boilers

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fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,366
Massachusetts
i'm looking for a boiler that will last longer than 15 years. i know the cast iron boilers are good for 30 years but i'm looking for a boiler that is stainless steel and will have very good efficiency. the boiler i have now does my superstore stainless water tank that has a lifetime warranty. so this boiler has to do my hot water and a basement zone. the existing boiler is a dunkirk Q90. it's lighting very hard. the tech for dunkirk says that the boiler needs to have it's last rights. the sent in their best tech to look it over and he tuned it to factory specs. it's natural gas. and the block is aluminum. it's been a great boiler and i only had to do a inducer fan and a igniter. the boiler is a three pass pin boiler. i put this in when i moved into this house in 2000. i cleaned it out 2 years ago for the first time and it was very clean. it has been lighting hard ever since. i had a call into the company and the techs said to me (this boiler is still running?) i said yes but it's lighting hard it rattles the pvc pipe so it sounds like its going to come thru the floor in the livingroom sometimes. about 75% of the time it lights off well. the company said to me that they didn't have one in their lab last more than 15 years. i think because i use the wood stove for heat in the main house that it saved some life for the boiler. so i'm on borrowed time here. i wire and understand all the residential boiler out there. including the computerized systems. i troubleshoot them. when the plumber or oil burner company can't get one going they call me. so i know boilers pretty well. so the boilers that i have been wiring are wall hung or floor standing but most of them are the same boiler inside. i'm looking for a boiler that is not cast iron because they don't have the efficiency and it takes some time to heat up the cast iron so between both it burns more gas. the one that i have now goes from 50 degree water to throwing heat in the baseboards in 4 minutes. the newer wall hung boilers are quicker. anybody have any good experiences with theirs? and the other problem is that the average price to put in one of these wall hung boilers goes from 12,000 to 20,000 dollars.
 

vbu

Member
Mar 3, 2019
98
MS
We don't have a boiler, however we have a Rinnai tankless water heater that we're extremely pleased with.
They make condensing gas boilers, and I believe they have a 15yr warranty, made in Japan.
Their mid-range (power wise)model is 15-120k btu, and can be had for 2500$
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,457
Northern NH
I think the Energy Kinetics System 2000 oil boilers use stainless steel wetted parts. The burner is conventional. They are designed for cold start so no problems for standby use. They are right up there for efficiency due to the cold start design (no standby loss). They are also tiny so they fit almost anywhere there is flue connection. The only downsides I hear about them is they do need to be cleaned annually and they only sell direct to dealers, no direct sales for the boilers or the spare parts. When non burner spares are needed they are expensive and you need to call a service tech.

I have a cast iron run of the mill oil boiler that is 30 years old. It was not set up for cold start but is used that way with no leaks (many cast iron boilers leak when used for cold start). Its a pin type heat exchanger not particularly efficient, It's a backup to my wood boiler for very cold weather but in the last six years it has barely run, usually a mistake when I am not paying attention to the wood boiler.

I keep an eye out for used Energy Kinetics boilers but they just do not come up where I look. (note I havent sold my soul and personal ID to Facebook so I am excluding myself from Marketplace ;) ) . If I did find one I would grab it and replace my backup boiler.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,593
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I know you said you are not interested in cast iron boilers, but I have always liked Biasi and Pensotti when it comes to conventional boilers.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
2,001
Northern Maine
Too bad your in the “no CI” mindset.

I just left a house in MA with an EK System 2K that was oil fired. Extremely reliable and made in the USA. With a factory heat exchanger it would work flawlessly along side your water tank.

My home in Maine that we just moved into fulltime also has a System 2K on LP because the other one worked so great. I did have to add a buffer tank because of rapid cycling due to my RFH. In hindsight I should have gone CI to avoid the buffer tank but I still have no regrets whatsoever.

You couldn’t pay me to hang a wall boiler in my house. EVER.
 

mellow

Resident Stove Connoisseur
Jan 19, 2008
5,396
Salisbury, MD
Interesting topic as our oil boiler at work is not getting any younger, I am checking out that EK3 system as it looks pretty cool. My old boiler is sucking down oil like no ones business to heat this old building. I only have 3 zones so it shouldn't be bad to swap it out.

Do you know a ballpark price on that 2k system?
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,457
Northern NH
Years ago the rule of thumb was about 1.5 times the installed cost of a commodity boiler but its been years. Note there is no option for a tankless heater so you would need a separate hot water maker heated with an extra zone. My bet is the price of the units probably have not changed but the labor cost has gone way up.

Note most boilers even commodity boilers are pretty darn efficient. At best the difference in efficiency is just a couple of percent. The big gain in efficiency is seasonal efficiency as when there is no demand for heat the unit is cold plus it has a very low mass to it so it does not lose much heat. During shoulder season and summer its quite a bit more efficient.