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Best Cast Iron Boiler? (10 Posts)
What is the best cast iron boiler? Why?If I was a contractor looking to install the best cast iron boiler available, which brand would I sell? Let's assume the suppliers were all excellent and the manufactures all backed their product equally. You have no affliation or allegiances to any particular brand, supplier, Uncle in the business, etc. What would you put in your home? Your Moms and Dads home? Why? And let's use quality and best design as our main reasons. Maybe price as a tiebreaker.
GasAlmost all the heat in our area Michigan runs on natural gas.
Food for thought (SE)Given the following criteria, do you really think that low mass, condensing type boilers hold any real, tangible advantages over a high mass cast iron. Agree----disagree?? That darn near all normally encountered systems wind up to be operating at or above 120-140* water temp the bulk of the time. This eliminates all but a couple % difference in efficiency between a good cast boiler and a condensing type. Constant circulation virtually eliminates the pick up factor from a high mass system. Until they get modulating burners down to 10% or less of full rate there will still be short cycling problems with low mass boilers. Or in other words, why do we hear so much talk of buffer tanks which in effect turn a low mass into a high mass system? A good cast iron boiler block is inherently more durable and absorbs more abuse before failing than an aluminum/stainless steel/copper heat exchanger. (Viessmann may be an exception here.) A cast iron boiler is much less sensitive to low flow rates than a low mass type. Think of the last 60-80 sq ft room you saw on a zone all by itself and what the boielr did when that zone called for heat. A typical cast iron boiler is a much less complex design in both the heat exchanger and burner design. A typical cast iron boiler is less expensive to repair due to common, off the shelf parts. Even Viessmann and Buderus use Honeywell gas valves and controls on many of their models. Not picking a fight here, just in a discussing kind of mood.
For steam.....You just lost the Buderus suggestion, they don't make one. I think the Peerless is a nice steam unit , for my money. I kind of like the higher water content that it has , again, for steam . Have used the W/M units with good luck(read the manual and follow the instructions, they've had lots of time to fiddle with them ,you don't). Have also used the Burnham unit with excellent results . Again,read the manuals. Haven't tried the Smith for steam yet. (spooked by the results of my parents first heating unit, replaced after a whopping 6 years in use) Best of luck . Chris
Steam applicationMostly residential and small commercial steam heating. I've heard that Peerless has the heaviest castings. Would that make it a better boiler then say Burnham?
High temp or low temp?Your question is like asking who makes the best gas powered car. How will you use the car? City driving? Racing? Rock crawling? What do you want, luxury, economy, power? In my opinion, a good cast iron boiler would be a wet base like Crown makes. Even if there is some sludge that settles to the bottom, the wet side is still exposed to the fire side. For direct low temp, I like Veissmann's Vitola. It's simple, sensible design and ease of cleaning makes it a boiler you can forget is there. For "long may she run" I like Burnham. American, simple, reliable, and off-the-shelf parts. I could go on, but you probably get the point. Ask more specific questions.
ok,ok,ok..1st is it for steam or hot water? Hot water for the $... Buderus... Money no object...Viessman. STEAM.. Peerless, Burnham or Smith. kpc
Oil or gas Question After ?????? Who Sells in your area and services the unit, Very Important!John
I'd agree...The European manufacturers have been smelting cast iron LONG before us Americans have. They have a leading edge on cast iron technology. The question I have is why are cast iron boilers still being made with the advances we've seen in low mass condensing, non cast iron boilers? One of them things that makes you go HMMmmmm... ME To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
> The European manufacturers have been smelting
> cast iron LONG before us Americans have. They
> have a leading edge on cast iron technology. The
> question I have is why are cast iron boilers
> still being made with the advances we've seen in
> low mass condensing, non cast iron boilers?
> One of them things that makes you go
> 88&Step=30"_To Learn More About This Contractor,
> Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A