natural gas conversion

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Old 07-10-11, 03:57 PM
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natural gas conversion

I have converted my existing home to natural gas. I have installed hot water heater, stove, and dryer. My next plan was to replace my 80K oil hot water furnace which is only about 10 years old 80% unit. But I just had to have some surgery and my budget is reduced. I am looking at a natural gas replacement burner to install in my existing furnace but cannot find anyone with experience as to efficiency and is it worth it? I am only looking at using it for 2 years and then replacing the entire furnace with a new unit. I can buy the burner new for about 600 dollars versus an entire boiler for about 1800. Any help appreciated.
 
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Old 07-10-11, 05:49 PM
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I used to install gas conversion burners in oil furnaces and boilers for the gas utility I worked for. The utility leased these out and had installed tens of thousands of them.

But it does require a skilled person to do the work, and not many people are experienced in doing that kind of work.

Conversion burners can have their gas inputs set from (say) 50,000 BTU/Hour to 200,000 BTU/hour. Too hot and you've burn out your equipment and produce large amounts of carbon monoxide. Too cool and water will condense in the equiopment and produce large amounts of carbon monoxide.

Instruments need to be used to measure the combustion gasses and set the equipment up for proper combustion and efficiency, or it's worse than leaving things as they are.

So don't do it unless you can find someone genuinely competent to do the job. For two years use it hardly seems worthwhile. Many of the conversion burners the utility installed were in the equipment for 30+ years.
 
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Old 08-17-11, 02:28 PM
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Thanks for the information. I was told I could spec the burner for 80K BTU from the supplier but will check on that. thanks for the update and info
 
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Old 08-17-11, 02:33 PM
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If it does work that well I will not replace it, was just looking to get through the first couple of years of homeownership without major expenses.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 06:21 PM
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The 80K oil burner you mentioned, is the 80K input or output? The ratings on nearly all oil burning equipment is listed as output. If you get an 80K gas burner, it is possible your boiler will be underfired. Check before you buy.
 
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Old 08-19-11, 07:26 PM
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Thanks, the supplier told me to bring in the boiler info and they will match the new burner to the boiler specs. I am having a licensed gas man do the actual installation. I fix his trucks and he takes care of my gas appliances. Mutually beneficial! He has never done any of this type of conversion so the supplier is walking him through the install after I buy the unit.
 
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