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New to hot water...

I am new to hot water systems due to the fact I have lived with one pipe heat for some time. Currently, my husband and I are looking at a home built in 1910 that's a gravity hot water system. The problem is the house has not had heat for 4 YEARS! Supposedly the system has been drained "properly." I don't know what that means but the huge old boiler must be removed per the gas company. Now my question is how likely would leaking occur in the systems once it's back on line with a new boiler? How brittle do pipes and cast iron get going through extreme hot and cold seasonal changes?

I don't want to get rid of the beautiful direct and indirect rads.  But I am worried that things were not properly winterized.  Mini duct might have to be an option :( 


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