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What Is A Boiler Room & What Is It Used For?

Oct 28

The boiler, furnace, HVAC, or other mechanical equipment in a residence is housed in the boiler room

The boiler room, which is usually found in the basement, is where mechanical equipment for producing hot water and controlling your home's environment is kept. Building codes for boiler rooms are generally strict in most localities. Find out what a boiler room is, what it contains, and how to keep it safe.

What is a boiler room and what does it contain?

The boiler, that is. A boiler provides hot water for heating, drinking water, or both in certain households. These are usually older homes that have radiators instead of a forced air system for heating.

A steam boiler is used to heat homes less frequently. A boiler boils water to near-boiling temperature and then sends it through the associated piping to the radiators, where it warms the rooms. The water in this isolated system is unfit for human consumption.

To provide the home with potable hot water, a closed boiler system requires a second piece of equipment. You'll need a normal residential water heater that shares space in the boiler room with the boiler unless you have a tankless system installed.

In an open system, a boiler heats water as well as supplying it to the radiators. The water then moves from the boiler to the faucet via pipes. Boilers, unlike water heaters, do not keep hot water in a storage tank.

What is the location of the boiler room?

As long as it is up to code, a boiler room can be located anywhere on the premises. The basement is the most usual location, however boiler chambers on the roof are also possible. Boiler rooms must always be on an outside wall to accommodate chimneys, vents, or intakes, regardless of where they are located.

What are boiler room code requirements?

Building code standards for boilers differ by area, so double-check your local rules to ensure your boiler room is up to code. Noncompliance is frequently discovered by the local boiler expert you engage to replace your outdated boiler. In this situation, working with the contractor to bring your boiler room up to code may increase the cost of installing your boiler.

The following are some boiler room code requirements:

  • The doors to the boiler room should open outwards, be self-closing, and have a high fire rating
  • Ceilings and walls of boiler rooms must be completely enclosed, with no windows or holes
  • You must cover the boiler with fire-rated material 8 feet around if the boiler room is actually just a basement with the boiler
  • If a fresh air vent is required, the air must be brought in straight from the outside
  • A chimney cover is required if your gas-only boiler has a btuh (British Thermal Unit per Hour) input of less than 2 million
  • Concrete blocks, a concrete floor, or bricks are required for boilers to sit atop
  • Insulation is required for hot water pipelines used in heating and domestic purposes
  • On every pipe, there are isolation valves
  • Each door to the boiler room must have a clearly labeled emergency switch, or if your boiler is only in your basement, the switch must be near the stairwell

These are just a few of the most typical home boiler room building code requirements. If you're going to install a new boiler or renovate your boiler room, it's critical that you know the local requirements and consult with a local plumber to ensure that your property is not only compliant, but also safe.