Sic transit Arcoliner

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Old 09-29-14, 11:03 AM
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Sic transit Arcoliner

The mighty Arcoliner has gone silent. After 62 years, my 1.6 gph oil fired boiler is in need of replacement. Thanks to all on this forum who were invaluable in helping me resurrect it and keep it going for the past several years.

The house is a 1950's ranch, 1900 sq ft., finned tube baseboards. Heat loss calculations are a little tricky because the walls are brick and hollow tile so there are large losses through those, and small changes in R give large changes in heat loss. Fortunately, boiler outputs are quantized in large steps so the possible choices are limited.

Since we now have gas in the house, the plan is to install a gas boiler. It needs to be atmospheric vented and I'm a fan of simplicity, so candidates include the Burnham ES2 and Series 2, and Buderus GC124. I like the idea of American made, though I've heard good words about Buderus on this forum, and both manufactures use steel push nipples in the cast iron sections. Hot water is a separate electric heater and I'm inclined to leave it that way for now.

I'm still awaiting delivery of Dan Holohan's Pumping Away on plumbing hot water systems but generally I'm planning to reconnect the new boiler pretty much the way the old one is with a new bladder style expansion tank, new fill valve and such.

The chimney is masonry so it needs to be relined, but looking at the stainless steel liners and kits on the market that doesn't seem to be a difficult or expensive proposition.

My questions are, in particular, what are your thoughts on the Burnham and Buderus boilers, and in general, any advice on things to do, not to do, or watch out for in plumbing in the new boiler, or in relining the chimney?

Thanks again,

Randall
 
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Old 09-29-14, 02:43 PM
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I have found that to determine the size of boiler house requires, take the times were you burnt the most oil , do the math to find out how much oil was used in one day. example , if you needed 24 gal to heat the house for one day, the size of the oil nozzle would be 1 gal at a pump pressure of 100 psi. Then as it warms up the nozzle becomes to big.There is more to it such as boiler efficiency ,pump pressure, and the coldest day of the year. If done for 3 or 4 years in the past it should put you in the ball park. The ones I have done work out to such a small gal. per hr. that you cant buy a boiler small enough .
 
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Old 09-29-14, 05:51 PM
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Hi Randall,

I can't imagine that your heat loss would over 100K BTUH even with the stone walls. I mean, that's over 50 BTUH / Square foot, and that's a LOT of heat loss!

Did you do any ciperhin' ? what numbers did you come up with ?

Burnham is made in USA (so I'm told... I'm sure there are some foreign gizmos in it though) and I like the ESC2.

Buderus is a great product, but takes money out of the USA.

If that matters to you...
 
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Old 09-30-14, 06:55 AM
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A rough calculation, using a single R-value for each of ceiling, walls, etc, gives about 70,000 BTU loss at 16F design temp. I'm setting up a spreadsheet to do it in more detail.

The Burnham ES2 boilers are 51, 77, & 103,000 BTU (IBR rating) so it's really a choice between the smaller two.

The ESC2 series is direct vent I think, the ES2 is atmospheric. Is that the important (or only) difference?
 
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Old 10-13-14, 06:37 AM
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I can't imagine that your heat loss would over 100K BTUH even with the stone walls. I mean, that's over 50 BTUH / Square foot, and that's a LOT of heat loss!
I agree. A more detailed calculation still gives numbers in the 65-75K BTU range depending on how I handle the walls of course, but also the crawl spaces, the basement area where the boiler is, and whether I count the floor insulation I'm supposed to be installing ….

On the other hand, 25 BTU/sq ft sounds awfully low for a 60 yo house with single glazed windows, so I'm going with 35 BTU/sq ft and that implies the choice should be the Burnham ES2-4.

And I have a couple of questions about the piping for the new boiler. I've adapted the “Recommended Water Piping” diagram from the Burnham installation manual to reflect more closely what I have, a two zone valved system with one circulator. You can see my version at

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xg5civpc4m...iping.jpg?dl=0

1 – Air scoop on the supply side: I imagine this could be a Taco Air Scoop (with one of their air vents) but what about the air vent on the return side? Would that be a similar Taco Hy-Vent installed in a tee?

2 – Valves: There are a lot of valves in the Burnham plan. In particular, do I really need the ones labeled “Supply Valve” and “Shut-off Valve” in the supply and return lines respectively, and do I need the shut-off valves in the two zone return lines? My current system has balancing valves of course but none of the others.

Thanks again,

Randall
 
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