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Converting from hydronic wall heater to standard electric heater

Antbro
Antbro Member Posts: 7
I have 4 hydronic wall heaters throughout the house. The first one to need to be replaced has happened and I am wondering if rather than paying an arm and a leg to replace it with another hydronic, if it is possible to cap it off and put in a less expensive electric wall heater. As they stop working it will be very expensive for me to replace them. Thoughts?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,878
    As always with this type of decision -- check the actual cost of energy. You will use roughly the same amount of energy either way, as measured by BTUh, but depending on where you live and your fuel and electric power costs, whether you save money -- or spend as much as four times as much -- depends on your costs.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    IronmanEdTheHeaterMan
  • jimna01
    jimna01 Member Posts: 33
    Depends on your electric rate.  Mine is 22c KWh. It is adjusted every six months . Last winter it was 36c kWh . I would have been in poorhouse last winter if I was heating with electric resistive heat.  
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,337
    I don’t see how it would be cheaper to install an electric heater considering that you would have to add a 240v circuit, thermostat, etc.

    If the piping arrangement is a series loop, then it can’t be just “capped off”. The same would apply to a Monoflo system.

    By the time you pay someone to drain the system, re-pipe it, fill and purge it, how is that any cheaper than replacing the baseboard?

    Then, you would have the expensive of installing the electric on top of that.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    PC7060
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,797
    Are these fain coil wall heaters?
    What is failing on the hydronic units. Every part inside is replaceable, coil, motor, thermostats, etc
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,392
    We have 4 different guesses here about what you mean by "hydronic wall heater". can you post some pictures, preferably both outside and inside of what device you are referring to.
  • Antbro
    Antbro Member Posts: 7
    edited February 10
    (edited)Thanks for all the input.

    This is a townhouse and is the middle unit, so the place stays warmer than usual year round so it isn't even really needed to be used in the room it is in. The new tenant saw that it wasn't working. I'm just looking for a cheaper option than replacing the current heater.

    The fan motor stopped working. Had a plumber say it we couldn't get individual parts to replace.
  • Antbro
    Antbro Member Posts: 7

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,484
    edited February 10
    What exactly is broken on that Wall heater? the fan motor? the aquastat? the coil leaks? or something else? those parts are all replaceable, the most expensive part will be the coil leaking, because that will involve draining the system to the bottom of the wall unit. Any other part is an easy fix. here is a place where you can get the parts online Turbonics Parts

    Depending on your location and suppliers in your area, you may find that Beacon Morris is the same product.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • Antbro
    Antbro Member Posts: 7
    Here is what the plumber said they were going to do:
    Preferred Plus Blower Motor Repair
    Remove and dispose of existing component
    Install new blower motor on existing mounts
    Motor capacitor renovation
    Ignition system service
    Flame rectification system renovation
    Restore system to clean condition
    1 year warranty

    I have looked on turbonics and Boston (Beacon) websites and it doesn't appear they have parts for this discontinued product.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,337
    Antbro said:
    Here is what the plumber said they were going to do:
    Preferred Plus Blower Motor Repair
    Remove and dispose of existing component
    Install new blower motor on existing mounts
    Motor capacitor renovation
    Ignition system service
    Flame rectification system renovation
    Restore system to clean condition
    1 year warranty

    I have looked on turbonics and Boston (Beacon) websites and it doesn't appear they have parts for this discontinued product.
    You’re being scammed.

    “Capacitor renavation” There’s no such thing. A capacitor is a factory sealed part that can only be replaced and should be when a new motor is installed.
    “ Ignition system service”. I thought this was a hydronic unit? There’s no combustion or ignition in it, just hot water.
    ”Flame rectification system renovation”. Flame rectification is part of the flame safety system on a gas burner. There’s no gas burner in that unit.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    mattmia2
  • Antbro
    Antbro Member Posts: 7
    edited February 12

    All for $, I figured as much. Going to keep digging but finding replacement parts looks grim.

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,797
    Sounds more like a boiler repair bid, not the heater unit? There is no ignition or flame rectification in the Turbonic.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,484
    I believe that this product will fit inside the housing your Turbonics cabinet that is currently in the wall. https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.supplyhouse.com/product_files/Beacon-Morris-K42-Submittal-Sheet.pdf
    If it can not be modified to fit, there are cabinets that can replace the cabinet you have. https://www.supplyhouse.com/Beacon-Morris-W42-W42-Recessed-Cabinet-Kit-9763000-p

    I must be getting OLD. I remember selling the Turbonics when I worked at Weinstein Supply.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 652
    edited February 11
    You can find a new motor here
    https://designheating.com/catalog/subcat.cfm?Category=138&SubCat=590

    They're between 60 and 80 bucks.

    Flame rectification of a kickspace heater. That's a good one. ;)
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Antbro
    Antbro Member Posts: 7
    Thanks! I will call turbonics on Monday and get clarification as to which of these will work with it.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,392
    you need someone competent to figure out what is wrong with it first. it could be that the thermostat isn't calling for heat or there is no 24vac power or the zone valve is bad so that the coil isn't heating and causing the blower to come on or the aquastat is bad too.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,712
    edited February 11
    Antbro said:

    All for $XXXX, I figured as much. Going to keep digging but finding replacement parts looks grim.

    @Antbro , we do NOT discuss pricing on this forum. You need to edit out the pricing. Now.

    See:

    https://heatinghelp.com/forum-user-manual
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,296
    edited February 12
    @Antbro

    Call Turbonics and get the straight scoop. If they don't have parts ask them if they have a replacement unit with the same or similar dimensions.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,392
    Let's start with is the coil getting hot when there is a heat call. It could be a problem with the hydronic system rather than the unit heater.