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Long term designed and supported mod-con fantasy?

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Teemok
Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
At some point manufactures incentive to sell high volume designed to fail in X years units might shift to what's the most efficient use of materials and the best value for customers and future generations. Bob bequeaths his boiler to his grand child and it's still 95% efficient. It's the one he bought for his fist home and taught the kid how to service it 20 years ago. Look, I can hope, right? We all complain about how cheaply things are built and then we buy the by design short lived junk and we shrug. What are ya gonna do? it's the way of this modern world.
If a company stated their goals are long term supported, fully serviceable design and built a unicorn, would we pay for it. Would the market be wise enough to make the right long term choice or are we hacked to be terrible consumers.
Is there a good reason humans can't build a SS fire tube HX's that, with good care and periodic rebuilds, couldn't last 50, 60, ++ years?
I already know the concept runs contrary to the cult of profit? It might be too late in the human population boom for long term gas burning appliances to be a thing. Durable goods expected life spans are on an ever declining slope. $20k refrigerators with a stated 7 year expected life? High performance designs made from SS that fail on year 8-12 as a feature, not from flaws. I'm interest in the marketability better options. Can a company today build a long lasting widget and stay in business or will short term cheap win every time?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,650
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    You have to build what sells, and nowadays you have to build it to an ever-increasing barrage of regulation. Can you build something -- name a widget, any widget -- which will last a long time? Yes, you can. The question is -- can you sell the product for a price the market will bear? This applies not just to heating equipment, but to almost anything. In the consumer market -- you see it most clearly in cars, but it's everywhere -- the demand is for ever-increasing sophistication of the vehicle or whatever; compare my 1970 Chevy C10 with a 2023 Chevy 1500, for instance. You buy an ice box (there, I've dated myself) and it doesn't just keep the food cold or frozen, it spits out cold filtered and purified water and ice cubes for it and in some models keeps track of what's in it and lets you know that you are going to run out of arugula. In a boiler, you want ever higher efficiency and more sophisticated controls (you don't just turn up the thermostat anymore).

    Not only does all this cost money to build, but most of it -- consider that boiler -- requires better and more sophisticated maintenance to continue operating "as advertised".

    Can you do it? of course. The aircraft industry has many examples of very high reliability, very long lived equipment. Priced a new airplane recently?

    You enquire whether people (you refer to market, but remember that the market is a fiction, and the couple down the street are the folks paying the bills) are wise enough -- in your terms -- to choose the long lived option, but at a greater price -- and the answer is that they might like to (if the greater price was outweighed by the longevity, which it often isn't) but they may not be able to. They may decide that a cheaper, shorter-lived alternative is just what they need and can afford. In heating and housing, particularly, this is going to be the case -- even the house itself has a design life of 30 to 40 years today, at most -- and most people won't live in that particular house for more than a dozen years, if that.

    I'm not trying to be cynical here, although it may sound like it. Just realistic.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    hot_rodTeemokSuperTechSolid_Fuel_Man
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,917
    edited October 2023
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    I think you have to meet people where they are. Facts are, people don’t always want to live in the same house their grandparents did. People are diverse in desires and values and generally should be believed when they reveal something, so trust them ! If you listen, you’ll find plenty of people really care deeply about quality and pay for it. Others have equally important cares that don’t involve a boiler that outlives a turtle. 
    TeemokPC7060
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    Chicken or the egg. If they built a 50 year mod con would you pay for it and the manufacturer to support it, inventory parts for 50 years?

    Look how we have evolved from the earliest condensors, dating to the late 80's

    Even a simple device like an end switch, micro switch. A manufacturer will ask what cycle life are you looking for? They can build a 50, 100, or 200,000 cycle switch. Doesn't sound like a big deal to pay a buck or so more for the best switch. Now multiply that times millions of switches.

    Ever stumble across a SunnyWell knock off zone valve :) We cycle tested them to death, just about 1 years worth of service.

    If I were a betting man I would suggest Harbor f asks for the least expensive, shortest cycle life for many of their products. I've gotten two jobs out of some of their tools :(

    In much of Europe people live in homes for generations. You may see three generations under one roof when you visit. Interesting that 20 year products, boilers, appliances, etc are what you see.

    I will say they spend big $$ for kitchen cabinets. They get installed on this unistrut looking frame and you take them with you if you move. Crazy
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    DerheatmeisterSolid_Fuel_ManPC7060
  • Teemok
    Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
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    "Can you build something -- name a widget, any widget -- which will last a long time? Yes, you can. The question is -- can you sell the product for a price the market will bear?"

    Well, that is the essence of my question. You sound confident it can be done but because we see zero residential boilers marketed on exceptional longevity much less built for it, it's evident it's not a viable concept.
    I do see people who want to spend that WW2 and Boomer cash in principled ways. Many kids are aware they are on a feature rich toss away treadmill and desire different. Airplanes are durable because they are demand to be that way by those who buy them.
    The market is a fiction? I get your point but I see it as very real, it's our psychology, our choices in all the current variety. I know it's not monolithic or static but it's not made up.
    Modern people and their connections to place and structures are a problem for long term thinking. We do still buy hi value and sell it as hi value. The ability to invest in long term is a luxury in decline. I get that.
    The features of boiler designs have been somewhat stable for a while. We may see better turn downs to come but there will come a time when we are clear on what lasts and works well. Many of the changes we see are how to do it cheaper while maintaining a minimum life span. The elephant in the room advancement will be long term durability. How much more would it cost to have removable, cleanable turbulators and bullet proof tubes and studs. Humans still make the floor mounted hi/low light switches for cars. If you had a HX that wasn't doomed trash, the parts market for them would exist, because people wouldn't be afraid to invest in parts for repair.
    Harbor F serves a market psychology. Many of us know it's wrong but there they are and we are buying. The fact that that's the state of things doesn't make it good or fate. There's no real durability option in mod-cons. That's weird to me. How much more would it cost to try to design for longer term durability? I don't see attempts at it or even false claims about attempts. The culture: It doesn't exist for good reasons. Why would you want that? People don't want that. Forget about it.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,650
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    Just a minor addition --there is a useful point here. You mention that in time we may have better reliability, which is true. However, may I point out that our regulatory regime has denied us that time. What once might have been developed by a manufacturer over several decades, and tested extensively for reliability, is now mandated by regulation to be rolled out to the mass market with perhaps a 5 year time frame at most. That is NOT going to get reliable functioning products, and you can't fault either the manufacturers or the customers.

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    WMno57SuperTechSolid_Fuel_Man
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,917
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    For one, cars are certainly more durable then before. People will pay for quality! 
    Solid_Fuel_ManPC7060
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,795
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    That is NOT going to get reliable functioning products, and you can't fault either the manufacturers or the customers.


    As you know, the customers and the manufacturers are the government, so we can fault them, and ourselves, for any perceived flaw there

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    I work for a company that sells a premium product. Into a probably shrinking market. Boiler sales look to be down 25% this year. Yet we have grown considerably over the 16 years I have worked there.
    The great people that rep and sell and install our products can make good, great, margins. Unless they chose not to.
    Premium cars, watches, boilers, even coffee sells. Every Starbucks in my area has a waiting line all day long. The 7-11 across the street sells coffee, even fancy coffee for about 1/3 the cost. No lines there to get coffee. 40- $50 bucks a week to be a Starbucks addict? It is more a milkshake than a cup of coffee🤭

    There are still $35 an hour “plumbers” available around here, or $300 an hour shops. Guess which ones have more work than they can handle.

    Do I really want the same boiler in my home for 50 years? Look at the improvements that have been made in hydronics over 50 years. What % if the people stay in a home that long in this country? Can you even buy a new home that will last 50 years?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Teemok
    Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
    edited October 2023
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    I hear the blame the Gov. thing. I just don't see that being a part of a the thin walled unclean-able fire tube HX design problem. The heat pump mandates are an issue on that Gov is forcing the market front. There's another materials rich toxic product that is trash/recycle ready out of the box. Service life and the right to repair starts at the design table. I don't know of a single CA made air to water HP. If we want them where's the mandate for quality and stimuli to make them here? None aim for exceptional service life and repair-ability as primary design principles.
    Yikes, Starbucks as premium. Just because one pays a lot for something doesn't mean it's superior. Marketing 101. Value perception aside. A truly "durable" good has become a fiction. Greed and waste are at the root of that.
    Products have relationships beyond the original purchaser. Ones that last are better for us all now and into the future. Houses get sold. Yes, there's millions of homes built today that will likely be standing 100 years from now. Everything is cheap is not a justification for designing without conscience or ethics.
    SuperTech
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    Yes there millions of home built today that will likely be standing 100 years from now.

    How will we know that?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Teemok
    Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
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    Is that a why do we care when we will be dead question?
  • Teemok
    Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
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    Do you imagine we are going to get much better than 95-6% efficient? The math works out better for exceptional longevity for the consumer, society and all living things. Why would you not want a boiler that has clean tubes and is running at 9x% and is 50+ years old? What boiler advancements do you see on the horizon that would make that undesirable? Look how many very old chunks of cast iron are still providing value. The decades of exceptional service life makes up for percentage points of efficiency deficit when you account for the true cost of multiple counts of extraction, production, transport and waste disposal of doomed HX designs.
    There are cases of companies that have good principle at their cores. They market on materials sources, types of labor, design integrity, waste impact, etc. These things have always been important we just haven't cared much. Those products cost more and people do pay extra for them. A don't know if durable goods products will follow that path eventually or mod-con boilers specifically. My guess is there are defiantly possibilities for long term durability and serviceability improvements that are being ignored at the design tables. The case for why that is gets flimsier and flimsier as the years go by.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,650
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    The specific problem which you are working on is boiler efficiency vs. longevity. The problem is actually remarkably simple and, unhappily, limited by dear old physics. To get into the 90% plus range (you can't get much over 96% anyway -- Second Law problems) you need to have excellent heat transfer rates with, on one side, a highly corrosive gas/liquid. The heat transfer rates mandate thin metal. The corrosive liquid mandates very good corrosion resistance, and even more since the metal is thin. Worse, it must be fatigue resistant (even if heat transfer isn't improved with fins or convolutions, there will be fatigue).

    Can you do it? Sure. Is it going to be doable at consumer level pricing? Um... no. There is a very good reason why the heat exchangers used on aircraft for a variety of purposes are 6 figure items, and even then have a limited life (on condition, but typically replaced somewhere around 5000 hours).

    Part of the art of engineering -- and it is an art -- comes in selecting a design and materials which will do the job required for a reasonable length of time at a reasonable price. I may say that from my vantage point the folks making mod/con boilers which do hit in the mid nineties on efficiency and run for 10 years (perhaps 20,000 hours in service) with minimal maintenance are doing a pretty good job.

    As to homes being built today lasting 100 years... I've inspected a lot of them, and I have to say no. No hope. A few, perhaps, but the materials being used just aren't up to it -- nor (see the above comments) are they intended to be.

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Teemok
  • Teemok
    Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
    edited October 2023
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    Reliability, durability and serviceability might be related but they aren't triplets. Old British cars are not the first two but are defiantly the third. "Requires service" is the coil water tube's motto. They are fairly reliable with regular service but not without it and they require high head pumps. Good design? I don't like it. Making something that works well, last with minimal efforts and can be fixed if it is abused is not consistent with modern business goals. It's almost blasphemous to suggest it might be desirable or possible.
    Aircraft engineering is an extreme example with very different goals and constrains. I appreciate and don't disagree with the points.
    The art of engineering, Yes! The mindset of the artist is important to the art produced. You make the case that thin metal is best for achieving high efficiency. That sounds right but it's not the only way to get it. If the compromise balance was struct for thicker metal and more HX exchanger area was used to compensate for transfer loss. If the tubes where made cleanable and or replaceable. If......
    How do modern residential fire tubes fail? The ones I've tossed where not cleaned because they can't be effectively. They plug up and are run to death under conditions way out side of design. I don't see acid holes and haven't seen metal fatigue. I'm not saying those things don't happen. I just haven't seen it. IBC figured out that drying the tubes with blower after run was worth the BTU loss. Fact is I've tossed some due just to age and a part needed. The customer, armed with facts about them, deems the HX unworthy of parts investment and it's replaced. If I could tell them this thing is well built, cleanable and repairable the calculus changes and the parts investment would be made.
    Your stance is a FT HX that can be cleaned is too hard to make never mind repaired and if you could do it, it would cost more than the market is willing pay. That's fair. I'm not convinced that's true. I don't think there's been design requirement to make it possible. Funny how humans are thought of on one hand, to be clever enough that they might be able to save themselves from previous generations compounding blunders but tasks like making a cleanable, repairable, efficient, profitable fire tube HX is too much.


    'We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap."

    Kurt Vonnegut
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Titanium....that's your answer. About 5 pounds of it. You buy it, and I'll make you a HX. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    Teemok
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    Teemok said:
    Is that a why do we care when we will be dead question?
    No, it is how can you prove that statement?
    How many 100 year old homes are in your area? Back when they were built with real wood, rocks, bricks.
    perfectly fine 20- 30 old homes get razed to put up multi family and commercial in cities these days
    Even if a vinyl clad chip board house could last  100 years, needs, usage and $$ makes decisions to tear them down.
    Or weather occurrences take them out🫢
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Teemok
    Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
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    Oh, I get you. "built today" Meaning modern era, not literally built today. I said likely. I don't need to prove that. It's my opinion. It's been my experience that consumers of high end hydronics don't build crap houses. Pointing to a Yugo as the general quality of cars is a straw-man argument. The area I'm in has many 100 year old houses. After the 1906 most of the wood framed houses were OK. The masonry hotels and bigger stone buildings killed almost all the visitors but the people who lived here lived and many of the houses made it. CA is young. There's many houses on the east coast that are 100 years old now that may still be standing. It's obvious the trailer market doesn't need a rock solid HX boiler. I live in a 20 year old house that I fully expect to be here. Nature permitting. It's odd that I'm having to defend a need for quality. If crap houses get dozed at 50 then each one would only need one boiler. This is being discussed like a superior longevity boiler would cost twice, three times as much. What if it was only 20-30% more and it's not really that hard to make one that can do 40 years. Industry wants turn over, we all get our cuts from it. I get it. If it was done, it would be disruptive and for that reason would likely be bought out and shelved or crushed one way or another.
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,917
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    The problem is money in the future needs to be discounted so heavily it becomes nearly worthless today. Say a boiler lasts 60 years. Saving me 2 replacements at 20 and 40 years, each of which are $10k. That’s not worth much today, about $1600. 
    Teemok
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408
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    For one, cars are certainly more durable then before. People will pay for quality! 

    Up till about the year 2000, yes. Since then, no. The durability peak year depends on the type of car or truck. Also depends on your usage. 50,000 miles a year or 5000? Driver only, or 7 passengers? Pull a trailer?
    Its more complicated than MPG, size of the infotainment screen, and number of cupholders.
    1993 Dodge diesel pickup
    1997 Dodge diesel pickup
    2001 Ford diesel expedition
    2001 Ford diesel pickup
    2006 GM Suburban 2500 3/4 ton
    2013 GM Suburban 2500 3/4 ton
    1999 GM Suburban 2500 3/4 ton diesel
    The above are all more durable than their equivalents (if made) you can buy today. Don't believe me, check out their used car prices. People are paying for quality, unfortunately you can no longer buy it new.
    For Jamie's half ton gasser pickup, the durability peak might have been a 1995 Ford F150 with a straight six. Or an 2006 Chevy 1500 with the 4.8l V8. A 1975 International half ton pickup should be part of that conversation too.
    2017 Camry hybrid is pretty good if you drive a 50,000 miles a year. Great MPG! Not good if you drive 5000 miles a year (battery life).
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408
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    The problem is money in the future needs to be discounted so heavily it becomes nearly worthless today. Say a boiler lasts 60 years. Saving me 2 replacements at 20 and 40 years, each of which are $10k. That’s not worth much today, about $1600. 

    True, but in 40 years (and probably 20) you won't be able to buy a boiler. Just like today you can't buy a new 3/4 ton SUV or mechanical Cummins.

    Hot_water_fanSolid_Fuel_ManTeemok
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,917
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    True, but in 40 years (and probably 20) you won't be able to buy a boiler. Just like today you can't buy a new 3/4 ton SUV or mechanical Cummins.
    If you’re predicting the end of the boiler industry in 20 years, I think that’s a strong argument no boilers should be installed today, no matter how long they may last. Otherwise, you’ll be stranded!
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,650
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    The biggest threat to cars and trucks in my part of the world is rust... and more rust... I also have a '94 Chevy K2500, 454 engine, Allison transmission. Runs like a dream and hauls a load (and has hauled many loads) -- but the rust is awesome. Not that I really mind looking down at the road through the bottoms of what were once the doors, but...

    One aspect of the reliability/maintenance/quality equation I left out -- but shouldn't have. Repairability and availability of replacement parts. Everything wears or wears out. No exceptions. Some things go faster than others. One of the factors which makes aircraft as reliable as they are is that they get painstaking maintenance, and many parts are life limited, either by time or operating hours, and everything is checked and examined and adjusted if needed frequently (like every 100 hours for minor inspections, up toe every 2000 or so for basically take it apart and rebuild it inspections). Many of our consumer oriented products -- cars, appliances, and yes boilers -- don't get that kind of TLC and, perhaps more important, the manufacturers don't build them with that kind of TLC in mind. Instead, in some ways they are actually overbuilt, in that they can last a decade or two or a hundred thousand plus miles with almost no attention at all. Not good for them, but they do. Different approach and philosophy.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    WMno57
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408
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    4L80e, not Allison. Still a great transmission though. I have a couple. No longer made. Just another example of nice things we can't have.
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 644
    edited October 2023
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    Yall talking about homes, this gen can't even afford their own homes. home ownership dropping year after year. So it's the property owners putting in whatever is cheapest to collect rent. Combis are huge among management companies, no tank water heater? no big boiler? can add a finished basement and board up the mechanical room? Never maintain the boilers until there's a call something is wrong (nothing new). And eventually just sell the property and not worry about it.

    If a forever home was a priority/possibility for the youngins these days, your hope could be a reality. but with recent surveys about dream jobs pointing to a large percentage of kids wanting to be youtubers/streamers.. it could be a while.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    Teemok said:
    Oh, I get you. "built today" Meaning modern era, not literally built today. I said likely. I don't need to prove that. It's my opinion. It's been my experience that consumers of high end hydronics don't build crap houses. Pointing to a Yugo as the general quality of cars is a straw-man argument. The area I'm in has many 100 year old houses. After the 1906 most of the wood framed houses were OK. The masonry hotels and bigger stone buildings killed almost all the visitors but the people who lived here lived and many of the houses made it. CA is young. There's many houses on the east coast that are 100 years old now that may still be standing. It's obvious the trailer market doesn't need a rock solid HX boiler. I live in a 20 year old house that I fully expect to be here. Nature permitting. It's odd that I'm having to defend a need for quality. If crap houses get dozed at 50 then each one would only need one boiler. This is being discussed like a superior longevity boiler would cost twice, three times as much. What if it was only 20-30% more and it's not really that hard to make one that can do 40 years. Industry wants turn over, we all get our cuts from it. I get it. If it was done, it would be disruptive and for that reason would likely be bought out and shelved or crushed one way or another.
    An article in the Chicago Trib, 12.2% of homes in the US were built before 1940

    my hometown of Buffalo , NY was #1 with 59.8%, Seattle at #30 with 23.7, San Francisco 45.1%
    Cities with a population of 150,000 or more.

    Surprised me

    Multi million dollar homes around here are completely enclosed in chipboard. The only solid wood homes I see built are by Amish builders. Timber framed or log with 1 by wood for side walls and the roof, cedar shingles 

    I’m intrigued by the 3D concrete printed homes, that could be a long lasting structure, low maintenance structure 
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Teemok
    Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
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    Since we went to cars. My 2006 3500 sprinter is no 97 Cummins but it is a platform worth repairing. Known to be million capable and has a very good maintenance to efficiency to performance track record.
    The inflationary argument against durability and repair-ability makes no sense to me. The numerical amount saved by not replacing goes up with inflation. You might be aware that the very limited skill you can find today may not be as readily available in the future for installs and or new boiler faults. There are customers here who can afford the most elite skill and equipment but no one very good will work for them for long. It's true that the upper 1/5 of the population has a growing ownership of the housing stock and this new generation won't make boiler decisions. That sucks but doesn't change the need for what I think are obviously superior/desirable traits in a boiler.
    There's nothing wrong with a fire tube combi if it's built to last, needs only reasonable service and is repairable. Ignored/ deferred maintenance might mean lots of work but it shouldn't make it trash. A fool would trade good engineering and design for cheap, new and unproven.
  • EricPeterson
    EricPeterson Member Posts: 215
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    hot_rod said:


    Teemok said:

    Is that a why do we care when we will be dead question?

    No, it is how can you prove that statement?
    How many 100 year old homes are in your area? Back when they were built with real wood, rocks, bricks.
    perfectly fine 20- 30 old homes get razed to put up multi family and commercial in cities these days
    Even if a vinyl clad chip board house could last  100 years, needs, usage and $$ makes decisions to tear them down.
    Or weather occurrences take them out🫢

    I live in a Chicago suburb in a neighborhood of 100+ year old houses. People actually move to this neighborhood because of the location and schools, and I guess despite the houses being old. The City just lined all the old clay-pipe 6" sewer lines, and is replacing all the lead service lines in the next year or so. Those are good examples of aging infrastructure for you.

    My boiler is now 13 years old, and I will be disappointed if I have to replace it before they carry me out of this house. I bought the durable model, the heavy cast-iron design. Yes it's less efficient, but it will last twice as long as newer models. Anyone remember the Munchkins? It also cost a lot less.
    I prefer simplicity over complexity as far as heating systems are concerned. That said, mine is complicated enough with the logic board, zone valves, low-voltage circuitry, and now a thermostatic valve.
    I like things to last a long time, and to repair them if possible rather than replace.

    That said, I am resigned to replacing cars @ 100,000 miles, roofs after 25 years, and dehumidifiers after just a few years (why can't they make them last longer?)
    But I expect my piping systems in the house to outlast me as well. That may be unreasonable, but time will tell. Water is all copper, waste mostly PVC, heating mostly black pipe. I've not seen any evidence of corrosion or leakage and some pipes are 100+ years old. Fingers crossed.

    Eric Peterson
  • Teemok
    Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
    edited October 2023
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    @EricPeterson "(why can't they make them last longer?) "
    The answered to that, depending on what them is, many times centers around just profits, not engineering, not materials limitations, not what the market will bear or any consideration for the common good. Many leaches live well making unnecessary recurring expenses, waste and pollution. They are often in sheep's clothing insisting they bring needed value when they are just psychologically hacking wants, comforts and other human vulnerabilities. Trouble is, the peak players in this game do many things at the same time, bring real value, mind hack for profit and slow cut the branch they themselves are high perched on.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    hot_rod said:


    Teemok said:

    Is that a why do we care when we will be dead question?

    No, it is how can you prove that statement?
    How many 100 year old homes are in your area? Back when they were built with real wood, rocks, bricks.
    perfectly fine 20- 30 old homes get razed to put up multi family and commercial in cities these days
    Even if a vinyl clad chip board house could last  100 years, needs, usage and $$ makes decisions to tear them down.
    Or weather occurrences take them out🫢
    I live in a Chicago suburb in a neighborhood of 100+ year old houses. People actually move to this neighborhood because of the location and schools, and I guess despite the houses being old. The City just lined all the old clay-pipe 6" sewer lines, and is replacing all the lead service lines in the next year or so. Those are good examples of aging infrastructure for you.

    My boiler is now 13 years old, and I will be disappointed if I have to replace it before they carry me out of this house. I bought the durable model, the heavy cast-iron design. Yes it's less efficient, but it will last twice as long as newer models. Anyone remember the Munchkins? It also cost a lot less.
    I prefer simplicity over complexity as far as heating systems are concerned. That said, mine is complicated enough with the logic board, zone valves, low-voltage circuitry, and now a thermostatic valve.
    I like things to last a long time, and to repair them if possible rather than replace.

    That said, I am resigned to replacing cars @ 100,000 miles, roofs after 25 years, and dehumidifiers after just a few years (why can't they make them last longer?)
    But I expect my piping systems in the house to outlast me as well. That may be unreasonable, but time will tell. Water is all copper, waste mostly PVC, heating mostly black pipe. I've not seen any evidence of corrosion or leakage and some pipes are 100+ years old. Fingers crossed.

    Eric Peterson


    Nice to have choices:)

    This is a good read detailing how mother earth could take every structure back at some point.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Teemok
    Teemok Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 568
    edited October 2023
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    How is the obvious truth that nothing is permanent relevant to a distinction about better design of
    residential fire tube mod-cons? No one one really wants that, they might think they do but they really don't need it because of x an y? It's almost as if the self evident benefits and common desires for better design are being taken to an unattainable extreme. Like I'm crowing about a magic forever HX. Just cleanable tubes alone would do a lot. Change little else.
    Won't work.
    Too expensive.
    Why would you want that?
    Sheesh, this is Orwellian.
    Basic positive design attributes are not to be desired and if you question why you're some kinda rogue ice pirate on drugs. LOL. Subject dropped.
    WMno57
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
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    Somewhere I have an engineering book from the 1910's laying around.
    I wish I knew exactly what page because I'd take a picture of it but, it basically says there's a point where efficiency of a machine becomes impractical. It discusses cost vs durability vs efficiency etc.

    Now, there are many on here that will say fuel used to be cheap. I've found absolutely no evidence of this. Not anywhere.

    I have however found plenty of evidence that shows fuel usage was always a concern. Let's look at the Olympic, Titanic and Britannic and their quadruple expansion steam engines, designed entirely around fuel consumption. A huge amount of engineering was put into using as little fuel as possible and that started in what, 1910?

    Fuel was never cheap. All you need to do is look up old gasoline prices and use an online inflation calculator.

    Cars have actually improved greatly in my opinion. Somehow we're getting decent efficiency and yet reliability is much higher. Let's keep in mind 50 years ago at 80,000-100,000 miles the typical car engine was shot. That's still not the case and people probably wouldn't tolerate it. Most expect 150,000-200,000 at a minimum. Yes, many were seeing 300K in the 80s-90s but that's apparently not the case now from what I hear.

    I see some commenting about the 4L80E and yes, it's a fantastic automatic transmission as was it's father the TH400. However, it's not 1965 anymore and we need a few more gears. Are the current generation of truck transmissions having problems? And if so, are they under the same kind of stress a 4L80E can tolerate? I.E. a 4L80E isn't going to tolerate a modified Diesel for long. Most truck engines these days are producing a whole lot more power than the TH400 and 4L80E were sold with years ago. The power Jamie's 454 produces you can generally get out of a 2 liter engine these days and no it's not a lie or an exaggeration.

    And somehow those turbocharged 2 liters will last 200K all while getting 30+ MPG. That's rather impressive in my opinion.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,650
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    Yeah, but I like the way that 454 sounds... but the fuel economy is pretty dismal.

    On fuel prices, you are actually right if you factor in inflation. When I was pumping gas at a station on US 66, many decades ago, we usually charged 19.9. Which sounds like a bargain -- but the usual starting wage was a dollar, a McDonalds burger with cheese was 19 cents My rent (nice studio apartment in a good area) was $50 per month... and so on.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
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    I felt the early Viessmann mon cons wire top quality, well engineered boilers. It didn't look like any expense was spared manufacturing and assembling them. They were twice the cost of a Munchkin in some areas. Guess what.

    They had to adapt them to the market over here, pulled features out of the control, and other components.
    It will be interesting to see if Carrier tries to make them even more of a pricepoint boiler.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
    Options
    Yeah, but I like the way that 454 sounds... but the fuel economy is pretty dismal. On fuel prices, you are actually right if you factor in inflation. When I was pumping gas at a station on US 66, many decades ago, we usually charged 19.9. Which sounds like a bargain -- but the usual starting wage was a dollar, a McDonalds burger with cheese was 19 cents My rent (nice studio apartment in a good area) was $50 per month... and so on.
    And you know what.
    Just like all of the older boilers etc there's absolutely no reason to replace the truck if it's working for you.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    Options
    Vehicle reliability peaked about 30 years ago. I'd say a large hit in the last 10 years with infotainment and it's ability to brick a vehicle. 

    I have and work on many older vehicles. 

    My 1980s VWs gassers always get 35+ MPG and one us north of 300,000 miles with nothing but a head/valve job done at 200,000. I did put a rear main seal in it awhile ago. Still origional clutch BTW. 

    With direct gasoline injection, CVTs, and turbochargers, we won't see 300,000 mile vehicles without significant expenses to keep them on the road. 

    Sure they have 2-250 horses, but my 75HP VWs are quick, economical, cheap and easy to repair (myself) and have no trouble maintaining 80MPH on the interstate (while achieving 35+MPG) on gasoline. If they were diesel then we'd be in the 45+MPG range.....
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
    edited October 2023
    Options
    @Solid_Fuel_Man my previous car was a 2012 Chevy Sonic with 1.4t 138hp and I averaged 40mpg with it for 145k miles.

    My current car is a Hyundai accent 1.6 non-turbo 130hp and I get 43-45mpg with it.



    None of my cars as if yet have had any interaction between the radio and power train.    Yet.   I have an aftermarket head unit in the Hyundai.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Solid_Fuel_Man