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One for the (really) Old Timers!

Visiting relatives near Toronto, I find they have an incredibly old warm-air furnace in their recently-purchased house.  It has obviously had additions over the years (a humidifier and an A/C coil in the Return air duct, at least, plus possibly a non-standard gas valve).

However, it seems to still be working - maybe as well as it ever did!  All it definitely needed was a new fan drive belt.  In general, it looks fine.  The Home Inspector reported it as 'about 25 years old' but OK.

Furnace is a Roberts Gordon GL100-A.  Gas valve is White Rogers 36C03.  As far as I can discover, Roberts Gordon stopped making this model in 1969!

Anyone remember anything about this furnace? 

I'm thinking maybe at least a smoke test of the heat-exchanger would be good idea.  But of course I'm from UK and like a fish out of water in Canada.  Where would I get a smoke cartridge in Hamilton, Ontario!!??


  • Brad Barbeau
    Brad Barbeau Member Posts: 52
    I'm in Ontario

    While I'm not in Hamilton, I can suggest some wholesalers that may be able to help:

    I'd suggest starting with the local Woseley branch:


    123 Dartnall Road

    Hamilton, Ontario, L8W 3N1

    Tel.: 905-573-5100

    You could also try:

    Noble Supply

    601 Burlington Street East, Unit B

    Hamilton, ON

    L8L 4J5

    Tel: 905-570-1099


    Hope this helps!
  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
    edited December 2011

    From my memory Roberts Gordon made conversion burners not furnaces. The White Rogers valve is probably not original to that burner.
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,047
    I used to know the answer

    To that, but now, I'm such an old timer I can't remember;)
  • croydoncorgi
    croydoncorgi Member Posts: 83
    edited December 2011
    REAL Roberts Gordon thru & thru

    The data plate is mounted on the casing of the furnace (inside) and is definitely showing the company name, the type (as above) and a serial number (starting 65, which might be a bit of a clue!).

    The burner system is an unusual design, consisting of an injector, a horizontal mixing tube / venturi, a right-angle bend upwards and a round burner, with the pilot assembly beside it.  Definitely could not be separated from the rest of the machine.
  • Too old?

    Luckily not too old to have a sense of humor!--nbc
  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
    Sounds like

    Sounds like a plane old upshot conversion burner to me. Installed lots of them
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
    What you have is a

    Roberts Gordon up-shot atmospheric conversion burner. Many of these were powerpile self generating systems so if you had a power failure you could operate on gravity. I will have to look up that White Rodgers gas valve to see if it is a powerpile valve?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
    If that valve is a

    36C03U-333 or -433 it is a powerpile gas valve.
  • croydoncorgi
    croydoncorgi Member Posts: 83

    Good to hear from you, Timmy..

    Hope all goes well in RI
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
    Things are going great

    here in the smallest state. We may be small but we have big plans. I hope you are well. Have a Merry Christmas.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,738
    Re: Roberts Gordon

    Most of those were powerpipe 750 MV but there were some 24 volt units. We had the last of the old ceramic pie plate difusers for those burners up to about 5 yrs ago and finally used the last one. No longer to be had. When the crack and break apart the burner is done. They were pretty reliable albeit not too effiicient.
This discussion has been closed.