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Lochinvar Knight versus HTP Versa-Hydra boilers

richardi's picture

I'm having a house built in Southern New England that will have only radiant floor heat. The heating contractor spec'd a Lochinvar Knight boiler and Squire indirect HW maker. I have this set-up in my condo in Boston and am pleased with it.

However, I was thinking about a HTP Versa-Hydro, an intergrated boiler hot water maker for the new house. I initially looked at the HTP product because it was made locally and had a solar option. The latter consideration has become less important because I will be getting natural gas (vs propane) next Spring. Instead I will use the sout-facing roof for PV panels.

So which boiler should I install?

I welcome all opinions on both or either of the appliances.  



we're using an air to water (post #207273, reply #1 of 8)

we're using an air to water heat pump (Daikin Altherma) run by PV here in gardiner.  net metering is grand.  hard to compete with cheap natural gas but it does well against propane.

I do like the versa-hydro, and if your system is not being designed with attention to detail it's a good choice.  harder to make it inefficient than a boiler.

but the boilers can be made MORE efficient if the system is being designed, because it's not limited to Domestic hot water temperature... it can run at 85, 90, 100, 110 degrees when allowed by your radiant system and heat loads, which is more efficient.

So I personally prefer to design to mod/con boilers as I can make them more efficient.  but many systems out there would have done better with a versa hydro or similar.  

If pricing is similar and you plan to stick with this heating guy, and he's good, stick with what he knows.


Rockport Mechanical

HVAC Design and Installation in beautiful Rockport Maine

Do I plan to stick with this heating guy? (post #207273, reply #4 of 8)

That's the big question! I don't know if he's good and by the look of the radiant tubing installed in my slab (PEX overlaying Pex as shown in the picture) and the lack of thermal breaks (discussed in another post) have me concerned.

I think if I do stick with him and choose the HTP (my choice) versus the Lochinvar (his choice) and the system performs poorly, he will have an excuse.

Yeah, I'm being a liitle cynical, but that may be the reality down the road.

I guess I'm looking for a compelling reason to choose one boiler over the other.

Radiant_3.JPG154.65 KB

I wondered about ......... (post #207273, reply #5 of 8)

the runs of hose, it looked rather rampant and I don't think I could figure out a set pattern-but that could have been the picture and division of shots.


Did they prop up the wire and hose or just attempt to pull it up as they poured?  While the first is the preferred method, since long ago, the latter has been the norm and with a good crew, most of the wire ends up IN the slab, rather than laying on the bottom.

Best of luck on the rest of this.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Just a thought, but you might (post #207273, reply #2 of 8)

Just a thought, but you might consider a high-end water heater such as a Polaris.  Very simple piece of equipment compared to a boiler and likely less expensive.  There was an excellent article in FHB a few years ago comparing the systems.  I personally have not seen the Polaris installed in this application, but the simplicity is what I liked.  With a boiler there seems to be a never ending operational maintenance that this system didn't have.  Yes, you can do all this stuff with a boiler, but is that what you needand want to pay for?

you can still have service (post #207273, reply #3 of 8)

you can still have service issues with high end water heating equipment.  and at any rate, the Versa-Hydro is exactly that, a very high end water heater with a built in external plate heat exchanger.


Rockport Mechanical

HVAC Design and Installation in beautiful Rockport Maine

knight boilers (post #207273, reply #6 of 8)

knight boilers are sold at walmart and home depot.If that is the quality of unit you want in your house than great.Look at a boiler in a way that if your system is down are parts available,contractor trained,warantee,is it what is sold locally,thanks joe

Lochinvar (post #207273, reply #7 of 8)

Well, that is interesting that Lochinvar boilers are sold at Wally-Mart! Howver, that doesn't mean its an inferior product. Doesn't 'Made in America' (Tennesee) count for anything?

What would you recommend?

BTW, I have a Lochinvar Knight/Squire in my condo and I am veryhappy with it!

If you use the Versa Hydro (post #207273, reply #8 of 8)

If you use the Versa Hydro solar you can use PV to heat water in an electric hot water heater (heat pump most efficient but regular resistance will work) and use the PV heated water in the solar heat exchanger  in the bottom of the Versa Hydro. In the summer this may heat all your domestic hot water. Properly switched,  excess PV can go into the grid lowering your electric bill and helping to provide cleaner energy to the grid. In the cooler months the PV heated water will contribute to both heat and domestic hot water. Most solar hot water systems only do DHW .  The Versa Hydro is like putting all your eggs in one basket as opposed to having a few seperate expensive components. The inherent efficiency of a single unit and the elegance of the design are very compelling. You might check with ModCon Service and Support inc. in Westford Mass they service all types including HTP and do cosulting for a fee.