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The Octopus Furnace - Tim Bunch

Tim Bunch
Tim Bunch Member Posts: 1
I've heard of these furnaces before, but yet to see one. I've only heard of them referred to as "Octopus" furnace. I believe they are gas forced air. Any info. on this "type" of furnace would be appreciated.



  • Sven
    Sven Member Posts: 34
    Octopus furnace

    picture is from the 'net
  • Alan R. Mercurio
    Alan R. Mercurio Member Posts: 588
    Even before I got into this trade

    I had the pleasure of seeing the type of furnace you have posted a picture of. That was in the house I grew up in, in Roslindale, Mass.

    Brings back memories

    Your friend in the industry,
    Alan R. Mercurio
  • Patrick
    Patrick Member Posts: 17

    Usually these are gravity furnaces, very inefficient and LARGE!! They use the weight of cooler air for a return, and generally do not have a fan at all in them. Have heard of retro kits to add a fan but only marginally improves efficiency. Had the pleasure of busting one up with a sledge to get it out, what a job!! Made a lot of extra space in the basement.
  • Floyd
    Floyd Member Posts: 429
    Have had the pleasure...

    of breaking up a number of those things!!!! Boy, can you vent a bunch of fustration in a morning!!!
    The ones that I have had the pleasure of taking out were coal fired originally and then converted to gas. Some of them had a type of gas conversion burner in them, but a couple had home made deals made out of 1" black iron pipe with a bunch of 1/8" holes drilled in them. They also burned a pilot about 6" high, that sucker stayed dry in a damp basement!!!! Most had a blower box cut into the side of them to help move the air. The duct work for these units usually had a big register similar to a floor furnace in the center of the house and the returns ran down from the sides of the rooms. Just opposite of what you would do for hot air today!!!

    Don't know what you wanted to know exactly, but I hope this helps some.

  • Gravity Warm Air Furnaces

    I am not in my office at the present time but am staying at a hotle in Coonecticut. If you will e-mail me your snail mail address I have some information on these old furnaces. Most of the ones I worked on had been converted over to gas. They are really not very efficient even when we added a blower to them they were very expensive to operate and the house was either too warm or cold never a happy medium.
  • Carl Teschner
    Carl Teschner Member Posts: 1
    Octapus furnace

    Iam so old I remember putting gas conversion burners in them as the latest techology

    Thanks for the memorys
    Carl Teschner
  • Octopus thermostat

    I was in a house with one about 15 years ago that was still fired on coal. The thermostat was simply a chain that travelled upstairs by way of three or four pulleys. When you pulled down on the chain in the living room, it would lift open the air inlet. The owner was about 85 and had lived there over 50 years.
  • I see one

    everytime I go into my basement; natural gas; gravity.

    We've stuck with it so long since it heats the house well and it's so quiet. All you hear is the burner going on.

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  • Mark J Strawcutter
    Mark J Strawcutter Member Posts: 625
    busting it up

    The one I took out of our first house was boiler plate, not cast iron. Hitting it with a sledge didn't do much but shake my teeth loose :-) Managed to get the thing out with a come-along hooked to a friend's truck's bumper. If that hadn't worked the next thing would have been a cutting torch.

    Originally coal fired, converted to gas and a "Holland heart of the home" blower added. Single 24" round return
    to a floor register in a corner of the dining room.

    Imagine a standard 4-segment round duct elbow but in 24"

This discussion has been closed.