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installing used boiler

SJK Member Posts: 4
James, My reply was not meant as an insult. If after 24 years you need advice on YOUR costs of doing business, do yourself a favor and learn them. My point is how would you expect anyone to know how to price a job if you the " business owner" doesn't. Knowing your costs, in my opinion is Business 101. Simply put James, stop being an employee and become a business owner. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO CARRY A TOOLBOX AFTER 24 YEARS. It's not that I couldn't carry your toolbox, I don't have to. That's the difference.
P.S. The 6 employees in my firm earn @75K per year, have 3-4 weeks paid vacation,10 paid holidays and have family health insurance.


  • jim walsh_2
    jim walsh_2 Member Posts: 12
    used boiler

    I have been asked by a good customer to install a used natural gas steam boiler in a rental property. The boiler in this house dry-fired, and the used boiler was installed new in the landlord's house until she recently had the house completely re-done and the contractor installed air. My question is, without discussing exact numbers, how do I price this job? Do I figure it like I would for a new boiler and just deduct the cost of the boiler? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • SJK
    SJK Member Posts: 4
    Used Boiler

    You're in business and you're posting on a site on how to price a job? It should cost about 50 cents. That will get you a local paper, look under the " Help Wanted " section and start looking for employment now. You can be an ACE mechanic but a poor businessman. You may find your time better spent working for someone, spend time with your family because your kids have expiration dates and don't worry about pricing used boiler jobs. Good Luck!
  • jim walsh_2
    jim walsh_2 Member Posts: 12
    used boiler

    Re: sjk Not that it's any of your business, but I have been in business as a plumbing and heating contractor for 24 years. I hold a current master plumber's and mechanical contractor's license. I came to this site because I have never priced a boiler job using a used boiler. I expected to get some helpful information, and instead I get a reply from something like you. Leave your sarcasm by the side of the road. You couldn't carry my toolbox.
  • Figure,,,

    parts and materials you expect to use, figure the proper amount of time including transporting it if you do and then I usually add a premium like say 10% to cover the loss of the markup you would have gotten if they bought the boiler from you. Make sure you tell them IN WRITING that you will warrantee YOUR work but NOT the boiler or parts that came with it. So if the boiler or associated parts crap out in the near future it's on their dime, not yours. That's the way I treat any job where someone else provides the equipment. If they don't like the price, there's other contractors out there. PS, I don't carry my toolbox anymore either. I usually just take the tools I'll need and leave the box in the truck. :)
  • Matthew Grallert
    Matthew Grallert Member Posts: 109

    Jeez man Where's love? Why even bother to reply if your going to be so mean?
  • Joannie_15
    Joannie_15 Member Posts: 115

    And check with the boiler manufacturer to see if their warranty still applies. Many are to the original owner, only.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928


    Obviously you've determined that the boiler is suitably sized so my best advice is to include cost of any transportation; use your normal replacement cost and offer no guarantee other than that any new piping is suitable to the boiler installed.
  • Dave Belisle
    Dave Belisle Member Posts: 68
    used boiler

    James , That is exactly what I do .... I price the job with all the equipment , and back the equipment out at cost ( new or used )I am not supplying ... My profit is still in there ...

    And I make it known right up front , no warranty on the unit....

    I would check the gas codes , but in NFPA 31 used oil equipment can not be installed in residential ......

    I stopped posting here for the same reason.....

    Dave in NH
  • jim walsh_2
    jim walsh_2 Member Posts: 12
    used boiler

    Thanks to those who answered my question. Thanks for nothing to those who chose to give a lecture. It is unfortunate that Dan H. has allowed this site to become a forum for those who feel it is their duty to explain to me how superior they are because they no longer work with the tools. I CHOOSE to continue to work on jobs. For the most part, I still enjoy it. I am neither better nor worse than anyone else on here. Good luck in life to those who think otherwise. I won't be back.
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,039

    Don't let one scum-bag put you off for good! this is a great site and if you ignore the idiots, you WILL learn. Please reconsider...and best of luck with your install. Lots & lots of good people here...

    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • Chips
    Chips Member Posts: 33

    It is people like you and me that appreciate the help we get from this site and Dan can not monitor every post, so don’t blame him. Most's of the comments here are helpful and informational. Please don’t let one post out of five spoil your day. If I have one leak a day it might spoil my day.
  • jackchips_2
    jackchips_2 Member Posts: 1,338

    most of us have made comments, at one time, especially if you are on this site long enough, that we shouldn't have or at least wish we expressed a little differently.

    Yours truly included.

    That's why the word "apologize" was started.

    Dan likes all opinions, good, bad and ugly and will let us know when we have gone too far. I know that from experience also.

    Stick around so some day I can learn from you and I've only been around this business for 40 years next year.

  • Yea,,,

    I'd rather have a wrench in my hand than be a desk jockey any day, don't let one bad apple spoil the bunch for you. Most of the apples around here are pretty good. ;)
  • James I would

    do a hyrdostatic test on that boiler before installing just to make sure it is still tight. If it has been setting for some time dry with no water it can open up sections. Speaking from experience by the way been there doen that and not to happy after we fired it and found out.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688

    aren't they referring to boilers that burn "used oil" as in crankcase drainings etc. in that section of NFPA-31? This has come up before and I believe that was the conclusion....

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  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    (Blank) happens

    all the time..stick around, majority of people here are smart, well-meaning and good intentioned. Heck, I'm still learning even with almost 40 yrs. in the trades under my belt...my only advice is get the customer to sign a liability waiver on the whole job.
  • SJK
    SJK Member Posts: 4

  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Hey MPF

    I happen to be a desk jockey and enjoy it very much. We each choose our paths. That being said there’s no reason for the guy to be mean.

    My opinion (from a desk jockey) is to price it T+M. Sounds like a good customer who asked you to help him save some money. It’s impossible for you to know if you'll have problems with a used boiler. It’s only fair.


    PS: Someone who has to come to an open forum and tell everyone how much they make and there employees make doesn’t impress me as a professional.
    Those who can Do ! Those who can't, tell everyone else how To !

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  • I'm actually both...

    as I do most of my own paperwork as well as turn the wrenches. I was at the desk at 5 this morning making out checks as a matter of fact. But if given a choice,,, ;)

    I do have a woman that does some data entry for me on a part time basis.

    I don't have a problem with the pencil pushers until they ask those fateful questions, "What took you so long?" or "How come you did it THAT way?", then things can get a little dicey. LOL !

    Funny though, I haven't heard either of those since I went out on my own. My stress level is way down too.
  • SJK
    SJK Member Posts: 4
    Used Boiler

    To all that replied to this subject,
    First of all I would like to apologize for the harshness of my remarks. I know James came here looking for an answer for a used boiler question but I wanted to give him more than that. I feel it's very easy to get lost in the day to day grind and lose focus. I wanted ALL of you to think about where you've been and where we are going. I read the comments that I am a mean scum-bag pencil pushing desk jockey. You also assumed that I don't get dirty anymore. You think I stated Company benefits to "show-off". Well here are the facts: I'm a married father of 3, the V.P. in our local Little League ( not a large corporation) and started our Challenger League program for physivcally and mentally challanged youth. I Coach at 3 levels (the Challenger League on Sundays) and work LOTS of hours. I'm still in the trenches gentlemen, I stated what I did so we take a hard look at ourselves, I was pointing out that there are good jobs with excellent benefits without some of the headaches. Congratulations to all that work there butts off (and you deserve it) that own and physically work in their own business, just don't lose focus as to why you did it in the first place. With all due respect, James seemed a little lost in his question and I was hoping that my response would do what it did. He put his gloves on and came out swinging, but it also made him take a hard look at himself. With that said, All, I am sorry for coming across the way I did. Remember your mission, remember your family, I went to work one day and when I got home, my daughter was grown. Don't let that happen to you. That's the meaning behind your kids have expiration dates:
    I would sign off as the mean scum bag but will leave it as .
    With regards,
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