Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Best non Mod/con baseboard boiler recommendations

Flounder
Flounder Member Posts: 16
Greetings, I am in Northern California where baseboard heating is almost nonexistent. I am beginning the process of remodeling my 1560 s.f. single story house. What I am looking for is advice on the most dependable propane boiler manufacturer who also would have a small size unit to fit my 26000 btu heat loss calc. It seems to me that mod/con boilers have shorter life spans, need more maintenance and are more problematic. With the higher cost of mod/con units and more maintenance costs I'm not sure if the mod/co would pay for itself in my lifetime. I'm all about dependability first. Thanks for any input.

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,989
    There are many good boilers. The installer is in many ways more important than the boiler.

    I am partial to Peerless boilers

    Check "find a contractor on this site" @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes may be in your area
    STEVEusaPARich_49
  • Flounder
    Flounder Member Posts: 16
    Thanks, I am in a small rural town 3 hours north of S.F. so I plan on this being a D.I.Y. installation. I'm a builder with pretty good plumbing skills. Most people here have wood stoves and forced air so plumbers are not familiar with hydronic baseboard systems. I will check out Peerless boilers, the hard part is finding a small unit.
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 870
    I have had really good luck with the Lochinvar CBN line, in your case it would be a CBN045. Good price, two stage gas valve, mid efficiency non-condensing, outdoor reset control out of the box. Really depends on how well Lochinvar is represented near you though for parts availability.

    The control can keep it on low fire most of the time, and it should kick out about 18,500 btu/hr on low, and up to about 37,000 on high (for the 45,000 btu model). In your case, it will run on low most of the time.

    https://www.lochinvar.com/_linefiles/RSB-07.pdf
  • Flounder
    Flounder Member Posts: 16
    Thanks Delta t, good info. How do you like their customer service?
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 870
    Never have had a problem with Lochinvar tech support. Responsive, knowledgeable, and easy to work with.
  • Flounder
    Flounder Member Posts: 16
    The only thing that concerns me on this Lochinvar is the copper fin tube heat exchanger. What are your thoughts about this design and it's durability.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,286
    Properly installed, pumped, and serviced a copper tube boiler should last 20 years or more. I'd venture to guess it would outlast many of the high efficiency mod cons. They certainly are easy to maintain and service.

    I'll bet there is more baseboard heating in that No Cal area than you realize. Ask Alan he sees a lot in the bay area.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    delta TCanucker
  • Flounder
    Flounder Member Posts: 16
    thanks Hotrod
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 713
    hot_rod said:

    Properly installed, pumped, and serviced a copper tube boiler should last 20 years or more. I'd venture to guess it would outlast many of the high efficiency mod cons. They certainly are easy to maintain and service.

    I'll bet there is more baseboard heating in that No Cal area than you realize. Ask Alan he sees a lot in the bay area.

    Can confirm. There's one in my basement that was installed in 1998. Still going strong, serviced every year
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 3,243
    edited April 2019
    Laars makes a good copper, finned tube boiler called the Mini-Therm. There are many installations around here and they are real work horses.

    If you have a little more to spend on your heat emitters, consider wall-mounted panel radiators. To me, they are more attractive and don't get banged up so much by the vacuum cleaner because they sit higher off the floor. Buderus and Runtal come to mind.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    delta TRich_49
  • Flounder
    Flounder Member Posts: 16
    Thanks Canucker, good to know.
    Thanks Alan, I will look at those radiators.