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Turn off oil boiler when away?

In_New_England Member Posts: 130
I have an oil fired boiler that supplies hot water for baseboard space heating and has a small coil for heating water in a storage tank.

I'll be away for a few days and will turn the water mains off. Should I turn the boiler off too? In case there is a leak in the heating circuit (hot water to baseboards) and the water drains out, would the boiler over heat?

I have never turned off the water before, just the laundry outlets. I guess I grow more paranoid the older I get.

Thank you!


  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 130
    edited July 2022
    Also, I assume there is no harm to switching the oil boiler (Weil McLain WTGO-4) off for a few days - we just never turn it off, and it is in a keep hot setting.
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 578
    I suppose thats not much different than running out of oil and the water cools down.
    When that happens to me, I keep the secondary loop off (pull the fuse for the pump relay) and let the boiler work itself and the primary loops up to 140-ish, then I start the secondary circ.
    Imho, the main points of a restart are;
    Dont "shock" the boiler with a big load of cold water
    Minimize the time spent in condensing temperatures
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • DJD775
    DJD775 Member Posts: 241
    If you plan on shutting it down make sure the gasket around the tankless coil keeps its seal when the boiler is off. Sometimes, when cool, the metal contracts enough that it can lose its seal causing a drip.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,912
    It won't hurt to shut it off -- even if it drips at the tankless coil, as @DJD775 mentioned. Just take a quick glance at the pressure gauge when you get home (that will show if there's been a leak), turn on the water, turn on the boiler. And don't plan on a hot shower right away...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,722
    If the coil is heating water that is stored in a tank, the boiler may not need to stay hot all the time.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 130
    Just to wrap up, back home after a week away. Followed you all's advice:

    1. Checked the water pressure on the make up circuit. Looked fine, so no loss, which is always a good thing.
    2. Turned the water back on
    3. Turned on the boiler but left the hot water tank pump off
    4. Let the boiler get to 180F (its set point)
    5. Switched on the hot water tank pump.

    Haven't tried a hot shower yet, but all looks in order.

    Thanks for your pointers.