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Oil-to-gas conversion Portland Maine

Greetings! I'm a newbie here (which will soon be obvious). The Dan Holohan books helped give me confidence to buy my 1908 house in Portland two years ago. I have oil-fired one-pipe steam. Love the radiators, some of which I've had sandblasted and repainted. The Boiler is labeled Texaco Fuel Chief, Model FCS6500 with a net IBR rating of 139.100 and is fired by a Carlin Suntec A2VA-7116. The system has been working fine, but oil is expensive and the oil technician dates the boiler to the 1970's.

I'm looking for contractors in the area to convert me from oil to natural gas, I'm already a gas customer. There are three contractors (whom I have contacted or tried to contact) who are listed within 50 miles of Portland, but none in town, which seems funny to me. So my questions are: Anyone else I should call for an estimate? Would it ever make sense or even be possible to retain the boiler but replace the oil-burning gun with a gas one?



  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Steam Pro near Portland,ME

    Hi-   Steam Pros in Maine are hard to find. The closest one I know to you is:

    Ken Viger

    K&J Heating, Inc

    168 Lewiston Rd

    Gray, ME


    (207) 415-0873

     Other people from the Wall have used him and have been very satisfied.

    - Rod

  • vaporvacvaporvac Member Posts: 1,512
    Small world!

    Wow! Small world. My Dad lives just outside of Gray @Sabbathday Lake! Steamers unite!

    I know this isn't helpful to this post, but not too many people live in Gray (or Portland for that matter).
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,653
    Cheer up...

    not all that many people even know where Gray is!  I used to have a cabin on Norway Lake, and drove through Gray on my way to get there... and past Sabbathday Lake, for that matter!

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    or Readfield

    up on Maranacook, where my grandparents had their summer place (camp, as they called it.)
  • KTS_MaineKTS_Maine Posts: 7
    Thanks but...

    Thanks Rod for the name in Lewiston.

    Thanks SWEI for the starting point. Although a newbie to this site, I've studied the "Lost Art" and "Got Steam Heat" texts in pretty fine detail. I'd certainily recommend those books to anyone in my situation!

    If anyone else has answers to my two initial questions, just post 'em!
  • JeffMJeffM Member Posts: 158
    possible, but...

    It's possible in theory to replace an oil burner with a gas one on many boilers, but given the age of yours I don't think most would recommend it. I made such a change on my boiler last year, but it's less than ten years old so made sense to continue operating it (and not have to re-pipe for a new boiler). With a boiler over 30 years old that has unknown maintenance history, you're probably best off just starting with a new boiler.
  • KTS_MaineKTS_Maine Posts: 7

    Thanks JeffM, that makes good sense.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 11,321
    Depending on who actually made that boiler

    for Texaco, it could be newer than that. I seem to remember these were re-branded Dunkirk or Utica boilers.

    Anyway, if you put a gas burner in and the boiler goes up in a few years, you can probably transfer the burner to a new boiler. We've done that.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • KTS_MaineKTS_Maine Posts: 7
    makers of Texaco-labelled boilers

    Thanks Steamhead, I've been told that Burnham and Dunkirk made boilers branded as Texaco Fuel Chief. I'll add Utica to that.

    OK, I'm sort of back to the beginning, needing a consultation with an expert or two!
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