MPI FCX condensing oil fired boiler


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Old 11-26-05, 03:30 PM
scs987
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MPI FCX condensing oil fired boiler

Anyone have experience with the Monitor Products Inc. FCX oil-fired condensing boiler? It boasts a 92-97% efficiency rating according to energy star site, which seems to be the highest I can find for oil-fired. A page on a local dealer's site states: "Manufacturer suggested list price plus installation (will vary depending on plumbing and venting options): $ 4,250". Any thoughts?
 
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Old 11-26-05, 03:56 PM
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Monitor

I have no experience with thier boiler but I do with the direct vent space heaters. When they work, they work well, but are very expensive to repair.
I also would be very leary of any oil fired condensing anything.
 
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Old 11-26-05, 04:02 PM
scs987
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Originally Posted by Grady
I also would be very leary of any oil fired condensing anything.
Why be leary of this?

Any comments on the approximate cost ompared to regular FHW systems?
 
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Old 11-26-05, 04:11 PM
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90+ oil

The condensing oil fired furnaces which were sold a few years ago were terrible about plugging up.

The equipment cost seems quite high. Often I sell & install equipment for less than the cost of that equipment alone.
 
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Old 11-26-05, 06:40 PM
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Viessmann

Seems Viessmann has two models of this type as well. What's the general take on Viessmann equipment? Also, their literature lists 'standard efficiency up to 104%' - how does this translate to US efficiency measurement? Not that it matters too much, since the Viessmann USA site doesn't list it as a product that would be available here, but I am still curious.

On a different note: is it at all sensible to be looking at oil-fired condensing technology over 'regular' oil fired (I have no natural gas available, so my only other option would be propane)
 
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Old 11-27-05, 04:54 AM
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I think you would be very happy with a new buderus or biasi or viessmann boiler, With a riello or becket nx oil burner. You really can't beat that set-up. easy to tune. cleaning is a snap. most of the time there is no soot on the heat exchanger anyways. They all get in the mid 80's. which gives alot more heat to the house per gallon than with propane. remember 1 gal. of oil has 140,000 btu's, 1 gal of propane has only 90,000 btu's.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 07:19 AM
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Oil vs. LP

I don't know about the prices in your area but around here, LP will eat you alive. Oil & LP prices usually are about the same per gallon & with oil having 50% more btu/gallon, it is almost a no brainer. A couple of other boilers you might want to look at are Burnhams MPO & Crown's CT series. Here are a couple of links where you can read some about them: http://www.burnham.com
http://www.crownboiler.com
 
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Old 11-27-05, 08:25 AM
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Propane is expensive here, so that's out as a heating source. According to the disclosure the former owners used around 1,000 gallons of oil last year, which was including using a wood stove. I had to disconnect the stove since it is a single flue situation, so I expect the usage to be higher this year. My options are to reduce oil usage (higher eff. boiler, possibly replace baseboard with radiant zone?) or be able to supplement with other sources. I am already working on reducing heat loss, so that's going to happen either way.

So the main reason to look at condensing is to have the wood stove as an additional/backup source (none of the other technologies work if the power goes out, and the utility is predicting rolling blackouts due to NG shortage), and I have no space for an additional chimney. What I understand from other postings is that power venting oil-fired equipment sucks, and I have few other options that don't require a chimney: geothermal, solar and condensing (any others?)

Geothermal heat pumps seem the most efficient for non-solar options, but I don't have an existing well; I think it'd be an expensive option in this case because of well drilling. Solar is expensive, even with the available state and federal rebates - especially since you only get the rebates if a certified installer does the install. So what seems to be left is highest efficiency oil-fired with the least expensive venting option.

I guess I'll have to run heat loss calculations, do cost-benefit analyses, and think about whether the higher cost of some of these is worth the environmental benefits. Just too many options

My remaining question: does a 95% to 87% efficiency difference roughly save me 8% in fuel if all else is the same?
 
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Old 11-27-05, 08:31 AM
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BTW - I currently have a Burnham V73T with a .85 GPH nozzle on the burner. How to determine the heating capacity from this? Burnham brochure says 121MBH but it's listed with a 1.05 nozzle. Can one just do 121 * .85 / 1.05 = 97 MBH?
 
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Old 11-27-05, 09:51 AM
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BTU calculation

IF the pump is set at 100 psig, a nozzle rated at .85gph will give you an input of 119,000 btu/hr. Should the pump be set at a higher pressure, the flow rate will be higher but not on a 1/1 ratio. For example if the pump were set to 125#; the flow rate would be .95gph. At 150# you would get 1.04gph.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 12:32 PM
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you can direct vent the biasi boiler. no power venter needed. then you would have the flue for your wood stove. but remember if you have to buy your wood, you are probably better off with oil.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 05:17 PM
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scs987

Crown also makes a direct vent in their CT line. It carries the DV suffix. You could use a small generator to supply power to the boiler in the event of a power outage. It does not take much power to carry a boiler unlike forced warm air. To answer your question about fuel savings, a 95% efficient boiler, with every thing else being equal would save 8-9% in fuel. If I'm not mistaken, the Monitor specifies the use of kerosene. If that is indeed the case, there goes your cost savings & then some. Kero is a good bit more expensive than #2 fuel oil.
 
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Old 11-29-05, 12:16 AM
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Condensing Boilers

SCS 987:

I feel your best way to cut down on heating expenses at this point would be to check your exterior walls & ceilings for adequate insulation levels & have some additional blown in if you don't have R19 in the walls & R40 in the ceiling; you can expect a 20% to 30% drop in fuel usage if you beef up the insulation, it will thus pay for itself in a short time..

The Burnham boiler you have now is a good product & is probably around 85% efficient; oil-fired condensing boilers in the U.S. still have several disadvantages that are not present in Europe; namely, #2 fuel oil here contains a lot of sulfur, which makes it extremely difficult for a boiler mfg. to come up with an effective product; this type of boiler in the U.S. is thus still in the "experimental" stage of development; the sulfur-laced fuel oil tends to combine with water, producing a mild sulfuric acid, which in time will rot out the lower portion of your fuel storage tank, as well as cause the boiler problems.

The heating industry is trying to get diesel fuel (which, less the sulfur, is exactly the same as #2 fuel oil) approved for use as fuel in the U.S. so that condensing technology can advance, but the fuel tax structures & politics are holding things back.

In addition to the boilers mentioned, I would recommend a number of wet-base cast iron boiler mfgs in the 85% efficiency range with push nipples (instead of plastic seals) including Peerless, Slant/fin, Utica, Buderis, Neca, & Dunkirk.
 

Last edited by Chimney Cricket; 11-29-05 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 11-29-05, 04:21 PM
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Chimney Cricket, Just FYI

The company for which I work has sold exclusively dyed low sulfur diesel as heating fuel ever since they started dyeing the fuel. It contains a max of 0.05% sulfur & costs only about a cent per gallon more than regular "high sulfur" #2 heating oil. Boy, what a difference in how much cleaner equipment stays. This is especially true with boilers. The vast majority of the boilers I clean annually, need only a light brushing with a relatively soft brush. No more wire brushing boilers for me.
 
 

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