System Recommendations; Boiler & Hot Water


Old 03-20-15, 09:09 AM
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System Recommendations; Boiler & Hot Water

Hello All!

I've had help from you folks over the past couple of years. Most recently when my 3rd fl line (hot water baseboards) wasn't getting heat. Thanks to NJ Trooper, spott & heatworm, I was able to correct the problem.

My system has quite a few "flaws" in it's piping. Mainly that most of the baseboard radiators are on inside walls. I would like to address this during the summer and would like some advice.

I figure that if I'm going to be moving radiators I may as well re-pipe everything and if practical, update the boiler at one time.

The boiler has been in the house since who knows when!
this is the label on it...

it is a Federal Natural Gas model GFSA17
The AGA input is 175000 btu/hr
The AGA output is 140000 btu/hr
The Net output is 123000 btu/hr

It is heating a basement & 3 floors.
Each floor is 640 sq. ft.
the 3rd fl has 3 bedrooms & a full bath.
the 2nd floor has a kitchen, 1/2 bath, living room & dining room.
the 1st floor has 1 bedroom, a full bath, a living room & kitchenette
the basement is the same set up as the 1st floor.

with the exception of 2 rooms, ALL of the baseboards are on inside walls.

The house has a 50 gal hot water tank that supplies the whole house. At times we do run out of hot water. I have been researching "on demand" hot water systems.

What are your thoughts/recommendations?
Should I look to replace the boiler? My boiler tech thinks the current one has a few years left on it.

What do you think I should do with the hot water?
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Old 03-20-15, 09:23 AM
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Some information:
I'm in NYC so the temps can get kinda low during the late fall, winter & early spring. the temps can hit the low teens and get into the high 30's.

Also room volume is probably more important that sq. ft! each floor is 5120 cu. ft.
Old 03-20-15, 10:00 AM
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That boiler is huge & most likely over sized. Moving the baseboards to outside walls will definitely give you more comfort. You need to do a manual J heat loss calculation to accurately determine the load if you're looking to replace the boiler as well. There's much more to it then sq. ft or cu. ft.
Google heat loss calculation and several programs will pop up. The pro's on here will give you some recommendations as well.
Old 03-20-15, 10:06 AM
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Thx Tom!
I will look into the heat loss calculation tools.
Old 03-20-15, 01:34 PM
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Here is a lot of info on boilers and heat loss.
Comfort Calc
Old 03-20-15, 01:38 PM
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I'd like to see several pictures of the boiler. I installed a used Federal, but an oil burner, in my parent's house way back in 1973. (Parents, house and boiler are all just memories now.) That boiler was a "firebox/firetube" model all made of steel. Not very efficient as it had three inch firetubes (with twisted metal retarders) about 24-30 inches long. It had a sheet metal casing at least five feet long and 30 inches wide, maybe larger.
Old 03-24-15, 03:25 PM
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Here goes a few shots...



Check valve, vent, hi pressure relief...

Circulation pump...

Expansion tank...


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