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Author Topic: NCB-325  (Read 10908 times)

brownitsdown

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NCB-325
« on: February 11, 2014, 08:21:45 AM »

I'm in the process of buying a 3 year old NCB-325. I've done a ton of research and am confident I have made a good choice for heating my 6k+ sqft home, (after the addition is complete this summer). The question I have is, what differences, (if any), are there between a NCB-325 2010/11 model and a 2013/14 model? Thanks in advance!

This Website has been invaluable to me in researching OWB and I greatly appreciate all of the contributors and moderators!
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brownitsdown

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 07:15:40 PM »

Just found out that the 3 year old used NCB-325 I'm buying has the following dimensions: 96" L x 46 1/2" W x 90" H  /  2626 lbs  /  342,000 BTU  /  8,000 sqft  /  as compared to the new NCB-325G: 85" L x 50" W x 89" H  /  2313 lbs  /  460,000 BTU  /  10,000 sqft.

I know that the NCB-325 firebox used to be built from 3/8" steel as compared to the 1/4" steel used today, so I'm assuming that's where the difference in weight and BTUs, (heat transfer rates of different steel thicknesses), is coming from. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Are there any known issues / flaws with the older / thicker steel firebox NCB-325 model? What are the differences between this used model and a new model, other than the firebox thickness? The large difference between the BTU's has me concerned there are some major differences.

Thanks again in advance.
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RSI

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2014, 08:30:26 PM »

The old 325 was a smaller longer firebox. The 325G is taller and not as deep. It also has a larger blower and air pipe above the fire and a larger loading door.
The old 325 came with 1/4" firebox with 3/8" as an option.

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brownitsdown

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 07:46:11 AM »

Thanks RSI! Is the old 325 model a good / sturdy / reliable boiler as compared to the new model?
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brownitsdown

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 08:33:52 AM »

Just got off the phone with the Technical Department at Nature's Comfort. They told me that the old 325 model with the dimensions I provided him hasn't been built since 2008 or 2009.

He told me the following: The old model had a longer and smaller 'Round' firebox. Smaller blower. Smaller upper oxygen feeder pipe. Smaller loading door. Exhaust pipe didn't stick down as far. Water jacket didn't encompass the exhaust pipe. Roughly the same BTU's as the new 250 model. Had troubles burning wood at the back of the firebox. In short, that there was a reason they no longer make it and have replaced it with the better 325G model.

Everything he told me made perfect sense, but it was coming from a possibly biased source, with interest in promoting new boiler model sales.

What are your thoughts? Should I stay away from this older 325 model no matter what the price? If it's in new/factory running condition, will I have issues with it heating my 6k+ sqft home and not need to feed it more than twice a day?
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racnruss

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 05:26:46 PM »

Hello brown,

Have you watched the newest video on youtube introducing the new 325g?  I have friends with a new nc250 and they like it but kind of hard to load all the way to the back of firebox because it's shape and depth.  I haven't seen the old 325 but kind of sounds the same.

The new 325g looks much easier to load to me and with the chimney surrounded by water has to be an improvement.
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brownitsdown

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2014, 06:09:39 PM »

Yes, I've seen the new 325G video. It looks and sounds like a really nice boiler. Of course, they want a premium for it too. The used one I'm in the process of buying is I believe a 325, (no "G"). I'm attempting to find out what it's build year is because it was purchased new from the dealer late in 2011. If I could get a 325G at this price, it would be a no brainer. Just trying to make sure I'm not getting a bad boiler that's not worth it's weight as scrap.
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RSI

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2014, 06:34:18 PM »

Hello brown,

Have you watched the newest video on youtube introducing the new 325g?  I have friends with a new nc250 and they like it but kind of hard to load all the way to the back of firebox because it's shape and depth.  I haven't seen the old 325 but kind of sounds the same.

The new 325g looks much easier to load to me and with the chimney surrounded by water has to be an improvement.
The 325 was just the same size firebox as the 175 and 250 but longer. The only difference between the models was the length was stretched. I am thinking the 325 was about 16" longer than the 250.
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rick n kristi

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2014, 10:24:38 AM »

brownitsdown,
Where are you located? I'm using a 325G if you want to know how it works for me.
Rick
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brownitsdown

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 10:33:35 AM »

I live in central Iowa. Is the older model 325 worth more than it's weight in scrap metal? Will it heat my 6k+ sqft home without me needing to feed it more than twice a day?
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racnruss

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 07:57:42 AM »

Hey Brown,

I live in  Des Moines, Iowa.

6000 sq ft.  is a huge house.   It may be hard for any stove to keep up with that heat load when we have winters like this one, and only loading every 12 hours.
My friend with the nc250 is only heating about 2500 ft. but he can get 24 hr burns if he packs it full. He has perfect Oak split 2 years ago, so best case scenario.

If its a sweet deal on the stove, you could get it all hooked up and running and if you have to switch to a different boiler down the road you could sell the 325. I know you don't want to do it twice but changing a stove is pretty easy once all the plumbing is installed.

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brownitsdown

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 12:04:09 PM »

I live just East of Des Moines. The living area of my current home is right around 3k sqft, and I'm building an addition that is more than doubling the size of my current home, plus a large attached garage. I plan on stubbing radiant heat water lines into the garage, but don't plan on heating it initially in order to make sure the boiler can handle the load of the rest of the house. My house is a two level walkout ranch style built into the side of a hill, so in the back there is one level above grade and in the front there are two levels above grade. Baseboard heat in the lower level and radiant floor heating plus baseboard heat in the upper level. It's a brick home with R21 fiberglass insulated 5.5" external timber framed walls, quality windows, and R60 blown in cellulose insulation in the attic. I will run R30 fiberglass insulation in the garage ceiling, (due to living area above garage), and R21 fiberglass insulation in the wall that separates the garage from the mud room. So, it is and will be a pretty well insulated structure. The radiant floor heating system in the upper level covers a lot of square footage and is great at distributing the heat evenly. The baseboard heat in the lower level doesn't do as good a job as the radiant floor heat, but because it's 1/2 under grade, it's relatively pleasant on the lower level year round without running heat or AC.

I am currently running a Viessmann Vitodens 200 propane boiler that will remain hooked up and become strictly a backup system in emergencies. The Viessmann is super high efficiency and sized right for my current home, and yet my monthly budget billing for propane is still $200 per month, 12 months a year. That's ridiculousness in my opinion and doubling that to heat my home after the addition is completely outrageous. That's why I'm moving to an OWB and want to make sure I'm spending my money wisely and not inheriting a huge headache and buyers remorse with my purchase. I've got plenty of timber to cut and already have a couple years worth of dried hardwood stacked and ready to burn. I've wanted to get an OWB since we bought our place 4 years ago, but decided to wait to buy one big enough to heat everything after we had finished doing what we wanted to do with our home.

That's the long version of my situation. The short is that I will be heating a 6k+ sqft home, via radiant floor heating and baseboard systems, plus DHW. I really like the current NCB-325G model boiler and believe it would do a fine job heating my home without needing to feed it more than twice a day, (on average). The older NCB-325 model from pre 2009 is the unit that I am questioning specifically. It's only been used for two heating seasons, (2011-12 & 2012-13), and is priced under a new largest Ridgewood model. Is the older used NCB-325 model a good quality boiler that will heat my home and preform the way I want it to, or should I spend the extra money and get a new NCB-325G?

I've gone the route of buying, selling and replacing things in the past and I don't enjoy the additional hassle. I'd rather buy once, cry once if it means I'm making the right buy the first time. I've got my hands full with building my addition right now that I am looking forward to relaxing a bit after I'm done. If the boiler ends up being too small to do the job, my relaxation will be cut short.

Thanks again, BID
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 12:07:39 PM by brownitsdown »
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racnruss

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 03:51:56 PM »

sounds like a really nice place and well insulated.

how far east of Des Moines are you?  I have a small tree service and if you are close enough I usually give wood away when we do tree removals.  May help build up your supply if you need it.   Also a good friend lives just outside of Colfax and he is a tree service too.  He heats his 2500 sq. ft. house and a giant shop with his boiler.  A stainless Free Heat Machine that holds about 300 gallons, not sure exact model but he has had to weld it twice since it was new 3 or 4 years ago.

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brownitsdown

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2014, 09:02:59 AM »

racnruss, I live between Altoona and Pleasant Hill. I would gladly take as much wood as you'd be willing to get rid of, as long as it's not all sticks and small limbs and such. Thank you! I can take the small stuff too, but I build brush piles for the little critters with it.

I decided to pass on the 325 at this time, at least until I am able to gather enough positive feedback about it to justify the purchase. I don't feel confident it will meet my heating needs, and believe it is still a bit high priced for the year and model, being a used unit. I've got between now and next heating season to make my purchase, so no need to rush into a decision that may cause me headaches in the future.

I really like the new Nature's Comfort NCB-325G. The Central Boiler CB-6048 sounds like a good boiler too that would meet my heating needs.
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racnruss

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Re: NCB-325
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 01:14:03 PM »

Hello Brown,

I will get you some wood this summer for sure.  Just PM your phone number to me.    Also,  have you talked to that Chris Lee from Winterset?   He always has a CL ad for NC boilers.   I was just in Winterset last week and he has 3 boilers displayed right on Hwy. 92 in Winterset.  I stopped and looked at the 325g.  He also has a 250 and 175 sitting there to compare with.

 Chris makes his own side arm HX for your hot water heater.  I bought one of them from him and it is way better constructed than the normal ones.  I did not buy my boiler from him, I actually went to Indiana and picked it up, but Chris is very helpful none the less.   I have 2 friends wiho bought a 175 and a 250 from him.
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