I need help moving a new boiler into my basement and to have the old boiler removed from my basement. It will be a warranty return less than 1 year of use so the old one must be kept intact. The supply house will only drop off the boiler outside in the driveway.

I contacted the contractor who did the original job but they want me to pay for the new one and when the old one is returned a credit will be issued. Above that they want me to pay over $5k to swap out the old and put in the new (exact same model.) All the plumbing, electric and gas are the same. I am going to try other plumbers to see if they can do the job at a better price. But I want to see about ways to get the new one in and the old one out. It weighs between 400 and 500 lbs. I think the crated up shipping weight is 500lbs.

Doing a search for boiler removal was not too helpful I will try to search for labor help.

  • 2
    Did the contractor install the boiler? If so, this is his problem.
    – RMDman
    Sep 28 at 21:49
  • 1
    the old one must be kept intact - then no. Pay the man. "$5k to swap out the old and put in the new" one and commission it. That was my grandfather's job, that Iron Firemen paid him porthole to porthole to drive from Chicago to Iowa to do, because if you mess that part up everyone might as well have stayed home. - Not the contractor's problem if it's warranty work. If it was their fault, then it'd be out of warranty.
    – Mazura
    Sep 29 at 6:42

4 Answers 4


Read the warranty carefully. Some appliances have parts-and-labor warranties for a limited period, and one year is usually within that period. Sometimes they are covered that way only if they are installed by a listed installer, who has to register the installation. Sometimes only if the repair is done by a listed installer. I wouldn't be too hopeful but it's worth reading the warranty.

Regarding the labor quote. Even a direct swap is a lot of work. There are a lot of things attached to the boiler that did not come with it, and they all have to be swapped over and tested. Obviously getting the things in and out of the house is a chore. Then there's the water supply, The inflow and outflow pipes, the gas supply, the overpressure valve, the low water switch, the flue, the power supply, the thermostat. The system has to be emptied, refilled, and everything tested. It's a couple of days work for two guys if nothing goes wrong and everything fits, which it should as a direct replacement. I think you could find the labor quote to be anywhere from $800 to $10,000 depending on location and the costs faced by the plumber. The high end of that, lest you wonder, would be in an urban, high-rise building where you have to pay a lot of fees imposed by government, building management, and unions. It would be unusual to have your own gas boiler in such a building, but my point is that labor rates vary wildly, and your quote is on the (very) high side but plausible.


First, I don't know why you are worrying about getting the boiler downstairs, since you are hiring someone to do the job. Any boiler installation job includes bringing the old one up and taking the new one down.

But for the sake of answering the question: you bring a new boiler to a basement just like you would bring any heavy appliance: with a lot of care, planning your route, using an appliance dolly, etc. I actually just helped a friend do just that, and it took two guys about 10 minutes from truck to basement. We used a $129 Harbor Freight appliance dolly, which worked perfectly, although it must be noted that we only needed it for this one job, which is kind of what Harbor Freight stuff is good for.

The fact that your old boiler is only a year old means that it was probably brought down somehow -- unless it was assembled on-site. If it was bought disassembled and assembled on-site, then the manufacturer should take it disassembled. It is not unheard of to have boilers installed and then a house built around them, so at the end of their life they must come in literal pieces. But again, that does not seem to be your case here.

If it came assembled downstairs, it can go upstairs the same way.

The issue of the contractor wanting $5,000 for an installation: I won't comment on the price since that is off-topic here, but will say that the problem with these guarantees is that they only include the thing itself, not the labor to install it. You should definitely get a quote from an actual plumber, not a contractor.

  • I don't see where it says he's hiring an installer. It says he tried to hire an installer but it was too expensive. I suspect that due to the high estimate, OP is thinking he can DIY a like-for-like swap, except he can't move the thing himself.
    – user71659
    Sep 29 at 17:46

How you get a boiler (or anything else large and heavy) in and out of a basement is very site specific.

One method with the usual "bulkhead stairs outside access" is to remove the stairs from that area, roll the heavy object in there, (having levered it up onto rollers or a dolly) and pick it up with a portable crane (hand-powered or otherwise) from outside - put the new one in the same way, put the stairs back. But that's specifically for basements with that particular access method. It's generally a lot less hairy than sliding heavy things up stairs.

A more general method is to hire competent help, such as a rigging company, which will have a suite of tools, and most importantly, people with experience and insurance.

  • A fridge dolly and four dudes, all of whom are 250 pounds and know how to use it (their weight and a dolly). Here's one for twelve hundred dollars : magliner.com/appliance-hdarb5cm1ec11rls "Appliance Truck"
    – Mazura
    Sep 29 at 6:44
  • 1
    I just recently used the Harbor Freight $129. Two people.
    – Cheery
    Sep 29 at 9:34
  • I've wanted a crane for my bulkhead door since i moved in. The problem is that anything sturdy enough to be useful is a storage challenge, and my building probably wouldn't tolerate the old "building has boom" approach. I could rent at need, and I've block-and-tackled stuff up and down the stairs when I had to, but I've got an eye open for a better solution.
    – keshlam
    Oct 2 at 3:31

YourS basement has no external access? Examples might include a 'coal' chute, exterior door, double doors at top of stairs for taking large heavy things in/out or windows that let light in. We replaced one in a older house we were rebuilding. The basement had a standard door at front end of driveway. 2 coworkers and I had no problems using a fridge dolly to set on wheeled platform and roll across basement to connect it up. Manufacturers usually make large and heavy items that fit through standard doors. Occasionally you might need to remove trim if something is slightly larger. The door stop wrapping both sides will get you an inch more width and is a simple remove/replace process. The 'worst' are large refrigerators that doors and any hardware sticking out must be removed. Then are still hard to maneuver due to height and weight. Lol, we didn't and the crease adds character. Fuzzy Kitty said "Meow" and was happy after a treat. It would have been much simpler if the door from living room was wider but the addition was built in 30s or 40s and the original (1910s) exterior back door was not wide enough.

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