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Amer Std ARCOliner boiler

Not sure that there would be any major advantages to it other than cleaning up the burn. The firebox on this beast was most probably sized for solid fuel, meaning it is GROSSLY over sized, and based on the high stack temps, is not design to extract the optimum amount of heat from the fire.

In an economic pinch, I suppose one could just change out the burner, but replacement will probably show a significant reduction in fuel consumption.

Then theres the question of vessel integrity and life expectancy. How much fresh water induction has it seen?

What would you do if it was YOUR boiler???



  • Ted RobinsonTed Robinson Member Posts: 126
    Can this old boiler be used?

    A 1950's house I inspected has a 1.35 gph Amer Std ARCO liner hot water boilerwith a pre-historic slow speed oil burner. I measured a #9 smoke and over 700 degrees stack temp and lots of soot on the fire-side. I didn't see any water leaks, so I wonder is the unit can be brought to life with a modern oil burner, and cleaning?
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,369

    Sure, if the boiler is good it can be saved. That thing must be filthy. It should be cleaned immediatly and not allowed to run in that air poluted state.

    But even with a new burner SHOULD it be saved?? I doubt it. With the ever increasing cost of fuel it is foolish to use that boiler. It should be changed asap. As a stop gap a new or used burner could be installed and run until next summer and the customer can save up some money for a new boiler if that is the issue.

    In the short or long run it would be best to change it now. Be sure someone does an accurate heat loss and a survey of the radiation. More important than the brand of boiler installed is an accuratly sized system.


  • Al LetellierAl Letellier Member Posts: 929
    rehab arco liner

    Sure you can but why? This boiler is a good hunk of iron and can be successfully converted but the end results may no justify the means. The old SS chamber is probably shot and impinging the flame. You can go with a tub chamber and a new burner...use a Beckett AF. The AFG or AFGII burners generate too much static pressure and you'll blow all the heat up the flue. Before Liability became such and issue, it was common to install some old firebricks in the flue passages to slow down the flue gases thru the boiler. I don't recommend you do this, because of the "L" word. It's time to replace the old girl with a high efficiency boiler. Do a good selling job and watch your customer smile at the savings.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,369

    Great minds think alike!
  • the beast and the beauty

    Time to shoot the old beast and have it melt down into a new life of radianting heat from a new beauitful looking cast iron radiator..... Oh geeezzz, I'm getting softie here....
  • Steamhead (in transit)Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    I agree replacement is the better option

    but if that's not feasible right now, upgrading the burner (and firebox if needed) would make sense. At least the boiler could run cleaner and more efficiently than it's running now. The Arcoliner was a 3-pass boiler which is inherently a good design.

    If the owners choose this option, the Beckett AF burner is a good choice, also the Wayne MS-R or Carlin 100CRD. A heating professional may be able to get a better deal on one of these high-speed, low-static, flame-retention burners since they probably don't sell as quickly as higher-static ones now do.

    The firing chamber would need to be replaced too if it's stainless steel- this type can't handle the hotter flame of a new burner. The "bathtub" (such as the Quickee made by Lynn Manufacturing) chamber is a good idea if this Arcoliner is a wet-base unit. If it's one of the dry-base Arcoliners, Lynn recommends an upright chamber like their "Time-Saver". Both are made of Kaowool which heats up quickly for a clean flame.

    If the fire-side seals between the boiler sections are bad, they would have to be re-sealed with Kaowool rope. Bad seals here will let excess air into the firing area, reducing efficiency.

    The flueways on the Arcoliners I've seen were heavily finned, so baffling them didn't appear necessary. I'm not sure adding baffles would be a liability issue as long as the over-fire draft was measured with a digital analyzer, found to be within specs and the results printed out. We all do this anyway, right?

    And of course, all the soot would have to be cleaned out, burner brought into proper tune etc. Once all of this was done, there should be no more sooting AT ALL.

    If this sounds like a lot of work, you get the idea. And it wouldn't be cheap, if all of the above needed doing. But if the owners just could not afford a new boiler now, it would help them save up for one by reducing their oil consumption.

    If they do choose to replace the Arcoliner, they should look for a modern 3-pass oil-fired boiler like the Solaia, Burnham MPO or similar unit, sized by an accurate heat-loss calculation. The Solaia can be factory-equipped with an oil burner OR a gas burner, allowing the owner to switch fuels without buying a new boiler. On the higher end we have the Viessmann and Buderus boilers from Germany, but these cost more to buy. And the next few years should give us even more efficient oil-fired equipment. Oil suppliers are not unregulated monopolies like most gas utilities are these days, so the resulting competition tends to keep prices down. But check the cost per BTU in your area to see what's cheaper to burn- and be sure to include all the taxes and fees that gas companies don't want you to consider!

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  • Ken D.Ken D. Member Posts: 820

    I agree with Al. A new high efficiency boiler will be so much more efficient. That is the preferred way to go. It will pay for itself in a resonable amount of time. But, in a pinch, (customer can't afford it, is selling the house next month, etc.)we have installed new Becketts and Carlins with good success. Not as efficient as a new boiler, but better than what you have.
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