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Need help choosing new boiler system

dooododoo
dooododoo Member Posts: 25
edited September 2020 in THE MAIN WALL
I have a 3 flat apartment. Units 1 and 2 are heated by one boiler, and unit 3 is heated by one boiler. I want each unit to have its own boiler. (I'm tired of the "it's too cold" complaints from unit 1 and 2! Yeah, because maybe you're only wearing your underwear and it's 30 degrees outside.)

I've gotten a few estimates and I like the idea of getting rid of the old boiler that heats both unit 1 and 2, and installing 2 boilers in its place. The contractor said since my current unit is already oversized, old, and lack of space is a constraint, he can add 2 newer units which are more narrow and energy efficient.

I'm narrowing down my choices. I would like input regarding quality between the brands being offered. I've heard of these names before, but I have no clue regarding reliability, performance, value, etc. What would you choose?

My choices are:

U.S. Boiler Co. X-203 70MBH (84% Efficient)
Weil-Mclain 70MBTU S2 Input Boiler
Crown 70BTU (80% Efficient)

Let me know if I left something out.

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,843
    All three companies make good equipment. The most important factor is that you choose the right contractor to install these units. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • dooododoo
    dooododoo Member Posts: 25
    Steamhead said:

    All three companies make good equipment. The most important factor is that you choose the right contractor to install these units. Where are you located?

    Chicago

    If you're familiar with the area, would you recommend any particular companies? Or conversely contractors to stay away from?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,843
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,674
    Why not one boiler with 3 zone valves?
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,979
    Is this hot water or steam?
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,674
    Based on the Burnham boiler quoted, it’s got to be hot water. 
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • dooododoo
    dooododoo Member Posts: 25
    edited September 2020
    mattmia2 said:

    Is this hot water or steam?


    Hot water.

    Why not one boiler with 3 zone valves?


    My goal is to separate utilities so each unit pays for all of their gas and electric bills. Dealing with heat complaints is soul sucking as a landlord. Doing this will also help when selling the building in the future. Zoning the boiler was a consideration, but getting a boiler for each unit is ultimately the better choice.

    As for the original question, would you choice one brand over the other?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,039
    All three are reputable brands.
    Another option is one boiler and 3 energy meters. each unit pays for what they use.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,674
    I agree with the others. All 3 brands are a good choice. Make the decision based on the contractor.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 830
    You are planning to spend money on a major upgrade to your heating system, so your tenants will have a pleasure to pay for their own heat. Your rental property will have less appeal and you will need to compensate for a heating expence.
    Also, you do not know how heating piping itself is separated between these 2 apartments. I'm not talking about repairs and maintenance.
    Also load on the boilers will be minimal, you will need to go for very small boilers, I do not know the size of the apartments, but 70Kbtu input seems high for the average apartment.

    It is better to install trvs on the radiators/baseboards and let tenants control their level of heat. Any decent heating professional can help you solve this problem.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,979
    I'm thinking 3 of the smallest modcons you can find if you really want to go this way. You will never recover what it would cost you to put in 3 boilers vs 1 with zone valves in the cost of the extra gas they use keeping their apartment a couple degrees warmer.
  • dooododoo
    dooododoo Member Posts: 25
    mattmia2 said:

    I'm thinking 3 of the smallest modcons you can find if you really want to go this way. You will never recover what it would cost you to put in 3 boilers vs 1 with zone valves in the cost of the extra gas they use keeping their apartment a couple degrees warmer.

    I am putting in 2 boilers. It should pay for itself in 4 years. (4 years of gas bills = cost of project) For me, it's worth it.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,979
    But you will now have to discount what you were paying for gas fro the rent. In fact our housing code says the landlord has to pay the gas bill if the structure isn't insulated to some minimum standard.
    ethicalpaul