Hey all, I'm here in the hope that someone will have enough knowledge
of this situation to be able to help me. Our landlord just had a new
furnace system put in, and yesterday it became very apparent that we
have no control over it. We have a thermostat, but it doesnt work - a
quick trip to the basement verifys that no matter what we do to the
thermostat (including removing it entirely), the furnace is still
My question is, aside from the obvious discomfort of our house being
over 90 degrees, is there a safety issue associated with this? It seems
to me from a physics standpoint that the constant heating could create
a pressure problem and possibly an explosion or pipe rupture, but I
really dont know. If it is still like this tonight (I alerted him and
he claims to be looking at it), should i shut off the gas switch?
This is a very old home with what I believe used to be a gravity hot
water system, that appears to have been changed now into a pumped hot
water system. The furnace is natural gas fired.
Many thanks in advance!
Yes, by all means, turn off the circuit to the system. Rather than a furnace,
it sounds more like
you have a boiler system, and a circulating pump for the hot water. If there is
a zone valve, maybe
it is stuck open. When these motor driven valves get old, the gears jam, and
they stick in the open
position, which turns on the gas valve and keeps the burner fired all the time.
If it was my problem, I'd wait one hour for the landlord to get someone
over there and then call the gas company, tell them what's happening and
add that I think I smell gas in the house. That should get one of their
staff over pretty fast.
BTW, who's paying for all that gas being wasted?
Yes, thats correct, my fault- I guess the correct term is a boiler. It
looks to me like it formerly was a gravity driven system, but now it
appears to have been modified to use a pump. Old things sticking open
shouldnt be an issue- The whole system was just put in. Yesterday was
the first time it was on.
I cant seem to find a circuit to the furnace itself, and since there
are three seperate boilers for the three floors of the house (three
appartments), Im a bit afraid to accidentally kill my neighbors heat.
There is a red "emergency burner shutoff switch" lightswitch-type
switch attached to each boiler- Is this the correct thing to flip off?
The actual circuit breaker that is feeding the three boilers and the
three hot water heaters is (naturally!) unlabeled, so Im afraid to flip
off the wrong appartment. The other two appartments say they have no
We havent missed that point, either... we just decided we'd get the
problem fixed and the house not-exploded, and THEN we'll argue with the
landlord on that point.
Simply, turn off the one that is running all the time. Three boilers for the
three apartments is a
rather unusual setup. I have seen several apartments run off of one boiler,
with several zone
valves installed. This saves a lot of room where the boilers are present.
So do you think the red light-switch on the boiler marked "emergency
burner shutoff switch" is the correct way to turn it off? Im not
familiar with the wiring/input of these things, so I dont want to cause
a bigger problem by shutting it off the wrong way (or a way that cant
be restarted again!)
What kind of NG fired furnace? Eventually the safety limit sensor will
trip but instead of waiting, I'd shut it off from breaker. Looks like
furnace controller problem. Shut it off, after waiting for a few
minutes, turn it on ans see what happens. If it still acts up, I'd
say you've got a problem.
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