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Need help with Dunkirk Boiler date of manufacture

Jeff Beck

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I don't see hot water boiler systems very often.

This was in a 128 year old farm house.

It's a Dunkirk Category I boiler, Series PWB8, Model PWB8, Serial 469000238.

Its ANSI cert is 1989 and has an input of 245000 BTU's per hour.

I can't find my book to date this baby and it looks like it's on its last legs.

Can anyone give me date of manufacture?


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The first 4 digits in a Dunkirk serial # should be ww/yy. That boiler was manufactured 46th week of 1990.

What were the indicators that it "looks like it's on its last legs". They were made with cast iron sections, cast iron push nipples and titanium burners. I've always found the major componants lasting well beyond the 20 year warranty.

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I would have2 agree w/bill on the year,but if u need 2 confirm call dunkirk@716/366-5500.But I ? your reason about the last leg statement.DId you clean&check this boiler?what r the customers complaints?expansion or extrol?Whats the pressure cold?b&g strainer?cast rads.or cop.fin?I operate in chicago and deal with alot of boilers.I have found alot of copper fin tube base boards damps. closed & alot that the fins were totally clogged with dust/debri.

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Thanks for the quick response Bill. Sorry I haven't answered sooner but it's been busy.

Saying the boiler is on its last legs may be a bit much, the boiler is just part of the problem. Here's the background.

As I said in my OP the property is a 128 year old farm house with several additions. The buyers are a young couple that recently moved from Brooklyn NY, this will be their first house.

The boiler was originally set on a pile of uneven CMU blocks and not properly supported. The cabinet was racked badly. I couldn't tell the cause but the top flange on the burner compartment panel was completely rusted out. There were also rust perforations in other parts of the cabinet. In general the entire installation looked as though it had not been installed in an workmanlike manner.

The seller volunteered that there has been more than one service call on the boiler for back drafting and other problems (but wouldn't elaborate).

While I was working in the mechanical room the boiler cycled on and off about every 5 to 6 minutes. The hot water heater was in the same area and was back drafting badly. [:-bigeyes I didn't have my monoxizer with me so I didn't hang around to see how much carbon monoxide was being spilled.

The system had two zones controlled by T-stats that were both on the first floor, about 20 feet from one another. All but one sleeping room was on the 2nd floor. Some of the 2nd floor rooms didn't have radiators and one had the radiator in a closet. There were about 6 portable electric heaters stored in one of the rooms. That spooked the buyers.

The buyers felt that there was a good possibility that the heating system would not adequately warm the 2nd floor and that the boiler wasn't as efficient as they would have liked.

I didn't tell them that the boiler was on its last legs but I did agree that there were several areas with the overall heating system that could be problematic.

On a side note, I got the impression that these kids (and I say that respectfully) were more interested in the size of the property (it was over an acre, with several out buildings including a very nice detached garage) than they were in owning a vintage home.

It's not my job to tell them that they should buy one house over another, but after spending almost 5 hours with them I was concerned that in 5 or 6 months time that they would not be very happy with their purchase.

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Jeff, It sounds like you have several problems.AS a hvac contactor I would highly recommend that you ask the sellers to have a local licensed hvac company perform a complete clean & check on the boiler operation and proper radiation in each room.This clean & check would include checking the chimney draft on the boiler & hot water htr.I am a hvac contractor in the chicago land area and have several accounts with realtors & inspectors that require me to inspect every sale. BY THE WAY GREAT JOB FINDING THE VENTING ISSUE.(did you check the draft with a lighter at the diverter?)GOOD LUCK!

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