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Converting entire system. Worth it??

davey73
davey73 Member Posts: 9
I currently have an old Burnham oil fired boiler with gravity steam feeding 6 rooms. 1100 sq ft home. Cape cod. I’m in the process of having gas ran into the house from the street and was thinking of changing this system to a gas boiler maybe a combi  with forced hot water with baseboard radiators. Is it worth the cost of completely changing this system? Any other options? My current boiler is also starting to leak water. 

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,835
    Not worth it at all. Put in a good steamer and optimize the system (main vents, insulation etc) and you'll equal the comfort and approach the efficiency hot-water could give you.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    JUGHNEEzzyTethicalpaulmattmia2
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,941
    I agree with Steamhead, also you will surpass the comfort of BB heaters.
    What do you do for hot water now?
    A separate water tank might be the best approach for a small house.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,049
    No You would never, ever, recover the cost of the change -- and you'd not be as comfortable.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,263
    Depends.

    If you can find a contractor that knows steam and can do the right job then stay with steam by all means.

    If not, and it can't be done right by the people you have convert it to water. Most contractors can make hot water work but it will cost you $$$$more
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 184
    Very subjective! How does it make you feel? Home improvement projects rarely are “worth it” dollar wise
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,977
    The oil to gas depends on the cost of fuel. What are your local rates?
    If you need to replace the boiler, that is a good time to consider a fuel change.
    Why are you considering the change from steam?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • davey73
    davey73 Member Posts: 9
    edited May 26
    Zman said:
    The oil to gas depends on the cost of fuel. What are your local rates? If you need to replace the boiler, that is a good time to consider a fuel change. Why are you considering the change from steam?

    Gas is definitely cheaper. I’d also like to get rid of the oil tank to make more room in the basement. With all the rebates, the cost of a new high efficiency boiler is almost nothing.
  • davey73
    davey73 Member Posts: 9
    edited May 26
    JUGHNE said:
    I agree with Steamhead, also you will surpass the comfort of BB heaters. What do you do for hot water now? A separate water tank might be the best approach for a small house.
    i am currently running a 50 gallon electric hot water heater. I’d like to get rid of that and change to a tankless hot water heater. The electric water heater consumes a lot of electricity.
  • davey73
    davey73 Member Posts: 9
    JUGHNE said:
    I agree with Steamhead, also you will surpass the comfort of BB heaters. What do you do for hot water now? A separate water tank might be the best approach for a small house.
    davey73 said:
    JUGHNE said:
    I agree with Steamhead, also you will surpass the comfort of BB heaters. What do you do for hot water now? A separate water tank might be the best approach for a small house.

    i am currently running a 50 gallon electric hot water heater. I’d like to get rid of that and change to a tankless hot water heater. The electric water heater consumes a lot of electricity. 
    JUGHNE said:
    I agree with Steamhead, also you will surpass the comfort of BB heaters. What do you do for hot water now? A separate water tank might be the best approach for a small house.
    JUGHNE said:
    I agree with Steamhead, also you will surpass the comfort of BB heaters. What do you do for hot water now? A separate water tank might be the best approach for a small house.
    JUGHNE said:
    I agree with Steamhead, also you will surpass the comfort of BB heaters. What do you do for hot water now? A separate water tank might be the best approach for a small house.

    JUGHNE said:
    I agree with Steamhead, also you will surpass the comfort of BB heaters. What do you do for hot water now? A separate water tank might be the best approach for a small house.
    Very subjective! How does it make you feel? Home improvement projects rarely are “worth it” dollar wise
    If I was to just replace the boiler, which one would you recommend? 
  • Ctoilman
    Ctoilman Member Posts: 105
    Peerless EC series oil boiler for steam applications....the last boiler you'll ever need.  You're not going to say that with other products....especially gas.
    Dave T_2SuperTech
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,321
    edited May 26
    davey73 said:
    Zman said:
    The oil to gas depends on the cost of fuel. What are your local rates? If you need to replace the boiler, that is a good time to consider a fuel change. Why are you considering the change from steam?

    Gas is definitely cheaper. I’d also like to get rid of the oil tank to make more room in the basement. With all the rebates, the cost of a new high efficiency boiler is almost nothing.
    Gas and oil over a 20 year period are about equal. 
    Is the added cost of install and maintenance of H E gas worth the cost?

    not in my area. 

    Keep the oil!
    STEVEusaPASuperTech
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,123
    If you're running gas into the house anyway, then get a Peerless 63 gas steam boiler when the timing makes sense for you. I always remove hazardous substance storage from my house when possible.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    Hot_water_fanSuperTech
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,687
    If you're running gas into the house anyway, then get a Peerless 63 gas steam boiler when the timing makes sense for you. I always remove hazardous substance storage from my house when possible.
    Gas isn't hazardous? Its still piped directly into the house. At least if oil leaks it wont cause a fire with the slightest spark unless atomized into a vapor. And if the oil leaks its only the limited amount in the tank, it couldn't possibly fill your entire home and displace all the air. 

    Go green, go gas, go boom. (Just kidding of course)
    STEVEusaPAChrisJ
  • FredDrone
    FredDrone Member Posts: 3
    The need for upgrading a heating system becomes more apparent during winter...my boiler in the house is 90 years old, and leaks...
    When gas was installed on our street,  the decision to upgrade became very clear...I WANT RELIABLE HEAT IN THE WINTER, and the upgrade truly adds value to my home...WIN,WIN!
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,835
    FredDrone said:

    The need for upgrading a heating system becomes more apparent during winter...my boiler in the house is 90 years old, and leaks...
    When gas was installed on our street,  the decision to upgrade became very clear...I WANT RELIABLE HEAT IN THE WINTER, and the upgrade truly adds value to my home...WIN,WIN!

    What, exactly, did you end up doing?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Fizz
    Fizz Member Posts: 537
    I have a small cape, 1200sf, heated by single pipe steam, and now have comfort of hot water. Changed to an Emerson 1E30N-910 theremostat, removed jumper and set t-stat to 71 and it doesn't drop or go above 71. Prior to change had old mercury t-stat, changed-out main vents to big-mouth and Gorton#2 from Gorton#1's, but heat was inconsistent, went to MOM main #1's and new t-stat...what a difference. Boiler pressure never gets above 2oz, vs 1-11/1 lbs with old, thus boiler never shuts on pressure, also, rads never get full or air vents shutting, and having to remove to shake-out water. Heat is steady.
    Prior house, was Richardson steam system, 485sf, which I put in vacuum, and switched setting on Honewell t=stat from steam to hot water and heat was steady, and never had to blow-down or add water for the 3yrs after switch...current owners 21/2 yrs later report same.
  • 426hemi
    426hemi Member Posts: 64
    You can change the burner to a gas conversation burner it the boiler is in good shape definitely cheaper than a replacement boiler but it’s not a DIY job call a plumber who does gas heating work and has combustion analyzer equipment don’t mess with gas plumbing the results could be fatal and your insurance policy would be void not a good situation!