As I mentioned in my previous post, a review of the winter, we were finally able to sign off on getting a replacement for our old oil boilers. This is something we have been looking at for a very long time, but financing has always held us back. We have had 2 small oil fired boilers doing all the hot water and heating in the communal space. Although these have done a good job,they did struggle in the prolonged cold weather.
Getting the finances was almost the easy part! Once we were in the position to get started, we had to work out such details as who would we use for installation, which boiler would we buy, where will the boiler and associated item go, how do we connect up to the existing plumbing, and of course how do we get it in. After a lot of looking around and talking to people we settled on Prescient Power to supply, install and commission the boiler, and we chose the Froling tx150 wood pellet boiler.
The largest part of the boiler was nearly 2m x 2m x 1m and weighed 1 ton, and the 2 water tanks are 1.2m diameter and 3m high weighing in at about 400kg. That ruled the stairs out!
We decided that the best place was the old boiler room where the original coal fired boiler would have been, before the oil ones were put in in 1950. Given that the basement is 3m below ground level we were always going to have a challenge getting everything in. In one of the outside walls was what looked like a bricked up door way. On the other side was a concreted area leading up to our house. I wasn’t sure what would be under there, steps? a hole? or had it been abandoned during construction and just sealed up and backfilled with soil. Only one way to find out. I drilled a few holes and bought a boroscope so I could have a look I could see some old walls along the sides so decided to break up the concrete and start digging.
After getting down a few feet it became apparent that it was a stone lined hole which would make life much easier. At the bottom was even a hard floor with a drain in it – perfect! A bit of rebuilding to the wall was needed as was the moving a couple of pipes that had inconveniently been routed through. Anyway, after about 12 tonnes of debris had been removed, we had our access. Whilst doing this I also had to clear my large collection of things that might come in useful, one day, perhaps (aka junk). This nearly took a week!!
I had a few days with a nice clean empty room, but then the delivery came – around 18 pallets of bits, all of which had to be transported down there. I had spent some time deliberating on how to lower the bits down the hole, and looked at all sort of lifting gear that i could hire, In the end I decided, that it was best left to someone who knew what the were doing so I called in a local crane company. Definitely the right decision.
We decided to get the two accumulator tanks in first as they would need the most manoeuvring once they were in there. The were too tall to fit the the doorway vertically, but also wouldn’t fit in the hole lying on their side, so we had to sling them so they would sit at a 45 degree angle so we could drag them inside as we lowered them down. Then they had to be tipped upright.
Then came the boiler itself and a the boxes of pipework, fittings etc
It did fit, with about 5 cm to spare! With everything in and safe, the next job is assembly but I will leave that for part 2 …