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steam boller failed, can't afford to replace for 2 years

steam boller failed, can't afford to replace for 2 years--is it possible to use heating tape on water pipes and electric radiant heaters in bedroom, kitchen and bathroom until we can get a loan to replace the boiler?

Comments

  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Posts: 3,131Member
    Oil?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • billesmith1billesmith1 Posts: 4Member
    yes
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,093Member
    Where are you located?
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • billesmith1billesmith1 Posts: 4Member
    connecticut
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,550Member
    Well... a qualified probably. You would need to put heat tape -- and insulation -- on all the piping throughout the house. This is not a problem where it is exposed, but it could be a bit difficult if some of it is run in a wall. You should also put heat tape on any traps in the waste plumbing. Then you could run electric heaters in the bedroom, kitchen, and bath.

    However. First, in Connecticut you will find that your electricity bill will be eye opening. Second, electric heaters used in that way for continuous space heating are something of a fire hazard; an electric heater of that sort should be either permanently mounted or never run unattended. Third, your building officials and fire marshall may take a very dim view of the whole thing, should they happen to find out about it.

    Some towns -- usually the more rural ones -- have programs to assist low income people with loans to provide heat. Have you looked into that?
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • billesmith1billesmith1 Posts: 4Member
    edited November 2018
    Thank you for your reply, those were similar to my thoughts. My situation is through medical bills and loss of health insurance I couldn't come up with the $ estimate due to maxed out credit cards and inability to qualify even for financial assistance. I plan on talking with the heating contractor to see if he thinks it's possible and more importantly safe. After 2 years I should be able to afford the $.
  • wrooperwrooper Posts: 34Member
    "failed" is a little vague. Boilers are pretty modular so parts can be replaced and many HVAC folks are mostly salespeople [lots more profit in replacing rather than repairing]
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,731Member
    Will the boiler hold water?
    Can you post pictures of it?
  • mikeg2015mikeg2015 Posts: 816Member
    I agree, that there might be a few ways to limp it along safely. If it holds water....mostly... everything else may cost less to fix than you think.
  • brandonfbrandonf Posts: 172Member
    One thing I've learned about medical bills and credit cards is that they are unsecured debts which means if you default they can't do anything but keep asking for your money. I would take care of the Four Walls of my life before I bothered with unsecured debts. Cover food, clothing, housing, and transportation and tell the rest of those debtors you will pay them when you can... heat in your home is more important than a hospital or a credit card company getting paid. No disrespect, just my 2 cents on the matter.
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
  • ScottSecorScottSecor Posts: 258Member
    Not sure if it was mentioned above, but here in NJ there are numerous programs for free (or almost free) boilers for low income families. Not sure you would qualify, but I bet there are programs available in you state. Might want to reach out to the state and see what they can offer.

    I can tell you that some of the homes we've done work in with one of these programs are in desirable towns and the houses were pretty darn nice. For reference, I just looked at Zillow and they claim two of them were valued at over $500K. The reason I mention this is these people did not appear to be "poor" by any means, yet they qualified for free boilers.
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Posts: 3,131Member
    Oil or gas?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 837Member
    edited November 2018
    If plan on heating same square footage of house with electricity to same temps as with old furnace, your heating bill for electricity will likely be something like 2X that of your old bill for fuel for furnace.

    We pay flat rate of ~ 18.1 cents/KWH. Cost of electricity with electric heating is so high people install oil furnaces.

    A 1500 watt space heater would cost $.27/hour .... that's $200/month (if run continuously). That's only 5,100 BTU/hr, so won't heat much, need a bunch of them. Not recomended without inspection if your house wiring is very old and/or questionable
  • brandonfbrandonf Posts: 172Member
    edited November 2018
    On a side note. if your house is steam it's probably old and if it's old it might still have very old wiring that could be overloaded. So just plugging in electric heaters can be a really bad idea. You may want to consult with a friendly electrician beforehand. And remember, all those electrical fires you hear about on the news usually start at night when people are sleeping, the scariest time.
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 837Member
    edited November 2018
    That fire danger is real. I'm in southern NH in large city , when real cold spell hits ( minus 5 degs) usually hear on news an old house burns down , from house wiring fire caused by space heater they added because of the cold. ( ~ 1 per year)

    Real old houses have some scary wiring sometimes, not to mention incompetent DIY wiring. Also aluminum wiring from the 70's has fire problems if outlets and connections haven't been upgraded to be aluminum wire compatible. Heaters draw a lot more amps than TV's and lights, if house wiring has any bad connections/outlets they get hot.

    Since steam heat I'm guessing it's an old house.... not much insulation...... so need lot of heaters .......big electric bill.

    But while house may have a bunch of wall outlets, there may only be 4-5 branch circuits serving them. So you may be limited to only 4-5 heaters which isn't going to make much heat unless have tiny apt.

    If have outlet for electric clothes drier then that could handle ~ 7 kw 240 V heater. Or if 4 prong outlet, a fused distribution box for about four 120V heaters

    Cheaper to burn fuel.
  • i_n_remi_n_rem Posts: 1Member
    brandonf said:

    One thing I've learned about medical bills and credit cards is that they are unsecured debts which means if you default they can't do anything but keep asking for your money. I would take care of the Four Walls of my life before I bothered with unsecured debts. Cover food, clothing, housing, and transportation and tell the rest of those debtors you will pay them when you can... heat in your home is more important than a hospital or a credit card company getting paid. No disrespect, just my 2 cents on the matter.

    image

    NOT SO
    bad advice

    the Creditor will SERVE you, get a JUDGEMENT
    and then garnish pay, or come after the EQUITY in Real Property
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,936Member
    Have you had a regular heating guy all these years? I sometimes extend long term credit to people in need of it..i have a soft spot for old people..
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 761Member
    @billesmith1
    Give us some more information.
    What do you mean by "boiler failed" ?
    What has happened?
    We might have some inexpensive advice to get you heat.
  • ratioratio Posts: 2,036Member
    Bill hasn't logged in since Oct of 2018. Hope things worked out for him.
  • old_diy_guyold_diy_guy Posts: 8Member
    I must agree heartily with brandonf. Those of us who have had the foresight to become "judgment proof" can, if needed, walk away from unsecured debt if that's the only way to keep our families safe.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,550Member

    I must agree heartily with brandonf. Those of us who have had the foresight to become "judgment proof" can, if needed, walk away from unsecured debt if that's the only way to keep our families safe.

    Which, of course, is why mechanics and tradespeople are very wise indeed to take mechanic's liens on the property of people who look like the might walk away from their responsibilities...
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • FredFred Posts: 7,874Member
    @Jamie Hall , I agree with you 100% but I have to assume being "judgement proof" probably means any property he owns is not in his name. Anyone who goes to all the effort to become "judgement proof" is likely someone who intends to "walk Away" from their debt and fabricate a reason to "keep the family safe". I don't get it. Not the kind of person I'd want to deal with. He seems not to understand that "keeping his family safe" may be at the expense of someone else's family. A very selfish posture.
  • brandonfbrandonf Posts: 172Member
    > @i_n_rem said:
    > One thing I've learned about medical bills and credit cards is that they are unsecured debts which means if you default they can't do anything but keep asking for your money. I would take care of the Four Walls of my life before I bothered with unsecured debts. Cover food, clothing, housing, and transportation and tell the rest of those debtors you will pay them when you can... heat in your home is more important than a hospital or a credit card company getting paid. No disrespect, just my 2 cents on the matter.
    >
    >
    >
    > NOT SO
    > bad advice
    >
    > the Creditor will SERVE you, get a JUDGEMENT
    > and then garnish pay, or come after the EQUITY in Real Property

    I see your point but most creditors won't do that and it will take quite a long time for them to start garnishing pay and getting judgements against you. Either way most people would feel really stupid if they paid their bills but they couldn't afford food. So short of a wage garnishment I would still let most debts go by the wayside and make sure the mortgage is paid up and there's food on the table. Staying alive and not being homeless is worth the risk of creditors getting judgements against you. It's my opinion of course but to each his own.
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,550Member
    @brandonf . Well, yes, I suppose it is a matter of opinion. Some people are of the opinion that if they make a commitment to do something -- whether it is to pay a creditor or visit a friend -- they are obliged to honour that commitment. Those people usually don't make a commitment which they have any sort of thought that they might not be able to keep, or which they might find inconvenient to keep. So for them, the question never comes up.

    They are termed, in my view, honest and ethical.

    Others... well... as you say, to each his own.

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 761Member
    On the other side of the coin is the contractor who has looked the other way when someone can't pay.

    For example; The single Mom home with three kids and there water heater has died. A new water heater is installed and somehow the bill was never sent. There are folks that have done that and never talk about it. Im sure some of those good installers have looked the other way when presented with such a scenario.
    To those of you reading this that have done something like that. My hats off to you. You know who you are and I admire your kindness.
    It's something that can't be done often but it has and does happen. Sound [ judgement ] that feels good....?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,550Member
    I think we've all done that at least once, @Intplm. . What's that bit about "Do unto others..."?
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 805Member

    I think we've all done that at least once, @Intplm. . What's that bit about "Do unto others..."?

    wasn't something done like that last year in Ct?
  • Zipper13Zipper13 Posts: 94Member

    @brandonf . Well, yes, I suppose it is a matter of opinion. Some people are of the opinion that if they make a commitment to do something -- whether it is to pay a creditor or visit a friend -- they are obliged to honour that commitment. Those people usually don't make a commitment which they have any sort of thought that they might not be able to keep, or which they might find inconvenient to keep. So for them, the question never comes up.

    They are termed, in my view, honest and ethical.

    Others... well... as you say, to each his own.

    Br. Jamie, osb

    One can be honest and ethical and value the commitment of their word and still fall victim to unforeseen circumstances. Just a few weeks ago, I had plans to visit a friend in Westerly, RI. But I got a flat north of Boston. I'll make good on the visit later, but don't think anyone could fault me for cancelling the plans rather than abandoning my car on the side of the road and hitchhiking down 95.
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,550Member
    Zipper13 said:

    @brandonf . Well, yes, I suppose it is a matter of opinion. Some people are of the opinion that if they make a commitment to do something -- whether it is to pay a creditor or visit a friend -- they are obliged to honour that commitment. Those people usually don't make a commitment which they have any sort of thought that they might not be able to keep, or which they might find inconvenient to keep. So for them, the question never comes up.

    They are termed, in my view, honest and ethical.

    Others... well... as you say, to each his own.

    Br. Jamie, osb

    One can be honest and ethical and value the commitment of their word and still fall victim to unforeseen circumstances. Just a few weeks ago, I had plans to visit a friend in Westerly, RI. But I got a flat north of Boston. I'll make good on the visit later, but don't think anyone could fault me for cancelling the plans rather than abandoning my car on the side of the road and hitchhiking down 95.
    Oh quite agreed. A circumstance like that is, truly, out of your control. However. Setting up your personal affairs so that you can undertake debts which you have reason to expect you will not be able to repay is not out of your control (before someone asks, for a contractor to undertake to do a job which they have reason to expect they won't be able to do is in the same category).

    We live in a credit dominated society. The root of the word "credit" is "credo"; in the case, in the sense of trust. Not to be perhaps unduly blunt, if I -- as it might be -- do not have sufficient funds or other resources to pay the bill today, I have no business contracting a debt with someone in hopes that somehow I'll have the resources some other time. I hasten to say that I would agree that I take a slightly extreme position on this, at least by the standards of today's society. But if I have contracted a debt with someone, I feel I have an absolute obligation to satisfy that debt, whatever it takes. From what I read, I dare say that a good many people wouldn't agree with me...
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Zipper13Zipper13 Posts: 94Member
    edited July 1

    Zipper13 said:

    @brandonf . Well, yes, I suppose it is a matter of opinion. Some people are of the opinion that if they make a commitment to do something -- whether it is to pay a creditor or visit a friend -- they are obliged to honour that commitment. Those people usually don't make a commitment which they have any sort of thought that they might not be able to keep, or which they might find inconvenient to keep. So for them, the question never comes up.

    They are termed, in my view, honest and ethical.

    Others... well... as you say, to each his own.

    Br. Jamie, osb

    One can be honest and ethical and value the commitment of their word and still fall victim to unforeseen circumstances. Just a few weeks ago, I had plans to visit a friend in Westerly, RI. But I got a flat north of Boston. I'll make good on the visit later, but don't think anyone could fault me for cancelling the plans rather than abandoning my car on the side of the road and hitchhiking down 95.
    Oh quite agreed. A circumstance like that is, truly, out of your control. However. Setting up your personal affairs so that you can undertake debts which you have reason to expect you will not be able to repay is not out of your control (before someone asks, for a contractor to undertake to do a job which they have reason to expect they won't be able to do is in the same category).

    We live in a credit dominated society. The root of the word "credit" is "credo"; in the case, in the sense of trust. Not to be perhaps unduly blunt, if I -- as it might be -- do not have sufficient funds or other resources to pay the bill today, I have no business contracting a debt with someone in hopes that somehow I'll have the resources some other time. I hasten to say that I would agree that I take a slightly extreme position on this, at least by the standards of today's society. But if I have contracted a debt with someone, I feel I have an absolute obligation to satisfy that debt, whatever it takes. From what I read, I dare say that a good many people wouldn't agree with me...
    I agree with you in principle for sure; plan ahead, budget, pay everything in full, honor your promises/debts. That's my strategy, but it breaks down. Sometimes through no fault of your own. In practice, it's more complex. In this case (I'm extrapolating with some hypotheticals) one has obligations to their mortgagee to protect the property, to a credit card company to meet minimum payments on a repair that can't be paid immediately, to one's self and family to keep the heat on and provide a safe home. Which one is prioritized first? My family's immediate health and safety will win that one every time - hopefully with some strategy and damage control on the other obligations, though.

    I think most here could agree that it might feel "more ethical" to pay your local mechanic on a credit card (to keep your car running so you can keep getting to work to get your paycheck) - so he's compensated - and then tell mastercard "Hey, by the way, I ain't paying" . The same action of non-payment has a disproportionate impact on the tradesman vs the credit company. I'd hate to be unable to meet a debt either way but I think there is a hierarchy to who I'd stiff first. If I had to.

    Credit is a product, and the businesses that deals in that product have built in contingencies for non-payment - insurance, fees, interest, penatites, and lawsuits. Their extension of credit to an individual is based on their due diligence and risk assessment of one's credit history and financial stability. Some customers will end up being bad investments. Some percentage of non-payment is just overhead, certainly one they'd like to minimize, but a cost of business still all the same. And to be sure, failing to meet a debt is not without consequence. Bankruptcy, late payments, debt forgiveness....they ain't free!

    edit:
    I get that the thought question I'm arguing now differs from the circumstances and goals of the OP. This far removed from the first post, though, I hope I'm not too far out of line for derailing the thread to this more general discussion.
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,550Member
    I don't mind a bit your going a bit off line for them OP, @Zipper13 ! I've been know to ramble rather badly on occasion. And, in fact, this is really just a very very small part of a much larger philosophical or theological set of considerations. Some far greater minds than mine have spent a good deal of time on it (Paul Tillich, for one notable example) -- and come to the conclusion that while there are general guidelines -- do not seek vengeance, do not judge, honour your commitments to all and sundry, for example -- there are no pat answers to specific questions and, indeed, there will be times when there are conflicting commitments which, through no fault of your own, you simply can't meet. Then what?

    The main thing, though, is to ensure that at the time one makes a commitment one has a reasonable expectation of meeting it.

    Now there is another aspect which hasn't been hit -- at the risk of opening a different can of worms! There is, in fact, something to be said for making one's self or one's business judgement proof in so far as possible. Not because one has any intention of using it to duck one's own commitments, but because there are all too many people now who will seek not so much as to ensure that you do honor your commitments -- but who will seek additional damages to punish you or take vengeance upon you for real or perceived actions. Doing so -- seeking vengeance through punitive damages (or any other means, for that matter) -- is one of the most grievous sins (it's a form both of greed and pride, two of the seven deadly sins) -- but a great many people don't seem to care about that, so taking sensible precautions to protect one's self is prudent.

    But that's a topic for a different sermon!
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • jumperjumper Posts: 1,339Member
    Long time ago I tried renting boilers to building owners. A mechanic's lien is insufficient security. Once the boiler is installed it becomes a fixture that I cannot repossess. So owner would have to give me a chattel mortgage on property. Usually existing mortagees have to sign off on new chattel. Generally they will not subordinate their security. In which case a foreclosure can wipe out my security.

    It's really too bad because when customer rents then I maintain. When the customer has the funds he can buy me out or install a new boiler then.
  • brandonfbrandonf Posts: 172Member
    You guys lost me a couple posts ago and my eyes are way too tired to read those huge paragraphs. 🤣 Please forgive me. I'm actually to burnt out today to even reply with a summary of my point. I will try to bow out as gracefully as possible. 😔
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
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