Thread Number: 73394  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
The old furnace my Grandparents had
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Post# 969310   11/21/2017 at 21:17 (358 days old) by appliancedude16 (Sunnyvale,California, U.S.A)        

Hi everyone,

I've seen several posts and replies about furnaces and stuff like that,

so I decided to make a post about my grandparents old Payne furnace that they had(they replaced it last week on tuesday for AC, the thermostat was also replaced and I saved the brand emblem from it) ,
It was from the late 30's or the early 40's,

Links for video of it:


heres some pictures(includes the thermostat that was equipped with it):

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 10         View Full Size

Post# 969336 , Reply# 1   11/21/2017 at 23:56 (358 days old) by superocd (PNW)        

It's amazing how long furnaces lasted, just like many other commodities (cars, not so much...). Then again, the new ones are waaaay more efficient, but as I've noticed as a HVACR tech, sometimes holding on to something that works is cheaper in the long run, especially when a simple and very basic straight heat (no cool) install will run about $3k, and that's for a no-name NG furnace at about 60-80k btu, connected to existing ductwork with minor modifications to the plenum and intake. My shop does Carrier and Bryant and the absolute minimum I've seen is $5k. After evaluating the financial aspect of it, it boils down to safety. Furnaces do need to be checked yearly, otherwise major safety concerns come into play, especially with units this old. The first thing that came to mind was the HX.

That said, the bulk of my replacements are 10-20 years old, so it's a harder proposition to replace unless it is absolutely necessary (e.g. the seams of the HX separated). In your grandparents case, though, it may pay off quicker than, say, someone with a regularly serviced 1990s-era condensing furnace replaced for efficiency or a 2000-era furnace replaced out of necessity (cracked HX is the most common).

The oldest furnace I've encountered was a late 1960's Bryant NG unit, IIRC. It was ripped out for a new Bryant, which is what my shop installs along with Carrier. Usually the bulk of my business are 10-15 year old units, some of them already needing to be replaced, pick any brand.

Post# 969353 , Reply# 2   11/22/2017 at 05:57 (358 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Ill tell you this!

You wouldn't have taken it out of MY house...That thing would have outlasted 2 new ones, Why, Because it was made with real United States STEEL, no stupid circuit boards, Look at that original fan limit control...still working, the garbage today might use less gas, but you will save a lot of money by keeping a furnace like this simply because of repair bills alone, within 5 years you will be replacing igniters, circuit boards, draft motors and finally the paper thin heat exchangers will burn out, all the while, one of these would keep right on working!..I wish Ihad lived close by, I would have rescued this in a heartbeat!

Post# 969354 , Reply# 3   11/22/2017 at 06:07 (358 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Back in the 80s

When I worked for a HVAC company, I was regularly servicing furnaces put in in the 40s and 50s, all oil, Gas didn't make inroads into the South until the 70s and 80s, at least not where I was from, Lenoir NC, the best furnaces of all were Waterburys, there are some STILL running over 60 years old, Lennox, York Heat, Iron Fireman and Delco Heat were others that were common, Most had firebrick combustion chambers, big heavy burners with either Sundstrand J pumps or the old double chamber Websters, Ohio Westinghouse Packard Delco or GE burner motors that ran at 1725 rpm and were QUIET, and belt drive blowers like all furnaces should have.And good long lasting controls made by Minneapolis Honeywell, Mercoid, Detroit,etc, not these cheap circuit board filled things today,Give me a stack switch anyday over a cad cell relay,Ocassionally now someone will call me to fix something older that no one will touch, like a floor furnace with a pot burner, I LOVE working on vaporizing burners too, that a whole other story!

Post# 969357 , Reply# 4   11/22/2017 at 06:49 (358 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

polkanut's profile picture

When my grandmother's house was sold in 2006, the Iron Fireman NG furnace that was installed in 1962 was still going strong.  We bought our house in 1998, and we're already on our second NG furnace.

Post# 969402 , Reply# 5   11/22/2017 at 13:19 (357 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I've mentioned it before, there were two furnaces in my grandmas house, not sure the history of the original one since it was oil and later the house was converted to NG, but the oldest furnace there in my time was the 1960 Carrier for the room addition. It would still be there today if the house hadn't suffered a catastrophic flood, it ran 48 years with severely choked return airflow and the HX looked brand new the day it was removed.

The other furnace was a 1996 Lennox, when that was removed at age 12 the HX was cracked in 3 places.

Interestingly it took less gas to heat that house when it had the 60% AFUE Carrier and 80% AFUE Lennox than with the single 92% AFUE Trane.

Post# 969405 , Reply# 6   11/22/2017 at 13:55 (357 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
Furances too!!!

speedqueen's profile picture
Hans, I'd practically pay you to fly up to Michigan to meet you. All the interesting facts and information you have, you're the most interesting person on this forum.

Post# 969427 , Reply# 7   11/22/2017 at 17:43 (357 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Thank you

I know most people think I'm crazy. It's nice to know that some people still are as passionate about the older stuff as I am. I rescued a Evans oil fired floor furnace a while back from the 50s I will try and post a few pics of it soon. It's a odd looking thing

Post# 969593 , Reply# 8   11/23/2017 at 18:51 (356 days old) by Supersurgilator (Indiana)        

I remember my parents house had a Mor-Sun furnace from when the house was built in 1954. It had a new blower motor installed sometime in the early 1980s and ran until that motor died in 1999. The heat exchanger was looking worn by that point so the unit was replaced when we also added AC. It had a nice old Honeywell round one stat as well.
The new furnace was an Amana and needed service probably 4 times in the first 2 years. Right after it was installed, the burners wouldn't stay lite, it needed the flame sensor adjusted. Since then it's needed the flame sensor replaced twice, the inducer motor bracket fell off so the blades would bang around everytime it turned on. We are also on our third thermostat and the others keep failing and randomly turn on and off. Thankfully we have gotten those bugs worked out and its been ok for a few years now.

Post# 969623 , Reply# 9   11/24/2017 at 02:35 (356 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
The home I was born in (or, rather, that my parents lived in when I was born) was a little Cape Cod style in Southern Connecticut. It had an oil burner passive air furnace in the basement. The thing used to intrigue me, but I was never allowed to get too close to it when it was running. I don't know the brand, but it was green and had this little window where you could see the flame. Even more impressive was the big black oil tank hugging a wall near the furnace. It always had that faint oil aroma.

Post# 985689 , Reply# 10   3/7/2018 at 12:46 (252 days old) by appliancedude16 (Sunnyvale,California, U.S.A)        

At my old house in San Diego, CA,
I have a mid/late 50's or early 60's Day and Night furnace that has 2 burners, 1 Standing pilot, and one direct or belt driven blower. It runs very hot(Blows air out of the heat registers as hot as about 70-90 or possibly 100). I'm pretty sure it is still working great.

Post# 985768 , Reply# 11   3/8/2018 at 00:51 (252 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Hamden CT)        

robbinsandmyers's profile picture
Two months ago my friend removed the oil fired Thatcher boiler in his house that worked perfectly but was just too costly to run so he switched to gas. It was in perfect condition still. They dont make them like they used too.

Post# 985799 , Reply# 12   3/8/2018 at 06:41 (252 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        
Don't make them like they used too!!!

One of my American Standard furnaces, that is not 10 years old yet has been giving me problems the past couple of weeks. Starts runs for 2 minutes shuts off. Did this repeatedly for about an hour then stops completely for 20 minutes then would go this again. Had a company come out that sells and services A.S. They ran all kinds of tests on the unit. After about a 1/2 hour the tech said this is not looking good. Oh my. What is the problem? After disassembling parts of the burner section we saw water and rust inside the unit. Secondary heat exchanger has developed a hole in it. WTF!!! System is shut down now since it is pretty much has a lot of parts off of it. New exchanger is ordered and should be installed this coming Monday or Tuesday. Exchanger is covered under warranty but not labor. Strange wording on the warranty, this is a lifetime warranty for my lifetime. If I sell I can transfer the warranty to the next buyer and it is good for 10 years from that date. It is going to be about $1200. for labor. So no furnace in the house since Friday and will be over a week come Monday. Have been heating the house with 2 of the oil filled electric heaters, 1 pelonic heater, electric heater in the ceiling fixture in the master bath and the broiler in the stove in the kitchen with a fan on the counter blowing across the top and opening. They do a good job of keep the house comfortable but not my choice of heating. Also have a large pot of water on the stove for some moisture. Already replace the A/C unit outside on this one also. Have identical unit downstairs and not 1 problem with either the A/C or the furnace. What a pain in the butt.


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