In the apartment I am at I am just wondering how the boiler system works between all the units. Apparently its one water pipe going the whole perimeter of the floor but each apartment has it's own thermostat with the fin type baseboard heaters. So if my apartment is between two apartments with their baseboards off, how do I get flow to my apartment? I would assume the switch for these baseboards would open or close a valve to the whole pipe feeding between all the units. So I believe I am missing something.

Also what kind of thermostat can I use. Does any digital thermostat rated for 24V work? Not to sure whats actually going on when you turn the thermostat on. It's also only two low voltage two wires so it's not a bunch of coloured wires like other thermostats have. Thank You.

1 Answer 1


Most likely, the thermostat simply actuates a valve, which allows hot water to flow through your radiator. There's likely a main central circulation loop, with individual "heating loops" for each unit branching off. When your thermostat calls for heat, the valve allows the hot water to flow through your "heating loop".

As for what type of thermostat you can use, that completely depends on the system, the building, and the lease agreement.

  • Thanks, there must be more pipes that the building maintenance man didn't know about. So it's not as simple as saying that I have boiler and it's 24V. The thermostat is more specific than that? Oct 21, 2015 at 15:22
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    @Janessa A basic thermostat is just a switch, so any thermostat rated for the proper voltage should work. If you only have two wires, you won't be able to install a "smart" or WiFi thermostat. The owner of the building might not want you to change the thermostat, so that has to be taken into account as well.
    – Tester101
    Oct 21, 2015 at 15:47
  • Perfect I will check with them first. I assumed the same however theres are a few times things act funny with the wrong thermostat (eg. a high efficiency gas furnace if using a mercury thermostat comes on and off way to often to seem efficient, and its annoying). I will put something in and come back and post this winter if it works. Oct 21, 2015 at 16:59
  • Electronic thermostats usually have a switch that sets them appropriately for the kind of fuel you're using.
    – keshlam
    Dec 20, 2015 at 22:33

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