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Jim F 04-26-2010 04:27 PM

Heating water in boiler year-round
On my plumber's advice and setting, the water in my oil-fired boiler is heated to a constant 120 or 140 year-round. HIs rational for thiis is his belief that the the seals are more prone to failure with heating and cooling cycles, especilaly after a summer long idle period. Currently, I have water from my boiler circulatint through my indirect fired water heater throughout the year anyway. He also says it is preferable to keep the water in the boiler heated to ensure there in hot water when the water tank calls for it.

I have a lot of faith in his judgement, but am wondering what others think. It would be nice to be able to eliminate some of this heating given the cost of oil if it really is overkill.

Scuba_Dave 04-26-2010 04:43 PM

We shut our boiler off every year
Its already been off for a couple weeks now
Waste of $$ to run it in the summer
Our Oil guy does the tune-ups, never had any problems
Our boiler is over 22 years old now, due for replacement soon

Are you saying the boiler heats your hot water for household use ?

Bob999 04-26-2010 04:59 PM

Some boilers are really designed to be maintained at operating temperature while others are not. For example, modern so called low mass boilers have much smaller water capacities and are equiped with controls that only will fire the boiler when there is demand for heat.

I would be inclined to go with the advice of the person you count on to maintain the equipment--or be prepared to find someone else if you decide not to follow his advice.

oh'mike 04-26-2010 05:45 PM

I want to hear from BEENTHERE--He has a wealth of boiler knowledge.

I shut mine down is the early spring and don't fire it up again till is so cold outside that my wood burner can't keep the house warm.--I'm cheap--what can I say?----Mike---(boiler was installed 1988)

Jim F 04-26-2010 07:39 PM

I'm thinking about shutting off the boiler thermostat and saving some fuel. The indirect hot water heater turns it on periodically anyway. Part of the reason he recommended it was that the seals with my old Weil-McLaine were leaking slowly in the off season and them would quit once it was fired up.

NHMaster 04-27-2010 04:14 PM

It depends a lot on the type, age and condition of the boiler. Some boilers have their sections held together with press nipples (tapered steel nipples) while others use rubber or neoprene O ring type gaskets between the sections. In either case, shutting the boiler down does not "dry" the seals out because the boiler is still full of water. In a press nipple boiler what can happen is that as the boiler cools, it contracts and that contraction may be enough to cause the press nipples to leak (especially at the base of the boiler) The same thing can happen with O ring seal boilers also but it is not as common. The thing to do is to go ahead and shut it down for a few days and see if you get a wet spot on the floor. If you do then rather than run the boiler year round and wasting money, I would ( if the boiler is less than 10 years old) have the draw bolts tightened up and or the seals replaced. If it's older than that, it's time to scrap it out anyway. I almost hate recommending this but boiler sealer will often take care of the problem also. However, directions need to be followed and if it don't work the first can, it ain't gonna work at all so don't keep pumping cans of the stuff in there.

Jim F 10-24-2011 10:37 PM

Thought I would bump this up to see if I could get some new opinions on this since it is still a question on my mind. Mine is a Weil McLein cast iron boiler and was new in 2003. It also heats the water tank- indirect so I really don't think the internal water temp ion the boiler needs to be kept hot all the time.

oh'mike 10-24-2011 10:49 PM

I moved this to HVAC for you---Beenthere is where??

beenthere 10-25-2011 04:38 AM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 756192)
I moved this to HVAC for you---Beenthere is where??

He's never around when you need him. :laughing:

Most boilers don't need to be kept hot/warm year round. Minor exceptions are those that are over sized so much they take too long to heat back up and cool the indirect down instead of heating it.

Most of the indirect systems I put in. Have the boiler set up as a cold start.

If your indirect is set up as a priority zone, set your boiler up to cold start.

Jim F 10-27-2011 09:15 PM

I think I'm going to change that after I ask about the setup. Oil is just too much money.

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