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Country Discussion Topics
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Oil fired steam heat control: what's the voltage to thermostat?
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Tom A    Posted 09-16-2001 at 05:10:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Have a very old steam system which, until this morning, has never given me a second's problem.

First time trying to turn on the heat this season and it did not 'click' at the main control indicating the thermostat was calling for heat.

Well, the wire going from the furnace to the thermostat appeared to have been pulled slightly, as there was new-looking insulation showing near (1/8 inch) some of the staples holding the wire to the beams in the basement. Apparently the women-folk took to enthusiastically cleaning cobwebs with brooms in the basement a few weeks ago...I suspect they may have moved the wire.

Anyway, took my volt-meter to the thermostat end of the wire and it reads 0.04 volts. Anybody know what it should read? I was guessing it should be something like 3V or so I suspect the wire is damaged in side the wall with just enough connectivity to give this micro-voltage reading. What do you think? Any other suggestions on where to look?


Franz    Posted 09-16-2001 at 15:53:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
since you said it's oil fired and old, it will probably be 24 volte AC. Check the voltage at the boiler end of the thermostat line. If the voltage is same at both ends, the problem ain't at the thermostat.

Spence    Posted 09-16-2001 at 06:07:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Tom!

You might want to try the Heating & Air Conditioning forum at:


Good Luck

bob    Posted 09-16-2001 at 16:17:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
just take a dollar bill and wipe it thro the points if it has them Dust will collect and not let current flow. was in fuel oil delivery and found this happen a lot in fall

Tom A    Posted 09-17-2001 at 06:27:37       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Points where? In the main control box?

I opened up the main control box and tested the voltage at that end of the thermostat wire and it is the same as what's at the thermostat--0.04 volts so the problem is output from the main control box I guess.


Franz    Posted 09-17-2001 at 09:41:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tom, may seem like a stupid question, but, have you checked the 115 volt imput to the boiler? Is the switch turned off, or the breaker?

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