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Two Questions Annual Maintenance and Antifreeze

ed_c Member Posts: 3
I have two questions I'd like an opinion on. The first is that I have a recently installed high efficiency gashot water burner (Burnham). The plumbers who installed the system said that it should have a yearly maintenance checkup to ensure everything is running correctly. My previous gas burner was over 30 years old and had never had service on an annual basis (in fact the only problem ever encountered was when one the circulator failed and had to be replaced. Do these new high efficiency burners require yearly service or is it a ghood idea to have the yearly check.

The second question has to do with my gas hot water system at my cottage (actually more a house). I am close to the sea in Marshfield Ma. Last year Marshfield lost power for 5 days. Luckily, while cold, it was not bitter cold. Neighbors have a key to my cottage and turned on the water faucets to ensure my regular pipes wouldn't freeze. I'm worried about the potential of that happening again and the weather being much colder. I thought of having antifreeze being put in the system but reading various discussions get differing opinions as to whether that is a good idea or not. I also talked to some electricians about a battery backup exclusively for the heating system but they said that would not provide much more than an hour or so of backup.  I'd value your opinion.




  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,496
    2 answers


    As for the maintenance,it really depends. It seems some systems need quite a bit of cleaning and some go years with no issues. I would be sure that the original system was tuned with a combustion analyzer on startup. The first year I would have it serviced and tuned again. I would then get the opinion of the service tech as to whether or not it needs servicing every year.

    As for the cottage, I sounds like you have a hot water boiler there as well? If the building freezes you would have both the domestic water and the boiler water to worry about. It is pretty easy to glycol the boiler water. As far as the domestic water goes it depends on the layout and wether you want to winterize for the entire season.

    I did the math on a battery backup a while back. I figured 4 marine batteries would last about a day.

    An automatic generator that runs off natural gas might be an option.

    The controls in some of the newer boilers do not like the power generated by some inverters and generators. I would test before you buy.

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
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