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Is this original?

SeanBeans
SeanBeans Member Posts: 505
Zillow listed house built in 1900

Comments

  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 912
    edited October 2022
    Not from 1900 but I’d guess 30s or 40s. 

    I think the copper hanger rod dates from a bit later!  :D
    STEAM DOCTORbburdkcopprconkling
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,967
    edited October 2022
    It is possible. There has been some redesign of the pipes above the boiler but that might just be moving or adding a radiator or that might be gas piping. That boiler was designed to be hand fired with coal. In the 1940s and 1950s there was a push for automatic heating, by stuffing an oil burner or gas burner like yours in to the former ash-pit of that boiler. Returning WW2 GI's had extra cash and didn't want to shovel coal to keep warm.

    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,136
    Agree. 30s-40s
    STEAM DOCTOR
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,967
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    mattmia2
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 299
    There is writing on the front and on the burner. Can't make it out in the picture. If you get some better pics, we can try to find out.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,184
    Was that designed to be hand fired or was it designed for a stoker?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,136
    Well it was originally coal so that pretty much rules out the 50s. Most 30s & 40s boilers had metal jackets.

    20s and older were likely covered with asbestos
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 664
    It may be a pre-war coal design boiler that was sold post war from the factory with a base designed for an oil or gas burner.
    If it was initially coal fired, then later converted to oil or gas, those seem to have a slathering of furnace cement around the opening that was cut later (or door removed) to install the oil/gas burner.
    Hard to tell from the photo if furnace cement slathering is present because of the generous application of green (Detroit Diesel green?) paint.
    Manufacturing was playing catch up with consumer demand in the late 1940s. No time for new products. That came in the 1950s. This was why late 1940's automobiles had separate fenders. Pre-war design.

    My circa 1950 Weil-Mclain number 57. No furnace cement slathering.



  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,184
    I don't think the OP's boiler was meant for hand fired coal, i think it was designed to use a stoker if it was set up for coal so it had an opening to mount a stoker which could be adapted for an oil or gas burner as well.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,967
    edited October 2022
    @WMno57, As you already know that boiler was designed to be hand fired. That is why the 2 front doors were big enough to fit a shovel full of coal thru it. After WW2 there were a lot of old design boiler parts in stock. New package boiler designs were still on the drawing boards and not ready for production in the post war years. Anyone needing a new boiler, had to purchase what was available. Smart manufacturers came up with that BURNER BASE for the existing boilers. If you wanted the hand fired boiler the ASH PIT base was still available... But who wanted to shovel coal? Your WM-57 was installed new as a burner fired boiler as you explained by the telltale BURNER BASE that it rests on.

    You keep it in very good condition. I'm sure it is also very economical to operate.

    I had a customer with a "Coal Conversion" boiler that was installed in the early 1950s with that base. I was sure that I could save then lots of money by selling them a new boiler. Yea... Until I found out that only burned 287 gallons a year on average. Some times that old stuff is amazing!
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    WMno57
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,136
    Boilers of that era were fairly efficient. They had more mass so warm up time and standby loss was more than a newer boiler which lowered overall efficiency. The flue passages were larger and easier to clean. The "more mass" allowed for better absorption of heat from the flame.

    But the best thing was they lasted longer and in most cases, they were oversized. If you could reduce the firing rate to what you needed to heat the building and still keep a decent stack temperature your efficiency would go up
    WMno57
  • SeanBeans
    SeanBeans Member Posts: 505
    Sometimes I get hammer brain and just start bashing the boiler apart before taking photos of the name plates.. that happened this time. It came apart super easy. 


    WMno57
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,888
    edited October 2022
    So,
    The last boiler lasted 90-100 years and this one will go 10 maybe 20 if they're lucky. Very nice piping though @SeanBeans

    I wouldn't trust Zillow dates. Zillow claims my house was built in 1901 and Zillow, as well as the town's info are about 35 years off. I'm sure in many cases they are correct, but I'm sure they're wrong often as well. In my situation the steam heat was added in the 1920s but the house is much much older.

    In your situation that boiler could've easily been original to the heating system, just not to the house. What style radiators are there?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,967
    edited October 2022
    mattmia2 said:

    I don't think the OP's boiler was meant for hand fired coal, i think it was designed to use a stoker if it was set up for coal so it had an opening to mount a stoker which could be adapted for an oil or gas burner as well.

    That would be pretty narrow thinking for a boiler manufacturer. "Lets make a Boiler for Stoker firing because only wealthy people can afford them". I believe Boiler manufacturers designed boilers to heat homes of every class of society. I believe Stoker manufacturers developed machines that worked with hand fired boilers and furnaces to make life easier for people that owned them.

    I actually worked on 2 boilers that looked very similar to @SeanBeans and @WMno57 design that were hand fired. neither showed signs of a stoker that was removed. Neither of then had relief valves, Neither of them had any type of automatic oil or gas burner attached. Both of them had a shovel, a coal bin and about a half ton of coal in the bin next to the boiler. This was in the 1980s & 90s and I was shocked to see them still in operation as hand fired systems.

    But those customers may have removed the stoker with such precision that no telltale markings were there to see. I wonder what you think @mattmia2 about that design boiler? There must be something that makes you believe that the boiler in the original post was designed for stoker operation. Inquiring minds want to know
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
  • SeanBeans
    SeanBeans Member Posts: 505
    I'm going to talk with the owner of the house, maybe she knows exactly when the boiler was put in.. she's been there for a very long time ;)

    @ChrisJ

    there are more , but these are only photos I have. 

    I still have some skimming and small adjustments to make 


    ChrisJ
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,184
    My thought was that the small doors were more for cleaning/maintenance/lighting than for stoking a fire through, but you know more than i do.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,888
    SeanBeans said:

    I'm going to talk with the owner of the house, maybe she knows exactly when the boiler was put in.. she's been there for a very long time ;)

    @ChrisJ

    there are more , but these are only photos I have. 


    I still have some skimming and small adjustments to make 



    I'm no expert but those look like 1920s-30s radiators to me.
    So I'd bet the heating system was installed with that boiler in the 20s-30s.

    My radiators are the same style, made by Kohler and I think are dated 1924.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 299
    edited October 2022
    SeanBeans said:

    I'm going to talk with the owner of the house, maybe she knows exactly when the boiler was put in.. she's been there for a very long time ;)

    @ChrisJ

    there are more , but these are only photos I have. 


    I still have some skimming and small adjustments to make 
    Take a few pictures of the nameplate on the front of that old boiler, and any other writing you can find. The old catalogs are out there. No need for guesswork. I agree with @ChrisJ that is nice piping. Did you do it? Vent pipe design looks a little strange though...

  • SeanBeans
    SeanBeans Member Posts: 505
    Didn't want anyone to think I had forgotten 
    WMno57EdTheHeaterMan
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,136
    @EdTheHeaterMan

    I have seen old steamers converted from coal to oil where they added a pressure control but did not ad a LWCO. But I have never seen a boiler without a relief or safety valve
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,967
    edited October 2022

    @EdTheHeaterMan

    I have seen old steamers converted from coal to oil where they added a pressure control but did not ad a LWCO. But I have never seen a boiler without a relief or safety valve

    I agree with you. These were very old homes with very old boilers. The water boiler was a gravity open system. if the pressure went above 13 psi, water came out on the roof. The steamer might have had something with a long arm with weights on one end. No Hartford loop. That arm was connected to pulleys that opened and closed dampers at the front and back. That might have doubled as a relief valve but there was nothing like the valves we use today.

    The fact that there was no relief valve stuck with me because of the fact that since the turn of the 19th century, Every Boiler came with or had a relief valve installed somewhere in the system. I strongly recommended that they purchase a relief valve! But you how that goes... "Never needed one before... Why do I need one now!"

    Today I can't remember what they needed a service call for. It was probably just to do a vacuum cleaning on the steamer. What else could go wrong with them? No thermostat, no controls, no pumps. Just can't remember why I was called.
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,184
    I thought watts invented the relief valve in like the 40's.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,888
    mattmia2 said:
    I thought watts invented the relief valve in like the 40's.
    My neighbors old redflash had a pressure relief.

    Maybe you're thinking of the T&P?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 583
    Pressure relief (safety) valves for steam boilers date to at least the 19th century.

    Bburd
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,888
    bburd said:

    Pressure relief (safety) valves for steam boilers date to at least the 19th century.

    https://www.steamlocomotive.com/appliances/safetyvalve.php#:~:text=Although safety valves were used,for steam locomotives in 1871.

    Although safety valves were used as early as the 1600s, they weren't perfected until the mid 1800s when applied to steam boilers and steam locomotives.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    bburdmattmia2