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    gas gun on existing oil burner or new gas boiler (16 Posts)

  • tiff tiff @ 11:31 PM
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    gas gun on existing oil burner or new gas boiler

    I have an efm 26 year old oil burner and want to convert to gas. I was told because I have large cast radiators in our old Victorian 2900 square foot home we would not be able to get a condensing high efficiency boiler due to the fact that it would not be able to force enough water through all our radiators. My next step was to either convert our current boiler or get an eighty to eighty five percent efficient new gas boiler. My question is will it be worth the cost to get a new boiler verse converting the old. Are we talking a couple hundred dollars a year saved or more like five hundred or more dollars a year saved. I am so confused, I was set on the high efficient models but now that I cant go that direction i am considering saving the money and just putting the gun on our current boiler,
  • Aaron_in_Maine Aaron_in_Maine @ 5:46 AM
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    Get another estimate

    Unless your current system is a steam system they are wrong. Radiator systems are the best for a high efficiency condensening boiler. If your system is a hot water system I am sure there is a way to pump through it. Post some pictures of your current boiler and a radiator or two. Someone here will be able to point you in the right direction.
  • icesailor icesailor @ 7:00 AM
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    Estimation 101

    The "estimator needs to take the new class Estimation 101 to understand what he is doing. He is clueless as to what the ($#@!) he is talking about.
    Sadly.
    Although,
    If as a cost saving measure, you did put a gas conversion burner in your 26 YO boiler, and installed a 4-way thermostatic mixer with Out Door Reset, you would get all the benefits that you would get from the condensing boiler without the condensing. In other words, all the radiators would only get water as hot as needed, regardless of how hot the boiler is.
    Do you have a tank-less heater coil in this boiler? And what breed is it? How high is it fired?
    If I were the "estimator", I would give you lots of options and costs so you could decide. I find that folks like to get options. They think you know something and you care. And aren't trying to hustle you for cash.
    I find that folks are willing to spend "X". Sometimes "Y" and never "Z". Given choices, they will spend "X", and may often spend "Y" but never "Z". If given a choice of only "Z", they may call someone else. I can be "Someone else".
    Or, whatever.
  • tiff tiff @ 9:50 AM
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    pictures of our existing set up

    Here are some pictures of our existing set up as well as one of our radiators. Any suggestions?
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 10:03 AM
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    Is that

    a cast-iron or steel boiler? Hard to tell from the pics.........
    "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.
  • tiff tiff @ 4:58 PM
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    cast or steel

    It is a steel boiler
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 8:41 PM
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    If it's a dry-base unit

    as many steel boilers are, it might not do quite as well as a wet-base one. The reason is, the wet-base models almost completely surround the flame with water-backed metal, but the dry-base ones do not. But a dry-base of that type will not lose as much heat from the base as an atmospheric gas boiler would.

    If there is no safe way to vent a mod-con, a wet-base cast-iron boiler with power gas burner is a good choice. Here's one we did, a small Solaia with a HeatWise gas burner. HeatWise recently folded, so the same boiler is now available with the Carlin EZ-Gas burner.
    "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.
    This post was edited by an admin on May 6, 2012 8:43 PM.
  • Aaron_in_Maine Aaron_in_Maine @ 11:22 AM
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    Get more estimates

    That is a hot water system. You can put in a High efficiency condensening boler if your current boiler is heating the rads there is no reason that a new mod con can't. Make sure your contractors are doing a heat loss calculation of the building to size the new boiler. A good one will measure the rads too. If you have more rads then needed you can run the new system at a lower temp. Check the find a contractor section of this site.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 9:39 AM
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    Assuming

    that there is a proper and safe place to vent a mod-con.....................
    "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.
  • Jim Pompetti Jim Pompetti @ 12:18 PM
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    You should

    have no problem to converting it to high eff. we did several this and past years . With reports of saving in one case of over $4500 a year.It was a summer/winter boiler.
  • gennady gennady @ 9:20 PM
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    i am considering saving the money and just putting the gun on our current boiler.

    Here we go again. This is not saving money. What you are going to do is just waste your money. Installing high efficiency system in your house is the best investment you can make.  Improving your house comfort and   lowering your bills is what you have to invest in. Think investment. And find sane, qualified contractor. Those large over sized cast iron radiators will allow for lower water temperature, and low velocity low resistance, very effective heating. your arrangement is ideal for high efficiency heating.
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
  • bob eck bob eck @ 6:53 PM
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    Invest money on a new boiler

    What happens in a year or two when your EFM steel boiler starts leaking after spending money on a gas conversion burner and you then need to buy a new boiler? Invest money now with a new condensing gas boiler. Look at getting a bid on a triangle tube condensing gas boiler with stainless steel heat exchanger. Look at their prestige solo boiler with a smart stainless steel indirect water heater for domestic hot water. Also look at their prestige excellence boiler with built in SS indirect water heater all in one unit. Where do you live. I live in Catasauqua Pa and EFM is a local company. I went from a cast iron Weil McLain oil boiler to a condensing triangle tube PE110 boiler nat gas and I have cast iron radiators and this boiler works great. You can lower your heating and domestic hot water costs from 30% to 50% or more. Send me a email I know many contractors in the Lehigh Valley area that you can get a bid from..
  • Scott Scott @ 6:01 AM
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    Mod/Con with CI rads

    I find it amazing that there are still contractors who will tell an owner that these boilers won't work well with large cast ron radiators. Wow.
    As far as vetning goes,some mod/cons have a venting system that allow them to use the chimney. If not they can be side wall vented.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 10:22 AM
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    Again, you're assuming

    that there is a proper, safe place to install a sidewall vent, or that using the chimney would not exceed the maximum developed length the manufacturer specifies for the venting system. 

    For example, in Baltimore we have been known to get up to three feet of snow. Yet some knuckleheads stub out their intake and exhaust pipes a foot above grade. What happens in the next blizzard? The unit will either shut down or release products of combustion into the house. If we see something like this, we don't touch it since that would make us "the last ones to work on it" in a court case.
    "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.
  • Jean-David Beyer Jean-David Beyer @ 10:35 AM
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    Nearaly hypothetical question.

    Venting below the snow line is surely a bad idea.
    Around here, I am required (though there are other options) to have a vent about a foot down from the top of my boiler room, and a second one about a foot above floor level. The size of the vents depends on the BTU/hour rating of the boiler.

    But since the floor is essentially at ground level, and the snow outside often gets five feet deep or more, what do contractors do if they want to do a safe installation and obey the code at the same time? Whoever built my house had the lower vent about 6 feet above the floor level (slightly higher than to the top of the boiler), and the higher vent about 5 feet down from the peak of the roof. No inspector seems to object to this.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 8:14 PM
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    In this case

    "venting" refers to exhausting products of combustion. 
    "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.
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