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Dismantling old steam boiler

metrorental
metrorental Member Posts: 28
hello, it's time to dismantle and remove this decommissioned boiler from our building storage room. we installed forced air heat/ac 20 years ago but i enjoyed having this in our space. can anyone please look at the insulation material in the picture and comment as to whether or not it would typically be asbestos. also, if someone could recommended a demolition co. in chicago that would really help. thanks in advance, neil

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,121
    There are very good odds that there is asbestos in the insulation. I strongly recommend having it tested before you mess with it at all.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 491
    edited July 2020
    The rope that you see in the bottom picture is definitely asbestos rope and needs to be handled by an abatement company that deals with asbestos. Once all the asbestos has been abated, any one with a cutting torch and a strong back could cut that boiler up and get rid of it. I would do it but I am too old and too weak.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,962
    Is it possible to remove it intact if you cut all the piping off?
    Stairs and doorway to the outside?
  • metrorental
    metrorental Member Posts: 28
    there's no way to get it out in 1 piece. both front and back stairs have winders etc.
    if asbestos i don't see how to abate it without taking down some of the pieces like the vent hood.
    would a typical installation of a boiler of this type have insulating material in other locations as well?
    thanks
    neil
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,121
    Very very likely to be asbestos in odd spots. It's a shame you need to move it...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,850

    Very very likely to be asbestos in odd spots. It's a shame you need to move it...

    It's a shame they abandoned the steam in the first place.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    JohnNY
  • Gilmorrie
    Gilmorrie Member Posts: 147
    That fire-tube boiler was a real gem. It may have been set in place before the floor above was built. Your best option is to hire an asbestos abatement contractor and then another contractor to demolish and remove the boiler. It might be better to just hire one prime contractor for removal and let him subcontract with an abatement specialist. That big pressure gauge would make a great wall-hanging somewhere!
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,987
    Gaskets, insulation, shields, supports, fire bricks, refractory cements, random sealants/caulks/mastics..
  • metrorental
    metrorental Member Posts: 28
    edited August 2020
    @mattmia2 that's exactly what i was getting at. i don't see how an abatement contractor can remove all of the hazardous material without substantially deconstructing the whole boiler.
    as to it's abandonment, when i renovated the apartments upstairs 20 years ago, we added furnaces/ central air/ ductwork etc. the tenants are quite comfortable controlling their own energy usage.
    now i need to fix up that space to make a free apartment for my just graduated, and broke, son.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,121
    Considering what it's going to cost to remove the boiler, I'm not quite sure that "free" applies...

    If you didn't touch it, nothing would have to be abated. However, if you touch it, everything related to the work must be tested and abated. The penalties for not doing so are severe -- sufficiently so, in fact, that it's cheaper (though hardly inexpensive!) to do it correctly.

    And I completely agree with @Gilmorrie -- create a contract with a reputable firm (not you Uncle Harry's cousin's friend Seth) to remove it completely from the previses, including all abatement and cleanup that may be required. Don't even think of trying to do it yourself, or even acting as the general on it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • metrorental
    metrorental Member Posts: 28
    edited August 2020
    @Jamie Hall nothing's really free when it comes to the kids, and though i'm sure few people outside of this forum would want to live with that beast, you're right that it might be the best solution to just leave it there. it does become an issue if the building is to be sold and an inspection invariably notes the "removal of all unused piping and etc.."
    also, btw, i am a licensed and insured general contractor, with some experience with abatement contractors for asbestos, oil, underground tanks, siding, flooring, etc.. i have just never seen the inside of an old boiler like this one.
    thanks again for all of the advice.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,342
    If you get the right abatement company they will do the whole thing
    metrorental
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,121
    Even if you are a licensed general, @metrorental , I don't recommend taking it on yourself. Your several jumps ahead, though, as you know what should be there!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
    While there are companies that do both the mechanical and asbestos demodulation as a combined project (as this boiler would require); may I suggest an alternative.

    It is likely far cheaper to hire a contractor to dig a hole on the side of the basement (I see those nice windows), open the wall up, take the thing out in 1 piece (removing just the piping and burner); landfill it (without disassembly); and rebuild the wall and fill in the hole.

    Simple, direct, and I assure you likely much cheaper than a proper asbestos/demolition contractor.

    I wish you best with this,

    Perry
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
    edited August 2020
    Also, you might want to add a new entrance to the basement in the process; assuming that you have room in the land around the house for that.

    There are several advantages to adding a new basement entrance.

    I helped my brother do that on his house; and then he removed the old stairs and installed a small half bath off the kitchen where the old stairs used to be.

    Perry
    mattmia2
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,962
    If that is to be a basement rental, usually an egress door or window is required in addition to the existing staircase.
    Perhaps there is code requirement for the distance between the 2 exits.

    Perry's idea may be a solution to both issues.
    mattmia2
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
    Or perhaps set it up as a future rental unit...
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,962
    IIRC, it is going to be a rental unit......income questionable. :*
    (I have 4 kids all out of the nest now)
    mattmia2
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,392
    edited August 2020

    @mattmia2
    ...now i need to fix up that space to make a free apartment for my just graduated, and broke, son.

    Bin der dun dat... My son is in my house that he grew up in. Now I'm looking for an apartment. LOL

    I say leave the boiler in there and give the kid a box of N-95 masks. Hell we all grew up with that stuff floating around the shop, and we all turned out alright! Cough --- Cough-cough.



    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • metrorental
    metrorental Member Posts: 28
    edited August 2020
    thanks for all the comments. it's not going to be a rental so just for my kid. @PerryHolzman it's too hard to cut a hole. next to that outside wall is a public alley, and the front wall is a public sidewalk. and also three floors above. i don't need to add any extra egress as the apartment space already has 2 exits to 2 different common area stairways. at this point i'm just gonna reseal the vent hood and leave it place.
    @EdTheHeaterMan who the heck can find any boxes of N95 masks now :/
    really appreciate the help. thanks, neil
    EdTheHeaterMan