Rebuilding old boiler combustion chamber / firebox

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Old 11-18-13, 06:32 PM
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Rebuilding old boiler combustion chamber / firebox

Hi all,

Looking for help/direction on replacing/rebuilding a combustion chamber on an old oil to gas conversion boiler. This collapsed chamber has been like this 10 years or more (when I first bought the property) and the gas company has not batted an eye up until tonight when they said it needs to be addressed immediately. I understand and have installed mod con boilers, and dozens of water heaters and all sorts of plumbing….but I had no idea this was even an issue. I have limited knowledge on these older boilers.

I am in no position right now to hire someone, so I want to do this myself. I can do anything, I just need to be pointed in what I need to achieve. I am capable of all types of plumbing, I built chimneys for 3 years, was also a carpenter, and have replaced relays in the burner this has.….so I am not some jackass jumping blindly into this.( just trying to save the “let a pro do it”). I am going to go to my plumbing shop tomorrow morning, I just don't want to sound like a total schmuck when they ask questions

Is there a specific(model wise) or just general kit for doing this?

Am I looking to build an actual box, or just lining and protecting the metal?(I am searching for pics after I type this).

Edit: I will add that I am just trying to get maybe 1-2 more heating seasons out of this unit. This is in a basement I am converting to an apartment, so I will be switching the whole house( 3 unit multi family to 4 unit) to a central heating unit using a modcon boiler.

Some pics of the unit I am dealing with:

Boiler:


Model Plate:


Inside Unit showing collapsed firebox:


Video of it burning(seems to want to open or save...it is safe!):


Thank you.
 
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Old 11-18-13, 07:47 PM
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Go here:

Patriot Supply - LYNN Products

and look through the products from Lynn Manufacturing. You might find a 'quickie chamber' that fits your boiler.

This PDF from Lynn has some info that might be helpful:

http://lynnmfg.com/wp-content/themes...-Reference.pdf

I would not be shy about calling them for tech assistance. Play the "I'm a tech card", don't let them know you are homeowner. Don't be afraid to not know what you're talking about... tell them you got this job... and... first time installing chamber in one of these... it's older than me... etc etc... you know what I mean.
 
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Old 11-18-13, 08:02 PM
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I'm confused about something though...

From what I can see in the picture of the chamber, it appears to be 'all there', and that stuff laying inside ... where did that come from? You say it "fell in" ? from where ?

lining and protecting the metal?
"Protecting the metal" ? from what? the heat? you don't want to do that... why would you insulate the cast iron on the fire side of the boiler? I don't understand.

What if you start by cleaning that debris out and see what it looks like from there?

They didn't 'red tag' it and shut the gas off, did they?
 
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Old 11-18-13, 08:15 PM
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Thank you for the links.....
 
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Old 11-18-13, 08:23 PM
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"I'm confused about something though...
From what I can see in the picture of the chamber, it appears to be 'all there', and that stuff laying inside ... where did that come from? You say it "fell in" ? from where ?"
I don't know where that all came from...I am assuming it is the collapsed fire box. For 10 years, this boiler has had that same pile of whatever it is lying in the bottom...it gets red hot(I have checked here and there) and it has worked perfectly. Matter of fact, it is more efficient (going by monthly bills) than the 2 other boilers running the other floors. It runs about 10-15% less dollar wise, though that could obviously be from the basement being very warm(this is the 1st floors boiler) from 3 boilers and 3 water heaters. The 2 other boilers are roughly 30 years old.

"What if you start by cleaning that debris out and see what it looks like from there?
They didn't 'red tag' it and shut the gas off, did they?"

No red tag, though the technician would not leave the boiler lit and ready to go, he said address it tomorrow. He was surprised it lit up. But it has been the same exact way for 10 years.

If I clean the debris out....would this not need a "target"? He mentioned that. I have always assumed it has needed something to "catch" the flame, and have assumed it has been that pile of whatever in the bottom.
 
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Old 11-18-13, 08:28 PM
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Is that a metal firebox in there.
I probably don't need this on my résumé but I am old enough and I did work on these but as oil burners.
There were boiler back then that actually had metal fireboxes. I believe Nional was one, Arcoliner was another.
At any rate when the metal deteriorated we replace them with products like the Lynn quicky boxes.
The fire from your gas burner is a lot cooler than an oil fire and it looks like it's contained in the box. It's in no danger of hitting the walls.
I guess my question is " What is they're concern".
Is it possible the guy is too young (God bless his heart) to know what he is looking at.
Personally, other than the obvious I don't see any danger or problem.
 
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Old 11-18-13, 08:34 PM
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spott, I need to ask here because I've gotten no replies... have you received either of the private messages I've sent you?

Is it possible the guy is too young (God bless his heart) to know what he is looking at.
Personally, other than the obvious I don't see any danger or problem.
My feelings exactly what I was thinking... some young 'know-it-all' 2 point buck! ha ha ha ... watch James come back and tell us the guy is older than us!

would this not need a "target"?
Did he say "target WALL" perhaps? that would be at the back, opposite the burner. No, I don't think so. If it was OIL, then MAYBE it would...
 
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Old 11-18-13, 08:40 PM
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"Is that a metal firebox in there.
I probably don't need this on my résumé but I am old enough and I did work on these but as oil burners.
There were boiler back then that actually had metal fireboxes. I believe Nional was one, Arcoliner was another."
No worries...I am not holding you to anything .

Not sure if it is a metal firebox, but I definitely have some type of light cement/brick material that has piled where the flame is. I have always assumed that is what "caught" the flame. You can see all the metal insides in the pics and video. They have been subject to the flame you see for 10 years or more.

"I guess my question is " What is they're concern".
Is it possible the guy is too young (God bless his heart) to know what he is looking at.
Personally, other than the obvious I don't see any danger or problem."

I am just going by what the gas company tech said tonight. But I have had 3-4 different techs out over the years that said nothing on it....all(including the guy tonight) have said it is a great (but old! ) boiler.

Maybe the less intense heat makes this a non issue? I literally see zero change in the metal inside that boiler in the 10 years I have looked at it.
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-19-13 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 11-18-13, 08:44 PM
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"watch James come back and tell us the guy is older than us! "
Well....he was older than me ( I am 36). No idea of your ages

"Did he say "target WALL" perhaps? that would be at the back, opposite the burner. No, I don't think so. If it was OIL, then MAYBE it would..."
I believe he did. Maybe he was referring to if this was oil....or what it should be if it were still in the condition for oil?
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-19-13 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 11-18-13, 08:47 PM
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The back bricks fell in. The flame must be bouncing up if left like the picture.
 
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Old 11-18-13, 09:19 PM
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The boiler looks like Cast Iron and not steel which means it a wet based boiler with no chance of burning through the
walls.I t looks like you have firebrick surrounding that box and that's another reason there would be no danger of the fire hitting the walls
If the boiler was a dry base boiler and the fire hit the dry steel wall it would over time burn through. In that case a fire box is necessary. In a wet base it is not required but generally used for better efficiency and a quieter burn. In fact as Trooper mentioned most are coming through with just target walls now.
I not telling you to ignore the gas co. but I don't think you have a problem.
 
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Old 11-19-13, 06:02 AM
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I would clean out the debris, and then inspect what's remaining in the combustion chamber.

If the gas company wants to see a 'target wall' that would not be difficult at all to place a kaowool board at the rear of the chamber.

Spott, I'm sending another PM... I deleted your reply here... I think we can get connected this time!
 
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