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.

Ever see a cast Iron boiler do this?

TGO_14 Member Posts: 1
These are photos of a job I started this week, the boiler shown is the "summer" boiler. It was run first on coal, then updated to oil. It's job was to provide domestic hot water when the steam system is off. When the asbestos abatement was complete, I was amazed to find that the domestic water was flowing directly through the cast iron boiler! I always assumed there was some kind of heat exchanger under the asbestos. The dead men used a 2" supply and return to a 350 gallon storage tank and the whole thing worked on gravity. I found, cast into the sections, "pressure tested to 350 PSI".
The only complaint the client had was the hot water was a little rusty at times. The boiler was running and producing hot water up to the day the asbestos was removed. I guess they really don't make 'em like they used to.


  • TGO , are you replacing the boiler ?

    If you are and you split the boiler , can you take some pics of the inside ? It's amazing that a cast iron boiler could last that long with fresh water going through it . Maybe that old saying is true - they don't make em like they used to .
  • TGO_15
    TGO_15 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Ron

    Yes It's all being replaced. The 2" copper pipe leaving the boiler was almost totaly filled with rust, but it was still working. I did not split the small boiler to get it out so no pics available. The big steam unit had a hole in one section the size of a baseball. I used boiler seal earlier this year and kept my fingers crossed until it got warmer. I asked George Lanthier about this set up at his seminar this week and he told me the boilers were cast specificly for this purpose. They apparently used a lot of nickel in the mix so the unit could take both the domestic pressure and high corrosion factor. I guess if they made 'em all that way you and I would have other jobs ;)
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Very cool find, Tom

    No! They just don't make things to last like that any more. Mad Dog

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • kevin coppinger_4
    kevin coppinger_4 Member Posts: 2,124
    ok ,I'll bite...

    what/who was the Mfg. of the boiler? How old? ...kpc
  • TGO_16
    TGO_16 Member Posts: 2
    Its an

    H.B. Smith. Don't know the age I coundn't find a date on the casting. I am pretty sure it is somewhere in the 1920's when it was run on coal. The only thing I could find on the casting was "tested to 350 psi". Next time I talk to someone at Smith I will ask about it.
  • TGO_16
    TGO_16 Member Posts: 2
    Hi Matt

    Yes it was, I couldn't wait to get the asbestos off to see what kind of coil was in the boiler. First thing I thought when I saw the piping going directly into the boiler was "This can't work - it will never last." Then I realized it did work, and had lasted far longer than any other water heater I had ever seen. What's the oldest water heater you've come across?
This discussion has been closed.