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Boiler Hercules L-618 Converted to burn gas

bobbuck
bobbuck Member Posts: 8
Does anyone know anything about the Boiler Hercules L-618?
Installation instructions, or maintenance or ? It originally burned oil but was converted to burn gas back in 1980.

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,024
    edited December 2016
    The only thing I've been able to find in the resources we have, is that this is probably a rather old boiler sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co. In the Beacon boiler reference for boilers made prior to 1959, they show three model names: Indestructo, Hercules and Homart. The Homart name is the most recent of the three and was used at least through the 1970s.

    Sears used catalog numbers starting with 229. for almost all their boilers. If you can find a number like this, it will help. Also, take a few pics of the boiler and post them here. Let's have a look at it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • bobbuck
    bobbuck Member Posts: 8




    As you can see from the attached photos the furnace is called an octopus for good reason. It has been heating my home that was built in 1925 for a long time. Not sure if it is original to home or installed later. Also not sure if it originally used coal or not. The only name I can find anywhere on it is Hercules and L-618
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,024
    That really is a furnace, not a boiler. Time to replace it- these old units are not efficient at all.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • bobbuck
    bobbuck Member Posts: 8
    I know, but it will cost a lot of money just to get it removed let alone the cost of a new heating system.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    edited December 2016
    @bobbuck I'm pretty sure it started life as a coal fired, gravity hot air furnace. What is it you are trying to learn? The only mechanical part on that furnace is the gas burner which had nothing to do with the original furnace itself.
    Check out this link for a Hercules furnace brochure for sale on eBay. looks like your furnace. @Steamhead is correct. Originally sold By Sears and Roebuck:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hercules-Furnaces-Vintage-Fold-Out-Pamphlet-Sears-Roebuck-Company-Illustrated-/370688007604
  • bobbuck
    bobbuck Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the heads up. I bought the flyer from ebay. I would really like to find out more information about this furnace if I can. Maybe someone on here might know more.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,723
    One of the properties I care for -- the one in my signature -- has a gravity warm air furnace rather like that, though not exactly the same, which was installed in 1893. It is not in service and may, in fact, be removed. Not sure about that.

    The presence of the "clean out" door means it was originally intended for coal.

    The thing to watch out for in them is that the heat exchanger metal rusts out. This is most assuredly not good, as it means that either combustion gas can get into the hot air -- or that the draught through the flue can pull the hot air out of the house. The former can be lethal -- you do have CO detectors, don't you? -- while the latter is merely expensive.

    That's the bad news -- that and, of course, they aren't very efficient in the first place. The good news is that the ductwork associated with them is way oversize by modern fan forced air standards. This means that if you were to replace that monster with a modern forced air furnace you could use the existing ductwork quite happily -- which saves a lot of hassle. Just be sure to have it thoroughly cleaned before you start blowing air through it -- the increased velocity from the fan will pick up all kinds of things you wish it wouldn't.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    bobbuck
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,024
    bobbuck said:

    Thanks for the heads up. I bought the flyer from ebay. I would really like to find out more information about this furnace if I can. Maybe someone on here might know more.

    You might try The Sheet Metal Shop forums. If the same guy is running it now who was running it in the past (name escapes me), he'd welcome your inquiries.

    http://www.thesheetmetalshop.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=3
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    bobbuck
  • bobbuck
    bobbuck Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the information. Yes I have several Carbon Monoxide detectors around the house.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,231
    It looks like a fairly involved job to change out. The existing supply pipes don't marry to a modern furnace very well.
    I have used the existing supply registers for return air inlets for new furnaces. They are usually all on the interior walls. Also look pretty good left in place.

    The old return grills that I have seen were usually on the outside walls under windows. Sometime that cold air duct would drop below the floor of the basement into wood or concrete ducting to go under the gravity furnace. (Some things possibly growing inside.)

    I would cut supplies into the floor around the perimeter of the house. The existing cold air floor openings would be plugged with fiberglass and old baseboard grills reinstalled. Unless it was a complete remodel.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,024
    If you're going to go this far, go hydronic!

    We see many older houses that once had these gravity hot-air systems, and now have steam or hot-water heat. Water-based heat worked much better than air-based (and still does) so many homeowners went this way.

    Use your existing register grilles as returns for a mini-duct A/C system if you live where A/C is nice to have.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    SWEI