Gas HW Boiler Shutdown for Summer..Yes or No?

Old 05-03-18, 07:56 AM
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Gas HW Boiler Shutdown for Summer..Yes or No?

I've been reading pro's and con's for shutting down gas fired HW boiler systems for the summer season and I'm still unsure if I should be doing it or not. We moved into a double back in 2015. The house is older, and has two gas fired hot water heating systems. The boiler systems are older, approx. 15 years old made by Utica Boiler. I have had the boilers serviced (burners cleaned, systems flushed, etc..) by a licensed heating company at the start of every heating season (I usually start them in October here in the Northeast, shut down in May)

Since we've owned the house, I've had both expansion tanks replaced.

So, should I be shutting down the systems each year, and having my service guy service them and fire them up in October?

Thanks for your opinions..
Old 05-03-18, 09:44 AM
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If they don't supply domestic hot water then they are usually set up as cold start boilers where they don't fire unless heating is called for.
Old 05-03-18, 09:58 AM
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They are dedicated heating boilers. We have typical hot water heaters to supply the hot water needs. So if the heating boilers are used for heating for 7 months out of the year, you’d shut them down for the remainder?
Old 05-07-18, 09:02 AM
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Keeping boiler on all summer is just wasting money. Shut them down.

Turn off water feed so hydronic pressure drop as water cools.

In fall startup pressure will then build up to normal setting.
Old 05-07-18, 03:18 PM
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If the boiler has a standing pilot, the heat from the pilot will help keep out moisture that can cause the boiler sections to rust. Some people claim that the pilot consumes gas and will increase your gas consumption. (only slightly true). If the burners have electronic ignition, there is nothing to do. You could shut off the electricity if you prefer but that will do basically nothing more. Don't turn off the make-up water either. Let the pressure stay in the system, it is only about 12-15 psig. The one thing that worries me is the part of the statement where you said that the service company flushes the boiler at the start of each heating season. Hot water boilers should be flushed "NEVER", and will only need new water when the piping or radiation is repaired. Only steam boilers need flushed at shut down each year.
Old 05-08-18, 07:01 AM
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I agree that a standing pilot, if left burning over the summer, consumes a negligible amount of gas. But whether it keeps the boiler internals dry and prevents rust, is debatable. The emission from the pilot is primarily water vapor, which then condenses inside a cold boiler. (Natural gas, when burned, creates one molecule of CO2 and two molecules of water.) So, it might be best to turn off the pilot and relight it the following fall? On the other hand, leaving the pilot on may deter spider webs that could foul the pilot orifice.

Overall, I don't think it is critical, one way or the other, whether the pilot is turned off for the summer. Suit yourself.
Old 05-14-18, 05:27 PM
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I would shut down the boiler including shutting off the pilot light for the summer.

I think that would prolong the life of the thermocouple (the little tubular gizmo that the pilot light plays upon).

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