Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
trooperchix

Montgomery Wards Boiler..

Recommended Posts

Trying to figure out the age of the dinosaur that lives in my basement. I'm starting to have some issues and I would like to know what I'm doing with it. It's a hot water circulator boiler system, Model number SHL7126c. I'm hoping to score copies or original owners manuals, etc, that will help me fix my little workhorse. It states it was "manufactured for Montgomery Wards & Co". Any help would be appreciated. I have had it checked recently (2 years ago) and was told "they don't make them like this anymore" and it's a workhorse and works better than most of what is on the market today. Considering I'm broke, I'm trying to do what I can to be sure I keep it that way. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Click to Enlarge
tn_2012121204049_ID_Plate.jpg

58.51 KB

Above is the identification plate. Here's a picture of the whole shebang:

Click to Enlarge
tn_2012121204139_wholeboiler.jpg

45.98 KB

I'm having issues and want to locate the paperwork on this dino before I start working on it. Can anyone identify it's maker? The marquee across the door says "Fairway". I know, the area has been cleaned up..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What issues is it having?

What's readily apparent in your pic:

It needs a good cleaning.

The circulator wiring and conduit need repair.

The make up water is turned off. I'd wager that a good bit of your trouble is related to low water. It should also have a back-flow preventer on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, it's been a long time. This old beast runs beautifully. I've had it checked and have been repeatedly told to keep it clean inside (I have, fastidiously) because they just don't build boilers like that anymore. Checks out more efficient than the vast majority of new boilers on the market. I know I need a new expansion tank, I have the old style original to when it was first purchased. I've always been a do it yourselfer, and like to be at least informed on it if I have someone come in (had one guy come in to swap a zone valve and purge the system, hasn't worked right since, makes noises that I suspect is vapor lock) or have the ability to fix minor issues as I run into them. If anyone happens to run into a manual or further info as to who manufactured this for Monkey Wards, I would be eternally grateful. Thanks guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you are really looking for is a shop manual for the boiler with specifications on its parts. I do not think you will ever find that. I didn't/wouldn't even waste the time looking.

Your boiler is relatively simple and direct in how it works. Zone valves can be a hassle to deal with as they don't last as long as other other parts of the system and can give you trouble when purging air from the system.

Being a hydronic system you should get to know and understand the generic operation and function of its parts. From there it is just the matter to find the replacement part that will work with your system. Gas valves, thermo coupler, burner, electronics connected to thermostat, circulatory pump, expansion tank, blow off valve and gauges. Things are very straight forward kinda like a 1960 V-8 engine, gas-ignition-burn-go.

Not working properly is to non specific to comment on without writing a book.

The noise you hear probably is air in the system. . Though a pump going bad can make some odd noises depending what is failing (impeller,bearings,armature). Make sure that you have a working water supply and no leaks. Boilers do not like running dry. If the sections are cast iron it can last almost forever.

One thing you might want to replace is the temp/pressure gauge. It is one of the few thing that actually tells you shat the boiler is actually doing.

Again find of a basic hydornic boiler book and study up. Like most things not hard once you know what you are doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is typically not much information of use in a boiler manual. Most of the parts are made by other companies. The controls are simple. Any general reference on boilers or any manual for a boiler would give you basic information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Lost Art of Steam Heating

It's a pretty big book. I'll read my copy once I retire.

Marc

An excellent book, but it's about steam boilers. This is a hot water boiler.

Just from the color and design, I'd guess the 1960s. As long as the cast iron isn't leaking, there's no reason why you can't keep it going. Whoever told you that it was "more efficient than the vast majority of boilers on the market" was blowing smoke up your ass. Even if you could get the actual gas combustion to be more efficient (no way in hell), the transfer of heat to the water will never be as efficient as a modern boiler. But that's not really a bad thing. Very high efficiency is one of the reasons why newer boilers don't last as long as older ones. They produce acidic condensate and they have to go through all sorts of enginering gynmastics just to get the spent combustion gases outdoors.

What you have there is a very simple machine. It has a simple combustion system, a simple circulating system, and not much else. If you're a mechanically inclined do-it-yourselfer, you can learn these sytems pretty easily.

I suggest that you go to Dan Holohan's site, www.heatinghelp.com and noodle around there. Lots of resources and good people that can help with specific answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Lost Art of Steam Heating

It's a pretty big book. I'll read my copy once I retire.

Marc

An excellent book, but it's about steam boilers. This is a hot water boiler.

Just from the color and design, I'd guess the 1960s. As long as the cast iron isn't leaking, there's no reason why you can't keep it going. Whoever told you that it was "more efficient than the vast majority of boilers on the market" was blowing smoke up your ass. Even if you could get the actual gas combustion to be more efficient (no way in hell), the transfer of heat to the water will never be as efficient as a modern boiler. But that's not really a bad thing. Very high efficiency is one of the reasons why newer boilers don't last as long as older ones. They produce acidic condensate and they have to go through all sorts of enginering gynmastics just to get the spent combustion gases outdoors.

What you have there is a very simple machine. It has a simple combustion system, a simple circulating system, and not much else. If you're a mechanically inclined do-it-yourselfer, you can learn these sytems pretty easily.

I suggest that you go to Dan Holohan's site, www.heatinghelp.com and noodle around there. Lots of resources and good people that can help with specific answers.

It's a boiler that doesn't boil?

I can understand how terms can be that way sometimes. Just confirming.

Marc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. . . It's a boiler that doesn't boil?

I can understand how terms can be that way sometimes. Just confirming.

Marc

Sure. Be forewarned, I know very little about steam boilers, but I'm pretty good with hydronic ones. A hot water (hydronic) boiler should never get hot enough to boil. At most, they'll go up to 180 degrees and circulate that hot liquid thoughout the system.

Steam boilers are completely different animals and seem to have several variations. Unless I'm mistaken, they do, indeed boil water to produce steam. They send the steam out to the radiators and it runs back by gravity as condensed liquid - sometimes though the same pipes that the steam is travelling through. They fascinate me, but, sadly, I have little opportunity to see them in action in my area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, they boil the water. When they're really cranking, it's exciting. You can hear it.

They sing. Primary return vents hiss early in the cycle, and in the well designed systems that have never been mangled, they're then silent except for the slightest little brief burble at the vents, and a sound we call "ghost rattles", this kind of faint metallic far and fading away tinging in the pipes. Mangled systems, and those where the vents have never been replaced, clank like engines throwing a rod.

It's heating season now. I just completed an experimental rebalancing with some new vents, relocated sensors, and I'm trying a slightly different programming in the control system.

Initial review says heat distribution is better. Steam boilers make you want to make that sound Tim Allen made on Home Improvement....that "uhhh, uhhh, uhhh" sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to make that noise as I throw my steam boiler out the window. I've tried all sorts of multiple vents on returns and radiators and can't get it balanced correctly. The only other thing that needs correcting is a bullhead tee, but the system is thirty years old and not worth fixing near-boiler piping at this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I want to make that noise as I throw my steam boiler out the window.".......[:-eyebrow

Sometimes vents were buried in walls or joist cavities; any possibility of buried/unseen vents?

Got a picture of that bullhead tee? I'm still learning and figuring out all the goofy stuff that effects steam distribution; I know that oddball tees can screw stuff up, and am still trying to identify oddities.

When they suck, they suck bad....that's for sure. When they work right, they're kind of amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...