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/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Timkin Silent Automatic

Options
Black
Black Member Posts: 1
Was hoping for some advice with my current heating system. Long story short:



72 year old oil fired Timkin Silent Automatic connected to a one pipe steam system. The boiler is in remarkable condition both cosmetically and also presumably structurally as best my boiler tech can tell. It's not particularly efficient based on my most recent service/cleaning, somewhere around 76%. In the interest of saving money I have been considering replacing it. My boiler tech advises me (a) nobody builds a steam boiler today that lasts long enough to warrant replacing with a new steam boiler (b) I should go with oil fired baseboard and (c) it's going to cost around $20k to do this job



My thoughts are that that's a lot of $$$$$$$$ particulalrly based on the fact that the current system is still working fine and that I'm not convinced that oil is the way to go. The house is the same age as the boiler, 72 year old not insulated cape with original drafty windows.



Hoping to get some sage advice from all you pros here! Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Comments

  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,785
    Options
    Timken is Amazingly Simple!

    The Timken oil burner is an amazing bit of engineering that did not catch on.  Here are some infomrational links.

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/files/articles/1090/108.pdf

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/files/articles/1091/129.pdf



    An amazingly simple burner -- I had a house about 30 years ago that had a Timken hot air furnace, it ran great!

    The Timken burner uses a simple shaded pole motor, the armature sets in a circulating oil sump bearing, of which the oil level is regulated by the carburator.  When the motor starts, the spining rotor that extends up through the refractory floor, performs two functions.  The vanes on the rotor produce a draft and two small tubes deliver a droplet spray of oil by centrifugal force.  The oil deposits on the outer ring of stainless steel baffle grates, and is first ignited by a spark device.  As combustion commences, the flames travel around the permiter of the "ring of fire".  The stainless steel baffles quicktly heat up to a glowing red, thus vaporizing the oil as it is deposited.  They were regarded as a high efficiency burner, so I am guessing that you may be able to get a little bit higher than what you're now getting.  The air fuel ratio can be adjusted, perhaps by increasing the  oil or reducing the draft.  I'd have to do a bunch more digging to find information on that, but I'm sure its out there.



    If your boiler were mine, I would simpley maintain it and take care of it.  Who nows how long it will last, and all things considered, you're not in a horrible efficiency range.  It would take a long time to pay for the cost of the new boiler through savings.



    Money is better spent on insulation and tightening up the building.  But as for windows.... be careful before you rip those out in favor of vinyl replacment windows.  The have a limited life and a poor payback.  Money is better spent in repair, adding weather stripping and good wooden storm windows.  That combination will come extremely close to the performance of a new window, and those vinyl replacments usually have a life of about 20 years.  That's why their called "Replacment Windows!"
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    Options
    Christmas list

    Put on your list, extensive insulation and air-sealing of your house, which should lower your bills.

    People are replacing steam boilers all the time, but paying attention to proper sizing, and installation is important.

    In the meantime, get your system running as well as you can with good main venting, and low pressure;, so when replacement time comes around, you will have already worked some of the bugs out of the system.--NBC
  • Blacky
    Blacky Member Posts: 1
    Options
    Thanks for replies

    I started this thread but for some reason couldn't log back on with my previous log in info.



    Any way, the unit had been converted with a Beckett burner years ago prior to my buying the house. It is installed through the front of the unit and had to obviously be retrofitted to work. It looks to have been well done. As I had said, it is in pristine cosmetic condition and shows no sign of problems. I'm just concerned that its 72 years old. I love the heat it provides with the radiators



    The extent of what I do to maintain it aside from having it cleaned each fall by my boiler people is to flush the low water cutoff switch occasionally and make sure ther is the proper amount of water showing in the glass tube



    I have some photos but can't figure out how to download them. I had an old timer boiler man (retired) at my house one time. I showed it to him and you would have thought he was an art lover looking at the Mona Lisa! Thanks again for the replies!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,686
    Options
    Boiler

    Whatever you do, don't convert it to hotwater.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,785
    Options
    Replacement might be a good idea

    Given that this boiler is over 70 years old, it has certainly done its duty!  Between the time that I wrote my first post on this thread and now, I have discovered that my own 37 year old boiler has a crack and a leak above the water line.  I'm lucky that I was already planning for replacement and in fact, that project starts tomorrow. 

    So, planning ahead, as I have learned, is sometimes a good idea.  Maybe you could shop around, get quotes, and have the work done after the heating season is over.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
This discussion has been closed.