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Do I have a steam or water radiator system?

ie01
ie01 Member Posts: 1
edited February 15 in THE MAIN WALL
I recently moved into a 1916 home in a cold climate (it's -10F now) and know absolutely nothing about heating systems. From what little I've gleaned from internet searches, I believe I have a gravity hot water boiler and hot water radiators (based on no sight gauge, two-pipe radiators, and residential norms in my area). However, my home inspector identified it as a steam system based on some other unknown factors (he seemed surprised by some things I don't remember), so I am seeking more opinions. I appreciate anything you can tell me about what I have, and where I can learn more about what maintenance is required. I've included a number of photos and I thank you in advance for your help.








Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,157
    Hot water. Still set up for gravity unless there is a circulator somewhere you didn't show us.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,093
    Yup
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,485
    You appear to know more than your home inspector, as it is a gravity hot water system, with special “Revereware Humidifier” I wonder if he overlooked something else in the house inspection.
    It may even have a power pile gas valve setup, which will function without power.
    Use the find a contractor button here to find someone local to you, capable of servicing the system, which may require annual expansion tank draining. I’m having trouble reading the tridicator gauge to see if the pressure looks right.—NBC
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 194
    You have a very robust and simple gravity hot water system. Beautiful radiators!

    The large steel tank in the rafters is an old style compression tank. They occasionlly become waterlogged and require draining. That can be a DIY project.

    Since your inspector didn't know what he was looking at, It might be a good idea to have someone knowledgeable come in and look over the system. Hire someone who has a combustion analyzer, and knows how to use it.

    You can't buy these systems anymore. They are less efficient, but have a much higher mean time between failure due to their simplicity. It would be a shame to replace it because the combustion was off and it rusted out.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,663
    Home Inspectors. Funny people.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
    bucksnort
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,940
    Wonder what else the "home inspector" missed... or got wrong... Oy.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,015
    Inform the Home Inspector you will be demanding a Full Refund! Your state will have a governing body that you can file a complaint with. He clearly needs more training or a career change.

    My house had an old Thatcher gravity H W System. I will admit the most comfortable heat but the oil fuel bills were thru the roof. Within 1 year I replaced that thatcher with a Well McLain NG fired and 1/2 the capacity. Zoned the 1st & 2nd floors. The risers and radiators remain just the head banging pipes were replaced.
    bucksnort
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,015

    I always thought home inspector would be a great side scam. 

    For Some it is!

    Its all in how its worded........................"From the ground level the roof appears fine"

    I use an inspector because the Bank required it. Have since made friends with him. Hes not bad but the problem and he admits it is They cant know everything!
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 455
    pecmsg said:

    I always thought home inspector would be a great side scam. 

    For Some it is!

    Its all in how its worded........................"From the ground level the roof appears fine"

    I use an inspector because the Bank required it. Have since made friends with him. Hes not bad but the problem and he admits it is They cant know everything!
    Yeah, but THEY GOTTA KNOW THE BASICS, jeez!.

    @WMno57 Couldn't agree more. I helped my dad install a similar system in the mid 1950s. In the late 90s the circulating pump locked up, but wasn't noticed for several months. Kept on working on just gravity circulation.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,506
    Love the American Rococo radiators!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • bucksnort
    bucksnort Member Posts: 110
    You didn't hire a home inspector. You hired a scam artist.
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