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Yet another conversion question.

IBS_GuyIBS_Guy Member Posts: 19
I just picked up my Carlin EZ Gas retrofit burner and see they recommend lining the chimney with stainless steel in cold climates. (Not sure why you would have a heating system in a warm climate).  I live in Connecticut and have a chimney about 25 feet high with an 8" square masonry lining and only about four feet protruding above the roof.

I'm not sure how to interpret Carlin's recommendation.  Is the issue condensing, draft or both? I've always had great draft while burning oil. Any thoughts?


  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,123
    Many new boilers

    no matter the fuel are forming condensation products as they are being tuned to the up 80% range of combustion. The masonry chimneys do not do well being bathed in acid day after day. The liner needs to be properly sized.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 4,362
    Did Carlin

    pre size and set up the burner for your particular boiler?

    What is the make of your boiler?

    In most cases the clay tile lined chimney with a conversion burner will not be a problem as long as the clay tile is in good shape.

    If the burner is fired at its maximum firing rate for the boiler it is installed in and the combustion analyzer readings fall in the 4 to 5% range on O2, the CO2 around 9.5% to 10%, Net stack above 350 degrees (lowest before condensing is 275° F), This will give between 25% to 50% excess air. The draft needs to be at lest a -.02, or -.03. A double swing barometric must be used,. This will chart out in the 80% efficiency range if you are interested in efficiency rating, although it is really the least important figure here. The last thing is CO (Carbon Monoxide Air Free) below 100 PPM.

    Once the burner is in and running if the chimney becomes an issue you can always run the liner after the install of the burner.
  • IBS_GuyIBS_Guy Member Posts: 19
    Yes, Carlin Sized the Burner

    The boiler is a Weil-McClain P-466, rated for 175,000 input but I have always used a 1.0 nozzle for about 140,000. The Carlin burner is an EZ-Gas with a B diffuser which the Carlin fella told me tops out at 175K. I plan to drill the orifice for 160,000.

    Does the double swing damper require a down draft cut out switch?  For what it's worth I don't think this is what I've heard called an atmospheric boiler/burner.

    Thanks for all feedback to date.
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 4,362
    No it is not an

    atmospheric burner it is a Power Burner or another name for it is a forced draft burner.

    Yes a blocked vent switch/spill switch is required and is available with Field double swing barometric.

    Have you ever installed a gas conversion burner before?
  • CMadatMeCMadatMe Member Posts: 3,066
    Here's A Conversation Question

    What would one invest quite a bit of money into a boiler that has no warranty, is less then 80% efficient and uses a tankless coil to make hot water? Makes no sense...
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • IBS_GuyIBS_Guy Member Posts: 19
    This $500 Burner

    will allow me a full rebate of the $3200 I paid to have the gas main run to my house which started a project to get my wife a gas stove for our 30th anniversary.

    I also believe that within the next ten years it will be impossible to sell a house with an oil heating system.

    As far as experience goes, I have converted dozens of industrial applications (200 to 1000 HP) from oil to gas or duel fuel. I am also the developer and hold  pending patents for a PLC based parallel positioning combustion control system and a PLC based flame safeguard (primary control) system which have reduced the world's oil comsumption by about 5,000,000 gallons a year. My residential experience is minimal.
  • CMadatMeCMadatMe Member Posts: 3,066

    How does a burner get you the rebate. Would someone that converted and just installed an 80% boiler get the same?
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • IBS_GuyIBS_Guy Member Posts: 19
    edited April 2011
    Yes, it's basically a matter of cash flow.

    In these parts, the homeowner still needs to put up the $3200 for the gas installation. After that , you have to buy the new boiler then wait for the gas company to rebate the front money. Don't bother asking the contractor to hold the money until the gas company pays up. I sell burners and boilers too and that's a sure recipe for a long wait.

    Finally once I have fulfilled my obligation for gas usage, I can always go back to oil if my prediction about the future of oil heating is wrong. Also, I really hate shoveling that extra path
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,815
    If your house is as small as it looks

    that 4-66 might be oversized. Have you done a heat-loss calculation? 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,123
    The issue he may have Frank

    Is the tankless. If he does not go to an indirect tank or stand alone water heater he can not get much smaller. If one wanted to save fuel dollars they should go with an indirect and a much smaller boiler. But thats another story.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • IBS_GuyIBS_Guy Member Posts: 19
    The House Actually Has An Addition

    of about 600 sqft built behind it salt box style. The domestic coil never worked well enough to keep the water hot through a shower. If you look at the picture of my boiler above, you can get a peek of the electric hot water heater that's been added. Forget about the mixing valve, there ain't one.

    Over the years I have outspent boiler stuff with insulation stuff 10 to 1 and my heating bills are very low for this area. It's more about the heat you keep than the heat you make.
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,663
    My house looks a lot like that.

    The left front window goes to my bedroom, I have two windows instead of the bay window on the right (my living room). Mine, too, is a cape cod. Main difference I notice is that I have an attached garage on the left.

    My house is fairly well insulated, with Marvin windows. I am not sure about infiltration. It feels cool near the windows, but my infrared thermometer does not find anything out of the ordinary. Even though I have storm doors on the doors, the inside doors measure cold.

    I calculate the heat loss of the house around 35,000 BTU/hour here in New Jersey where design day is 14F. I use the boiler to supply an indirect hot water heater. Is all hot water, not steam. My boiler is 80,000 BTU/hour input mod-con.

    If you lived next door to me, your boiler is about 4x too big. It looks as though it could have been done by the same builder, but I do not have that little peak over the front door. I even have black shutters. Code around here requires shutters. Silly. None of them actually work.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,815
    I agree

    but that might mean your boiler is even more oversized. Insulation is the best way to reduce fuel consumption, but it also makes current boilers oversized. Ask me how I know that.

    There is a free heat-loss program floating around that Slant/Fin had published some years ago. It's no longer on their site since their boiler line has changed, but you can still find it elsewhere. If I come across a site that has it, I'll post a link. Do the calc and see what you come up with- the results might surprise you.

    Tankless coils and electric water heaters have two things in common- they don't give you a lot of hot water and they're expensive to run. An indirect tank isn't cheap but it'll give you more hot water for less fuel.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Indirect and Tankless's


    Here's the point to ponder.

    You said that the tank less on your oil boiler wouldn't give you enough hot water for your wife to take a good shower. So you put in a water heater and that solved your problem, more or less.

    I haven't figured how to post photos to this site from my albums so, I can't show you.

    You need an indirect but the cost,,,,,

    You know what the cost of an indirect would be. We don't discuss pricing here. I'm not. But in generalities, could around $3000 be a reasonable amount for buying an indirect, controls, circulators, wiring and piping, and adding labor to the cost be reasonable? In a large ballpark +/-?

    And if I came along to service your burner and said to you, (I'm a Licensed, Master Plumber) you know, for less than $1000 bucks, I could convert that electric water heater to a storage tank that is really an indirect without all the extra piping. Just with a bronze Taco 006 circulator. And you can drop the temperature in your system to something like 140 degree operating temperature and a 160 degree high limit. Whatever you need. And completely disconnect that 30 Amp 240 volt line and run the circulator from the wiring you already have with a cord whip. Would you find that reasonable?

    In 1971, I built completely from scratch, a 5 bedroom house. I built most of the block foundation, framed it, plumbed it, heated it, wired it, sheet rocked it, finished it, painted it and lived in it until 1985. My wife and I did ALL the work. We had 4 teenagers. I had the same boiler as you, I think it was a Weil-McLain 566 though. I fired it at 1.00 GPH with a Carlin 100 CRD. I had a 30 gallon copper storage tank and it leaked after 5 years due to the acidic well water where we lived. I replaced it with a 50 gallon electric water heater. I have been using electric water heaters as storage tanks since 1976 since I went in business. There were six of us, three teenage girls. We never once ran out of hot water.

    I have a customer that has a home where I work. She has a Burnham oil boiler in a modular home that she had built. It had a tank less only. She didn't like the extreme swings of hot water. I told her that I could install what I do and she could run her system at a lower temperature and have her domestic water much cooler and never run out of hot water. I installed it and she loved it. She then asked her plumber in Belmont, MA to do the same thing in her house. He only would put in an indirect. He didn't believe or understand when I had done. She asked me to speak to him but I didn't and gave her a drawing and she took photos. He did it. It works as well as her house where I live. She knew what it cost her to have me do what I did for her. She was willing to pay for the cost of what she had done where I work. She wasn't willing to pay for what the Belmont plumber proposed to do.

    It's called "Selling". Give someone what they want at a price they can afford and be happy with. I sell down and work up. Some sell up and work down. Some customers (I would be one) think you are trying to screw them if you sell up and work down. When you sell down and work up, the customer feels that you have given them a choice.

    Don't get me wrong. I like in-directs. I like selling them. I also like selling tank less conversions when I can.

    And in MY opinion, an indirect is just a tank less, taken out of a boiler and put in a water heater. A tank is a tank, the world around.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Indirects and Tankless's:

    Oh yeah, and you don't even need to change the piping feeding the water heater and going to the hot water fixtures.
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