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Advanced, Efficient Boiler System Helps Revitalize Century-Old Home

November 14, 2021

The owner of a 107-year old home sought an advanced hydronic heating solution for a major basement finishing project and to alleviate his existing heating woes on the first and second floors of the residence. The installation of an innovative and highly efficient boiler from Weil-McLain® helped make the basement remodel a success and the family's home comfortably warm throughout.

Michael Bartholomay-Berreth owner of the 2,700-square-foot, two-story Craftsman residence built in 1914 in Fargo, N.D., had been having issues with the home’s boiler, which provides heat and hot water, for some time. The family also had decided to convert their unfinished basement into a warm, livable space consisting of a living room and bedroom with radiant heated floors.

“We live in Fargo, so obviously a house is only as good as its heating system,” said Bartholomay-Berreth. “Heating the basement was a major concern because it got very cold down there in the winter – sometimes dipping below 50 degrees. On top of that, our existing boiler was really inefficient and was the only heat source for the first and second floor radiators.”

Bartholomay-Berreth contacted John Robinson at Esser Aire Serv Plumbing & Heating, which performs commercial and residential installations and services throughout the Lakes Area in Minnesota and the Fargo-Moorhead area, to handle the upgrade.

“Upon inspection, the heating system consisted of a very old boiler and an old gravity system with pipes hanging below the ceiling and 2½ inch lines connected to the boiler,” said Robinson. “With limited space for the boiler replacement, the homeowner sought a single boiler solution to heat the basement’s new radiant floors and provide multi-zone capability for the main floor and second floor radiators.”

After careful review, Robinson recommended installing a Weil-McLain brand high-efficiency ECO Tec 150 MBH gas boiler featuring powerful, intuitive controls and built-in zone control designed to provide targeted, abundant heat for all levels of the home.

Breaking New Ground

As part of the basement remodeling project, the contracting team broke up and removed all the concrete floor from the basement. Then they dug out the ground to lower the floor level a foot to make room for the installation of radiant floor heat.


With the radiant heat and the new concrete flooring installed, the team connected the radiant flooring and all the existing cast iron hot water radiators on the upper levels of the home to the new ECO Tec boiler. The team also installed an indirect tank for hot water – also powered by the ECO Tec boiler.   


“The location of the boiler is in a cramped space the size of a small closet and Esser did such a great job installing and feeding all of the lines in there,” said Bartholomay-Berreth. “Thankfully this boiler is designed for easy access and installation into tight areas.”

The Weil-McLain brand 95% AFUE high-efficiency ECO Tec boiler features heat only and combi versions for all residential space and domestic hot water heating. It features a durable stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger with sound dampening air silencer, corrosion resistant condensate collector base, easy-to-use setup wizards and touch screen display.

Boiler Installation Benefits

Bartholomay-Berreth has experienced several benefits from the new Weil-McLain brand ECO Tec boiler installation.

“The new Weil-McLain brand system was the ideal solution to our problems,” said Bartholomay-Berreth. “Esser Plumbing & Heating did an unbelievable job getting the system up and running quickly. The result was a new boiler that provides highly-efficient heat and hot water for our entire home.”

Bartholomay-Berreth also enjoys learning more about the user-friendly ECO Tec unit.

“I've been monitoring the boiler to see how the system works and to use the cool touchscreen,” said Bartholomay-Berreth. “I like to see which zones are receiving heat at any given time to learn more about how it works. The unit is pretty slick. Its intelligent boiler control is able to supply higher temperatures to the radiators and water heater, for them to operate as designed; and a lower temperature to the radiant floor system, for a warm even heat.”

Most importantly, the house is a warmer and more comfortable environment.

“This is a special house that has been around a long time,” said Bartholomay-Berreth. “And our new boiler system lets us appreciate and enjoy it that much more.”

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