Boiler and Hot Water Heater Estimate

Old 11-09-03, 04:42 PM
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Boiler and Hot Water Heater Estimate

I live in the mid-atlantic region in an 1800 square foot, 3 bedroom 2 bath row house built in 1933. The existing gas boiler is a 1945 Bryant and the Water Heater is a gas fired 1982 vintage private label (Hechinger). We are a family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 small children. The boiler is inefficient and needs frequent servcing. The water heater is rusting, leaking and does not provide adequate capacity. Both units are easily accessible and right next to each other.

I recieved an estimate to replace both the boiler and the water heater. The contractor proposes to install (1) a Burnham P-204 gas fired hydronic boiler with electric ignition and efficiency rating of 82.3% and (2) a Maytag 50 Gallon gas fired water heater.

The estimate is $5530. It seems somewhat on the high side but the contractor is generally trustworthy, competent and reputable. My question: Is the estimate reasonable and should I ask for a breakdown of the costs as between the boiler and the water heater. Thanks.
Old 11-09-03, 06:55 PM
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Yeah, it dose seem kinda steep to me. Don't be afrid to ask for a break down.. Boiler? Part? Labor? ... ect...
Old 11-09-03, 07:03 PM
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All things considered I think I'd get another price from a different plumber. Although in general I don't think the price is extremely high, I don't think you're getting much for your money.

You should be able to get a more efficient boiler than the unit he is proposing, go to the EnergyStar web site or ask a plumber for a unit that is Energy Star compliant. This will save you money and you may be eligible for rebates for both the boiler and the water heater that will make up any additional cost. I believe Burnham does make more efficient boilers although I could not get to that page on their web site.

You should also consider an indirect-fired water heater, such as the SuperStore brand or one made by State. More information on this shuld be available through the EnergyStar site. basically you eliminate the water heater and the boiler heats water that is then stored in a super-insulated tank. Sounds less efficient but apparently tests have shown otherwise and the best thing is that the tanks (at least the one from State) have a lifetime warranty. That's automatically a savings of about $600-$800 every 6-10 years, or about $100 a year. You also eliminate the additional gas line and venting.

Good Luck

Old 11-10-03, 08:17 AM
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Last year I had my old boiler replaced.

Price included removing old boiler (no asbestos on it), installation all all new gas piping from the meter to the dryer, stove, water heater and boiler, installation of the gas new boiler, (Utica USC-4, 87% efficient, direct vent), and new State 40 gallon gas water heater, total price, $5000, minus $500 rebate from the gas company for buying a boiler with a greater than 85% efficiency rating.

The indirect water heater will solve ALL your hot water needs. I would have gotten one, too, but it blew my budget, and I had to settle for the regular gas water heater. Plumber wanted $1,000 more for the indirect over the standard water heater.

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