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Anyone guess the age of this oil fired boiler?

Jack M
Jack M Member Posts: 213
edited December 2015 in Oil Heating
In the process of considering options to replace this boiler. Any idea how old this one is? The house was constructed in 1947. Baseboard hot water. I think the un-insulated tank above the boiler is a hot water tank. The system is serviced annually. In Dec of 2015 it had an 80.1



Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,350
    edited December 2015
    Late 1950s is my guess. National and US were separate companies before then. In the early 1960s or so, Crane bought out National-US. Later they sold their boiler division to Slant/Fin.

    This is a 3-pass boiler. I've installed baffles in some of these to boost their efficiency, but this is a job for a pro.

    The Beckett burner is an industry-standard flame-retention model, which was installed sometime after the late 1970s.

    This boiler won't be as efficient as a current model, but should do well nonetheless if set up properly. Do you plan to stay with oil or switch to gas?

    The blue tank is definitely a hot-water tank. There are better ways to make hot faucet water.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    SWEIChrisJ
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,451
    edited December 2015
    The 80.1% combustion efficiency is meaningless,the standby loss is astronomical, especially during non heating months and shoulder seasons.
    http://www.energykinetics.com/documents/architectsAndEngineers/ASHRAE-PerformanceOfCombinationHydronicSystemsButcher.pdf
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    Bob Bona_4SWEI
  • Jack M
    Jack M Member Posts: 213
    What is the large black tank above the boiler? It has a honeywell box attached to it. Is one of these two tanks an expansion tank?
    I believe those used to be common. The floors above this boiler stay toasty warm for sure.

    this information is a big help. I have not come up with a strategy for this heating system yet. A new (old) house in the family. I'd like to get the oil tank out. I don't like the looks of it. No natural gas options at the moment. I'd like to know if the intent is to install AC, so I'll wait on that decision before moving forward.
    I'm concerned that when the old inefficient system is removed from this crawl space that the floors above will become uncomfortably cool during the winter months. That would be a problem. Carpets are an allergy problem so the floors are bare.

    I wonder what the original 1947 heating system looked like.
    There's a large cutout in the floor above that appear to have been constructed for a floor grate. Coal?


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,350
    edited December 2015
    The black tank is an expansion tank. It gives the water a place to go as it expands when heated.

    I'd bet the house originally had a floor furnace under that cutout. The hot-water system would have been an upgrade, but in order to provide hot faucet water, the boiler had to stay hot all the time with that setup, which accounts for the heat rising to the floor above. Do you have a separate water heater now?

    You can get double-wall oil tanks now that give extra protection from oil leaks. Roth is the best of these.

    If you want to do A/C, a completely separate system such as a mini-duct or mini-split would work best.

    Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Jack M
    Jack M Member Posts: 213
    edited December 2015
    Steamhead said:

    Do you have a separate water heater now?
    If you want to do A/C, a completely separate system such as a mini-duct or mini-split would work best.

    Where are you located?

    There is no separate hot water.The boiler provides hot water year round. The house is in Massachusetts near the Vermont border.
    Would a mini split be able to keep up with the heating demands of a small 1947 house in New England? The new owner (sister) had forced hot air in the last house and she appreciates the comfort that these case iron baseboards provide. I have to say, the house if very comfortable (especially those warm floors above the boiler). No major renovations or expansion is planned for the house.
  • burnerman_2
    burnerman_2 Member Posts: 297
    The Expansion tank may be full or your gauge is wrong
    It is over 30 PSI The Relief valve also may not be working
    It should have opened at 30, so I'd check them
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,451
    Jack M said:

    Steamhead said:

    Do you have a separate water heater now?
    If you want to do A/C, a completely separate system such as a mini-duct or mini-split would work best.

    Where are you located?

    There is not separate how water. The boiler provides hot water year round. The house is in Massachusetts near the Vermont border.
    Would a mini split be able to keep up with the heating demands of a small 1947 house in New England? The new owner (sister) had forced hot air in the last house and she appreciates the comfort that these case iron baseboards provide. I have to say, the house if very comfortable (especially those warm floors above the boiler). No major renovations or expansion is planned for the house.
    That tag is wrong. 6.2% CO2?
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  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    6 percent is no surprise, the front doors are leaking like sieves :)
  • Jack M
    Jack M Member Posts: 213
    Bob Bona said:

    6 percent is no surprise, the front doors are leaking like sieves :)

    I think this tag is accurate (6%). I can check the other service tags. There are at least 15 of them.
    burnerman said:

    The Expansion tank may be full or your gauge is wrong
    It is over 30 PSI The Relief valve also may not be working
    It should have opened at 30, so I'd check them

    I have had two service guys look at the boiler. Neither said anything was out of order. If I tap on the expansion tank with my wedding ring will I be able to tell from the sound if the expansion tank is full?
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,451
    Bob Bona said:

    6 percent is no surprise, the front doors are leaking like sieves :)

    The 6.29% may be right but then the 82% Eff isn't
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    SWEIBob Bona_4
  • Jack M
    Jack M Member Posts: 213
    edited December 2015
    where should CO2 be on a boiler of this vintage/make? Is there an easy way to know if the expansion tank has too much water in it?
    I'm going to have the service tech come back. Is there a way for a non-techi (homeowner) to ask about the combustion numbers (in a constructive fashion)?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,350
    I believe I've gotten up to 12% with zero smoke on this type of boiler with this burner, but I don't have the test printouts with me to say for sure. To do this, the boiler has to have a very good flame environment (firebox), the burner head and nozzle well-matched to the flame environment, the proper baffles installed, the chimney clean and drafting properly, the doors and section joints well-sealed, the draft regulator properly installed and set and the burner properly tuned with a digital combustion analyzer.

    3-pass boilers are some of the most efficient out there, and even an older one like this can work well. But as I said, a new boiler will run more efficiently.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Both efficiency and "CO Air Free" numbers reported by combustion analyzers are for all intents and purposes mythical.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,757
    Are you sure that the pressure gauge isn't at zero and the warning hand isn't the red one.
  • burnerman_2
    burnerman_2 Member Posts: 297
    unclejohn may be right and that's worse... anyone see a low water cut off ??
  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 935
    Looks like the gauge on the National US we had as a kid. 50s install. The red should be the pressure as I recall. Of course haven't lived there in 30 years but long term memory is good. Short term.... :neutral: