27 Jan 2009 at 4:36 am #279891
A Braemar T52-47 Model “A” 30 gallon gas storage hot water service has been operating continuously in my parental home for 55 years. That is, aside from 4 or 5 short outages caused by the failure of the pressure reducing value which limits the mains water input to 30 psi.
For more than 20 years, though, the thermostat has not functioned and the water temperature has had to be manually controlled by adjusting the gas input cock to regulate the height of the flame.
According to advice received from the local gas company (AGL) then, this HWS could no longer be serviced because parts were unavailable.
Recently, I uncovered the original product information leaflet which was supplied when this HWS was purchased. This indicates that the thermostat fitted is a Spersom’s T.W.5 3/04 (80-200 degrees F). Some research using the Web has revealed that Spersom’s was a brand manufactured by Sperryn & Co of Birmingham, England. Sperryn are now part of Crane but apparently they no longer manufacture gas thermostats.
I would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone who has any experience with servicing or replacing these thermostats.
It would be nice to restore this old timer to full functionality.
Many thanks in advance.
27 Jan 2009 at 9:05 am #301901
I bet when and if you find a thermostat for this 55 year old heater the part is going to cost heaps more than the water heater did in the first place – given it’s age and condition why not just simply upgrade to a new one???
28 Jan 2009 at 2:19 am #301902
I know the idea of a 55 year old HWS still being in service would not be popular, to say the least, with HWS manufacturers and service companies. Where would the industry be if this experience was commonplace? Merely contemplating it, I’m sure, would send shivers down their spines.
During less than half the life of this old timer I have had to replace a comparable Rheem unit twice in my own home. They only average about 10 years.
So comparing the cost of a replacement thermostat with the initial installed cost of the old Braemar is hardly of any use. The relevant point of comparison is the current replacement cost of the HWS and of future replacements based on the expected life of modern units.
With the installation costs included, a replacement HWS would leave little change out of $1500. So, based on an average life of 10 years, that’s a cost of about $150 per year.
It’s therefore easy to see that servicing or replacing the thermostat in the 55 year old Braemar is not as ridiculous as some might suppose. Every year its remains in service it saves $150 at today’s prices … and it has been achieving those savings for 55 years! Ok, lets not get into any debate about efficiency relative to modern units.
So if anyone out there has some experience with servicing or replacing these thermostats please let me know. I’d greatly appreciate it.
28 Jan 2009 at 5:00 am #301903
Your response is absolutely true and quite accurate I take my hat off to you in your endeavour to obtain a thermostat for your w/htr. Down here where I live and work we would be searching for any type of thermostat that we could in some manner adapt to make the heater work and then and only then would we decide to replace the w/htr if a suitable replecement stat could not be made or obtained. Go for it my friend and I wish you all the luck in the World.
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