High Efficiency Gas Boiler with Iron Radiators and Pipes?

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Old 06-25-12, 08:57 AM
M
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High Efficiency Gas Boiler with Iron Radiators and Pipes?

Hi Everyone,

This isn't a DIY question per se, but I hope that it's okay if I can ask for insights.

I live in an older home with hot water oil heat and big old iron radiators. I am in the process of getting estimates on converting to natural gas. My current boiler is pretty new (8 years).

Two people who have come by have told me that I should just convert the burner given the age of the boiler. Further, one person told me that a high efficiency boiler has lots of condensation that would be a major service nightmare with iron radiators and pipes.

The man identifying where the gas meter would go also told me that I should do a conversion, and that folks would try to sell me a new boiler when it wasn't necessary.

So, a third guy was just out this morning who told me that I would be very disappointed in the savings if I didn't go with a new high-efficiency boiler. He told me that the condensation would not be an issue. He also said that converting it would be very inefficient -- lots less than it is currently with oil -- like it would end up being around 70%.

If anyone can give me any insight on this, I would be very grateful. Thanks so much!

Kind regards,

Mary
 
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Old 06-25-12, 10:40 AM
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Hi,

What is your make and model boiler you currently have?

The pros will be on shortly to help you in this area.

To my knowlege you will not get the efficiency doing a conversion. The oil boiler you have now is sized for oil. The fire box is a different size (larger) then gas would be.

You have the benifit of having radiators that you can run a condensating boiler and run lower boiler temps.

If I was in your situation I would install a new boiler. You can easily sell your old boiler to recoop some costs. Dont let them scrap it.

But its not my area and there are great boiler guys here that will respond soon. Hold tight.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-25-12, 05:19 PM
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Lawrosa is on the right track. Converting an oil boiler, check with the manufacture as some cannot legally be converted, will be less efficient than it was as oil. It will not be as low as 70% as someone stated. Lawrosa also stated that using a mad/con boiler is a good idea which I agree as this is a cast iron radiator system which will operate on lower water temps and these boilers are designed to condense. In fact they are more efficient when they are condensing.
The important thing is proper sizing. Most boilers installed are 100% or more oversized. Do a heat loss and properly size the boiler. Converting the old boiler will probably be oversized and waste fuel.
 
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Old 06-26-12, 04:38 AM
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Stay away from the guy who said this..

"Further, one person told me that a high efficiency boiler has lots of condensation that would be a major service nightmare with iron radiators and pipes."

This is not the heating guy you want in your home...

Don't do a conversion, even if you want to stay non modcon with a CI boiler buy new.
You will get a warranty, and benefit from years of experience on the manufacturers side.
Conversion burner is like sticking a honda engine in a ford or GM (sorta), it is not all engineered to work together, these burners are a thing of the past.
Someone would buy that boiler from you as long as its in good shape.

Supervise the installer to the point where the get the boiler out in one piece and don't wreck the sheet metal
 
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