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    old furnace gas conversion (13 Posts)

  • sparks sparks @ 3:49 AM
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    old furnace gas conversion

    I'm toying with the idea of converting a 50's era Olsen lowboy oil furnace to gas using a Wayne P265 burner that I have on hand. I'm sure you know the old design whereby the furnace basically has two cabinets bolted together. One houses the firebox and heat exchanger, the other houses the blower and return air.

    The low speed Wayne 1750 RPM burner does test out at a reasonably efficient 77%. It's being fired at about .85GPH. The maximum rating of the furnace is around 150K/BTU.
    With its firebrick combustion chamber and plate steel heat exchanger, it might well last indefinitely. White it's never been a fuel hog, the price of oil is killing the tenant.

    Am I nuts to think of installing that Wayne P265 burner?
    I've successfully done another conversion and of course, have all my work checked out by a licensed pro.

    tnx,

    Doug
    New Haven
  • EBEBRATT-Ed EBEBRATT-Ed @ 10:16 AM
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    furnace

    No brainer. Not worth the conversion. Toss it out and put in a new condensing furnace
  • JStar JStar @ 10:24 AM
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    Burner

    Agreed. Forced-error furnaces are so cheap that the gas burner would cost more than a new unit.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac


    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.

    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    (Formerly "ecuacool")
  • sparks sparks @ 5:34 PM
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    old furnace gas conversion

    Guess you guys didn't read that I already have the Wayne conversion burner on hand.
    The total conversion cost would be about 1/10 the cost of a new furnace with all the ductwork needed. As the landlord, there never would be a payback for me in terms of installing a condensing furnace.

    Doug
  • earl burnermann earl burnermann @ 5:43 PM
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    tenant's home

    This is not for his primary home, it's for a rental. don't see anyone putting condensing equipment in a home they don't live in.
    I'd check with the building department or an experienced gas service tech to make sure it's safe to convert this system. If it works you should have a happier tenant.
    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!
    This post was edited by an admin on February 8, 2014 5:44 PM.
  • JStar JStar @ 6:18 PM
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    Burner

    That Wayne burner is not a flame retention burner and may not have the ideal characteristics for a small furnace chamber. If you had an EZ-Gas, no problem.

    What model furnace and what model burner?
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac


    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.

    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    (Formerly "ecuacool")
    This post was edited by an admin on February 8, 2014 6:21 PM.
  • sparks sparks @ 3:46 AM
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    old furnace gas conversion

    To answer another poster's question, the furnace is either a Luxaire or Olsen (not sure at the moment) with a max rating of 150K/BTU/hr. It's now being fired at .85GPH., with a Wayne series E 1750 rpm burner.

    Replacing that furnace and reworking the ductwork would be a major job.
    The cost of a replacement furnace doesn't worry me. The entire job cost does.

    There are ideals and there are practicalities...

    The proposed Wayne conversion burner is a Wayne P265. Per the manufacturer's spec, it CAN be used with a combustion chamber of the size of this furnace's..
    It can also be fired as low as 65K/hr.


    Per Wayne:

    Recommended minimum combustion chamber dimensions

    BTU/Hr. -- floor area Sq. Inches -- Width and Minimum Length
    65,000 -- 63 -- 7 x 9
    75,000 -- 71 1/4 -- 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 ”
    100,000 -- 180-- 7 1/2 x 9 1/2
    150,000-- 200 -- 12 X 15

    The combustion chamber is far bigger than the above minimums.
    I just did another conversion using a Wayne P250 burner in a late 1980's Weil-McClain 466 boiler. It's working great with an efficiency loss of less that 5% despite the Wayne burner not being flame retention.

    Currently the tenant is supplementing the oil heat with a ventless gas heater. While that heater has produced no measurable CO, with a detector installed just 5 ft away (and constantly maintained), it does dump a lot of water into the air. Converting the oil furnace would be a better option than using that ventless heater.

    Doug
  • JStar JStar @ 9:28 AM
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    Wayne

    It sounds like you already have an answer and are just looking for somebody to confirm. Go ahead and put the Wayne burner in. Then save your money for a Carlin burner once the Wayne starts giving you regular problems.

    Most CO detectors will not give an alarm for anything less than lethal doses of CO. Do not rely on it as a safety device. Have the appliances tested by a professional.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac


    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.

    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    (Formerly "ecuacool")
    This post was edited by an admin on February 9, 2014 9:29 AM.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 11:13 AM
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    Has anyone done a heat loss calculation?

    I'm betting a properly sized two-stage will work out far better.  Even an 82% will beat that old horse.
  • sparks sparks @ 2:50 PM
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    old furnace gas conversion

    I would have let this topic rest but felt obligated to correct some serious misinformation.

    It's incorrect that inexpensive CO detectors only operate their alarm at lethal CO levels.

    Per Kidde specs:

    Accuracy of Digital Display: (Model KN-COPP-B Only)
    30-999 PPM +/-30% when measured in conditions of 80° F (+/- 10° F),
    atmospheric pressure +/- 10% and 40% +/- 3% relative humidity.
    Display readings may vary slightly depending on changes in the ambient
    condition (temperature, humidity) and the condition of the sensor.
    Alarm Response Times:
    70 PPM = 60-240 min., 150 PPM = 10-50 min., 400 PPM = 4-15 min.

    Unquote

    The above is for a fairly inexpensive model with digital readout.
    However it's typical of their product line.
    By pushing the memory button, CO levels below 30PPM can be read, even though the arm will not sound.

    Per UL standards, all modern CO detectors must have a variable response characteristic factoring intensity of CO versus alarm time. Non-lethal levels will trigger the alarm after an exposure of an hour or so. Higher levels will rapidly set off the alarm.

    I've done a lot of study of this and have even testified at governmental hearings.
    There's a lot of misinformation out there.

    Doug
  • Bob Bona Bob Bona @ 6:54 PM
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    yup you are nuts

    Don't waste another second or penny on that dinosaur. Thats when the heat exchanger cracks or pinholes show themselves and lovely CO makes the tenants go to sleep. Trash it. I'm sure the chimney flue needs lining by now and definitely will if you waste time converting this to gas. Makes no sense. At all. Get yourself a 90 plus direct vent.
  • Bob Bona Bob Bona @ 6:56 PM
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    yup you are nuts

    Don't waste another second or penny on that dinosaur. Thats when the heat exchanger cracks or pinholes show themselves and lovely CO makes the tenants go to sleep. Trash it. I'm sure the chimney flue needs lining by now and definitely will if you waste time converting this to gas. Makes no sense. At all. Get yourself a 90 plus direct vent.
  • HEATON HEATON @ 9:13 AM
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    rental business tough

    do it, i've done it, one rental has 75yr old AFCO w/xchanger like a tank and converted to a 2 stage williamson gas burner 32 yrs ago. no problems,low fuel bills (tested at 82%) will need a fan belt one of these years. The other rental has a condensing Goodman which I installed in place of the 40 yr old Williamson mainly because the Williamson became so oversized as we insulated and divided up the space, but have had pump problems, pressure control, exhauster and other failures just out of warranty. This 40k heats well in this extreem low temps. the old furn I removed was 125000. Oversizing is still a big prob. and we are replacing shot condensing units that are 8 to 12 yrs old. always err on safe side when dealing with tenants safety. John
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