Temporary Boiler Installation and Maintenance

Greater Philadelphia Area

Background – What is a Temporary Boiler?

Boilers are a popular choice in multi-family residential buildings, like apartment complexes, as both a heat source through radiators and generating hot water. They play a critical role in making a property hospitable for occupants.

Like any other piece of mechanical equipment, boilers can experience component malfunctions or failures that could require disconnection during fixes or upgrades to the heating system. Some examples of what could cause disruption to a property’s boiler include:

  • Routine servicing
  • Undergoing a heating system fuel conversion (example: from oil to natural gas)
  • Experiencing property damage from disasters like fire, flooding, or storms

According to the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections, space heating availability from October through to April, and hot water availability during the entire year are basic tenant rights and requirements for muti-family residential properties. Similar rights are also requirements in other cities across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast like Baltimore and Washington, DC. Based on these requirements, if a property’s boiler goes offline, an immediate solution is needed.

A temporary boiler can be used for emergency situations and periods when there is an unexpected increase in heating demand while a permanent solution is being addressed. While an effective and expedited solution, temporary boilers do offer their own challenges to a property or facility manager. Unlimited Restoration alleviated these challenges for two recent clients faced with the burden of temporary boiler installation and maintenance at their multi-family residential property.

Recent Temporary Boiler Installation and Maintenance Clients

Example 1

Building Type: Apartment Building

Location: Philadelphia Suburbs

Situation: In December 2021, Unlimited Restoration was called to an apartment building that had a single boiler that provided heat to 64 total units. The permanent boiler experienced a component failure and the required parts were delayed, so a temporary boiler was needed. This property had utilized a temporary boiler before and some of the required infrastructure was already in place like a flange to tie into, but some additional property modifications were needed to properly install the new unit.

Example 2

Building Type: Townhomes

Location: Philadelphia Suburbs

Situation: In January 2022, Unlimited Restoration was called to a property that included over two city blocks of low-income housing townhome apartments. The property had two steam boilers that provided heat to all the units. When URI was brought in, repairs were in process of the two permanent boilers which required the units to be shut down. The property never had to use a temporary boiler previously, so no existing property infrastructure existed.

Response by Unlimited Restoration

There are several steps that must be completed for a successful installation of a temporary boiler at a multi-family residential property. Partnering with a trusted resource, like Unlimited Restoration, Inc., can help get a temporary boiler in operation fast, reducing disruption for tenants. These installation steps include:

  • Diagnosing the requirements that must be met of the temporary boiler so that an adequate unit can be procured, as each unit is unique
  • Determining how to tie the temporary boiler into the existing system and returns back to the building itself
  • Identifying a suitable location for the temporary boiler that minimizes exposure to the public and meets stringent code requirements for air intakes and exhaust outlets
  • Modifying the property with temporary hookups to enable successful installation
  • Managing the delivery of the unit

Temporary boilers require daily monitoring and regular maintenance to remain in operation while a permanent solution is put into place. These ongoing maintenance requirements include:

  • Daily safety monitoring of pressure, temperatures, etc.
  • Regularly blowing down the unit to ensure it is run at optimal levels
    • This includes response to any secondary issues, like ice formation, as a result of the blow down process

By partnering with Unlimited Restoration, clients can keep their facility maintenance focused on the permanent boiler solution and normal, daily responsibilities rather than getting bogged down with ongoing tasks associated with the temporary boiler.

Unlimited Restoration provided expedited response and diligent expertise to both clients to get their temporary boilers installed and operational as soon as possible. For the first example, this meant ensuring heat was restored to all 64 units by Christmas Eve so tenants could comfortably celebrate the holidays with family and friends. In some cases, temporary boilers may only need to be used for a few days or weeks, but in others (like the second example client) temporary boilers can serve as a property’s heat source for months.


While boilers are a popular choice as a heat source in multi-family residential buildings, they are susceptible to damage or needing repairs that can leave them not operational, making for an unhospitable environment for tenants. While they can fill the void, temporary boiler installation and maintenance comes with a host of challenges that may be well outside of the expertise of a typical facility maintenance team.

When the unexpected occurs, you can rest assured with Unlimited Restoration – We’re on it! Our team of commercial property restoration experts are ready to assist with any of multi-family residential property needs, including the installation and maintenance of temporary boilers! Call us today: 888.327.9664.

Contact Unlimited Restoration, Inc. for any of your preventative maintenance or disaster response needs.

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