both units running and there is just not enough oil. On the other side, you may have a problem with draft. Not always, but it does happen.

     And lastly, You have stand by loss caused by room air being pulled through your heating appliances by the chimney during the off time. Just brings them on that much faster. But an indirect is a thermos. No loss due to the stack. I think my indirect looses maybe 1 or 2 degrees per hour. Hardly ever calls for heat unless it's used.
    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!
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