After just 20 months, Ineffable’s oil-fired boiler has failed and the labor estimate to repair it under warranty is twice what it originally cost to install it. “In light of how awful my experience with the boiler has been,” he writes in this recent Q&A post, “I am looking at other options.”
At the top of his list is an air-to-water heat pump that could become a drop-in replacement—assuming that such a product would work in his situation.
Ineffable lives in a 1900-sq.-ft. home in central Connecticut, where he estimates the maximum heating load is about 75,000 Btu per hour. Even on cold days, the boiler ran no more than 30% of the time.
“There is no natural gas available,” he explains, “and I cannot run ductwork, install minisplits, or install radiant floors (house construction is unusual). Baseboard and valance heaters can be added or replaced with higher output if needed.”
What are Ineffable’s best options? That’s the question for this Q&A Spotlight.
First, what’s up with the boiler?
Paul Wiedefeld, among others, is shocked that the boiler—which Ineffable says is a Buderus G115/WS3—stopped working after less than two years in service.
“Did you get a second opinion?” asks Walter Ahlgrim. “Did you contact the manufacturer? In general, boilers tend to have a longer service life than other types of equipment. It would be interesting to know why yours failed.”
Ineffable says that a seal between boiler sections began to leak, allowing a pool of water to accumulate in the combustion chamber. That prevented the burner from running properly. “Basically, it was a manufacturing defect,” he says.
According to Ineffable, Buderus will replace the block for a $200 processing fee, but installation of the block would take an estimated four…
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