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Old boiler wood stove...need draft control help

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by jimimiller, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. jimimiller

    jimimiller New Member

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    I received an old hot water jacket stove that has to be at least 50 years old. It has the name "The Furnace Works" on the door and the stove itself is shaped like a barrel. Under the door there is a rectangular hole that I believe either a blower or a draft control/damper was located. This stove will be piped into my hot water oil furnace and will become my primary heat source, with my oil furnace being the back up. My question is, can I find parts to replace the draft control? Should I plug this hole and put a draft control in the stove pipe? I want something that will be automatically controlled by a thermostat so that I can feed the fire and walk away. Thanks in advance for any help!

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Much has changed in the last 50 years with stoves. You may want to see if your insurance company will insure this stove before you spend too much money making it operational or modifying it.

    Matt
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    This may only be 30 years or so old - I seem to remember the brand.

    If you can get away with natural draft (no blower), then there are two ways to go - one is to us a control like a Ammark or Samson which is immersed in the water and opens and closes a weighted draft door. You will need to have a tapping in the right place to use one of these.

    http://www.newhorizoncorp.com/images/offer/fb/attack-closed2.jpg

    see the pic above.

    A second is an electric draft motor, which is coupled to a control that senses the water temp. These are usually only open or closed (no in-between like the non-electric), so you want to make certain your draft flap has some "idle" air and does not shut completely.

    This is only one part of a boiler control loop. I am going to move this thread into the boiler room - it goes without saying that someone who knows what they are doing should lay out and install such a job. Boilers can blow up......
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Welcome to the Boiler Room, jimi.

    Can you post a picture of the boiler? The round shape sounds like the Aquatherm. If yours is similar, they might have parts that work.

    I'd like to see what you're talking about.

    Craig's right about safety. Be sure you have a working pressure relief valve on that boiler before you fire it up. They're only about $15, so it's always a good idea put a new one on there, even if it already has one.
  5. jimimiller

    jimimiller New Member

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    Attached is a picture of the boiler. I am having a expert plumb this stove in for me, I won't tackle that myself! This stove can also burn coal. There are racks for the inside, and it also had a blower on the draft hole at one time. So I'm thinking that it should have a blower again. A blower that would stoke the fire when I'm away. Thanks for your responses! Keep them coming! Oil is not getting any cheaper.

    Attached Files:

  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That looks more like a barrel stove than a boiler, but your description makes it pretty clear that that's a hot water pressure vessel. I don't see any tapping for instruments or plumbing, but the top of the pic is cut off, so maybe that stuff is all up there or on the back.

    It doesn't even look like an airtight firebox to me. If not, it's going to be way inefficient and perhaps not safe to operate. Maybe with coal. Heck, it might work OK with wood for all I know.

    If you're serious about offsetting high fuel costs by burning wood or coal, I'd seriously consider getting something a little more modern. Getting a good, used $500 boiler hooked up to your system isn't going to cost any more than connecting this antique (and maybe less), and it will pay for itself in less wood burned and more heat produced in probably a couple of months. Seriously.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Well, there you have it. If it's from that era, then it must be airtight, and I can see the wells for the piping and instruments on the top in the ad Craig dug up. That's all good. I had a boiler built in the late '70s and other than smoke and excessive wood consumption, I was very happy with the way it performed. If circumstances were somewhat different, I'd probably still be using it.
  9. jimimiller

    jimimiller New Member

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    All this info in less than a day! I guess I came to the right place. Now that I know all this, where would I find a replacement electric draft control? I've tried searching for the business several times, but it doesn't seem to exist anymore.
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    My experience is limited to a blower hooked up to an aquastat. That should work. Aquastats are cheap and readily available and a wide variety of blowers are available as well. When the boiler water temp goes below the setting on the aquastat (say, 180 degrees), the blower kicks on and attempts to maintain the boiler water temp. It would be useful if you could find out the specs on the original blower or draft control device. That way you could get a replacement that's similar. You'll probably need to modify the mount somewhat, but I'm guessing that's not a big deal.

    You can find that stuff at any plumbing/heating supply house. However, if you know what you need, Ebay will get you the same gear for less than half price.

    BTW, most of the equipment you'll be buying to get this boiler up and running can be used on a future unit if you decide to upgrade at some point.
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  12. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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  13. Shak

    Shak New Member

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    If you're considering burning coal in it I wouldn't recomend a blower for the draft control. You could seriously over fire it. Before you spend the time and money to install an older boiler check it for leaks. A relative of mine found out the hard way on a used wood boiler. It turned out the boiler he got a good deal on had been stored in an unheated barn with water still in it and cracked the cast iron water jacket.
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