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Mystery piping and housing


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Can someone tell me what the heck this is??? I have saved this in my photo folder from a 100 inspections ago, and I keep seeing this damn photo again and again.

Heck I don't even remember what type of building or the year it was built, but I'm pretty sure it was in Chicago....Elmwood Park maybe?

Thanks guys,

Brad

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What Les said. They're everywhere in Chicago.

My folklore source said they're an anachronism that goes back to coal fired equipment (which was everything in Chicago). Supposedly, coal would have some nasty deposits, and condensate would run black nasty goo back down the flue.

Usually, they have a little pipe (like the one in your pic) that runs down to, and through, the bsmt. floor; the goo would supposedly run down under the bsmt. floor.

I've got some support for that; my house had one, and when I tore out the bsmt. floor under it, there was blackish hard crud in the dirt under the bsmt. floor slab.

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Supposedly, coal would have some nasty deposits, and condensate would run black nasty goo back down the flue.

I guess that would make sense, if your burning bituminous (soft) coal or worse. I've never seen it here, and I've looked at thousands of chimneys that were used for venting coalcat one time. We have real coal (anthracite) here that doesn't seem to have "nasty goo" byproducts.

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icon_speech_wow.gif does that bring back the memories.

From the time I was seven years old up until 1972 (here in Chicago most furnaces were coal-fired as Kurt said), I would spend time loading coal into the Stoker's and pulling out old clinkers for the buildings that my father was taking care of. Back then here in Chicago building maintenance was a very important position, if you forgot to load the Stoker's there would be no heat for the building. Heck we used to burn all of our garbage in an incinerator, the good old days (cough) (cough) (cough). And by the way Brad nice to see you visiting the forum. I'm the guy squeezed into the corner table with you at last meeting.

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