European style cast iron Solaia boiler: opinions please (riello/tekmar 260/wet )


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Old 10-12-08, 09:06 AM
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European style cast iron Solaia boiler: opinions please (riello/tekmar 260/wet )

A local contractor was highly recommended and I think I finally hit pay dirt. He measured the rooms and windows and asked about insulation etc. He was raised around boilers etc, his dad worked for burnham so he's not just a sales guy like everyone else i had over was. he also does installs for the triangle tube bigwigs for protoypes and he is very passionate about his work

Sorry for such a basic question but is this being cast iron different from other low mass boilers? I have this idea in my head new things are mostly steel? And what is wet base(good/bad/indifferent)? I didnt notice that on the pamphlet until after he left.

this guy has this Solaia in his own house with a triangle tube tank and the top of the line tekmar (you guys probably know which one.)

just off the top of his head he thinks i'd get the SL4100 but has to crunch the heat loss of course.


http://www.boyertownfurnace.com/images/PDF/Solaia.pdf

http://www.boyertownfurnace.com/page...ia-boilers.htm

I found this flyer on the website but he didnt give me this one... if i'm reading it right, he would use a riello F5 (but i'm not sure)
http://www.boyertownfurnace.com/imag...ia%20Flyer.pdf

He also recommended the tekmar 260 vs the 256 and said it would save me a lot of money. Ballparked 10% on that plus 10-15% with new boiler and the reillo. He said he only installs riello anymore. He stated he would get rid of my expansion tank on the ceiling and put some sort of bladder control(?) in.

He talked in detail about my insulation issues and I informed him i want to seal up the house more. He said he'd keep my existing circulator since it's newer and add 2 more. He feels the lack of heat in my spare bedroom is an infiltration issue since I have over 30 ft of baseboard in there.

I feel very good about this guy, he offered to let me come to his house and see / hear this boiler in action. He was also straight up with me and told me due to my layout, i couldnt do a direct vent. The other guys all led me to believe i could. But he did say i could do the fresh air intake if need be (will price it with and without.

He mentioned something about primary and secondary but i forget what in relation to. I think we were talking about bypass and he mentioned something about feeding 10% of the hot water back in..i honestly forget..sorry.

He said the chimney could be an issue down the road but estimated i only have about 15 ft to reline and he knows someone if I need it down the road.

So what are your opinions of this 'eurpoean' setup ?

Thank you
 

Last edited by luckydriver; 10-12-08 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:53 PM
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Solaia

As I understand it, the Solaia is a private label Biasi. I saw one several years ago & liked it. Finally a distributor in my area is starting to carry them.
It sounds like your latest contractor knows what he's doing.
 
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Old 10-13-08, 04:17 PM
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cool thanks, thats good news. I need affirmation that my 6K (or whatever) is going towards a good and reliable system.

I also forgot to ask him about parts...are they readily available for repairs (you hear things like italian burner and wonder about the concorde coming out of retirement etc )
 
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Old 10-13-08, 06:06 PM
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Parts

Riello parts are readilly available in the rare case anything needs to be replaced. These burners are quite reliable.
 
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Old 11-06-08, 06:51 PM
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Ok the contractor finally got back to me. 8300 with everything.
A lot more than I expected and its 2K more than my own oil company but it's adding in the tekmar and all the additional work. he told me it could take a while to mount and program the unit etc. But said overall I should be saving 25% over my 250K unit I have here.

from what i remember here goes (please correct me or let me know any questions i should be asking):

my heat loss from slantfin was about 105K and he calculated 108K and he did it manually. So i have faith in his number and i like how many measurements he did. He will go with a 106K net ibr as referenced in post 1.

approximate breakdown $3200 for boiler and stainless water tank, $2600 for all the fun things like 2 more circulators, installing new valves before and after my one existing one he will reuse. mixing valve, low water cut off, tekmar 260, primary and secondary, he mentioned having to repipe the hot water or something like that.....$2400 for labor of 2 guys for 24 hours.

Said he will use alum pex? for the indirect tank since copper is so much but will use copper for something else, i forget what, but said it's needed there for strength. I never heard of pex but he said he has it in his house. New smoke pipe too.

Running the tekmar to the north side of my house would be very difficult (dont ask) but i told him even though right outside that room is the south side, in winter the sun barely hits it because of a tree and some tall shrubs.

cant get to me until mid december and requires 1/3 up front, 1/3 day of install and 1/3 10 days after install.

So what do you think? He's supposed to mail me a proposal in the next week and Ill even get to go to his house and see the boiler in action. (and his own tekmar setup)

PS i mentioned about moving my supply line because other issues i have and he said 326 total for that including the tigerloop.
 
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Old 11-07-08, 03:57 PM
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Quote

Sounds more than reasonable to me.
 
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Old 11-24-08, 08:08 PM
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what do you think of the proposal? He forgetting anything?

Also tiger loop plus 3 braided oil lines and necessary fittings is 325 (i want the line relocated to run on the ceiling)

 
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Old 11-25-08, 10:37 AM
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I have a Biasi B4 with the Reillo, and the Tekmar 260 ODR. I would not change them for anything else at this point. The Solaia is a Biasi casting, I believe..
 
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Old 11-25-08, 03:49 PM
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New Boiler

The only things I didn't see in the proposal were things about permits & inspections as well as removal & disposal of the old equipment. Price looks very reasonable.
 
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Old 11-25-08, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Grady View Post
The only things I didn't see in the proposal were things about permits & inspections as well as removal & disposal of the old equipment. Price looks very reasonable.
Third line up from the bottom for R&D...

Pedro
 
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Old 11-25-08, 06:20 PM
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i have to pay 54 for the permit myself and I didnt copy page 2 because it only had the payment terms, the tiger loop for 325

thanks for the opinion on the price...it's the highest out of all but then again, i didnt like the other guys so that's moot. I dont mind paying for quality.
 
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Old 11-26-08, 05:18 PM
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TigerLoop

L.D.
The price of the TigerLoop is awfully high.
Cost of permits out of your pocket is OK. That way the contractor doesn't have to claim that amount as income. The downside is the permit will likely be issued to you rather than the contractor which technically makes you resposible. If he is going to pull the permit & you pay for it, that's fine.

Pete,
Thanks, guess I need to clean the glasses.
 
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Old 11-27-08, 05:01 PM
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is it still high for the tiger since that includes actually relocating the oil line? Drilling thru the house etc? It is going to be a shorter route to inside the house (appox 5ft vs appox 25ish) then he'd run it on the ceiling and down to the boiler on the other side of the room

I'm going to have grading done to the house so need the oil line moved in anticipation of that. Right now it runs along the ground next to the house. CAn't afford to have it there with a bobcat moving dirt all around etc. I'm thinking have it about 1ft above the existing ground now should be safe. I guess now that i think about it since it's being replaced i should encase it in steel pipe or something? ideas??

and i really dont know what braided oil lines are..gotta talk next week when i see him
 
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Old 11-27-08, 06:39 PM
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TigerLoop

If the price includes all the labor you spoke of, that's a different story. I thought is was just disconnecting a return & installing a TigerLoop. My mistake. Just curious, is he using the Ultra or the regualr Loop?
 
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Old 11-28-08, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Grady View Post
If the price includes all the labor you spoke of, that's a different story. I thought is was just disconnecting a return & installing a TigerLoop. My mistake. Just curious, is he using the Ultra or the regualr Loop?
No mistake, i didnt tell you the full story

Hmm doesnt say which loop on the proposal so I'm assuming the cheaper. do you recommend one over the other?
 
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Old 11-28-08, 12:27 PM
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Get off the oil and natural gas price roller coaster.

Please look at a ground source heat pump option when you are considering $8000 purchase.

Here is block diagram of a solar assisted ground source heat pump. With this you can possibly achieve up to 900% heating efficiency and 400% cooling efficiency. Note free hot water is provided. This is hydronic model, forced air models are available,


And possibly see your overall energy consumption reduced as in example below. Your results will very.
]

http://www.igshpa.okstate.edu/geothermal/geothermal.htm
http://www.geo4va.vt.edu/A3/A3.htm
 

Last edited by focusonz; 11-28-08 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 11-28-08, 05:37 PM
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TigerLoop

I don't prefer one over the other as long as a good spin on filter is included with the "standard" TigerLoop. With the Ultra, the filter screws directly to the device. Come to think of it, I think I would prefer the filter to be separate.
 
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Old 11-29-08, 08:38 AM
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Ok cool. I cant wait to ask him this week about the braided oil lines and 3 of them he's supplying. I thought would be one line into the house and across my ceiling.not 3 lol
 
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Old 11-29-08, 05:33 PM
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Braided Oil Lines

Unless I miss my guess, he's going to put the filter upstream of theTigerloop, put one flex line between the filter & loop then the other 2 are run to the burner.
 
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Old 12-01-08, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Grady View Post
Unless I miss my guess, he's going to put the filter upstream of theTigerloop, put one flex line between the filter & loop then the other 2 are run to the burner.

I talked briefly with him about another matter and just asked about moving the line coming into the house. He said it would just be one line, not a 2 line system like i saw online. I didnt ask more as we were firming up dates etc. Hopefully will be done in 2 weeks.
 
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Old 12-01-08, 06:36 PM
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Pictures

You realize all the advice you've gotten here comes with a price? Said price is lots of pictures. We love pictures & expect lots of the work in progress & the finished job.
 
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Old 12-01-08, 06:40 PM
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ill see if the guys will sign a photo release I dont know...are you installers used to being photographed lol

I just hope i'm spending 8K wisely. This scares the blank of out me!
 
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Old 12-01-08, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by luckydriver View Post
I just hope i'm spending 8K wisely. This scares the blank of out me!
If you havn't got multiple quotes on multiple technologies on multiple fuels from multiple vendors in these days and times it should scare you. $8000 is a huge chunk of change that the next $140 per barrel oil spike will make you wonder about its application.
 
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Old 12-02-08, 05:59 AM
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1. current oil company salesguy came out and measured my baseboards (which we all know is wrong). Wanted to sell me a conventional /coil for about 4500ish. And low mass for over 6000. Said i NEED a 150,000 unit because the water throughout the system MUST be heated and you have to have that big a unit (scratched him from list)

2. other big company in the area comes out and measures the baseboards. Was tempted to tell him to leave as soon as he did that but waited for his estimates. over 8,000 for another oversized unit.

3. called local gas company to inquire about getting a gas line installed. No one ever called me back (dont they want new customers?) But another local contractor told me he just converted a 'regular' house and the line cost 3K to run in (plus cost of unit of course). A search of this forum shows indeed it's several thousand to run a new line. So with my difficult topography I'm sure i'm talking a lot more than that.

4. A service guy i deal with regularly told me about his guy that just installed his furnace for only 3K about 3 years ago and it's trouble free since. This is the guy i'm getting because A. word of mouth means a lot to me. B. he took detailed measurements of the house for a heat loss calculation C. he owns the company so has a vested interest vs the other idiot salesguys who obviously knew less than me - which is pretty bad. D. took a lot of time to explain things to me and when i find out new stuff on the internet he's not offended by it and actually takes the time to explain it (like he did the tekmar box last night) E. he invited me to his house to see the exact same boiler i'm getting in action and how everything is hooked up. So i really doubt he's a fly by nighter given all I've told you about him and i do believe he's passionate and very proud of his work. I'm a good judge of character and he's definitely the best out of all i've interviewed. And of course i'd never just trust some stranger on the internet to sell me stuff so the local recommendation is of utmost importance to me.

that being said yea i'm still scared to write the check but like you said, if oil shoots up to 140 i need to have a much more efficient heat source than my 257K coil unit currently installed. Payback will actually be 2x as long at current prices than the 5.09 the cap was calculated at in august but how can i complain about cheaper oil
 
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Old 12-02-08, 07:39 AM
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Before you write that check, I will help you explore ground source heat pump and other alternatives as below.

FYI Home Energy conservation DIY check list
1. Increase Insulation, and eliminate air infiltration
2. Other home thermal performance improvements, windows, attic venting, window shading.
3. Home energy audit data collection using blower door and infrared measurements and inspection
4. heating, ventilation, air condition (HVAC) reeneginnering to calculate new HVAC size.
5. Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) with solar thermal assist. and/or
6. Active and passive Solar Thermal (ST) whole house heating,

Here is some more info on DIY.

Where do you live and do you have south facing roof and what kind of land is your house on and describe your house and what kind of furnace and A/C do you have now?
 
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Old 12-04-08, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Grady View Post
Unless I miss my guess, he's going to put the filter upstream of theTigerloop, put one flex line between the filter & loop then the other 2 are run to the burner.
you are correct! (posted this in my other thread because i'm too lazy to separate the different issues)

I just got back from my contractors house. I'm sure he's gonna do a good install and i'm very confident i choose the right guy. His set up is very 'neat' and while I couldnt follow all of what was going on, theres really no doubt he knows what he's doing. He currently has some outside burner going and heats the 12 zones in his house with 80 degree water. I said 80? and he confirmed yes (i saw the dial) . I think he was using 2 tekmar 367's and had a bunch of circulators/relays/sensors etc and i guess i should have taken a pic but he'd think i'm nuts lol. He even has his garage floor and most of the house radiant heat. Very nice.

I did confirm that copper will be used from the outside tanks to the filter then the 3 flex tubes used for the tigerloop to the riello. Also it's going to be partial reset with the tek 260. I got to hear the riello start up and almost sounds quieter than my current setup.

He will look how hard it is to run lines to the living room for the indoor sensor. My house is PITA with wiring and plaster walls. Probably will spend the 1st day prepping everything and install on day 2 and 3. Keep your fingers crossed in 2 weeks we have a heat wave though he can lend me heaters if i need them. I gave him a check for the permit and he said he never pulled one for my township before (only when he did electrical jobs) but i said well i wanna make sure the install is 100% legal since with my luck something would happen and i wouldnt be covered by insurance etc.
 
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Old 12-05-08, 04:55 AM
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Sounds Good

Certainly sounds like you've picked the right guy. It's strange you mention 80 water heating the house. In another thread about a Burnham MPO boiler one of our resident piping experts is currently heating his house with 87 water & an outdoor temp of 45.
 
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Old 12-05-08, 06:37 AM
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I 'think' (dont quote me) that he is using some kind of woodburning stove outside. I know he's installing a lot of them now even out of this area. he said he took some trash etc and filled it up this morning (maybe even some coal?) and it ran all day and was cooking at 160 now( i saw the remote sensor) but the dial on the pipe clearly was at 80 and i'm amazed he has 12 zones! I had questioned him why the pipes werent at 160 and he said it only needs 80. I really cant fathom that to be honest. When my spa is at 95 it's too cold to get in lol. So i dont know how 80 heats pipes to warm a house!
 
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Old 12-05-08, 11:14 AM
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If most of his house is radiant then 80 is just right. Esp if tile or other high-mass radiant. The tekmar 367 is a very robust control. Sounds like a neat setup.
 
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Old 12-05-08, 11:49 AM
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Ok i get it now. if the floor is 80 that's pretty good because of the 'area' it's radiating vs the smaller baseboards i have which need to be hotter to heat that same area.

Yes he said he needed 2 - 367s for the setup. And i never saw so many circulators in one place before even on pics in this group

sorry i didnt get pics of it. didnt wanna scare him away. I did tell him im taking pic of his work in progress here though!
 
 

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