Steam vs. Hot Water Heat


Old 10-14-05, 10:22 AM
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Steam vs. Hot Water Heat

Can someone tell me how to tell the difference between a steam heat system and a hot-water system? I recently bought an older home (100yrs) and am having problems with the heating system - oil boiler. I am trying to find out more info about the furnace but don't know which one I should be reading about.

My problem...
Of 7 radiators in the house, only 2 of them heat fully across. The others only heat about half way and I am burning through oil. I had the furnace serviced by the oil company and the tech was here for over 5 hours and couldn't figure out why this was happening.

I drain the water 2x month until it runs clear then fill it back up. I have never (nor do I know if I am supposed to) bled the furnace.

Any insight or suggestions on where to find good info would be appreciated!
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Old 10-14-05, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 37
as far as telling what kind of sysyem you have, there are alot of ways to tell.
look for a device called a low water cutoff, and a sight glass. if you can see the water line in the sight glass below the top of the boiler it's steam. if the low water cutoff device is above the boiler it's hot water. Most hot water systems have circulating pumps also. they would have wires going to them and located on the pipes around the boiler. is there one pipe going to your radiator's? if so I'd say check your air vents. Let us know
Old 10-14-05, 02:35 PM
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Boiler not furnace

I moved this thread to the appropriate forum. Utumike had some very good answers. If you still have questions please post back in the same thread.

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