Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Help! No2. Ideal REDFLASH BOILER American Radiator Company

Sven7 Member Posts: 1
Our family has been fortunate to have our offer accepted on a home built in the late 20’s that is nearly original. In order to close with financing it is required that the heater works. In the basement lies an old American Radiator Company Boiler/Furnace. Not only do I need it to function for an appraiser in order for our home deal to go through but I’d love to restore its functionality and use it. We live in Arizona, so efficiency isn’t much of an issue. Appreciate very much any help, advice, or a recommendation for a contractor near Tucson, Arizona that may be able to help.


  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,513
    edited March 2021
    As long as the Ol' Gal has no leaks or cracks in the cast iron, You should be able to get it to operate. There is very little needed to operate it safely. Is that a Natural Gas burner or an LP Gas burner?

    Is there fuel in the tank or the gas meter turned on to the home?
    Is there water in the boiler? up to the waterline, is it visible in the gauge glass about 1/2 full?)
    Is there electricity to the burner?

    Water, Electric and Fuel... YES... turn it on and see what happens!

    If you are uncomfortable with that, Call a Professional. Not going to be easy to find a steam expert in AZ.

    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,513
    edited March 2021
    There appears to be a condensate return pump to the right. If this system has not operated for several years, that pump may be rusted and seized up. If the burner does fire up and you start to make steam... You will want to flush the Low Water Cut Off (LWCO) to be sure the burner will stop if the water level gets too low in the boiler. The LWCO is a triangle-shaped, black, cast-iron contraption next to the water level gauge glass. It has a valve at the bottom point of the triangle that you open to flush the water once a week during operation.

    If you get it started and you are able to flush that LWCO, the burner should stop as the water flushes out. If the burner does not stop, the LWCO may need to be disassembled and cleaned (or replaced). If the LWCO does not shut off the boiler then shut down the burner and do not operate the boiler until that is fixed or replaced.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,737
    Awesome bellows!

    Is that asbestos on the pipes?

    The best steam heat pros are here. Though not being one myself, I can say that because of age and you stating it's not functional, everything must be checked with a fine tooth comb. One of the fine gents here might have to take a road trip. 

    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,300

    May have to fly someone in!!!
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,715
    That's probably a Vapor system- the pressure control on the boiler is a very old Vaporstat. Unusual to see something like this so far south. Do you have any pictures of the radiators? Maybe the online realtor listing would have some.......
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service