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I want to install a new boiler myself.

I need to install a new boiler and i want to do it myself. I have looked into new boilers and i going to buy this one. http://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewproduct-453055238.htm
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Comments

  • Vaughn Hill
    Vaughn Hill Member Posts: 12
    I want to install a new boiler myself.

    I need to install a new gas boiler and i want to do it myself. I have looked into new boilers and im going to buy this one. http://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewproduct-453055238.htm

    Now if i understand right it says the boiler is complete right out of the box. So im thinking i can just hook up the gas line,the power,the thermostat,the chimney, and the feed and return lines from the existing boiler. I also plan on adding a new expansion tank.

    First question, does what i said sound right or am i a complete idiot?

    Second question, what are the pros and cons of this type of boiler "finned copper-tube" verses a cast iron boiler?

    Third question, What precautions do i need to follow? I know to check for gas leaks. Water leaks and such but what else do i need to know/do?

    Please help me as there is no way i can afford to have this done and i must do it myself. It is going to be getting cold here in Michigan soon and i must get this done before long.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    Please

    Any legal issues aside, please at an ABSOLUTE minimum have a pro review your system both BEFORE AND AFTER installation. Judging from your questions I REALLY don't believe you should be doing this job yourself! Explain your situation--tradesmen do understand financial hardship but you have to remember that they have costs of doing business.

    The suitability of the boiler really depends on your system.

  • mark_40
    mark_40 Member Posts: 65


    not to mention your payin' out the A$$ for that boiler ....do you know how to properly size the venting ??
  • mark_40
    mark_40 Member Posts: 65


    i would ask AlpineAir for a copy of thier Liability policy before i wrote a check for twice what the boiler costs locally .......you internet guys kill me ... hopefully you won't kill yourself .....oh, the list of "start up contractors" they show .., your buddies who are gonna help you out ... well, that list is right outta your local phone book ... i suggest you start callin' now , and make sure that , yes, indded, they will service your new equipment ...
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    And I want to put

    new brakes in the car my children ride in, BUT I won't.

    I don't have the tools necessary or the experience to do something that would jeopardize my families safty.

    This really is not like putting in a window or painting a room to save money.

    Please look into some sort of assistants program in your area if you need help finacial, but Do Not put your family at risk .... Please.

    Scott

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  • Don Walsh
    Don Walsh Member Posts: 131
    Installation assistance

    For what it's worth, I plugged in my zip code on their website, and of the ten contractors that appeared; 3 are dead, two are sheet metal fabrication shops, and 2 others are warm air only. AND, ONLY ONE of them is licensed in the state of Ohio for Hydronics. If the results are similar for your area, you might be in a bit of a tight spot!

    Hire the work out to a professional. Spend a few hours arranging a short term financing vehicle, get three competing quotes for the exact same equipment from them and check all references that they provide. Make certain they have liability insurance, current Workers Compensation coverage, and the proper licensing to perform the work. Good luck!

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  • RoosterBoy
    RoosterBoy Member Posts: 459


    if you cant afford to have a pro do this install for you then look in your local paper and buy a wood stove
    then get your self a cord of wood and don't forget to keep the damper closed if the doors are shut

    this is not a insult it's cheep and will keep you warm
    good luck
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Mr Hill

    Sure you can install it yourself...........

    You just need to do a heat loss calc on your home in order to determine the proper BTU of the boiler.

    Next after that, you need to figure out what type of boiler and control system best suits what you have there. There are only several hundred options.......

    Now you need to configure the near boiler piping in such a way that you can properly circulate your system. This would include deciding to use zone valves or pumps, constant vs. interuppted flow, maybe outdoor reset,(saves some energy costs) make sure you pump away from the point of no pressure change in the system. Remember that about 1 time in 10, the circ that comes with the boiler is the right one for your system.

    After connecting the hydronic piping you will need to wire everything properly, both low and line voltage. The only boilers that have plug in type wiring harnesses are made by Viessmann BTW.

    Connecting your flue piping is next. Use your Magnahelic gauge to determine if you have the right amount of draft.
    If it's not right you need to correct it or wake up dead.

    Test your gas piping per code standard method after it's all connected to check for leaks. You can get a code book from the Dept. of Construction codes in Lansing. Did you know it is illegal for anyone but a licensed contractor to install a boiler in Michigan?

    Use your combustion analyzer to properly set up the burner. Contrary to popular notion, burners do not come "set up" from the factory.

    I left a few things out but that's pretty much it in a nutshell.

    Piece of cake!!
  • Jeff Lawrence_24
    Jeff Lawrence_24 Member Posts: 593
    In my state

    Here in Georgia, to work on a boiler, you have to have a state license beyond the Conditioned Air Contractors license that is required.

    I just found that out a few weeks ago!

    Jeff

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  • Robert O'Connor_7
    Robert O'Connor_7 Member Posts: 688
    New Boiler??

    Get a Permit! Robert O'Connor/NJ
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,782
    Interesting Outfit

    ... I never knew that installing an AC system required nothing more than a mere 1 hour training course. Folks, throw away those refrigerant, HVAC, etc. certifications, any homeowner can now do your work while saving hundreds of $$$ and knowing the quality of the install. LOL!

    The AlpineAir people certainly seem optimistic WRT finding a contractor that's OK with accepting all the liability and none of the benefit of a unit installation. Unless proven otherwise, I 'd place them in the internet snake-oil category.

    Lastly, there are better boilers out there that don't cost a lot more and which could save you a lot of money in operational costs. At the very least, have a contractor come in and spec out a NTI Trinity or Munchkin install (depending on the needed heating capacity). Both of those modulate and condense, potentially offering far greater cost savings than the Raypack under consideration right now. Never mind taking a closer look at the actual heating needs of the home...
  • Guy_5
    Guy_5 Member Posts: 159
    DIY

    What line of work are YOU in? I don't do my own taxes, but I could. I'm a smart guy, can do math well, can fill out forms, why shouldn't I? Because it's just not that simple-I pay a professional to do it and STILL wind up ahead financially, because he knows things that I don't.
    Same thing with your boiler-It's cheaper to do it right. Not to mention that if you install it and the very least thing that happens is that you have a service issue, who's going to fix it for you? Do you think that an internet SALES company will fly to your home and get you heat?
    There are some cases where money is well spent, and hiring a competent contractor is one of them.
    JMHO
  • Joel M
    Joel M Member Posts: 64


    lots of places will sell/install and offer budget payments. You cant afford to destroy your house or risk your family!
  • ishmael2k
    ishmael2k Member Posts: 39
    DIY installs..

    As a homeowner that has done all of my own upgrades to an existing system I have to agree with the pros here Vaughn. Installing a new boiler into an existing system can be very tricky..

    I am very mechanically inclined (Work in an automotive repair facility, worked in construction for 22+ yrs and also worked as a Facilities Manager for a medium sized church for 3yrs where I was responsible for the maintenance of all their heating/cooling setups.)and I am going to hire a pro when I go with a new system.

    Why? Because I want it sized correctly, and I want the peace of mind knowing it was done right. Now I may just hire him to oversee the project as I like working with boilers but I am still going to let him call the shots.

    Just my .02 worth...

    Rob

  • Kal Row
    Kal Row Member Posts: 1,520
    the DIY-RESCUE show idea s really showing promise...

    all kidding aside - if you promise to first buy and read siggi's book and software (www.bydronicpros.com) - and dan's "how come" book, and "Classic Hydronics" video on this site, download and use slanfin's heat loss calculator, (http://www.slantfin.com/hydronic/order.html)

    then: we promise to help you all we can - scouts honor
  • Floyd_7
    Floyd_7 Member Posts: 136
    Holy crap!!!!!!

    I punched in my zip and my name came up as a contractor for them!!!!! Don't they have to at least get permission??????
    The other guy that came up only does oil burner service....
    He couldn't install a A/C unit if his life depended on it.....
    This internet business is BS!!!!!

    Floyd
  • Doug Murphy_3
    Doug Murphy_3 Member Posts: 15


    Hey Vaughn,

    I am an HVAC engineer in Massachusetts where I design heating systems that go into schools, office buildings, manufacturing plants etc.. I just replaced my furnace in my own house and had someone else do it! Too many variables that can get overlooked by someone doing it for the first time. I consider myself very mechanically inclined yet this was about the safety of my family and not trying to save a buck. Have a pro do it!! This is not a DIY project no matter what anyone says.

  • Vaughn Hill
    Vaughn Hill Member Posts: 12


    Well it looks like i am either going to freeze my azz off or install this boiler myself. I have only got $2ooo. to my name, and i am maxed out on all my credit sources. so getting a pro to do it is out of the question.
  • Vaughn Hill
    Vaughn Hill Member Posts: 12
    How unsafe could it be?

    How unsafe could it be?
    The Boiler is only operating at a max 180 degrees and 30 psi.

    I would love more than anything to have it done for me. But Sears wants $4600. I wouldnt mind paying this but i have only got $2500. to my name and i cant get credit.

    For the safety of my family some of you implied!!!!!
    Keeping my family safe and warm this winter is what i am thinking about.I have a 1900 sq ft house built in 1905. and its going to get mighty cold if i dont get a new boiler put in.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Vauhgn

    Where are you at in Michigan. If I know someone near you, I would be glad to ask them to give you a hand with the install.
  • Joe@buderus
    [email protected] Member Posts: 165
    Gas!!!!

    Mr. Hill,

    Please reconsider doing your own install. GAS CAN EXPLODE! That is the most important thing to keep in mind. Also if any heating equipment is not installed correctly it could produce CO and be lethal to your family. Money is an issue, but is it worth the price of a family member or the entire family?

    Please consult with different finacial companies, larger heating companies, your local technical trade schools. Consider equipment that might be a little less efficient, pay a little more interest by extending the loan, talk with a "one man shop" to see if you could be his helper to help save money, but please do not install the boiler yourself!
    Thanks,
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    We all should do that

    If enough of us come up a listed contractors we could maybe get a class action suit going against them for using our names W/O permission. Be worth a phone call at any rate.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    DITTO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ebels Heating is on their hit list too!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to find out who gave them permission to use it.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    I just called 'em

    They purchased a data list from an internet info company and simply loaded all the names into their site. They tried to explain it as being a good thing for all the contractors. YEAH RIGHT!

    I told them I thought it was unethical to create the impression that all the contractors listed were ready willing and eager to go. The talking head on the other end of the phone said he didn't think it created that impression at all. YEAH RIGHT!

    My name is now off their list.

    I would suggest all concerned contractors do the same.
  • Kal Row
    Kal Row Member Posts: 1,520
    gentlemen: with 2k \"e noh du-in noh-tin\", we are being had

  • Doug Murphy_3
    Doug Murphy_3 Member Posts: 15
    Unsafe...

    > How unsafe could it be? The Boiler is only

    > operating at a max 180 degrees and 30 psi.

    >

    > I

    > would love more than anything to have it done for

    > me. But Sears wants $4600. I wouldnt mind paying

    > this but i have only got $2500. to my name and i

    > cant get credit.

    >

    > For the safety of my family

    > some of you implied!!!!! Keeping my family safe

    > and warm this winter is what i am thinking

    > about.I have a 1900 sq ft house built in 1905.

    > and its going to get mighty cold if i dont get a

    > new boiler put in.



  • Doug Murphy_3
    Doug Murphy_3 Member Posts: 15
    Unsafe...

    The operating temperature and pressure are not really a safety issue. The flue gas and fuel connection are what I'm talking about. Proper venting for a fuel burning device also has to be considered. Sweating the piping and some of the controls a homeowner could do but that's about where I would draw the line.
    Combustion in a boiler/furnace releases carbon monoxide that if not properly vented to the outside slowly fills yuor house. This carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas that kills. One of the other Wallies here had a running thread a while ago about families sleeping in a house with a faulty or improperly installed furnace/boiler. The amount of fatalities and near fatalities was staggering.
    There are programs (usually local oil/gas distributor) that will allow you to finance a new boiler/furnace through them. Best of luck!
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,448
    I've been thinking that all along.

    I emailed him and no reply.
    Retired and loving it.
  • S Milne_2
    S Milne_2 Member Posts: 5
    Me Too

    Thats why I checked his e-mail address first and since it matched his name I thought It might be for real. Most of the trouble makers are smart enough to think that far :0

    Scott
  • Vaughn Hill
    Vaughn Hill Member Posts: 12


    Hey im not trying to start trouble with anyone and as for my email that is me email address but as it happens i work afternoons and just got off from work. it is now 11:30 pm. I live in S.E. Michigan for you who asked and might be able to offer help. I would be greatfull. I have made a couple of calls to differant Hvac companies in the area for more estimates as i know Sears is probably on the high side. But that doesnt help me unless i can have it done for the $2500 that i have. I could scrap up a couple hundered more but that would be it as i have many bills that keep me from saving any money at this time.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    $2000??


    You said you had $2500.00.

    I might have been born at night, but it wasn't last night.

    How much did you pay for the computer you're using and how much do you pay a year for Internet access?

    Try again troll.

    Mark H



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  • Vaughn Hill
    Vaughn Hill Member Posts: 12
    come on, i came here for help not trouble.

    I have 2000 saved up and i can scrap up a few hundred more as i get paid.

    Please dont call me a troll as im not trying to start any trouble i just want some help.

    Im not sure what kind of trouble makers you have had on this forum. But i would find it kind of odd for someone to come to a heating help website looking for trouble. If i had a camera i would take some photos of my boiler and you would see why i need to replace it.

    The name of the boiler that is in the house now must be really old as i cant find anything about it on the internet. the make of it is Ultratherm i do not know the model number. but when i lit the pilot lite and turned up the thermostat flames shot out from one of the burners. and besides that there is some water that must have leaked from it as there is a small amount of water in the bottom of it. I have less than a month to get out of the house im in now as it has been sold and our new house is the one needing the new boiler.
  • grey
    grey Member Posts: 5
    True colors shown....

    Vaughn, you sure have stirred up a hornets nest here and the boys are showing their true colors. A bunch of pricks! Nasty even, but you know they are all sooooo smart. They like to use techical words to scare you. It's no wonder most folks are tempted to do these projects themselves. I wouldn't let half of these arrogant guys in my home. See description below and see if it fits most of the replies you have gotten:

    ar·ro·gant

    1. Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.

    2. Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others.

    I really feel for the homeowner who comes here looking for help and get beat up by the so-called "professionals" who repeat the same line; This is work for professional only.

    Whatever!

    I don't care if you do it yourself or not, but then again I am smart enough to change my own brake pads. And I know it's done right!

    Maybe Dan should start another forum where you guys could bash homeowner amongst yourselves.

    Good luck Vaughn.
  • grey
    grey Member Posts: 5
    True colors shown....

    Vaughn, you sure have stirred up a hornet nest here and the boys are showing their true colors. A bunch of arrogant pricks! Nasty even. But you know, they are all sooooo smart. They like to use techical words to scare you. It's no wonder that a lot of guys are tempted to do these projects themselves. I wouldn't let half of these guys in my home. See description below and see if it fits the personality of the guys giving you "help".

    ar·ro·gant

    1. Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.

    2. Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others.

    I really feel for the homeowner who comes here looking for help and get beat up by the so-called "professionals" who repeat the same line; This is work for professional only.

    Whatever!

    Maybe Dan should start another forum where the "professionals" could bash homeowner amongst themselves.

    Good luck Vaughn.
  • grey
    grey Member Posts: 5
    True colors shown....

    Vaughn, you sure have stirred up a hornet nest here and the boys are showing their true colors. A bunch of arrogant pricks! Nasty even. But you know, they are all sooooo smart. They like to use techical words to scare you. It's no wonder that a lot of guys are tempted to do these projects themselves. I wouldn't let half of these guys in my home. See description below and see if it fits the personality of the guys giving you "help".

    ar·ro·gant

    1. Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.

    2. Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others.

    I really feel for the homeowner who comes here looking for help and get beat up by the so-called "professionals" who repeat the same line; This is work for professional only, usually followed by thinly veiled put-downs.

    Whatever!

    Maybe Dan should start another forum where the "professionals" could bash homeowner amongst themselves.

    Good luck Vaughn.
  • grey
    grey Member Posts: 5
    True colors shown....

    Vaughn, you sure have stirred up a hornet nest here and the boys are showing their true colors. A bunch of arrogant pricks! Nasty even. But you know, they are all sooooo smart. They like to use techical words to scare you. It's no wonder that a lot of guys are tempted to do these projects themselves. I wouldn't let half of these guys in my home. See description below and see if it fits the personality of the guys giving you "help".

    ar·ro·gant

    1. Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.

    2. Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others.

    I really feel for the homeowner who comes here looking for help and get beat up by the so-called "professionals" who repeat the same line; This is work for professional only. As if to say, you can't do it, you're not smart enough, blah, blah, blah.

    Whatever!

    Maybe Dan should start another forum where the "professionals" could bash homeowner amongst themselves.

    Good luck Vaughn.
  • grey
    grey Member Posts: 5
    True colors shown....

    Vaughn, you sure have stirred up a hornet nest here and the boys are showing their true colors. But you know, they are all sooooo smart. They like to use techical words to scare you. It's no wonder that a lot of guys are tempted to do these projects themselves. I wouldn't let half of these guys in my home. See description below and see if it fits the personality of the guys giving you "help".

    ar·ro·gant

    1. Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.

    2. Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others.

    I really feel for the homeowner who comes here looking for help and gets beat up by the so-called "professionals" who repeat the same line; This is work for professional only. As if to say, you can't do it, you're not smart enough, blah, blah, blah.

    Whatever!

    Maybe Dan should start another forum where the "professionals" could bash homeowners amongst themselves.

    Good luck Vaughn.
  • Steve Eayrs
    Steve Eayrs Member Posts: 424
    I really need a new truck.

    The one I like is $35K. BUT I only have 18K and can't spend any more. Can someone explain to me why I can't buy this truck myself for 18K? Its not fair. I know that you can buy the parts for the truck for somewhere around that. I will install these parts myself. It can't be that hard. Can you help me. I'm serious....I just need to have all the parts needed listed out for me, so I can do this myself.

    I have call Ford, GMC and all the others, but they are so arrogant. Thay have the nerve to say I might forget something and kill myself or others. I say forget them!! Who do they think they are anyway.



    OK....the conparisions a little overboard, and most boilers are not as complicated as most autos, but please take a look at how many people do kill themselves a year with boilers, and you better think twice about installing one yourself. You cannot smell the fumes, and would never know what hit ya.


    The real truth.........At a good deal price, and no labor at all, you will most likely end up spending more than $2500 in material alone. If you sense that some on this site are a little ticked, it may be because they are insulted that you evidently think all of us rip-off artists are making such a huge profit, and if we would just tell you the truth, and be honest for a change, we could help you.

    What do you do for a living? Could I approach you and expect to buy whatever it is at below cost?



    Steve
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    hello *~/ :) a unit heater and a boiler with somepipe ....

    does not a boiler install make. there is something called controll stradgey....this kinda troll can eat you for breakfast not so much on the initial install ,the Operating expences day to day cost theres where the true cost becomes evident its kinda like a revalation that some times there are ways to do things that seem spendy buh really arent.i am not clear as to the costs of things in your area...however with all the skills and another 1450 youd most likely not be able to do what you want..where you to bag off all kinds of valves pipe it in black iron,hook it up to a meter installed and provided by the gas company withsstainless steel corregated one run two fittings and a gas valve.....i honestly dont see it happening for you.i think you would be better off with a monitor stove or monitor water heater if you have radiant floor heat...a monitor or a toyo heater is heat. it has a fairly quick resale value too...maybe go that way then consider your options...if you have a two story home it might not work real well.. however...it is one of thequickest cheapest fairly well trouble free heater a person can hook up for heat today.i think it is the easiest thing to install for heat. the operational costs are reasonable as they are efficent heaters. however if some one gave you a boiler your money would soon vanish with quite likely an inoperable system...the monitor doesnt require much of a vent through the wall,a 300 gallon oil tank would last maybe two three months depending on theTightness of the structure.that way you have like 700 in fueloil, tank and piping and another 11 1200 in to the monitor and a couple cool ones with a bit of change in your pocket.Good luck.
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Vaughn let me explain,

    Every once in a while some will post here on heatinghelp and make a statement like " Oil Sucks " , " Whats so great about European Boilers" " Anybody can install a boiler ".

    This always starts a big discussion and heated arguments start.

    After checking the e-mail address it turns out to say something like " Yousuck.com " or " eatme.net". Big joke right ? I think alot of times its people who read here alot, don't post, and feel like we are arrogant for trying to be proffesional about how we respond. They make remarks like " I would'nt let them in my house " ! These are usually people who don't want to learn, drive an old beat up truck, have no insurance, and think we should all live in servitude because what we do has no value.

    A good friend of mine here likes to say that " when we set something on fire in some ones basement we sure better know what we are doing ! ". Thats what you are talking about doing, setting something on fire in your basement and then going to work. You feel that it comes from the factory all set up and and must work correctly, Right ? Wrong !

    The people who hang out at this website have found out that that is Not True. Nothing is the same as it is in the factory when they set it up. Not everyone has a perfectly set up chimeny, not everyone has enough make up air for the applaince to burn properly, not everyone has the properly sized gas pipe to their boiler. It goes on and on. It would be really easy for me to sit here at my warm office and tell you how easy it is to hook up your boiler. Solder this, connect this, put a flue pipe in the chimney, really easy. ITS NOT EASY, it took me twenty years to know how to do this correctly and I Still Learn Everyday !!

    How would I feel if I watched the news this winter and Tom Brokaw does a story about a family killed by a boiler explosion on Christmans Eve, and the father had done the boiler install himself.

    Sure you can try it, and you might get lucky and it will work. I , and the others here, won't take that chance.

    Sorry, man, I feel badly your in a bind. We all feel very strongly that putting in a boiler is Not the place to save money. Ask your Church for assitance or a civic group. Maybe Sears will give you more credit. Maybe its time to take a hard look at where you do spend your money.

    I have watched this group of " arrogant &^*%'s " send money to people we've never meet because one of our group has said they are in need. I have seen this group donate thier time to help others less fortunate then themselves. I will stand with this group Proudly ANYDAY.

    What they will not do is help someone put themselves and thier family in harms way.

    Do you want some help ?

    Find someone on your area that we know. Let them look at your situation and come back to tell us what they found.

    Maybe we Can Help !!

    Scott


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