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Selecting a New Boiler

BWMom Member Posts: 3
We have a vacation condo in northern New Hampshire. Up that way, we have very few choices of contractors who work with propane. Our supplier, Irving, will likely need to do the work (though I am still checking). The condo is about 2,000 sf with a boiler and indirect hot water tank. The tank failed this weekend and we were informed the boiler is 26 years old. Having had multiple issues over time with it, we've decided to replace both. The boiler room is in a storage area under the stairs that is entered through my daughter's bedroom. The current system leaks and sometimes has an odor. Replacing it seems to be the best way to go.

The proposed boilers from Irving are a Pure Pro Advangtage AGDV5-HP or a Weil-McLean GV90+ 4. From what I have read, it seems the Pure Pro is a cast iron system with 84% efficiency and the WM is steel and cast iron with 91% efficiency. Both have been proposed to be paired with a Superstor Ultra In-Direct Water tank.

I plan to call and talk to the salesman and have some questions, but was hoping for some additional advice on what else to ask. I am looking for a unit that is quiet, since it is off a bedroom. I am curious why it is not paired with the matching Pure Pro water tank if we went in that direction. The proposal has no sizing information, so I will be asking for that. Is there anything else I am missing?

The area that houses the boiler has a ceiling height of 5 feet, so it is a tough space to work in. The baseboard heating system has three zone. In addition, our condo association requires the addition of antifreeze to the system as needed every few years. I hope that this provides enough information and thank you for any assistance you can provide.


  • Paul S_3
    Paul S_3 Member Posts: 1,261
    Ask them if they will perform a heat loss for your home once you go ahead with the job....2000 sq ft would require the smallest boiler in most cases....make sure they dont oversize your system
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    What are your LPG rates like? A higher efficiency boiler might make economic sense there.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    Did you check the 'Find a Contractor' page? I don't know your zip but there are some good companies up there who would be great if they are close enough:
    -Charles Garrity
    -Bob Gagnon

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Firecontrol933
    Firecontrol933 Member Posts: 73
    With only 2000 sq ft and 3 zones plus an indirect the two options that you stated were quoted are more than likely oversized. But as others have said, you need a heat loss calculation done on the residence first to know for sure. Also with baseboard radiation the total length of the baseboard installed is going to basically dictate how much heat your system can supply no matter how big the boiler is. Too big of a boiler will make it short cycle and can shorten it's life and not be as efficient as it could be.

    The other thing is that with three zones plus the indirect unless everything is calling all at once (which seldom happens) this makes a big (oversized) boiler even more oversized for what it actually will see as a load most of it's running time.

    I've had a lot of experience with the GV90+ units and they are a very good unit, the other unit I'm not familiar with.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,448
    What town? IS this Coos County?
  • BWMom
    BWMom Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for all of this information. It is Coos County. I spoke with the salesman today. He calculated the size of the system by measuring all of the baseboard. He says the wm90+ will be quieter. They will repipe and update valves to use with taco system. They will tie a condensate hose into washing machine drain line with a neutralizer. He seemed knowledgeable but I would love to get a comparative quote. Thanks again.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,448
    Coos county is pretty close to 3 hours from me and I'm in Dover... that's about 30- 40 min from the Mass border.
    Your options to get trades people up there will me limited just because there are a lot fewer folks up that way....
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,949
    BWMom said:

    I spoke with the salesman today. He calculated the size of the system by measuring all of the baseboard.

    There is a fair chance the new boiler will be oversized if all he did was measure the baseboard. You need a true heat-loss calculation done on the house. Why buy a bigger boiler than you need, and spend all the extra money to operate that oversized boiler?

    If you can't find anyone closer, it would probably pay to have someone like Kcopp come up and do the heat-loss. The result would probably surprise you.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    edited June 2016
    Pro's and con's...Irving is an excellent company to deal with (I'm biased) They do stand behind their install and will do the best possible. They have people on call 24/7 and will respond in a reasonable time. You can call and ask for a heat loss and or go online and do one yourself. The reason on the superstor is the water in NH and the warranty behind it. Nothing being said negative about the Pure pro tank it's just we've had good luck with Superstor.
    The choice in the boiler is a tough one. Your in an area where parts are not as available as others. Two days without heat could be messy. Some like the pure pro for the simple design and parts available. Others like the WM due to its increased efficiency (both are very quiet). You could step up even further and look at the Triangle Tube or Viesseman boiler. All good options but, keep in mind if they break, parts on a truck may not be an option.
    some other things to consider...if your existing system has antifreeze in it, will they be removing that in advance of the install to neutralize anything existing. Will they be adding boiler treatement to the new install to allow it to flush and clean prior to adding the antifreeze and at what degree will the antifreeze be set to (you do not want pure antifreeze in the system).
    With only a 5' ceiling I'm glad it's not me doing the install..I'd have a headache before it's done...
    BTW do you have a low temp alarm at your residence just in case?
  • BWMom
    BWMom Member Posts: 3
    You are right on target with our issues being fewer professionals available. As a result, we have found the best route to go is find someone we trust to work in our house without us there. Our property management people are nice but not always the best. I have found Irving to be very responsive (though not cheap), and that is worth something. You do get what you pay for. I will ask about the anti-freeze issue. That is always a touchy subject in the condos as one person puts the antifreeze in for the whole association and it can lead to some finger-pointing if anything goes wrong. I assume they will have to flush and get it to the right level again. We do have a low temp alarm. (Funny note: it is on the outside wall and used to go off all the time. Not well-placed. It has since been fixed.) I will say, it didn't seem like a large boiler he was looking at. He didn't have his paperwork in front of him (as he was on the road) but thought in the neighborhood of 60-80k btu. He said heat loss is generally done on new builds. This is consistent with what they do at the other condos. (FYI...we are an end unit.)
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    Sadly in NH that is the way most replacement boilers are sized. If you take all the baseboard in your house with element, multiply that by 550 it will give you the max amount of BTU that the system would need in order to run (dont add the indirect in). The theory being, dont need more and you have it so use it... As far as Irving, they offer a service plan which with time will save you money. It includes a yearly service on your heating system and cover's a lot of part failures..ask at your local office...I would verify the temperature your association set's the antifreeze to and make sure they are properly trained to install, service it. Like i mentioned, you do not want straight antifreeze in your system..If it get's to -100 we are all in trouble anyway...IMHO...
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 930
    Both boilers are good. W/M uses Oring seal between sections and Purepro Advantage boiler built by US Boiler Company (Burnham) uses steel push nipples between sections.
    W/M is vented with PVC pipe and fittings or InnoFlue type venting material
    Purepro is vented with SS gasketed pipe and fittings.
    Make sure the boiler is vented to code and manufacture spects. Not properly venting this boiler it can KILL you and family members or guests.
    I would think over sizing the boiler will kill any energy savings between the two boilers.
    The Purepro Advantage boiler comes with the Hydrolevel Hydrostal 3200 plus control with built in LWCO and this control can do thermal targeting (indoor reset) or by adding a outdoor sensor this control can do outdoor reset that can save you on your energy bill.
    Get the contractor to do a heat loss.
    Purepro Advantage boiler is sold only by F W Webb they can help contractor to do a heat loss.
    F W Webb also sells the W/M boiler line.
    Stay warm on those cold winter days and nights.