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Renyolds Gas Regulator Leak?

HI guys. I have a 1929 Johsntown boiler with a Republic Heating Systems gas conversion done in about 1945. Recently I have noticed that the fire seems stronger than it used to be. The sound reminds me of a jet engine. I believe I have narrowed the problem to the gas pressure regulator which is a Reynolds R504 of Anderson Indiana. Several years ago I acquired a spare and have opened it to try to understand what I need to repair. Inside there are two Leather diaphragms. I'm not sure which is the problem in my operating regulator so I have decided to simply replace both, they are leather after all. Problem is I can find no information on where to buy the replacement parts. Anyone have any ideas where I could get these diaphragms? Anyone know if I can make new ones myself. They seem rather simple, but gas explodes and all, so I'm not sure if I should attempt this. Any Advise would be greatly appreciated.


  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343

    This is the perfect time to call a professional...  Regulators either work or are discarded.  The very fact that the gas pressure seems high (in your opinion) should set off bells and whistles.  A complete safety inspection is in order and should be done.  This has the potential to hurt or kill someone.   Not worth it!.  Small regulators are generally sealed at the factory and are non serviceable.  I have a Q:?  the perssure seems high, what was the gas pressure reading on your meter?  If you dont have one or are not qualified to administer this test, STOP!.  I'd feel better if you take the time and have it checked out.

    My .02

    Mike T.
  • Akron1
    Akron1 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the advice

    Thanks for the advice Empire.

    I am aware of the dangers of working on this system. The fact that the gas pressure seems high is "setting of the bells and whistles" and that is why I am here attempting to find a solution.

    Calling a professional is in the long term plan but, as this is my parents system, the politics of hiring someone at the moment are rather complex. We have hired "Professionals" in my area before and had entirely sad results. All the local "professionals" ,upon discovering that my father will not allow them to replace the boiler, have given poor results. The more I read on this site the more I realize that they had no idea what they were doing with a unit this old.

    I have managed to convince my father to call Jerry Gill (as this is a Mouat vapor System) this coming spring and I have high hopes for that encounter.

    To answer the next question before anyone asks, he will not call now as he believes "if its working don't mess with it ESPECIALLY during the heating season." So god willing Jerry can visit us here in Akron during the spring.

    However this being said he will not notice if I fix the darn thing.

    I realize this has the potential to hurt or kill someone, so I am left with a choice, do I stick with dads plan of, if its working don't mess with it, and leave the boiler possibly over firing ( I say possibly as you have pointed out that is my opinion), or do I investigate repairing the suspected (I say suspected because I have already investigated and cleaned every other part of this system in my attempt to repair the issue) cause? Here I am investigating.

    So, this is not a small regulator. It is about 8 inches across, and screwed together. It seems as if it were designed for servicing, much like every other part on this system. As I have read through this site, i(n the articles section) I have found similar devices, some of which have oil ports on them. This leads me to believe that I should have been oiling this diaphragm on some regular interval. Unfortunately I have not. I did discover about 10yrs ago that the gas valve ( a Honeywell V155 ( as I recall) ) required oiling as well. Now I am beginning to wonder what else I should be oiling. :)

    I do not have the ability to check the gas pressure at the meter. No I am not a certified professional. However I do have a clue as to what I am doing. I have in the past run gas lines under the direction of a professional, and often find that I, like most intelligent non professionals, employ greater safety checks than many professionals I have known.

    So if my residential gas supply pressure had changed, and this regulator could not compensate for the change, wouldn't my water heater, dryer, or gas stove show a similar problem?

    I am simply looking for a source for a rebuild kit for this device, or advice on wether I can somehow make my own rebuild out of leather as was originally used in its construction. I do not plan on doing anything questionable. To define questionable, I'm still in a bit of shock that the original was leather to begin with. I certainly would not have guessed or used that, but as has been said a lot around here those dead guys knew what they were doing. The leather is now 66 years old and just now having an issue.

    However if the general consensus is leave it till spring, I can do that as well.

    Safety is very important to me, and I am looking for a way to work within the restrictions placed before me to make the safest decisions I can.

    Thanks for the help.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    You have a

    Republic Gyroscopic Conversion Burner with the Reynolds regulator which can be replaced by a standard regulator made today. I strongly recommend you get someone who understands these very tricky burners and has the ability to service and adjust them properly.

    Do you have the manuals for the burner?

    Do not attempt to rebuild that regulator unless you have been trained to do so and I would venture I am the only one left here in this world who knows how to do it correctly unless there is some old gas man lurking around somewhere.
  • Akron1
    Akron1 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks again for the response.

    Thank you Mr. McElwain for responding. I appreciate your input on the situation and apologize profusely if I have ruffled any feathers around here.

    I thought I had a simple question " Does a rebuilt kit exist and if so can some one point me to it? If not what recommendations can you guys give?"

    I since you are the only person able to do this sort of work I take it that no kit exists.

    Thank you for the answer. I'll seek the rest of my education on this topic elsewhere.

    Please consider this inquiry thread closed.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    Akron 1 what did I say

    that upset you. I am more than willing to help you out. To answer your question as to what you can do is put in a simple appliance gas regulator which can be purchased at any heating supply store. Just make sure you have taken anoutlet pressure to insure the burner is set up correctly. That is why I asked if you had manuals on the burner which by the way I have copies of and will make a set and send to you for $1,000 just kidding they are FREE.
  • Akron1
    Akron1 Member Posts: 4

    I wrote you an apology in a private note and wanted to also post it publicly.

    I'm sorry for the snippy response. I appreciate everything I have learned from this forum, you guys really know your stuff.

    The clarity I "believed" I had already stated, I now realize, was lost in the first few pages of the novel I began above. I never trust anyone who says to me " I know what I'm doing" with out explaining to me how they know so I attempted to say that to everyone here with out saying that.

    Once again Thank you and my apologies.
This discussion has been closed.