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ProStaff Review: Noritz CB180 Combi Boiler

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ProStaff Review: Noritz CB180 Combi Boiler

The ProStaff team moves to the Pacific Northwest as Bend Radiant Heating Inc., Bend, Ore., installs a Noritz CB180 combi boiler for a residential remodel in Madras, Ore.

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Steve Zettle, owner/operator of Bend Radiant Heating Inc., after installing the Noritz CB180 combi unit.

In business for 12 years, Bend Radiant Heating performs hydronic heating and tankless water heater systems work, which includes radiant floor in several applications, radiators, air coil hot water, snow melt systems and tankless water heaters for both residential and commercial installations.

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This is pre-DHW connection with the hydronic piping. Zettle used the Noritz supplied primary loop, Grundfos Alpha pump, controls via Honeywell AQ w/ floor sensors, manifolds (one shown and another in a remote closet) were Uponor EP w/actuators for zone controls, a single switching relay (S/R) to the air unit in the garage (not shown here yet but connected to the manifold in this photo). They opted to run the water temp to the air unit at the same temp as the floors just to simplify things; the garage is really small and the load was met using the heater at a lower temp.

The retrofit for the 1,500-sq.-ft. Madras home features a 3-zone hydronic and domestic hot water system powered by a Noritz CB180 combi boiler, with a hydronic fan coil in the garage to heat that space. The benefits of the hydronic fan coil are that it allows for a separate zone, and it is a less expensive option than running in-floor radiant heat in the garage. Bend Radiant Heating techs insulated the existing slab floor, installed PEX tubing and had the gyp-crete poured for the in-floor radiant heat.

The unit allows different temperature settings for the domestic hot water heating and space heating applications. For domestic hot water, temperatures range from 90 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. On the space heating side, the range is 100 to 180 degrees F.

Installing the Noritz CB180 combi boiler made sense due to its space savings, productivity, efficiency and reliability. The unit delivers hot water at a 95% efficiency—95% of the fuel consumed goes to heating the water to the preset temperature, as opposed to being lost up the flue into the atmosphere. This fuel-saving performance earns it the highest Energy Star rating, allowing homeowners to qualify for state energy rebates.

Weighing only 85 pounds, the wall-hung CB Combi is also significantly lighter than a traditional boiler, requiring only one installer to do the job instead of two. In fact, its compact size allows it to take up as much as 80% less space than a traditional floor-standing boiler and water heater.

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Laying the PEX tubing for in-floor radiant heat.

Bend Radiant Heating has installed Noritz products for years, and has had good results. “Our confidence in the product and its reliability and its ease of installation make it a trusted boiler unit,” says Steve Zettle owner/operator, Bend Radiant Heating Inc.

The combi model contains three superior-grade stainless steel heat exchangers as well as scald prevention for domestic hot water safety. Venting can be accomplished using PVC, CPVC or PP piping through a sealed combustion direct vent or single vent. According to Zettle, “The piping was very simple, the internal pump is really nice, venting is super easy with all the options available, and the control setup was very straightforward, allowing for a lot of flexibility.”

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According to Zettle, the Noritz unit features intuitive, straightforward controls.

The customer reports that the house is very comfortable, and the hot water production is seamless. “After I did a detailed explanation of how the system would work and educated the customer on the need to have the pump run at a very minimal time frame, the homeowner set up a recirc system,” says Zettle.

According to Zettle’s overall ProStaff assessment, this is the third project using the Noritz combi. “I think there is a huge market for the combi boiler, and I see our installation of these units becoming more frequent. I am using them on small snow melt jobs where we would typically install a separate boiler, now we are combining a new appliance that does both—so the customer gets a new water heater, tankless style, with a new snowmelt system—no additional appliances to do separate jobs,” says Zettle.

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The unit allows different temperature settings for the domestic hot water heating and space heating applications. For domestic hot water, temperatures range from 90 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. On the space heating side, the range is 100 to 180 degrees F.

Same situation on radiant heat systems. We have a job doing a floor warming in combination with a forced air furnace, using a combi was an easy sell. If they have recirc, we are trying to set up a 40 – 50-gallon electric water heater off the combi so no flow issues, and so the recirc does not interfere with the space heating. “Pre-heat the water at 95% efficient and let the tank just trickle in a little extra to accommodate for recirc or for high volume use when applicable,” says Zettle.

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Weighing only 85 pounds, the wall-hung CB Combi is also significantly lighter than a traditional boiler, and its compact size allows it to take up as much as 80% less space than a traditional floor-standing boiler and water heater.

The CB Combi delivers up to 9.2 gallons per minute of domestic hot water and can be used on a whole host of applications including radiator, baseboard or in-floor radiant hydronic heating; as well as HVAC systems using water-to-air heat exchange with an air handler, and pavement snow melting.

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3 Comments

  1. Rich
    Rich05-30-2017

    A schematic diagram of the system ‘as installed’ would be very helpful in visualizing how everything got connected together, as well as what other components were needed to make it all work correctly. (e.g. Where and how other zone pumps or manifolds or control valves connect? Buffer tank? hydraulic separation?)

    • Mechanical Hub Team
      Mechanical Hub Team05-30-2017

      Rich, I agree. Let me reach out to them to see if they have anything to share.

    • Paul Quishpilema
      Paul Quishpilema09-26-2017

      we would like to have a shore video or PDF about hot to install the boiler combinations

      Thank you

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