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Is it time to replace my old Smith Mills 44

It's served us well for the last 100 years, but the cracks are literally beginning to show.....
We've had several sections replaced back in 2016, but new cracks have formed in at least two sections. Unfortunately, the company that did the work went extinct along with their inventory of old parts.
We can't seem to find anyone who'd give give us a reliable opinion on what we can do with it, so I present this dilemma to you all:

We don't have the funds to replace the boiler at present. Can the cracked sections can be capped off or otherwise disabled to buy us some time to raise funds for replacement? (Or otherwise?)

Many thanks!


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,415
    Yikes. I'm afraid that your old friend there has done its job well -- and its time to retire it. There is a remote chance that you may be able to repair the cracks (I presume this is steam?) using JB Weld long enough to get you through to spring. Then again... maybe not.

    There is no way to cap off or isolate sections on those.

    The good news is that the new boiler will be smaller -- and far more efficient.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    Nope. It's a goner if you can't get sections.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605

    I know the old #44 series well. If you have a bad section (or half a section) someone that know what he is doing can cut out the old threaded nipples and put threaded plugs into the bottom return drum and the top steam drum capping off the bad section. It's done all the time.

    If the boiler is covered with asbestos that could be an issue getting at the nipples.

    Sections for a new Smith 450 will fit and are available UNLESS you need front & back sections they won't fit due to the front door and rear smoke hood change, but the intermediates will fit.

    Usually the only reason those sections let go is when the return drum nipples get plugged blocking the return water from getting back into the section

    You could call Smith/Mestek in Westfield, MA