01:45PM | 10/14/09
Member Since: 10/13/09
2 lifetime posts
I'm a homeowner in downstate NY. My 15 year old electric water heater is starting to leak periodically, and needs replacement.

I'd like to replace it with a gas tank heater for lower fuel costs, and it seems Bradford is a reliable brand. While researching the costs of a Bradford with a power vent, I came across a new old stock Combicore M2-C-TW75T10CN unit for $1000.

In my area a 40gal NG heater from Home Depot is $400, and the local supply house quoted me a 50gal NG heater with power vent for $800.

For space heat I have a 1976 Burnham gas boiler with 3 zones of baseboard. It works ok, but it can't quite keep up on the coldest days of 0-10F. My 1500sqft 1961 split level has single pane windows, poor insulation, and cathedral ceilings. My heat loss is probably roughly 65-75kbtu with a 70F delta.

My question is:

If I'm spending $700-800 on a water heater, does it make sense to get this Combicor unit for $1000 and use the heat exchanger as the primary heat source for my baseboard heating, keeping the Burnham for backup? Can it even be done in a simple way?

I'm thinking that even with only 82% efficiency the CombiCor would be better than the Burnham, and that the two units can be plumbed in parallel with a manual power switch and zone valve to keep the Burnham out of the loop 95% of time. I don't have a problem flipping a switch manually to bring the Burnham online on days when the CombiCor can't keep up. Since that would only be 5% of the time, it seems that they could just share the heating load 50/50 with no fancy balancing, just a Y junction in the heating loop.

I can commit to $1000 plus 3-4 hours of plumbing but not much more.

Thanks for your input.


03:53AM | 10/15/09
Member Since: 10/13/09
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for your reply. I figure I'll need to run the Burnham for back up on the coldest days.

Are there any fundamental problems with doing a setup like this?

I'd like to know if these combi units have really been used satisfactorily for replacing conventional boilers.



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