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Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats

 
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:46 PM   #1
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Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


My brain much prefers the thought that with PROPER primary secondary and say taco 2218s for return and mixing and 007 header feed are much more preferable to one condensing unit even if the 2 nats initially cost more than one.

We like the hot CI rads. I like simplicity, redundancy and longevity. Add to that the need for proper installation, maintenence and possible repair costs of mod cons. Nats are harder to screw up on. Correct plumbing with something like this seems the key to me. Temps can drop to minus 40 here but minus 20c is far more common.

One small boiler( with identical secondary) running would be much better than none at all and my minds eye thinks correctly plumbed and operated 2 small boilers would likely use less fuel overall than one correctly sized mod con. More fuel use would not hurt my feelings either. We had our single boiler down in November 3 years ago. Some heat is better than none at all. That plus we had a new chimney liner recently installed.

Circulators are also external and gravity would help in case of failure but parts for these circulators and boilers are extremely easy to find and replace. Piece of mind. Where I live it could be days or even weeks before I could get service for a mod con.

Thoughts?

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Old 12-09-2018, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Uh...what language are you speaking?

Andy.

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Old 12-09-2018, 04:48 PM   #3
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Natural draft vs mod con...
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:56 PM   #4
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


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Old 12-09-2018, 05:06 PM   #5
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


There are heating forums that might have more knowledge for this topic. I haven't seen much hydronic system discussions here.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:53 PM   #6
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Ah ha. That's where I started out on here. Heating forum! Did not realize I was no longer there!
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:56 PM   #7
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
Never saw this before.

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Old 12-09-2018, 07:10 PM   #8
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Ah ha. That's where I started out on here. Heating forum! Did not realize I was no longer there!
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:20 PM   #9
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Maybe it is time for a CO detector?

Maybe lead poisoning?

I kind of pity the guy's family suffering through another cold winter as he pursues his White Whale of heating system........

What next? belief in CO2 forced global Climate Change Manias?

This guy needs a new video game?
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:04 AM   #10
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Hot cast iron rads are only needed in extreme temps when they have been sized properly, or over sized for the home. The rest of the year, they shouldn't be hot, just very warm.


2 80% nats can have lots of trouble when the return water temp is below 140F/60C for prolonged periods of time.


Most companies don't pipe up twinned boilers properly.


Mod/Cons have come a long way in the last 10 years. Far more reliable than they use to be, and the more common ones are also now easier to work on.
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:14 AM   #11
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Co detectors on every floor.
This 37 year old will natural draft weil had a high limit set at 140 when I moved here.

Heating bills were horrible.
Set the high limit to 180 ish 2 years ago.
Low.to 140.
Heat gun at output shows just over 170.
Heating bills dropped substantially.
Changed the circulator to a larger one.
Heating bills dropped more.
Water piping I will do myself.
Gas left to a pro.
No video games.
Just following what I believed to be true.
Dan Holohan...
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:52 AM   #12
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Fourth Gen
I have a 1904 built 2129 Sq. Ft. House.
150 btu weil from early 70's
First winter I moved in gas for the winter was 2000. Next winter 1300.
Remains about the same.
So given the lack of contractors out here and that one of the 2 wants 12k to install a to 110 solo that might last 15 years and might cost a small fortune in maintenance and repairs I'll stick with the whale or smaller version there of.
I did the math. Even if my bills went down by 40% which I highly doubt, why would I not stick with a whale or 2 small ones?
Are you going to guarantee I won't have problems with a mod con? Will you be here to fix it? You areva pro. I am a maintenece guy. I have trouble getting someone in to fix this old weil. They are just that busy. So since I can I do it myself. I'd like to have that option open.
Boiler is in awful shape. Was condensing and had a severe lack of maintenance. So I need a new one.
When I was in charge of maintenance at an industrial facility, I did the mua, HVAC, and boiler servicing (up to 19,000,000)
BTU. The only unit that NEVER had issues was the 2 stage boiler. Circa 2006. Tekmar controls. Circulator mixing. All the others always had some type of troubles.

There is no floor drain or plumbing drains near this nat draft. There are windows everywhere on the boiler side of the house. Its brick with a stobe foundation. I already have a new chimney liner, converted gravity system ( that still needs a lot of upgrades) and lots of air infiltration (working on that but it will never be tight)that obviously works fine but had no shut offs. Those old valves on that old header all need to be changed and there are NO unions. Have to unthread from the boiler up. That's another story.
Mod con cost with install is almost 3 x a standard draft. A lot of the valves still need changing on the rads. Right now it's a water system. They want to put in polypropylene glycol. I have over 300' of 1.5" pipe and 14 CI rads. I could go on but I just can't see how this could be justified...
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:06 AM   #13
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Been there:

Thanks. They still scare the hell out of me and yes I do believe that running two 80's with incorrect plumbing would cause issues.
Wouldn't a CORRECTLY plumbed primary/secondary do the trick?

I've likely read over 500 reviews on boilers in the last 2 years and almost all of the complaints were on mod cons and quite apparently most of the bad reviews had to do with install. Almost all of the good reviews, and there were few, were by pros who had a mod con in their own house or faithfully looked after their installs. A lot of the bad reviews were by pros who had customer service difficulties and just couldn't serve their customers the way they wanted to.
I have little choice out here for techs.
It just makes me nervous!
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:34 AM   #14
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Been there:
I should have said the only units that had next to zero issues were the non m Trac non modulating units. The modulating ones were where most issues were. Do I want modulating in my house after that? Not particularly at this point.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:15 AM   #15
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


Fourth Gen.
Btw there are 40 windows in this house. Second floor is all PVC dual pane.
First floor is all original stained glass single pane with storms.
My wife does a lot of baking with our 72,500 btu gas stove.
Standard outdoor temp for where I live is -21f according to one of the heat loss calc sites.
1300 for one year of gas is not going to get much better I don't think. I just want to make sure we always have heat!
Guess we could.use the stove until I get the wood fireplace fixed.
Still don't see the point in changing everything to put a mod con in to maybe save a few bucks on fuel. Big maybe.
I am not against technology but this does not seem
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:15 PM   #16
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


The obvious solution is to sell this jewel of a Home to a greater fool then the Guy that owns it now....

Write a Spread sheet with needed repairs/ upgrades, Start doing the cheap high payback ones first....

Thermal blanket shades on windows, Storm windows?insulated Shutters that actually close?
Don't forget Momma needs a CO monitor for that monster oven in the kitchen.

maybe an ER device on the stove vent?

Any cloths chutes or abandoned chimneys you can use to return hot upstairs ceiling air to the bottom of house. Think 4-5"(100-300cfm) air duct with thermoswitch to blow hot back to ground level.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:44 PM   #17
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Re: Condensing Vs 2 Small Nats


House is warm and cheap to heat. Plan on keeping it that way. Not gonna pump condensation over 25' into cast iron pipes in another room or run plastic pipes up the chimney or anywhere past or near any of the stained glass windows just to lower gas bills a bit.

Stove is a high end true convection gas stove. Wonderful to cook with. We both agree. Keeping that too. Licensed gas fitter hooked that up for us. I can only do so much!

Thanks for the wonderful advice but we will likely keep the house and do that without adding any unnecessary fancy contraptions like you've suggested, tempting as it might be. Seems to work rather well as is.

So rather than spend 12 k on a boiler that might last 15 years and might save me 50 bucks a month, I'll spend 5 or 6k on one that could easily last another 30+ and keep it this way. No plastic pipes or new vents or glycol or condensation treatments or chemicals to flush the lines or balance ph or pumps for it thanks. Pull out the old weil. Have a new one popped in in a day and chug away for another 30-40 years. Might even go all out and treat it to a taco delta t or two! Simple, effective, reliable, safe and cheap is what I like so maybe nah. This three speed grundfos works just fine and besides, that cga comes with a Taco 007. Primary/secondary parts done! Oops almost forgot the balancing valve, nipple and two tees! There goes the budget but hey
Thanks for helping me decide!

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