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    Converting Oil to Gas (28 Posts)

  • Freedom Freedom @ 4:12 PM
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    Converting Oil to Gas

    Working on a house in Methuen, MA.  Plan is to sell my home in RI and move there.  It is the house I grew up in.

    House has Weil - McLain WGTO-4 Series 3 oil boiler.  WTGO tells you the hot water also runs off this system (so I am told).  Boiler is about 9 years old. Forced hot water base board heat.

    I spoke with a rep at Weil-McLain, she advised a conversion burner from either Wayne or Carlin will be compatible with my boiler.  She explained that I won't get the improved efficiency of a gas boiler vs. an oil boiler, however I will save in the cost of the fuel to run the thing. 

    There is no gas line on the street, I have 2 other neighbors who want to convert.  Have been working with the gas company.  If we can get 4 or more they will extend the gas main at no cost to us, the new consumers.  Well, we verbally now have 4; the Gas Co has mailed out letters today to the 8 houses involved. 

    So, I am trying to put all the pieces together.  The gas line goes in, then they run the piping from the street across my property to my house.  From there I am responsible for inside my house.  I have spoken with 2 local plumbers, one has set a time to meet me at the house this week, but he already told me he does not do conversion burners only full new boilers.  The second one is checking his schedule and I will have an appt with him this week also.

    I already spoke to a company to remove the oil tank from the cellar, got him to commit to a removal price, and he said if I have the oil level below half a tank I will get a discount. Since I turn the boiler on when I am up there, in order to have hot water, I think I can get below the half tank mark.  I've called my current oil company to stop automatic deliveries.  So I think I am all set on that end.

    I do not understand the paperwork the gas company sent to me.  I have to mark where the gas line will come IN on my property, to my house.  I have to be 3 feet away from dryer vents, electrical outlets, and anything that makes a spark.  I am hoping the plumbers who come out can help with this?  My Dad was an electrician, and he put in outlets every few feet outside for Christmas lights when I was a little girl.  Which was fun then, making me crazy on this project though.

    What else do I need to know, ask, check, verify?  If I sound like I know what I am talking about, I DON'T!  This has been a steep learning curve, in the past 2.5 weeks!   Figuring out how to set up a project with the Gas Co, getting neighbors on board (that was easy after the winter we just had!), and learning how the heating system works in that house.

    And once all that is done, what do I need for the 18 inch trench the Gas Co digs in my lawn?  Just seed?  What condition do they leave it?  How do they get in to my cellar, the house has a 12 inch concrete apron, do they go under that, dig up 18 inches of it?  The foundation is cement blocks (not poured concrete).  Where does the meter go?  I just put up new siding last year (Yep I am doing most of the jobs in the wrong order). 

    I just tried the 'find a contractor' link, but everyone who comes up is way down near Boston, which is not helpful.  Their price would be high just to cover their auto fuel to get to me!

    Thank you for any ideas, info, guidance, suggestions of things to consider.
    This post was edited by an admin on June 30, 2014 4:28 PM.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 5:51 PM
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    Conversion burners

    } She explained that I won't get the improved efficiency of a gas boiler vs. an oil boiler

    Quite the opposite, with a properly sized and installed conversion burner.

    Not sure if Charlie travels that far, but perhaps Tim knows a tech nearby who can handle the work.
  • Freedom Freedom @ 6:01 PM
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    Efficiency

    Really?  She said my boiler when new, was at 87% efficiency.  And a new gas boiler today could be as high as 95% efficiency. 
  • SWEI SWEI @ 6:36 PM
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    Efficiency

    Somehow thought you had a steam system -- apologies.  For hot water heating, a new boiler will indeed be much more efficient.

    A properly sized, installed, and commissioned modulating condensing boiler will save more fuel than the AFUE numbers would indicate.  If you convert your historical oil usage into Therms, you should save at least 30% in fuel BTUs with a new boiler.
    This post was edited by an admin on June 30, 2014 7:09 PM.
  • Snowmelt Snowmelt @ 6:02 PM
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    New gas line

    They have a machine where they bore a hole underground so they just have to dig like 2 feet in front of the house under ground, they whole gas line will be under ground.

    Then they have a cement bit to go through the houses cement foundation.

    Let the plumber tell you where he wants to put it. If you gave to take out an electricle outlet. Just do it.

    I would contact someone local that has oil and tell them to take so e oil out of your tank.

    Another thing I would do is look into any and all rebates for gad and equipment, it might be worth it, sometimes you can pay it in your gad bill interest free for five years.
  • Freedom Freedom @ 6:07 PM
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    Rebates

    I'm only planning to stay in the house 3 to 4 years, then retire sell it and move south.  Don't think putting in new equipment makes sense in such a scenario even with the rebates.  I could be wrong, but that is what I've been coming out with so far.
  • Snowmelt Snowmelt @ 6:11 PM
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    Ask the

    Gas company if the finance a new unit. That's the way to go.

    Why swap to gas if your not going to stay, just let it ride unit you go, maybe just add a seperate water heater
    This post was edited by an admin on June 30, 2014 6:12 PM.
  • Freedom Freedom @ 6:16 PM
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    Why convert now

    Two reasons to convert now:
    1.  I can't afford the winter oil heating bills!  LOL I have gas here in RI
    and
    2.  many Buyers won't even consider a home with oil, so I will have to switch to gas in order to sell it anyway, may as well do that now.
  • Snowmelt Snowmelt @ 7:07 PM
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    Well

    Did I explain how the enter the house, even though you didn't like what I said about not doing it if your going to move.

    If you add outdoor rest and a bumble bee taco pump you can save 15% maybe 25%
  • Freedom Freedom @ 7:12 PM
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    Got that

    Yes I understand now how they access the house foundation.  Thank you!
  • Freedom Freedom @ 8:22 PM
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    What about chimney?

    Some sites I read online say the chimney has to be relined with an oil to gas conversion, other sites say no.  I haven't figured out why they are discussing this.

    I can tell you the house has a working wood burning fireplace in the living room, and I do use it now and again.  Fall of 2013 I had a Sweep come check it, as it had been used off and on for the life of the house (my folks built the house in 1956 or so).  He looked and said it was fine, did not need cleaning, looked almost new.  In the back of the fire place there is a metal lid, after we get out most of the ashes, Dad taught us to lift the lid and shift the small amount remaining down that.  Then it gets burned by the boiler and / or cleaned when the oil company comes out to do the annual cleaning (can't remember which he said).  The Sweep said it didn't look like we use the fireplace much, from looking at the chimney.  Well, mostly for atmosphere!  Don't know if that relates to this, but I thought I'd add it in case.
  • Snowmelt Snowmelt @ 11:16 PM
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    In a nut shell

    Oil burns hotter then gas therefor
    The chimney has to be able to lift the carbin monoxide up and out of the chimney without it condensing

    There's formulas for that btu x height will equal diameter of chimney liner

    It's a safety factor & when you SELL the house it's most likely code.

    Here is what I think is happening, I don't want to be rude.

    Swapping out or changing heating system isn't cheap.

    Go with the navien and you can go right outside the wall. & hot water.

    Will chat more tomorrow, good night for now.
  • j a j a @ 7:00 AM
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    gas

    Who is your gas provider?
  • Freedom Freedom @ 7:18 AM
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    Columbia Gas

    The gas main in that neighborhood is run by Columbia Gas.  That is who I am working with on the 'project,' to have the main extended.

    I did call the City Inspectors office about the chimney, they had never heard the question.  So much for it being 'code!'  I will follow up on this with various people.  Someone knows the formula and will ensure I am safe!

    No idea what these terms refer to: outdoor rest, taco pump, navien.

    Outdoor rest -- at first I thought you were being funny and meant an outhouse!  LOL
  • captainco captainco @ 9:00 AM
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    oil to gas

    Changing out the oil burner with a gas burner may be the most cost effective thing to do considering you are selling the house in four years.  A new 90%+ efficient boiler does save more money but I doubt you would get that back in 4 years.   In either case you are adding value to the house.  A gas burner will pay itself back in four years easy if se up correctly.  There is a good chance your oil burner wasn't set up the best either.
    If there is a problem with electrical outlets, remove or disconnect the ones that are in the way for the new gas line. 
    The chimney should be okay.  I have seen many de-rated oil appliances that ran with cooler flues than gas equipment.  Only a mandatory code would make you have to do anything with the chimney, otherwise leave it alone.  If the gas burner is sized and fired correctly it will work in any functional chimney.  Chimneys are like insulation on wires.  Hard to make them too big, just too small. 
  • Snowmelt Snowmelt @ 9:45 AM
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    Condensation

    Let me explain real quick.
    We have a chimney to take the gases (carbon dioxide, deadly gases) out of the house.

    I'm not a chimney installer or inspector but I do know your chimney could break down (mortar crack & break off).

    The flue gases condensate at 140 degrees ( we kinda use this number as a standard) some people can argue that it's higher.

    With that being said when the exhaust gases condensate like a cold glass on a hot day ( glass outside for you slow people)

    It sticks on the mortar and brick of the chimney, it will eventually get under the mortar and kill the chimney.

    I might of said it sarcastically, with that being said. A good friend of mine, who is cheap so I don't do work for him but he can ask me as many questions as he wants. Asked me what's the difference between a Weilmclain CGI vs an ultra. I told him $2,000.00, but you don't have to use the chimney. He opted the cheaper or should I say less expensive unit. I told him him he still is going to put a chimney liner in and that will offset the cost of the ultra. He took his chances and the inspector made him put a chimney liner in.

    Moral of the story, a oil to gas conversion is not a cheap job, unless the person you hire just starting out and doesn't know all the safety steps that has to taken.
    I will stop here, do you want to know about outdoor reset?
  • RobG RobG @ 9:26 AM
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    Agree

    I agree with most of what Captainco said. A conversion burner on a boiler that young is the way go. You do need to have the chimney inspected by a qualified chimney tech and it probably will need to be re-lined. You will probably recoup the cost over oil in a year or two.

    And as you stated earlier, it is definitely a selling feature.


    Rob
  • RobG RobG @ 10:38 AM
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    Snowmelt Wow!

    I'm more worried about my boiler putting out "carbon monoxide". If I could capture carbon dioxide I would use it for my beer tap. That stuffs not cheap!

    If I had 140 degree flue gas on an atmospheric I would lock out the appliance! There is something way wrong!

    A conversion burner with a liner will be much less expensive than a ModCon (budget was an issue with the original poster). A nine year old Weil will hopefully last another twenty years. The OP said they will be there another 3 to 4 years. In my humble opinion a ModCon would not pay for itself. If they want outdoor reset an I-valve can be installed.

    And you throw the word cheap around wayyy too much. There is a differance between frugal and cheap.

    Rob
    This post was edited by an admin on July 1, 2014 10:41 AM.
  • captainco captainco @ 11:36 AM
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    Flue condensation

    Having sold recuperative furnaces in the 80's that condensed at 210 degrees and then a Coleman 90+ that condensed at 180 degrees, I don't quite buy the 140.   I am a firm believer that steam changes to water at about 212 degrees.
    Gas burner should create a flue temperature above 400 degrees which any chimney can handle.  I would thik te chimney sweep would have mentioned if something is wrong with the chimney.  This is much hotter that a gas water heater that rarely put 300 degrees in the flue.  This is above that drafthood.
    The fact that the oil company serviced your equipment it is no wonder you had high bills.  Okay, some are better than others.  If they serviced it they should have recorded some combustion numbers and that would determine their competence.
  • Chris Chris @ 12:16 PM
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    First Off

    I have a hard time grasping that Weil said it's ok to convert which is the total opposite of their stance in the installation manual. If true that would open them up to full liability if said conversation happened.

    Will a conversion burner work. Yes and quite well when installed and set up properly.

    Here's my issue and something that most contractors/installers seem to leave out of the picture and fail to inform the homeowner of.

    1. Once you convert you have voided any warranty remaining on the boiler itself.

    2. Seems like everyone forgets about the homeowners insurance company. God forbid something happen and since that boiler in now put into service in an unauthorized manner as per the installation manual, how does the home owners insurance feel about that?

    Just two simple questions that should be asked by all contractors to the homeowner so that they can make the right decision as to or not to convert.

    Again, conversion burners work very well and the issue is not about that, it's about the liability and providing the consumer the proper information to make the decision they feel is the right one.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • captainco captainco @ 3:14 PM
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    liability

    Chris you might be totally right about Weil-McLain not approving the retrofit.  They don't make any money on it.  As far as liability it ever goes away.  The odds of a gas burner hurting the sections of a oil boiler are nil to almost none and that's te only thing still in warranty.  Odds are if you put the gas burner in and something happens you probably would have screwed up the new boiler too!
    How many coal furnaces and boilers were converted to gas or oil without approval.  We have to stop selling ourselves short.  Contractors are the brains of the industry.
    Ask any engineer from just about any manufacturer to install their own equipment in the field and they will say no, they don't know how.  They only design equipment, it is up to us to engineer it.  Definition - Engineer = make something work.
  • Chris Chris @ 3:27 PM
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    Guess You Missed The Entire Point

    Too and I'm totally right, not might be.

    It is our job to inform the consumer with ALL THE INFORMATION not just the parts we want to. Its also not up to the contractor to make the decision for the customer.

    I clearly said, a gas conversion burner would work quite well when installed and setup correctly did I not?

    Why do contractors hide from telling the consumer the entire TRUTH? Maybe that little bit of extra honesty would get you that big thank you for watching out for me.

    As for contractors are the brains, well for every 1 brain I can show you 20 that seem to have lost theirs.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
    This post was edited by an admin on July 1, 2014 3:27 PM.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 5:06 PM
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    What's probably happening here

    is that Weil-McLain sees the writing on the wall, and doesn't want one of their boilers being replaced with those of another brand. So now they don't stand in the way of conversions.

    In the past, the answer pretty much depended on who actually answered the phone. This may still be true.
    "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.
  • Freedom Freedom @ 4:02 PM
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    Back to the Topic

    OK so Weil McLaren told me that either Wayne or Carlin are compatible with my boiler.  So this is what I want to do.  I don't know that they 'recommended' it, but she told me either of those make gas burners which work with my unit.  I don't know why I would pick one over the other, so need to sort that out.

    Any help with finding someone local who will do the work? The Find a Contractor link is only showing folks down by Boston.

    Who is the person / professional w\ho decides on the chimney liner?  Will that be the plumber who does the install?  Or do I need to call someone else, if so what sort of job title am I looking for?   I already checked with the inspectors for the City of Methuen, they have never considered this, and have no info for me.

    There is no warranty at issue so that is a done topic.

    The homeowner insurance is a good point, I will call about that. 

    J A, why did you ask which gas company is for my street?  Why would that make a difference?  Oh, maybe that as to do with financing, if I bought a new boiler.

    Meeting with first plumber in the morning, I will gain more info and likely more questions - ha haaa - after that meeting.

    Thanks all!
  • Rich Rich @ 4:48 PM
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    Try

    calling Emerson Swan and ask for a reputable contractor , someone that Bruce Marshall would recommend . You'll be safe then .  You could also try the Taco website , they have a Taco connect feature , the guys you will find there are of the same caliber as the folks you hear from here . 
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would
  • Freedom Freedom @ 6:33 PM
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    Rich

    Thanks for these 2 ideas!

    Will phone Emerson Swan in the morning. (They are closed now).

    Just tried to complete the online request form on the taco.com site TWICE, it goes to ERROR connect failed.  Sigh.

    Will try that tomorrow.
  • Tim McElwain Tim McElwain @ 7:02 PM
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    Let me try and answer some of

    your concerns:
    Converting Oil to Gas
    Working on a house in Methuen, MA.  Plan is to sell my home in RI and move there.  It is the house I grew up in. GIVE ME AN EXACT LOCATION IN METHUEN AND I MAY HAVE SOMEONE NEARBY WHO CAN DO A CONVERSION. I AM WELL VERSED ON CONVERSIONS AS I HAVE DONE OVER 3,000.

    House has Weil - McLain WGTO-4 Series 3 oil boiler.  WTGO tells you the hot water also runs off this system (so I am told).  Boiler is about 9 years old. Forced hot water base board heat. SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD BOILER FOR CONVERSION DEPENDING ON ITS CONDITION AND IF IT HAS BEEN WELL SERVICED BY THE OIL COMPANY.

    I spoke with a rep at Weil-McLain, she advised a conversion burner from either Wayne or Carlin will be compatible with my boiler. I AM SURPRISED YOU GOT A CLEAR DIRECTION FROM WEIL-MCLAIN LIKE THAT.  She explained that I won't get the improved efficiency of a gas boiler vs. an oil boiler, however I will save in the cost of the fuel to run the thing.  A CARLIN EZ PRO BURNER INSTALLED IN THAT BOILER SHOULD GIVE YOU A COMBUSTION EFFICIENCY OVER 80%. actually AN OIL DESIGN BOILER VERSUS AN DESIGN ATMOSPHERIC GAS BOILER THE OIL WILL ALWAYS BE MORE EFFICIENT.

    There is no gas line on the street, I have 2 other neighbors who want to convert.  Have been working with the gas company.  If we can get 4 or more they will extend the gas main at no cost to us, the new consumers.  Well, we verbally now have 4; the Gas Co has mailed out letters today to the 8 houses involved.  THAT IS A BIG PLUS IF THEY WILL RUN A LINE AT NO COST TO ANYONE.

    So, I am trying to put all the pieces together.  The gas line goes in, then they run the piping from the street across my property to my house.  From there I am responsible for inside my house.MAKE SURE THE CONTRACTOR DOES A HEAT LOSS ON THE HOUSE TO INSURE THE EXISTING OIL SYSTEM IS NOT OVER-SIZED.  I have spoken with 2 local plumbers, one has set a time to meet me at the house this week, but he already told me he does not do conversion burners only full new boilers.  The second one is checking his schedule and I will have an appt with him this week also. IT IS HARD TO FIND PLUMBING AND HEATING CONTRACTORS WHO WILL INSTALL CONVERSION BURNERS. THEN THE PROBLEM IS SOME WHO DO HAVE VERY LITTLE IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

    I already spoke to a company to remove the oil tank from the cellar, got him to commit to a removal price, and he said if I have the oil level below half a tank I will get a discount. Since I turn the boiler on when I am up there, in order to have hot water, I think I can get below the half tank mark.  I've called my current oil company to stop automatic deliveries.  So I think I am all set on that end.

    I do not understand the paperwork the gas company sent to me.  I have to mark where the gas line will come IN on my property, to my house.  I have to be 3 feet away from dryer vents, electrical outlets, and anything that makes a spark. MOST GAS COMPANIES TODAY PUT THE METER OUTSIDE SO LOCATIONS ARE NOT AS CRITICAL AS THEY ARE INSIDE THE HOUSE.   I am hoping the plumbers who come out can help with this? THE PLUMBER WILL WANT THE GAS SERVICE AS CLOSE TO THE BOILER AS HE CAN GET IT SO CONSIDER THAT WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING AT WHAT LOCATION YOU WANT. My Dad was an electrician, and he put in outlets every few feet outside for Christmas lights when I was a little girl.  Which was fun then, making me crazy on this project though.

    What else do I need to know, ask, check, verify?  If I sound like I know what I am talking about, I DON'T!  This has been a steep learning curve, in the past 2.5 weeks!   Figuring out how to set up a project with the Gas Co, getting neighbors on board (that was easy after the winter we just had!), and learning how the heating system works in that house.

    And once all that is done, what do I need for the 18 inch trench the Gas Co digs in my lawn? THE GAS COMPANIES TODAY USE A DEVICE CALLED A "MOLE" THEY MAKE A HOLE IN THE STREET AT THE GAS MAIN MAYBE ONE MORE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE YARD AND ONE AT THE HOUSE. IF IT IS AN OUTSIDE METER THEY WILL LEAVE A BRACKET AND YOUR PLUMBER WILL THEN RUN THE OUTLET TO THE BOILER. THEY WILL HAVE CUT THE SODS IN THE YARD AND WILL PUT THEM BACK AND YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THEY WERE THERE.  Just seed?  What condition do they leave it?  How do they get in to my cellar, the house has a 12 inch concrete apron, do they go under that, dig up 18 inches of it?  The foundation is cement blocks (not poured concrete).  Where does the meter go?  I just put up new siding last year (Yep I am doing most of the jobs in the wrong order).YOUR CONTACTOR WILL DRILL A HOLE IN THE SILL JUST ABOVE THE FOUNDATION AND THE GAS LINE WILL GO THROUGH THAT HOLE. IS THE BASEMENT FINISHED OR IS IT WIDE OPEN? A FINISHED BASEMENT CAN SOMETIMES PRESENT PROBLEMS RUNNING THE PIPING INSIDE THE HOUSE. 

    I just tried the 'find a contractor' link, but everyone who comes up is way down near Boston, which is not helpful.  Their price would be high just to cover their auto fuel to get to me! I WOULD GIVE THEM A TRY ANYWAY AS THEY MAY KNOW SOMEONE IN YOUR AREA THEY CAN REFER YOU TO.

    I HOPE THIS HAS HELPED, I AM IN RI AND YOU CAN CALL ME AT 401-437-0557.
  • Freedom Freedom @ 7:52 PM
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    Thanks TimI

    I will be returning home to RI tomorrow ( cutting this trip short due to Tropical Storm Arthur).  I'll ring you once I am home.

    Thanks to Rich, Bruce Marshall contacted me directly; he also recommended the Carlin EZ Pro as you have done, Tim.  And he gave me a recommendation for a plumber, have exchanged messages hope to connect tomorrow.  Probably can't arrange a meet until next week (see first paragraph).

    Met with one plumber this morning.  He showed me where the meter will go, outside.  The basement is not finished.  We went inside and talked about how he will run the pipe.  Since the meter will be around the corner (not on the front of the house) and there is the electric meter, the Verizon FIOS box, then a window, the gas line will come in about 3 feet along, on the outside.  I do not want the gas pipe running across the  middle of the ceiling, so he will 'elbow' it back along the cconcrete block foundation line, around the corner and across the front of the house on the concrete block line, then out to the boiler.  And he showed me which piece comes off of the current unit, and gets replaced.  He also said he arranges for a licensed chimney . . . forget the term his used, appraiser?  To determine if the chimney is OK or if it needs a liner.  I didn't even have to ask, he brought that up. 

    This is the plumber who initially told me he wouldn't do a conversion, only a new boiler, on the phone.  Once he saw mine, he was alright with doing the conversion!  He is local, lives and office in Methuen, and he has worked on 2 houses in the neighborhood (for other things, not gas conversions).  He knows the City inspectors ( I did alot of work on this house last year, I know all 3 of them by name as well).  So in going over the whole thing once with someone, reviewing the forms from the gas company with him, etc.,  I got my comfort level on this work, which is good.  Felt OK with the contractor, too, he brought things up, raised issues and questions, said he would have to check my boiler model number (which he wrote down) to see if the Wayne or the Carlin is what he will price.  I'll get the quote by email from him.  (Side note:  Isn't it grand, we don't have to type things up with carbon paper, print them up a couple of times, and mail them out?!  Yes, I DO remember doing things that way, ha haa).

    The plumber Bruce recommended is based in Peabody Mass, so I'm thinking his cost "may" be slightly higher to cover the transportation.  Phooey!  But time will tell.  It is possible he does so many of these that his cost is lower.  As always, trying to do my due diligence and get multiple quotes. 

    Anyone know: do you contractors get a discount from the distributor when you do volume business?  That is how I got a great deal on the vinyl siding, found a contractor who gets a volume discount.  That is another way the contractor who is a bit further distance could come in with a lower price, if that happens in this market as it does in vinyl siding.

    Saw a Columbia Gas truck on the next street today, stopped, got out and spoke with the fellow.  He knew about my 'project' getting the line extended.  Initially, he said he was NOT here to work on that, he was here to work on something else.  Later in the conversation, I asked him "what else is going on, what are you here working on?"  He replied: "If I tell you then I have to kill you," and we both laughed.  Seems funny, having a gas co truck here if it is NOT on our project.  This is a secluded neighborhood, my street is actually a dead end, the one he was on is a horse shoe shape, which is what we use to access my street, and it is where the gas main ends.  OH I get so EXCITED to see this project developing!

    Tim, I'll give you the exact location in a PM, not comfortable having my address out there for the world to see.  Thanks for all the info!

    Aren't forums great?  I am on so many, most just for one project sort of thing, like this, then when the project is done I disappear from the forum.    Last year I had to join a Home Machinist forum, as Dad had an old Atlas metal lathe in the cellar, along with many other tools I could not even identify.  I'd post photos, and the guys would pipe up with comments, and (since Dad has dementia, and the stuff got spread out) telling me what went with which.  Was able to sell stuff on craigslist and get good pricing thanks to those folks!  They also enjoyed seeing tools from the 1940's, lol.  So that is just by way of saying I do appreciate all the info and background you are all sharing on this forum. 
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