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Old Boiler Info

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In walking through an old building that has been abandoned for 30 years, I found this old boiler in the basement and wondered when it would have been manufactured and if there was anything historic or antique about it.


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  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,767
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    Pacific Steel Boiler. They were popular back in the 40s and 50s a lot of schools had them. They went out of business years ago, That looks like the back end of a scotch marine dry back boiler. Looks like a few of the fire tubes were leaking and it gave up the ghost.
    SuperTechpewischmeyer
  • pewischmeyer
    pewischmeyer Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2022
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    Pacific Steel Boiler. They were popular back in the 40s and 50s a lot of schools had them. They went out of business years ago, That looks like the back end of a scotch marine dry back boiler. Looks like a few of the fire tubes were leaking and it gave up the ghost.

    Do you think it has any historical value or should it just be scrapped? Would the equipment tag or door be worth anything to a collector?
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
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    Those boilers were also pretty popular here in my area as well. Schools, churches and apartment houses. They were simple, relatively easy to work on and a good welder could patch them as often as needed. I do not recall their combustion efficiency numbers, but I suspect they were not too good. The doors did not seal all that well and they may have only been two-pass boilers.

    As far as value, there is none with the exception of the scrap value. The effort required to properly remove the door insulation (and gasket materials), and cut the steel boiler up with a torch is extensive. Think four or five guys at least one long day, sometimes two depending on stairs and access to the boiler room. I know we don't talk about price on this website, but I would guess the scrap metal is worth about one twentieth of what you would pay to properly remove the unit.

    As far as tags and old "labels" on the boiler, I am not aware of anyone that would want them. If your interested, I can get you in touch with about twenty building owners that have similar boilers just sitting in boiler rooms within twenty minutes of my shop.
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
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    Im curious how much that door would weigh
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
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    I would guess the rear door in the photo would weigh about 700 pounds with the refractory, maybe 300 or 400 without.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,767
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    Just scrap value. Judging from the # of tube that looks like a fairly small boiler. The tag looks like it says 213 sq feet of heating surface. Depending on it's age. Modern boilers are rated at 5 square feet of heating surface /boiler horsepower. so 213/5= 42 horsepower which would probably be a 40 horsepower boiler. Around 1,300,000. Older boiler designed for coal were rater about 10 sq ft/boiler hp.


    I take back what I said in an earlier post. Since you can't see the firing tube (furnace tube) from the back of the boiler I suspect that is an old "locomotive" boiler or a small "HRT" boiler.

    Either one of those would have a brick combustion chamber at the other end of the boiler. The burner and chamber are probably in a "pit" dug in the boiler room floor. Would like to see a picture of the other end if you have one
    pewischmeyer
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,157
    edited October 2022
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    The abbreviation for the State of Illinois is 3 letters on that boiler door casting. The Post office officially changed to 2 letter state abbreviations in 1963... but that discussion started in 1958... So that boiler is more that 58 years old.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    pewischmeyer