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  1. #1
    flyguy26's Avatar
    flyguy26 Guest

    Default 1967 boiler inspection

    Hi Everyone,

    I have an inspection of a house that was built in 1960 and changed hands once in 1967. Judging by the photos in the listing, not much has changed in the place.
    According to the listing, it has radiant baseboard heat with oil as the fuel. The prospective buyer says that there's a boiler. Is there anything in particular I should be on the lookout for?
    Any tips from those of you who live in the more northern climes or who have dealt with these systems before would be most appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Mitch

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: 1967 boiler inspection

    Normally these boilers were sold with no controls installed on the boiler so they had to be added during installation. The main thing I would check for is the correct setting on the high limit controller with a manual reset, the low water controller with a manual reset, the operation of the blow-down valve, and the correct size relief valve. I would also check the venting system to make sure it is intact and there is a CO detector near the unit.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: 1967 boiler inspection

    Don't forget to give a good look to the oil tank and it's support legs. And since it is oil-fired, look for a recent service tag. They should be serviced annually.

    Pressure gauge, flue pipe, clearances to combustibles, interior of flue boiler vents into if possible, condition of risers and pipes, evidence of leaks, emegency shut-off switch, etc. Look at all of it.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: 1967 boiler inspection

    At 50 years of age that system if it is original has had a good life. If it was me I would let my client know that they do not last forever.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: 1967 boiler inspection

    I agree with Scott that it probably needs to be replaced but I would still inspect it like it will be in use another 50 years because it probably won't be replaced until in stops working.

    Nick had good point about the oil tank if it is above ground. Around here a lot of the oil tanks are buried and can be an environmental hazard it they have leaked. If the tank is buried the buyers should be made aware that they might be responsible for the cleanup if it has leaked. The last one I was involved in cost the owner $6k to remove the tank and the NC Superfund paid the other $16k to cleanup the soil that was around the tank.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: 1967 boiler inspection

    I don't know about other states but here in Pennsylvania, the use of copper pipe for the fill and vent lines on an oil tank located inside the house is not allowed. It apparently has something to do with the lower melting point of copper in the event of a fire which could expose the oil in the tank to said fire. Fill and vent lines around here need to be black iron.

    One of the most common problems I see with oil tanks in basements is corroded support legs. If they are really deteriorated or getting there, replacement of the tank ends up being the most likely scenario to the tune of about $1500.00 or more.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,546

    Default Re: 1967 boiler inspection

    All good advice so far. I find that type of system difficult to check in the short time of a home inspection. There may be a circulation pump to pump hot water to the radiators or convectors. Just because it works does not mean it works well. Use your laser thermometer to see if heat is moving through the system. There could be circulation problems in a system that old. Advise the clients that your inspection has limitations.

    Around here, oil tanks should be inspected and stamped with a date of inspection every 10 years. Old timers neglect to have this done, no need. This becomes an insurance issue for the new owners. I snap a photo of the underbelly, looking for rust. Advise your clients of the possibility that the old tank will need to be inspected or replaced.

    A tank above ground is no indication that there is not an older tank buried in the yard somewhere. Call for a search to be done for a buried oil tank if that is a possibility. If a buried tank has been decommissioned, there will be a record of that somewhere. That's a project to pass off on the realtors, BTW.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
    Evan Grugett's Avatar
    Evan Grugett Guest

    Default Re: 1967 boiler inspection

    Insurance on above ground tanks is not available here. On most oil fired systems, the copper (or older screwed pipe) oil supply lines from the tank to the burner(s) were put in the concrete basement floor slab to protect them from damage. This is a major leak potential and a huge clean up problem when it leaks inside the building! Those hidden lines should be evacuated of oil and closed off properly. Have the oil co. run new supply piping above the ground between the tank and the burner.
    The buyer and the agent always think that since the tank is an AST, that there are no issues with it.
    Good point to always check & research for a buried tank even though the tank in use is above ground and may appear old. Before 1990 old tanks were just shut off, most not drained of oil, piping not removed or capped, and not removed or closed out to the standards that existed then.
    The gas utility here would give you a gas heating fuel conversion and leave the buried tanks in the ground with oil still in them (they did it to me in my own home in 1979, I had to later drain and close out the 550 gal. tank buried in my side yard).
    I have personally found old piping from buried tanks that were not in use many times, precipitating the follow up. Often the homeowner was not even aware of the tank, it was gas heat when they bought the house. Their inspector failed to notice or report on it.
    I suggest that an independent oil tank testing company be brought out to locate any tank if there are no documents on proper closure, so it, the oil and any polluted soil, can be removed.


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