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Old 11-17-2009, 01:43 PM   #1
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need some help identifying my system


Hi,

I want to read up on my type of furnace, and need some help with the terminology. It can be confusing for a beginner!!

Here are some pic's of my system. Its quite old, but is a workhorse!!

Furnace


Hot water Radiators. Is this what they are called?



and My oil tank



so, I kinda know how the system works. The oil from the tank is burnt in the furnace in order to heat up water that is then run through pipes and then to the 'hot water radiator's' (is that the correct terminiology for the 2nd pic??)

I want to read up on bleeding the 'hot water radiators' and how to bleed them correctly (I know you have to unscrew the little bolt on the radiator, and let the air out...). I read somewhere that you may have to increase th water pressure afterwards etc...I would like to better understand the system as a whole, and I may have to replace it eventually, and would like to know what the best options are for the infrastructure that I already have set up...

So in order to make my research easier, I figured it would be best if I knew the correct terminology for the equipment I have. There's allot of info on this site and on the web, but I have a hard time narrowing it down to stuff thats pertinant to my system. Any links or book suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!!

James

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Old 11-17-2009, 03:28 PM   #2
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A. You have a boiler(furnaces heat air).
B. Your burner is old, and very inefficient.
C. You may or may not have an automatic water feed. can't tell form the pics.
D. You unscrew the bleeder plg in the bleeder valve of teh rad(yes, correct term).

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Old 11-17-2009, 03:35 PM   #3
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can this system be referred to as a 'steam system'?
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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No.

Its a hot water system. or you wouldn't have to bleed air from the rads.
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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thanks!
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:38 PM   #6
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You might want to have someone look at and correct the wiring hanging down on the right side in front of the expansion tank -- it does not look loke it would meet codes
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbmfj View Post
Its quite old
How old?
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:55 AM   #8
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i really dont know, but Id say at least 50yrs, if not more.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:59 PM   #9
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has anyone replaced a unit similar to this with the electric boilers? My system is old, and Im thinking about replacing in the future.

The systems are in a duplex that I own, and I will be moving out in a couple of years, and plan on renting the places out. As my current systems runs on oil, I was thinking that perhaps an electric boiler would be easier for maintence, and less prone to headaches with tenants, as they wont have to deal with oil companies (only hydro electricity), and I wont have to deal with ensurijng that the oil tank is full when they break lease (i rent with a full tank, and expect a full tank when they leave). So, if you have replaced this type of unit with an electric boiler, how efficient was it? Was it cheaper to run than oil? How the maintenance? I suppose that if I were to install one of these electric boilers, do you still need your chimney? any good website you can refer me to so I can read up on these, or perhaps a manufacturer website with more info with respect to power consumption, output etc...

I've asked for allot, any info is GREATLY appreciated!!!
Thanks
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbmfj View Post
i really dont know, but Id say at least 50yrs, if not more.
It's outlived 92% of HVAC stuff.

Re: cost; assuming 100% efficiency, 1 Therm of energy can be had from approx. 0.71 gal of fuel oil, 100 cubic feet of natural gas, 1.1 gal of propane, 29 kwh of elec heat, 8.4 kwh of heat pump heat (COP = 3.5), 4.2 kwh of heat pump heat (COP = 6.9).

Last edited by Yoyizit; 11-18-2009 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:46 PM   #11
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Whats your electric rate.
Electric boilers are ok. But, usually, electric rates are too high, for most people to be able to afford to use them.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:10 PM   #12
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That old beast was a coal fired boiler. Probably about 30-40% efficient now. Can you increase the damage deposit or put a clause in the rental agreement holding some $$ for the oil. Check with the rentalsman/authorities and tell them the problem. You would need several thousand $$ to upgrade the electric service for the house(s),/(larger) plus installation of the electric boiler. They are expensive to run.

Last edited by yuri; 11-18-2009 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
That old beast was a coal fired boiler. Probably about 30-40% efficient now. Can you increase the damage deposit or put a clause in the rental agreement holding some $$ for the oil. Check with the rentalsman/authorities and tell them the problem. You would need several thousand $$ to upgrade the electric service for the house(s),/(larger) plus installation of the electric boiler. They are expensive to run.
The Beast LOL, I'd like to capture the heat that's coming out of the flue, it's probably enough to heat another house.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
It's outlived 92% of HVAC stuff.

Re: cost; assuming 100% efficiency, 1 Therm of energy can be had from approx. 0.71 gal of fuel oil, 100 cubic feet of natural gas, 1.1 gal of propane, 29 kwh of elec heat, 8.4 kwh of heat pump heat (COP = 3.5), 4.2 kwh of heat pump heat (COP = 6.9).
thanks for the stats. Ill have to crunch some numbers to see whats best. Im located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Go Habs Go!!) and the hydro elctricty rates seem 'fair'. Last year I only paid about 1100$ oil for the year, so it's pretty affordable as it is now. I have neighbors attached to my building on either side, so Im only exposed from the front and back. also have the tenant upstairs, so I get run off heat form him as well.

Should I bother to have this unit serviced? Havent had it done in the past 5yrs. What about my chimmney. Should I have it cleaned from perhaps build up from the furnace?

Last edited by sbmfj; 11-19-2009 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbmfj View Post
Should I bother to have this unit serviced? Havent had it done in the past 5yrs. What about my chimmney. Should I have it cleaned from perhaps build up from the furnace?
If servicing costs $X and improves the efficiency from Y% to Z% you can figure the payback period.

Servicing might also improve the safety. Buy some CO detectors in any case.

I don't guess anybody makes aftermarket flue-mounted heat exchangers to capture your wasted heat

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