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kurt
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I love looking @ the monster boilers. How many of you guys get to look @ stuff like this?[:-bonc01]

83 years old & still going strong, albeit w/ some major welding of the end plates, new firetubes here & there, & a new mudsill in front. The boiler room was spotless (or at least as spotless as a boiler room gets). I like the way the engineer kept the paint. I just try to imagine what it must have been like back when some guy spent his life feeding tons of coal into these suckers.......

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Originally posted by kurt

I love looking @ the monster boilers. How many of you guys get to look @ stuff like this?[:-bonc01]

83 years old & still going strong, albeit w/ some major welding of the end plates, new firetubes here & there, & a new mudsill in front. The boiler room was spotless (or at least as spotless as a boiler room gets). I like the way the engineer kept the paint. I just try to imagine what it must have been like back when some guy spent his life feeding tons of coal into these suckers.......

I only see stuff like that very rarely. Here's one from a few years ago. It was probably about 90 years old. I didn't get to actually inspect this one, I was part of a 5-man team that did this building. My participation was limited to the electrical, potable water and roof systems.

Our boiler guy was not complimentary about the condition of the boiler and made some insulting remarks about its recent maintainence within earshot of the super who had been maintaining it. Since I was just 'hired help' on this job, I stayed out of it. They were hollering at each other and trading threats while I quietly inspected the leaking water heaters and kept one eye out for flying wrenches.

Our guy was claiming that the cheap s.o.b.s had a tank full of the wrong kind of oil and, as a result, the burner wouldn't fire until the whole thing was emptied and the fuel system cleaned. The super argued that the grade of oil had nothing to do with it and that the boiler wouldn't fire because our guy didn't know what he was doing.

Ah, the joys of being a subcontractor.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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We Boston-area inspectors see these all the time in those old apartment buildings. I have fun doing these. Often, you'll find one abandonded in the basement of a building as well. I call them the "Titanic" boilers.. Nice shot of the interior by the way, Kurt.

I found a soot pocket at the bottom of a chimney for a huge boiler near Harvard Square completely choked with sulphurous build-up. I'll try to find the photo. It had solidified and was blobbing-out of the clean-out (no clean-out door...IT was the clean-out door). Awesome amount of neglect.

I've found many huge chimneys in serious trouble by just opening a clean-out. Goes in the report as ("Condo Assoc Issue") and has been one of the reasons I get a lot of personal referrals. One digital cam shot up a soot pocket at the clean-out can really help you and your client's association out.

I too find a lot of neglect and leakage at the central boilers. I try to be discrete if the bldg soop is right there and just click...I need him to help me get on the roof..!

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One of my first jobs was working with the Cleveland Public School System. I worked in the schools in the maintenance department. All the older schools had those boilers, fire tube and a few big water tube boilers on the bigger high schools.

Use to shovel a hellava lot of coal not to mention pulling the ashes. Punching the tubes and cleaning the breaching was one nasty job as well! It would take you a week to get the soot out of the pores of your skin.

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Kurt,

I know this must have been in the windy city, but I declare, it looks exactly Like a unit in downtown Detroit. I don't remember if it was the Fisher Building or the Penobscot Building. I changed the burner motor & relay and cleaned the tubes, just like in your photo. (about 10 years ago) This is uncanny

George

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Originally posted by a46geo

Kurt,

I know this must have been in the windy city, but I declare, it looks exactly Like a unit in downtown Detroit. I don't remember if it was the Fisher Building or the Penobscot Building. I changed the burner motor & relay and cleaned the tubes, just like in your photo. (about 10 years ago) This is uncanny

George

Been in both buildings; I would love to have seen the boiler room for the Fisher Building.

We're about the same age; I bet you remember the Ford Rotunda, & going to see Santa Claus @ Hudsons downtown. I remember when the Rotunda burned; sad day for the Motor City.

This puppy is in one of those fancy pants condo buildings that line Lake Shore Drive up the north side.

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Originally posted by chrisprickett

The boiler kind of reminds me of the ones I worked on in the Navy. I was stationed on a 43' Destroyer (USS Southerland DD-743) 600 PSI 850 degree super-heated steam. Took 10 guys working just about 24/7 to keep them and their support systems working.

Frankly, if I never see another one, it'll be about a year too soon!

I salute you. Working on a high pressure/super heated steam system in the tight confines of a Naval vessel would scare the bejeezus out of me.

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