New boiler or new chimney liner.....

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Ctreefer

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Hi all, been awhile since I've roamed about in this forum. My dilemma is this: I've got a 30ish year old oiler boiler (burnham) cast iron oversized and I have a chimney that it's hooked up to that needs to be "relined". The boiler runs well and efficiency according to my service guy is around 81%. I burn about 800-900 gallons per year supplemented with a large Avalon Olympic wood stove (burn about 1-1 1/2 cords per season).

I've gotten a quote to reline the chimney with 6" ductwork (current is an 8" coming off the top of boiler going into a crumbling tile liner which my service guy has said multiple times should be reduced in diameter to allow the boiler to perform better.

I've received a quote to reline with 6" stainless rigid, repoint a couple cracked bricks externally near the cap from freeze/thaw over the years and a freebie sweep of the other stack (wood stove) for about $2,500

Most of that cost I believe is the new liner. Makes me want to consider moving to a new boiler (higher efficiency) whereby it wouldn't need to use the liner anymore but just output via PVC outside the foundation like some of my neighbors have done (NG in our neighborhood, but closest point is about 500ft away and gas company years ago gave me a quote of $18,000 to bring it to my house...) Most of my neighbors have upgraded their equipment so they don't really want to chip in to get NG to their house at this point.

Any thoughts on what you would do? I still need to fix the brick cracks and sweep the chimney which I can do myself, so could put maybe $2,000 for that new liner towards a new boiler. Just lots of concerns about overall cost and life expectancy of the unit based on what I've read in the past when dealing with H.E. equipment. Also, would love to reduce the noise of this beast. It's right below our living area and you know when it's running cause you have to turn the volume up on the TV......but again, money money money. Need to have 2 giant trees taken down within the next couple of years at the tune of$3-5K each, car is 14 years old, 200,000 miles...son in college, daughter a senior this year.... you get the picture.

thanks

BTW, worth noting. Been in this house about 12 years now. 2,100 sqft Split level ranch in southern CT. I've replaced all exterior doors, sealed around all pipes/holes leading into attic, sealed the rim joists where exposed in the basement and have about an R 38 in the ceiling but pretty much nothing in the walls. Plan on eventually replacing all the crappy/flimsy replacement windows that came with the house. Only gotten about 1/4 of the way to that goal so far. All plaster walls (1-1 1/4" thick) with full brick exterior built in the 50s. Current boiler as noted is a Burnham, don't recall the BTUs but high with baseboard heating 3 zones.
 

Fitter30

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Boiler cycles in the coldest weather or runs non stop? What water temp.do you run? Hows the wood boiler tied in?
 
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Ctreefer

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Boiler cycles in the coldest weather or runs non stop? What water temp.do you run? Hows the wood boiler tied in?

sorry for the confusion. Not a wood boiler. Wood stove for additional heat source.

I’d say when it’s 15-25 degrees out the boiler runs every 15-20 minutes for about 5 minutes. That’s a big guess though. It’s never run continuously. Not even close. Even if it’s below zero out. I have the boiler set at 150-160. Using a 0.8 nozzle. Also, hot water is run off boiler with 40 gallon indirect tank.
 

Ctreefer

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sorry for the confusion. Not a wood boiler. Wood stove for additional heat source.

I’d say when it’s 15-25 degrees out the boiler runs every 15-20 minutes for about 5 minutes. That’s a big guess though. It’s never run continuously. Not even close. Even if it’s below zero out. I have the boiler set at 150-160. Using a 0.8 nozzle. Also, hot water is run off boiler with 40 gallon indirect tank.
I found an old post of mine here and Dana at the time offered a good estimate of BTUs I’d need in our area based on how many gallons of oil and wood we use each year. His estimate was 40,000 BTUs would meet the need. Right now it’s 185,000. Just curious what others would do in my situation. Thx
 

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sorry for the confusion. Not a wood boiler. Wood stove for additional heat source.

I’d say when it’s 15-25 degrees out the boiler runs every 15-20 minutes for about 5 minutes. That’s a big guess though. It’s never run continuously. Not even close. Even if it’s below zero out. I have the boiler set at 150-160. Using a .8 nozzle. Also, hot water is run off boiler with 40 gallon indirect tank.
.8 gallon nozzle no. 2 oil 89k btus @ 80% boiler net. A short cycling boiler maybe 65%. To have a efficient boiler run times need to be longer. Take a pic of the boiler name plate.
 

Dana

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Hi all, been awhile since I've roamed about in this forum. My dilemma is this: I've got a 30ish year old oiler boiler (burnham) cast iron oversized and I have a chimney that it's hooked up to that needs to be "relined". The boiler runs well and efficiency according to my service guy is around 81%. I burn about 800-900 gallons per year supplemented with a large Avalon Olympic wood stove (burn about 1-1 1/2 cords per season).

I've gotten a quote to reline the chimney with 6" ductwork (current is an 8" coming off the top of boiler going into a crumbling tile liner which my service guy has said multiple times should be reduced in diameter to allow the boiler to perform better.

I've received a quote to reline with 6" stainless rigid, repoint a couple cracked bricks externally near the cap from freeze/thaw over the years and a freebie sweep of the other stack (wood stove) for about $2,500

Most of that cost I believe is the new liner. Makes me want to consider moving to a new boiler (higher efficiency) whereby it wouldn't need to use the liner anymore but just output via PVC outside the foundation like some of my neighbors have done (NG in our neighborhood, but closest point is about 500ft away and gas company years ago gave me a quote of $18,000 to bring it to my house...) Most of my neighbors have upgraded their equipment so they don't really want to chip in to get NG to their house at this point.

Any thoughts on what you would do? I still need to fix the brick cracks and sweep the chimney which I can do myself, so could put maybe $2,000 for that new liner towards a new boiler. Just lots of concerns about overall cost and life expectancy of the unit based on what I've read in the past when dealing with H.E. equipment. Also, would love to reduce the noise of this beast. It's right below our living area and you know when it's running cause you have to turn the volume up on the TV......but again, money money money. Need to have 2 giant trees taken down within the next couple of years at the tune of$3-5K each, car is 14 years old, 200,000 miles...son in college, daughter a senior this year.... you get the picture.

thanks

BTW, worth noting. Been in this house about 12 years now. 2,100 sqft Split level ranch in southern CT. I've replaced all exterior doors, sealed around all pipes/holes leading into attic, sealed the rim joists where exposed in the basement and have about an R 38 in the ceiling but pretty much nothing in the walls. Plan on eventually replacing all the crappy/flimsy replacement windows that came with the house. Only gotten about 1/4 of the way to that goal so far. All plaster walls (1-1 1/4" thick) with full brick exterior built in the 50s. Current boiler as noted is a Burnham, don't recall the BTUs but high with baseboard heating 3 zones.

If the system is still running reasonably there is no good reason to change it out right. Adding a heat-purge controller and programming the low-limit to 140F you should get way more than 5 minutes per burn out of it, delivering improved as-used efficiency.

Rather than spending the big money on a new boiler (gas or oil) spend it on a modulating cold climate heat pump, which will not only heat with high efficiency (and still reasonable on operational cost relative to NG at CT gas electricity & gas pricing). As more states commit to being net-zero or net-negative carbon emissions at dates earlier than the end of a normal lifecycle for a boiler any new NG or oil boiler will become a stranded asset. There are likely to be strong incentives (in the form of tax rebates/other) for getting off both gas and oil to make a heat pump solution affordable at some point before your oversized boiler is truly toast. I'm not sure where CT is on those policy discussions, but in MA the Baker (R) administration has formed a "Clean Heat Commission" to cook up approaches to the problem in this state.

Most cold-climate 3.5 or 4-ton heat pumps (ducted or ductless) can cover a ~40KBTU/hr heat load (with adequate margins for Polar Vortex disturbance cold snaps) at CT type 99% design temperatures. Run a Manual-J to verify the 40K load numbers using the BetterBuiltNW HVAC tool to get the load numbers, since it uses sufficiently aggressive U-factor defaults to right-size a heat pump. That tool is targeted toward HVAC pros, developed by a consortium of electric utilities that were getting comfort & efficiency complaints from ratepayers in their own efficiency programs that had been delivered grossly oversized solutions. The load tool part is pretty straightforward and easy even for newbies, and a bit harder to screw up than with pro tools or online freebies such as LoadCalc, CoolCalc, etc.
 

Ctreefer

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.8 gallon nozzle no. 2 oil 89k btus @ 80% boiler net. A short cycling boiler maybe 65%. To have a efficient boiler run times need to be longer. Take a pic of the boiler name plate.
Still trying to get that pic. They routed the electrical right over the plate that provides all the details and witht the lighting I can’t get a good image on what’s behind the conduit. What details are you looking for and I’ll try and find it.
 

Ctreefer

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If the system is still running reasonably there is no good reason to change it out right. Adding a heat-purge controller and programming the low-limit to 140F you should get way more than 5 minutes per burn out of it, delivering improved as-used efficiency.

Rather than spending the big money on a new boiler (gas or oil) spend it on a modulating cold climate heat pump, which will not only heat with high efficiency (and still reasonable on operational cost relative to NG at CT gas electricity & gas pricing). As more states commit to being net-zero or net-negative carbon emissions at dates earlier than the end of a normal lifecycle for a boiler any new NG or oil boiler will become a stranded asset. There are likely to be strong incentives (in the form of tax rebates/other) for getting off both gas and oil to make a heat pump solution affordable at some point before your oversized boiler is truly toast. I'm not sure where CT is on those policy discussions, but in MA the Baker (R) administration has formed a "Clean Heat Commission" to cook up approaches to the problem in this state.

Most cold-climate 3.5 or 4-ton heat pumps (ducted or ductless) can cover a ~40KBTU/hr heat load (with adequate margins for Polar Vortex disturbance cold snaps) at CT type 99% design temperatures. Run a Manual-J to verify the 40K load numbers using the BetterBuiltNW HVAC tool to get the load numbers, since it uses sufficiently aggressive U-factor defaults to right-size a heat pump. That tool is targeted toward HVAC pros, developed by a consortium of electric utilities that were getting comfort & efficiency complaints from ratepayers in their own efficiency programs that had been delivered grossly oversized solutions. The load tool part is pretty straightforward and easy even for newbies, and a bit harder to screw up than with pro tools or online freebies such as LoadCalc, CoolCalc, etc.
 

Ctreefer

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Dana, thanks for responding. I have mixed feelings about heat pumps for this area and house. Electric rates in CT are third highest in the nation at about 23 cents per kw hour. Not to mention the rates are 50 percent more than they were 10 years ago so I don’t have a good feeling about those future rates based on how poorly new England utility coalition is prepared for future electricity demand. In addition, we’ve got a brick house with fairly new AC system that was installed in the attic and I really favor the cooling from ceiling and heating from floor concept. Maybe I’m just too set in my ways.....I’ll inquire when our hvac guy comes out to quote next week what heat pump options are. Looks like CT right now offers out 2,500 rebate for heat pump installs.
Thx again
 

Fitter30

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Still trying to get that pic. They routed the electrical right over the plate that provides all the details and witht the lighting I can’t get a good image on what’s behind the conduit. What details are you looking for and I’ll try and find it.
Btu input or output or nozzle gpm ( could be on a service ticket or left one old one ). With model number possible to use a smaller nozzle to extend run time.
 
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