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Turn of the century system

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by sculptor, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. sculptor

    sculptor Member

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    I have an old southern plantation house. I have a 1/4 basement. It has this old heating system in there. I have removed all the radiators in the house. It has a partial room with the coal shoot. It was converted to oil at some point. Is this just best to leave in here, or can someone use this?

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  2. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    That is one old inefficient beast! Looks to be an old coal/wood gravity system that has an oil burner shoved in the ash pan for the "modern life" That is best taken to the scrap yard, be careful of asbestos.

    TS
  3. That looks like what came out of my last place. The instructions for the oil conversion kit were still with the boiler. They called for using asbestos when cementing the oil gun in place. Could also have asbestos insulation under the sheet metal.
  4. sculptor

    sculptor Member

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    Thanks guys. Looks like I'll be leaving it in place. !!!
  5. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    I would get rid of that oil tank however, no sense in letting that sit around, especially if its not empty yet.
  6. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    I don't know about NC but up here in Maine the price of steel scrap being what it is these days there are lots of guys running around that will haul out any big iron for the taking. Oil tank might be an issue if it has much oil in it.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Looks like that's a steam heating system, no?
  8. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    sculptor, Your pictures look like almost exactly like the root cellar on our 160 YO southern home, which is also a plantation home in every sense (very delicate subject). Your long term plan may be different from mine but our property was owned by four generations starting in about 1820's (Revolutionary war land grant). My wife and my dream is to start the same heritage along with a family cemetery. With this mindset we stripped the asbetos siding from the farm manager's house and carried it off. The main house is completely rewired (very dangerous stuff), re-plumbed with pex ,and any hint of asbestos removed. In other words, the historic building is irreplaceable as well as the health of my family. I'd get that ticking asbestos time bomb out of my home and be very careful how it was encapulated before it was taken out. It really is eerie down to crumbly mortal, hand made bricks, and a thicker brick base at the ground level. Our area in Tenn was settled by folks from NC heading west so no big surprise they brought the building methods with them. Best wishes but wanted to share our experience. We heat a horribly inefficient ~5,000 sf home with a NexGen BioMass 60. You're at the right place to make wood boiler/heat decisions. Welcome
  9. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    That's mortar of course.... not mortal. :)
  10. sculptor

    sculptor Member

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    The oil tank is empty. Asbestos scares the hell out of me, so I go down there as little as possible. In the beginning, I had thoughts of a total restoration with this kind of system. I wanted to remove the vinyl siding because there's nice cedar siding on the house, but again, there's no way there is NO lead paint on this house. I was told when I bought it that it is on the historical registry. From what I understand, it's a two stage process. It's been through the first stage. I'm not keen on a committee telling what I can and can't do though.

    It's kind of funny, I've poured 16 years of effort into this house, that has been almost completely erased and someone's else's mark dominates. My ego doesn't like that very much. I was single when I bought it, now I have a family. For a decade, I cut & split wood. I heated it with a large Appalachian wood stove. I replaced it with a multi-fuel...
    The older I get, the less interested I am in living in a way that takes so much effort. My business is demanding more of my time, as it's growing every year (I'm one lucky artist). Winters are already semi-comfortable, and when I can't spend the time this house demands, I become less comfortable. But, this house has spoiled me. The only house I'm impressed with these days are way out of my price range!

    After pics coming soon. Thanks for letting me share, and appreciating what so many don't these days!!
  11. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Hummm. We should take this to a private conversation, but there is amazing commonality in our experiences. I'm also a "sculptor" and creator of things. Being a visual person impacts just about everything around my wife and I, and especially our home which we share decisions about. But I enjoy the whole wood boiler, energy self-sufficiency process. I strangely enjoy going out at nite and catching the wiff of wood burning and loading the boiler for the night. Since our home was heated with propane prior to adding the boiler, even if I buy all my wood I'm still at about 25% the energy cost versus what we spent before and warmer to boot. But there is no question that this is a lifestyle decision. You're at about the same latitude or maybe further south than us so your heating season is much like ours, basically Thanksgiving to March with the occasional nites turning on the propane on either side of those dates. If you're not very rural your purchased wood costs could be considerably more than where we are.

    As our family and business grew over 10 years my wife and I never saw any homes that captured our heart like where we are now. Holding your breath is not the answer to go to your root cellar. Geez get that thing out and have peace. On the private conversation I'll tell you how we sanded the exterior of our house down thru about 6-8 layers of paint (about all lead based) to the poplar siding to start over with modern coatings. Once in a lifetime experience. Best wishes.
  12. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    The price for asbestos mitigation has gone down over the years after the initial hype. It still legally requires specialized training, although I know more than few educated professionals that have done their own removal. It is expensive if there is asbestos on the piping that runs around the house, but if its contained in a small area the cost is somewhat lower. Just go out for bids from multiple contractors for a fixed scope of work and if any individual trys to scare you into signing the contract immediately, ask them to leave. I have seen equipment that size "glove bagged" where the equipment is enclosed in a large sealed bag and the area is accessed by gloves built into the bag so a large containment isnt required.

    Not breathing is not an option. The fibers are small and can travel around a house just due to normal air circulation.
  13. I think I paid around 2500 to have a similar boiler and all the pipe insulation removed by a liscensed company. The bids I got were all over the place price wise. I needed it done as a condition of sale for the house and some contractors were tring to take advantage of the situation.

    The boiler was not in operation so they wrapped the pipes and cut them out. Took three guys one day for it all to dissappear.

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