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Joined on December 15, 2011

Last Post on January 15, 2014

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storage tank

@ January 15, 2014 10:22 AM in Why not a zone for every room?

geo systems regularly have a storage tank to run micro zones without cycling the system any reason they do not employ that in fossil fuel systems? 

better then you think

@ July 10, 2013 1:30 PM in Can i replace my Indirect fired water heater with a conventional Water Heater?

Unless you have access to NG I would suggest switching to an electric tank regardless. For a family of 4 we pay $25-$30 a month to use electric. We have a 80 gallon tank. Not worth the headache of a indirect. Our electric rates are 13.3 kw/hr.


@ April 12, 2013 7:57 AM in GE Geospring with an indirect

Sounds like the same deal as me. I run my pellet stove and don't use my boiler for much of anything anymore. Nice heating my 2000sq ft place on $800 a year. I just put in a electric hot water heater about a month ago my boiler was using about 30 gallons a month just for hot water.  You might check out some of the other suppliers for electrical power. Im at 13.3c in southern maine with CMP and Electricity Maine. Of course if your with one of the smaller electrical providers you can't switch suppliers.

Didnt realize you can only use the $300 federal credit only once, I used it for my pellet stove a couple years ago. I was thinking of getting the GeoSpring at Lowes when I saw Maine had the rebate I figured I could get it for about $250 when all was said and done. I guess thats not accurate. I would avoid any setup that makes the dino come on.

The heat loss calcs dont account for all the heat your boiler is losing just sitting there after it fires. Its considerable in most cases. Keep that in mind if you hook up your boiler. I suspect you would be able to run all electric and still be much cheaper then your boiler.

probably should not have put a number in

@ April 11, 2013 12:06 PM in GE Geospring with an indirect

you would need to do the math I just threw out a number, which probably should not have done

buy another

@ April 11, 2013 9:48 AM in GE Geospring with an indirect

I would do this instead:

and leave the Amtrol at the street

only you know your usage, but give it a try for a month. I think you'll be surprised at the cost to operate, I suspect it will be noticeably lower then using your boiler. Unless your paying > 16c kw/hr

do the math

@ April 5, 2013 10:32 AM in electric heater as storage tank

Depending on where you are in Maine its probably cheaper to use it as a electric hot water heater then run your boiler to make hot water. Sign up for a new supplier in Maine if you have not already it will knock off half cent to cent per kw/hr off your bill. My electric hot water tank costs me about $35 a month to operate in Maine. Family of 4.

propane, LNG

@ March 27, 2013 10:10 AM in Customers are confused when it comes to gas conversions...

Propane isn't going anywhere, LNG ( liquefied natural gas ) is starting to show up. Geo costs are going down.

consider it

@ March 27, 2013 9:31 AM in Customers are confused when it comes to gas conversions...

I would consider it even if my savings were only $300 or $400 a year. People have different reasons. I hate looking at the oil tank. I would pay to get it out of my house ( i.e new system ). Its much more attractive to sell a house on NG then oil.  Oil and NG if I were a gambler will continue to separate themselves on cost. Remember a 20% increase in oil is more then a 20% increase in NG at the end of the heating season in terms of dollars spent on heating. The numbers right now may not play out so well but I suspect in years to come they will.

In the case mentioned the people bought the house with the system, they probably never liked it from day one but liked the house. They probably got a discount on the house compared to neighboring houses because it was still on oil. Id like to think I got a discount on my house that had a 25 year old boiler in it compared to ones that had brand new ones in it, although heating upgrades dont always translate like that.

Just my uneducated 2c


@ March 19, 2013 8:10 AM in If you were designing a heating system for dream house/dream shop, what would it be and what design tweaks would you take to maximize efficiency?

geothermal enough said, don't be scared it works don't use oil or propane. If you have a lot of property a horizontal loop not much property a vertical loop. 30% discount right now. 

hee hee working

@ March 8, 2013 12:00 PM in oil boiler vs electric boiler

Not sure if anyone should call electric heat working :) it would still be a painful electric bill if you needed to run the heat full bore. 

meet the minimum with the refrigerator

@ March 8, 2013 11:24 AM in oil boiler vs electric boiler

I meet the minimum to get to the advertised rate with the refrigerator and a light bulb I'm paying all the fees regardless if I choose to have a refrigerator and light bulb. I need a light and a refrigerator.  Sounds like you have some ridiculous fees or a really tiered system. I don't agree with adding the service fee etc unless they are tiered based on usage your going to have electricity regardless of where your heat source comes from.

Taking my total bill and dividing by kwh used gives me a price difference of .002c from their advertised price per kwh. With electric heat this number would approach 0.

not sure

@ March 8, 2013 10:16 AM in oil boiler vs electric boiler

Not sure I agree but I see your logic. The  10c kw/hr is after the "fees". Ive never had a bill where I did not exceed the minimum threshold to get to their advertised rate. My current bill has a minimum of $9.41 for the first 100kw/hr + transmission fees which are kr/hr approx 6c. This rate sucks but that equates to using ~140w continuously then you will get 10c kw/hr. The 10c kw/hr included the rate for the electricity plus transmission fees. I definitely agree the bills are written up to confuse. Many would look at my bill and think electricity is about 5c kw/hr. I wish they just did a flat bill rather then separating out x and y.

All utilities are different though in their pricing some probably move you to commercial service and gouge you if you use to much electricity.  Maine just deregulated the supply side of their electricity which equated to almost a 1c per kw/hr reduction if you shopped around.

My real rate is .133 kw/hr I used the 10c kw/hr as a example as to what the town over pays where they still put in oil and propane systems which I don't really get. I suspect a load calculation puts them over the 160 amp cutoff. I think Id rather have a propane stove and go with the electrical heat.

fees already paid

@ March 8, 2013 7:41 AM in oil boiler vs electric boiler

You have your monthly fee. You have that regardless.

I would actually put 10c kw/hr at about 3.52 for oil. That assumes a 85% overall system effeciency ( not AFUE ) vs a 98% electric efficiency. I think in reality 85% is generous for even the system 2000 systems but I will assume thats what you get.

getting ideas

@ March 7, 2013 8:49 PM in oil boiler vs electric boiler

I plan a lot :)

Im surprised there are not more electric boilers honestly I moved from a town over a couple years ago their electricity was all hydro and around 10c kw/hr only saw one house on electric when we looked at houses. New houses had propane furnaces even more then oil. Dont get it.. This is in Maine.

smart meters

@ March 7, 2013 8:45 PM in oil boiler vs electric boiler

We have smart meters unfortunately the night time rate which drops to about 9c kw/hr comes with a 17c kw/hr friend during the day. You also have to sign up for a year of it.

Most my walls are covered with baseboards from my hydronic heating. Combined with the cost of running wire all over the place and having to be so far from a electrical outlets its not very viable, Ive stewed on that idea a lot. If I had forced air I'd be all over that.

central heat

@ March 7, 2013 10:19 AM in oil boiler vs electric boiler

Id like a central heating system even if its not being used. If oil were about 20% cheaper I would just go with a oil system but its on the cusp right now for not making a system replacement in my opinion viable.

oil boiler vs electric boiler

@ March 6, 2013 3:37 PM in oil boiler vs electric boiler

Ah yes the debate again.

I have a Burnham V-14 that is currently off. Ive used it once this winter ( really windy night ) this year I heat with wood pellets. I'm contemplating replacing it with a electric boiler.

Is this crazy? Convince me :)

My electric is 13.2c a kW/hr its gone down the past couple years. So assuming a new boiler efficiency of 85% oil would be cheaper until about $4.50 a gallon for me. I suspect the actual break even point to be a little lower in reality. Oil is about $3.75 around me right now.

Part of my reasoning is I despise the oil tanks, I would need a new liner and a new tank. I can install a electric boiler myself Ive been looking at the slant/fin boilers they run around $1800 for the size I need plus Ill say another $500 for other "stuff". I do have the electrical service to accommodate this.

Of course at my current usage the 3/4 of tank of oil I have will probably last me longer then the boiler.


I pay about 12c kw/hr.

@ January 15, 2013 4:22 PM in Burnham V-14A summer shutdown

Ive had one in the past 80gal with a mixing valve never ran out with 2 kids, even when we had guests. My water pressure is pretty bad so noone will take a 45 minute shower. No gas only oil. Ive considered a standalone oil hot water heater but I dont see the payback its to close, plus I cant install that myself. I like the Marathon electric hot water heaters.

You are definitely right about the recovery rate.

Burnham V-14A summer shutdown

@ January 15, 2013 10:14 AM in Burnham V-14A summer shutdown

I have a Burnham V-14A boiler with a indirect installed. I would like to shut it down for the summer and use a electric hot water heater. Is there a proper procedure for doing this? (without causing harm to it) 


@ February 22, 2012 7:05 PM in aquastat low setting during summer months for oil boiler

Thank you very much for your insightful help. Its a new house (to us) so Im still trying to figure it out. I had a cleaning done about 6 months ago and they walked me thru the system and explained it to me, but you can only absorb so much and it was late fall so I didnt think to ask questions about aquastat settings. 

controller is R8182H

@ February 22, 2012 4:51 PM in aquastat low setting during summer months for oil boiler

sorry got confused a bit. Attached a picture. Yes there are wires coming from the indirect to the boiler.

My main question is whether it is detrimental to the boiler to turn the boiler low setting down to 120 during the summer on the aquastat, or whether there will be condensation issues.

I figured if I experienced a shortage of hot water or long cycles trying to make hot water that would answer that question on its own.


@ February 22, 2012 2:09 PM in aquastat low setting during summer months for oil boiler

The indirect is controlled through the honeywell 8182H controller on the boiler, when there is a call for hot water (if the tank drops far enough below the 120 degree setting) the circulator on the indirect comes on and the boiler starts.

I do not have a anti scald valve. Id like to turn it up to 140 (indirect temperature) but we have small children so I dont think that would be wise.

I have some confusion I think.  Does it matter what my low limit is set to on the boiler aquastat in terms of making hot water? It seems like the indirect kicks on the boiler and runs it up to the high limit so the low limit does not matter in this case or for that matter the boiler temp does not matter. The indirect runs it up to the high limit. 

The low limit only matters in terms of condensation I was under the impression.

Please correct things I have said that may be inaccurate in my assumptions.
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