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Gravity

Mook531Mook531 Posts: 8Member
Had a salesman ask me about a loop of baseboard off a steam boiler. After he sent me pics, I’m thinking this is actually a gravity hot water system, what do you guys think? Almost never see them here, but sure looks like it to me. He said there’s no expansion tank in the attic though. No pump either.

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,872Member
    Sure looks like gravity hot water.

    But my word -- that contraption should have been retired sometime along with Calvin Coolidge!
    Br. Jamie, osb

    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
  • Mook531Mook531 Posts: 8Member
    No kidding, right? Lol. Looking forward to seeing it!!
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 6,308Member
    It's water
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 880Member
    New Boiler, Trv's on all the radiators and add a pump.

    Been there done that works great. Give a option for odr or energy kinetics boiler
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,684Member
    If your tossing it I’d like the burner and the gauge for the 'museum'.
    steve
  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 138Member
    edited October 2019
    Lots of Asbestos.

    Was that thing originally coal fired and them converted?
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 880Member
    yes it was a coal fire conversion. That's a old boiler.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Posts: 617Member
    whats with the iron pipe around the bottom? did they convert it to gas after they converted it to oil but not remove the oil burner?
  • Mook531Mook531 Posts: 8Member
    Haven’t been there yet, but I’m assuming it was converted to a gas power burner
  • MikeL_2MikeL_2 Posts: 213Member
    I would back out of that basement very slowly and not return until asbestos testing and abatement were performed.......
  • ScottSecorScottSecor Posts: 341Member
    i realize I'm going off on a tangent here but looking at that photo got me thinking.

    The boiler is likely original to the house, I'm guessing about one-hundred years ago.
    The red pex tubing was likely installed in the last ten years.
    The dangling Romex wire was likely installed in the last ten years.
    The water heater was likely installed in the last ten years.
    The brick chimney is likely original to the house.
    The block walls were probably installed in the last fifty years.

    My point is that that damn boiler was still heating this house after all of these other items were replaced or upgraded. Yes the boiler is covered with what appears to be asbestos, yes the boiler likely costs a fortune to operate, yes the original "burner" is no longer in place. Btw, I must admit that the chimney looks original too. Does anyone else find it amazing that the boiler lasted a hundred years????
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 880Member
    I once got called out to look at a old vapor steam system in Bridgeport Ct. The boiler room was in this beautiful old mansion. It was ran by this very old boiler. Installed in 1880 or some time around then. It was converted from coal to oil. Oldest boiler I ever saw still running. It had some kind of weird rods and links hooked to the vent dampener that somebody cut out a long time ago but still left some of the parts.

    Any way I was standing in front of it and watching it run with the homeowner. I said to him. "Man that is a beauty. It looks well kept. You did a great job. What do you want me to do with it." He said" I love it and I want to keep it as a bit of history. But it costs a fortune to run and I am scared of the fumes." I said "Well let me tune it up for you and lets see if we cant save you money in fuel and make sure the combustion process is safe"

    The chimney was huge with big passage ways and had a very good draft. So I got out my Bacharach Fyrite Pro and went to work. The stack temps were very high and the coal chamber that the burner fired into was huge. I got the o2 levels down a bit but still high. Not much you could do with that. I got it to run a steady 35PPM on the co so that made me happy. To cut down on the stack temps I piled a bunch of bricks into the combustion chamber. The bricks absorbed some of the heat from the combustion air before it left the boiler. This confirmed my success with lower stack temps. I saved him about 10% to 15% in fuel I guess by some calculations I got from Jim Davis at NCI. Jim is a great combustion analysis trainer. Best I ever met at what he did.

    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,872Member
    That weird collection of links and rods you mention, @John Ruhnke , almost certainly was connected -- at one time -- to a pressure sensor (might have been a float in a standpipe) at one end, and to the overfire damper on the boiler at the other end. As the pressure rose, the mechanism would close the damper. An early form of modulating boiler... although the efficiency and emissions at low fire would have been pretty horrible.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    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
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 880Member
    @Jamie Hall

    Horrible by 2019 standards but maybe very good by 1880 standards. I love to see the progression of technology in this old equipment.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 6,308Member
    @STEVEusaPA , is that burner a "Quiet May"
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Posts: 617Member
    It looks like there is an oil line coming in to the left side of that burner, but maybe it is just flex/bx/ac.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,684Member

    @STEVEusaPA , is that burner a "Quiet May"

    It just 'May' be one. Can't get a good look at it.
    steve
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