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Museum Quality Original B&J Vapor System

This one is all original, including the boiler we think. Circa 1933. Couple has owned the house for 40 years and have made no changes.

Can anyone confirm this boiler is insulated with asbestos? That's at the top of the agenda with regard to removal.

Enjoy:








New England SteamWorks
Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
newenglandsteamworks.com

Comments

  • New England SteamWorksNew England SteamWorks Posts: 1,108Member
    For the wonks among us:













    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,194Member
    Would have to get it tested but I would say 99% it's asbestos.

    Nice to see an old job properly done that ran well for years
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,535Member

    Would have to get it tested but I would say 99% it's asbestos.

    Nice to see an old job properly done that ran well for years

    Not to mention the pipe insulation.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Posts: 986Member
    edited June 10
    Come on now @New England SteamWorks, be a man and restore their domestic hot water with another external heat exchanger, gravity :sunglasses:. That’s the original tankless water heater! Hard to beat that domestic hot water production.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,153Member
    She's a beauty. I'd vote asbestos...but who put the clamps on? They can't be original.
    steve
  • GordoGordo Posts: 621Member
    I wonder what current cage unit fits that thermostatic trap?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • SailahSailah Posts: 674Member
    @New England SteamWorks what do I need to do to get that vacuum gage in my grubby little hands?
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • New England SteamWorksNew England SteamWorks Posts: 1,108Member
    edited June 12
    Sorry! That gauge still works, and the system goes into, and holds, a vacuum.

    So I am going to reinstall it!


    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,300Member
    One of our customers has a 1930s B&J Vapor system that's almost this pristine, but the Condensator and air trap are gone- probably removed when the boiler was replaced some time ago. We have it running on a Vaporstat now.

    If you run into any B&J BD-series F&T traps on this system, and the float mechanism is bad, you'll need to replace the entire trap as we had to. it is not repairable. If the center-to-center dimension between inlet and outlet is too narrow and you can't modify the piping so a standard Sarco-type F&T will fit, try a Sterling FT-69-15- its center-to-center is 1-3/4".
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Phil53Phil53 Posts: 46Member
    Wow - amazing. A testament to simplicity of design, quality components, professional installation, and good maintenance.
  • SlamDunkSlamDunk Posts: 403Member
    Man! Did they wash and wax it every year?
  • ScottSecorScottSecor Posts: 171Member
    Thanks for sharing, great to see a system of that age still intact and in that condition. Make me think of all the older ones we replaced over the years....
  • GordoGordo Posts: 621Member
    @New England SteamWorks : They are some really nice looking radiator valves! Do they still move? Do any need replacement handles?

    Any idea what cage unit goes into that thermostatic trap?

    Below is a video of the B&J 1-1/4" type BD which I sincerely hope you do NOT have at that site (or anywhere else where you work)! So far as we can tell, this trap is not rebuildable and difficult to replace.




    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • New England SteamWorksNew England SteamWorks Posts: 1,108Member
    Thanks Gordo! Fortunately, no F&T. The cage unit for the traps is a 1748.


    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,056Member
    Why is the asbestos being removed? Are you replacing the boiler?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • New England SteamWorksNew England SteamWorks Posts: 1,108Member
    Yes, the boiler is being “retired”.


    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,056Member

    Yes, the boiler is being “retired”.

    That's a shame.

    She's leakin?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • New England SteamWorksNew England SteamWorks Posts: 1,108Member
    No, the boiler is fine, though inefficient as you might guess. It’s the old gas conversion burner. She’s had it.

    Doesn’t really make sense to put a new burner on an 85 year old boiler.


    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,056Member
    > @New England SteamWorks said:
    > No, the boiler is fine, though inefficient as you might guess. It’s the old gas conversion burner. She’s had it.
    >
    > Doesn’t really make sense to put a new burner on an 85 year old boiler.

    I would've guessed it was fairly efficient. That's a 3 pass no?


    Out of curiosity, everything else aside are contractors allowed to install a new burner in something like this, and if so is it still a huge liability?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,300Member
    Short answer- yes. Pretty much every oil and gas burner is listed for use as an upgrade or conversion unit as well as for OEM use. Some inspectors will give you trouble though, mostly just because they can.

    Were this not the case, it would have been illegal to convert coal-fired boilers to oil or gas firing. We all know this was the usual way of switching fuels back in the day. @Tim McElwain has converted thousands of boilers to gas and never had an issue.

    The exception would be if the burner manufacturer's instructions were not followed. I've seen cases where they weren't, and the result was usually high CO and excessive fuel consumption- easily fixed with a combustion analyzer and the know-how to use it. This just underlines that you can't fix stupid.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • AMservicesAMservices Posts: 382Member
    I'm happy to hear your using that vacuum gauge on the new boiler. It's going to look even better on your pressure manifold.

    You just can't go down to Jamaica plain any more looking for a good B&J. Not without getting in trouble.
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