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Thread: Converting existing Oil Boiler to Gas

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Youngny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Pennsylvania, USA

    Default Converting existing Oil Boiler to Gas

    Good Afternoon,

    I currently live in Pennsylvania and I'm looking to convert my existing 10 year old LAARS Newport boiler to gas. The problem I'm having is that I'm getting conflicting assessments from 2 local Plumbing companies. Currently my boiler heats the house and the water. The guy I had in Monday says no problem he can covert the existing equipment with a Wayne gas conversion burner and my boiler will still heat the house and the water. The guy I had in this morning says he can also convert the boiler to fire with gas but I would have to buy a separate water heater. He says once I convert to gas that there would not be enough power to do both. He says I would get some warm water but it would not be warm enough to take a shower with. So I'm really confused now and I have a 3rd company coming tomorrow morning.

    Now I'm not sure I could be wrong but I think the 2nd guy said there would not be enough BTU's once converted to gas to do both. Does this make any sense to anybody? Is the first guy dead wrong or is the 2nd guy trying to up sell me?

    My current boiler is a 150,000 BTU's and they both agreed it was a monster for this house. I've uploaded pics of the stats of the boiler and a pic of the water component attached to the boiler that the 2nd guy says I can't use.

    Thanks for your time.

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  2. #2
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    I don't understand how changing the fuel changes the use of the embedded coil. It would have to be a DRAMATIC drop in burner size to get down to the point where you'd only be getting lukewarm water at a single shower flow. A 2gpm shower with a 70F of temperature rise can be supported forever with 70,000BTU of burner output, eg: 35F incoming water, 105F out of the shower head.

    Conversion burners are adjustable, and SFAIK you should be able to hit approximately the same heat BTU output as the original oil burner. There may be a modest efficiency advantage to running it somewhat lower than the max the boiler was designed for but de-rating by fully half would likely result in a lower net efficiency.

    But I'll let the pros weigh in on this.

    But it WOULD be more efficient in most cases to run an "indirect" hot water tank as a separate zone, controlled with a heat purging economizer (eg: Intellicon 3250 HW+, or equivalent), since the standby loss of a 160-180F boiler is huge compared to a 130F boiler (or a 100F cold-starting boiler). If the boiler room is usually the warmest room in the house this WILL make a measurable difference.

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