40 Hydronic Boiler Installation Tips

correct boiler size
  1. Learn to sell. 90% of all signed contracts are not due to having the lowest price! Homeowners want cleanliness, health and comfort, quiet operation, decorating freedom, and carefree operation. Home builders want sales features, moderate cost, simple installation, fewer callbacks, and merchandising tools.
  2. Know the company you are buying from and use their technical support.
  3. RTFM 1st!
  4. “I’ve been doing it this way for 40 years” is NO EXCUSE.
  5. Take time for continued education and training courses.
  6. Pay your knowledge forward.
  7. Embrace new technology.
  8. Do heat-loss calculations.
  9. Do a complete material takeoff including piping layout.
  10. Pre-assemble.
  11. Flush the system BEFORE removing the OLD boiler. This may require additive.
  12. Purge the system like we used to. Use a hose and time!
  13. Use “expensive” air eliminators. One call back will exceed the cost!
  14. Clean and treat your water. (Side Note: 20% Glycol is too much for most of the country.)
  15. The Rules of Economics will never outweigh the Laws of Physics.
  16. Size your circulators. Bigger is rarely better and ΔP and ΔT is not always the answer.
  17. Outdoor reset will create equilibrium and save money.
  18. Learn high-voltage and low-voltage wiring.
  19. End switches save lives...of motherboards, relays, and transformers.
  20. Save electricity as well as fuel while providing higher comfort. Use ECM circulators and low amp zone valves!
  21. Stop selling comfort...by the gallon.
  22. Use indirect water heaters. And pipe them correctly!
  23. You’ve been doing primary/secondary piping all your life.
  24. Closely spaced tees.
  25. Pump away!
  26. Buffer tanks
  27. Ceiling expansion tanks do not leak.
  28. Size your expansion tank.
  29. Backflow prevention and LWCO are national code.
  30. Radiant floors must be designed. Use software.
  31. Treat your system water.
  32. Neutralize condensate. And use a safe waste.
  33. Line ALL chimneys.
  34. Barometric damper must be 18” from an elbow.
  35. Follow proper venting techniques and material.
  36. Combustion intake air (National Fire Protection Association 54)
  37. What three pieces of test equipment must ALL boiler installers carry? Combustion analyzer, manometer, multimeter
  38. Annual maintenance contracts are like printing money.
  39. Troubleshooting: Remove the thermostat from the equation. Look for water or air in the wrong place. Don’t be a parts changer!
  40. Never listen to the homeowners reason for failure. If they were that smart you would not be there!


Steve “Wheels” Wieland is Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager for NTI. He shared these 40 Hydronic Boiler Installation Tips during a seminar at the Eastern Energy Expo. If you get the opportunity to attend one of Steve's classes, do it! We learned a lot and had fun too. Steve has a unique perspective having worked in various areas of our industry, including as a master plumber, wholesaler, manufacturer's representative, and educator. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, Steve! Any questions? Steve can be reached at [email protected].


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