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Jim Katen

Direct Vent Condensing Boilers

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What are we seeing in terms of service life for these new condensing boilers? The one I saw yesterday was a Viessmann and was working beautifully. But I've got to think that there's not a lot of wiggle room for screw ups if something were to go wrong with the condensate disposal.

Has anyone seen a pattern of problems with these things?

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Nope. I've seen several dozen Viessmann's, Buderus's, Triangle, and some I can't remember the names of.

Viessmann's and Buderus and really nice machinery. Lotta decades of service in Europe and Canada, now they're cracking the US market.

I suppose there will be some recall pop up sooner or later, but from what I can see, they're excellent.

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Nope. I've seen several dozen Viessmann's, Buderus's, Triangle, and some I can't remember the names of.

Viessmann's and Buderus and really nice machinery. Lotta decades of service in Europe and Canada, now they're cracking the US market.

I suppose there will be some recall pop up sooner or later, but from what I can see, they're excellent.

They certainly seem to be.

This system was simple but nice. Twelve zones of radiant heat, cleanly installed and working perfectly.

Too bad it's so damn expensive.

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Yeah, it's freaky expensive. Runs approximately 3 times what a forced air system costs around here.

If I could do anything any way I wanted and money was no object, I'd install it in a heartbeat.

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My Dad had a Buderus. It was a wonderful piece of equipment. The Viessmann's that I've seen on high-end homes have all been works of art.

Not so much a work of art - a three year old home I did a couple of days ago. The heat source is a Rinnai tankless water heater and it's augmented by a little 4-gallong chinese made on-demand water heater.

Built on a slab and heated entirely with in-floor radiant heat. Very confusing configuration. I've looked at lots of these systems but never had one that seemed so cobbled together. I finally referred the guy to Northwest Mechanical. Those guys are rock stars in the radiant heating field. If they endorse it, fine; if not, he'd better take their advice.

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Mike

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My brother in law had one of these fail a few weeks a go, it was only one year old. What happened was the condensate line backed up and killed it. The HVAC guy who installed it ran the condensate line outside to drip on the ground. Well, the condensate line iced up outside and backed the condensate water all the way back up into the unit. The owner of the company was out installing a new one and this time, he was reading the installation manual.

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Around here it's all Triangle, Buderus and Veissmann, but mostly Veissmann. I've yet to see any issues.

My 84 year old father replaced all the massive iron plumbing with PEX and installed a propane fired Veissmann in his and my Mom's house this year. He claims he's saved about 30% over the winter as compared to the oil fired behemoths from yesteryear.

Some of the savings stem from boiler efficiency, but I think the bulk are from establishing zones.

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