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Burnham Alta Combi Experience?

PilotPat24
PilotPat24 Member Posts: 77
Hello,

Has anyone has any experience with the Burnham Alta Combi Boilers? I have a house with Hydronic and I am looking to convert from Oil to Gas.

Thanks,

Pat

Comments

  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,373
    Being a service tech ....Bosch
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 130
    Nobody has responded to you, and I'm not knowledgeable, but what I've read here is to go with what your chosen contractor suggests, since that is the install they have been trained on.
    Mad Dog_2
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,800
    Lochinvar gets good comments from many and we don't seem to get many bad reports about them.
  • PilotPat24
    PilotPat24 Member Posts: 77

    Nobody has responded to you, and I'm not knowledgeable, but what I've read here is to go with what your chosen contractor suggests, since that is the install they have been trained on.

    That's all fine and good if the contractor suggest a quality product. I had a plumber recently recommend a Navien. He said that's all he installs. After watching hours and hours of Mike Pipes videos documenting failed and consistent issues after 7 to 8 years of service with Naviens', I don't think I would be installing a Navien in my house.

    kcoppbucksnortGroundUp
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 719
    i'm a lochinvar boiler guy.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,416
    HTP and Viessman are good too. Take a look at what the controls can do compared to what you need them to do.
  • PilotPat24
    PilotPat24 Member Posts: 77
    pedmec said:

    i'm a lochinvar boiler guy.

    Good to know. Thanks!
  • PilotPat24
    PilotPat24 Member Posts: 77
    mattmia2 said:

    HTP and Viessman are good too. Take a look at what the controls can do compared to what you need them to do.

    Thanks. Will check them out!
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,800
    Navian would not be my first choice
    bucksnortSuperTech
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 696
    Purchase something that the installer has confidence in, and parts are available locally. If you are purchasing and installing the unit yourself, make sure you are getting a good warranty, and make peace with ordering parts yourself and the lead time that may come with that. Mod-con boilers have more proprietary components than older boilers.
    I would trust in my home, Viessmann, Triangle Tube, IBC, Lochinvar, Burnham and a few others that don't come to mind. My choice would be within this range, and make sure parts are available locally
    kcoppIn_New_England
  • PilotPat24
    PilotPat24 Member Posts: 77
    GGross said:

    Purchase something that the installer has confidence in, and parts are available locally. If you are purchasing and installing the unit yourself, make sure you are getting a good warranty, and make peace with ordering parts yourself and the lead time that may come with that. Mod-con boilers have more proprietary components than older boilers.
    I would trust in my home, Viessmann, Triangle Tube, IBC, Lochinvar, Burnham and a few others that don't come to mind. My choice would be within this range, and make sure parts are available locally

    Thanks for the advise. I would be doing the install myself but since there is no gas currently at the house, a licensed plumber needs to perform the install as per the utility company. It seems like there are a lot of Burnham installers in my area. There are a couple of Lochinvar, and Viessmann installers as well.
  • Joe107
    Joe107 Member Posts: 23
    @PilotPat24 Pat, if you see this I was wondering if you went with the Burnham Alta boiler. If so, how do you like it, if not, was there something with the boiler that made you choose something else? I am switching from oil to propane. I've been reading a lot of boiler install manuals online and like this Alta boiler.

    Thanks,
    Joe
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,192
    Joe107 said:

    @PilotPat24 Pat, if you see this I was wondering if you went with the Burnham Alta boiler. If so, how do you like it, if not, was there something with the boiler that made you choose something else? I am switching from oil to propane. I've been reading a lot of boiler install manuals online and like this Alta boiler.

    Thanks,
    Joe

    Why?
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 6,078
    pecmsg said:

    Joe107 said:

    @PilotPat24 Pat, if you see this I was wondering if you went with the Burnham Alta boiler. If so, how do you like it, if not, was there something with the boiler that made you choose something else? I am switching from oil to propane. I've been reading a lot of boiler install manuals online and like this Alta boiler.

    Thanks,
    Joe

    Why?
    Why Not?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,192
    edited May 30

    pecmsg said:

    Joe107 said:

    @PilotPat24 Pat, if you see this I was wondering if you went with the Burnham Alta boiler. If so, how do you like it, if not, was there something with the boiler that made you choose something else? I am switching from oil to propane. I've been reading a lot of boiler install manuals online and like this Alta boiler.

    Thanks,
    Joe

    Why?
    Why Not?
    I asked 1st :)

    But since you asked
    replying to a 1-year-old thread and very few places is LP cheaper than Oil!
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • Joe107
    Joe107 Member Posts: 23
    @pecmsg I built my house 15 years ago and we did not build a chimney because we went with an oil direct vent boiler (no gas in street). Now the boiler cracked and the manufacturer no longer makes ODV boilers, but they are offering me a discount on a gas replacement. I was told of 2 other brands that make ODV boilers but neither are stocked and both have 6-8 week lead times. I don't have room to build a chimney on that side of the house so I have to go with a DV. While I have the luxury of waiting now I may not when the replacement goes. I know there is another oil DV option but it is a lot of money and then I'm stuck with service from just a few higher cost providers in my area.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 6,078
    edited May 31
    Joe107 said:

    @pecmsg I built my house 15 years ago and we did not build a chimney because we went with an oil direct vent boiler (no gas in street). Now the boiler cracked and the manufacturer no longer makes ODV boilers, but they are offering me a discount on a gas replacement. I was told of 2 other brands that make ODV boilers but neither are stocked and both have 6-8 week lead times. I don't have room to build a chimney on that side of the house so I have to go with a DV. While I have the luxury of waiting now I may not when the replacement goes. I know there is another oil DV option but it is a lot of money and then I'm stuck with service from just a few higher cost providers in my area.

    Are those "Higher Cost" service providers really that much higher? I have had experience with a consumer that used one of my lower priced competitors for years. Eventually that guy moved out of town and the consumer called me to do the annual tune up. I was about $30.00 more expensive. When I got to his home the boiler was full of soot. And that was not unusual according to my new customer. I explained that there should be no soot at the end of the heating season. Of course, the customer did not believe me.

    The following year this new customer watched me open the boiler for the annual tune up and was amazed that there was no soot. I said I told you so. I also said that the soot was unburned oil. Since we burned ALL the oil this past winter, you probably used less fuel. Check with the fuel dealer. Turns out he saved about 30 to 40 gallons of fuel by a conservative calculation. @ about $3.00/gallon, that is over $100.00 and it only cost him $30.00 extra for a professional tune up with combustion test instruments to set up the burner. (There were no emergency service calls needed that season either)

    You get what you pay for.

    BTW. My son still does his tune up every year, as side work. He will not have anyone else, even though my son is no longer in the business.


    My guess is that if your higher priced system is made by Energy Kinetics, It will be worth the extra.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 5,870
    Burnham products always deliver.  They are priced competitively, well built and they stand by their brand.  Any issues they have had over the years, they stand by it.  Take a better look at them.  They are also much more common especially in the North East so the contractors use them often.  Mad Dog 🐕 
    Dan Foley
  • Joe107
    Joe107 Member Posts: 23
    @Mad Dog_2 Thanks. Do you know if that goes for the Crown version of the Burnham boilers? I'm looking at a Phantom II as a warranty replacement.

    @EdTheHeaterMan I'm willing to pay some more for someone who knows what they're doing and does a good job but I don't want to get ripped off either. The problem is finding that person. The guy I've been using the last few years shut down his business over the winter so I have to find someone else. We have some companies that charge several hundred for the annual cleaning and service contract but then they also charge top dollar for oil so they get you both ways, and you have to buy oil from them if you have their service contract. I recently contacted a large company in my area about a propane tank install and they sent a salesman for heating equipment. He recommended the EK system at a price that was more than double the price I was quoted for another oil direct vent. Then he said, "this will save you $3,000 a year on oil". I said, really, I spent $3,200 for oil for the past year so how is it going to do that? Come to think of it, I used that same company for oil several years ago. They sent someone to do the annual cleaning. He spent a couple hours in my basement then left. But I never heard him use a vacuum. I opened the boiler after he left and it was filthy. I called, they sent another tech along with his boss. They cleaned it and put on a couple new parts at no charge for my trouble. I don't want to work with someone I can't trust so I tried someone else the following year.

    I can do most of my own work - I've renovated kitchens, baths, done drywall finishing, electrical, plumbing, small roofing, siding and masonry projects, but I have limited HVAC knowledge.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 5,870
    Crown is good quality also. Mad Dog 🐕 
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,192
    Joe107 said:

    @Mad Dog_2 Thanks. Do you know if that goes for the Crown version of the Burnham boilers? I'm looking at a Phantom II as a warranty replacement.

    @EdTheHeaterMan I'm willing to pay some more for someone who knows what they're doing and does a good job but I don't want to get ripped off either. The problem is finding that person. The guy I've been using the last few years shut down his business over the winter so I have to find someone else. We have some companies that charge several hundred for the annual cleaning and service contract but then they also charge top dollar for oil so they get you both ways, and you have to buy oil from them if you have their service contract. I recently contacted a large company in my area about a propane tank install and they sent a salesman for heating equipment. He recommended the EK system at a price that was more than double the price I was quoted for another oil direct vent. Then he said, "this will save you $3,000 a year on oil". I said, really, I spent $3,200 for oil for the past year so how is it going to do that? Come to think of it, I used that same company for oil several years ago. They sent someone to do the annual cleaning. He spent a couple hours in my basement then left. But I never heard him use a vacuum. I opened the boiler after he left and it was filthy. I called, they sent another tech along with his boss. They cleaned it and put on a couple new parts at no charge for my trouble. I don't want to work with someone I can't trust so I tried someone else the following year.

    I can do most of my own work - I've renovated kitchens, baths, done drywall finishing, electrical, plumbing, small roofing, siding and masonry projects, but I have limited HVAC knowledge.

    Good of you to call them out on the savings!

    Can you save on your energy bills with new equipment YES for both fuels! Sizing, setting up helps. Tightening the envelope is your biggest savings!

    Personally stay with oil. The EK system "Properly Installed" is your best option. Choose the installing contractor wisely. Ek owner is a member here.
    EdTheHeaterManSuperTechszwedj