What to expect from salesman?


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Old 10-23-06, 07:08 PM
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What to expect from salesman?

I recently had a salesman over to discuss a replacement for my boiler. I have a 20 y/o Ford Corp oil fired boiler that is still working, but according to the sales rep, is a total piece of junk - of course, consider the source. Anyway, I'm sure that I'll need to replace it some time in the near to medium future.

The salesman didn't ask me the questions that I'd think he'd need answers to in order to suggest the appropriate equipment. He didn't ask how big the house is (although he could see it was small), didn't ask about my family's hot water consumption habits, or expanding family plans. Didn't ask how long I plan on staying in the house, no heat loss evaluation of the home, etc.

Instead, he told me that I must get a 3 pass system and gave me three choices; WM Ultra, Crane Freeport, and Buderus G215 and that the cost would be @ $7200 installed.

Should I be concerned that he didn't ask all those questions? Is a 3 pass system a "must"? Is $7200 reasonable? How much is the equipment (heat exchange, burner, controls, tank, etc.)

Thanks for any help.
 
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Old 10-23-06, 08:06 PM
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Sounds like he didn't address all of the questions you are right to want answered. Some guys can legitimately do this in their heads, but my inclination would be to find someone else. The equipment choices (at least the Ultra and Buderus) are good stuff. But you want to make sure they are sized right for the heat loss of the house (if you can't find a pro to do it, we can help here), your hot water needs, etc. The heat loss is also your guide to helping prioritize whether you should add insulation (think of it as fuel you buy only once), add radiation to problem rooms, etc.

You also want to make sure the system will be piped right, pumped right. Ask to see pictures of other installs. Do they look like the installation manuals? They should be slight variations on the manual, at best, even if you don't know a PRV from a circulator.

There are also controls. The Buderus has the Logomatic for outdoor reset and domestic priority. Is that included in the price? The oil Ultra should probably also have some control, but I don't know much about oil. The gas model has outdoor reset and priority built in.

You have a good set of questions. Keep asking til someone can answer them intelligently.
 
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Old 10-23-06, 09:22 PM
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Those are three great Boilers, let me help you make a decision, the Weil Ultra is the quietest and the Crown Freeport is the least quiet. Do you need a three pass? Of course not, you can heat youre house with that Ford. At the price of energy today I would select the 3 pass models, they absorb the most heat from the fire you paid so much to make.

The main thing is to select the contractor that you think is best, don't cheap out on the most important system in youre home.
 
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Old 10-23-06, 09:25 PM
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I agree and you should always get atleast 3-4 estimates. Since your boiler is working??? thereisno rush to purchase a new one until all your questions are answered. Not only should they do a heat load ,but they should also measure the linear feet of your baseboards. Weil Mclain is also pretty good, with the exception of trying to clean out the boiler. You have to go through the top and it can be challenging.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 04:37 AM
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The Weil Ultra is not hard to clean, the whole front opens, and with the new burner technology on this boiler and soon to come bio-heat fuels, and low sulfer fuels he won't be cleaning it much at all.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for the responses. Yes, my boiler is currently working, so there is no rush. I'm trying to find out as much as possible so that when its sub-freezing and the boiler goes, I'll be able to make an informed decision quickly.

when I bought the house 3 years ago, I had the seller pay for an inspection on the boiler which included an efficiency rating - it came back at 80%. I assume thats pretty good(?) since the new ones are at around 85%

I'll mention two other "red flags" that made me a little uneasy about the sales pitch. First, in trying to convince me to get the 3-pass, the salesman proclaimed that if he bought a house with a brand new boiler that was not a 3-pass boiler, he'd junk it and install a 3-pass immediately. That seems a bit much, no? I'm taking a wild guess that the 3-pass is more expensive than the conventional(?)

Second, the Buderus web site says that the model the salesman was pushing (G215) is for large residential/light commercial. Can these boilers be configured for smaller applications like my house or are they designed for a specific size?
 
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Old 10-24-06, 12:13 PM
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heat loss

At a minimum:

The salesman must do a heat loss study for your house and base the boiler size based on that information. That would also be a good time to see if doing any work to the home's envelope: windows, insulation, doors, etc. would be of immediate benefit before committing to what would be **oversized** boiler if the insulation work was later!

What does the price include? New circulators, zone valves, near plumbing, expansion tank, indirect DHW??? etc..? Does the Buderus price include the Logamatic (sp?) contoller??? Without, it is just another 3-pass boiler like the Ultra, Biasi or others. You need to nail that guy down, and get some more bids!!!!! A properly sized mid-priced boiler that is installed right will beat any high end unit that is mismatched and installed wrong!

Also, if you go with a three pass, make SURE your current chimney flue will handle the lower temp. flue gases (condensation issues). If you have a two story house or large flue, or one that isn't lined, you may end needing an expensive liner installed later. Make sure the guy doing the bids gives you these answers up front.

Peter
 
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Old 10-24-06, 07:22 PM
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New boiler

The other guys have covered most of your questions & have provided some very good questions to ask potential bidders. I have installed a lot of Crown's CT series boilers & some Buderus. The Buderus is very nice equipment but pricey even without the Logomatic control. But unless you have one big house, I would think the 215 would be overkill. With a minimum output of 134,000 btu/hr, that's a lot of heat. I've had a CT-3 in my own home for about 10 years, no trouble at all & clean it every three years but it really doesn't need it. The only thing I can say against it is the sound level. As Hello pointed out, it is a fairly loud boiler.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 07:49 PM
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I agree - I've gotten lots of good advice from everyone. I 'm waiting for a response from the salesman - I left a message asking some pointed questions.

I'll start a new thread to ask about the Peerless Pinnacle and how it compares to the other three I've mentioned.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 08:22 PM
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W/M ultra & Peerless pinnacle

If you opt for either of these two boilers, I STRONGLY suggest you burn only low or ultra low sulfur fuel. Both of these boilers are extremely high efficiency boilers & with ordinary #2 (high sulfur) fuel oil would probably be troublesome.
 
 

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