boiler replacement/oil to gas conversion

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    Hi,
    Just looked at a house with a very old oil boiler. Can anyone tell me anything about replacing it and/or converting to gas? The broker suggested that the gas company would give us a boiler as an incentive to convert — REALLY?? That doesn’t sound plausible to me . . .

    How difficult/pricey is a conversion, and what does new boiler generally cost?

    Thanks very much, I’ve been in an apartment for my entire adult life so I have very little idea about these things . . .

    7 Replies

    1. I got quotes on this last year, $6500 for a new oil boiler vs. $1250 for the conversion.

      Definitely agree get the chimney inspected — we did not, and boiler was a little oversized for the chimney, so it leaked about a year later. Relining was $3700.

    2. It’s not difficult to do an oil to gas conversion if the process is followed properly, but it will take a little time. The permits alone can take 8 – 10 weeks from Building Dept.. You can call a licensed Plumber that participates in the program, you don’t have to use a Plumbing Company that they refer you to. Nationalgrid doesn’t do conversions anymore. The boiler is given at a discounted rate than purchased on the open market. If it’s a residential building, it’s going to be a Burnham boiler. The model will depend on whether it’s a steam or hot water system. And for all of the reasons that bobjohn mentioned, converting is a great idea if it’s in your new home budget!! Congratulations on the purchase!!!

    3. i also converted w/national grid ~4 years ago. they handled everything including permits and oil tank removal (although i hear they may no longer do this). also rec’d discounted boiler + water heater.
      i needed asbestos removed and i used abatek corp for that and i needed chimney work done too. altogether everything may have costed just under 10k

    4. I just went though the same conversion. National Grid will give you discounted boiler (I got Burnham ES2 for $900). Plus you can deduct most of the conversion from the taxes. Conversion will include more then just replacing one box with another. You need to do the following:

      – have permit open for replacement.
      – inspect/line chimney
      – do something with asbestos if there is any
      – remove old oil tanks
      – remove old boiler

      There are few well respected plumers on this board who might want to give you price on the conversion. I cannot give my cost since it included replacing all piping and radiators with five zone system. I also got remote reset card.

      There are compelling reasons for conversion (from my own experience):

      – oil boiler breaks down more. I could replace filter, clean oil line or fix wiring and even then I had to pay for service contract because this thing stopped working a few times and I did not know how to fix it.
      – you need to keep track of oil left in the tank.
      – tanks consume a lot of space in basement.
      – oil smells and oil boiler smokes out at time with black smoke.
      – new boiler (oil or gas) is much more economical then the old one. After I switched to new boiler my heating bill went down twice (it is even more dramatic since oil went up in price since the last year).
      I would guess, that your savings in heating bill from switching to new boiler will pay for the cost of installation in about 3-5 years.

    5. Yes, but I would put insomething better. They give you a break on the cost of the unit.