The boiler is controlled by the thermostat in the first-floor hallway. If the boiler is not running at a certain time, it’s not necessarily broken—it may just be set to be off at that hour. The thermostat should only be handled by a board member.

Our heating system uses steam, not hot water.

If the water in the building will be shut off for more than 8 hours, the boiler should be turned off using the (labeled) switch on your right as you enter the boiler room.

If the pilot flame ever needs to be relit, press and hold the “reset” button (on the front of the boiler) afterwards. Always call Reed Wright before using the “reset” button, though.

Do NOT touch the white tank (decommissioned hot water tank) mounted on the wall. It is assumed to contain asbestos, which is not dangerous unless disturbed.


Emergency=water all over the floor or possible electrical short, NOT just loss of heat.
If you suspect a problem and no board member is available to consult, call Reed Wright: (206) 283-1234. They have an answering service which can contact them to do after-hours work, but they require up-front (and increased) payment for those service visits, so only a board member should arrange for non-emergency after-hours work.

If the boiler has stopped working during hours it’s set to be on, check the circuit panel in the storage room up the stairs from the boiler. Sometimes the “water pump” circuit gets tripped and its (labeled) breaker must be reset in order to restart the boiler. If you find that the circuit hasn’t been tripped, contact the board, or if that’s not possible, call Reed Wright for advice. Even if you are able to resolve the problem over the phone (without a service visit), inform the board of the problem later on.

If you find water on the floor of the boiler room and don’t know its source, do NOT step into the water—call Reed Wright immediately and alert a board member. If the water is localized and appears to be draining from the pipe coming off of the condensate pump (blue metal “box” to the left rear of the boiler), the “water pump” circuit has likely been tripped. Check the circuit breaker and reset the switch if necessary. The leakage should stop and the boiler should then come back on (if it’s set to be on at that hour). If it doesn’t, alert the board and have them contact Reed Wright. The “reset” button may need to be pushed, but that step should not be taken without first consulting Reed Wright.

Regular Maintenance

Reed Wright generally comes in June to give the boiler its annual servicing. Make sure to tell the technician about any recent problems with the boiler.

The boiler must be “blown down” weekly when it is in heavy use during the coldest months, and monthly in the early fall and late spring (and not at all after it’s been turned off for the summer). Kevin Connelly currently does this job, and must train anyone volunteering to be his replacement. Just in case, instructions for the job follow…

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