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Hello. Does anyone know anything about this boiler from the National Radiator Company? Its in my 1917 house. I'm wondering when it was manufactured and if its original to the house. When I bought the house 16 years ago my plumber strongly suggested replacing it. Its worked fine all the years since the suggestion. Circulators vibrate the pipes sometimes warrenting a little oil. The plumber still tells me that if it "breaks", there are no parts to fix it. I'd imagine that could be true. I wonder if the manual for the boiler is out there somewhere. Although my plumber is well respected, I doubt he knows much about this beast of a boiler (its BIG). Are there people that maintain/fix old units like this? I'm located in the Salem MA area. Any information on this boiler would be much appreciated. I've attached a couple of jpg pictures. Thanks.


  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    It's got to be original. I'm with your plumber, the boiler did it's 100 years. It's wrapped in asbestos.
    There's not a whole lot to know. Has a circulator and an aquastat. Ancient gas burner propped up on brick, held in by furnace cement. It's a mess. And will probably never die, but is it safe? I wouldn't bet my or my family's life on it.

    What type of information do you hope to obtain from a manual?
    Has anyone checked combustion and checked to see if it's letting CO leak into the occupied space?
    Does the chimney have a terra cotta liner (at least)? Probably not for that age, but you never know.
    Probably super poor efficiency. 700-880° stack temps. You'd be wise to invest in a properly sized modern boiler, with modern safety controls. If you don't direct vent it, you'll need to put in a properly sized chimney liner too.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,864
    Your plumber sounds like a smart guy.
    If your plumber is just a plumber and not a heating contractor, I would look elsewhere for a heating pro to install.
    Your boiler is probably grossly oversized. You know, Indian flue, heat the house in February with the windows open. A proper heat loss calculation must be done.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,899
    edited October 2018
    The Heat Extractors were made in the 1940s and 1950s. It's not original to your house. If the heating system was put in several decades after the house was built, it could be original to the system.

    The boiler is coated with asbestos, which makes replacement much more expensive.

    These boilers were built like tanks, so I doubt it would fail on you. And while you're saving up for the replacement, a savvy heating guy could put baffles in the flueways to slow down the hot exhaust gases so more heat will reach the water in the boiler.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,623
    Yike! 6.1 gph/hour on oil is quite a house!

    As others have mentioned you would be smart to plan and budget for it's replacement.........it will be pricy in the Boston area.

    Step 1 would be to get a combustion test to make sure you are safe, clean boiler and adjust burner. Baffle if possible but most contractors wont or don't know how.

    Step 2 Get an accurate heat loss for the house so you will get the correct size boiler.

    As @Steamhead mentioned the boiler is probably newer than the house as the boiler name plate carries an oil fired rating. Older boiler were strictly coal boiler converted to oil
  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 746
    Does that plate say OIL FIRED 6.1 GPH???????????????????


  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 746

  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 746
    National Radiator Company became the name in 1902, prior it was Fowler, by the 20's it had a plant in Penn, your house was probably god knows what, wood/coal stoves when built, this I would say is pre depression, I doubt it's post WWII

    either way it's about 20% efficient