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Asbestos in old capitol steam and hot water boiler unit?

RamseyD Member Posts: 4
I would like to remove the following unit and need to know if it contains asbestos before I touch it.
House built in the mid 1940's.
United States Radiator Corporation
"#3 Sunray Model 46 oil or automatic"
installed 1948
I have the:
" packing slip"
"Erecting Instructions"
"Instructions for operation and care of capitol steam and hot water boilers"

I know the pipes are covered with asbestos heat shields. I have encased them with
gauze impregnated with plaster.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,025
    I'd be really really surprised if it didn't have asbestos... either insulation on the outside, or under any outer casing it may have, or in the firebox lining.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • RamseyD
    RamseyD Member Posts: 4
    Thank you. I suspect you are correct. I hope to hear from someone who knows this unit and can tell me definitively that it does or does not contain asbestos.
    The cost of removal will be affected greatly by the answer.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,927
    Can it be removed in one piece?
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 597
    Before you convert to forced hot water, you should know that the efficiency of steam goes much further then the combustion chamber.
    1. steam can be balanced easily thanks to the way the radiators are piped. With thermostatic radiator valve every radiator can act as a zone for the room. (20 radiators means 20 zones)
    2. Steam gives a higher BTU output from your radiators then hot water thanks to Latent heat (240 btu output with 215 degree steam)
    3. Steam naturally moves it's self from the boiler to the radiators with out pumps or electricity. In fact old gas burning boilers didn't need electricity at all, being able to control a thermostat and safety controls from a millivolt signal from a power pile heated by a pilot flame.
    4. Steam has next to no moving parts so service and maintenance is simply.
    5. Steam has a 1700 to 1 ratio to water. That means it's 1700 times larger in volume, so your boiling a lot less water then what you will be trying to heat in those large pipes.
    6. Steam can't freeze and burst your pipes causing thousands in damages
    7. A steam boiler can be a dependable heating system that can run for 100 years (literally) or more properly maintained.
    8. Having a steam system run as a vapor vacuum system can be more efficient and as this technology grows the people with steam systems will be the lucky ones.
    Take a look at the link and see what will be the next-generation of steam heating systems.

    Forced hot water condensing boilers can be over 95% efficient, but take it from someone who installs and services all heating and cooling systems. The first service call or the first schedule tune up, all the money saved on fuel will go right back into the up keep of those complex systems.

    I hope I gave you something to think about
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,314
    If you suspect Asbestos then treat it as such.
    Have an abatement contractor test the suspect material, when you get the report then you will know how to proceed.

    From the sound of it Yes it probably is.
  • RamseyD
    RamseyD Member Posts: 4
    Thank you all for your comprehensive responses.
    And NO, the unit must be disassembled and removed in pieces up the stairs and through the bulkhead.
    AMServices: I hope this was a cut and paste response. Extremely well done but, I replaced the unit with a [hi efficiency] HVAC many years ago. I Thank you all again.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    it is asbestos
    I have old catalogs from when that boiler was new.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • RamseyD
    RamseyD Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for looking this up and confirming my suspicion .
    I will proceed carefully from here.