Convert from oil boiler tankless coil to electric water heater


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Old 06-12-14, 06:11 AM
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Convert from oil boiler tankless coil to electric water heater

OK guys.
In a pinch here.

Converting from a tankless coil on a super old oil boiler to an electric hot water heater.

Had an install set up for 600 bucks, installer before doing any work says it'll cost an additional 800-1k to install on top of what I paid the company.

So.....I am stuck.

All I need is the heater/plumbing side of things.
The wiring and circuit are done.

I am no stranger to basic piping and plumbing issues, but this would be my first water heater.
Although I will have the help a a bud who knows more than I, I still want to ask here in case we come across anything unexpected.

From what I understand from reading other threads here on the forum, is that all I really need to do are cut and reroute the hot and cold pipes to the heater, install a tempering valve on the output, and route the output correctly.

What I am left questioning is what do I do now with the coil on the side of the boiler.
I could give a damn about cosmetics.

Leave it? Or?

There are no hydronics to worry about, there is nothing but the boiler. I can take and post pics if necessary.

Please help. There is no water currently, as the boiler itself is not running. And the replacement can't be done for 6-8 weeks. I can't go that long with no hot water. And I can't afford another 1000 bucks.
Another couple hundred, sure. But 1000? No way. Just don't have it.
 
  #2  
Old 06-12-14, 02:31 PM
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What I am left questioning is what do I do now with the coil on the side of the boiler.
I could give a damn about cosmetics.
Just abandon it. Do not solder caps on the pipes though, just slip a cap over the cut end of the pipe... or even duct tape, just to keep hands away from sharp edges.

The additional 800-1000 is for what?

What did the 600 include?
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-14, 05:11 PM
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Why did you pay $600 before any work was completed?
 
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Old 06-12-14, 08:00 PM
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The 600 included a 40-gallon 6-year electric heater as well as install.
It was paid up front as it was initially purchased via big-box store and of course you have to pay up front in a retail setting. (albeit via 800 number in this case)

The installer was contracted via the store to do the install. He blamed it on them, saying they quote low expecting him to mark it up and collect the funds for the company, they blame him, saying the install was 100% covered.

But that's neither here nor there.

I went over the system today, and it's a simple matter of cutting and moving the 2 pipes 2 feet. That's what he wanted the upcharge for.

It's ridiculous, IMO.

The store sent a tech to the house today to examine the system, who verified it was a basic, simple install, with only having to move the lines slightly.

We'll see where it goes from there. If they don't do it int he morning, I'll be tackling this myself.

I've already garnered a wealth of information on this topic alone here on the site. I feel confident in very carefully undertaking the task.

What I'm not confident in is getting a refund, therefore I'll give them the opportunity to make to right first.

And correct, all I want to do is abandon the coil. No boiler pre-heating, no summer/winter valves, no combo boiler/water heater going on. None of that. Just simple cut, reroute, and done.
 
  #5  
Old 06-13-14, 03:37 PM
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OK, good, sounds like you've got the solution. If you make it a DIY project to move the water heater supply piping, Brass Craft, and probably others, offers flexible hook-up hoses for water heaters: Water Heater Connectors

As far as the increase in install price, it sounds like the installer low-balled or used simplifying assumptions. But, it seems to me that the big-box store was the low-ballee, not you? If somebody gives an install price without looking first at the situation, then he is on the hook, not you, right? This should be a dispute between the store and the installer that the store selected, and you're not involved I think.

The only gotcha that I can think of is if the store's quote stipulated their assumed site conditions, which were replacing an existing gas heater and not making a new connection to a flue. Or maybe, they could say that it was reasonable to assume that it was remove and replace an existing gas-fired heater.

You can always tell the big-box store to come and get the heater, and refund your whole amount. If you paid with a credit card, you can dispute the charge, which might be a peremptory move. If it comes to that, maybe you'd be better off to just offer to split the difference? Or maybe you eat 1/3 and the store and installer decide how to eat the other 2/3.
 

Last edited by gilmorrie; 06-13-14 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 06-13-14, 06:29 PM
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Very true.

Well, it got done today.

And not by the installer. He wouln't answer my calls this morning, so I contacted the store, who called him (and of course he answered for them).

They put him on the line, and he immediately started berating, belittling, and screaming at me saying things like I don't know what i'm talking about, he never quoted his own price to me directly and whatever the store quoted is their problem, he now won't even come to the house unless I pay him more, and even if I do he doesn't have time for me and will get to it maybe monday if I call him.

So I said f you, demanded a refund from the store, and tackled it.

All good and working prefect.

Finally.

Easy job, actually.

Thanks, guys!
 
  #7  
Old 06-14-14, 07:21 AM
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All right, well, call me an idiot, but I think I made a huge oversight.

The water heater is working great, perfectly fine.

The coil is just hanging off the side of the furnace, supply and return feeds cut.

However, my question is this:

Where does the supply for the baseboards come from?

Far as I can tell, it used the same source. That said, did I just render the furnace inoperable?

It may be a VERY dumb question, but I'm sure not uncommon in DIY projects.

Just want to make sure everything gets done right.

If what I suspect is true, then when winter comes it would be a huge issue.

Unless I'm just an idiot. But hey, I'm learning here.

Thanks!
 
 

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