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Help identifying old steam boiler gas blower

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u4ikguy
u4ikguy Member Posts: 3
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Hello! First, it provides steam heat to a 11 unit building. The boiler is from the 20’s, it has been converted over the years from coal to oil to gas. It’s ancient. I’m trying to identify this gas blower/burner? If you know the proper definition for it please let me know. I’m also wanting to know the brand and model so I can search around for used parts. Also, if you can suggest any alternative setup/brand etc that is new, price range etc. an HVAC guy told me they can put in a new burner assembly, but not sure if that is a good idea. Does it even make sense to keep this old boiler or replace everything, upgrade etc? Any information about this would be greatly appreciated. Lastly, web addresses where they sell this type of equipment.

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  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
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    That type of gas burner is called a power burner. They still make power burners. Installing one is not a DIY operation, it needs to be installed and set up by someone that understands and can measure and knows what to change to get proper combustion and draft. I assume that is a fire tube boiler, it probably isn't as bad efficiency wise as a lot of other types of older boilers.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,943
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    I see two tags- one in front and one on the right side- what do they say?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • u4ikguy
    u4ikguy Member Posts: 3
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    @Steamhead unfortunately the manufacturer label is gone. Those labels/tags are just instructions. 
  • u4ikguy
    u4ikguy Member Posts: 3
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    @mattmia2 thanks for your info! It is indeed a fire tube boiler. I looked up power burners and it does seem like those.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
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    Have you had any problems with this burner, or with the system itself?
    There are some books on the site here which will give you a greater understanding of how steam works, and also how to keep it working as well as possible.—NBC
    u4ikguy
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 919
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    That burner you are trying to identify is an on/off single firing rate burner who's name escapes me. You asked if that boiler would be a good candidate for a new burner. The answer is, maybe. For a good assessment a lot more information is needed such as the condition of the boiler, the number of tube passes, the overfire draft available when the burner is firing, the type of chimney it is connected to, the diameter of the boiler tubes, the size of the firebox, etc. After a good assessment of the whole installation, a recommendation could be made as to just what equipment should be installed including but not limited to; a new fully modulating burner, draft controls, turbulators in the last pass of the boiler tubes, rebuilding the fire box, replacement or rebuilding of all the operating and safety controls including the steam pressure safety controls.

    All this is necessary to make a good judgement as to the viability of a new burner system and to insure that the installation is as efficient so possible and to insure that it meets all the safety code requirements Tell us where you are located so we can help you find a good contractor in your area that can satisfy your needs.
    u4ikguy
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 357
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    Looks like an older (slightly) version of our boiler - they are well made and very repairable. I'm going to guess you might be in Chicago too. There are a fair number of companies who will work on them around Chicago if you are.
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
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    Maybe am an ancient Iron Fireman?  Whirlpools?  Color looks similar. 
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
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    Whirlpools?

    Whirlpool made power burners?

  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
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    If it's in Chicago, it could very well be a Midco. There's a much bigger pair of those heating the big Methodist church building across the street from my church. A pick hammer to check structural integrity of the plates and tubes would go a long way to determine its usable life If it's only heating 11 units, the firing capacity can probably be very low, yielding firing efficiencies in the upper 80"s, better than any new boilers. If its the typical large firing chamber design (large radiant transfer area) of that period, a radiant design burner is very well suited to those boilers ( instead of a standard power burner) It needs to be very well insulated and when the burner is off dampers should be used to prevent heat from migrating out the chimney to help keep that high mass of water hot for the next heating cycle.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
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    @mattmia2 no I intended to write Whirlpower,  not Whirlpool.   I think it was a model of power burner,  not a brand.  Color of burner looks similar,  but shape of burner looks odd.  I guess it could be a Midco, but I don't recall seeing one this color. 
    mattmia2