Companies that produce coal boiler add-ons?

Companies that produce coal boiler add-ons?

PostBy: WillWhite78 On: Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:10 pm


I'm getting ready to switch from wood to coal and I want to do a little upgrade to my heating at the same time. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me the names of some manufacturers out there I can look at for a coal boiler. I've currently got:

Companies I know have coal add-on boilers:
Harmon Stove Company
Keystone Manufacturing Corp.
Marathon Heater Company
Alternate Heating Systems

Companies I've seen talked about on the forums but can't find coal boilers on their sites:
US Stove (Not a Manufacturer?)
Alaska Stove

If anyone knows of any other manufacturers I should add to my search I'd appreciate it.

What I'm looking for:
An add-on boiler to replace an existing wood stove. I have the skills to install it myself (plumbing et al.) and already have a chimney. My basement height is about 6 feet and the add-on boiler would be put on 6" cinderblocks for those times that the water level decides to outpace my sump-pump.

Thanks in advance.

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:22 pm

You post has somehow cuased a glitch, I'm gettin two listings on the index page. Anyhow it sems this reply has fixed it. Sorry I don't have an answer to your question but I'm sure someone does.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: WillWhite78 On: Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:27 pm

Sorry bout that, first I put it in the wrong forum, then I cause the forums to mess up.... I'm not starting out on the right foot here.... :oops:

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:29 pm

:lol: Don't worry about it, don't know why it did that. I just added a mod that adds the last topic title to the front page, there might be bug in it. I'll see if it happens again.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:01 pm

Welcome to the forum Will.

What current heat system do you have in your home now?? You mention changing from wood to coal.

I would recommend getting a good coal burning boiler instead of the so-called add-on boilers I saw on your links.

If you think you may want to still burn wood as well as coal, look at the AHS multi-fuel boiler. Forum member KTM rider has one, and it appears to be a well designed unit.

The other thing to think about is do you want to have to tend to the feeding of a boiler every 12 hours or so. And if you miss the feeding time, do you want to have to start the fire all over again each time??

If not then you need to look at stoker boilers.

If you build a weather tight outbuilding, you can put any of the inside boilers outside. with provisions that it can't freeze or get wet. You could put an attached coal bin and have an auger feed from the [weather tight] coal bin to the stoker boiler, and then the only tending it would need would be to empty the ash pan. You could even set it up to take a larger than normal ash pan if you wanted to.

EFM makes or made a good stoker boiler. You may find a used one if you get lucky.

Hope this helps, Greg L
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: ktm rider On: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:57 pm

As LsFarm said, I have the AHS Multifuel boiler. I burn soft ( bituminous ) coal and wood. probably 80% coal - 20% wood. You will have to tend the fire every 10-12 hours but igniting a soft coal fire is not as hard a igniting an anthracite fire so it's not that big of deal if you let the fire go out. If I let mine go completley out and let the water temp completely fall, it probably takes me 30-45 minutes to have the fire relit and the water back up to 180 deg.

You could get the AHS wood/coal/oil boiler and the oil will kick on automatically when the fire goes out. I have this feature but have not hooked up the oil burner yet. That is coming real soon though. I would think that would be extremely handy when you go can't make it home at a normal time.. The automatic oil backup is why I bought the AHS ( along with the quality and customer service. Jeff at AHS is a great guy) I only kow of one other soft coal boiler that has the oil backup but it IS NOT an automatic switch over. meaning you have to be home and switch to oil manually. Which kind of defeats the purpose of the oil backup.

I am not familiar with stoker boilers or stoves. I have never even seen a stoker to be truthful. Everyone in my area burns bituminous coal.

Hope this helps you out a bit.

ktm rider
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Multifuel
Stove/Furnace Model: CO 55 with oil backup

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:48 am

I would strongly advise you to get a stoker boiler just for the convenience. Hand fired boilers work well but require attention every 12 hours. I have a Harman VF3000 stoker and it is very easy to maintain. It has a 250# hopper and once loaded, this unit runs unattended for 3-5 days, depending on outside air temperature. Honestly all things considered if money were not a factor (it was a big factor for me) I think the AHS stoker coal gun is a superior unit. Quite a bit more expensive though.
Also, don't be concerned about all the talk on this forum about "how to light anthracite". Way too much time is spent talking about it. it's VERY easy. Coal just requires alittle more patience than wood. It's a non-factor. You just need a small hot wood fire to light it off. Avoid the recommendations that include using liquids such as lighter fluid or kerosene. That could be dangerous and is totally unneccessary.
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal

PostBy: WillWhite78 On: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:51 am

Sorry I let this drop down, I am reading it I just had to go away for work for the week.

I am indeed looking at a stoker boiler, I'm too lazy to load it more often then every couple days. :-P I don't want to put it outside mainly because of the building codes in the area involved in a new outbuilding.

I looked at the combo oil/coal furnaces, however I have a fairly new oil furnace (approx 6 years old) and replacing it would add unnecessary cost if I could put an add-on coal boiler in the system. I just realized I forgot to mention that I have primarily oil heat right now. My wood stove simply heats the basement (unfinished) and then the air circulates upstairs through an open basement door. Is an add-on boiler a good choice generally, or is it difficult to control which source heats the water...between my main furnace and the add-on?

What about the AHS stoker coal gun makes it a superior unit? Is it more efficient? I was looking at that unit but the cost seemed prohibitive based on a cost/BTU.

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:45 pm

The AHS coal gun unit is a very efficient unit. The flue pipe temperatures on my S-130 are very low. Only 160 deg F where the flue pipe connects to the boiler. Low flue temperature is a measure of high efficiency, i.e., most of the heat is transfered to the boiler water rather than going up the chimney. I don't have any measurements on other brands of stoker boilers but believe it would be much higher based on my knowledge of the firebox designs. The AHS coal gun is a double pass design, the flue gases pass through the boiler water twice before they reach the exhaust collar. The Axeman_Anderson Anthratube is similar design. What you want to look for is a design that has forced turbulence of the hot gases against the boiler tubes. You want bends and obstructions that force heat transfer. A simple chimney height induced draft design can not do this. Even if it is a multi-pass design; much of the heat will go up the chimney.

In addition the beauty of the design is also the efficiency at idle when the combustion blower is off. It's effective firebox size is small leading to low standby losses. This is especially important when there is little demand for heat, i.e. mild temperatures or summer use to heat domestic hot water only. I'll be interested in flue pipe temperatures on other brands of stoker boiler. Anyone have some to share?

Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea