Change oil to Gas boiler in North Plainfield, NJ. Is this a DIY project?


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Old 09-25-07, 07:52 PM
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Change oil to Gas boiler in North Plainfield, NJ. Is this a DIY project?

oil burning boiler does not work, just purchased the house a month ago, didnt work when i purchased the house and i knew it.

Long story short, boiler will be in 10/2/07 and i want to know if this is a project that i can do myself?

the water heater is located right next to the current non functioning oil burning boiler, and uses gas, it has a 3/4" gas line going to it.

the current system has 2 zones, its a hot water system with 2 recirculating pumps.

is there a how 2 that i can use to do the install?
 
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Old 09-25-07, 08:09 PM
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Id say get 3 bids for the job. A new boiler and gas lines is not a DIY. Plus look at all the tools you will need to do this job right. Dont know how long or how many L's that gas line has and how big it has to be. For the Btu's of the boiler But the boiler should have its own line
 
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Old 09-26-07, 08:27 AM
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Good chance to put in a modcon and an indirect and have just one gas device using that line.

You need to do heatloss calculations to size the boiler right and then see decide what boiler(s) will fit the bill. Then you need to determine if the current gas line meets that boiler's specs.

I'd get someone in - you're changing fuels. Your insurance company could cause you major headaches over this.
 
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Old 09-26-07, 03:00 PM
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DIY Job?

Short answer is no.
 
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Old 10-01-07, 05:42 PM
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can anyone reccomend a good contractor to do the install in union county NJ?

i am really considering doing the install, and before i fire it up have a certified heating expert inspect everything, and pay him 200-300 bucks for his time.

I am very very handy (i have 7 years experience diagnosing and fixing cars, and i know this is diffrent but i feel like i am up to the task) and if i had a how too im sure i can do this job. Any one know of a place i can find books on this i cant seem to find any info on HVAC in the book stores.
 
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Old 10-15-07, 07:21 PM
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Brother is a plumber

Originally Posted by Car Kings llc
can anyone reccomend a good contractor to do the install in union county NJ?

i am really considering doing the install, and before i fire it up have a certified heating expert inspect everything, and pay him 200-300 bucks for his time.

I am very very handy (i have 7 years experience diagnosing and fixing cars, and i know this is diffrent but i feel like i am up to the task) and if i had a how too im sure i can do this job. Any one know of a place i can find books on this i cant seem to find any info on HVAC in the book stores.
You still need it done?
 
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Old 11-21-07, 10:49 AM
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How did it go?

It has been over a month and I'm curious as to how your project went. I too am changing to an lp boiler from oil. I'm sorry you didn,t get more support from DIY - that's why we logon - not to be told to get a contractor.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by eaglepines
It has been over a month and I'm curious as to how your project went. I too am changing to an lp boiler from oil. I'm sorry you didn,t get more support from DIY - that's why we logon - not to be told to get a contractor.
Are you changing out the burner to it or are you changing out the whole boiler, per what your post actually says?

IMO opinion, I'd think for a novice, changing out boilers would be easier and perhaps less risky than a retrofit conversion.

But you might want to seriously weigh out the insurance issue that was already raised.

We do a lot of advising on repairs here. But on installations, there is more to know and more risks and there is a reason why communities insist on certain jobs be done by licensed people.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 07:37 PM
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DIY or Contractor

Most of the work is pretty straight forward but there are numerous opportunities for major foul ups. Many of these will not evidence themselves right away. Venting, for example, looks like "just run vent pipe from the appliance to the chimney". WRONG. Improperly vented appliances have killed way too many people. Waking up dead will ruin your whole day.
Gas piping looks easy. It is IF you know what you are doing & do it carefully. Leaks in the gas piping cause houses to go BOOM. I've personally seen this happen. It is particularly dangerous with LP.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by eaglepines
It has been over a month and I'm curious as to how your project went. I too am changing to an lp boiler from oil. I'm sorry you didn,t get more support from DIY - that's why we logon - not to be told to get a contractor.
Eaglepines, we all have our limits. My gas company would never connect the natural gas line to my system without a TSSA registered contractor doing the install. My insurance required proof that I had my oil tanks removed and properly disposed of by a TSSA registered company - a different company did that - I disconnected the boiler for them to haul out. The company that manufactured my modcon would never support it in any way shape of form unless it is installed by a licensed contractor. They rec'd my installer, if I have issues down the line, I have leverage.

I did calculate my heatloss. I was the one who chose my boiler and indirect. I spec'd the system. I designed the layout and piping. I did the domestic piping, the condensate trap etc... I did a lot of the install work with my contractors. I'm the one adding the radiant heat for the kitchen. I have no training in gas piping or handling combustibles, and I don't believe everything I read on the internet.

I didn't mind putting a few bucks into somebody else's pocket. In fact, I gave him enough extra bucks to get a combustion analyzer because that's the final step in doing it right. The bonus, I can borrow it whenever I want.

Could I have done it myself and saved some big bucks? Yup... Could I have been tired or sloppy and blown my house up and the ones on each side? I have no clue, but I do know it happens often enough that I didn't want to find out.

Propane's even nastier than NG... it pools in low spots. You also have the added complication that most equipment is retrofitted to propane. Was it done right? Tough to know without a C/A. If it wasn't, or if your boiler leaks when you pressure test it, who are you gonna have handle it? Your distributor may step back and leave it to you and the manufacturer. Some manufacturers don't want unqualified people touching their equipment. We live in a world of lawyers and legal aspects influence decisions. Lawyers love people undertaking things on that they shouldn't... feeds the baby sharks at home.

Anyway, that is what some of us have experienced. If others have different experience don't blame us for them not having spoken up like we have. We've offered our advice and thought it would be helpful.

I cut my own hair but I don't do my own dentistry. I recently saw how someone on a DIY boiler install piped the venting backwards into a coax termination and set off their CO detector. They were lucky to have the detector and not end up dead. You gonna skip $100 on a low level CO detector?

If you ask for advice, don't get your knickers in a knot if it is not what you wanted or expected to hear.

What training, experience and qualifications do you have to make yourself feel qualified to do this? I don't want the answer... but you really do need to start by asking yourself that. If you are comfortable in your answers, then you probably wouldn't be here asking...

We're all friendly and this is all friendly advice so please try and see it as that.
 
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Old 11-22-07, 05:31 AM
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I think it kind of depends on where you live (state).

Some states allow the homeowner to do their own work. You must apply for permits (electrical, gas/plumbing, fire)from your town/city. Then once you have been approved (tons of paperwork), you must preform the install up to those codes. The inspectors come out and approve the different permits. Once approved they give you a card then you call your gas supply or public utility and they send someone over to make sure their end of the supply side is sufficent to handle your new application.

If your install was permitted and approved, insurance companies can't say squat
 
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Old 11-22-07, 10:51 AM
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I worked for almost thirty-five years in the design, operation, maintenance and construction of commercial and industrial sized boiler plants. I have also designed and installed a few residential heating systems.

Thirty years ago I would not have hesitated for a minute in designing and installing my own heating system but as I wrote a few weeks back, when I needed to have my forced air furnace replaced last year I had it done by a licensed contractor.

I could have used my contacts to purchase a furnace at the wholesale price. I have the necessary sheet metal, piping and electrical skills that I could have done the job yet I opted to have it done instead.

Why? Because in today's society one MUST protect themselves from any possible lawsuit or such event. One CANNOT throw caution to the wind in regard to their homeowners insurance. One CANNOT thumb their nose at the regulatory agencies and unless you have the idea of staying in your home until you die one simply cannot ignore the simple truth that non-permitted and approved DIY installations can and will make it much harder for you to sell your home in the future.
 
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Old 11-22-07, 06:20 PM
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Furd,

Being that you are able to do so, why wouldn't you do your own installation, and draw the necessary permits and have it inspected? Unless your state doesn't allow an unlicensed person to do their own work?

Pete

Pete
 
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Old 11-22-07, 10:08 PM
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Generally speaking, equipment manufacturers will not honor the warranty for equipment installed by other than an authorized dealer.

Inspections often are a joke and this is true in my area.

And while I have the skills I do not own a sheet-metal shop. Just doing the minimal amount of necessary ductwork would have taken me a couple of days vs. the contractor doing it in a couple of hours.

I also would have had to rent a truck to get the new furnace to my home and to dispose of the old furnace, plus the disposal fee for the old furnace.

Add to that the fact that I retired because I was tired of working. Maybe I could have saved $700. by doing it myself but it was all much easier (and I think better) to just write the check.
 
 

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