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1969 Burnham Jubilee

MaxMercyMaxMercy Member Posts: 18
edited October 4 in THE MAIN WALL
My mom's house has a Brunham Jubilee cast iron boiler in stalled in 1969 with a newer Beckett AFG on it. It's running well but it has a positive draft over the fire, so I want to clean it but was wondering the procedure. I was only there a few minutes today visiting with my wife and didn't have any tools, so I didn't try pulling off the top, but there is a black iron pipe that goes through the top of the boiler near the flue. If I remove the flue, the top won't completely come off as there's no relief cut in the top cover to allow the top to slide away from the pipe. If the top is the way in (and I suspect it is), I'll have to remove the flue pipe and rotate the top cover around the iron pipe. On the side of the boiler is a sheet metal door with a small latch, but when opened, it only exposes the boiler sections, so I don't have a clue what that door is there for.

I plan to go back during the week with some tools and better lighting than my cell.

Is there a manual somewhere for this old boiler on line? I did not see any other nameplate except for the scripted Burnham Jubilee on it, so I don't know if there's a specific model number I missed.


EDIT: here's a picture of one just like it (not mom's!)


  • Big Ed_4Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,433
    You would need a vac that can handle soot , boiler brush 2' tapered and a bucket of furnace cement .
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,998
    @MaxMercy , you'll also need the proper equipment to set up that burner, plus a replacement nozzle, filter element etc.

    Where are you located?
    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.
  • retiredguyretiredguy Member Posts: 283
    I would hire an HVAC company that does this kind of work and has the proper tools but if you want to tackle this job yourself; GOOD LUCK.

    When I had a soot job that I had to do I would go to Lowes or Home Depot and purchase a cheap shop vac that has bags and a double filter. Put on disposible coveralls, gloves, hat, etc. Then be very gentle not to disturb the soot too much. When the soot is in the vac put it and all the vac tools and clothing into a trash bag and throw it away.

    Then call in a good service company to set up the burner and check your work.

    I have some scary stories I could tell but that is for another day.
  • MaxMercyMaxMercy Member Posts: 18
    Thanks for the help guys.

    I do have all that equipment, I was just wondering if brushing it down is done through the top as I've never cleaned this particular boiler. When dad was alive, he had a service company take care of it. I've been taking care of it for the last 5 years, but I've never cleaned it - just new filter, screen, nozzle, and points (and one coupler that was causing intermittent loss of pressure and lockout).

    And again, the side door just exposes the cast iron sections which is just weird. I'll post pictures when I go back this coming weekend.

    I was going to replace the boiler this coming spring because it's just ancient and we're probably going to sell the house within two years or so (mom is 95), but I'd like to clean it for this coming winter.

    I also have combustion test equipment that I've used for years (Bacharach and Dwyer wet kits) and when I serviced the Burnham last November, had a CO2 of 9.0%, between zero and a trace of smoke, and a net stack temp of 560F, which I think is as about as good as you can get with a boiler this open. It's running smooth and quiet, but I can feel a bit of positive push back through the sight door, although I did not actually test it with my draft gauge. When I go back this weekend, I'll take a draft measurement.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,514
    edited October 6
    That boiler has side cleanouts. The right side door panel pops off, then depending on the condition, either remove the bolts or smack off the furnace cement to remove the plates. IMO, when things are held together with furnace cement, it's time for a new system. 
    560° net stack temp is huge. The boiler is extremely dirty, poor draft with chimney issues, incorrect burner setup, or any combination of the three.
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 802
    edited October 6
    To clean this boiler you remove the flue pipe and clean the top of the boiler thru the opening. Jacket removal not necessary.
    Next, remove the side door and then remove the plates that cover the cleaning openings. This is where the tapered brush comes in.

    With the vacuum next to the brush handle slide in and out from top to bottom. Good idea to cover the vent pipe opening so soot does not fly out the top.

    After the boiler is brushed, reassemble the side doors, and vent pipe. The side doors may need furnace cement. I have also used 500° caulk, struck-o-lite, but most of the time I use insulating cement. The last batch I purchased was called Super 48 cement (1900). This stuff does not dry hard and make razor-sharp edges like premixed furnace cement. However, it does dry out and shrinks and cracks, so I find less is better than more and using it like a gasket cement rather than a covering. If the cleanout covers do not fasten properly, then repair or replace the cover fasteners OR if you don't want to repair the covers for less than 50 bucks, take @HVACNUT advise and replace the. boiler

    Once the boiler is completed, you need to check the combustion chamber. If the debris that has fallen into the chamber is insignificant, then you are done with the vacuum. However, if there is a substantial build-up of debris, you will need to carefully vacuum the chamber floor. this is done thru the burner opening. burner removal may be necessary especially if your burner is equipped with an F Style burner head.

    If there is enough junk on the chamber floor that the flame will impinge, then you need to remove it. If the flame is not going to touch the floor, then leave it alone.

  • MaxMercyMaxMercy Member Posts: 18
    Wow, thanks everyone. That is exactly the info I need. The plan is to indeed replace the boiler when the weather gets warm (usually takes me two days to do that, but I'm not a pro), but I wanted to clean this old boy out for this coming winter.

    Since we're going to treat this like a spec house at this point and not look for 25 years, is there any advice for replacing the boiler with something decent and not too expensive? On the recommendation of the local plumbing supply I use in my town, I put in a Slant TR30 at my house three years ago and I like it, so I was thinking about the smaller TR20 for mom's house with either a Beckett or Carlin (oil fired). She has a stand-alone electric water heater.

    Thanks again!
  • MaxMercyMaxMercy Member Posts: 18
    edited October 12
    I took a ride up mom's and had another look at it yesterday. There are three plates behind the side access door that allow access to cleaning just as you guys have said, and each one of the plates is held down with two nuts. On one of the plates, the stud is finger loose in the casting, so I didn't attempt to get any of the nuts off not wanting to create a problem that doesn't yet exist. I don't know if they've ever been removed to be honest. There's also some white compound applied around (and maybe under) the plates that seems to be sealing against air leakage from the combustion chamber.

    Each stud has a screwdriver slot in the middle of them. Assuming one or more studs breaks, must I drill out the studs and put new studs in, or could the plates be relocated with furnace cement or some magic high temp adhesive?

    EDIT: regarding some info from earlier posts. The AFG burner is running well. Just under 9% CO2, zero smoke, and the stack net temp is 510F, not 560F. I took a draft reading and I'm getting 0.0 in the chamber when it's running, -0.02 in the chamber when the burner is off, and -0.05 in the breach when it's running, so it definitely needs to be cleaned. Once I get it cleaned out, I'll reduce the air a bit to see if I can get the CO2 up another point.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,514
    The white compound is likely furnace, or retort cement. 
    I would opt for a 3 pass or an EK over a pin boiler.
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 802
    If you are not looking for the 25-year plan, but expect to sell within the next 5 years, I would go with something less expensive. There are some deals to be had in the scratch and dent department or look at some steel boilers offered at a lower cost, The advantages of the more expensive, more efficient more, feature boiler will not be reflected in the real estate listing. Oil Heat is Oil Heat. If you had access to Gas Heat, that is easier to sell the home. 80% efficient Gas Heat with analog thermostat checks the same box on the real estate listing as 96% Modulating, Condensing, Outdoor reset, Smart Thermostat offering 30% lower gas bill. The extra 3 to 4 thousand (retail by a pro installer) will not show up in the sale price of the house.

    Do the math and go with the lowest price equipment installed by a competent installer. If you are DIY then use the best practices in the industry.
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