Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

old National boiler

Gas_man
Gas_man Member Posts: 5
I have a circa 1906 home with a National Radiator Co. boiler. This monster has cost me enough in natural gas. I purchased a 4 year old 84% efficient Viessmann.



I plan on removing all the old 2" cast-iron feeds/returns and replace with zoned tubing. Before I start this mess, is it worth it? I can't find anything online about the old boiler and possible efficiency.

Comments

  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    why are you removing all the piping?

    is it leaking? I am assuming this is a gravity hot water system. If it is steam there are other options. Also why are you buying a used boiler? DO you know if it is of the proper size and why it was really removed from service? I also think you will not have any warranty.
    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
  • Gas_man
    Gas_man Member Posts: 5
    ????

    The boiler came from a friend.  He upgraded to a larger more efficient boiler.  I do not have the working budget to buy a new boiler at this time. 



    The piping is 2" or more cast-iron.  It is no longer needed as it is no longer a gravity system, plus I could use the head-room in my basement.
  • Gas_man
    Gas_man Member Posts: 5
    ????

    The boiler came from a friend.  He upgraded to a larger more efficient boiler.  I do not have the working budget to buy a new boiler at this time. 



    The piping is 2" or more cast-iron.  It is no longer needed as it is no longer a gravity system, plus I could use the head-room in my basement.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,482
    Gas Man

    the boiler in the picture is fired with a gas upshot conversion burner which when installed was probably around 75% combustion efficiency if that. That boiler also has very high jacket losses so anyting you do is going to be an improvement.



    Having said that I do not like installing used equipment as you are often times buying trouble.
  • Gas_man
    Gas_man Member Posts: 5
    Thanks Tim

    I hear you about the used situation, however this boiler comes from a trusted friend for over 20 years, and he is a hot water heating specialist in the Chicago area.  He received a unit to demo in his own home, and this was the current one he was running.  He wouldn't steer me wrong (I hope).



    Sounds like anything will be better than the National Boiler.  I figure if you can see the open flame from the sides, the efficiency has to be pretty poor.
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,431
    Used Equipment

    I'll 2nd that opinion. There are no warranties on used boilers. The appliance would still need a boiler permit for installation in most incorperated cities. 

    As a Viessmann installer, you may need a 4 way valve, depending upon the boiler model and control. If it's an EC boiler, the device will need an aftermarket control and mixing valve for low temperature protection. Or you can add the Viessmann HK module which has a built-in control and mixing motor. Viessmann has specific piping requirements that are detailed in the installation manuals. They are available online at: http://www.viessmann.us/en/services.html
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,863
    That National boiler

    was originally coal-fired, then converted to gas. It is a dry-base type which does not absorb as much heat from the flame as more-efficient models. So just changing the boiler will make a big difference.



    There really isn't any need to re-do all the piping. Thermostatic valves on the radiators will let you zone room-by-room. Outdoor reset controls will regulate the water temperature and a properly-sized circulator will not need to use as much electricity as one sized for smaller pipes. Not sure which Viessmann you're getting, but a primary-secondary boiler piping system may be recommended- if so, this will decouple the boiler circulation from that of the system so we can optimize both.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Gas_man
    Gas_man Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for your input

    I wish I could control each radiator, however the control valves on each radiator are as old as the radiators themselves.  I'm afraid of tampering with this old piping as it may open a hornets nest in further repairs.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,863
    As long as

    the system has been circulating the same water year after year, the pipes should be in good shape. The reason is that in this instance, the corrosive elements in the water are used up and not replenished.



    My 1924-vintage system is still in fine shape, for this reason.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    Here are some 1930 specs

    I am guessing the boiler you have will be close to this.
    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
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    Possible second life???

    I can see an add in Craigs list or the like...



    "Antique wood burning boiler. Must provide own ash grates and must haul. Make offer"



    ANYTHING that you upgrade to will reduce your energy consumption. If you must change the pipe sizes, have a qualified designer size th pipes based on the load they are carrying.



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
This discussion has been closed.