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Buy used electric boiler

OhioRuss Member Posts: 29
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.


  • icesailor
    icesailor 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_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,599
    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. 

    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • OhioRuss
    OhioRuss Member Posts: 29
    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.
  • SWEI
    SWEI 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.
  • icesailor
    icesailor 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.
  • OhioRuss
    OhioRuss Member Posts: 29
    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.
  • SWEI
    SWEI 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 http://www.caleffi.com/sites/default/files/coll_attach_file/idronics_10.pdf 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 http://www.eia.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls before you get too far down the road on this plan.