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.

Update. Home with boiler, but no radiators.

Redcdr Member Posts: 16

First I want to say how great you guys are. Super knowledgeable and helpful and not judgmental of a non-pro like me. I made a post here yesterday asking about how a home that we’re considering an offer on is most likely heated (link below). Well we went back and got some pics of the boiler and a little more info. The executor said he believes it has heated floors. Based on what I saw, it looks like it has heated floors upstairs and a heated ceiling downstairs. The boiler is on the lower level and all of the pipes from the boiler go up as far as I can tell. It would be great if you guys could take a look at the pictures and let me know what you think. I really appreciate all of the info.


    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,887
    edited June 22

    It's obviously some type of radiant.

    Air pressure test.

    And it has an expansion tank with an air eliminator. That's not correct.

  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408

    Yes, it appears all the heat is in the first story ceiling - second story floor. So the first story floor (slab) will always be cold. Those black curved pipes disappearing into the ceiling are what carries the hot water for heating. Copper or some early rubber/plastic?

    The tank in the ceiling is sometimes called a compression tank. They are uncommon today. It may be original to the home. The Crown Aruba II boiler is probably not original. Others here can date it better than I.

    As Hvacnut said, compression tanks use a system called "Air Management" where unwanted air in the system is directed into the tank.

    Today we use bladder tanks and the system is set up for "Air Removal". I see 2 air eliminators in your photos. These may be for initial bleeding of the system, but after the system is bled and working, they should be turned off. Otherwise the cushion of air in the compression tank will eventually be depleted.

    Water expands when it's heated, and the tank, expansion or compression gives the water space to expand.

    Your Insurance agent will ask what kind of roof you have. When you say tar and gravel, or flat, he will either charge more, or not write a policy. Fire risk from re-roofing.

  • Redcdr
    Redcdr Member Posts: 16

    We rent a home now that has an old steel expansion tank. It’s give us some issues because there’s no way to purge air and there are no isolation valves. We generally drain and fill the system every year.

  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408
    edited June 22

    I have a 1916 system with an air over water tank. I'm actually a fan of the old style tanks, but I have easy to bleed cast iron radiators. I drain my tank every fall, but not the whole system. I'm able to do this because there is an isolation valve for my tank.

  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 781

    So easy to just add an Airtrol. ;)

    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944

    I'd be concerned that if those automatic air valves are open that they may have bled the charge out of the compression tank and the relief valve is opening on each heating cycle and fresh water is being added to replace that water every time the system cools. If that is happening that fresh water may have corroded that embedded copper tubing.

    The risk of replacing a roof would be on the contractor doing the work. I don't see how that would affect homeowner's insurance. Most modern systems are glue down membranes so I suppose there is a slight possibility of setting the adhesive on fire if you're particularly stupid.

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472

    It maty be too early to talk about system upgrades, an air sep and Amtrol expansion tank in this horizontal copper line with the pump would really bring the system into "modern hydronics"

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbesmattmia2