Extra $ For Spark Ignition vs. Standing Pilot


Old 12-02-10, 04:52 PM
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Extra $ For Spark Ignition vs. Standing Pilot

I'm wondering why there is such a price differential between spark ignition and a standing pilot for cast-iron, gas-fired boilers?

Examples: Burnhan P206 - $475 more for spark igition

Weil McLain CGa-6 - $532 more

Is there any economic advantage to spark ignition other than saving the cost of the gas used in the pilot itself (which I turn off anyway during the non-heating season)? The price differential would pay a significant percentage of a whole-year's total gas heating bill for me. And, I tend to think that a standing-pilot system is perhaps more reliable and is easier to maintain/repair by a DIYer.

Source of boiler pricing info: Boilers , Weil Mclain Boilers , Burnham Boilers - PexSupply.com
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Old 12-02-10, 05:24 PM
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Kind of self explanation. Electric ingnition has more controls that cost more. Boards, igniter, and possibly induced draft. But they have a better eff. rating over standing pilot. Its a matter of choice.

I have a old Hydrotherm with a power pilot. If I lose power my gas valve will still open and I will have heat. I just need to open the zone valves. I would never own electric ignition but thats just me.

Mike NJ
Old 12-02-10, 07:21 PM
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I've never done the math... but I bet we would be surprised at what a standing pilot costs to run long term.

Yeah, the extra price is in the control module for the most part... although wholesale price on them is probably less than half what we pay for the replacements.

NJ Mike, your 'power pilot' is commonly referred to as 'powerpile', and your gas valve is a 'millivolt gas valve'. Just FYI so's ppl know what yer tawkin' bout.
Old 12-02-10, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
I've never done the math... but I bet we would be surprised at what a standing pilot costs to run long term.
Indeed, you would! It's not cheap, particularly when you do it thoroughly and include the impact of the perpetual minor draft and other issues. Yes, it takes a while to make back the extra cost, but you do.
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