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question about poured boiler bases

clammy
clammy Member Posts: 3,094
Wondering about the feelings on higher poured boiler bases pros and cons .Looked at a job with a very small concrete base poured and the boiler barely sits on it ,the base is about 10 inches high and really makes no sense to me why it would need it ,no flooding issues .I know that my bid is higher then others and i was planning on removing and pouring a 4 inch pad to level the floor off a bit which would also give me a bit more header height .What are your thoughts ?Peace and good luck clammy
R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
NJ Master HVAC Lic.
Mahwah, NJ
Specializing in steam and hydronic heating

Comments

  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,078
    you seem sure about no flooding risk

    I've seen some dry places for years that got hit in the March floods in southern NE last year. I was wishing that I had put a couple of water heaters up on 4" cinder blocks. But the topography, soil and drainage may insure you that you don't face a problem.  All in all, my reading of basements proved pretty good even in that extreme case.



    I always like to make sure that the appliances aren't in the lowest corner of a perceptually flat floor that actually has low spot. After all, despite the best efforts of mice and men and plumbers, there could be a plumbing leak. And sometimes I like the 10" shelf to make it easier to work on if the burner is mounted low.



    Sounds like this might be a steam system where you want working height overhead and you could buy more A to B by lowering the boiler as well. But if it were hydronic, I'd probably leave it raised 10".



    Brian



     
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    Clammy

    I've seen your work, if your gut tell's you to put it there I would no matter what. If they dont like the cost it's their loss for lossing one of the best...
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    edited April 2011
    Housekeeping Pads

    To me they are the sign of a first class job and are an industry standard in commercial work. But in that category, they are reinforced and doweled to the main slab, sometimes an entirely different pour and foundation where vibration is an issue such as concert halls and libraries.



    I do not consider them flood protection, heck if you have 4 inches of water, you may be ok but a foot and you have other issues.



    But to make the job competitive, use solid patio blocks set down in a bed of hydraulic cement or thin cement grout to bond with the base slab. Then form and place the concrete around and atop those. This will save volume (try to get one bag to do it), and the patio blocks form a bit of an anchor. A good concrete mix without too much tooling will give you a nice, level surface. Use an edger for a neat finish, sets you apart.



    OK, go ahead. Sign your name :)
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,078
    4 inches of water

    that is just what I had in one house that never gets wet last march and I wish I had set the water heaters on blocks.  They all survived, but it is even worse drying them out with the Ralph Nader water heaters of our day.



    But actually this seems to be a thread about taking the poured base out, not putting one in.



    Clammy, can you enlighten as to what you would do with the extra overhead.



    Steam or hydronic ?



    Brian
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,078
    edited April 2011
    4 inches of water

    sorry repeat post
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,078
    edited April 2011
    4 inches of water

    sorry, don't see how to delete repeats although i can edit them to explain. the submit button wasn't responding for a minute and then it suddenly responded 3 times. don't know whose end was the choke point.



    brian
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    boiler bases

    Brad i have in the commerical  side and on some residental jobs done  excatly what you have suggested usually we build a form , chip the old floor put down 10 gauge wire and then 3/8 or 1/2 rebar .As for the extra head room  ,the more height i have on a steam boiler the higher the risers the dryer the steam even though i am pretty anal when it comes to steam boilers exiting velocities i shoot for below 15 fps on most single and 2 pipe and on vapor i try to go a little lower espically on two pipe with out traps it is just common sense.Lchmb thanks for you very kind words as very hard as things are work wise i try to still stick to my guns and the jobs i lose to me are no lose if i have to cut corners or do the job in a unclammy like way .There's a big difference in my own personal work as compared to those who i occasionally work for but every body has to earn to keep there heads above the rising debt and i am no different except i care about how my jobs look and perform when the job is done ,but then again i have been told that i am nuts and i won't argue it but at least i realize the issue .Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,078
    steamed up about concrete bases

    you didn't say specifically, but because you mentioned room for header I assumed this was steam job. Any chance you bid is less competitive because you plan to do a better job on the header period. Demolishing the 10" rise and repairing the floor, is tht maybe $500 in your bid.

    guess that's not nothing as I think about although maybe thats not the only difference. 



    I differ to folks who are building these headers regularly as to how much rise before the drop they prefer. Assume there weren't A/B issues with the old boiler on the 10" pedestal.



    And why is the old boiler getting replaced?



    I'm with you in terms of the size of modern steam boilers, anything you can do to dry the steam and improve close return is to the good. I have more trouble with new boilers on old installs that didn't seem to take dry steam much into account and just counted on the holding capacity of the boiler to take care of things -- so much for the dead men. They didn't get it right in every case.



    Brian
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    to brian

    Hello brian as for bidding i just have to say my price is what it is .I know that my bid is more then most but in defense i replace main vents and re pipe is necessary to ensure they are in the proper place .Plus i always do the math which usually means 1 size bigger then manafactures mimiun recomended size and usually always use both tappings i take no short cuts and i make sure all is going to be beautiful and operating properly when the job is done .I insulate my near boiler pipe with 1 inch wall fiber glass insulation and i will skim the boiler and make sure that it is clean which includes coming back a couple of months later if necessary.As for those that don't like my price no promblem but usually if i do not get the job i will not return to straighten out a bad install by others plus i already know they don't wanna pay so they are totally on there own as  i said no promblem .I look at a lot of mis piped steamers that preform terrible  ,i give them a price and never hear from them as i stated no promblem they live with it and pay the fuel bills again no promblem.I have realized a long time ago you cannot change the world but you can change your little corner and if you don't stick to your guns when you know whats right then shame on you and if it bites you and you lose money still shame on you .I don't want to sound hard or toot my horn  but i have been doing this stuff for over 25 years and i refuse to give my skill and whats in my head for free but that is just me and i have been told  that i am nuts but i sleep well,pay my supply house on time and don't owe creditors a dime ,but that is just me the crazy clam  peace and good luck clammy PS knowing who you are inside and being true to it is very important
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
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