Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
In fairness to all, we don't discuss pricing on the Wall. Thanks for your cooperation.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Should I believe FurnaceCompare?

DrBobDrBob Member Posts: 3
We're looking to replace our hot water boiler, and, as recommended, I got three estimates. The three boilers in question are: Weil Mclain, Burnham, and Lennox. Looked on Furnacecompare.com, and the reviews for the first two are pretty awful (186 "Very Unsatisfied" vs. only 56 "Very Satisfied" for Burnham). I realize that these reviews are probably slanted toward the negative - you only bother to rate your boiler if you hate it - but the contrast with the top 4 (Bosch, Slant-Fin, Westinghouse, Lennox) is pretty stark. I was tempted to go with the Burnham guy (larger company, more professional estimate, better labor warranty), but the reviews are pushing me to go with Lennox.

Comments

  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,427
    How many of the contractors did a heat loss calculation to properly size the boiler or at least have it in the quote do do such a calc.

    Here is the problem with many of those review sites. If the installer does a poor job installing the boiler the system will perform poorly even to the point of the equipment having problems. People then blame the equipment when the real problem is the contractor.

    The most important thing is a contractor that knows what they are doing. That starts with them doing a heat loss (Manual J) calculation for proper sizing.

    Lennox doesn't make boilers, I believe they are made by Dunkirk.
    Westinghouse is actually HTP if memory serves.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 7,760
    Definitely not. The quality of a heating system is 95% in the install. All the boilers you mention are perfectly good boilers -- if they are installed properly. None of them are worth beans if they aren't.

    A heating system is system, not just a boiler. And, by the way, you are looking at boilers, not furnaces. There's a difference.

    You don't buy a heating system the way you do a coffee maker.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • DrBobDrBob Member Posts: 3
    Well, in spite of the name, is is boilers that they're rating, if you look at the site. One of the most disturbing complaints about Burnham is that they don't honor their warranty. Have any of you ever run into this problem?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 7,760
    On the warranty -- it's very important to remember that many companies -- not just Burnham -- will only work with and honour things like warranty work or service calls when they are working with a licensed, trained installer. Which goes back to my earlier comment -- you are buying a heating system, installed by a professional, not a coffee maker from WalMart.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,427
    And many warranty claims can be denied due to improper installation.

    Again it's the contractor.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • SlamDunkSlamDunk Member Posts: 328
    KC_Jones said:

    And many warranty claims can be denied due to improper installation.



    Again it's the contractor.

    Which ends up being the customers problem.

    I have been in the middle of a couple installer/manufacturer warranty fights. those fights, I either accept it as is or tear it out and do it myself. Most times, I’m extremely pleased with results. Oftentimes, it has more to do with who you do business with than the product. Vet the contractor.
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 3,832
    edited January 11
    I looked at a few of the Burnham reviews. Burnham is very popular with National Grid and other outfits that hire low cost unqualified installers. My bet is on bad installs. Burnham is a good boiler.
    When you get right down to it, the guts on the mainstream boilers are very similar, sometimes identical.
    The quality of manufacture support varies from region to region within the same brand. Find yourself a good contractor that performs heatloss calculations on the front end and combustion analysis at start up. Pay them a fair price and buy a brand they are comfortable with. Easy Peasy :)
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Stephen MinnichStephen Minnich Member Posts: 1,785
    My guess is that I've installed more Burnham boilers in my career than any other. And I never, ever, had problems with them.
    It's all in the details.

    www.minnichmech.com
  • delta Tdelta T Member Posts: 504
    Did any of the companies you got bids from do a heat loss calculation? If not, is it in their bid to do so? This is the single most important step in this process. You cannot just go by square footage, or any rule of thumb, you have to actually do the numbers to size the boiler. An improperly sized boiler will eat itself in short order whatever brand you choose. This will most likely not be a warrantable failure as the boiler would be considered improperly installed. You need to ensure that the installer you choose does a heat loss, and uses it to size the boiler that they install. Once you find a good contractor willing and able to do a heat loss, go with their brand. They will be familiar with it, and will have good access to repair parts.

    After perusing that site for a bit, I am not impressed. I have not found one bad review that actually points to a boiler manufacture problem, but instead, all point to bad installation, and lack of knowledge. even a lot of the "pros" seem to not realize that the failures they experience are common installation problems that we see all day long (and fix all day long). One of my favorite boiler brands (Lochinvar) is not even on their list, and they are by no means obscure players in the market....

    Don't get too wrapped up in which brand you choose, spend your energy vetting your contractor!
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,150
    If you think about it cast iron boilers with the sheet metal panels removed all look the same. It's like a big pot over a fire with some pipes poking out. As everyone stated it's where you put your pipe that matters.
  • DrBobDrBob Member Posts: 3
    OK, thanks for all the advice!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!