Antique boiler - looking for information

NearlyNutz Posted By NearlyNutz, Mar 12, 2008 at 3:07 AM

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  1. NearlyNutz

    NearlyNutz
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    Mar 12, 2008
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    We have inherited this Dominion Radiator and Boiler Co Ltd, wood fired boiler but know little to nothing about it. We would like to use it for a hot tub heater out in the back country cabin. Can anyone give us any information about how to use it and set it up for such a use? There is a grate between the firebox and ?boiler that we are unsure of. Please see photos. Anything would be useful - thank you.
     

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  2. Eric Johnson

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    It looks like an old trash-burning hot water heater to me. I had one like that once that I never used, but it was interesting to look at. Mine had vertical iron pipes in the firebox. My understanding was that back around the turn of the last century, people used these for DHW by burning garbage and/or coal.

    Horribly inefficient and probably not safe to operate in living space. But if exposed to the elements, it probably wouldn't last long.

    As satisfying as it might be to crank the old girl back up, there are much more efficient ways to heat a hot tub. That looks like the grate and it appears to be in "grate" shape.

    BTW, if you do decide to try to make this thing operational, BE SURE that you install and test a 30 psi hydronic heating system pressure relief valve and properly-sized expansion tank. Cast iron makes pretty effective shrapnel.
     
  3. NearlyNutz

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    Do you have any suggestions for an inexpensive wood burning boiler that would work on convection to heat a hot tub in the middle of the woods? The guys were thinking of building one themselves.
     
  4. Eric Johnson

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    You can pick up used boilers on Ebay and elsewhere for around $500, but what you're suggesting wouldn't be a very good application for a conventional indoor wood boiler, since you'd need an electrical connection and all kinds of extra accessories to make it safe. Most wood-fired hot tubs use modified wood stoves, I think. That's probably what you want, not a boiler in any conventional sense of the word. I'm sure there's a good piece of equipment available for what you want to do, but it's not the kind of thing we typically deal with.
     
  5. NearlyNutz

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  6. slowzuki

    slowzuki
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    I remember seeing a portable wood fired hot tub build that just used a set of coils set into the bonfire to heat the tub. Can't recall if it had a pump or thermosiphoned.
     
  7. NearlyNutz

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  8. Gooserider

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    Looks like a neat idea, certainly would work, though there are things one could do to enhance the idea - possibly putting more of a chimney on the LP tank burner / heater, or going with a bigger stove (such as those old smoke dragons that seem to always be popping up on e-bay and Craigs List)

    Gooserider
     
  9. Jimbob

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    http://www.warmwatersolutionsofnewengland.com/3sizeheater
     
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