I am looking into getting a new boiler in our house, which has hot water
Some years ago, in another house, a relative had a 90% two-stage 80,000BTU
Trane forced-air furnace installed for about $3000. Now my house is larger
and there are some pumps and valves that need replacing and also the
compression tank. But according to the first and only quote I got, just the
difference in price between a 80% boiler and a 90% boiler is $3000 (both
about 135,000 BTU/hr, $5500 for 80% vs $8500 for 90%). In both cases the
same pumps/valve/tank need replacing.
This installer comes highly recommended and I normally don't shop just by
price, but I am wondering why condensing technology should cost so much
more in a boiler compared to a forced-air furnace.
As with ANY home improvement you're considering contracting out, (electrical
work, additions, roofing, siding, leaders, gutters, paving, grading, carpeting,
etc...) get a few more quotes and and make sure they're ITEMIZED. You want to
know exactly what the materials charge is and the LABOR charge is.
Some contractors work 3 days a week and drive Mercedes Benz's and others work
5-6 days a week and drive Ford F-150's.
I had my boiler replaced 3 years ago when I converted to gas heat from oil.
(Same hot-water baseboard as yours) And the old oil burner also provided
domestic hot water, but now I've a seperate gas water heater.
The boiler was suppposed to be "free" supplied by the gas company and installed
by one of their "approved" conversion gas heat/plumbing contractors. You picked
the contractor from the gas company's list.
The first 3 estimates came in at over 3000.00, one almost 4000.00, which was
twice I was quoted when I got 2 previous estimates WITHOUT the boiler being
provided "free" by the gas company.
There are some contractors who price their work according to what they think
it's worth to you, and others who price thier work according to what it's worth
to them. You need to find one of the latter group.
I ended up using a small 2-man show plumber contractor, (not a big well known
name from the utility's list) who worked with his partner for 6 hours. Total
bill was less than 1100.00 to install the free boiler and less than 25' of gas
line with 2 valves. It would have been 1700.00 If I upgraded to a higher
efficiency unit supplied by my installer if I gave him the less-than efficient,
"builder's special" the utility gave me free.
I had him install the free model anyway for a number of reasons. My home is
VERY well insulated as I replaced all the windows and doors myself. I wanted
standard equipment that even a rookie gas/heating tech would be familiar with
and able to diagnose, as well as myself.
In short, do your homework and shop around. IMHO a plumber should charge labor
at a standard rate, not more per hour when he's installing a boiler than when
he's changing a faucet washer. And without a detailed estimate it's difficult
to question the quote.
The difference you get into is piping requirements and cost of equipment.
If you put a cast iron boiler in where one is existing already, you are
looking at very few changes to the system (for better or worse). With a
Condensing boiler, you are looking at $600 to $800 more for a boiler, new
chimney venting, new manifold configuration (primary/secondary loop), new
circulators and a spirovent. This mean more labor and materials. If done
right, your system will be second to none and will still pay for it's self
in about 5 years. Get a condensing boiler with an outdoor reset control -
save even more $$$.
See Also: www.htproducts.com
Yes, using an outdoor reset control over the full range is the main reason
I wanted a condensing boiler.
And regarding the URL you gave, yes, I know about the Munchkins. In
particular, it seems you can get outdoor reset control with just a 'Vision
I' software upgrade (plus a sensor, of course), which is very nice. But the
closest distributor in my area (Chicago) is in Milwaukee WI, and they don't
know of any installers in my area who have ever installed one before.
I also struck out looking for Peeerless Pinnacle, which is the same product
with a different label. I didn't want the first unit the guy has ever
I did not consider the Trinity because it is quite large. But for the
Pinnacle, I sent a web form request to Peerless and they gave me three
names. So technically they are 'in my area', but in fact all three said
"Oh, we've never installed a Pinnacle but I suppose we could try it." I
can imagine what they'll say if I ask for a firmware upgrade to allow
outdoor reset. This is not your usual boiler.
You have the Trinity mixed up with something else.....
For the boiler is only....
20.5 " wide
and weighs 80 lbs.
Here's a link to one that's installed on a wall,
by a guy that knows his SHIT!!
Here's another one by a different guy
As you can see.....their not big at all.
Are you in Chicago? Or just around the Chicago-land area?
The Vision 1 control is not offered through Peerless. We put in a truck
load of the Munchkins each year and like them. Call the distributor and ask
what wholesale companies in your area sell these boilers. Call the
wholesaler and ask "If you were buying this boiler who would you hire for
your home?" They cannot recommend (play favorites) one customer over
another but they can say who they would use themselves (a backhanded
I called American Hydronics (Chicago area) twice and left messages. No call
back. My question was not "who would you use?" but "Is there anyone who can
install a Munchkin in my area?" My guess is the answer is no, which is too
The best time to reach your local wholesale company in your area is around
8am. If you call and get a machine, find the address and go there early in
the morning (again around 8 am). If the wholesale people got your message,
they may or may not pass it on to a contractor. They may not call you back
assuming you think they are contractors instead of suppliers. If you get
through ask for the manager and explain what you want - The company that
understands and installs Munchkin boilers in your area.
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