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sweets 03-20-2007 07:05 AM

Gas Furnace Shutdown
Is it safe to shut down a gas furnace after the heating system in a home I'm living in & what steps should I perform before doing so? It's a gas hot water baseboard heating system set up in the basement with an "Emergency Off" electrical switch connected to it roughly 25 years old, Burnham Boiler Low-Pressure 1983 Boiler # 17092016. We have a gas hot water system right next to the boiler.

glennjanie 03-21-2007 11:51 AM

Hey sweets:
It is common to shut boilers down for the summer; I would simply turn the thermostat back where it won't kick on and leave the pilot light burning to keep out rust, spiders and mice. The pilot light won't use even the minimum charge on the gas meter.
No other steps recommended, leave the water in the pipes and make sure the circulating pump is turned off.

sweets 03-21-2007 12:01 PM

Gas boiler shutdown
I made a mistake to call it a furnace whichheats air, this is a gas boiler that heats hot water to the baseboard heating system. I wanted to shut it down totally meaning pilot & all for the Spring, Summer & early Fall. Is it safe to do? If I cut off the gas feed, turn the pilot to off, tape some plastic over the orifice, not that I have any spiders in the basement anyway. What else should I do. As I said there's an "Emergency Off" electrical switch that has a line to the boiler, should I turn it off? What else should I do?

Bobby_M 03-28-2007 11:09 AM

You could turn off the gas, but you'll have to remember to turn it back on and relight the pilot in the fall. As was mentioned, the pilot won't burn more than $2 worth of gas all summer. I believe that emergency shutoff just kills the automatic gas valve on the boiler. You acheive the same effect by turning the ball valve on the gas line right near the boiler. The circ pump will never run because the system temp will always be room temp.

sweets 03-28-2007 12:11 PM

The system is a Burnham Gas Boiler from 1983 using baseboard hot water, the boiler # is P-203-w, SERIAL # 17092016. WHAT ABOUT THE WATER IN THE TANK? If I shut the system down from Spring thru Fall should I drain the system or does that promote rust. Do you think it's a bad idea to do this altogether, will it shorten the life of the boiler to shut it down this way.

glennjanie 03-28-2007 09:18 PM

Don't drain the tank. Like you said it will promote rust; being under water keeps the rust down. The pilot light will also prevent some rust on the boiler tubes just by keeping them warm enough to keep the condensation down. Personally, I would not shut the system down; just turn the thermostat to the lowest setting.

sweets 03-29-2007 04:07 AM

Ok I won't shut down the system if that tends to promote rust, but do you ever drain the water? I thought that's a regular part of maintenance? If not when do you drain the water from the boiler system or do you just remove some rust colored water in the tank?
What other things can I do to the system to keep it running tip top?

glennjanie 03-29-2007 11:43 AM

Make sure it is connected to the water supply with a reliable backflow preventer (Check valve), then you may add some chemicals to retard any rust.
A "Down Home" method is to put in 1 cup of Dawn dish liquid and circulate it for 24 hours; then, drain as much as possible and add 1 cup of liquid fabric softener, refill with water and circulate for another 24 hours, check to see if there is still any soap foam in the water. If there is still any soap you can repeat the fabric softener.

sweets 04-12-2007 04:06 PM

If I'm going on vacation a week or two, should I shut off the water & gas supply to the gas boiler & hot water heater? They are both over 20 years old & I wouldn't want to flood the basement if the HW heater sprung a leak! Would I cut the electric power supply to the gas boiler as well & turn off the thermostat? Does the hot water heater supply water to the boiler with a constant flow of water or only as needed, when the heat is on?

glennjanie 04-13-2007 10:24 PM

Hey Sweets:
The water heater should not be supplying anything to the boiler, it should be hooked up to the water supply line. You might turn your water main valve off to prevent flooding, no need to worry about the electricity or gas if the thermostats are turned all the way back (the water heater has a temperature control too).

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