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Propane conversion

refields
refields Member Posts: 45
Hello,
I have a Burnham boiler with a Becket model “afg” series oil burner. Can I convert the system to dual fuel or propane?
thanks,
rob

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,145
    My understanding is Burnham will not sanction a gas burner in their boilers. However, many on this forum have installed Beckett or Carlin gas burners in Burnhams with no issues. Either propane or natural gas can be used.

    All you need is the right contractor. Where are you located? Check "Find a contractor" on this site.

    If you are doing this because of the cost of oil, compare carefully.

    Oil is 140,000btu/gallon

    Propane is 94,500btu/gallon

    Efficiency is about the same
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,955
    Check the cost per BTU/h
    https://coalpail.com/fuel-comparison-calculator-home-heating
    Not worth converting to LP

    As oil goes so does NG and LP
    STEVEusaPAEdTheHeaterMan
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 96
    edited June 10
    pecmsg said:

    Check the cost per BTU/h
    https://coalpail.com/fuel-comparison-calculator-home-heating
    Not worth converting to LP

    As oil goes so does NG and LP

    I like that they include a line for literally burning your dollars.

    I would especially like to compliment them on their choice of 100 million BTU as a benchmark. My BTU consumption per year from my gallons of oil consumed is within 10% of that mark.

    Oil vs Gas cost is ((O * Eg) / 1.39) / (G * Eo) where
    O = cost of oil/gallon
    Eo = efficiency of oil burner
    G = cost of gas per therm
    Eg = efficiency of gas burner

    A current comparison would be

    ((6.0 * 0.95) / 1.39) / (1.8 * 0.85) = 2.68 i.e in the part of Mass I am in now, it costs 2.68x more to heat with oil, currently.


    Robert O'Brien
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,150
    You're working on natrual gas there? Nice if you have it. It's not available everywhere...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 96
    @Jamie Hall this is very true. I have a friend who has to use propane because the gas line stops too far from his street. From the data he's sent me propane and oil heating costs are comparable.
  • refields
    refields Member Posts: 45
    Thanks for everyone's responses! Using the calculator and my pricing ($6.30 fuel oil vs $3.35 propane) I would save about $1,500 per 100 million BTUs. Problem is converting is not a job the contractor I usually work with is willing to take on. Also, it would be a bummer if I converted and then the boiler kicked the bucket in a few years. Everyone seems to be recommending air source heat pumps. Problem is I have low ceilings, tight spaces and it seems wasteful with all the hydronic piping that is already installed.
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,454
    refields said:

    Thanks for everyone's responses! Using the calculator and my pricing ($6.30 fuel oil vs $3.35 propane) I would save about $1,500 per 100 million BTUs. Problem is converting is not a job the contractor I usually work with is willing to take on. Also, it would be a bummer if I converted and then the boiler kicked the bucket in a few years. Everyone seems to be recommending air source heat pumps. Problem is I have low ceilings, tight spaces and it seems wasteful with all the hydronic piping that is already installed.

    Burnham doesn't allow their oil boilers to be converted and most AHJ's require the I&O manual to be followed, making any US Boiler product unable to pass inspection if converted


    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 621
    Thanks for everyone's responses! Using the calculator and my pricing ($6.30 fuel oil vs $3.35 propane) I would save about $1,500 per 100 million BTUs. Problem is converting is not a job the contractor I usually work with is willing to take on. Also, it would be a bummer if I converted and then the boiler kicked the bucket in a few years. Everyone seems to be recommending air source heat pumps. Problem is I have low ceilings, tight spaces and it seems wasteful with all the hydronic piping that is already installed.


    Hang tight, and wait for more air-to-water availability.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,955
    refields said:
    Thanks for everyone's responses! Using the calculator and my pricing ($6.30 fuel oil vs $3.35 propane) I would save about $1,500 per 100 million BTUs. Problem is converting is not a job the contractor I usually work with is willing to take on. Also, it would be a bummer if I converted and then the boiler kicked the bucket in a few years. Everyone seems to be recommending air source heat pumps. Problem is I have low ceilings, tight spaces and it seems wasteful with all the hydronic piping that is already installed.
    Keep the oil HW as a backup. 
    Install the heat pumps. 
    Oil usage maybe 1 month a year. 
    neilc
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,334
    Almost wants to make you move to Florida or Southern California. Let someone else deal with the cold weather.

    Then there are those pesky air conditioners top deal with.

    As the famous wordsmith, George Carlin would say: "If you don't like the weather... Move"
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
  • Labenaqui
    Labenaqui Member Posts: 50
    We have kept Heating Fuel Cost per Million BTU Stats here in NH for many years. Propane was traditionally about a 65% Premium over #2. From 2016 to 2021 it widened to a x2.27 Premium in April, 2020. Now all bets are off, but after the current smoke clears and a return to some normalcy?
    Remember that LP is a manufactured fuel and its base cost is currently buried within the fuel oil inflation spike.
    Note: Calculations are between premium appliances within fuel procurement strategies.