Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
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/.

Need Help Choosing New Boiler

jfromctjfromct Member Posts: 6
edited September 15 in Oil Heating
This forum has helped me many times over the years but our boiler finally met it's end a few months back. After a summer of getting various quotes (and removing an underground oil tank) here are the contenders:

New Yorker $
Burnham MPO $$
Peerless $$
Smith $$$

I am leaning towards the New Yorker or the MPO. We installed a heat pump hot water heater to get us through the summer (formerly heated by coil) and really like it. One installer suggested that it may have a hard time keeping up in the winter and recommended that we use a coil to feed it in the winter. The MPO obviously doesn't have a coil. It took time to find reputable installers at competitive prices. We are budget conscience but also looking for efficiency. Help and guidance is greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,202
    Well... first thing, kindly edit your post to remove the dollar amounts. One of the few things we never do here...

    You can say this one is slightly more or that one is slightly less -- but no numbers.

    OK. That's out of the way.

    The very very first thing is to make sure the boiler -- whichever one you choose -- is properly sized, and the only way to do that is to do a heat loss for the building. There are on-line calculators for that -- Slant-Fin has one which is remarkably easy to use -- but the contractors should also have done that.

    Without that, you have no idea whether the boiler is the right fit or not.

    I have to admit from the start that I'm not a fan of heat pump hot water heaters. Not that they don't have a place -- if the electrical supply is limited and the fuel supply more so, they're wonderful (I know of one summer conference centre which is about 70% solar powered, so very limited on maximum kilowatt draw, which uses them to very good effect). I also have a couple of them to contend with in buildings I care for. There they do work, but they can't keep up with a large hot water draw and the resistance elements kick on, to the owner's consternation.

    Now all that said, you have to remember that they are taking the heat for the hot water from the space they are in, and if you have a cold basement in the winter, their performance will suffer -- and the basement will be even colder.

    If it were mine to do, I'd be very inclined to put in a nice indirect heated by the new boiler (I'm assuming this is hot water heat, by the way? Although an indirect can be heated from a steam boiler as well).
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 724
    edited September 15
    @jfromct We are always glad to help however the rules at the top of this page (where it says HERE) ask that you do not post prices.

    after you delete your pricing we will discuss the benefit of each piece of equipment

    Post like this
    New Yorker $
    Burnham MPO $$
    Peerless $$
    Smith $$$


    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 724
    Most of the comments will go like this...

    The boiler is second, the installer is the first thing to consider. You can have the best-made, most efficient, most dependable equipment installed by an idiot and you will have nothing but heartache. You can purchase the economy model and a good installer can make it the best investment you ever made.


    Vetting the installer with internet reviews, personal recommendations, and/or calling his previous customers (recent and a few years old) to see how the job went... are some ways to find out if the guy knows what he is doing.

    You may have some luck with calling on the supply company where the boiler is purchased from. The owner or manager knows who is good and who calls him on a regular basis with problems.

    After reviewing the information on this site you can ask your contractors some questions regarding piping design and proper sizing, to see if their answers align with what you read here.
  • jfromctjfromct Member Posts: 6

    We are always glad to help however the rules at the top of this page (where it says HERE) ask that you do not post prices.

    after you delete your pricing we will discuss the benefit of each piece of equipment


    My apologies to all. I have removed the pricing information. Hopefully, my post is now inline with the expectations of the forum.
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 724
    edited September 15
    I like the coil idea for the water heater (DHW) in your case. There is one drawback. The control that comes with the boiler that has a coil will not operate as a cold start boiler. What this means is that the boiler will maintain a minimum temperature in order to provide domestic hot water. This is usually set at 160°F or higher if you don't have another DHW source. The lowest you can set it is 120°, so in the summer, you will still burn oil to heat the boiler to 120° unless you turn off the switch to the burner

    The second consideration is, are all the boilers cast iron? NY has some steel boilers. They can last very long if installed properly and also are available with a coil. On average the steel boilers are less expensive than the cast iron. The oil burner and control system are basically the same. You can use the Burnham MPO-IQ and have a little more efficiency, But your servicing installer needs to understand the electronics. Or you can get the less expensive Burnham MPO with a standard control system. You may use a little more fuel but the repairs and maintenance will cost less.

    All the manufacturers you listed make a good product. The installer will make the difference. And be sure to have the system services after 1 year of operation. It is only "brand new" for a short time. If you neglect the first tune-up and maintenance visit, your brand new boiler may end up looking and operating like a very old one sooner than you think!

    Oh yea...and what @Jamie Hall said about the proper size

  • jfromctjfromct Member Posts: 6

    I like the coil idea for the water heater (DHW) in your case. There is one drawback. The control that comes with the boiler that has a coil will not operate as a cold start boiler. What this means is that the boiler will maintain a minimum temperature in order to provide domestic hot water. This is usually set at 160°F or higher if you don't have another DHW source. The lowest you can set it is 120°, so in the summer, you will still burn oil to heat the boiler to 120° unless you turn off the switch to the burner

    The second consideration is, are all the boilers cast iron? NY has some steel boilers. They can last very long if installed properly and also are available with a coil. On average the steel boilers are less expensive than the cast iron. The oil burner and control system are basically the same. You can use the Burnham MPO-IQ and have a little more efficiency, But your servicing installer needs to understand the electronics. Or you can get the less expensive Burnham MPO with a standard control system. You may use a little more fuel but the repairs and maintenance will cost less.

    All the manufacturers you listed make a good product. The installer will make the difference. And be sure to have the system services after 1 year of operation. It is only "brand new" for a short time. If you neglect the first tune-up and maintenance visit, your brand new boiler may end up looking and operating like a very old one sooner than you think!

    Oh yea...and what @Jamie Hall said about the proper size

    Great information! Thank you for your reply.

    The idea is to shut down the boiler during the summer months when it's warmer but take advantage of boiler in the winter while it's maintaining temperature. I really liked that idea so I am happy to hear that it's not all that crazy.

    All boilers considered are cast iron. We are moving from a 34 year old steel boiler. I am sure that whatever direction that we go in, we'll operate more efficiently.

    I maintained the old boiler myself... which could have been it's demise. :smile: We had a sludge issue and it became more efficient for me to deal with it than to wait for the pros to come. A number of years back a service tech took the time to teach me how to clean the boiler which was super helpful. Over the years, I learned to replace many parts and performed the annual service. I like to tinker but will let the pros maintain the new boiler. Considered installing a boiler myself but quickly realized how crazy that was.

    Thank you again!
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,202
    Nothing wrong with doing most of the maintenance on a boiler yourself, if you have the time and inclination.

    Except.

    On any boiler, but more for oil, it is really almost essential that someone with the training and correct tools (which take a good deal of training to use correctly themselves) check and adjust the burner's combustion every year. Even a relatively small variation in the air/fuel ratio can make a significant difference in the efficiency of the boiler, so it's worth the money.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,362
    Energy Kinetics
    steve
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!