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What's better Burnham vs lochinvar

captin94
captin94 Member Posts: 4
Trying to choose one I'm looking at the Burnham ec3 I think and the lochinvar solution two stage boiler which is better and what would you choose? Thanks

Comments

  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    edited November 2016
    Both are good boilers. Each has advantages and disadvantages. What kind of system (cast iron radiators, fin-tube baseboard, something else)? Has a heat loss calc been done?
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,755
    I used the Solution for a couple seasons and I really wanted to love it, but I couldn't. It's a great concept for a boiler, and my guys loved the weight of it, but it has some limitations that made it not ideal for many applications. It's also far from Lochinvar's favorite product. After the Solution experiment (for lack of a better word) I put more effort into explaining the benefits of true high-efficiency boilers. The Knight is a far superior product.
    Think about that, why don'tcha?
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
  • captin94
    captin94 Member Posts: 4
    I have base board heat need 79k btu from what I have found when calculating.
  • Are those calculations from the building heat loss, or the EDR of the baseboard?--NBC
  • captin94
    captin94 Member Posts: 4
    I found the number by 119ft baseboard so I took 119x580=69020 btu so that why I'm looking at the 79k unit or is this to large.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    The amount of baseboard tells us the upper limit of boiler size, not the correct size. If that's Fine/Line 30 you're going to get more like 520 BTU/ft and you need to knock 6" off each convector if you measured the cases.

    If your contractor installs a KHN-085, you don't need to bother with the heat loss calc thanks to its 10:1 turndown, one of the lowest minimum firing rates there it. If you're using a boiler with a lower turndown, someone needs to do a proper heat loss evaluation on the building.
  • captin94
    captin94 Member Posts: 4
    Ok thanks and back to main question which is better boiler for the buck / budge guy thanks
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,674
    Lochinvar KHN is an awesome boiler.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    If you are asking about the two in your original post, the Burnham is a better choice for your application.

    Three of us here would choose a KHN-085 for that job.
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 928
    Look at the Burnham K2FT this is their fire tube heat exchanger model.
    For you to get the best bang for your money a condensing boiler needs to run at low water temps.
    If you have copper baseboard there is not much water in the system and most likely the boiler will need to send out higher water temps to heat the house.
    You can use the Burnham cast iron boiler and still do outdoor reset and not condense the boiler.
    How are you going to vent the boiler?
    Condensing boilers vent side wall or vertical with PVC pipe and fittings or other materials.
    Cast iron boiler you can vent up a chimney with a aluminum or SS chimney liner.
    W/M has their GV90+ cast iron boiler with external heat exchanger and it vents with PVC pipe and fittings.
    Don't forget when buying expensive condensing boilers and the parts fail out of warranty some of these parts are very expensive.
    Burnham and Lochinvar condensing boilers have 5 year parts warranty no labor coverage.
    Do your home work just because a high efficiency boiler has a 95% AFUE connecting it to a system that requires high water temps to heat the home the efficiency can go from 95% AFUE to 86% - 89% AFUE.
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    I believe the ec3 has built in boiler protection and will accept 110 degree return water. If you wanted cast iron and lower temps
  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 935
    Compare the upfront cost vs possible savings. In cold weather, the mod con may be running 85% or so efficiency if it isn't condensing. Mild weather it might have return water cool enough to condense. So a home with baseboard won't see near the savings as a home with converted gravity huge radiators or radiant heat running 110°. Then factor in possible repairs as components in mod cons can get pretty salty and there's lots more to go wrong than with a mid efficiency cast iron boiler.

  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 702
    edited November 2016
    Wouldn't the modulation of the firing rate offer any savings compared to the mid efficiency boiler? What about the more even heat from longer run times at the lower rate? Wouldn't that be more comfortable than the on/off full input nature of the mid efficiency? I'm not sure what that would be worth compared to the added maintenance of a modcon
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • BigRob
    BigRob Member Posts: 297
    Our building has both a Lochinvar wall hung fire tube and the floor standing coil HX model. The new floor standing fire tubes with 10:1 turn downs are pretty cool. Our building's contractors replaced a cast iron boiler running through an ergomax reverse indirect water heater. Our radiant floors and DHW was heated by the ergomax. I came in right after they took out the cast iron and ergomax, which I believe would have been better to stay with. The only reason they upgraded was to make $$ and our management was dumb. The two Lochinvars were originally staged together and heated a loop with the loads piped into the loop with closely spaced tee's and more pumps. This arrangement added a bunch more pumps and caused the Lochinvars to short cycle like mofo's because there was maybe a couple gallons in the main loop. The Cadillac Lochinvars were running at 160F with tekmar mixing vavles everywhere. Complete disaster. We seperated the system and the Lochinvars have been running strong for 6 years with no maintenance, except for the condensate neutralization. Lochinvar states in their service manual you don't need to clean the coil HX until a certain delta in the water temp probes exists, which indicates carbon build up on the HX. I recommend the Lochinvars 100%. They were heavily abused for a year and are still going strong.

    With that said, if was around earlier, I would not have let them switch to the modcon because we had enough water content with the ergomax to buffer the on/off heating cycles from the original cast iron unit and there is a lot less to go wrong with a cast iron boiler. Plus, you don't have to worry about condensate neutralization. Our current radiant floor fire tube boiler condenses all the time, but I really don't think it's worth the trouble for smaller apartment buildings and single family homes. A couple service calls (if you are not handy) blows your savings from the modcon. I'm not convinced the total life cycle monetary and carbon cost is worth it with the modcons.

    If we ever replace anything, I would just get a modulating cast iron unit for the heating and on/off cast iron for DHW.

    I hope this perspective helps.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    The financials depend so much on fuel costs that it's difficult to generalize, but my experience is that fire-tube mod/cons which are properly sized, installed, and commissioned require minimal maintenance (condensate trap cleaning once or twice a year.) The 30% minimum real world fuel savings they provide would make even a five-year replacement affordable in many cases. We'll know more in the next few years as the early installs get older, but so far they are doing just fine in the field.
    Steve MinnichBigRob
  • BigRob
    BigRob Member Posts: 297
    SWEI said:

    The financials depend so much on fuel costs that it's difficult to generalize, but my experience is that fire-tube mod/cons which are properly sized, installed, and commissioned require minimal maintenance (condensate trap cleaning once or twice a year.) The 30% minimum real world fuel savings they provide would make even a five-year replacement affordable in many cases. We'll know more in the next few years as the early installs get older, but so far they are doing just fine in the field.

    I should have added I'm in the Bay Area of California, so it doesn't get cold at all. We pay about $2/therm and $0.40/kWh after the initial tier allotments, which are pretty small.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    I left CA in the midst of the Enron NG debacle and I sure don't miss those rates :)

    Along with a few great friends, I mostly miss the farmers' markets and the ethnic food there.
    BigRob
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