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Mysterious concrete pad?

ChrisJ
ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,970
I've attached two photos we took of the basement before we moved into the house in 2011.  Looking at the childish lighting that was here does make me glad its gone, I forgot about that.  The pictures also show a concrete pad that is maybe 18" x 24" give or take right next to the red painted chimney.   The wet return runs directly through it which was busted apart later to replace the wet return.



I'm curious what this pad was for?  The steam piping is off to the side of it so it doesn't seem like a boiler would have sat on it, or would it?   Above this pad but off to the side is a rectangular hole in the floor but there is another one over where the current boiler is as well.  I believe these are from before the steam system so I doubt they have to do with the pad which was poured around the wet return.



Any ideas?  I'm asking only because I've wondered about it since the first time I saw it.  I'm hoping maybe some of the pros here have seen something similar or might have an idea what it was used for.   Another clue might be the fact the fittings used in the header of that boiler were old Ward fittings, but were newer than all of the other fittings in the steam mains suggesting that header isn't original to the system.



Any ideas?
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

Comments

  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Mystery

    I bet that somebody lowered the level of the basement and left a block around the old return so they wouldn't have to redo it. Still a lot easier than raising the ceiling.
  • It Looks Like

    A pad for a boiler or a pad for a water heater.



    Thanks, Bob Gagnon
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  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,389
    Maybe it's an altar

    that was used in some mysterious pagan ritual, and the return pipe was there just to warm it up to the right temperature.



    Nahhh. JStar's probably right. :)
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 313
    Gravity Heater

    I was thinking maybe a gravity heater of some kind had been there. Or a washing machine, they used to put them up on concrete pads sometimes. 
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Look

    close for a patch on the chimney. A wood stove?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,970
    edited January 2014
    Lower

    Lowered the floor? Before the concrete that is there it was just dirt.

    Can't find a patch in the chimney especially now that we converted it to a B-vent so only the base is still there. When we tore it down we did find two thimbles from wood stoves in the bedroom areas.



    You know, another mysterious thing is over that pad there was an approx 6" round cutout in the floor above and the 2nd floor along side the chimney that was covered over many many years ago. Maybe it was a water heater?



    Apparently everyone puts boilers and water heaters raised up off of the floor but me. I put the new boiler right on the concrete floor as I was concerned about the height to the lowest dry return.
    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
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Stove Pipe

    Cut out for a stove pipe? 6 inch?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,970
    6 inch

    That was my first thought, however I can't see having a single wall pipe right against wood. Maybe a 4" double wall?
    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
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Experimental Stuff

    They use to have all kinds of different materials for pipe.God only knows....some kind of compressed asbestos possibly.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,970
    Ah

    That's interesting. I assumed they only ever had metal. There is a 5" metal pipe under the kitchen floor someone jammed between the joists from the kitchen stove I assume. They tossed it under there for storage I guess so its more garbage I need to get rid of.
    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
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 313
    Asbestos Ducts

    In my old apartment (a 2-flat in Chicago terminology) there had originally been some kind of hot air heating system (circa 1904) which had metal ducts which had asbestos "collars" where they penetrated the floor systems which caused no end of problems for my landlord who, in the end, had them sealed up tight from below (the registers into the rooms had by then long been sealed up with installation of a gravity hot-water system, probably in the late 20's).