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Old 12-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #16
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1948 Bryant furnace parts


The odds of you finding an "installer" old enough to know what to do with that unit are VERY rare. Like trying to find a mechanic who can rebuild and work on carbeurators in cars. I worked on lots of them 25 yrs ago. Sometimes the "cement" is actually asbestos which was very common then so disturbing it is a huge problem. That is a millivolt system and the parts are hard to get and the pilot burner will be obsolete. There are/were 3 types of gas valve. Fast open/slow open/step open and who the heck knows what that one is? If you get the wrong one the burner may backfire/not fire properly/suck out the pilot everytime. Step open millivolt gas valves to my knowledge are obsolete and any millivolt valve is very expensive. See where I am heading with all this. Then there are safety and liability issues and I doubt most techs won't want to touch it with a 10 foot pole. Your Amish guy is probably not licensed and if he converts it w/o a license and there is a fire or explosion you may have no house ins. or possibly house. We have lots of Hutterites here who do the same farmer DIY work and although they are fine people they tend to burn down a lot of barns etc with home made wiring etc. That unit may die soon and then you will be heating your house with a bunch of baseboard heaters while trying to not overload your circuits and start fires. Trying to sell your house later with that monster is going to be hard so you may want to bite the bullet and get a new furnace installed. I imagine you don't have proper ductwork and that is why the job is so expensive but that is not the point.

Sorry

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:04 PM   #17
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Waaaa (sniffles). Well, I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. The thing is working well now that it was vacuumed out. It's 65 years old... who knows how long it might go on. The ductwork is monstrous...looks like a huge old oak tree. When the gas company told me it would take 18 years to pay off a new one I almost died. Maybe I should just keep getting more estimates. I thought $13,000 (the lowest price) was super high for a forced air system. I just replaced a boiler in another house for $2800.
Thank you for your advice.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #18
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Get more estimates. A basic furnace alone should be $3,000 to 4,000 and I can't see a whole set of ductwork being more than another $3-4000 including ripping the old stuff out. Sounds like someone is selling you the Cadillac stainless steel ducts and furnace for that kind of dough.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:55 AM   #19
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Waaaa (sniffles). Well, I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. The thing is working well now that it was vacuumed out. It's 65 years old... who knows how long it might go on. The ductwork is monstrous...looks like a huge old oak tree. When the gas company told me it would take 18 years to pay off a new one I almost died. Maybe I should just keep getting more estimates. I thought $13,000 (the lowest price) was super high for a forced air system. I just replaced a boiler in another house for $2800.
Thank you for your advice.
Of course, the gas company would prefer if you used less gas. So they would never exaggerate how long pay back would take.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:20 AM   #20
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If you make it through the Winter to say April then is the time to get quotes on a new system and maybe you can knock the price down if you remove the old system yourself. Plenty of time then to get many quotes and pick brains before the next Winter sets in.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:07 AM   #21
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We had a Octopus that was installed back in 1937 in our place. Got replaced with just paying labor, due to one of our local hvac companies was having a drawing for the oldest furnace. Ended up with a Lennox Signature Series, plus got about $75 for the scrap.

One of the installers took the burner assembly to use for a foundry for metal work. Do yourself a favor and replace that beast and CO spiller.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:39 AM   #22
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Is that what this "thing" is called? A gas valve and pilot assembly? The actual giant box is Lenox but the thing that I took the picture of is Bryant.

Years ago I had a large oil boiler with a similar metal box sticking out of it near the floor. The man who came to maintain it every year said it was the blower... because it blew the oil in on the fire. Eventually I had to have it replaced and it was not the same brand.

I know the one I have in the photo is natural gas but the metal box it is in looks very similar to the "blower" I had to have replaced in the last boiler.

Can't I just get a new brand of gas valve and pilot assembly? The current one was cemented into the coal chute. If necessary, the installer can knock out the wall of cement and rebuild it to surround the new gas valve and pilot assembly.

thanks for your help!
I smell something fishy.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:53 AM   #23
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I smell something fishy.
yep me too
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:11 AM   #24
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$13,000 is not a bad price with all the duct alterations that would be needed.

Here in the Metro Detroit area three is an enclave of estates---full blown mansions...from the turn of the 20th century and into the 1920s. These homes were the some of first in the country using ducted warm-air.

As a rookie I saw plenty of theses home converted to forced air system.

If I read Yuri's correctly, he thinks $13,000 is high. Well, the first system attempts locally used "engineered" duct design. They failed miserably. New trunks were ran but instead of new branch runs, the design specs called for
for tapping into existing runs.

The runs had no air delivery into the conditioned area because of the over sized duct runs that were designed solely for gravity-heat.

The branches had to be reduced in size. So I don't think (considering all the re-working of the OPs duct work that is needed as her home is the same same vintage as the homes I mention) $13000 is high at all.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #25
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FYI

Detroit wrote the book on warm air ducted systems as all the furnaces were made in MI back in the day. Rheem used to be based in Kalmazoo Mi as did many other now-defunct brands.

The East was primarily a hydronic and steam-heat region.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:29 AM   #26
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Actually I can believe the 13,000 quote as it depends on the number of man hours/labor to remove the old ducts etc. I did a LOT of octopus removals in the early 80's and we had to cut return grills in hardwood floors etc, run joist liner and some of those jobs take 2-3 days and with labor at $100 /hr it adds up quick. But an average bungalow should be a lot less than $13000 unless milk costs $10 a gallon and the local cost of living is very high. If that old monster has ANY asbestos on it then kaching the cost doubles so unless we see what is there nobody can guess a cost over the net.

Glad to hear you are up and about Clover, Taking Dad to Homers restaurant Saturday for the best Greek food in Wpg.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:45 AM   #27
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logged in wrong
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:49 AM   #28
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Actually I can believe the 13,000 quote as it depends on the number of man hours/labor to remove the old ducts etc. I did a LOT of octopus removals in the early 80's and we had to cut return grills in hardwood floors etc, run joist liner and some of those jobs take 2-3 days and with labor at $100 /hr it adds up quick. But an average bungalow should be a lot less than $13000 unless milk costs $10 a gallon and the local cost of living is very high. If that old monster has ANY asbestos on it then kaching the cost doubles so unless we see what is there nobody can guess a cost over the net.

Glad to hear you are up and about Clover, Taking Dad to Homers restaurant Saturday for the best Greek food in Wpg.
Thanks.

tell dad I said Hi.

Yeh..up and around and finishing up the detail work on my new UPG (Coleman) modulating furnace.

Gotta set the gas press and and temp-rise for low and hi fire.

Then I hafta lay on the ground to put a penetration thru the outside brick for the combustion air...that DeWalt 5hp recip hammer gun is not as light as it was last year.

Have a good Christmas.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:45 PM   #29
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I got three estimates to replace this monster of a furnace, the cheapest one was $13,000. It was 93% efficient. I am on a $156 per month budget plan for the gas for "monster." With the gas company, together we calculated how efficient "monster" is (50%) and how long it will take me in savings to pay off monster's replacement. She said 18 years. So... I've decided to keep "monster" since it will most likely outlive me, it is incredibly reliable (all I do is oil the blower motor once a month) and not that expensive to run for an uninsulated, 3 brick thick, 150 year old 4000 s/f building. So I want a standby "what-ever-that-thing-in-the-photo-is" part for if it breaks down. It has been working for 63 years!!! What lasts that long??? I still can't believe how cheap this house is to heat. The pilot light on this furnace is the size of the olympic torch! I just got an email from someone who knows an Amish man nearby who can rebuild it. Cool!
13k? wow... last year I replaced one of my furnaces with a 95% AFUE Trane XC95M full modulating furnace with the clean effects air cleaner, fully communicating and a Trane XL20i AC unit for that much! included duct work also! well it included replacing the trunk lines, not the branch lines

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