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boiler replacement: question for one-man shops

hwshws Member Posts: 43
Happy new year folks!

Looking for some advice for fellow one-man shops here.

I have a couple of boiler replacement quotes coming up. One boiler to be replaced is a sectional cast-iron (five sections), the other is steel but still considerably large. As I work alone, I'm not sure how to move the old boilers out of the basement. In previous quotes I have not priced removal. Some owners wanted to keep the old boiler, some wanted a dual-energy setup, etc. But I have lost some possibly good jobs because I did not have the means to remove the old boiler.

I'd like to have a plan in mind to remove the old, heavy boiler safely. just wondering how some of you guys dealt with the situation. Thanks!


  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,449
    I'm not a pro

    but I've seen some installers old have boilers hauled out of the basement by scrap dealers. I'd be careful who I use so you don't end up with a mess on your hands.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540
    Give me a lever long enough, and I shall move the earth

    After the replacement of our Peerless 211a, where I saw the installers crew struggling to get the 600# sections off the base, I came up with this :

    2 furniture dollies would be pivoted together at their tops, and joined by chain at the axles so the height can be adjusted. This would be the fulcrum for a 15-20 ft long 2 inch pipe to raise up the sections, and then be rolled back so a cart can hold the sections for a trip to the stairway. Finally some sort of come-along could bring them up to ground level.

    If we had to do it over again, we would not have a single large 1,050,000 btu boiler, but rather 3 smaller ones, even if it meant relocating the hot water heaters, to enlarge the space.--NBC
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,773
    I have a local.....

    company that deals in scrap removal come in and remove the old boilers...unless its a small Teledyne Jv series. The price they get is reasonable and it sure beats a bunch of trips to the chiropractor.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,629
    edited January 2014

    Another home owner here.  We removed my old 3 section Burnham by busting the sections apart and carrying them out one at a time.  It still took two people but was very doable even up my winder stairs.  If you have a decent hand truck and the customer has normal non-winder stairs I think it would be doable for one person depending on the size of the boiler of course.  I've heard of some guys using an electric stair climber but I've never seen or used one personally and I don't know if its a one guy operation or not.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • M LaneM Lane Member Posts: 123

    Specify labor crew for boiler demolition. HOWEVER, you need to be aware of hazardous materials present. Aside from asbestos, there are other problems such as lead, fumes, abrasive dust. To be fully compliant is a bit costly. And you risk serious liability issues if you try to go covert. The EPA requires you to be certified in various abatements now. I would suggest looking for a specialty contractor for this reason, so spell it out in your search.

    A few notes:

    * You can smash cast iron sections into manageable pieces with a sledgehammer. Also, get a log splitter wedge and a large crowbar to separate sections.

    * I've found the best way to demo steel tube boilers is with a cutting torch.

    I have a scrap company that I deal with. Old boiler normally goes out for free and new one they will bring down for reasonable price. Where are you located?
  •  B . Martino B . Martino Member Posts: 8
    electric stair climber

    There is a company called Wesco that makes an electric stair climbing hand truck that can lift 800 lbs up the stairs. All you need to do is keep it balanced and the dolly literally climbs the stairs. It cost about $2200.00 but would pay for itself in a short time.
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