I have a 25 year old Burnham boiler (hot water system) with 3/4"
piping and Electrozone zone valves (3 valves).
It's my understanding that parts are no longer available for my zone
So here's my dilemma:
Do I just leave it alone until it breaks and deal with it then? What
happens if it breaks in thh middle of winter? I'll pay an arm and a
leg because it will become an emergency.
Or do I replace it during the summer at my leisure, even though
everything is working now.
And then if I do replace, should I replace only the zone valves or
just replace the whole boiler? I got one estimate (need to get more)
for $2100 to replace all the controls, or $4500 to replace the entire
boiler with brand new everything. Alternatively, I can get rid of the
zone values and just have 3 circulator pumps put in, one for each
zone. The estimate is about the same for that, or to replace the zone
valves with a Honeywell system.
Any advice? Right now everything works. I just don't want to be left
on the coldest day of thje year (these things always break when it's 5
degrees outside) with a broken boiler and I can't even get the parts
As for replacing the boiler, I'm not sure I'd get enough increase in
efficiency to make it back in a reasonable amount of time. But then
again, is it worth it to replace all those controls on a 25 year old
Again, if someone can help me figure this out, I'd appreciate it.
Key word here is the 25 year old boiler. Gas or Oil? What kind of
condition is it in? My 30 year old was replaced two years ago, and I'm
saving 39% on my oil use. At 3.50 a gallon, that is $1200 a year.
Given that you have three zones, if one drops out you have minor
inconvenience, not a catastrophe. Some other zone valve can be retrofitted
with minor down time.
Check what is available for rebates, zero interest financing and it may be a
good time to replace everything. My System 2000 by Energy Kinetics is
paying for itself with fuel savings compared to my older boiler. In a few
years, that money is going to be in my pocket, the some oil baron.
It's a gas fired boiler. I had a free energy audit a few years ago.
The guy checked the
boiler and said it's fairly efficient for its age and that I'd have a
minimal increase in
efficiency by getting a new boiler. He didn't think it was worth it
for the amount I'd save.
The flow control system, in your case electrozone is pretty much a separate
system from the boiler itself. Even at 25 years, the boiler can be perfectly
fine, especially if it is gas. I would have a qualified boiler tech help you
with that decision.
On the other hand, when the warm weather comes, I would replace the zone
valve system. In your case it's not just a simple matter of swapping out a
bad valve. The electrozone system is a highbred in that it is not compatible
with typical zone control systems, so you cannot intermingle other valves,
at least not without a birds nest of wiring and controls. The simplest
system would be to use 3 circulators with built in flow checks and a
multiple relay control. It's a simple setup, very easy to install and
everyone knows how to diagnose problems should one occur. If at a later date
you do need to replace the boiler, it should be able to be done without
making any major changes to the flow control system.
If your boiler is an oil burner, you are correct that there is nothing on
the market today that will give you much more efficiency, unless you go to
something really high tech, with no history of reliability. If it is gas,
there are some fairly reliable gas condensing boilers available, which are
very efficient, but sometimes getting qualified service techs is challenging
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