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To replace proactive or not? (Buderus boiler)

jmoar
jmoar Member Posts: 19
edited January 25 in THE MAIN WALL
I have a neighbor with a Buderus G234x-55 boiler that was installed in 2004. Last year he added a new indirect water tank and had the glycol flushed by two separate companies. Both of the companies recommended that he replace the entire system to upgrade to something more efficient. even though there is no visible problems.

I'm just appealing to the experts here to see if you think it should just be replaced due to age as there is no other issues at this time. His one quote was for just under $K. That is a lot to spend to make a unit more efficient, but if its really in his best interest he would like to know.

Please send any helpful insight about the actual life span and/or if it is really just makes sense to do it now. Help is much appreciated. Thanks!

Comments

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,925
    I wonder if that boiler was installed only 5 years ago, It was still available as late as 2018, would Both of the companies recommended that he replace the entire system to upgrade to something more efficient say the same thing?
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    jmoar
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 663
    As the owner and operator of a boiler that was installed in 1950, my recommendation is keep it.
    EdTheHeaterManjmoar
  • vhauk
    vhauk Member Posts: 84
    agreed. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. How much greater efficiency will it take to pay back $31k?  
    EdTheHeaterManjmoar
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,338
    The buderus G234 is a workhorse... If treated right it can last for over 30 years..
    I'd give it 10 more years.
    EdTheHeaterManZmanjmoar
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,885
    Buderus Boilers are Mini German Tanks...very heavy and thick.  Don't change it till it leaks. Mad Dog
    gmcinnesEdTheHeaterManjmoar
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,064
    Buderus makes the best cast iron, it’s actually flexible and shock resistant.

    Keep it! That boiler can last 35-40 years with proper maintenance.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    gmcinnesEdTheHeaterManjmoar
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 576
    That Buderus is about as efficient as cast-iron boilers get, and as noted above should last at least twice as long as the average "more efficient" mod con.

    Bburd
    gmcinnesEdTheHeaterManjmoar
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,885
    Yes..alot of silicon in the casting if I Remember the Londonderry NH factory tour correctly, that Mark Hunt And His Partner at Comfortable Home Technologies , Darin Cooke strong armed their wholesaler on.  True friends.  Mom was dying of cancer and I was burning the candle at both ends trying to run the business, take care of mom, finish my State Guard stint.  Before she hot too bad, the boys got me away from it all for 3 days. We had a ball. Thanks N & S supply.  Mad Dog 
    jmoar
  • gmcinnes
    gmcinnes Member Posts: 97
    Jeezo, that's already a very good and efficient boiler. They're suggesting a new mod con boiler to increase efficiency by probably 10% at most? So, for example, on a yearly$3K fuel bill, that would be $300 a year savings?

    For $31K outlay? It'd be lucky if their grandkids saw the payback.

    Even from an environmental perspective the reduction in fossil fuel usage from slightly higher efficiency is dwarfed by the emissions produced by creating a replacement boiler.

    Unless there's a detail missing in your post, that's shameless behaviour that makes my blood boil.
    Mad Dog_2DerheatmeisterEdTheHeaterManknotgrumpy
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,885
    I'm with you.  Mad 🐕 Dog 
    jmoar
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,827
    As other have stated buderus was the best casting of cast iron . I have been serving a gas 234 that about 30 years old in perfect shape I would never suggest replacement unless it was leaking . I have been getting a rash of larger companies that quote replacement of ever customers heating and cooling equipment even 10 year old furnaces that they have installed ,but they never do more then a mim and do a crap job just a money grab from the uninformed a terrible sham . In conversion to a mod con if not installed ,pipe down and set up correctly and combustion testing done ,the money u save will disappear in maintaince if done . Unless your chimney is falling off the house or you have extra money to blow then go for it . In these days I suggest stick to cast the money saved on a mod con should be spent of tighten the building and properly sizing the boiler ,then concern ur self w proper flow and distribution piping. Personally I only think of mod con just when replacing one that is working w a system that does not need hi temperature to heat the home other wise I stick to cast and suggest a stainless chimney liner being it’s dratically cheaper then finding a mason to re do the chimney and in most cases you will still need a liner .
    The other nail in that condensing boiler deals is parts and getting them being these days no one is going to sit on a grand worth of parts which may never get used while cast iron boiler controls are more easily obtained and are no as varied per manafactures as w mod cons , and usually can be obtained just about anything wear and usually made by standard companies Honeywell ,safeguard and work w just about every cast iron boiler . Then again w a mod con for a extra g you can order a complete boiler service kit anencephaly have them leave it at the job but most avoid that extra expense .
    Peace and good luck clammy
    Ps show them to the door unless its leaking ,buderus is the best cast iron hot water boiler out there and all the replacement parts are usually us available .
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    jmoar
  • jmoar
    jmoar Member Posts: 19
    Thanks to everyone for all the comments, they are much appreciated. I told him I think the only thing that he might want to install is a magnetic dirt separator as the last technician out said he was getting metal flakes in the glycol mix, so they flush the entire system. If anybody has any further thoughts, we would love to hear them, and appreciate all the help. Thank you.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,083
    I'm right there with Clammy....The money spent on a high tech boiler is much more cost efficiently spent on typical home upgrades. If your home is already efficient, you probably spend so little on fuel with an inherently more efficient hot water system that the return on investment would be negative.... the boiler would need to be replaced before it pays for itself. I used to install those high tech mod cons and have moved back to iron. Even in larger applications, a simple step fired multiple cast iron boiler system will come close the fuel savings of a mod con.... without the proprietary tech and expensive repairs parts.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    gmcinnesjmoar
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,568
    This boiler was well made and the casting was high grade cast iron. It should last 50 years with proper maintenence and cleaning. At best it may need a new ignitor kit, a gas valve, boiler computer or vent damper. No need to replace it if it's not leaking.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,195
    What type of piping and heat emitters. A magnetic dirt separator is a nice add on if you have a steel and iron system
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Ironman
  • jmoar
    jmoar Member Posts: 19
    The piping is all copper, and the floor runs for the radiant heat are all plastic tubing. The only iron I can see your imagine is inside the boiler.  
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,568
    The boiler is iron and the pumps are iron. There is a great capacity to make rust if there is air present.
    Ironmanjmoar
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,083

    The boiler is iron and the pumps are iron. There is a great capacity to make rust if there is air present.

    If the plastic pipe does not have an oxygen barrier, I imagine you will certainly have rust. From what I understand, even with a barrier, it can still be a problem with oxygen migrating in from the exposed cut ends.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    jmoar