NYC burner replacement advice for property managers.

103When it comes time to replacing a large burner in a NYC building on a field fabricated boiler the price is going to be in the 5-50k range, depending on building size, location, basement depth etc.

A good rule-of-thumb for what you can expect to pay for replacing a  large burner (pictured right) $1,000 per HP.  Example: A 300HP burner will cost you roughly 30K for the burner replacement.   This is Manhattan NYC pricing, dealing with basements, rigging equipment, strict safety rules, installation crew, low voltage electrical wiring, commissioning, shipping, delivery etc.

Property management companies and building owners, desperate to think of easy ways to reduce the fuel expenses are unfortunately, full of horrible, time wasting, money wasting, and fuel wasting ideas.  These unknowable individuals think a small burner = improved fuel savings.   Smaller things use  less fuel right?  NO.  If you think  that you don’t know enough to even get material quotes.  Nor do you know even the most basic fundamentals of heating systems in general and have no business trying to manage a commercial upgrade on your own.

If you are an unknowable property manager like this, please give me a call and let me give you the basic education you need, and I’ll help you create some energy reduction plans together.

Nobody should ever commit to any type of commercial heating upgrade until your absolutely sure your spending the right amount of money in the right place.  Typically in 50+ unit NYC buildings where you only get ONE CHANCE to improve a commercial heating system every few decades.  This is why a education meeting and consultation with a heating professional is so important.

Hire a professional to help provide the basic education you need before you getting started with any heating system improvement.   A professional consultant can help you put every single dollar to the very most cost effective upgrades possible within your budget, and help you get the job done in a timely manner.

Jay Sullivan-


1) Burners on field fabricated boilers are sized exactly to match the boiler.
2) The DOB will NOT allow you do install a new smaller burner.


Burner size vs Flame size

Burner size vs Flame size

I should stop there but this has come up more than one occasion, so, I’m talking it a step further.  Even if it’s wasn’t illegal to do this swap-out it would NOT cut the heating expense bill anyway.

I’m writing this because recently one of my clients wanted to install a 250HP motor on where a 300HP seized Rockmill boiler.  Luckless I caught him just in time and prevented him from wasting over 20k.


Wasted Fuel- When burners are under sizing they have to work extra hard, and heating equipment working at or near full capacity is the least efficient time it’s running.  A smaller burner consumes more fuel than the correct sized burner.

Safety/ Ware-and-tare Concerns/ D.O.B
-An undersized burner leads to under preforming equipment and under preforming steam boilers produce bubbles instead of steam.   The bubbles mixes with the boilers treatment chemicals and minerals already in the boiler, and foam starts to be created within the boiler instead of steam.

1)  The foam rises to the top of the boiler and gets sucked into the heating systems supply feed line. The result is and then you get  cold areas of the building, corroding supply line, tons of wasted fuel and tenant complaints.

2) The foam can also interfere with the boilers inner high & low water cut off sensors and alarms.  The high water sensor can get tricked into reducing the incoming water supply, thinking the foam is water.   This newly reduced water supply quickly affects the boiler because the water level gets lowered fast, and since the water level was actually never low to begin with, it gets lowered too much.  The resulting 1st Low Water Alarm then goes off and water is quickly put back into the boiler.  If the boiler cannot add new water in fast enough the 2nd low water alarm goes off and the burner is shut down as a safety precaution.  When this is happening over and over again,  countless times a day your wasting tons of fuel and usually water.   It is time to have that burner/ boiler looked at.

Basic Knowledge– Lastly, the fuel being consuming by a large-sized boiler (100HP-400HP) is all about the FLAME size and control system, not at all to do with the burners over all size or firing rating.  The burners flame automatically adjusts to meet demands and is rarely even in winter months in full firing operation.

Almost all commercial burners have what’s called “firing turndown ratio” the ratio between full boiler output and the boiler output when operating at low fire.  Typical boiler turndown is 4:1. For example, a 400-horsepower boiler with a 4:1 turndown burner will modulate down to 100 horsepower before cycling off.   A 400HP boiler with a 10:1 turndown burner will modulate down to 40 horsepower.

NYC Commercial boilers in require burners with plenty of power but they can all be optimized for significant fuel savings. Which is why new modern control systems should be put on any and every old burner for an easy 10-20% energy savings.


Jay Sullivan


I’m happy to get you a quote for a gas or oil fired commercial burner (50HP and up)  Please feel free to give me a call for burner replacement ideas, prices and a list of qualified installers for the installation.

Ask me about how you can get an easy 10% fuel savings that offers lightning fast RIO’s, with a 100% money back guarantee.

Easy= 1 day installation & no heating system shut down required
Guarantee from product manufacture.


Related questions:

Can I put a 350HP burner in a 400HP boiler?
Can I put a 300HP burner in a 350HP boiler?
Can I put a 250HP burner in a 300HP boiler?
Can I put a 200HP burner in a 250HP boiler?
Can I put a 150HP burner in a 200HP boiler?
Can I put a 50HP burner in a 100HP boiler?