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Please Recommend an Oil Boiler Installer for Greater Nashua NH Area

Hello, been lurking here for close to a year learning and reading in preparation for a new boiler install in my house.

House is 1600 sqft built in 78' and has a Crown boiler with tankless coil and Carlin 100CRD burner with a 1g/hr nozzle.
We are looking to upgrade the system due to the marginal performance of the tankless coil (been flush and acid cleaned once already), the burner has a slow drip of oil which the service man has not found the source of (new pump, hardline, tipped burner towards chamber etc.). The biggest issue is that the face plate of the boiler where the burner mounts appears to be getting thin as it is very flexible and sags with the weight of burner.

Anyways, we are looking at a new system with an indirect hot water tank for installation this spring. I have had 4 contractors come in with 6 different quotes and none of them performed a heat loss calculation so I am looking for a recommendation for someone in my area to come and do this right. The contractor locator doesn't have any listings for southern NH. By my calcs all the systems that were quoted were 2-3 times over sized for our house. I used the Slantfin app and came up with around 55,000BTU assuming I entered everything correctly.

Thanks for your help

Mike

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,390
    I know there is someone who is that area. @kcopp maybe? But my elderly brain is not bringing the name up at the moment...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,663
    Jamie thanks... I'm in Dover which is over an hour away. I pretty much stick to the Seacoast
  • HVACguyinME
    HVACguyinME Member Posts: 25
    Contact Jason Pope at Joyce HVAC. He is a great guy and know him from his days as inside sales at FW Webb in Nashua.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,339
    And tell him he needs to get a Find a Contractor ad!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • mbrackliffe
    mbrackliffe Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the tip I’ll give them a call. Anyone deal with LeBlanc out of Bedford NH I’ve had a few people recommend them as well?
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,996
    Are you looking to stay with oil or is natural gas an option in your area? I would suggest waiting a little bit longer if possible as there will be rebates available in the spring and you can save some money. I would ask any company for recommendations from previous customers and call and ask if they would use them again. Maybe ask if they have pictures of previous installs... I would want a contract that lays out exactly what they will replace and how long the warranty will last...
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,559
    Steamhead said:

    And tell him he needs to get a Find a Contractor ad!

    This. :)
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • mbrackliffe
    mbrackliffe Member Posts: 7
    > @lchmb said:
    > Are you looking to stay with oil or is natural gas an option in your area? I would suggest waiting a little bit longer if possible as there will be rebates available in the spring and you can save some money. I would ask any company for recommendations from previous customers and call and ask if they would use them again. Maybe ask if they have pictures of previous installs... I would want a contract that lays out exactly what they will replace and how long the warranty will last...

    Natural gas isnt an option for us unfortunately. We are planning on doing it in the spring so hopefully rebates will be available. How can I find out more about rebates and when they are available?

    Thanks for the tips I will ask those questions. In my profession i am used to quotes detailing the cost of every line item so that’s what I typically look for although the heating quotes I have received to date have been very generic.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,996
    I would ask the folks giving the quotes. Most are aware of rebates being offered. The company I work for actually pushed them last year. They were offered based on efficiency. Most contracts wont lay out exactly line for line what they will do. But at least the company i work for will state what it includes in general. New control's, new zone valves, new mixing valve (if needed) all gas piping and "installed to code" which i think is huge. I tell all my customer's if the inspector wants anything different on an install I will take care of it. No questions asked. I believe one of the rebates being offered was through NH Saves... You can also find them through larger companies..
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,996
    btw... Lp can be installed now and if NG ever come's in you can be ready to switch over. There are options available for both so I would ask these questions to have all your information in advance. Or ask here. If you dont ask you dont know...
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,991
    Mike. I know some guys are hard core about a heat loss calf, but honestly your home isn’t big. The smallest oil boiler can heat your home; it’s folly to think you need a bigger one. I’ve been at this for 29 years; I’ve come to understand that some heating guys get skittish about boiler selection and simply must do the calcs to even sleep at night. Unless your home is loaded with glass (extremely rare) , the smallest boilers are the ticket.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    SuperTechkcopp
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,390
    To @mbrackliffe -- you won't get the type of line item every nut and bolt quote you might expect from some types of engineering. How could the installer know all the quirks, foibles, and oddities they are going to run into in your particular installation? They can't. Ichmb's advice is good.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,663
    edited February 2018
    The only rebates you are going to find in NH are for Natural gas.... and that is out.
  • mbrackliffe
    mbrackliffe Member Posts: 7
    lchmb said:

    btw... Lp can be installed now and if NG ever come's in you can be ready to switch over. There are options available for both so I would ask these questions to have all your information in advance. Or ask here. If you dont ask you dont know...

    Yes, we had one contractor suggest switching to LP but I think we will stick to oil so as not to have the outside tanks. I know there are some great mod/con lp boilers out there but were happy with oil for the moment and like the ability to quickly go get some diesel if there is ever a delivery issue or emergency need.
    GW said:

    Mike. I know some guys are hard core about a heat loss calf, but honestly your home isn’t big. The smallest oil boiler can heat your home; it’s folly to think you need a bigger one. I’ve been at this for 29 years; I’ve come to understand that some heating guys get skittish about boiler selection and simply must do the calcs to even sleep at night. Unless your home is loaded with glass (extremely rare) , the smallest boilers are the ticket.

    Understood. That is usually the first question I see asked on the support forums like this. Also, no one has sized the boiler correctly yet on any of our quotes so I was hoping for a more methodical approach to sizing our system other than looking at the old one. I had one quote for 140kBTU unit... After reviewing the first group of quotes I decided to run the heat loss myself as they all seemed over sized and even if I was 20kBTU too low in my calcs they were still over sized. I do plan on going back and asking how they came up with their sizing though.

    To @mbrackliffe -- you won't get the type of line item every nut and bolt quote you might expect from some types of engineering. How could the installer know all the quirks, foibles, and oddities they are going to run into in your particular installation? They can't. Ichmb's advice is good.

    Yes, I realize it is not a simple shopping list to install so certainly some wiggle room is needed. I guess my struggle is looking at the equipment quoted and knowing the prices of everything from the internet and shopping suppliers myself there seems to be a disconnect between the actual installed cost and the cost of the equipment even with a generous labor allowance for two technicians. I have a hard time reconciling a quote that is 3-4 times the cost of the actual boiler and indirect tank. Not here to argue pricing just something that tickles my brain. As a consumer at least some breakdown of labor and equipment costs would help justify the cost or maybe I'm just not a typical customer.

    Anyways, I don't want to digress too far from the original topic so my path forward is to call back the existing contractors to open a more in depth discussion on their recommendations and to contact Joyce HVAC for a consult. If there is anyone else I should contact please let me know
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2018
    Think best your going to get is a group price on just a few different sub-sections of the job, if that. And even that will put a higher than normal work load on the contractor making the quote.

    Other issue is this stuff is large and heavy it's not going to be shipped to your door for free. And if it breaks during shipping you have to deal with that. Contractors take that risk for you and it's reflected in the quote. Also If the equipment doesn't work right they have to eat the cost and that benifit to you is also reflected in the quote. By specifiying the equipement and buying youself, you would be taking on the risk if it doesn't work right. Part of what your buying is the contractors experience in what works and the pitfalls, and that goes beyond just labor costs.
    mbrackliffe
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,991
    140,000 btu in a 1600 sq ft house? Oh my

    Costs, if you’re looking for cheap you can probably find some time and materials guy. When we roll a 3 man install crew, it’s not an hourly thing.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    mbrackliffekcopp
  • mbrackliffe
    mbrackliffe Member Posts: 7
    Thanks Leonard and GW always helpful to have additional info on the pricing and unseen costs associated with being a contractor, it does help me understand the quoting a bit more.

    I am not looking for a “cheap” installation just a well installed system at a reasonable price with proper upfront system design. You can surely see why a 140kbtu boiler would cause me to scratch my head when the tech spent barely 30 minutes in my house.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,991
    Yes that’s a tough one. I’d be installing a Buderus G115 3 section, their smallest oil boiler. If the house is 3000 sq ft and up I’d start measuring. It’s hard to type out all of my ins and outs, but after doing hundreds of load calculations, it’s just silly to measure a small house when it’s oil. The little oil nozzle can only be some small. .50 gal nozzles are the smallest we work with.

    I know that sales people do nice load calc for several reasons. If I was a sales guy (an employee) I would too. How accurate they are is another conversation.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2018
    I've got a 60 year old large furnace. nozzle reduced to 1.1 GPM for maybe ~ 115kBTU output for 1500 SF on 1 level, Tankless DHW coil in water jacket.

    But it's nice to have unlimited steamy hot shower water at ~ 3GPM (high flow rate). Here in NH that's ~ 65k BTU/hr right there for 100 deg water. City water is 43 degs tonight, about coldest of the year.

    Although when it's -10 deg outside shower water is warm enough but not steamy. So I turn down (off) room thermostat during shower to get all boiler output for steamy hot shower (it's great for back pain).
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,996
    You could look into having a heat loss done by a supply house. They may charge you but it may be worth a few dollars.. This would at least give you a target and something you could offer to anyone installing in the area willing to work with you. Once you have that, you can look at the different systems available. If your looking for very quiet you could look at the system 2. If you like cast you could look at the Trio, Buderus, Burnham...lots of possibilities... with that in mind.. Talk with the people who you will be using to service it. Some companies hate Riello, some love them above all else. But it will only run as good as the guy who tunes it up each year...
  • mbrackliffe
    mbrackliffe Member Posts: 7
    Yeah just from my own research I’ve looked at the Buderus g115 3, biasi b-10 3 (same as trio I believe just FWWebb version) had one quote on a system 2k which was reasonable I think and also a trifire (another biasi?). Seems like system 2k is love it or hate it by installers. No ones recommended the buderus yet which has surprised me. Had one other quote for a pensotti but they were out of the ballpark high (more than the s2k). Leaning towards a superstor ultra for the indirect unless it’s the s2k then I’d just use their flat plate exchanger and tank setup.

    I realize we’re not supposed to talk price specifics so if this is pushing too far just let me know. Where would you expect these systems to land for a reasonable price installed with 3 zone valves plus indirect hot water zone, circulator, new expansion tank, superstor ultra tank, all new plumbing, boiler, burner and controls;

    5-7k
    7-9k
    9-11k
    >11k
  • Yes, I realize it is not a simple shopping list to install so certainly some wiggle room is needed. I guess my struggle is looking at the equipment quoted and knowing the prices of everything from the internet and shopping suppliers myself there seems to be a disconnect between the actual installed cost and the cost of the equipment even with a generous labor allowance for two technicians.

    And in your way of thinking, you'd be absolutely correct.

    Except that no one can install a boiler with just parts and 2 technicians. First up is Uncle Sam, and his cousin in your state is right behind him. Then there's the permit, the office personnel, the vehicle expense, fuel expense, the insurance, the shop expense, the advertising expense, the small tools expense, office supplies, printing and reproduction, depreciation, interest, continuing education, fees & licenses, maintenance, professional fees, -and all the rest. The cost of every one of which must be amortized into your project in order for the company to stay in business.


    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    mbrackliffe
  • mbrackliffe
    mbrackliffe Member Posts: 7
    edited February 2018
    This is why I came to this forum for help from very knowledgeable people in this profession. Thank you
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,991
    Costs are high for everything it seems. I needed two large maple trees gone at my home. Thousands. I come home just to check up on things mid/late morning. I see the rigs set up, guys in the tree. I'm saying, "cool, they're working hard". I walk around the other side of the home and to my surprise the other tree is already gone.

    Companies with crews and offices, office employees, so on and so forth, that adds up fast. I have a nice office building; my heating/cooling business pays my 'other' corporation (the one with the bank loan) $1100 per week in rent. (weekly becasue it's just easier, and we won't forget/ miss a bank payment that way). That's just a small tid bit of what the costs are (for me anyway)

    many people want the guy with a building; shows maturity and longevity. others can care less, the guy working out the the house is totally fine.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
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