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New technology for the basement

I still offer cast iron atmospheric boilers. I give my clients 3 options: good-better-best. 7 times out of 10, they go for the condensing units. That makes me and the customer very happy.

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  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    What do you folks think?

    I can't remember that last time I offered an atmospheric gas boiler to anyone. (Not counting steam)

    We have been installing Munchkins for a few years now and we are starting our very first Vitodens next week.

    So for gas fired water boilers, 100% of the systems we sell are sealed combustion, modulating gas valves, no chimney required.

    A few weeks ago a customer that I proposed a Munchkin to asked me if there was an atmospheric boiler that carried the Energy Star label. I said yes, BUT then I asked him why he would want me to put ancient technology into his home. I challenged him to look around his house and count how many things were there now that were not available in say... 1950.

    CD player, color TV, cable, cordless phone, microwave, DVD, VHS, etc..................you get the point.

    I then asked him why he wouldn't want his heating system updated to the year 2003. He agreed that it should.

    Customers tell me all the time what the "other guy" said, and it amazes me how many contractors are happily going about their business like it was still 1950. "You don't want that new high tech stuff, costs too much", or, "Fixing it will cost you twice as much as what you saved in fuel".

    By that argument we should all get rid of our trucks and go back to horses pulling carts and wagons.

    What do you folks think?

    What year is it where you live?

    Mark H

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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,726
    Good points

    but as we've seen in other Wall posts, some high-tech gear can be unreliable. Of course, the makers of these advanced boilers are doing their best to work out the kinks. But I'm not comfortable installing something I can't get parts for quickly if it breaks down- which always happens on a 5-degree night when you just finished fixing another unit and don't have what you need on the truck, doesn't it?

    It's unfortunate that we're getting away from the parts standardization we've been used to for so long. I know of one case where a furnasty quit and it took two weeks to get a new circuit board. To me, this is unacceptable.

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    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542

    Mark, when you first get the Vitodens Comfortrol powered up, find something elso to do for 10 minutes or so. Waiting for the #3 installers category to pop up will drive you crazy, and there's nothing in the manual telling you it takes 10 minutes to boot up.

    Other than that, it's a nice piece of equipment.

  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909

    I see your points Steamhead, but why aren't the suppliers keeping stocks of parts for the equipment they sell?

    Do we continue to offer equipment based on what a supplier wants to stock parts for?

    Are parts for "high tech equipment" the only parts that suppliers exclude from their inventory?

    What if the "high tech equipment" was the most commonly sold equipment? Would they then be more inclined to keep replacement parts in stock?

    Mark H

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  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,860

    A lot of supply houses must "turn" the products they stock or else that inventory cost goes against their profits. When bonuses are tied to that, it becomes a big deal.

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    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Inventory is a ...........

    neccesary evil for us these days, Mark. I'm sure all of us would rather put all of the monies we have in inventory towards tools, education or beer. With all of the proprietary equipment available today, we can't sell or service everything out there without stock. Because I will NEVER sell anything i can't or won't service, it's up to me to inventory the "just in case" stuff I need. I sense it is going to be more of an issue over the next decade. That being said, I have to be picky as to the service I do. Do I want to wrap up $1000 in inventory to service just a few of a certain brand? Tough call.


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    The Radiant Whisperer

    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
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