DIY asbesto removal from boiler body

Old 06-03-12, 10:25 AM
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DIY asbesto removal from boiler body

Hi, just wondering if anyone has done a DIY asbestos removal from a boiler body and if so, how it went. Have been quoted $2750 to have the asbestos removed from mine, and I don't know if I can justify the expense, despite the well-known risks.

Am thinking about encasing the immediate area in poly, creating a containment area. Ideally I will rent a true-hepa vacuum and position it outside to create a negative pressure situation. I would then soak the thing using a soapy water solution and remove it that way. Double-bagging, magenta respirator, disposal coveralls, etc, all go without saying.

I know asbestos is a well-worn topic, but I welcome all of your thoughts and expertise. Thanks
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Old 06-03-12, 02:45 PM
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IMO asbestos abatement is blow WAY out of line. While I bet you could do it safely I think you will have some issues trying to dispose it. I would bet there are very strict regulations on who and how asbestos material can be collected, moved and disposed of. You should contact your government departments before attempting to do so.
Old 06-04-12, 06:57 PM
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Right, thanks. Anyone else?
Old 06-04-12, 09:50 PM
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While I personally agree with Tolyn I cannot advocate DIY asbestos abatement for the simple fact that in most areas it is against the law. Some areas MAY allow a homeowner to remove a very small amount as long as they first get a permit, second show some competence in following the law and third properly dispose of the material.

Different areas will have different rules regarding disposal of asbestos. While I have been retired for almost ten years now I no longer know the current regulations for my area but it used to be that asbestos only needed to be double bagged (in bags of a minimum strength) labeled as asbestos and then it was eligible to go to the landfill with the rest of the municipal waste. Other areas required it to be shipped to a hazardous waste dump.

The worst part of the asbestos laws is that if you suspect that a material is, or contains, asbestos it must be treated as if it is asbestos until proven otherwise by laboratory analysis. This leaves a sneaky method for asbestos removal that might (or might not) fly under the radar. Unfortunately you have already expressed an opinion that what you have IS asbestos so this sneaky loophole has been closed to you.
Old 06-05-12, 04:30 AM
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I have to ask about the boiler... If it does contain asbestos and is probably old... Could maybe having the boiler replaced be the cheaper, safer and better method?

I'm assuming that is a steam boiler? I have a hot water boiler and it looks nothing remotely close to what you have in the picture. Also noticing the large cast piping going to it, that thing is probably a fair bit bigger than mine.

The only reason I suggest replacing the boiler is it's probably not going to cost you a whole lot more than your asbestos removal quote and would net you a more efficient boiler. Also should be noted that if you can avoid disturbing the asbestos, it'll be a lot safer/easier to work with and potentially could be someone else's problem if you get the boiler installed by the company that you purchase it from. This would cover the legal requirements and hopefully lead to proper disposal.
Old 06-05-12, 12:07 PM
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First find out where you will be taking the asbestos. Some places have a hazardous waste dump where they give advice. Ask if it is possible and customary for an individual to remove asbestos. If it is not common in your area, don't try you may be sued.

This is the info in NJ for example: Reclamation Center Asbestos

Less hysterical view of Asbestos:
USA TODAY - When Removing Asbestos Makes No Sense

Ask a plumber what you should do to remove the boiler, I cannot believe you are the first person with the problem.

As far as doing it yourself: Leaving it might be best as a future solution could become available. If you are careful I would say you can do it safely, as it seems many people have done it, and there does not appear to be an epidemic of mesothelioma from it.
Old 06-05-12, 02:01 PM
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I have to ask about the boiler... If it does contain asbestos and is probably old... Could maybe having the boiler replaced be the cheaper, safer and better method?
I believe what would have to happen in the case of replacing the boiler, the asbestos will have to be abated before the boiler is removed.

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