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Old 02-02-2013, 09:37 AM   #16
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Ancient Boiler


I noticed that, in the building pics, posted on the construction forum, there was a toilet that hadn't cracked or broken so, maybe someone did drain the system and boiler to prevent freezing. Here's hoping.

Also, please note, some buildings require higher pressure hot water heating systems and there are boilers available that run at 60 lbs. as well.


Last edited by techpappy; 02-02-2013 at 09:40 AM. Reason: add info
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:17 AM   #17
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If you would invest thousands to fix this boiler you would then end up with a beast that will cost you big time to operate because it will be too big,way too big.If you insulate the building it will be even bigger than that.
This might be a nice building but it will cost a kings ransume to update and make safe for any tennat..
This boiler may have supplied the heat for TWO 3 and 4 floor high uninsulated brick buildings, one of which is on the corner and exposed on 3 sides.

Initial cost is not always a factor in the merits of saving historic or architecturally significant buildings, it depends on what the end use will be and the community it's in.
I wouldn't spend a dime on a building in Detroit, but the same run down building in San Francisco is well worth the investment.
My neighbor next to my building in town owns half the buildings on the block, he renovated a 2 story former bank building on the corner into 3 very nice luxurious hotel suites @ $85/night, and a store.

His wife runs/owns a fitness center, and he makes custom furniture/woodwork. Their home is the 3 story 1880s building next to my building which has the workshop on the ground floor and their residence upstairs in the back (they got a variance to allow a residence there)
They also a few years back bought another building on the block and renovated and restored it's exterior, into 3 condos and sold it.
They do well for themselves in a town of 1,800 and took at least 5 old buildings and restored/renovated them into usefull attractive businesses.

It can be done!

Here's a story about renovating an old decrepid former power plant in St Louis, they renovated it into of all things- a climbing facility/gym.

Alongside Climb So iLL’s bright and active gym, the Power Plant will soon offer more casual options for recreation. Two restaurants are planned for the top floor of the three-story building. From inside, diners will have what may be the best view of the Gateway Arch and downtown skyline in the city. Terraces on the west will offer views of the Lafayette Square neighborhood.

http://blog.preservationnation.org/2.../#.UQ1JEeiR2S4



Quote:
Obviously, I know nothing about boiler systems.
Now is the time to start learning if you are truly serious about owning these 2 buildings, if there's no local 4-8 week public classes at a University or equiv in your area to learn basic carpentry/construction, plumbing/electric/roofing/flooring etc then you'd be wise to take a trip to the library or to Amazon.com and start picking up some how-to books so you have at least that much behind you to refer to. Yes, I know, before anyone says something about learning to do complex systems from a book- at least it's something to refer to, would usually include basic information on acceptable/normal/standard practices and methods etc. The electrical book will give you ideas on what kind/size wiring you would need, how high up from the floor wall switches have to be, outlets etc. It's all good reference material and basics, but the grunt work, dealing with things not in the book to guide you, and all the rest you'll have to learn by doing!

Last edited by RWolff; 02-02-2013 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:30 PM   #18
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I noticed that, in the building pics, posted on the construction forum, there was a toilet that hadn't cracked or broken so, maybe someone did drain the system and boiler to prevent freezing. Here's hoping.

Also, please note, some buildings require higher pressure hot water heating systems and there are boilers available that run at 60 lbs. as well.
If you've seen all 8 pages, you'll see it's a really cool building. I'm hoping this ancient boiler is in the Lowe building next door, as opposed to the corner building, because the Lowe building obviously needs completely gutted from water damage, note the picture I posted in construction with water damage clean down to the storefront level. It is possible it was installed when the buildings were connected, though.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:32 PM   #19
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It is a Hot Water boiler as indicated by the two large pipes...one is the supply and the other is the return.

Sounds like the building is the proverbial money pit. At least 500 K to make it into anything worthwhile. Pictures would be interesting to see.

Unless you can do carpentry, electrical, plumbing and drywall, just to name a few...fagetaboutit !!!
I do have some experience in all of those, and I think I could handle this project. Would take me years to finish, though.

http://www.eastliverpoolhistoricalso...20Building.htm
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #20
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"Now is the time to start learning if you are truly serious about owning these 2 buildings, if there's no local 4-8 week public classes at a University or equiv in your area to learn basic carpentry/construction, plumbing/electric/roofing/flooring etc then you'd be wise to take a trip to the library or to Amazon.com and start picking up some how-to books so you have at least that much behind you to refer to. Yes, I know, before anyone says something about learning to do complex systems from a book- at least it's something to refer to, would usually include basic information on acceptable/normal/standard practices and methods etc. The electrical book will give you ideas on what kind/size wiring you would need, how high up from the floor wall switches have to be, outlets etc. It's all good reference material and basics, but the grunt work, dealing with things not in the book to guide you, and all the rest you'll have to learn by doing!"
I'll respond to this one in a little bit in the construction forum thread.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:26 PM   #21
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Talking with the man from the historical society, I found a picture of a closeup on the boiler's tag!
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:56 PM   #22
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Doesn't look so "Ideal" now.
Kinda warped and leakin.

I would be VERY VERY concerned that the bldg froze up and the boiler is now leaking and you may have major damage to the pipes in the walls etc. Probably the bldg needs to be gutted and redone properly. Even if you saw a toilet that was not broken from water damage that does not tell you anything about the heating pipes. Water would have space to expand in a toilet but there is no room for that to happen in the heating system or very little. It is very difficult and complicated to drain that system and still not have pockets of water trapped in places and I doubt they went thru the expense of blowing it out judging by the neglected condition of the boiler etc.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:18 PM   #23
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Doesn't look so "Ideal" now.
Kinda warped and leakin.

I would be VERY VERY concerned that the bldg froze up and the boiler is now leaking and you may have major damage to the pipes in the walls etc. Probably the bldg needs to be gutted and redone properly. Even if you saw a toilet that was not broken from water damage that does not tell you anything about the heating pipes. Water would have space to expand in a toilet but there is no room for that to happen in the heating system or very little. It is very difficult and complicated to drain that system and still not have pockets of water trapped in places and I doubt they went thru the expense of blowing it out judging by the neglected condition of the boiler etc.
There was another boiler in this building. Technically, there are two buildings, and two boilers. I posted the only picture of the other one below. It is possibly an original. For some reason, it is wrapped in plastic. The worn out "Ideal" boiler was under the larger building with the non broken toilet tank. The man that owned the buildings, as I just found out, was older, and in poor health. He just sold it. He owned it for many years, and likely couldn't afford upkeep. It's been empty for awhile, so it *might* have been properly drained. I'm not sure about it, though.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:27 PM   #24
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A very good possibility the plastic is covering "asbestos" insulation. Usually an expensive proposition to remediate.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:30 PM   #25
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A very good possibility the plastic is covering "asbestos" insulation. Usually an expensive proposition to remediate.
A good dustmask, a HEPA air filter, a few large trashbags, and a weekend or two of work will fix that problem easy... Oops? Was that out loud?

If it covers asbestos, then it covers the furnace too. That kind of limits the functionality of the whole system... to nothing. I guess I no longer have to wonder why all of the pipes were covered in plastic. Asbestos, when left undisturbed, is a wonderful insulator! Why can't people just leave it all alone? Maybe paint over it?
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:01 PM   #26
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The asbestos is likely falling apart under there. AKA "friable" which, if inhaled can result in "cancer". So, it's best to learn proper removal methods before removing the plastic. AND
, in most jurisdictions there are strict laws governing the procedures. CHA_CHING!!
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:06 AM   #27
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kinda looks like a steam trap in the upper left so you probably have an ancient VERY inefficient steam boiler there that may have burned coal and been converted. either way your bldg(s) may cost a fortune to heat if you try to use those old very inefficient boilers. it really depends on what your master plan is. condos these days where I am are using minisplit ACs and electric baseboards and each tenant pays their own utilities. if your climate is suitable for heat pumps then a combo minisplit with heat pump would be perfect. I have seen old firehalls and churches converted to condos but the outside architectural concerns play a big part where and how you can install minisplits so they blend in if at all possible. if it was my project and the minisplits don't fit or look good then I would go with a new higher efficiency hot water boiler with outdoor air water temp reset and zone the condos and gut the piping and start over properly. not a DIY project as you need to be a Pro to design the system/size the boiler, pumps ,piping etc.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:49 AM   #28
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Nobody can stop you from doing your own asbestos abatement on your own property, but the fines and penalties for willfully doing it wrong, polluting the air, improper disposal and transportation................ ..... well, think in terms of 5 digit fines, sometimes 6 digit and even in some cases prison time (depends on whether the EPA takes a shine to ya ).
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:04 AM   #29
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Nobody can stop you from doing your own asbestos abatement on your own property, but the fines and penalties for willfully doing it wrong, polluting the air, improper disposal and transportation................ ..... well, think in terms of 5 digit fines, sometimes 6 digit and even in some cases prison time (depends on whether the EPA takes a shine to ya ).
I am sad that these buildings sold to another party, but... that means that it is not my problem! I plan on voulenteering some of my time to see to it that these buildings original architectural characteristics are kept, such as plaster and lathe, original wooden windows.. ect. If they ask me for a suggestion on the asbestos, I'd say to put on good masks, tear it down yourself, and hide it. Plenty of little, unused rooms in that old cellar. Some of which have dirt floors. Bury it and pour in concrete floors perhaps. Who would find out?

I don't see what all the fuss is about; isn't it long term exposure that's the killer? I guarantee that most people will NOT pay removal fees on their asbestos, most of them likely do it in secret and save big bucks. The man from the historical society suggested that he believes the furnace under the plastic is original, as opposed to the Ideal furnace. I'm sure it was coal-powered at one time. Would it even operate under all of that plastic? Seems dangerous to me. Have you guys seen a running furnace wrapped in plastic before?
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:02 PM   #30
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The plastic and asbestos (if there is any) would have to be removed to operate the boiler.

Asbestos removal can be done safely if the person removing it educates themselves sufficiently. It doesn't have to be "hidden". However, it can be dangerous. Asbestos particles are barbed like a fish hook and cling into the lung when inhaled. Over years this aggravating material can result in cancer. Would you want to be the one to inhale it. no...therefore it should be removed in a safe manner. Read up on the procedures. They are simple but very labor intensive. But also worthwhile.

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