1974 Kewanee Type M Boiler

  • Year Made: 1974
  • Type: Type M/firebox
  • Fuel: Combination (gas/oil)
  • Ignition System: Fire-Eye electronic ignition control with original mechanical timer
  • Rated Output: 70 BHP (2,350 MBTU/hr)
  • Location: Boonslick Technical Education Center (BTEC; Boonville, Mo.)
  • Status: Retired (as of 2020)

This boiler was manufactured in 1974, while the technical vocational school it heats was under construction. The burner, similar to the burner in its bigger and older brother, is a combination model that can burn both natural gas and oil.

The former director at the vocational school where this boiler is located allowed me to take pictures several times, and even got me out of class (woodworking) to watch it being serviced. She grew up in Moline, Illinois, which is only about 30 miles from Kewanee, where this boiler was manufactured.

This boiler, like the 1968 American Standard/Kewanee Type C boiler in the adjacent high school, has been retired. The 1974 Kewanee and its ancillary components were beginning to fail, causing repair costs to soar above the cost of replacement systems. Additionally, the school district began projects to heavily modernize and add-on to the BTEC – connecting it to the high school building. The Kewanee Boiler, along with older package air conditioning units, were retired and replaced with new roof-top units. It is unknown by me whether the Kewanee was abandoned in place (like the high school boiler) or properly removed and disposed of.

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The 1974 Kewanee Type M boiler.
A close-up of the front of the 1974 Kewanee Type M boiler. Unlike the high school boiler, it has a Kewanee burner.
The burner data plate for the 1974 Kewanee Type M boiler.
The boiler data plate for the 1974 Kewanee Type M boiler. The data plate lists the boiler as a 70 BHP boiler designed for use with a hydronic (hot water) system.
The Control Panel for the boiler. The boiler has the option to be fired with gas or atomized oil. In my freshman year, when I attended the school for woodworking classes, the boiler had flame sensing issues. The bell on the side would ring at several times of the day, as the flame sensor would loose sight of the flame. It was later learned that one of the wires were loose inside the control panel, causing it to constantly loose the flame. (I actually witnessed part of the time when the service men were there to repair the issue. The former director actually allowed me to miss part of my class to witness it being repaired. The repair tech showed me how the lead sulphide flame sensor worked.)

Photographed August 22, 2016 by Garrett Fuller. Photos ©2016 Garrett Fuller. Special thanks to K. Brosi and the BTEC staff.