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Oldest Boiler Contest

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The Arco rounds with the model number format you gave appeared around 1925 (earliest Ideal Fitter I have showing them) and were made up to 1939 (last ASHVE Guide where they are advertised).

Don't know about the Putnam, but a pic in the Hydronic Rating Handbook looks to be about the same vintage.

Plumdog, your Redflash was made from the mid 1920s thru the early 1950s or so. Earlier ones were marked "American Radiator Co" and later ones "American Radiator & Standard Sanitary Corp".

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Comments

  • Michael Keating
    Michael Keating Member Posts: 11
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    1900's boilers

    Hello, We are finnishing our Oldest Boiler in the County contest in New Hampshire. I am haveing trouble nailing down specific info on the manufacturing dates. We have a Putnam round with series # 4019 and then a American Radiator Co. Ideal Arco Round Boiler Number Series S 2206 3m (s 2205 3m). Both houses are turn of the century. Both units are coal stokers. Any help?? When I Google them I get a ton of unrelated info. All very interesting but does not give brands and date and models.

    Happy New Year!!
  • David Sutton_6
    David Sutton_6 Member Posts: 1,079
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    Hello

    This wae one old Crawford boilr, hope it helps, don't have much more info. But i did save the frount plate it was cast iron and very decrative...


    David
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
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    American Radiator Company

    Ideal Redflash Steam Boiler. I sometimes go to check up on this thing; the coal hasn't been put in it in 75 years or so, and the building dates back to 1865 but I don't know the age of the boiler. The railroad tracks that led to it were torn out in 1930 something.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,765
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    oldest boiler?

    How about a brickset firetube riveted drum boiler from I think 1918, still running & steam also.
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    home owner

    have a 1924 built house with a poorly functioning american radiator company ideal arco size series 19 0403k round boiler encrusted in asbestos. need a good service man to bring it up to speed. can u refer someone in northern calif for me? it is gas fired but i believe it may hav been coal fired once upon a time.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    It was definitely coal-fired when it was installed

    and I'd look at replacing it, as round boilers were never very efficient.



    Is this a steam or hot-water system?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • R Mannino
    R Mannino Member Posts: 440
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    This Was Running on 12/14/2010

    when we "decommissioned" it. I'd guess it's pretty old.



    You can see what we replaced it with here: http://www.technicalheating.com/default.asp?iId=HILHG
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    Our new boiler in the duplex is 1938

    A Garbraco. We have the fire permit for it still in a glass frame. The older boiler is the original H.B.Smith pancake boiler. I KNOW I should change them out but they are not leaking yet. I also know they will not leak just waste fuel. 70% efficient according to my analyzer. I will get some photos tonight
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Jim Walls_5
    Jim Walls_5 Member Posts: 9
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    Auglaize County Ohio Courthouse Boilers

    2 boilers were just taken out of service the end of February this year.

    I heard a rumor several years ago that a state boiler inspector had informed the operator that they were the oldest coal fired boilers still in operation east of the Mississippi River.

    They were installed in 1902. The County has pictures of them being delivered on horse drawn wagons.

    They are still in the boiler house, I will see if I can get some pictures.

    Courthouse is under restoration & steam is being replaced with geothermal water source heatpumps. :-(
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
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    Gurney Heating Co.

    Have any of you ever run into a Gurney Boiler? We have lots of Ideal Boilers that I used to run into around town, when doing service. I picked up a Gurney Heating company book from 1886, which was like a testomonial from various locations across the U.S.. There was one in there from my home town Marquette from 1887. Pretty neat stuff!

    Ross
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    Unless that steam system was badly knuckleheaded

    the geo will likely cost more to run. All those pumps and compressors............. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    You mean

    Gilbarco, as in Gilbert & Barker which also made Esso branded equipment?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    donaldo--old IDEAL ARCO round boiler S19050 3B

    It is a steam boiler (no pump), vintage 1924 and still operates although steam is not making it through the radiators like it has in the past. Pipe get hot but radiators only slightly warm to the touch. Have photos to email, if interested. Any suggestions for maintenance or repair; or should I bite the bullet and replace the system, asbestos and all?



    Don
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
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    Get a contractor...

    who truly knows steam and then replace. Since you are now at the end of the heating season you have time to look at diff. companies. Where are you located?

    kpc
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    IDEAL ARCO round boiler S19050 3B

    Home is in Sacramento, California.



    Thanks for the input.



    D
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    Yes Frank

    a Gilbarco.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    Venting?

    Don,



    Is this a one pipe steam system? A single pipe system has one pipe going to each radiator and there is an air vent on the other end of the radiator. Those air vents get clogged over time and they don't let the air out of the radiator; if the air doesn't leave then the steam can't enter.



    To test an air vent, unscrew it from the radiator (when the boiler is off and cool) and try blowing through it with the vent in it's normal vertical position. If you can't blow through it, try boiling it in vinegar for 15-20 minutes to dissolve the clog. When it cools try blowing through it again; if that fails you will have to replace it. Also try to find the main air vent, located on the steam main in the basement, if that clogs up your chance of getting good steam distribution is very poor.



    If you have a two pipe system there will be pipes hooked up to both ends

    of the radiators. Those systems have steam traps that can fail and they

    may have to be rebuilt.



    I agree that a boiler that old is due for replacement but the above work has to be done even with a new boiler so the time and money will be well spent. You might want to start a new thread and post some pictures of your boiler (from several angles) and some pictures of both the ends of a radiator (or convectors with the cover off). Tell us what the pressure gauge on the front of the boiler reads when it is cold and just before it shuts down at the end of a steaming cycle, the stock 30 PSI gauge should only move a bit and it's possibly failed if it is old. I will say the really old gauges are a lot better than the new crap the boiler manufacturers use but nothing lasts forever.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    IDEAL ARCO ROUND BOILER

    Thank you Bob.  Your valuable feedback is much appreciated.  I will follow your recommendations and report back to you.  We are preparing to leave on a mone month vacation; so, it will probably be late next month before I can respond. 

    Regards,

    Don
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    IDEAL ARCO ROUND BOILER 19050 3B

    Attached, please find some photos of the boiler and low water cut off. The radiators have one pipe in at top with a lever and one pipe on the floor going out.



    Don
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    Pics didn't work

    but with that radiator configuration, you have a Vapor system- the Cadillac of heating in its day.



    Post some pics of radiators and any strange-looking devices in the piping around the boiler. Have you found any names on any of the original hardware, such as valves, traps and the aforementioned strange devices? This will help us ID your system.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    IDEAL ARCO ROUND BOILER 19050 3B

    I will try again with the pics in a separate email.



    The accompanying equipment includes a McDonnell & Miller 269 11 (ITT) low water cut off that is connected to a glass test tube with a marked water level with multiple round faucets. The glass test tube shows evidence of a leak. I am afraid to mess with it for fear of breaking the glass and not having the parts necessary to stop the leak.



    System also has a pressuretrol from Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Company, model LAO4A1X2.



    With the thermostat now at zero, the type C Honeywell Vaporstat thin needle with a circle half way to the tip shows 3.6 pounds of pressure while a wider needle left on the same dial shows 1.2 pounds of pressure.
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    IDEAL ARCO ROUND BOILER S19050 3B

    I am trying one photo only to see if it transmits.
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    IDEAL ARCO ROUND BOILER S19050 3B

    I AM TRYING ONE PHOTO TO SEE IF IT GOES THROUGH.



    D
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    IDEAL ARCO ROUND BOILER S19050 3B

    I WILL TRY ONE PHOTO TO SEE IF IT GOES.



    D
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    What size are your photos

    and what file format? Generally, 640x480 or so works well, and they have to be JPEG. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    IDEAL ARCO ROUND BOILER S19050 3B

    SEE ATTACHED PHOTO
  • donaldo
    donaldo Member Posts: 11
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    IDEAL ARCO ROUND BOILER #S19050 3B

    HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS OF MY 1924 BOILER. IT STILL FUNCTIONS BUT IS IN DIRE NEED OF MAINTENANCE
  • Isaac2012
    Isaac2012 Member Posts: 2
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    Need help with my Arco - ideal water boiler

    Need help with my Arco - ideal water boiler

    I have Arco - ideal water boiler tow days ago was shut down I went to see what is going on I found out the thermal bricks was collapse inside the boiler which is result of blocking the fire opening, I need help and advice how to fix it if it easy to fix or who to call so I can get it fix or it is okay to run it with out thermal bricks
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
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    Time to ...

    replace that old boiler... It has served you well for a long time. Throwing money into that will not save you $$$ in the long run.
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    American Radiator Redflash

    Circa 1921.  I believe it's original to the house, originally wood fired, then oil and now gas.  The boiler flue ways were made large for the burning of wood and have been choked down with bricks to increase heat transfer and reduce flue gas temperatures.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • boiler1220
    boiler1220 Member Posts: 3
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    old girl

    Industrial burner services can rebuild that chamber there in quincy MA
  • boiler1220
    boiler1220 Member Posts: 3
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    1928

    Took these last summer
  • Running8
    Running8 Member Posts: 1
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    I 'm trying to determine the age of my Ideal Arco S2004 3B Round Boiler, gas fired. The Manufacturer's plate also says American Radiator Company. Although not pretty, it is still running proudly. The house was built in 1919. Could the boiler be original? Can anyone help?
  • wiliam
    wiliam Member Posts: 1
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    i have a american radiator company ideal arco size series w-2506 Don't know age need too repair fire box here pic
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    Pics didn't come through. Is this an "Ideal Water Tube" boiler?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • l3652197
    l3652197 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2016
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    Soon to be homeowner

    I am purchasing a house that was built in 1905. The boiler is a " New ideal arco american radiator". Does anyone know how much it will cost to replace? I am purchasing the home in NY.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
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    We don't discuss pricing on this site. If you want some insight about the replacement I suggest you start a new post. And for any kind of opinion you will need to supply a lot more information.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • daveseyfert
    daveseyfert Member Posts: 1
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    Still going strong every winter in Colorado (though probably losing a lot of heat up the chimney). I have a 101 year old ARCO series 19 1K size 519W. (Patented 1904). House built in 1917. Probably will replace this summer - we figure we’ve gotten our money’s worth!
  • newagedawn
    newagedawn Member Posts: 586
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    house built 1899
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"