specific weil UO-5 conversion

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-24-14, 06:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
specific weil UO-5 conversion

has any converted a WEIL MCLAIN UO-5 (direct vented) to gas using a CARLIN conversion burner? is there any code issue?

i have searched and read some boilers are convertible and others are not...and of course (as there should be) a ton of discussion on pro an cons.

my questions is only on legality and feasibility.

yes, i have contacted weil, awaiting their response

thanks
 

Last edited by dr.gj; 08-24-14 at 06:46 PM. Reason: one typo
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-25-14, 05:30 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Hi Doc,

That's a pretty HUGE boiler! How many square feet are you heating with that?

I doubt that WM is going to be of any help and may in fact simply tell you not to do it.

Any warranty you have will certainly go void.

Legality depends on a few factors...

Will your local codes allow this conversion? (you WILL pull a permit and have the install inspected!)

Feasibility is another matter that I can't really help you with, I've never done a conversion.
 
  #3  
Old 08-25-14, 07:27 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
the house is 3400 sf. the boiler is bit over-sized for possible future basement finishing.

weil said talk to carlin combustion- they make a conversion burner

carlin said yes, no problem, they make conversion burners for most oil burners they do make one for WM UO5.

i have decided to have it done by a plumber as he will do all the permit work and schedule inspections etc..

i would still like to hear from anyone who has done an conversion for any WM ULTRA OIL , perhaps smaller than UO5.
 
  #4  
Old 08-26-14, 07:00 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Yeah... a little oversized... well, maybe more than a little.

I doubt you'll find anyone that has had a conversion to the UO5, all the time I've been here I think we've only heard from one person that's had the conversion done, but it was a Burnham and not a WM.
 
  #5  
Old 08-26-14, 07:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
well....technology changes...there is new stuff every day.

just got confirmation from carlin- they have a model designed specifically for UO5.

they make burners upto 275K btu

here is the link if you like to explore further

Carlin EZGas Pro Natural Gas Conversion Burner – Gas or Propane Converter
 
  #6  
Old 08-28-14, 05:26 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Of course technology changes, but there is nothing at all new about gas conversion burners.

What you ultimately do depends as I said on whether or not your local code enforcement officials ALLOW a gas conversion burner to be installed, and whether or not you can find a competent technician to do the conversion for you.

By the way, your current boiler is quite a lot more than a little oversized... even AFTER the basement finishing.
 
  #7  
Old 08-28-14, 07:56 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
conversion ok with our town

our town's code allow it...a friend of mine has done it for his carrier boiler a year ago.

i was hoping to find some first-hand feedback on WM UO5 before i commit to it. the price diff between conversion and new boiler is over 5K and the boiler is so new, it is hard to ignore it
 
  #8  
Old 08-28-14, 08:18 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Well, like I said, I've been here for a while and can only recall one discussion of an oil to gas conversion and it was a Burnham. The gent who had it done is quite happy with the outcome. I think he saved a LOT of money in fuel cost.
 
  #9  
Old 08-28-14, 08:30 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,482
Received 25 Votes on 19 Posts
IF the manufacturer okays the use of a gas conversion burner (some do for some models and not other models and some do not okay it at all) then it can be done. However, a converted oil burning boiler will NOT be optimized for burning gas and will NOT achieve the same system efficiency as a boiler that was designed to burn gas. Then again, with the lower cost of fuel you will likely still see a significant reduction in fuel cost.

You MAY need to have the chimney lined.
 
  #10  
Old 08-28-14, 08:42 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thanks....yes the conversion will save me over 5K...
 
  #11  
Old 08-28-14, 08:53 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
some facts about about the conversion project

furd....thanks for your reply.

i asked WM, they referred me to 2 burner manufacturers....carlin & wayne

carlin said- yes, they have a specific burner for WM UO5

no liner needed. we have direct-vent ventilation. the carlin unit is designed to work in that configuration (per carlin)

annual gas cost savings for going with a new boiler (95% efficiency) vs converted boiler (at 80-85%) is estimated at 250/yr based on 1100 ccf/yr usage and 1.91/ccf gas cost. payback will take over 15 years
 
  #12  
Old 08-28-14, 09:00 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,799
Received 10 Votes on 8 Posts
IDK... The oil ultra is way different then the gas version...

http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/assets...chure_1012.pdf

Yes you will see gas savings over oil as Furd stated.

My opinion is to install a properly sized gas boiler.. You get rid of the chamber from what I know..

Like this...

P205-EI-NG - Burnham P205-EI-NG - P205 94,000 BTU Output, Electronic Ignition Cast Iron Boiler (Nat Gas)


Sell the ultra on craigs list to recoup some money....
 
  #13  
Old 08-28-14, 09:41 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
must have mod-con direct vent unit

lawrosa,

our current UO5 is direct vented...we do not have a conventional chimney. so the unit you ref cannot be used (unless we add a new chimney)

unless we put in a new chimney, we must have a condensing unit like the utica ssc or burnham alpine (the unit being priced by a potential installer)

this is why the cost of full-replacement is so much higher than just burner replacement.

granted the retrofitted system will have only 80-85% efficiency but that leads to only 250/yr in extra gas bill.

we are still in the decision mode. so selling the old unit and oil tank on ebay/craigs is on the table but we are not comfortable strangers coming into the house...and this not something anyone would buy without checking it out
 
  #14  
Old 08-28-14, 10:10 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,799
Received 10 Votes on 8 Posts
Nonsense... You can get a DV at a reasonable price and maybe cheaper locally...

VSPH-120 - Slant/Fin VSPH-120 - Victory VSPH - 90,000 BTU Output Direct Vent Hot Water Boiler

And here...

ESC4 - Burnham ESC4 - ESC4, 78,000 BTU Output Cast Iron Gas Boiler

You can go condensing boiler for similar price, but IMO conditions must be met.........
 
  #15  
Old 08-28-14, 11:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
if you don't do mod-con, you are down to 85% afue (like the units you have indicated)....same as
conversion...

the recommendation of the pros who looked at the project was to go max afue (95%).

further, our btu need is 140-150K ...the cheapest mod-con unit i have seen for this size is about 4k.

can you please elaborate on what conditions must be net for condensing? thanks

if i consider a unit new unit with 85% afue, it is still 3500 more than a converted WM. perhaps a new unit designed for gas has some advantages but the question is is it are they worth extra 3500?

i will re-do the math but your thoughts on advantages will be helpful...i have not signed anything yet and am glad we are having this discussion
 
  #16  
Old 08-29-14, 06:01 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
further, our btu need is 140-150K
I doubt it... even after adding a zone to heat the basement, that's still too big.

100K BTUH or slightly less would do the job for you.

Why not download the SlantFin software and run the heat loss estimate yourself?
 
  #17  
Old 08-29-14, 07:33 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,799
Received 10 Votes on 8 Posts
Yeah IMO your going about it all wrong..

Read here and do your heat loss..

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...lculators.html

How much $ is the actual conversion?
 
  #18  
Old 08-29-14, 02:06 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
not sure why you think slantfin calculation is any better.

i ran the following 2 calculations and they both come 140K+ without the basement addition for 85%

Boiler BTU Calculator - Boiler Sizing Calculator - Boiler Sizing - Boiler BTU Calculator - SupplyHouse.com

4 Ways to Calculate BTU Per Square Foot - wikiHow

the raw data is
current size=3400 sf
expected addition 1000 sf
climate area: morris nj
 
  #19  
Old 08-29-14, 02:38 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
not sure why you think slantfin calculation is any better.
Because in our professional experience we have found that both of those so-called calculators grossly inflate the size of the boiler needed. They simply rely on misguided ASSumptions to arrive at a number. Those assumptions are probably intentionally overstuffed for their own safety. They don't want to take any chances spec'ing a boiler that is too small.

Did you see the 'fine print'?

*This BTU calculation is intended to give you a guideline for the units you should consider. This estimate was calculated using the information you provided and assumptions based on the construction of an average home. We recommend you consult an expert for a more detailed assessment of your system requirements.
The SlantFin program is based on TRIED AND TRUE processes that are known collectively as "Manual J" (Google it for more information). When you run that program you will see WHY there is a difference. It's not going to ask for a gross square footage area and multiply it by some arbitrary BTU per SQ FT number. It's going to ask you for window sizes, exposed walls, insulation factors, etc... NO assumptions... unless of course you don't know the actual information, in which case you will have to make SOME assumptions.

Why not download the SlantFin numbers and give it a try? What's the harm? Why the resistance?

I will say at this point that even the SlantFin program over estimates by approximately 20-25% on the higher side as a 'safety factor'. This is PROVEN by numerous comparisons and real world data.

As an example, I know EXACTLY how much fuel my 2000 sq ft home uses because I've recorded it for years. (I have an elapsed time meter that tells me how long the oil valve is open. From that, knowing the GPH rating of my oil nozzle, I know very closely how much fuel is being burned. My oil delivery guy and I take gentlemen's bets on how much fuel I get delivered each time. I've been consistently within 10 gallons, and usually closer to 5, so I know the method works.)

I installed the smallest Burnham MPO boiler based on the calculations that the SlantFin program makes. As I recall, it told me I needed appx 70K BTUH.

My REAL WORLD data confirms the 'padding' that the program adds, and my ACTUAL MEASURED heat loss is about 50-55K BTUH on the COLDEST DAY.

It's important to note that " COLDEST DAY " wording because those coldest days RARELY last for more than a week, maybe two at most.

At ALL OTHER TIMES, if the boiler is sized exactly at 55K, the boiler IS OVER SIZED.

For this reason, ANY boiler (except MODULATING ones) is going to be over sized for the vast majority of the heating season.

more.............
 
  #20  
Old 08-29-14, 02:42 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
slantfin liink unavailable

lawrosa...i tried the slantfin link in your post & i get a msg - page not available...i will try to find it directly.

however, i ran into another model that suggests 30 - 40 btu/sf for our climate area.

is this guidance out of wack?

so at 35 btu/sf, here is what i get:

before addition (3400 sf)
for 85% 140000
for 95% 125000
 
  #21  
Old 08-29-14, 02:52 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
That wikihow calculator in particular is nutz...

Jeeze... FIFTY TO SIXTY BTU PER SQUARE FOOT ?

You would have to have the windows open to approach that kind of heat loss.

Seriously... that's an INSANE amount of BTU per foot!

My 2000 sq ft home is about 60 years old. Over the past 30 years I've made numerous improvements to the home to minimize the heat loss, but I haven't gone 'crazy'. Normal insulation, sealed as much air infiltration as possible, a few new windows here and there, etc.

As it stands now, my home uses about 28 BTU / SQ FT, and this is on the COLDEST DAY, for example this past January's extreme cold.

It's not a refrigerator in here either. My better half won't live in the house unless it's at least 70F so that's where the thermometer is set, and stays, 24/7.

Over the years I've developed my own 'rules of thumb' based on my observations.

An old three story Victorian, high on a hill, exposed to wind and elements, might suffer a heat loss as high as say 50 BTUH / SQ Ft. This would have to be ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION, leaky, drafty.

Your typical home in a subdivision will come in between 25 and 30 BTUH / SQ FT

Modern "Green" homes with great care taken in energy efficiency can sometimes be as low as 15 BTUH / SQ FT.

These numbers have proven to be valid for most of NJ, where the 'design temperature' used in heat loss calculations is 10F. (these numbers can be found on the ASHRAE charts)

Colder or warmer ASHRAE design temps will yield proportionally higher or lower heat loss numbers.

To make a 'blanket' statement of 50-60 BTUH / SQ FT is an extreme disservice to users of those so-called 'calculators'.
 
  #22  
Old 08-29-14, 02:56 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
before addition (3400 sf)
for 85% 140000
for 95% 125000
What do you mean by 85% / 95% ?

You don't take boiler efficiency into account doing a heat loss. It has nothing to do with that.

If you can't heat a 3400 sq ft home with a 100K boiler OR LESS, then something is wrong with your home.

Even with the expected 1000 sq ft addition, bringing the home to 4400 sq ft, you are probably going to need about 130K or LESS.

When the addition is built, insist that the builders practice proper modern technique in minimizing heat loss.
 
  #23  
Old 08-29-14, 02:59 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Why not download the SlantFin numbers and give it a try? What's the harm? Why the resistance?
no resistsance- as i just posted, i tried the link in lawrosa's post ....i will try to find the tool


My REAL WORLD data confirms the 'padding' that the program adds, and my ACTUAL MEASURED heat loss is about 50-55K BTUH on the COLDEST DAY..
.

i think you are in similar climate...so if i use your info (to scale though world is not always linear):
before addition: (55x34)/(20x0.85)= 110K (input) unit
after addition about 130K (basement never get that cold)

does it sound in ballpark?

For this reason, ANY boiler (except MODULATING ones) is going to be over sized for the vast majority of the heating
if i go the new unit route, it will be a mod-con
 
  #24  
Old 08-29-14, 03:09 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Darn... I hope they didn't take that page down.

[Just checked... that page does seem to be gone, and it's not offered by SlantFin any longer.]

I've never used the Taco tool, but I think it's worth a shot.

does it sound in ballpark?
Yes... and I know you wrote that before you saw the post I made just prior to yours.

We agree!

if i go the new unit route, it will be a mod-con
Choose the boiler carefully, choose the installer MORE carefully!

I like the Triangle Tube products.
 
  #25  
Old 08-29-14, 03:12 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Even with the expected 1000 sq ft addition, bringing the home to 4400 sq ft, you are probably going to need about 130K or LESS
.

from some convoluted path i am converging to the same number

What do you mean by 85% / 95% ?
i am using (have to use) boiler efficiency for calculating input rating. the guidance by another pro is

input rating (btu) = output (btu)/afue

if i go with new unit, i have more flexibility. however, for conversion the battle is that the pros who looked at the job do not want to downsize from the current rating.
 

Last edited by dr.gj; 08-29-14 at 03:13 PM. Reason: fat fingers = typo
  #26  
Old 08-29-14, 03:34 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
for conversion the battle is that the pros who looked at the job do not want to downsize from the current rating.
There may be solid reasoning behind that, but I've not researched the dynamics of installing a gas conversion burner in an existing boiler.

I can say that efforts to down FIRE an oil fired boiler by selecting a smaller nozzle and retuning the burner for the lower firing rate are often met with failure.

This is because of the combustion chamber size I believe. Smaller flame in larger chamber does not yield good combustion numbers. Chamber should ideally be sized for the firing rate.

SOME leeway is available, perhaps 10% or so, but it also seems that some boilers are more able to be down-fired and still achieve good combustion.

Perhaps the same sort of issue is at play here?

I wonder if another call to Carlin might get some answers?
 
  #27  
Old 08-29-14, 04:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I wonder if another call to Carlin might get some answers?
i have already raised this with carlin. as one would expect, they don't want to be held responsible for giving bad advice. so they said you NEVER want to use higher btu burner....use as close as possible but below the original rating.

since they make a, what they call, "appliance specific" burner for UO5, it is will be a touch choice not to use that....if i go the conversion route. this would have the right air tube, properly sized orifice, and gas diffuser.

the other vendor recommended by WM was wayne burners...i have not communicated with them yet- that is next.

based on the inputs here, i am re-considering a lower btu, 85% DV unit...it may not be as cheap as conversion but a good compromise.

emotionally speaking, while i love to save 4k 5k in cost, i am having trouble accepting the big box in the basement.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: