Installing a Boiler

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Installing a boiler isn't quite as simple as just unpacking and plugging in a water tank. There are a lot of hookups (e.g., electrical, gas, water) and accessories to deal with, and you want to make sure everything's set up correctly. Otherwise, you could have water leaks, insufficiently warm water, and other problems to deal with. This may be a job better left to the professionals. At the very least, you shouldn't take it on unless you know exactly what you're doing.

Preparing the Boiler Location

This step involves setting up everything the boiler needs to do its job. If they aren't set up already, you'll need to feed pipes and gas lines (or electric lines, as the case may be) to the spot where you're installing your boiler. These tasks are difficult in and of themselves, so you may want to hire a professional to take care of them, especially when it comes to dealing with electricity. You also need to make sure the area is completely free of flammable materials.

Installing the Boiler

First, you'll have to prepare the boiler for installation. Remove it from the packaging it was shipped in. It will be bolted down to the pallet, so you'll need to unbolt it, slide it off of the pallet, and gather all the materials that were shipped along with it. Next, install all of the accessories your boiler will need to operate. These can include the circulator pump, flow checks, and riser nipple. Installing these items is known as "dressing up" the boiler.

Now, you can actually begin hooking up the boiler. Start with the water feeds. There are two you'll need to hook up, one going out into heating system and the other (the return) bringing the water back into the boiler. Hooking these up will involve soldering the pipes together and installing flow valves.

Venting for your boiler will need to be installed next. Different kinds of boilers use different systems for ventilation. For example, traditional gas boilers use a smoke pipe, while tankless boilers use something called a "power vent." Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions for ventilation installation.

The last thing that will need to be hooked up is the gas or electrical line. Again, this will depend on the type of boiler you have. It's probably best to let an electrician handle all electrical work. You'll need to consult your local building codes before making any gas connections. Different towns have varying requirements when it comes to the kinds of piping you can use. The type of gas you're using will also help determine the types of pipes and valves you'll need. Gas work, like electrical work, is best left to the professionals. They'll be able to make all the determinations necessary for your boiler installation.

The last thing you'll need to do is fill the boiler with water. Once everything's hooked up, all you need to do is set the automatic feed valve to the appropriate pressure setting (as suggested in your owner's manual) and turn on the water supply. You'll need a professional to start up the boiler for you, since the carbon dioxide output will need to be adjusted to a safe level. Once that's taken care of, new boiler should be all set to heat your home!

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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