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adding Walls around Boiler

itzaseanitzasean Member Posts: 47
Hi I have Burnham Independence steam boiler in the middle of my basement that going into the chimney. I want to finish the basement and leave the center of the basement for the boiler. Is there a min amount of space the room for the boiler should be for ventilation? The boiler is gas and also 2 gas hot water tanks would be in this room.


  • JStarJStar Member Posts: 2,668

    50ft3 for every 1,000 BTUH if the room is going to be sealed. And please leave 24-36" or more around the entire boiler. Make a door that is big enough to remove the boiler in the future.
    - Joe Starosielec
    [email protected]
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 3,893
    edited March 2014
    What is the

    BTU input to each of the appliances? What size will the room be when completed? It is assumed by your posting that this will be a confined space. As already stated it will require 50 cubic feet per 1,000 BTU's of the total input installed in the room.

    If you are going to get air for combustion from inside the building you must have two openings one 12" from the ceiling and one 12" from the floor. The size of the openings as a minimum free area of not less than 1 square inch per 1,000 BTU's but not less than 100 square inches (10" by 10"). If communicating with other spaces the volume of that space can be considered.

    Method 1 all air from outdoors using vertical ducts it is 1 square inch per 4,000 BTU's. If using horizontal ducts it is 1 square inch per 2,000. Same rules for locations.

    There is also a Method 2 rule allowing 1 opening; it must be 1 square inch per 3,000 BTU's and be not less than the sum of the areas (in square inches) of all the vent connectors on the appliances.

    I would also have a combustion analysis done on all the equipment, install Carbon Monoxide detectors (at least three) low level that alarm at 9 PPM.

    Will there be a clothes dryer in that same room or a washing machine?
  • itzaseanitzasean Member Posts: 47
    Re Framing around gas boilers/water heaters

    ok. I am a bit ignorant with the calculations. My basement is currently 30x35 with a 7ft ceiling (bottom of joists).  This is a 2 family with 2 boilers (one is a steam Burnham Independence that says 105000 BTU per hour) the other is a hot water system (Well Mclain Gold GGa also with 105000 BTU). Then I have 2 gas Hot water heaters(one 40000 btu the other 36000 btu) all going into the Chimney.  I want to make the outside perimeter of the basement into a gym and put walls up to block the boilers and heater in the middle. If I am doing my calculations right I dont even think the basement without walls is enough? Can someone look at this drawing and see if this is safe? I can put in doors with air vents etc. Novice be nice!!
  • FredFred Member Posts: 5,218
    Looks about right

    Based on the size of your boilers and water heaters, it looks like you need about 1500 cubic feet of ventilation (roughly 300,000 BTU's divided by 1000 = 300 X 50 cubic feet per 1000BTUs). The size of the room that you have outlined is 16X9 = 144sq ft X 7ft high = 1008 Cubic ft. Plus 8X10= 80X 7 = 560 cubic feet total 1008 + 560 = 1568 Cubic feet. I would still use a louvered door.
  • itzaseanitzasean Member Posts: 47
    are my calculations wrong?

    What I come up with is 15,000 cubic feet needed. 300000/1000=300 300x50= 15000? Where is the error? Thank You
  • FredFred Member Posts: 5,218
    edited March 2014
    Huh, That's correct

    You are right.My calculation is wrong but something else is wrong too, I think. It can't take that much ventilation for 300,000 BTU's (he does say if the room is going to be sealed) I'm wondering what the requirement is if you use a louvered door?
  • itzaseanitzasean Member Posts: 47

    300x5=1500 300x50=15000
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 3,893
    edited March 2014
    The entire 30 x 35 x 7 can

    only handle 147.000 BTU's. You have 286,000 in an even smaller room. It is a confined space all the way so you are going to have to bring air from outdoors or use a fan -in- the- can from Field Controls. The louvered door will not be sufficient for air for combustion and besides it is against fire code to be used on a boiler room unless it is equipped with fusible links that melt in a fire and close the louvers.

    The Fan- in- a- can must also be interlocked with all the appliances in the space. I would suggest you get a professional to do this. The fact that people will be working out in this area means all protection against killing yourselves must be taken. Carbon Monoxide is caused by lack of air for combustion so as you can see someone could DIE if you do not follow the rules. I realize you are a novice so I am being very nice and saving yours or someone else's life.
  • itzaseanitzasean Member Posts: 47
    Oh man

    So these were all installed in 2006 before I bought my house. . My entire basement is only 7350 Cu.ft Now im paranoid....How could this have happened?
  • FredFred Member Posts: 5,218
    See Tim's response

    I guess it is 50 cubic feet per 1000 BTU's. See Tim's response above for what needs to be done.
  • itzaseanitzasean Member Posts: 47
    Thanks Tim

    Thanks for the Help Tim. The walls havent been build it was an idea but now that I see the basement is undersized as it is. Its been like this for years. Damn not sure what I should do with what I have.
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 3,893
    You still need air for combustion

    in the basement. If you are not going to add the walls then eliminate a window as a window and have it used with ducts to supply the needed air. Are there any other appliances such as a dryer in the space or dryers assuming this is a two family dwelling with two boilers and two water heaters.

    This can be easily solved, again I would suggest getting a pro to come and take a look at what needs to be done and get a price.

    What area of the country are you in?
  • itzaseanitzasean Member Posts: 47

    There is one dryer in the basement but its Electric. I live outside of Boston. I'm still so suprised that a plumbing company didnt think of that. There use to be oil heat but changed over to gas in 2006. The plumbers even have there stickers on the boilers. Hmmm. I do have a couple Carbon Monoxides down there but still....
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 3,893
    Send me the names of the

    plumbers who put in the boilers by e-mail. My e-mail is [email protected] I am in RI and I have a Gas Training Center and know a lot of the Mass plumbers so maybe we can get you some help.
  • itzaseanitzasean Member Posts: 47
    re air in a can

    So I spoke with a local plumber today and told him about how I have too many Btus for the size of my basement. He said that he installs "air in a can" . Will this be work? How small can a room get if you have Air in a can?
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 3,893
    Fan-in-a-Can is matched

    to the total BTU's in the space not the size of the space. You do however have to deal with fire codes on keeping the equipment cool based on size of the room.

    Make sure they are going to tie in with interlocks all the equipment. What that means is the fan has to be running or the equipment will not operate, it is a vital safety requirement.
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