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Keep Indirect tank on Oil Fired Megasteam or convert to a Gas Water Heater?

maher871
maher871 Member Posts: 3
We have a 6 year old Megasteam with a 40 gallon Indirect tank off of it. It works well but since oil prices are now $4.00+ per gallon is it worth considering replacing the indirect with a gas fired water heater? We had gas brought into the house shortly after we bought the house.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,273
    That is a considerably more difficult economics question that it sounds -- since the Megasteam will be operating for a good portion of the year anyway. Further, you really need to have a crystal ball, since while oil prices have responded to current economic and political forces relatively quickly, natural gas prices will also respond, but with a lag and by how much is difficult to know (the European experience -- with tripling and quadrupling gas prices within the last few months, is scary -- but not necessarily the same).

    Basically what you are looking at is the relative fuel cost of the not more than half a gallon of oil -- perhaps a cubic foot of gas -- for perhaps 120 days during the year, and if that difference is enough to offset the capital cost and thus lost investment return of the new water heater. Those are numbers you will really have to provide yourself, as they will vary all over the place.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,818
    Probably not:

    1. The price of Oil and the price of Natural Gas are both going to rise, They change at different rates and times, but they all go up. After the current administration is finished, you will see that your investment in a different appliance will not result in a savings over the long run.
    2. Gas fired water tank will have a smaller burner so recovery will take longer than that of your oil fired steam boiler. (I never ran out of Hot water with my 40 Gallon Indirect on a water radiator boiler system.
    3. The Indirect will last much longer than a gas fired tank
    4. If you choose a tankless water heater, you will also be replacing it more than once in the life expectancy of the Indirect.

    This has been my experience since the 1970s when oil prices more than doubled from 20 cents per gallon to 50 cents per gallon then dropped to 40 cents per gallon to the relief of the OilHeat consumer. The politicians will take credit for the reduction in the price and blame the opposition party for the increase. But that is a discussion for a different forum.

    Oil has cost more than $4.00 per gallon in the past and it will cost consumers less than $3.50 per gallon within a year or two. Voters will make the decision needed to get this done.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    SuperTech
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    Are there any complications with chimney venting gas and oil together...IDK?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Running a boiler all summer to heat a little water a few degrees is a very weird idea.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    SuperTech
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,273

    Running a boiler all summer to heat a little water a few degrees is a very weird idea.

    So it seems. Sometimes, however, it makes sense either economically or energy use wise -- or both. It depends entirely on the relative efficiency of the heat source or sources, the type of fuel for either one, and the cost of the fuel -- and on the capital cost of the equipment.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    And the number of years in service. If the house is going to be torn down in a year keep the indirect for sure.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el