Furnace stuck on


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 heating.
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!
Ted
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I don't know how to fix it, but a quick solution to the artificial summer would be to turn of the circuit breaker. If the furnace was installed correctly, it'll have its own breaker.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

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.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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?
Jeff
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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 problem.

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.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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.
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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!)
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Restarting might be an issue. What's the weather like? Can you just open the windows a little, until your landlord gets in touch and lets you know what the status is?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

I would go ahead and turn the switch off. If it cools off to an unconfortable level before help arrives, turn it back on again. That's what it's for.
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If the damned thing won't stop, you are on the verge of an emergency. YES turn it off.
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The landlord does not care about space, but having separate heat for each unit makes a LOT of sense for utility cost and individual control. Smart way to go.
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

prioritize according to emergency and order of call recieved.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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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