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  1. #1
    I replaced a residential 3 ton capacity Westinghouse a/c unit a few years ago, that was from the 1950's ; it had a pancake compressor and a huge cabinet measuring about 42" long by 36" wide by 55" high. It weighed ALOT . Had to cut it up. The a/c still worked and cooled ; pressures looked okay on the compressor too. They just wanted something more economical to operate.

  2. #2
    rubobornot Guest
    My aunt and uncle had a Carrier WeatherMaker that had a furnace, compressor,evaporator,water cooled condenser and blower all in one unit that sat in the basement. The condenser water was run thru a redwood cooling tower with no fan on it but slats on all four sides. The unit ran off of 230 grounded "B" phase, three phase power. The ref. was R-12, unit ran from 1953 to 1995 on the same compressor,evap coil,blower,condenser and I think all the heating components were original. Had to remove the pump and drain the water from the tower to shut it down for winter. They sold the house and the new owners took it out, still running good though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    17,606
    1950s Bard furnace. Mostly 50s stuff and I keep all the name plates for my wall of shame.
    "The road to Hell is paved with progressive policies."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,431
    Get pictures of these relics when you take them out!!!!

    My oldest, and I've posted pictures in the past, were Carrier R500 units from the 50s. Semi-hermetic comp, blower not fan. One was mounted in the basement and ducted. Other was outside.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    3,909
    Old coleman or carrier units circa 1950's-60's with semi-hermetic r-500 slab coil on top with upflow fan blade. The electrical box covers made good parts boxes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,333
    WOW I HAVENT SEEN anything from the 50's i have seen some from the 60's though

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Originally posted by hvacfella
    I replaced a residential 3 ton capacity Westinghouse a/c unit a few years ago, that was from the 1950's ; it had a pancake compressor and a huge cabinet measuring about 42" long by 36" wide by 55" high. It weighed ALOT . Had to cut it up. The a/c still worked and cooled ; pressures looked okay on the compressor too. They just wanted something more economical to operate.
    Heh, I have run into a few of those, replaced one that I was told was built in 1948. It was as you described. Condensor fans were 2 blower wheels run by a single shaft driven by a belt drive motor.

    The oldest actual equipment produced by a manufacturer for use in a residential application that I have worked on/replaced are several Lennox LHS1 units from the late 40's. I know of one from 1947 that is still running strong as of a couple of years ago when I serviced it last. New furnace on coil for that beast in '97 though.

    I used to run into tons of old carrier R500 systems from the 50s. The Carrier systems with the MASSIVE indoor unit that had a single blower, but 2 paths for airflow through the unit. One side had the evaperator coil and the other side had the heat echanger. There was a lever you threw one way or the other to direct the airflow through the correct side for heating or cooling. The units had 2 outlets from the top for connections to a duct system. You could have separate heating and cooling duct systems, but all of them I saw around here had a big transition on top to connect to one duct system. They had a simi hermetic compressor and a water cooled condensor in the bottom of the unit, and a cooling tower outside.
    Most of them I saw were no longer using a cooling tower. Usually someone had abandoned the water cooled condensor and the compressor and installed a lineset to a regular condensing unit outside. One I saw was still using the origonal compressor, but had a condensing unit outside that only had the coil and the fan in it.

    I have worked on a few Lennox indoor units that were a similar concept, just without the compressor and water cooled condensor inside.


    I have also seen a few systems from the 1930's that were NOT built with standard equipment produced for residential use.
    There were 2 that were quite interesting.

    One was basicly built in a very large closet that was very heavily insulated and lined with sheet metal, and had an iron frame inside that was used for the mounting of everything.
    In the bottom of the closet, mounted on springs, was a belt driven compressor and a water cooled condensor.
    Right above that was a belt drive blower.
    Above that was a heat exchanger, and above that was an evaperator coil.
    Opening the closet door gave complete service access to the system, but there was no way to check the system in "normal" operation because opening the door was like basicly removing the entire side of a furnace.
    The "system" was designed by an engineer and parts sourced from many different companies.
    It was installed in 1936 when the house was built, and still worked 7 years ago, exept the heat exchanger had cracked.


    Another one from the late 30's had an upflow air handler in a closet that pulled return from the crawl space under the house. Whatever was used as the blower origonally had been replaced with a Lennox electric furnace, with no heat strips, in the mid 50's. A rectangular duct went from it up into the attic, where it made a 90 degree turn, then about 5 feet later it hit a wye that had a damper to direct the airflow through one branch or the other.
    One branch of the wye went to a metal case that had an evaperator coil and drain pan in it.
    The other branch went to what is best described as a insulated sheetmetal box with a heat echanger, burners, gas valve and controls.
    The heat echanger and evap coils were both very obviously custom fabricated.
    The ductwork continued from the coil and heat echanger units to another wye that had a damper like the first one. It then became a trunk line with round metal ducts going to the registers.
    The dampers on both wyes had switches so that the condensor wouldn't come on if the dampers were switched to allow airflow through the heat echanger, or allow the gas valve to come on if the dampers were switched for cooling.
    Strangest system I ever saw, had fun tearing it out, but wish I had a camera then.

    All those old beasts I have worked on were in the TCU, Westover Hills, Arlington Heights and Crestline areas of Fort Worth, Texas.
    In Westover Hills and the Crestline area, you can still find small mansions from the 1890's and 1900's with the origonal Lennox coal burner in the basement and origonal heating ducts and registers. Some still functional, but not used in many years.

    I feel fortunate to have had the experience of working on that old stuff, but am glad I no longer do. Oldest stuff I see anymore is from the late 70's, heh.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  8. #8
    That made for some good reading ; its amazing how the size of equipment has shrank over time. If you have any pics of these Dinosaurs, please post them. Thanks.

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