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Side Venting Boilers


I am considering replacing the boiler on my current steam system with a new boiler that vents out the side of the house, instead of the chimney. This is a natural gas fired boiler. A couple questions:

- does anyone know any brands that make this type of boiler so that I can research them?
- I have heard that the vent fan on these can be very loud. Any experience with this?

Thanks, Joe


  • JPL941
    JPL941 Member Posts: 51
    edited November 2019
    Hi Joe,

    I have a burnham in6pv. Works well. The fan is a little loud but really it’s not bad and you get use to it. At one time in its life it was extremely loud and I had the fan replaced - the bearing went on it. I know @acwagner has the same boiler and he thinks his fan is a little loud to but still tolerable. I’ve also taken sound deadening insulation between the joists and it reduced a lot of noise too.

    I don’t know of many other companies that have a fan built in. If I ever try and replace it
    , I may try an outside power vented, but I worry about my neighbors and the noise. I live in town and my neighbors are 5 feet away both sides.

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,132
    Most important is the installer, one who is very familiar with steam. This site is loaded with some experts.
  • acwagner
    acwagner Member Posts: 505
    edited November 2019
    I have the Burnham IN5PV, as @JPL941 said. The fan assembly is louder than I expected. There is also a lot of vibration. Sometimes my main vents jingle. In the middle of the winter when everything stays warm between firings the noise is not as noticeable. I suspect it has bad bearings or the fan isn't balanced. I read about this being a common complaint, and it's mostly a quality problem with the fan assembly.

    One thing with the INPV series to keep in mind is that the fan assembly blocks one of the 2" risers out of the boiler. So, you're limited to only one 2" riser. I compensated by using a larger header. Definitely double check the size boiler you need and make sure only one riser would work for your connected load.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,826
    Just get a good stereo and play your music loud! :D
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,401
    And make sure the subwoofer is on!

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,187
    What about Field Controls power venters? I see they have a 3-6” models depending on boiler input. You purchase a seperate control kit for the safeties and pre/post purge timers.

    Not sure if these impact any warranties on boilers or how they affect combustion. Not sure if you need a draft damper, if if the existing draft hood will still regulate draft adequately. I know draft will vary significantly in a chimney due to height, outdoor temp, indoor pressure and chimney size.
  • acwagner
    acwagner Member Posts: 505
    edited December 2019
    When I was looking for a boiler I considered those field controls. In the end, I assumed a boiler that had built in blower assembly would be better than adding one to regular atmospheric boiler. That belief wasn't based on anything other than gut instinct.

    The noise isn't bad from the INPV models. I guess just don't expect it to be as quiet as an atmospheric boiler.

    Like everything it's a trade-off. I switched to a power vented model so we could remove the chimney that impeded remodeling our kitchen, and to get the boiler out of the main space in the basement.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,919
    The field controls power venters are a good product. Just need to be cleaned and have the motor oiled once a year. I see them quite often in the area I work in. Another option is Tjerlund power venters, but I have found them to be much noisier and a little less reliable.