Boiler question

The house I inspected today just recently had a air conditioning system installed. They installed return/supply ducts and interior cabinet.

I dont understand why they didnt replace the boiler. The boiler is original 76 year old system.

Is there a good reason to keep the boiler insted of installing a central heating system that would of been easy and inexpensive to add on to the air system.

In regards to the boiler.

I called out a Boiler specialist to examine before closing. It was fairly dirty at the burners.

The temperature was 150 degrees and the Pressure was about 8PSI

I didnt see a relief valve.

I also didnt see a pump. Can you tell from the pics what type of system this is.

Any information on your inspection process for boilers would be appreciated.



That’s a steam boiler.

It doesn’t need a circulator pump. Steam rises through the piping up to the radiators. And if the PSI was 8 PSI, that’s too high. The PSI on steam shouldn’t exceed 3 PSI.


Isnt there supposed to be a sight glass on a steam system?



Was there one on the left side?

I can’t see from the pic.

Hartford loop ??

There wasnt a sight glass present.



The system appears to be a Gravity Feed Hot Water system.

Circulator pumps will not be present.

Sight glases and level controls will not be present as the system is based on Water and not Steam.

Good call Joe,

I am sure you are correct, that is a very rare system these days, probably about the lowest efficiency system ever designed. I can’t help but wonder if this is an open system. Did it have a large attic tank as well?

Whatever, it is well past its sell by date and by the look of those burners in dire need of service or replacment of the gas jets. These old boilers just go on for ever and it is not unusual to see stuff like this still in use in heat regions.



Ack…HVAC stuff…my weakness…:slight_smile:

Regardless, this system is aged and inefficient. A new system will pay for itself in very little time with the fuel oil prices where they are. You can cut the fuel consumption in half with a new system.

Fuel for thought. :wink:


The average age of the home that I inspect is between 60 and 120 years old.

I see these systems on a regular basis.

I inspected 2 of these today.

My guess is a gravity hot water system as well.

Hi Joe,

I used to see some of these when I lived in the North East maybe 3 or 4 tops, most have been replaced over the years due to boiler or efficiency issues. I guess they are a lot more common where you are.

BTW if you ever see a open gravity system with the attic tank in place please please get me a pic or several, I saw a couple years ago but didn’t take pics, one was copper the other was a lead lined trough.




Note to self… Ask Paul questions on HVAC!!! bru hah ha :D:D:D:D

The temperature was 150 degrees and the Pressure was about 8PSI

8psi sounds low for that temp. The typical fill pressure is around 12psi. The gauge might not be working or stuck.

I didn’t see a relief valve.
The relief valve is together with the fill pressure valve. I can’t really see it very well in the picture. It is the red housing on the right side.

I also didn’t see a pump. Can you tell from the pics what type of system this is.

Definitely a gravity feed as stated before…


lol…Patrick…Ask away on anything BUT old Boilers systems…lol…I most certainly dont see enough of them to be any expert on them…