You have made your way through that old house and just adore everything about it, so you are ready to make an offer and seal the deal. However, before you get all caught up in the excitement of finding your antique dream home, it is a better idea to do some further investigation especially if the house is heated by an older boiler system. Boiler systems are a common staple in older homes because this was one of the first indoor heat systems to be implemented after wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.
Old boilers are often highly efficient, but they are also quite massive and costly to have repaired if something is wrong. Here are three keys you should use to spot problems with that old boiler system in the house you are eyeing to buy.
Look for signs of rust in the hot water.
The majority of old boilers offer the dual function of providing hot water to the home as well as heat. Therefore, you can sometimes narrow down problems with the inside of the boiler by getting a good look at the water that comes from it. Turn on hot water faucets and let them run for a second, then capture a glass full so you can get a closer look. If the water appears rusty or murky looking, it could mean the inside of the boiler is starting to deteriorate with rust.
Check for leaks around steam return pipes.
leaks are one of the number one issues with old residential boiler systems, but they are not always easy to find. This is because in many cases, the water lines are either buried beneath the ground or hiding out between walls or even under the flooring. What you can usually find, however, is the steam return pipes. Take a good look at these pipes and their surroundings. Look for signs of water damage on flooring or walls surrounding them, and take note of any puddles or drips hanging out beneath them.
Examine the door of the boiler for warping.
A misshapen boiler door may appear to be an issue that just comes with age, but this is one problem that should be tackled early enough that you would never really see major signs that the door has changed shape. Without proper maintenance, the boiler door can be so warped, that simply replacing gaskets and seals will no longer be an option. While most modern boiler doors can be replaced, older models can be highly difficult to find replacement parts for, which can mean you would have to enlist the aid of a metal fabrication specialist just to have them replaced.