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Antique Cast Iron Boiler Information Needed
I need information to help me deal with my antique cast iron hot water heat boiler. I do not know if this is the right forum or the right thread, but at least it is an attempt. I have a Thatcher cast iron boiler in my house, built in 1922. It was originally coal and now converted to natural gas. It now has a Republic Gas Heating System conversion, Model A-2, with a Republic Safety Pilot, Model P2, and a Honeywell Electric Gas Valve Type V155A2C9.
I have lived in the house since 1987 and have had absolutely no problems with the unit. But, I know that nothing can last forever. My gas company says it is probably one of the last in my town of 23,000 people! But, what will go wrong? What do I look for? Are any parts available? Can it be re-converted with a new conversion system?
People say I should convert to a new boiler, but I am very satisfied with the efficiency of what I have. I keep detailed weather records and compare my natural gas consumption to Heating Degree Days per square foot and according to other information on the Web, I am in the ballpark of expecations, with mine being 10.5 BTUs/HDD/SqFt. According to my calculations, I would have to have high enough efficiency increase to decrease my fuel consumption by 40% to just pay for the interest on a new boiler. And that does not touch the capital expense of the boiler nor the cost of asbestos removal, etc. But, I do not like the thought of being without heat in the middle of winter!
Any help, advice, and comments you have would be greatly appreciated! Are there other sources of information I can tap into, too! Thanks!!