Evaluating Dormant Boiler system


Old 04-03-11, 06:31 AM
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Evaluating Dormant Boiler system

I've purchased a historic building and the boiler/radiators have not been used in 25 years.

I was about to remove the old radiators but before I do is there any value in trying to get this system up and running again, or has it been sitting too long and am I just asking for perpetual problems?

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Old 04-03-11, 07:14 AM
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What kind of radiators?

Is this system steam or hot water?
Old 04-03-11, 07:53 AM
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Keep them! Assuming that you will be doing some work to improve the building in terms of weatherization (insulation and air sealing), the radiators will be fantastic for providing efficiency and comfort. That goes for steam or hot water. But especially hot water. A properly designed and controlled radiator system is, IMHO, second only to a well-designed radiant floor system for efficiency and overall comfort (and sometimes even better...).

Lots of options exist for providing heat. But the key to starting is first thinking about weatherization and getting the heating load down. This is really easy in older buildings; not uncommon to reduce the heating load by half or more just with simple steps. That cuts your energy costs, forever, and is generally the most economical and shortest-payback approach. And allows the use of smaller, less expensive equipment.

Tell us more about the system and the building. Maybe take some photos of the boiler and near-boiler piping and share them on photobucket or similar site. Lots of knowledge here to help.
Old 04-03-11, 09:31 AM
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Aside from the comfort level of a CI radiator system, in a historic building I would always consider keeping the radiators. Our 'throw away society' bugs the bejeezus outta me.

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