About This Site

Steve Bates, Boiler Nine

Hi There

UPDATE: Covid affected us all in various ways. Personally, I’m now planning to retire in 2023 and move to an idyllic island in Thailand. I hope that this site is useful for you and I will continue to run it until I make the big move to Asia.


Firstly, thanks for discovering my site online. I hope it has been of use to you.

My name’s Steve and I currently reside in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Although for most of the last 20 years I have worked in Austin, Texas as a Maintenance manager for a large IT company.

And for around a decade I ran a HVAC company with a couple of neighbors. They helped me out of a bind one Christmas when there was a power outage fried the electrics in my house. Although at that time we weren’t close friends, the guys came to my rescue.

After that we got to know each other pretty well and eventually set up a small business using their practical skills and my organisational and business acumen. Over the years I learnt a lot from them about the practical side of all aspects of HVAC systems.

Unfortunately in 2019 my life to a turn for the worse when one of the company partners passed. This was soon followed by the news that my parents had developed dementia. I had a well paying job and, as my wife and I don’t have kids, we’d saved some money over the years. (No college fees, yay!)

So, after some soul searching, I quit my job and a couple of weeks later sold my half of the HVAC company and headed back north to Chicago to take care of my folks.

Now I had no job and no income, but I had time. So I decided to put some of my computer skills to use and try to work online. It soon dawned on me that this wasn’t as easy as I expected. I saw all those kids making websites and thought I could too. Boy, it was a steep learning curve.

But having had conversations with some of my new neighbors during the winter months, I realized that people, especially in the colder states wanted a reliable source of information on hot water systems. Round our way many folks have older tank based systems which are coming to the end of their lives. Plumbers are making a small fortune daily doing repairs in my neighborhood.

I was asked for advice on new hot water systems for bathrooms in particular, as no-one wants a lukewarm shower in January in Chicago. Got to be piping hot or nothing! And that’s how the idea for this site was born.

It became apparent to me that most people just didn’t understand the basics of heating, filtering, cooling, repairing, and I wanted to create a resource that simplified these decisions. Giving the same information to readers online as I did to friends, family and neighbors.

I understand the frustration involved with dealing with water heater repairs, malfunctions, and the job of replacing your current water heater and upgrading to a new more efficient model. It can be a pain. It can also be expensive. Unfortunately, it only gets more expensive if your system is always in need of repair or maintenance.

My aim is to make the process of selecting a new water heater – be it gas or electric, as hassle-free as possible. So that you can save money and have a safe and reliable hot water system in your bathroom.

Email Steve: steve@boilernine.com

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