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replacing old gas boiler

bc2010 Member Posts: 1
I've been researching a replacement for my 30 yr+ old gas boiler with direct water heater that are currently in a home we just moved into. The house was built in the 70s, has 3 floors, 3 heating zones with baseboard heating. From what I've read, this is a common post on this board, so if it's easier to refer to previous replies, please feel free to refer. Here are my questions:

1. Trying to decide between Navien Combi system vs a Burnham Alpine or Weil Mclain high eff with indirect heater system. I'm slightly skeptical about the combi system - seems too hi tech in that you have all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. More importantly, I'm concerned about getting hot water up to my showers without having to wait a long time. Also, is there a realistic issue with providing enough heat for baseboard heating for either system compared to conventional system?

2. I am concerned about having hard water and 2 installers recommended softener systems in front of the boiler. One guy also said the Burnham Alpine now has an included filter to help with this - does anyone have experience with it?

3. I am concerned about expensive routine maintenance for each of these systems compared to the routine maintenance I've had for conventional boilers. Do the maintenance costs negate the overall savings?

Thanks for your help.


  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    Look at fire-tube boilers like Triangle Tube or Lochinvar's new series. They are VERY robust and less prone to failure from poor water conditions. The maintenance cost is the same. Some of the parts can be expensive to replace, but so can some parts on a conventional system.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    If your water quality is way out of line for TDS and PH, you should correct the water. No matter how "robust" one boiler is over another, it will be hard on the system. If the PH is low, below 7.0, and the TDS is high, correct the PH and use a softener. If the PH is high, over 7.0, use a Softener. If there are small amounts of iron in the water, iron is a form of hardness and will be removed with a softener. If the PH is low, below 7.0, the filters won't work properly until you address the PH. The lower the PH number, the worse the filters will do their job.

    Aggressive water (conductivity) can turn your plumbing and heating system into a car battery.
  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,293

    I install naviens, so that's what I would go with, what is your btu to the house, you can put the domestic on a return loop so you always get hot water.