Alberni school district to talk school boiler replacements

Broken down and aging boilers at two Alberni schools need to be replaced at a cost of approximately $8,000 each.

A boiler failure at one Alberni school and an aging boiler at a another school is prompting their replacements, School District 70 maintenance supervisor Ernie Inglehart said.

The replacement boilers will cost approximately $8,000 each and will be underwritten by the school district’s annual facilities grant.

According to Ingleheart, one of three boilers at AW Neill Middle School has failed and needs to be replaced. “It’s not affecting temperatures at the school to my knowledge though,” he said.

The boiler at Alberni Elementary School is still functional, but “We’re having problems too early with it,” Inglehart said. “We expected about 10 years out of them.”

The boilers were first installed 5-6 years ago but their failure now doesn’t indicate a fault issue.

A generation ago boilers could be expected to last up to 40 years, Inglehart said. Times have changed though.

The problem today is that the district uses rapid recovery boilers, which heats smaller quantities of water more often and therefore fires up more frequently creating wear and tear. This is opposed to using one large tank of water that is always ready to go and therefore not used as often, Inglehart said.

The district plans to use condensing boilers, which are like rapid recover boilers but they don’t cycle as often, Inglehart said.

“It’s a trade off: they’re more cost efficient and leave a smaller carbon footprint but they still have a shorter lifespan,” Inglehart said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com