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Old 01-26-2009, 08:13 PM   #1
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Boiler Installation - Am I being gouged?


Hi Folks,

I have a small (1200 sq ft) rental house in Spokane, and it has a 20+ year old oil-fired boiler that's getting a bit dodgy. The local gas company will run gas up to the house and install the service for free, so I'm very interested in replacing the oil unit with a gas unit. The boiler is used to heat a radiant slab floor.
I asked a local contractor how much he would charge to replace the oil unit with a natural gas unit, both for a 90+ AFUE and a less efficient unit, and he gave me the following:

I can install a Weil mc lain ultra 90+ gas boiler for $11,669.00 + tax, or...
I can install a Slant-fin 80+ gas boiler for $7387.00 + tax


These prices sound very high to me, given that the cost of the boilers themselves... there's nothing tricky about the installation, either. Am I being unrealistic, or is this guy gouging me? I haven't agreed to anything yet, so if any of you can recommend a good installer in the Spokane area, I'm interested.


Thanks!
Mike G

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Old 01-26-2009, 08:16 PM   #2
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Boiler Installation - Am I being gouged?


Hi Mike G.
Dude, you are being absolutely raped there. That sounds totally outrageous.
You should be able to buy a good natural gas boiler direct from the gas company for about $1,000.

To hire someone to install it might run another 4-5K max.

You could probably install it yourself for a few hundred in material.
I just looked into this very same idea. My neighbor just converted her old oil boiler to natural gas, hired a local company to do it, and I think it came out to about 5K.

Don't pay that much money man. Save your soul.

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Old 01-26-2009, 08:46 PM   #3
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Boiler Installation - Am I being gouged?


Thanks for the support, Schmolze! I thought there was an excruciating sensation where the sun don't shine, but I wasn't sure it if was par for the course. The local gas company doesn't sell boilers, but they're offering $400 rebate on a purchase of a 90+ natural gas unit. I've found a number of high quality units in that efficiency range in the $1500 - $2500 range (Slant-Fin, Munchkin, Peerless, Weil-McLane, etc...), but it seemed like his labor rate was more like a prison back-massage. :-)

I wouldn't take a chance on installing it myself, based on location (I don't live in the Spokane area) and on the advice of many on this message board who emphasize the need for a really good installation... tempting, though...

Thanks again for the input! I'll tell that contractor to go pound salt down a gopher hole (or offer me a reasonable price).

Cheers!
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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Boiler Installation - Am I being gouged?


I was quoted around $5k to replace my oil boiler with a Weil-Mclain
I though that was a little high, but yours...

I actually priced the model I need at under $2k
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmolze View Post
Hi Mike G.
Dude, you are being absolutely raped there. That sounds totally outrageous.
You should be able to buy a good natural gas boiler direct from the gas company for about $1,000.

To hire someone to install it might run another 4-5K max.

You could probably install it yourself for a few hundred in material.
I just looked into this very same idea. My neighbor just converted her old oil boiler to natural gas, hired a local company to do it, and I think it came out to about 5K.

Don't pay that much money man. Save your soul.
I have to take issue with your irresponsible post. I happen to be a pro and I can tell you are more smoke than you are substance in your uninformed statements. First, do you know what the prevailing market is like in the OP area?
Do you know what it will take to run a gas line and make the alterations necessary to sister a new boiler to and old piping system?

The tone of your whole post is an accusation against me and the other HVAC pros who give of our selves freely at no profit at this site.

mahatmakain:


certainly you have a right to feel the sticker shock of such a large investment. You are to be commended for considering a new system for a rental property, few land lords would do so.

My advice is to wait for a few more quotes. The one you have might seem high but if it's a guy you trust then it would be worthwhile. In my area the top shelf companies get top dollar cause they use good people, provide service and warranty
But feel free to wait for a few more opinions


.schmolze

Don't quit your day job. I don' like being called a rape artist if by inference or thru you dis like of a price
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Last edited by hvaclover; 01-26-2009 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I was quoted around $5k to replace my oil boiler with a Weil-Mclain
I though that was a little high, but yours...

I actually priced the model I need at under $2k

Buying it your self?
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:11 PM   #7
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alright, i apologize if i was incendiary and uninformed and offensive.
i think people need to calm down a bit though, and stop taking everything so personally.

as for the gas line, yes, it is my understanding that the company installs it for free as part of making you their customer.

i guess my perspective is different than yours, though not necessarily any less informed.

anyway, if i was grossly erroneneous in my statements, why don't you enlighten us by describing just how it owuld be possible to run up an 11K bill for a boiler installation...

again, no offense directed at anyone here. i simply called it as i saw it.
but relax, dude!
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:13 PM   #8
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i didn't call my trainer an ass when he dropped 300 lb on my chest.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:15 PM   #9
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For just an oil to gas conversion, that price sounds high no matter what part of the country your in. What are you getting done in addition to a boiler install?
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:17 PM   #10
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well, i demanded my money back when my local HVAC guys came three times to "fix" my boiler, but it kept clogging up and spewing ash.turned out they never adjusted the air properly. i had to get an independent oil burner tech to come out and he found hte propblem instantly.

your trainer sounds like an idiot, too, for that matter.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:47 PM   #11
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Didn't demand my money back.


Just waited for my turn to spot him



















Poor guy
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:48 PM   #12
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Boiler Installation - Am I being gouged?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mahatmakain View Post
Hi Folks,

I have a small (1200 sq ft) rental house in Spokane, and it has a 20+ year old oil-fired boiler that's getting a bit dodgy. The local gas company will run gas up to the house and install the service for free, so I'm very interested in replacing the oil unit with a gas unit. The boiler is used to heat a radiant slab floor.
I asked a local contractor how much he would charge to replace the oil unit with a natural gas unit, both for a 90+ AFUE and a less efficient unit, and he gave me the following:

I can install a Weil mc lain ultra 90+ gas boiler for $11,669.00 + tax, or...
I can install a Slant-fin 80+ gas boiler for $7387.00 + tax


These prices sound very high to me, given that the cost of the boilers themselves... there's nothing tricky about the installation, either. Am I being unrealistic, or is this guy gouging me? I haven't agreed to anything yet, so if any of you can recommend a good installer in the Spokane area, I'm interested.


Thanks!
Mike G
Just guessing but gas co may bring the line to the house but usually not in the house maby different in your area. Then possably since you asked for hi efficency the contractor thought you wanted a hi end install. New diaphram exp tank, feeder, air seporator, primary secondary pumping among many other options. Now that you are venting out the wall something needs to be done with the chimney it is now to big for just the water heater needs a liner and maby a cleaning. Or did he include a water heater also. Then is he removing the oil tank or capping off. There are a lot of things that go into a great install and can reach that price range. Or you can take a high end boiler pipe it in and out like the old system and get what you pay for. Get some other proposals and do some compairson shopping for like installations not just the same boiler. The equipment has very little to do with a quality install. Like most things it is all in the details. Sorry for the rant but I loose installations to the cheep installers and then get the call from the customer after the fact for help to fix what the others had done.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:54 PM   #13
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Boiler Installation - Am I being gouged?


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Originally Posted by JohnH1 View Post
Just guessing but gas co may bring the line to the house but usually not in the house maby different in your area. Then possably since you asked for hi efficency the contractor thought you wanted a hi end install. New diaphram exp tank, feeder, air seporator, primary secondary pumping among many other options. Now that you are venting out the wall something needs to be done with the chimney it is now to big for just the water heater needs a liner and maby a cleaning. Or did he include a water heater also. Then is he removing the oil tank or capping off. There are a lot of things that go into a great install and can reach that price range. Or you can take a high end boiler pipe it in and out like the old system and get what you pay for. Get some other proposals and do some compairson shopping for like installations not just the same boiler. The equipment has very little to do with a quality install. Like most things it is all in the details. Sorry for the rant but I loose installations to the cheep installers and then get the call from the customer after the fact for help to fix what the others had done.

Thanks big John. I knew somebody would put it in prospective. That was hardly a rant. That was some solid consumer advice.
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Last edited by hvaclover; 01-26-2009 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:59 PM   #14
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Boiler Installation - Am I being gouged?


Good mod/con boilers arent cheap.

Do those prices also include disconnecting and removing the old boiler.

Does it also include an indirect water heater.

Does it also include the additional cde required safeties that arn't included with the boiler.

Does it include a second irclator for primary secondary piping.

Are there any special things that neeed to be done to install a new boiler.

How long of a gas line run is it.


Since you don't say what is or isn't included for the price.

Anyone telling you that its a good or bad price is talking out their as.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:04 PM   #15
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Boiler Installation - Am I being gouged?


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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Good mod/con boilers arent cheap.

Do those prices also include disconnecting and removing the old boiler.

Does it also include an indirect water heater.

Does it also include the additional cde required safeties that arn't included with the boiler.

Does it include a second irclator for primary secondary piping.

Are there any special things that neeed to be done to install a new boiler.

How long of a gas line run is it.


Since you don't say what is or isn't included for the price.

Anyone telling you that its a good or bad price is talking out their as.
OBI WAN BEEN THERE has spoken. Let it be so

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