Oil boiler recommendations

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,784
Massachusetts
peerless boiler for a cast iron type. if it's for a backup spending big money won't pay back. budarus boilers heat quick and are efficient but expensive and you have to be careful with their warranty they don't like to honer it. burnham is ok but if if they are not piped in like the book says they will fail in about 10 years
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,441
Northern NH
System 2000s have a great rep. They are cold start boilers. It is very important that you get a cold start boiler especially as a backup. Many boilers are designed to be kept hot 24/7. If you let them cool down they start leaking after awhile. I got lucky, my conventional Crown cast iron boiler does not mind cycling but have heard Burnhams do and leak. I think Buderus boilers may be designed for cold start but definitely ask for it in writing. The System 2000 boiler are definitely setup for cold start as thats how they are designed to run. They have extremely low mass compared to normal boiler and take up less room. The only downsides are they cost more, need to be cleaned yearly as the internal passages are smaller and some dealers dont sell a lot so their techs are less familiar with them. They do no have a tankless coil so they need a external hot water heater run off a zone.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,221
Northern Maine
I have 2 System 2000's. An oil burner coming up on 31 years and a LP version that just passed 15 years. Yes the 1st one was so good I bought a second. #2 did not like my RFH system due to having no mass but that was fixed by adding a buffer tank. #1 is feeding HWBB.
No complaints.
 

Woodspliter

Member
Jan 25, 2020
96
Maine
So I narrowed my search to a biasi b10 or a system 2000 ek1.I like them both. My oil guy prefers the system 2000 he likes the way they power vent better. I thought a smallest biasi the b10-3 would be a nice little boiler. I just want two zones and they make a direct vent kit but I would have to enlarge the existing hole in the foundation. I'm looking ahead for the long hual so longevity is the most important to me. I get a little spooked about the energy manger on the system 2000 hate to have costly repairs.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,221
Northern Maine
So I narrowed my search to a biasi b10 or a system 2000 ek1.I like them both. My oil guy prefers the system 2000 he likes the way they power vent better. I thought a smallest biasi the b10-3 would be a nice little boiler. I just want two zones and they make a direct vent kit but I would have to enlarge the existing hole in the foundation. I'm looking ahead for the long hual so longevity is the most important to me. I get a little spooked about the energy manger on the system 2000 hate to have costly repairs.
The manager hasn't been a problem for me. In fact on unit number 1 I bought the card that bypasses it in case I had an issue. It's never been used.
Unit 2 has the digital controls and I bought a back up for it and it only got used after a took a vary hard hit of lightning to my electric service. The manager was the least of my problems.
I now have whole house surge protection and everything has been fine for the past 11 years.
 

Woodspliter

Member
Jan 25, 2020
96
Maine
That is good to know I am leaning that way, I know my oil tech knows his stuff. The system 2000 is probably the best option I like how it vents from the top of the boiler looks like it would make for a neat installation
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,691
NNJ
I also have a system 2000. Came with the house. I can't complain. It also got fried from a lightning strike. Wasn't too expensive to repair.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,441
Northern NH
I do not think anyone will say bad things about the system 2000, although two folks reporting cooked control boards would have me install a dedicated surge protection device on the boiler rather than depending on a whole house unit. The big issue is they cost more to install up front as there has to be a hot water maker (Amtrol Boilermate or equivalent) which retails for around $1000 probably $2,000 installed. Since they sell direct to dealers with assigned territories I expect that also ups the cost.
 

Woodspliter

Member
Jan 25, 2020
96
Maine
Yeah I agree there is some type of marketing strategy at play. I will look in surge protection that's a great suggestion. I have hybrid Hot water I just installed thatcim super happy with so far so hot water wont be a concern for now
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,221
Northern Maine
I use the circuit breaker style surge protection along with lightning arrestors that if blown they need replacement but that's easy.

Those big whole house protectors were crazy money when I looked at them but they may have come down in price.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,441
Northern NH
My favorite and the one rated well by "the experts" is a Midnight Solar brand SPD. They sell AC and DC versions. I have an AC one on my main bus at the main panel and a DC ones out at each Photovoltaic string before they head into the house. I had a known brand whole house protector (intermatic I think ) and a utility surge went right past it. It was nice big box but when I took it apart the MOVs were a lot smaller than the Midnight Solar versions.


Long ago I had Delta can type units. They were standard for years but their clamp voltage where they divert a surge to ground is too high to save most electronics. They might keep a barn from burning down from a strike on an electric fence but still will pass a lot of voltage. On the Midnight Solars, the MOVs that do dirty work are right there and visible, there are couple of LEDs that tell you if they are wired correctly. Designed and built it Washington State USA.

BTW, nothing will save you from a direct lighting strike, but for every direct one there are lots of indirect ones. A well grounded house will usually go to ground but shortcuts over the years like grounding to a water pipe instead of going back to the panel can lie in wait for a future strike. Boilers and their piping tend to be at fairly low ground potential so a surge can sometimes decide to go through the boiler on the way to the panel or to ground. In my case it wasnt a lighting surge, a prior strike has weakened a pole top and it broke in a windstorm. The high voltage wires touched the 240 volts street lines. I lost a solar inverter and and a remote controlled line carrier switch. The electricians were at my nieghbors house for a couple of days
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,691
NNJ
Not sure where the lightening hit us. Our dishwasher panel was fried, a battery charger I had plugged in got fried, and one board in the boiler was fried. Also many circuit breakers were tripped.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,221
Northern Maine
I’ll have to see if I still have the pics of the melted plastic and burnt wires. How the house didn’t burn to the ground I’ll never know.
Melted and splattered copper is still on the concrete. Busted up conduit. Wiped out the generator.
It took out the alarm so there would have been zero notification. Came in on the phone line.
That’s when I learned about bonding your gas line.
 

Woodspliter

Member
Jan 25, 2020
96
Maine
That's scary, I'll have to look into these surge protectors more. I did a quick search for Siemens and it looks like they have a few options for my panel. I have 200 amp service but I'm quickly running out of room.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,784
Massachusetts
i am a siemans murray guy. watch your price vs. clamp voltage for whole house surge protection. or i wish they would call it spike protection. they can range from 40 to thousands of dollars each. for a few hundred square d makes good ones. then for added protection use good not cheap plug in units where needed. badlp what was this about bonding the gas line? some of the inspectors i run into tell me to pull it off the gas line.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,441
Northern NH
The Midnight solar SPDs (and a couple fo ohter brands I have seen )do not take up breaker space unless you have a spare double breaker. All you need to do is parallel it with a dual pole breaker that is on all the time like a well pump. Note unless the breaker is rated for two conductors (very rare) you need to remove the wires from the breaker and terminate the SPD and well wires and a jumper with wire nuts and tie the jumpers to the breaker. You may need to punch a hole in the panel case if you dont have spare knockout of the right size.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,530
Nova Scotia
I do not think anyone will say bad things about the system 2000, although two folks reporting cooked control boards would have me install a dedicated surge protection device on the boiler rather than depending on a whole house unit. The big issue is they cost more to install up front as there has to be a hot water maker (Amtrol Boilermate or equivalent) which retails for around $1000 probably $2,000 installed. Since they sell direct to dealers with assigned territories I expect that also ups the cost.
I might consider a heat pump water heater, vs. the indirect, at that cost.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,221
Northern Maine
i am a siemans murray guy. watch your price vs. clamp voltage for whole house surge protection. or i wish they would call it spike protection. they can range from 40 to thousands of dollars each. for a few hundred square d makes good ones. then for added protection use good not cheap plug in units where needed. badlp what was this about bonding the gas line? some of the inspectors i run into tell me to pull it off the gas line.
I read that the gas pipe should be bonded to the electric system grounding wire. It was something about getting the electric charge away from the gas pipe and not using it as a grounding point IIRC. It was 11 years ago.
So I grabbed a grounding clamp for the gas pipe and a hunk of #6 bare copper and ran it over to the 2/0 ground wire where the insulation was cut away and attached it. Also being that the strike hit the phone line and blew the interface box all over the basement I replaced that with a #8 wire versus the #12 that the phone company installed.
Also I'm on LP so it's a plastic gas line from the tank and you have the plastic coated elbows (I forget the proper term for them) so there ain't a lot of conductivity grounding that way.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,530
Nova Scotia
More on topic, I would also check out Granby.

They are made at the former Kerr factory a half hour away from me - Kerr is now branded Granby.

(I have no actual experience with them though).
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,126
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Around here most of the Heating guys seem to prefer Biasi and Pensotti oil boilers . . . I've had great luck with my Pensotti oil heater.
 

Woodspliter

Member
Jan 25, 2020
96
Maine
I do like the biasi's they seem simple and easy maintenance, We'll see. I think I'm going g to leave it up to my installer. I thought a biasi with two zones with a rellio buners set up with the direct vent kit would be a nice setup because I have no choice other than sidewall venting
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,126
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I do like the biasi's they seem simple and easy maintenance, We'll see. I think I'm going g to leave it up to my installer. I thought a biasi with two zones with a rellio buners set up with the direct vent kit would be a nice setup because I have no choice other than sidewall venting
That's pretty much what I have . . . well except that it's a Pennsotti and has three zones and is plumbed for a future fourth zone if I want . . . but I also have the Riello burner and sidewall venting.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,126
Unity/Bangor, Maine
pennsotti those are made in maine right? Do you have a power venter or is it set up as a direct vent ?
To tell the truth I always thought they were Italian . . . but now I think you may be right -- either made in Maine or in Canada. I think I may have learned something new today. All I know is it's been fantastic and a huge step up from the old oil boiler.

It's a direct vent out the back wall of our utility room. The pipe itself is relatively large (compared to say the Power Vent from our propane gas water heater), but it contains a double pipe configuration with incoming air and exhaust in the same pipe.