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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I posted about this before but now I am actively looking for a Bryant model 94&97 conversion burner (part #24264c) or any other brand gas conversion burner of similar capacity. It is at the point where if I can't find the replacement part in the photo below, I'll need to replace the entire furnace. It is actually working well right now but it heats 5 apartments and I don't want any mid-winter break downs. Believe it or not, the thing is cheap to run and would take 18 years to pay off the replacement furnace. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you very much!
 

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flipping slumlord
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Discussion Starter #3
replacement conversion burner?

Hello!
Actually, none of the parts is broken right now. It is working but it wasn't working perfectly about a month ago. When the pilot ignited it made a big boom sound so I had a furnace person come and all he did was vacuum it out. He said that they don't make parts for this anymore and I should consider getting a new furnace. BTW this is the first time it has given me any problems in 11 years and it's from 1948. Then I was thinking that this thing runs so well, is so quiet and so cheap to run ($1900 a year for a 3500s/f 3 story brick from 1860 with new windows) that maybe i could find a replacement conversion burner instead of replacing the entire unit. It has a huge air circulating fan on it that I oil religiously. That's why I posted... I'm looking for a spare conversion burner (the thing on the outside and the pipe on the inside where the pilot light is) in case this one goes bad. I can't believe that they don't make new ones with the safety features on it. Any ideas?
Thank you very much!
 

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The last new conversion burner I put in was in about 1982 and they stopped making them shortly after. There is NO demand for them and some critical parts/pieces are obsolete. The gas co used to fix the old monsters here and had a few old parts but now they don't and we are literally changing a lot of hot water boilers and telling people to do so as there are no more conversion burners. Or they take the chance of getting that bad news on a Sunday morning and we cannot heat these hundred yr old homes with space heaters as the circuits overload etc. You mentioned you have 5 apartments. If you have tenants then I would be VERY VERY concerned about liability if that old units goes BOOM like before and starts producing Carbon Monoxide or spilling it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I guess all good things come to an end. When I see these 2-10 year warranties I feel sick thinking of all the costs down the road. I'm not totally ready to give up on finding some replacement parts but I'll call the bank to get out a loan in case I have to pay for the new one right away.

In 1999 I had the burner replaced on my old oil burner/ boiler with a new one that looked very similar to the one in the photo. That's why I thought I could find one.

It just breaks my heart to replace it. It's been very good to our family.

thanks for your help.
 

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oil burners are easily replaceable as there are millions of them in use in the US and Alaska and Northern and Eastern Canada so there is a demand for them. No demand for conversion burners so nobody makes them.
 

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Carlin, Beckett, and Reillo make gas conversion burners. But they aren't cheap.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
since there are so few parts on this furnace....

I wonder if a specialized machine shop could make one for me and put some safety features in it too? Know anyone?
 

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Doubt any would take on the liability. It would be a non UL approved device. And as such they would be liable if it ever did any harm or damage, even 15 years down the road.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, you're right...I better start getting some more estimates. I just can't believe how expensive this is going to be. One guy gave me a price of $7900 for a Trane 90xb (or something like that). The unit only costs $1700 so the rest is for installation and re-routing the ductwork. I just had a brand new boiler put in another house for $2800! I'm in sticker shock!
 

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Carlin, Beckett, and Reillo make gas conversion burners. But they aren't cheap.

Yeah I know, but they are fan assisted power burners rather than your basic atmospheric natural draft type that she has and most people had. And VERY expensive and there are only a few very expensive highly skilled class A gas fitters that I know who are skilled enough to install and setup one of them.:no:
 

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I wonder if a specialized machine shop could make one for me
and put some safety features in it too? Know anyone?
First identify what you currently have.
Break that down by component and component function.

What I'm seeing...
Casting items (burner?)
Sheet metal items (housing, bracketc etc)
Fan (squirrel cage?) with motor
Pressure regulator
Pilot safety valve (with thermocouple)
Operating valve

Know what you have and their operating characteristics.
Research current production functional replacements for each.
Start accumulating bits.

Of note: Above all the burner and control items you still have a 65 year old heat exchanger.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I forgot about the heat exchanger... and it's older than 65 because it's a converted coal furnace. It was converted to gas in 1948. I feel the fight to rehab this furnace draining out of me. It's like my 18 y/o Ford... I keep swearing I'm going to stop fixing it but I just put $560 into it and one day the chassis will crack and I'll regret all the money I put in it. I had the heat exchanger crack on another furnace and it was only 20 y/o so I've been very lucky with "Gargantua,"
 

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One of the modern fan assisted power conversion burners won't fit your unit as the burner ( former coal stoker opening ) is too low to the floor plus a whole host of other technical reasons. Nobody I know of would want to assume any liability to do that job. There are some desperadoes out there looking for work who don't care about liabilty or take out permits/have inspections done or follow codes but I doubt you want to deal with them. Those burners are good for mid to larger sized boilers. I had a 1989 Blazer up till 2011 with the original radiator and cheap as I am finally decided to replace it B4 it burst in the middle of nowhere and I would have to pay a tow truck more than it was worth for scrap metal. Old brake lines and other safety concerns for my young nephews ( myself I couldn't care too much about ) finally convinced me to donate it to the kidney foundation for scrap. Safety is a big concern especially if you have tenants and the cast heat exchangers on some of those will split or seperate etc. Bought a real nice Ford Escape when they had that Ford employee pricing event which is NO gimmick.
 

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Sorry I'm late to the party. Hopefully you've found all the parts you need. But, if not...
Here are some in the Detroit area that have parts for older heating units. Hopefully one can help & will mail the parts to you.

Detroit Safety Furnace (313) 832-2221 is a good one. They have mailed me parts when I was on the road.

They have been in business for over 100 years & the warehouse is full of hidden treasures. (At least last time I was there.) And, they are much less expensive for new items than anyone else around town.

Sometimes they are a great resource for hard to find ancient heating unit parts. If they don't have it, they are good about knowing who will have it. Very nice people.

Plan B is Atlas Plumbing Supply (313) 579-2700. I don't know for sure, but I'd imagine they mail parts. They have been around since the 1930's & have hard-to-find parts.

I will try to find out who bought the State Plumbing warehouse & business in Detroit. They have (had) everything. They have been in the same spot since about 1846 (Yep- 1800's). Their warehouse (if it is still there) is full of ancient heating & plumbing parts (and plumbing, including lead pedestal drinking fountains with birds as handles). If I find they are still around, I'll let you know.

If you feel like searching, they were originally called Park & McKay then State Plumbing on Linwood Court South of Fenkell, East of Linwood Ave in Detroit. I think I'll be in that neighborhood this week, so I'll take a look.

Good luck on the parts search!
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow! Thank you very much!

I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THAT INFO! I had a man come over to give me an estimate on replacing the furnace and he said that a company called Wayne Combustion makes what I'm looking for. I sent them photos and they told me which part I need. Now I just need to find someone to install it. In the mean time I'm going to call your people and see if I can find the exact same Bryant burner or a similar one with more safety features on it.

Thanks again!
 

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My Pleasure! I hope at least one of them is a good resource.

I'm hoping I find State Plumbing still operating. That warehouse is amazing. I wish I bought some of the older stuff over the years. They even had (have?) shelves full of new-old-stock wooden water pipes from the 1800's. (Many miles are still in use in Detroit & the older suburbs.) Rolls of lead pipe, too.

I'd bet 3000 square feet was nothing but oil burner & conversion burner parts. Shelf after shelf after shelf, 20 feet high. If Mister Crabby at the counter was in a tolerable mood, he'd let you go search for yourself.

Fun place if you're into cool, old items. I'm not a plumber, but I still appreciate the craftsmanship of even the simplest fitting.
 
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