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Old, old furnace


exploreparadise2
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I lived in a very old apt. building years ago, that had a gravity furnace just like this one. It was still making heat too. Lot's of it! The problem was barely any of it reached my apt. and I lived right above it.

In case you didn't mention this to your clients already, they should replace it. If they are moving from a place with a good heat source, like pretty much anything else, they are going to be very disappointed in the performance of this old timer.

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Originally posted by Bain

Does anyone know how the ductwork should be altered when converting from different fuel sources like coal/oil/gas? The coal would've burned a lot hotter than oil or gas.

Depends on this system but it is likely that all the duct needs to be replaced. Heat entered the living space from interior registers while returning on the exterior wall registers. Those ducts are way too large.

They will be saving a lot of money per month once changed.

I wonder why they still have the Beckett burner with the cad cell sitting next to that old thing?

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Originally posted by exploreparadise2

There is an electric cable leading to a box on the cowl topping the furnace. Is that controlling a damper inside?

I don't know what that is. I have seen tons of oil furnaces and never seen anything install there. It's not a normally closed limit switch but I would think it would have something to do with back drafting.

There is a counter weight on that damper. I think somebody sold these people something that is not needed.

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Originally posted by exploreparadise2

There is an electric cable leading to a box on the cowl topping the furnace. Is that controlling a damper inside?

I'd bet that it's an upper temperature sensing unit that will shut that thing down when it reaches its set point The original wood/coal/klinker burner wouldn't have had one.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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If that is a limit switch, then there is a problem with the draft of the furnace (possibly during windy days) and the heating company felt this was an easy fix. If back drafting is occurring, then there is something else wrong that needed to be corrected. Nothing that a new furnace and possibly a chimney liner will fix.

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Originally posted by qhinspect

If that is a limit switch, then there is a problem with the draft of the furnace (possibly during windy days) and the heating company felt this was an easy fix. If back drafting is occurring, then there is something else wrong that needed to be corrected. Nothing that a new furnace and possibly a chimney liner will fix.

Hi,

I think you and I are referring to two different devices; you about the device attached to the rim of the smoke pipe damper and me to the box on the cowling as described above. The device attached to the rim of the damper is an interconnect safety switch; if the flue becomes clogged and hot gas starts backing up out of that damper it will shut the furnace down. The box on the cowl looks, at least to me, like it's a stack safety relay. It senses temps at the top of the unit and has a probe about 1/2 inch wide by a 6-inches long that extends into the top of the unit to sense temps. There's a little temperature setting dial at the top center. They're usually installed by drilling a hole in the cowling and then screwing them into the cowling with some kind of asbestos mastic/goop.

Could be wrong. I'm not and never have been an HVAC tech. I have seen about a half a dozen of these converted though and they all seemed to have been done the same way.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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"The device attached to the rim of the damper is an interconnect safety switch; if the flue becomes clogged and hot gas starts backing up out of that damper it will shut the furnace down."

Unless my eyes are deceiving me, it looks like that wire is no longer connected to anything. It seems to loop back where the oil lines have been capped and is just stuck to the bx at the lowest electrical tape.

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Hi Rich,

Blow it up to 600% and look at it again. A piece of hard conduct comes out of the burner and stops at the floor. The BX ends a couple of inches from there (it's partly unwrapped at the end) and the wire is spliced into it down there. I could almost make out the "Honeywell" on the bottom of that stack temp device.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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If you ever have the opportunity to be present when one of these is removed do it. The galvanized outer skin is about 3" from the cast iron innards. Anything and everything that ever fell into the grills on the first floor resides in that space. Old coins, rings, small toys, etc. Great collectors of crap.

Quiz: How many of you know what the little tray is on the front under the lower door?

What's up with the porthole in the background? Is this on a boat?

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Originally posted by ghentjr

What's up with the porthole in the background? Is this on a boat?

Three portholes in the house were part of a nautical collection. The ancient mariner occupying the house was at home during the inspection. He looked to be at least as old as the furnace. He overheard me telling the buyer that the white wrap on the ducts likely contained asbestos. While holding a hand-rolled cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other, he wryly asked me if me if I thought the asbestos was going to kill him.

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Originally posted by Richard Moore

Mike, I'll take you word for that. I might be seeing the shadows. I don't know if you have access to higher def photos, but anything beyond 400% and I'm too pixelated to make anything out.

Note to self: Go easy on the Pixel! [:-drunk]

Here's the full resolution photo. Knock yourself out.

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Hi,

That resolution is much better. I'm wrong. It's not spliced in. At 600% that photo shows that the BX continues up into the burner and that wire is wrapped around the BX and then going underneath the burner motor and coming up on the right side and going into the burner just below those two dark squares you see at 100% resolution.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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