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Buy used electric boiler

OhioRussOhioRuss Member Posts: 14
I need a backup boiler to be used with cast iron rads. I found a 96,000 btu Slant Fin on craigslist. It was purchases in 2008. What is the life expectancy for these units? Anything I should look for? What are these worth? We are on a limited budget. Thanks.


  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    Limited budget?

    Electric boiler?

    Sounds like an Oxymoron.

    How big is the electric service in your house? Big enough to handle the load of the electric boiler?
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 648
    Electric resistence heat

    While I can't say much as to life expectancy of such a unit, I can say that if your electric rate is reasonable and it WILL ONLY be used as a backup an electric boiler can work out well.  No maintaince and silent/ no cost if not run. 

    96Mbtu is a large boiler and would require 117 amps or 28,000 watts.  You would need a minimum of a 200amp enterance in your house for this to work. 

    I'd consider a smaller unit like the EH12 at 50amps. 

    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • OhioRussOhioRuss Member Posts: 14
    Follow up

    I installed a 400 amp service last summer in anticipation of an electric boiler. The oxymoron comment I don't understand. Would a propane or fuel oil boiler be a better backup? I don't have any tanks so I would need them as well. If this Slant Finn is made to last, say, 15 years and I can get one six years old for a few hundred dollars, that seems pretty reasonable. Again, thanks for the help.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Brand new

    they do not cost all that much.  I'd check that out before I even bothered to evaluate the condition on a used one.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    400 Amp servvice:

    How much did a 400 amp electric service cost? How much would a 225 amp service have cost you? You used to have to use current transformers to measure usage and pay a commercial rate on 400 amp services where I lived.

    The Oxymoron was the cheap electric boiler and the expensive cost to run it, and the cost of the service to feed it. If the service is a long distance, that must be some really heavy wire inside that conduit.
  • OhioRussOhioRuss Member Posts: 14
    Used boiler info

    The service was $1500, my dad and I installed it - he is a retired electrician. In Ohio, through South Central Power, I got the 400 amp service no problem. The house is 150 years old and had knob & tube wiring and a 40 amp service from the 1930's. It need to be upgraded no matter what, so I designed it in anticipation of using an electric boiler.. I have no questions regarding anything electrical, but I would appreciate advice as to whether an eight year old Slant Fin boiler would suffice as a back up boiler, probably for a wood boiler, and how much would you pay for one. Thank you for all your help.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356

    would be determined by a heat loss calculation on the house.

    Integration with a wood boiler is not all that difficult.  Properly installing and controlling the wood boiler is far more complex.  Have you read by chance?

    How many hours do you expect this backup boiler to operate during a season?  You might want to spend a bit of time with before you get too far down the road on this plan.
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