need some plumbing advice

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helping out a buddy who has house where he is renting out the top and he is living in the basement.

He wants to convert this to a 2 family so if he no longer lives in the basement it can be legally rented as 2 separate units.

one thing this entails is having 2 gas meters. (it also needs 2 electrical panels and 2 water meters, but that is pretty easy to do at this point).

It is a 2500 sq ft house on top, 750 sq ft basement, it has a burnham furnace with 3 zones.

Question 1. I am assuming it needs a second furnace as I can't think of a way to have 2 gas meters be separate with 1 furnace?

Question 2. If a second furnace, does it have to be one in basement and one in upstairs? I don't think this is the case but I don't know boston codes.

Question 3. Since a second furnace could be small as it only has to heat the basement, can it be stacked on top of the first as there is limited space in the basement.

Question 4. Can you use one of those on demand hot water systems, again, it only has to drive three 5' baseboards?

Or maybe there is solution that I don't know about since I am not a plumber! Thanks.
 

pastera

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A lot more to worry about than the plumbing - zoning could, and probably will, be a problem

1/2 - would need 2 heating systems

3 - stacking not advisable for repair reasons

4 - three 5' baseboards is only 7500 BTU, so yes it could. However, the baseboard is rated at 180° not the 140° that the heater runs at so more baseboard would be needed to keep it warm.
 
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Electric baseboard heat for the basement.
thanks. thought of this. however a tenant is required to have a minimum heat of 62 degrees and heat is paid for by the landlord. However the tenant pays electric. So not sure how to use electric for heat. If I pay electric, the tenant will have the temp at a toasty 78 deg. Plus all his other electric. if you can figure a way around this, it would work.
 
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Where's that law? I'm renting a condo with electric heat and the tenant is paying the electric bill. I'm also renting a house with electric heat and the landlord isn't paying the heat(electric bill), I'm paying that electric bill.
 
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I say keep it simple. First find out if doing this is legal. Second, one furnace, gas line, etc. for the whole place; and then just charge them a fee for "utilities" (heat, gas, water, whatever).
 

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Question 1. I am assuming it needs a second furnace as I can't think of a way to have 2 gas meters be separate with 1 furnace?

Question 2. If a second furnace, does it have to be one in basement and one in upstairs? I don't think this is the case but I don't know boston codes.

Question 3. Since a second furnace could be small as it only has to heat the basement, can it be stacked on top of the first as there is limited space in the basement.

Question 4. Can you use one of those on demand hot water systems, again, it only has to drive three 5' baseboards?

Or maybe there is solution that I don't know about since I am not a plumber! Thanks.
2 furnaces (unless it's forced hot air, they're called BOILERS)
basement
not stacked, but they make very small wall unit gas boilers
nope

2 means of egress, tough to do in a basement apartment.
plus, a window in each sleeping room of certain size and height

plus, firewall between utility room and living area

plus, air intake and exhaust for each combustion appliance (furnace)

plus, natural lighting (windows) at least 8% of the entire floor area,

plus, a whole lot of other things...

there's a reason you don't see many basement apartments--legal ones anyways.

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I say keep it simple. First find out if doing this is legal. Second, one furnace, gas line, etc. for the whole place; and then just charge them a fee for "utilities" (heat, gas, water, whatever).
fee for utilities not legal, you either meter legally or utilities are included
 
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David, thanks. Can you explain the type of wall between room that boiler is in vs. living space. Have everything else covered but don't know this requirement.

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I say keep it simple. First find out if doing this is legal. Second, one furnace, gas line, etc. for the whole place; and then just charge them a fee for "utilities" (heat, gas, water, whatever).
Problems with this:

1. The landlord accepts exposure to market volatility of fuel. With separate utilities, the exposure is on the tenant. Isn't the point of landlording to have the serfs support the landlord rather than the other way around?

2. Total consumption will increase if you give them "blank check" access to your bank account for heating expenditures.

3. If you try to avoid #2 with locked or hidden thermostats, you will have countless complaints that the "free" heat isn't turned up high enough.

4. Separate utilities may translate to a higher resale market value for future landlord/buyers.
 

Another_David

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David, thanks. Can you explain the type of wall between room that boiler is in vs. living space. Have everything else covered but don't know this requirement.

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I really don't know all the details but wall fire ratings in general will surely be an issue when converting from 1 to 2 fam and also when bringing a basement up to code for living space. Boston will probably require hardwired smoke/co detectors and maybe sprinklers too.
 
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