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What is your favorite boiler and why?

Le John
Le John Member Posts: 211
Happy Holidays to all on this site.

I'd like to get a feel for what is your favorite boiler is and why - whether its a condensing model or cast iron model etc. what features matter most and who provides the best customer service. Is there one clear market leader or is it split up amongst manufacturer's?

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,110
    To many variables:

    Hot water or steam?

    baseboard fin tube or cast iron, CI radiation, Panel radiators radiant heat?

    Natural gas, oil or propane?

    Chimney vented? Or Polypropylene through the wall or roof

    If hot water will it be condensing or not?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,195
    For most hydronic applications I prefer the mod con technology. I see the modulation and firing limit as the game changer. When and if you can run in some or all conditions in condensing mode, better yet.
    All boilers condense for a period of time on cold starts, may as well squeeze some extra energy during that period, with condensing design🤔

    It would be hard to pick a true winner, any top boiler brand that has a robust control with a plethora of features for adjusting.

    I don’t see a clear winner between the fire or water tube, I’d use either.

    Rep and factory support and training matter. I like companies that give back to our industry and support other charities.

    I know the company, many of the team, and have used the most Lochinvar brand, both mod cons And copper tube versions in early radiant days. They would be my first pick.

    In cases where cast iron makes more sense, seems like many brands are now merged. I liked Crown. And the Utica/ Dunkirk brands being a New York boy
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    PC7060
  • gyrfalcon
    gyrfalcon Member Posts: 94
    edited November 2022
    My home boiler is my favorite I guess! Cast iron hot water Slant Fin Galaxy 100k btu connected to 65 ft of copper baseboard ,from early 80s . It has been paid for several home owners ago with minimal , like hardly any maintenance or repairs.  It is oversized for sure. However it owes me nothing and is a good friend. 
    Slant Fin Galaxy GG100(1986) , 2 zone hot water baseboard, T87 Honeywell thermostats. 
  • Le John
    Le John Member Posts: 211
    To many variables: Hot water or steam? baseboard fin tube or cast iron, CI radiation, Panel radiators radiant heat? Natural gas, oil or propane? Chimney vented? Or Polypropylene through the wall or roof If hot water will it be condensing or not?
    Good Point Ed - let’s narrow it down to hot water with venting through the wall. mod cons or cast iron boilers that can direct vent.
  • Jersey2
    Jersey2 Member Posts: 144
    I chose a conventional cast iron boiler for its proven reliability and longevidy and cheap maintenance. The installer was a Slantfin guy, and it has been running good thus far so Slantfin is my favorite. I did like the Weil-MeClain GGa but hvac guys seem to steer away from Weil-McClain.
    I'm not a plumber or hvac man and my thoughts in comments are purely for conversation.
  • offdutytech
    offdutytech Member Posts: 90
    Cast Iron: Slant Finn, Crown and Weil-McClain. With supply issues and Slant Finn not making boilers it's Crown these days.

    Mod Con: Lochinvar and Viessmann. In my area I get a better value with Viessmann vs Lochinvar. However Lochinvar parts are a little easier to obtain bc there's a distribution center close. When I bid a job for a mod con I select the best fit between those two brands. A few supply houses push Navien, but literally for a marginal cost the Viessmann is a much better product.
  • gyrfalcon
    gyrfalcon Member Posts: 94
    If, when the day comes to replace, I’ll likely use a Lochinvar modcon since most contractors use them in my area. No personal experience as of yet.

    Now,    At my work we have a Triangle Tube to warm the floors, it’s been pretty much flawless since it was installed in 2009. 
    Slant Fin Galaxy GG100(1986) , 2 zone hot water baseboard, T87 Honeywell thermostats. 
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,858
    When I replace my WM WTGO-3, I'll be installing an EK-1 Frontier. Not because it's an awesome boiler. I just love the bitchin' yellow paint job.
    PC7060szwedj
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 410
    Interesting to see the nods to the old cast irons. I'll be sad to see mine (Olsen) go. The total cost of ownership on the original purchase, repairs and maintenance parts has been well under $100/yr for the last 22yrs.
    Fuel (oil) costs are another story, of course. :)
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,797
    My choices for mod con boilers would be Viessmann and Lochinvar. Both are tough to beat, but mean nothing if they are not well represented by the installing/servicing contractor, the supply house selling the equipment, and the local manufacturer representative. If Nobody Knows Joe contractor buys your boiler from an internet supply house, has no training on that boiler, and doesn’t stock parts you may as well burn your money. 

    My cast iron favorite is Buderus. Also a tough one to beat. Same goes for the support but to a lesser degree. 
    Steve Minnich
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,004
    The high mass condensing boilers are intriguing - the HTP pioneer and the Viessmann vitocrossal. Highly efficient, long run times, and no minimum flow requirements.
    offdutytech