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Tankless water heater, Museum piece, guaranteed trouble free operation

JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
edited June 2019 in THE MAIN WALL
This was found in a crawl space of our museum.
House is at 100 years old, was a residence, then a hospital, then nursing home and now local museum.
This is a "Sands 50" gas fired heater.
22" tall, 7 1/2" around.
Nameplate was lost.
Has two 3/4" OD double spiral copper tubes inside.
1"inlet-- 3/4" outlet-- 3" flue--baffle inside exhaust.
Interesting Swastika trademark on the gas stop, leads me to believe pre WW2 era.
Installed gas orifice is # 58---12,300 on LPG.....more on butane? or manf gas.
Two extra orifices hanging on wire are #46 and #29.
NG was not available until 1966 so it was not using that. No NG ever to house.
Could it have been butane as that is not much fire on LPG?

To use just make sure it had water maybe running? Put your kitchen match to the burner and turn on the gas!
But like many tankless....parts are hard to find. ;)


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,454
    Fascinating! My bet would be manufactured gas -- coal gas. Was that available in the area? It could even have been made on a small scale (the process scales) locally.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,865
    That's awesome. Why cant I find cool stuff like that?
    I think I read here once that the swastika like logo was an early Burnham design? Not sure.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
    Never heard of coal gas being in this area.
    A few upper end places, this would have been one, had carbide gas generators for lighting. I have not seen any indication of gas piping in the house. From doing electrical work it appears to have been wired before plastering. The town did not have electricity when this was built so they may have pre wired and or had a generator.

    I did see similar WH's on e-bay. I could read the nameplate for a "Sands # 40", it for example was rated for 20,000 BTUH for NG, LP or MFG. Thus the reason for the 2 extra orifices I suppose.
    The # 40 was rated at 16.8 GPH.....the one pictured is #50.

    The basement of the Museum had been cleared of it's coal boiler, from the looks of the remaining pipe hanger sizes I would guess it had been hot water gravity and not steam.

    This is a "looking right" swastika (originally Hindu) which was adapted by the Nazi's in the 30's. There is also a "looking left" (Buddhist) swastika which is easily confused, different rotation in design so to speak.
    I recall the previous posting about this trademark on equipment.
    I would guess any American company would want to abandon that logo after 1939. Probably would not show up in any of their company history.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    Right facing swastika is one of 108 symbols of the Hindu god Vishnu, meaning good luck and prosperity.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,338
    Hi, I’m pretty sure that’s a side arm heater. It would have been hooked up to a tank, with connections high and low, and work by gravity. The swastika was a logo Crane Company used. With no automatic control, these would blow up pretty easily. T&P valves came later!
    Yours, Larry
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
    Yes, Larry, that makes sense. It would have been hanging on a tank. I suppose you would just do a batch heating of water as your needs required.

    Damn, now for my planned display at the museum I would need a vertical tank to hang it on.
    However, I plan to install an electric water heater in the basement. Another board member does not like to see anything that new down there at the bottom of the stairs.
    Somehow have to come up with a plan to display this and camouflage a new tank. :*