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Crane Boiler ID

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Wtp
Wtp Member Posts: 15
edited September 2015 in Oil Heating
I have a boiler in this building I'm working at that has no ID tag on it. The last inspection report states that the boiler is a Crane Boiler HW 17831. It's an oil fired boiler with a 9" exhaust .
How can I get the approximate age on this unit?
There are no manuals or other paperwork that I can get on this unit.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Howard

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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    Take some pictures and post them here- let's have a look at it.

    Crane bought out the combined National and U.S. Radiator operation in the early 1960s, then sold their entire boiler operation to Slant/Fin in the early 1970s, but I don't know if S/F has any of the old info.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Tinman
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Steamhead I'll get a few pics later this evening.
    Thanks.
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Steamhead here are a few pics of the boiler.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
    edited September 2015
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    Looks like a 1-series sectional boiler. How many sections does it have?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Coal converted, from the 50's, maybe earlier. It's a simple unit, 1725 burner, basic controls, very low combustion efficiency. Are you having a problem?
    You can (SERIOUSLY NOT RECOMMENDED) practically stick your entire head in there and look at it fire to see if you have the right nozzle angle and spray pattern

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Not sure how many sections, how do I determine the number of sections? Only problem is the low efficiency with the cost of fuel oil.
    Am trying to get enough info to convince the owners to possibly go to a 3 pass oil fired boiler. No natural gas near by and propane is pricey. Thanks for all the feedback.
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    STEVEusaPA
    Can you give me more info on nozzle size and angle and what the appropriate spray pattern should be?
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    edited September 2015
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    There wouldn't be any info in any book.
    Wtp said:


    Am trying to get enough info to convince the owners to possibly go to a 3 pass oil fired boiler. .

    Show them the results of a combustion test. It will probably show pretty low CO2 and pretty high CO. A properly sized and installed 3 pass (don't forget boiler protection) will save them oil. You're probably going to something like a total system efficiency of <50% to a properly sized/installed system efficiency in the low 80's or higher (manufacturer's unit efficiency puts some 3 passes around 87%.
    Do the need domestic hot water too?

    The best you can do with that boiler is, of course, clean it and do a proper tune up. Somewhere on the boiler should tell you a maximum firing rate. With the boiler off and no chance of firing, stick your head in there and measure the chamber (if you want), or better yet would be to do a nozzle substitution test.
    A square or round chamber will probably be a 70 or 80 degree nozzle, a long chamber could be 45-60 degree nozzle.
    First, make sure you have proper pump pressure. Here's an excerpt from my very old Oil Heat Technicians manual regarding determining the correct nozzle:

    1. Set draft to -.02 over fire, steady state, firing a nozzle that does not exceed the unit firing rate. Check for proper fuel pressure. I also check flame with inspection mirror to see if the flame is impinging on the back or sides of the combustion chamber, and change the angle to accommodate.
    2. Install an 80 degree hollow nozzle. Adjust air shutter until you get a #1 smoke. Mark/note air band setting.
    3. Stop burner, replace nozzle with same firing rate with an 80 degree solid nozzle. Turn burner back on, and without making any adjustments, do a smoke test. If the smoke reading is lighter then #1 smoke, then stay with the solid nozzle. If it's darker you go back to a hollow nozzle. Let's say its lighter then a #1 smoke. While it's still running, adjust the air band to get it back to a #1 smoke (you should have to close the air band).
    4. Stop burner, following the example of solid nozzle, change nozzle to same firing rate with a 70 degree solid nozzle. Fire burner. Check the smoke. If you have to close the air band to get to a #1 smoke, you are on the right track, if you have to open the air band to get a #1 smoke, the hollow nozzle was correct.
    5. You can continue if you want to a 60 degree, to see if you can continue improvement.
    After you decide which nozzle you will use, fire it back up and see if you get set it up for a trace of smoke (based on the age of your 1725 burner).
    Do full combustion analysis. You may find that at zero or trace of smoke you show very high CO.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    Wtp said:

    Not sure how many sections, how do I determine the number of sections?

    You can open the door where the burner is mounted and count them. The wall at the rear is one section, the front where the burner is mounted is another, and the remainder you can count from looking inside.

    We have no idea what burner that is so we can't recommend a nozzle. If it were something like a Beckett or Carlin, we could.

    It is possible to install bricks in the flue passages above the firebox to slow down the hot flue gases, if the owner won't go for a replacement. This worked well during the fuel rationing of World War II, and we still have to do it on occasion. If you have one of the old Audel Oil Burner Guides by Frank Graham, you'll find a detailed discussion there.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Thanks guys, there's a bit to digest there. I have the boiler/ furnace inspection/clean out guy coming in at the end of the month so I'll study up on what you have kindly provided and run this by him. I'll get the info on the burner unit later today or tomorrow and post the info here. I find the combustion test interesting. It appears that this brick chimney does not have any sort of liner. I kinda expected to see a clay liner. Looks like they just parged on the inside of the bricks. We are pricing out an insulated stainless steel liner and getting carbon monoxide/ fire detectors installed. I really appreciate all the assistance.
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Update on info,found an id tag. Pays to look with a flashlight.
    Located on one of the lower clean out doors. Inside was layed up with cement. Definitely a converted unit.
    Another door has 1 sectional boiler on it.
    Lower door has,
    Crane Cat 1-6-8, Ser # B-A Pat # 1856354 and 1856355
    Boiler Operating permit says MAWP 30 with MAWT 250(no sure what this means).
    Ignitor Model F92-124 Serial 245718 firing rate .85-1.10 usgph no heavier than #2 furnace oil. Made by Aero Tool Works Toronto, Canada. Several nozzles laying around with 1.0 stamped on them.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
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    I thought Aero or Ducane. Either way, I would personally discard it and install a Beckett, Carlin, or Riello, and baffle that thing down. New 3 pass would be the way to go, but not my $$$$ to spend
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    I hear you, but again not my $$$, I can only present a good case with lots of numbers that point out the obvious and hope it sticks.
    Thanks a lot
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    The more-recent Aero burners were flame-retention models. Aero made both low-speed (1725 RPM) and high-speed (3450 RPM) flame-retention burners. Been a while since I've seen one, but since it's mounted in the door it makes sense that it's a flame-retention type. I seriously doubt an older type of burner would work in that location at all. When the door is open, take and post a pic of the business end of the burner where the flame comes out- let's have a look.

    If this burner turns out to be a flame-retention type, we don't need to replace it.

    You have a 6-section No. 1-series boiler. The Net rating I found is 495 square feet of hot-water radiation, which translates to 74,250 BTU per hour. but they were using larger pickup factors in those days. The Net rating using today's pickup factors would almost certainly be higher. So 1 GPH might be about right. It would certainly run more efficiently when properly baffled.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Rad Heating Design - trying to determine Sq.ft. EDR for each of these rads.
    First rad 28" long x 34" high - 12 rows, 4 columns.
    Second rad 54" x 36" high - 22 rows, 4 columns.
    Third rad 23" long x 29" high - 10 rows, 3 columns.
    Not sure that I interpreted the rads correctly. Where do I go from here?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
    edited September 2015
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    Those are tube radiators, not column radiators. What you call a "row" is actually a "section". If you have Dan's book "E.D.R." use the charts for American Corto or National Aero rads.

    If you're trying to come up with a size for a replacement boiler, the best way by far is to do a heat-loss calculation on each room in the building. I'd be willing to bet the present boiler is oversized.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Steam head, I guess I'm trying to do a couple of things here.
    First is to determine if the rads are sized appropriately for the rooms. Second is determine if the boiler is over or under sized for the number of rads. Lastly is determine our efficiency.
    Just got a fuel consumption reply from the supplier.
    We're using about 3900 litres per season. The season here is Nov to March or April. There are 13 rads( various sizes). The building is a 100 year old 3 story job with about 800 sq. ft per floor.
    Even at improving the fuel usage by 20 or 30 % a new boiler could be paid back in a few years.
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Steamhead using an online calculator for room size, number of rads etc I roughly get 50,000 btu/ hr required. Your previous post mentions 74,000 btu/ hr. So what you had said is true in that the boiler is oversized. That would explain some of the past heating issues. I'll have to look at the heat loss calculations for each room.
    How much of this information re boiler/ rad sizing for room heat loss was available back in the day when this unit was installed?
    Not being in the trade I'm not to sure how far this goes.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    Wtp said:

    How much of this information re boiler/ rad sizing for room heat loss was available back in the day when this unit was installed?
    Not being in the trade I'm not to sure how far this goes.

    It was possible to do it, but before we had computers it took a long time to do. So they used various rules of thumb.

    A proper heat-loss will consider not just room size, but also type of construction, insulation, type and size of windows etc.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    spoon22
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Yeah the on line program calculator takes in all of these variables.
    Anyway will get back to the forum when I can get inside the beast to determine if it is a flame- retention type or not.
    Thanks for all the info.
    Howard
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Steamhead :Ifound info on burner unit, the tech says it is flame-retention type. Is this type of burner less desirable than others?
    Also the oil pump pressure is running at 100 psi it's a Sundstrund.
    Our temp's for water going out vs incoming back is 190/110 degrees F.
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    Also forgot to mention that the jet is 1.0, 80 degrees W.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    Actually, the flame-retention burner is what you want. It is the most efficient type and runs cleanest if set up properly. So I wouldn't ditch it unless you replace the boiler.

    Are you saying the water goes out of the boiler at 190°F and comes back at 110°F? Does this change after the system is fully heated? If not, it sounds like you have a circulation problem........
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Wtp
    Wtp Member Posts: 15
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    According to the tech/mechanic that services our boiler he confirmed these temperatures, also the aqua stats are set for 190 and 110 on the furnace. By circulation problems are you referring to short circuiting in the piping? The recirculation pump is set or 20 psi with the pressure release at 30 psi.