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ellenr 02-04-2013 08:52 AM

Need to replace ancient Hydrotherm 125,000 BTU gas-fired boiler
 
I'm a newbie landlord that has a multifamily home built in 1919 with three rental apartments. Each unit has its own Hydrotherm gas-fired boiler to provide heat to the radiators in that unit (each unit has its own h/w heater as well). Last owner put in all three boilers around the same time, 1986-1988, and now the largest capacity boiler, an HC -125 (125,000 BTUs), is starting to break down and require repeated repairs. Plumber told me three years ago that these boilers needed replacing, so I'm ready to look at replacement models.

I'm not married to Hydrotherm, so I'd like to know if anyone has any suggestions for brands that I should consider. I'm looking for a 120,000 BTU model that will only be used to heat a two-story (duplex) apartment under 2000 sq ft, and would prefer an efficient model that doesn't leave a huge carbon footprint.

Thanks for any guidance you can give me.

TarheelTerp 02-04-2013 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ellenr (Post 1109201)
I'm a newbie landlord that has a multifamily home built in 1919 with three rental apartments... I'm not married to Hydrotherm, so I'd like to know if anyone has any suggestions for brands that I should consider.

The first step in hydronic's is finding a rock solid "controls guy".
Someone who you can trust to set things up right and (as needed) to diagnose and nurse the older equipment along... and at 16 years old your boilers really shouldn't need replacing now.

The brand of equipment to choose when it does come time to replace anything then becomes about accepting the valued insiders opinion of this trusted person which will be influenced by marketing issues like which makers have stocking distributors nearby.

(eg don't buy a Ford if there's no dealer near by...
get the Dodge instead because their dealer is two blocks over)

Quote:

I'm looking for a 120,000 BTU model that will only be used to heat a two-story (duplex) apartment under 2000 sq ft...
Also have this person do some heat loss calculations...
choosing the right size is most important.

747 02-04-2013 10:33 AM

16 year failure on a boiler is uncommon. But for a new one i like weil McClain. There are places online which have good deals on boilers. Look at www.pexsupply.com

ellenr 02-04-2013 11:57 AM

The boilers are actually 25 to 27 years old. My ex husband installed them when he bought the building and to my knowledge, never had any kind of service contract nor did any maintenance on them. The last three service calls I made were to my natural gas provider's service department because of the horrendous grinding noises the unit makes if the thermostat makes if set any higher than 60 degrees. [/I]

TarheelTerp 02-04-2013 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ellenr (Post 1109358)
The boilers are actually 25 to 27 years old.

Good catch on the math! My 29yo son would have looked at me askance.

I'll stick by everything else suggested:
You need someone to be your boiler guy.

Where are you located?

747 02-04-2013 12:58 PM

I forgot i like standing pilot over spark ignition. Once less thing which can go wrong. Whatever you decide to do. Always have your new boiler service every year. Preventive maintenance can go along way.

ellenr 02-04-2013 03:28 PM

I'm in Faifield County, Connnecticut. I have a plumber that I really trust who does heating systems, but I wanted to have a couple of names of brands to run by him and not just rely on the brands he knows about or has some incentive to push.

beenthere 02-04-2013 04:27 PM

If he is the guy that is going to be working on them down the road. then you are far better off getting the brand he recommends. Instead of a brand he is not familiar with. Let alone parts not easy to get in your area.

ben's plumbing 02-04-2013 06:22 PM

we also like weil mcClain boilers..as well as burnham boilers...bensr


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