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Bradford White Brute FT Boiler

MLGVT
MLGVT Member Posts: 3
Hello. I am needing to replace old Weil McClain Boiler in my 1500 sqft condo. I live in Vermont. I was planning on installing a Bosch Greenstar combi unit and just got a call from my plumber saying that he thinks the Bradford White Brute FT 140 would be a better option. Other people in our development have installed the NTI boiler, but I it is much bigger and not rated as well online. It has something to do with the fuel source fit is better. I can't seem to find much online about the Brute in terms of reviews. I have no real understanding/experience with boilers...just wanting to make sure as a consumer that what I am buying is of good quality/reputation and value. The Bosch unit seems to be highly rated and holds up well. If anyone has thoughts or experience with these units I'd appreciate hearing from you. Thanks.

Comments

  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,622
    Dont believe all the reviews you read. Its usually by people who are not happy. And its usually not the equipment but the installer. If your happy with and trust your plumber, then I would do what he recommends. Especially if that's what he's familiar with. I've never seen a BW boiler so make sure there is good parts availability.
    Ironmandelta TRich_49kcopp
  • MLGVT
    MLGVT Member Posts: 3
    I am certainly suspect of some reviews. I just have not heard of this boiler before and our local gas company hasn't either, which had me concerned. Just spoke with an guy who works for Bradford White...really nice guy and very helpful. Sounds like the boiler has been around for a few years and they are making more of a market where I live, which would explain why it is not as well known.
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,422
    The Brute is the same boiler as the Laars Mascot FT. I have installed about 20 of the Mascots (heat only) over the past year and they've all been awesome and trouble free so far. Most are spot on from the factory and don't even need any tweaking to the gas valve. If you're referring to the combi though, I cannot say one way or another as I have never run into a situation that a combi would be a better choice than a heat only boiler with indirect WH tank. As far as a boiler though, I like the Mascot a lot and I would take a Brute just the same
    MLGVTIronman
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 571
    F.W. Webb seems to be supplying the Brad White Brute boilers. It is a new line for them. I did see that Laars was on Brad White masthead. I don't think much of the older Laars boilers I have seen and worked on. But...everyone progresses. Its less about brand names and more about knowledgable installers/service support. Good tech support from the mfg. is critical. Laars let me down in the past. Just sayin. It's my small prerogative.
    MLGVT
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,890
    edited October 2019
    The Laars/Bradford White fire tube is the same basic boiler as the HTP UFT Fire tube with a few variations. We've installed many with almost no issues.

    As far as the Laars combi version goes: we installed one a couple of weeks ago and it performs very well.

    The problem with combi's are this:
    First, in order to heat domestic water instantly, the burner is almost always way over-sized for space heating. This is true even with modulation. This can result in boiler short cycling and reduced life. That's why a heating only boiler + an indirect tank is preferred. With the storage capacity of the indirect, the boiler can be properly sized for space heating. The Laars has a built in 3 gallon indirect which helps with this issue to some degree.

    Second, most combi's employ an internal plate heat exchanger to heat the domesctic. These have very narrow passages that clog easily if there's any minerals in your water. This will necessitate periodic chemical cleaning of the HX depending of your water hardness. It's not unusual around here for this to be necessary a couple of times a year at a cost of hundreds of dollars a pop for a pro to do it. Again, the Laars uses an internal indirect which is not as susceptible to fouling as a plate HX.

    The Laars combi which we recently did was in an old home with large CI radiators and large pipes that hold a lot of water. This gives the system a lot mass which prevents the boiler from short cycling. It also only had one little old lady occupying it which meant the domestic demand was low and the smaller combi was more than sufficient. If it weren't for these two conditions being met, we would go with a boiler + an indirect as we usually do.

    I'm a Bosch dealer, but I don't particularly care for the aluminum HX in the GreenStar. The Laars has a stainless steel fire tube HX which is preferred by most of the pro's here.





    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    MLGVT
  • khaflett
    khaflett Member Posts: 1
    Wondering where things landed for you… I am in the same boat 2 years later in VT. Recommended the Bradford white wall hung combo. Did you go with it.. other input 2 years out?? Thanks!!
  • Mez
    Mez Member Posts: 10
    Ironman, I see that you only installed service valves on the DHW side ( inlet and outlet), but not the CH side. Is there a reason why? Or I just don’t see them Also, where is the extension tank is connected to the system? I have the same unit and the installer put the extension tank + the auto water feeder + air eliminator right after the circulation pump which I think is not correct based on all the diagrams I’ve seen so far, unless there is a good reason for it.