Boiler, tankless install solves homeowner’s hot water concerns

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William and Susan Roberts Frew and the Sunshine crew.


Sunshine Plumbing Heating Air was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in Denver since 2012 with a 534% growth rate. Susan Frew, president and William Frew, vice president, are a husband and wife powerhouse ownership team whose company just won the 2015 ‘Fastest Growing Company’ award for the Denver Business Journal.

Not only making their mark in the Denver area as successful business owners, Susan is the treasurer for the Colorado PHCC chapter, and is the newly elected Colorado PHCC president. Also, Sunshine Plumbing Heating Air is up for the Torch Award for the Better Business Bureau (BBB). “We are a customer service company that just happens to do plumbing, heating and air,” says William Frew.

Call to Action

Recently, Sunshine Plumbing Heating Air was called to a local residence for a boiler and tankless water heater analysis and installation. The homeowners recently demoed part of their basement to expand a bedroom. As part if the renovation, water, heating and gas pipes were hanging from the ceiling and they wanted them moved up for more headroom.


Dunkirk DXL-125 cast iron boiler

In addition, the previous boiler was aging and needed replacement, and the 40-gallon water heater was 15 years+ and could not supply enough hot to fill a clawfoot tub. The fact was that the outdated heating system created numerous problems. The water did not have enough pressure due to galvanized piping. The gas piping was undersized for the amount of BTUs needed in the home—with the installation of a new tankless water heater. Bottom line: the living room was cold in the winter, and there was a long wait time to get hot water.

“What we look for in a boiler is two things:
1) Can parts be obtained locally? 2) Can another company service the boiler if the homeowner chooses to use another company?” said William Frew, owner and vice president, Sunshine Plumbing Heating Air, LLC.

The solution was to replace the boiler with a Dunkirk DXL-125 cast iron boiler. Dunkirk’s new DXL 2012 DOE compliant gas-fired, hot-water boiler has an advanced Fuel Smart Hydrostat Control and offers up to 83.5% AFUE.

Dunkirk 2The DXL’s 3-in-1 control features:

  • Temperature limit with LED display and easy dial settings. Diagnostic and function indicator lights.
  • Low Water Cut-Off (LWCO) — Protects the boiler from damaging low water conditions.
  • Boiler Reset — Lowers the boiler temperature to save fuel by turning on the burner only when needed. Setup is quick with no need to install an outdoor sensor; just dial in the number of heating zones.

Navien NPE-240

The DXL is an atmospheric chimney vent boiler with Integral Draft Diverter. The Integral Draft Hood reduces the overall height and footprint of the boiler making it ideal for low clearance/space limited installations.

The DXL also features a Cast to Last 20-year non-prorated warranty.

Along with two zone valves—one upstairs, one downstairs—and programmable thermostats, the Dunkirk features made it a good fit for this particular residential application.

“When choosing the tankless unit, we asked the same questions as we would when choosing a boiler, plus we wanted something that saved on space, and had longevity of more than the standard 6-year as with a tank.

“The Navien NPE-240 warranty spec out at a whopping 15 years on the heat exchanger, five years on other parts and components and one year on labor. The tankless only gets worked when used, which is great for a two-family household that can now fill that antique clawfoot tub without any hot water concerns.”


Uponor PEX piping

The unit was relocated to the laundry room with the bathroom above so the homeowners don’t have to wait as long to get hot water.

According to the homeowners, “William Frew did a fantastic job installing our cast iron boiler and tankless water heater. He was very helpful and knowledgeable in all aspects of the job, including helping us figure out what type of system was best for our needs and interests. Throughout the install, he had time to answer questions and explain the process. The end result is a true masterpiece in plumbing and everything works well. William was very professional, efficient and helpful. We definitely will recommend Sunshine and William to others in need of plumbing and heating.”

Other improvements made by Sunshine Plumbing Heating Air:

  • Removed galvanized piping, which improved water pressure even with the PRV and now the sprinklers shoot across the sidewalk and street.
  • Upsized gas line to 1-1/4 to meet the needs of the new boiler, tank less water heater, gas grill, and furnace in garage.
  • Added 10’ of copper fin-tube baseboard for extra heat in the living room. Along with two 6” fresh air intakes (one high, one low).


Location (City, State): Denver, Colorado

Date started: 9/30/2015

Date Finished: 10/06/2015

Size of Project: Medium

Workers onsite: 1

Budget: $14,133.00


Manufacturer/Model Name or Number

Boiler — Dunkirk DXL-125

Water heater — Tankless Navien NPE-240

Pumps — 007 Taco

Piping — Copper, Uponor PEX (hePEX™ to the new baseboard and in the ceiling. AquaPEX® for domestic.)

Separators — Caleffi micro-bubbles air separator

Expansion tanks — Honeywell #30

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