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swamptiger

New gas boilers

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I'm thinking of taking advantage of the tax credit and replacing my 20+ year old gas boiler with a new energy efficient condensing type boiler, and am looking at the Lochinvar Knight and the Triangle Tube boilers. Triangle Tube also makes a combination boiler with an extra built-in tank for domestic water. Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with these models - good or bad. I'm really wondering how reliable these new models are, with all the high tech circuit boards and such. My old boiler is a Teledyne Laars with a 6" flue, and is still trouble free after more than 20 years of service, so I would hate to replace it with something that is giving me problems all the time.

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Well I am in the business and my opion is both of them boilers are good boilers but not great. Your top two boilers are baderus and wells maclam. With that said I tell my customers that buy what services you if you only can get service on them two boilers buy one of them. I am almost positive that the triangle boiler has a stainless steal water jacket and that will help with bad water conditions. Most all of your new boilers will do domestic water. Generally speaking they put your domestic on priority so you have on demand water so to speak. Make sure that you have them put a new pressure tank and super vent in that will insure that you do not have air in your system. When ever you open up the system you are always having to deal with air in the system and a super vent will take care of that issue.

If you are going to go with a 98% eff boiler then go for it. If you are going to go with a gravity venting boiler then dont bother. I have alot of boilers out there that are new and old and I work on most of then new boilers from failing electronic parts. And as far as old boilers go I dont have to fix them as much as I have to find air leaks in the system.

If you are going to buy a new boiler make sure you have a local shop do the work and just make sure there service is good.

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Both the Lochinvar and the Triangle Tube are stainless. The combination unit from Triangle Tube has a seperate built-in tank for domestic water so it's completely separated from the heating water. If I went with a regular boiler instead of the combo unit, I would install an indirect tank for the domestic water.

I would do the install myself - my son is an HVAC tech, so I would get some help from him. He recommends the Lochinvar - he said the company he works for has several of those units out there with very few problems. He isn't familiar with the Triangle Tube units, but I've done some searching on the internet, and they seem to have good reviews, so I thought I would inquire on here to see if anyone has any experience with them. I could save $500 to $1000 by going with the combo unit.

Both units are sealed combustion units with PVC venting.

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I'll probably have to do some more checking on the Triangle Tube to see if I can get parts - doesn't sound like there is too many of those units out there yet because they haven't been on the market for too long. I did talk to one supplier who said they have quite a few of the regular Triangle Tube boilers out there and they have had good luck with them, but they were a wholesaler, and they like to deal mostly with contractors.

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My crane went for 50 years. So don't give up so soon. :-)

What is the payoff time for the difference in price between the 85% and 98% efficiency? For my house it didn't make sense but I don't have a very big house. I used 146 therms in december.

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I'm a boilermaker by trade. I don't have a lot of experience on small residental units. Most of the boilers I deal with are high pressure superheated steam type creatures that can burn more fuel in 5 minutes than your home will burn in 5 years.

Properly maintained, a boiler should out last it's owner, and then some.

As previously suggested, with fuel savings and tax credits, calculate your payback. If it's not at least a 3 year payback then I'd ask why replace old faithful?

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I'm figuring about a 3 to 4 year payback - assuming no problems with the new unit, and fuel prices don't go up too much.. That's why I'm a little hesitant to make the switch - sometimes newer isn't always better.

I know my son puts in 60 to 80 hours a week in the winter months - mostly replacing ignitors, control boards, and electronic components in newer style furnaces, so this makes me a little leery. The newer furnaces just seem to be a lot more finicky...

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I'm paying $1.89 per gal for LP this winter. If the price went to $2.50 (like last winter), and stayed there, it would be 3 years or less.

The other thing is my water heater is getting old - about 10 to 15 years old - so that is probably due for replacement soon.

I'm also looking at another boiler by Slant-Fin. This one is a little less expensive than the other two, and they have a wall mount unit for domestic water that you can get with it called the "Combi-Cat". It has a plate type heat exchanger and a built-in circulator pump. Can't find much information about this unit other than on the company HSOforum.

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In October I replaced a 20+ year old Smith Boiler with a Munchkin. VERY satisfied. My son works for a heating/plumbing company and it was a highly recommended unit. Local (Hibbing) company installed it and backed it with a 10 year parts/labor warranty.

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Here is my calculation. Old boiler, like 75% efficient. So I save a third of my heat bill if new boiler 100 percent efficient. Heat bill is 600 dollars per year (gas charge only). So savings is like 200 dollars per year. Payback is forever, more or less.

If you use propane, probably much more expensive. So payback is reduced. Your best bet might be to put in electric for dual fuel interruptable rate. Neighbor did that, after propane went so high.

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Last time I checked, LP was about double the price of natural gas, but NG isn't even available to me, so not an option.

Electricity is also high in my area - about 13.5 cents per kilowatt for the regular rate. I could go with an air source heat pump for roughly about the same price as a new boiler and get a lower rate, however, they only work well down to 10 or 20 degrees F. I checked into off-peak baseboard heating once, and that didn't figure out too well at the time with the additional wiring and all - haven't checked it out lately, but I know some other people in the area it hasn't worked out real well for. I thought about an electric boiler with the dual-fuel rate, but I would still have my domestic water to contend with, unless I went all electric with that - might be an option..

I think I probably will go with the new boiler, and if LP gets too expensive, I will supplement with wood. This is sort of a hassle, but I've done it in the past, and it is actually still the least expensive option for me.

If I could cut my LP bill by 1/3, I'd be a happy camper...

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if you go with a electric boiler you can get on off peak my off peak boiler is 4.5 cents a kw and when you buy a dollar of electric you get a dollar back you buy a 1.00 of propane you get 96 cents back.

But the draw back is if the government change there program electric off peak will be no more. But electric boilers are 1/3 the price.

And you can also put your off peak heat pump in for alot less than a boiler.

my house has a off peak heat pump backed up with a 98% eff furnace with a off peak electro ind. boiler and I heat 2,500 sq for approximty 1100 a year and my house is 73 on all levels. Just keep your old boiler and just buy the propane and not worry about it heat with a little wood when it is really cold that will help you more than anything.

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Quote:
Just keep your old boiler and just buy the propane and not worry about it heat with a little wood when it is really cold that will help you more than anything.

Yeah, I know that's the cheapest - but it's also a hassle.. smile

I've looked at the mini-split heat pumps - they look like a nice set-up. Do you use a storage tank for your domestic water?

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Quote:
Heat bill is 600 dollars per year (gas charge only).

Kind of hard to break it down exactly, but I'm going to say my bill for domestic water alone is about that much at $1.89 per gallon. That's with two people living in the house.

The way I'm looking at it is I will try to invest in the best system I can for the least amount of money. Any savings I get is probably just as good as [PoorWordUsage] shooting in the stock market or putting the money in the banks nowadays...

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