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Posted by Dave on September 08, 2004 at 11:10:13:
In Reply to: Re: Separate Boiler Purchase and Install posted by HeatPro on September 07, 2004 at 15:00:42:
But this isn't really a good representation of the situation. They *would* be doing the entire job, aside from supplying the boiler (and making the extra profit from the sale). The contractor would do the zoning, plumbing, electrical, etc. Of three "professional" contractors that gave me estimates, none did a proper heat loss calculation - they just looked at the output of the 25-yr old, inefficient existing boiler. This also does not account for changes in the house - the radiant system, new siding, new windows, etc.
Thus, I have no reason to think they know more than I do (Ph.D. in engineering) about the *technical* aspects of the system, although they certainly know more about the practical installation issues (including circulator sizing, assuming they'll bother to do that calculation, code requirements, etc.). My ACCA heat calculations told me I required no more than 85,000 BTUH output, while they all sized off the pre-exising (inefficient) boiler at 130,000 BTUH.
In a perfect world, our neighborhood contractors would be honest, well-trained, up-to-date technicians - but the fact of the matter is that this is not the case. Many (not all) have no training in new high-efficiency systems or ACCA standards, and are primarily motivated by $$$$.
Availability is also an issue - in the entire Cleveland area, I have found only two residential contractors that install the new Weil-McLain Ultra or HTP Munchkin boilers, one for each - this leaves me no options for competitive bids.
Thus, purchasing a properly-sized boiler directly from a distributor seems like a smart move, as long as a given plumber is willing to charge an honest wage for the installation job. I assume your answers means, "no, they wouldn't like to do this."
: ...As a given plumber did not plan the job, there is less interest in completing a job (non)designed by an amateur.
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