oil to gas boiler conversion...differences? (or other options)

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Old 10-08-08, 06:43 AM
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oil to gas boiler conversion...differences? (or other options)

I did a search for gas but i guess search doesnt work on that term

I have an oil boiler that needs replaced. I was so focused on keeping oil i forgot there may be other options. Other then a gas boiler, can you think of any other options i may have while maintaining my baseboards and domestic hot water?

And are gas boilers priced about the same as oil?

I just had no idea if the gas was the same as an oil burner except for the fuel source..same piping and other issues like bypass etc.

any and all advice appreciated.
 
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Old 10-09-08, 06:17 AM
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an article today said

Most new customers must pay to have a natural gas line run from the street to their homes, and then to have the new equipment installed, which usually costs between $3,000 and $6,000, he said. If the home is not close to a gas main, the owner can use propane, which is slightly more expensive than natural gas but less than oil.

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is there anyway i can convert my current oil usage to gas usage? I know with a new oil boiler i wont be using the 1150 gallons of oil i am today, but if i could figure out the equivalent amount of gas i would be using today, it would help with a decision

also any ballparks on running a new gas line? hundreds? thousands?

any validity to this calculator?

http://www.exeloncorp.com/peco/html/oil.htm

shows my 1148 gallons at 2.99 cost 3400 and 2477 for the same natural gas equivalent. If thats 1000 a year savings, it seems like even with a high install cost i'd be saving a lot very quickly


found another calculator per 100000 btu...what do you think of its accuracy?

http://warmair.net/html/fuel_cost_comparisons.htm

i entered .014 for gas and 2.99 for oil and it shows 1.66 vs 2.64 for 100K btu so on the surface it seems like i'd be saving a lot if i switched to gas. But it is that simple a calculation?

edit yet again, someone gave me the following data

1150 gallons oil a year = 158,700,000btu (my last year usage)

158,700,000 = 1587 therms gas

1150 gallons oil x old price of 2.99 i paid last year = 3438 cost

at the rate of 1.4416 therm x 1587 therms = 2287 cost (i have no idea what my gas rate is, just used his rate here. ONe site i checked says my costs would be 14.68 per thousand feet of gas but i dont know how to plug that in the above formula (if it's even right)
 

Last edited by luckydriver; 10-09-08 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 10-09-08, 07:59 AM
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I would check with the PUC and find out what the NG rate increase is going to be. That will give a better idea of the costs involved.

If there is NG in front of the house, and the boiler & gas hookup totals $6,000, if the savings is $1K/yr, that is a 6 year payback. Which is OK. However, no one knows what the cost of oil or NG will be in a year from now.

So the payback may never occur, or may even occur in a shorter time frame then 6 yr's.

The thing people like about NG is that the rate is a known. They know what to expect when the bill comes in. With the fluctuating price of oil, it drives people batty... One never knows how much it is going to cost to put some oil in the tank.

Al.
 
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Old 10-09-08, 08:14 AM
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i have UGI on this table

http://www.puc.state.pa.us/naturalgas/pdf/PGC.pdf

so i guess that means 13.26 rate for me? My local paper said it's 20 bucks now. I wonder why they would say that.

also historical NG rates are on my above post. I know it's not a guarantee but in todays world i cant imagine things are gonna get cheaper
 
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Old 10-09-08, 10:55 AM
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Check the website of the serving gas utility. There are several more items that go into the cost of gas than just the gas itself. With my utility there is a breakdown of the gas, transportation (delivery) charges, several taxes and a customer service charge. You can also call the utility and they will be happy to detail all the charges and the costs involved in getting the gas to your house.

In my area if the gas main is in front of the house the utility will run the piping to the house at no charge assuming the house is not set back from the street more than some fifty feet or so. Any piping inside the house is at the customer's (your) expense and is usually done by a private contractor. Gas piping is almost never a DIY job and $1,000 for inside piping may not be an excessive cost.

A gas-fired boiler may be somewhat less expensive than an oil-fired boiler because the gas burning equipment is somewhat less expensive. I've never dealt with the cost of residential boilers so I cannot make any definitive statements regarding equipment costs. I will state that a gas-burning boiler will burn cleaner than an oil-burning boiler and therefore over the course of a heating season may have a slight edge in maintaining a better overall fuel efficiency. Gas-burning equipment may often require service only every other year versus the oil-burning equipment requiring service every year.

Gas fired mod/con boilers are a proven item. Oil fired mod/cons are still pretty new. If you were to use an existing brick chimney a gas fired boiler will require a liner (which may already be in place) and if one needs to be installed it is probably another $1,000 or or so.

If you go with gas and have an existing underground oil tank you must decommission that tank. Some areas will allow a tank to remain in the ground if it is properly cleaned (not a DIY job) and then filled with an inert material. Most area require the tank to be cleaned and removed and also the surrounding soil tested for hazardous substances and, if necessary, the soil remediated. This also ups the cost of conversion. If your tank is in the basement or an above-ground tank then there is the cost of oil removal (don't plan on receiving any payment) and the removal and disposal of the tank.
 
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Old 10-10-08, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
In my area if the gas main is in front of the house the utility will run the piping to the house at no charge assuming the house is not set back from the street more than some fifty feet or so. Any piping inside the house is at the customer's (your) expense and is usually done by a private contractor. Gas piping is almost never a DIY job and $1,000 for inside piping may not be an excessive cost
.

Talked to my oil company and they said they do install gas equipment. But he said when people call to have the line installed, they've been given quotes of 3-4000 bucks for their 'standard' houses. I have VERY challenging topography with a huge retaining wall and the distance from the street to my boiler is at least 100ft. Based on your experience above, and what i've read from other postings, i do feel that my cost would be minimum 3K for this gas pipe and maybe more. id have to get the gas people out to see. Then i'd have to calculate savings in fuel costs based on todays prices. And gas has shot up pretty high around here in the past few years. so now that i'm thinking about all this, it may not payback so well to convert if the running of the pipe is that expensive


Originally Posted by furd View Post
Gas fired mod/con boilers are a proven item. Oil fired mod/cons are still pretty new. If you were to use an existing brick chimney a gas fired boiler will require a liner (which may already be in place) and if one needs to be installed it is probably another $1,000 or or so.
even with the new low mass that I may get, the guy told me i 'may' need to have a new chimney liner in. He stated less heat will be going up the chimney and it may start to deteriorate. He stated a stainless steel one could be 1000-2000. I may not need it but he said ever 5 years to have the chimney inspected. Is he correct on all these points?

I seriously am considering paying the estimated 800 for the direct venting option i have. It would quiet the burner, guarantee fresh air, and eliminate any chimney problems

Originally Posted by furd View Post

If you go with gas and have an existing underground oil tank you must decommission that tank.
i have 2 above ground tanks I use now. There 'probably is' a underground tank in back of my house based on a cover i see out there but (whistles and walks away) i really dont know for sure.
 
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Old 10-10-08, 09:34 PM
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Definitely call the gas company. Gas lines to houses are routinely done with plastic tubing these days and with directional boring they can run the gas line without ever cutting through the surface of your property.

even with the new low mass that I may get, the guy told me i 'may' need to have a new chimney liner in. He stated less heat will be going up the chimney and it may start to deteriorate. He stated a stainless steel one could be 1000-2000. I may not need it but he said ever 5 years to have the chimney inspected. Is he correct on all these points?
Yes, he is correct.

There 'probably is' a underground tank in back of my house based on a cover i see out there but (whistles and walks away) i really dont know for sure.
I strongly advise you to find out for sure what you may have. If it is an oil tank you also need to find out if it was properly decommissioned or just abandoned. If you ever sell your home you will need to disclose whatever information you have on the tank and if it is a leaking oil tank (or even if not leaking but not officially decommissioned) it might cause you a problem. Even if you have no plans to ever sell if the thing ever leaks oil into the surrounding soil you WILL be liable for all cleanup costs.
 
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Old 10-11-08, 08:01 AM
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might cause you problems ?

if it is a leaking oil tank
(thread drift follows... posted for point of reference only. And a warning to anyone that has an old underground oil tank. If it is NOT leaking, REMOVE IT NOW!)

That's an understatement furd ! Costs on this one exceeding $250K ...

Problem?
 

Last edited by NJT; 10-11-08 at 08:18 AM.
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