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Boiler: missing header temperature sensor

alv54 | Posted in General Questions on

my Burnham Alpine condensing boiler 150.a recent review of what maybe causing excessive cycling found that a Header Temperature Sensor was not installed and the manual implies( when used)?in a residential home should this part have been included in the installation.
thanks in advance for any help,

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  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    Mind you, the ALP 150 is also about 5x oversized for the heating needs of most homes in N.America, very often installed in homes with insufficient radiation to emit the minimum fire output of that boiler at condensing temperatures, and will never modulate. At condensing temperatures it delivers about 28-29,000 BTU/hr at minimum fire, (more than 80% of the design heat load of my not-so-efficient antique house) which needs at least 140-150 feet of typical fin tube baseboard (per zone) to balance boiler output with radiation output.

    The particulars about sensors interfacing with the boiler controls is really a Burnham technical support line question. If Burnham won't talk to you directly, call the local distributor, who may have a support line, or at the very least could direct you to a competent installer to debug it for you. (The distributor knows better than anyone which contractors install them by the dozen without problems, and which contractors are making bogus warranty claims for problems related to faulty installations, or tying up their support line with questions with answers clearly spelled out in the documentation.)

    The napkin math for appropriately sizing modulating condensing boilers to both the design heat load and radiation is here:

  2. Jon R | | #2

    Note that with enough buffer tank capacity (or other thermal mass), an over-sized boiler can modulate more and cycle less than a perfectly sized boiler.

  3. alv54 | | #3

    thank you for such a immediate answer and yes this boiler is oversized, installed sept2013 the excessive cycling for my 1900s ft stucco home in westchester cty. ny. the failure of that installer in sizing And poor installation has left me either replacing this unit $$$$ or trying to make any adjustments possible i.e Header Temp. Sensor . I am extremely frustrated with Burnhams policy of NOT speaking to the homeowner under any circumstance is mind boggling.and in past Q&A with you regarding this case going thru the napkin math only brings me back to the oversized boiler, so frustrated not knowing where to find a competent service capable of proving technical knowledge proficient enough to scope these issues.

  4. Richard McGrath | | #4

    You need not replace the unit . You need someone to perform a room by room heat loss calculation , perform an installed radiation survey , correct any terrible near boiler piping ( it's there ) and properly size a buffer tank . 2 pipe buffers are better since the tank is not flow through , the load should be between boiler and tank so the tank sees less flow and remains stratified longer sending colder water back to the boiler for a longer period annually .

    Who sold you the equipment or where was it purchased in Westchester County ? Difficult to find someone qualified in Westchester . You may need to each out to someone in another county .

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