Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

New Home

rhw1 Member Posts: 32
Is this a hot water system? Does it look like it needs upgrades? And what’s the tank for that is in the ceiling?


  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,537
    60 years old plus or minus
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,667
    yes, hot water system,

    are you comfortable?
    20 drops of oil in the circulator bearing,
    and a drop or 3 in the 2 ends of the circ motor (I think I see the plugged extension)

    compression tank in the ceiling, could get drained if water logged,
    what do you have for pressure when the boiler is cooled down, and when it's been making heat?

    post another distant picture showing the boiler and the tank, all in one,
    nothing leaking, correct?
    known to beat dead horses
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,918
    Yes it's hot water. Does it need upgrades? Not if it's keeping the house warm and not requiring much if any water. The green tank on the ceiling is a compression tank, and it keeps the water pressure in the system more or less constant, regardless of water temperature. Agan, if the system pressure is holding reasonably constant, don't mess with it. Most modern plumbers and heating people haven't faintest idea as to how it works or why.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Illinoisfarmer
    Illinoisfarmer Member Posts: 52
    Maybe I'm imagining it, but in the first picture, left side, slightly down from the top, it appears that the flue vent for the water heater to the left partially out of the shot is against the fiberglass insulation on the pipe going down to the boiler. Either there's a shadow, scorched paper, a chunk has been removed for clearance - or I'm seeing things. Just a friendly observation.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,350
    The black soot/dust coating on the top of the boiler and flue have me concerned. When was the last time someone checked the combustion and draft and cleaned the burners and heat exchanger?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,230
    edited February 2022
    rhw1 said:

    Is this a hot water system?

    Yes, that is Pumped Hot water, not Steam. Based on the size of the pipes in the ceiling, that may have originally been Gravity Hot Water, so probably not the original boiler to the house.
    rhw1 said:

    Does it look like it needs upgrades?

    Upgrades? No. Maintenance? Yes, but all systems need maintenance.
    rhw1 said:

    what’s the tank for that is in the ceiling?

    Water expands when it is heated. The tank is half full of water, half full of air. As the water in the system is heated, the air in the tank is compressed, allowing the expansion of the entire system's volume of water.
    I have a similar system that is 70 years old. Love it. Far less to go wrong than anything sold today.
    I DIY.
  • rhw1
    rhw1 Member Posts: 32
    Thanks everyone. I am somewhat familiar with a steam system but nor hot water. Where does one check and adjust the pressure if necessary? Do we need to open the gray box on the side of the boiler?
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,393
    Shouldnt need to adjust pressure.
    perhaps you can have someone who is familiar w/ these systems come by and give you a tutorial on its operation and show you where stuff is...
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,323
    That's a 1960s-70s boiler. If it works well keep it. But nothing last forever so start saving for a replacement some day.

    If it's working ok have it serviced and checked in the spring.

    Check "find a contractor" on this site and post your location
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,230
    The green valve in your first picture is probably a Thrush Flow Control Valve. The museum here at HeatingHelp.com has documentation for this valve describing what it does, and how it works. The Thrush valve will divert air coming out of the boiler into the pressure tank.
    There may be a temperature and pressure gauge on your system (didn't see one in the pictures) that will tell you what your boiler is doing. Hot water systems are unlike steam systems in that water is rarely added. I've not added any water to my system since the start of this heating season. To raise pressure you add water from your domestic water system. To lower pressure you drain water from the boiler.
    I DIY.