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Got to see this old Ideal steam boiler on Friday

RayWohlfarth
RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
edited May 2018 in THE MAIN WALL
Not sure how old it is but I was really excited.



Ray Wohlfarth
Boiler Lessons
Turbo DaveHenryErin Holohan Haskell

Comments

  • RomanP
    RomanP Member Posts: 102
    That’s THE MONSter!!! On the other hand modern one would be 10 times smaller lol

    I’ve seen old steam boilers. Probably coal. In the old commercial buildings, downtown Brooklyn, Fulton area. They were size of 2 story house. Two of them sitting side by side
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,864
    I'd say 1920s, and yes it was originally coal-fired.

    Wonder who made the conversion burner? And is this a one-pipe or Vapor system?
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  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,010
    Nice Ray!- is it still in active service?
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
    @RomanP It makes me think about how much work it was to install something like that. Real crafstmen
    @Steamhead Its a one pipe steam The local contractor had never seen one
    @gerry gill Its not running. I just kept thing of one of @Dan Holohan stories about the boiler in the pit
    Ray Wohlfarth
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  • RomanP
    RomanP Member Posts: 102
    @RayWohlfarth it is amazing isn’t it. Dead Men didn’t have fancy iPads and software. Mega Press and all other cool equipment that we possess these days. Yet, their systems were on point and performed great.

    Respect!
  • RomanP
    RomanP Member Posts: 102
    Whenever I see 8” or 10” THREADED sprinkler risers, I cringe lol sooo thankful for groove machine and victaulic fittings lol
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
    @RomanP So true This boiler worked for several decades. I would imagine the installers had muscles on top of muscles.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,864
    So they installed a new boiler and just left the old one there?
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  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,447
    Redflash? Gosh.
    Retired and loving it.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,389
    Those old Ideals lasted a long time.

    Looks pretty naked, 1 gas valve, don't see any pressure controls or low water cut off. They are probably on the other side (hopefully) We used to have 2 jokes about why boilers were in pits in addition to more head room.

    1. the chimney was too short so they sunk the boiler to get more draft or
    2. to get the condensate back
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
    @Steamhead Yes They did not want to pay for the asbestos removal
    @Dan Holohan Can you imagine how hard it was to install these old things
    @EBEBRATT-Ed They installed a new one about ten years ago but that has to replaced now

    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,447
    It makes my eyes ache.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,864
    Only ten years? Blame the welded header.
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  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 988
    It is a Smith. They did not follow the instructions for a header construction. it is nearly never the boiler manufacturer, it is nearly always the installer! The two best sales persons for me: the installer and the chemical guy!
    gennady
  • brandonf
    brandonf Member Posts: 188
    I want that thing in my basement as a conversation piece. (Minus asbestos). Haha
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
    @Dan Holohan I would love going back in time to watch them assemble these things.
    @Steamhead Welded header? They thought it was the cold feedwater to the boiler.
    @Henry I agree I sold 4 boilers to a college when they had a chemical guy sell them descaler for 30 years old boilers.
    @brandonf LOL It could be like the Tiny Houses.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,777
    So here's an old 1916 IDEAL boiler in action.
    and an efficiency test on 1891 American Radiator Boiler:
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,864

    @Steamhead Welded header? They thought it was the cold feedwater to the boiler.

    A welded header does not allow the boiler sections to expand and contract, so it puts a lot of stress on the sections. In some cases this has caused repeated section seal leaks.

    As long as the joints are threaded on the risers between the boiler and the header, you will have enough "give" in the header to take up expansion and contraction. This is covered in Lost Art, chapter 4.

    Is that a 28A series boiler?
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  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
    @David107 The videso are so cool Thanks for sharing 58% efficiency?

    @Steamhead It is a 28 series. Look at the melted name tag


    Ray Wohlfarth
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    D107
  • FriendlyFred
    FriendlyFred Member Posts: 27
    Earlier this year, I was at an art show in the basement of an older business district when I saw an out-of-place screen door with this thing on the other side.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,864
    Wow. That gas line doesn't look big enough to fire that size boiler. Bet it was for an old oil burner that had a gas pilot.
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  • FriendlyFred
    FriendlyFred Member Posts: 27
    Correct. Oil tanks are stored out of the frame, to the left. I wasn't able to spend nearly as much time with the 'Ideal No. 6' as I would have liked.
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
    @FriendlyFred Wow that looks like something seen in kids movies to scare them.
    @Steamhead cool catch
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 760
    Looking at the combustion numbers he was getting on that old snowman, it looks like it could be improved considerably by adjusting the burner and sealing things up to cut down the excess air. I had one running about 48% Eff. once and I closed up alot of leaks in the boiler ( the ash pit door had fallen off) And got it running in the mid 70's. I was out there because they couldn't get heat to all the radiators. Tuning up the boiler did the trick. Just because its old, doesn't mean it has to be inefficient.. We've got several of old Pacifics that are running at the theoretical limit of 85 to 86%. We have to keep them slightly overfired for the system to keep them from condensing. I don't think there is anything that can touch the efficiency of those old Pacifics.
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  • Shalom
    Shalom Member Posts: 164
    edited May 2018

    Wow that looks like something seen in kids movies to scare them.

    Kind of like this kids book, The Larky Furnace. I used to have a print copy of that (from 1902!) that was passed down from my grandmother.

    Here's an illustration: https://ia800608.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/8/items/larkyfurnaceothe00broo/larkyfurnaceothe00broo_jp2.zip&file=larkyfurnaceothe00broo_jp2/larkyfurnaceothe00broo_0029.jp2&scale=8&rotate=0
    Don't know why that didn't embed.

    (The maid said "Please sir, the furnace have gone out," and the dad replied "Well make sure you leave the side door open so it can get back in." and the daughter took him literally.)
    ratio
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,762
    Thanks for posting this, Ray.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
    @The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro) 85-86% efficiency? Wow You got a magic touch
    @Shalom I love it Thats my kind of kids book
    @JohnNY Most welcome Hope you are doing well
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    JohnNY
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 760
    The Pacifics have a massive radiant transfer surface in the combustion chamber. The barrel on top of the square base creates way more transfer surface than the standard arched crown chamber. Way-way more surface than tube type chambers!
    They work fantastic with Radiant design burners. My head burner tech swapped out a standard on/off power flame in very good tune for a same capacity modulating radiant burner running a two pipe system and saw about a 20% or more reduction in fuel usage.
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  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
    @The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro) Wow Thats pretty impressive savings
    Ray Wohlfarth
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  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 988
    "A welded header does not allow the boiler sections to expand and contract, so it puts a lot of stress on the sections. In some cases this has caused repeated section seal leaks. "
    Sorry but all large boilers have welded headers. On needs to follow the boiler manufacturer instructions on near piping. In nearly 40 years of installing and replacing steam boilers, not one of my "welded headers" caused a leak. We assemble for other mechanical contractors. If they do not follow the manufacturers instruction on near boiler piping, there can be a problem. But it is NEVER due to welded pipe.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @Henry , when you do welded headers, do you also weld the boiler risers into that header as well (like the one in these pictures)? or do you put some threaded swing joints from the risers into the header?
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 760
    Welded header piping is specifically prohibited by Peerless on any of their boilers unless threaded swing arms are used. In addition Weil Mc Lain has now stepped back from thier previous position of allowing all welded piping on thier boilers and requires some threaded piping at the risers to allow movement. I believe Smith also has taken a position like that of Weil McLain. Some of the top boiler reps in the industry have stated seeing many boilers begin leaking at the section seals due to the welded near boiler piping and header piping. The causes are based in simple physics... A steel header at room temperature is going to be shorter than the hot cast iron steam boiler below it if both were installed at room temperature. Not allowing for movement causes the header create leverage between the top and the bottom of the boiler, which tends to cause the section seals to open up. We regularly see boilers leaking between sections at about 14 years when welded headers without swing arms are used. With welded headers with threaded swing arms the boiler life can extend to about 25 years, which seems to be about the limit for plastic section seals. We regularly see cast iron boilers with threaded header piping and threaded swing arms that are pushing 50 years without failure.... these boilers usually are also equipped with machined push nipples instead of plastic gaskets.

    If you are using threaded risers with your welded headers you can get longer life. Using threaded risers and swing arms to a welded drop header is going to create a whole lot less stress.

    Like this......
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    AMservices
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,864
    Henry said:

    Sorry but all large boilers have welded headers. On needs to follow the boiler manufacturer instructions on near piping.

    If the instructions say not to use a welded header, and you install it with a welded header, you are not following their instructions.
    Henry said:

    In nearly 40 years of installing and replacing steam boilers, not one of my "welded headers" caused a leak.

    Maybe the customer calls someone else instead of you?
    Henry said:

    We assemble for other mechanical contractors. If they do not follow the manufacturers instruction on near boiler piping, there can be a problem. But it is NEVER due to welded pipe.

    Then how come the three boiler manufacturers that @The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro) mentioned above, have come out against welded headers?

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