EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:53 pm

I'm in the home stretch now! But good grief! I can't believe how long (and how much work) this project has been!! I suppose it's a lot easier when you just buy something, install it and light it. Bah! Wussies! :roll:

Last night's entertainment was installation of the chimney. I thought I'd leave work a bit early and have it mostly done by dark, giving myself about 1-1/2 hours. Mind you, all I had to do was cut the hole in the roof that had been previously laid out, trim the shingles back and install the flashing and run the insulated pipe up and out. The ceiling support was already installed. Well, 3 hours later (in the dark and it's starting to snow) I'm still screwing around on the roof with the shingles and flashing. Trim the shingles, place the flashing, go up in the attic, stick the pipe through, :mad: still not plumb, go back up on the roof, trim the shingles some more to get the flashing up higher, lather, rinse, repeat....and repeat..... Finally I took the angle grinder/cutoff wheel and "custom fit" the flashing the last bit. The "problem" was the flashing is for up to 6/12 pitch. Well, I have 6/12 pitch. The other flashing for over 6/12 is WAY too much, so I'm stuck with a marginal fit-up. It worked out just fine in the end, but was a lot more hassle than I expected.

The plumbing is 99% complete, I only have to tap into the house supply for the fill valve assembly and install the vents on the runs in the basement. The fan coil is installed and plumbed with only some sealing needed around the duct edges. I measured the temp rise of the furnace after the fan coil was installed. It's definitely higher than it was, but not excessive. Spec is 40 to 70 degrees rise and I measured right around 60~62 degrees. I was concerned that it would restrict the airflow too much but on the heating blower speed it's OK. I'll still remove it for summer A/C use.

Getting the boiler on the base was a whole 'nuther adventure, 1 part red-neck engineering and 2 parts Darwin Awards candidate, I built a rolling gantry out of 2x6 and 2x4 lumber to hoist the boiler off the dolly high enough to where it could then be rolled over the base and set down. It was constantly trying to flip over and squash me due to one pair of casters (fixed) being slightly smaller than the other (swivel) and I was too lazy to add a spacer shim and also by having the hoist strap wrapped over to the "short" side. Otherwise it worked really well. :D

The only thing left is the controls and electrical. The control box/PLC is built and programmed, and the unistrut is mounted and ready for it. After the last few details are wrapped up and I make my coal run next week, I should be makin' smoke by next weekend!

Some pics:
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Green uni-strut on the wall is for the control cabinet.
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1" return line to gate valve, then 3/4" to both boiler returns. Also 3/4" bypass line.
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Supply and return lines (inside the house) wrap around the basement on the wall from where they come in from underground which is behind and to my right from the camera's perspective. All of this will be insulated once the system has been filled and checked for leaks.
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Heat exchanger mounted in the plenum. It JUST fit. Close the valves, loosen the unions and it slides right out.
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Control cabinet.
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Attachments
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Control cabinet inside. Bottom row, left to right - Main fuse, stoker fuse, stoker power relay, stoker pilot relay, circulator relay, PLC. Top row is the 24V power supply. The PLC relays are rated 5A each, but I've learned that they don't hold up when asked to switch much current. The pilot relay switching the main stoker relay is to keep the back EMF spike from the big relay coil from arcing over the tiny contacts in the PLC relays. Overkill? Yeah, but it will be bulletproof.
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europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:04 pm

Nice work, looks great!
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: AA130FIREMAN On: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:22 am

europachris wrote: I was concerned that it would restrict the airflow too much but on the heating blower speed it's OK. I'll still remove it for summer A/C use.

I didn't notice an airflow difference with the fancoil I added, but with the good quality air filters, the fan sounds like it has asthma. Good lookin' job 8-) Are you using class A for the chimney ,what grade ?
AA130FIREMAN
 
Stove/Furnace Make: axeman anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 anthratube

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:29 am

I like the color you painted the door and stoker unit! Is that your way of going green???? :D That's a sweet green :)
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x3, 700 Van Wert 800
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:36 am

AA130FIREMAN wrote:I didn't notice an airflow difference with the fancoil I added, but with the good quality air filters, the fan sounds like it has asthma. Good lookin' job 8-) Are you using class A for the chimney ,what grade ?


I use a basic pleated filter (I think it is rated MERV 8) that seems to flow well yet filter effectively. I looked at some 2" depth filters and could modify the filter frame to fit them, but they have a MERV 7 filter material that appears to be less porous and "fuzzy", more like car air filter paper. The 2" filter would have more filter area, but I don't know if they would flow better. The MERV 8 filters I use have some depth to the filter material. They are made by True Blue and I get them at Menards. I won't buy the super duper ultra filters because I don't think they help much and will indeed have much more flow resistance, especially as they start to clog. If you want that kind of filtration, I would get one of the 4" deep filter setups to preserve the flow.

Chimney is Selkirk Supervent from Lowe's. Stainless inside and out. Lowe's has a "kit" with everything except the pipe for a standard single story roof install for an excellent price. Much less than piecemeal purchasing at Menards for the same parts. I picked up the kit plus three, 3 foot sections of pipe for about $400. I have about 8 feet of stovepipe from the boiler to the ceiling (10 foot ceilings), so about 17 feet of flue total. I'll get some pictures this weekend when it's actually light out...... ;)
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:45 am

stokerscot wrote:I like the color you painted the door and stoker unit! Is that your way of going green???? :D That's a sweet green :)


LOL, yeah, I'm trying to give people the impression I'm not out to destroy the environment.

I do love green, however. The stoker is painted with Rustoleum Hammertone Deep Green. The EFM door is Rustoleum BBQ paint. I actually wanted to paint the stoker with more of a lighter "vintage" green similar to the original color which was an aqua-green. But, nothing is really available in those "vintage" colors without a custom mix. Masterchem Industries makes "Hammerite" brand paint that is available in a mid-green color but I can't find it around here and it is expensive to order and ship in.

The other reason is that the stoker sheet metal was pretty rusty and lightly pitted all over. The hammertone paint hides EVERYTHING! I thought about it, and then rapidly slapped the sh!t out of myself, for almost doing a Bondo job to prep the surface for a smooth finish using standard paints. The hammertone paint is also extremely hard and durable after it cures for a month or two, far better than standard Rustoleum or Krylon paints.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:50 am

Beautiful workmanship.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:38 am

All I can say for today is thank goodness I ran a system leak check last night with air only. I used 12 psi regulated off my shop air compressor and found 4 whopper leaks. Two were in the house on the 1" copper about two feet apart. Evidently I was getting sloppy and/or lazy when I was sweating in the heat exchanger. Both fittings (an elbow and a union) were leaking against the wall where I didn't get enough heat.

The other two were on the boiler - the tridicator port and one of the 2" returns. The tridicator port I could understand as I went a little deep when I was cutting out the frozen plug way back when, but the return fitting was puzzling. It was leaking GOOD but was in tight, lots of dope, threads perfect. I cleaned it up and even checked if it was a cracked or porous casting (Chinese reducer bushing). I didn't find anything obvious so I used some RTV and re-installed it. I put in a few psi to see if it would hold and it seemed OK but I wanted to wait 24 hours and let the RTV cure before leak testing again so as to not blow the sealant out before it cures. Did the same for the tridicator.

It was a pain in the arse, but not nearly as big a pain as it could have been with a system full of water.....

Coal run tomorrow! :D and I should be up and running Saturday provided I don't find any more leaks and all else goes to plan.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Sting On: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:24 am

Ok -- I know some here think I am an annoying prick when it comes to flow and balancing the load energy.

Soooo when I ask questions - its only because I see something that bugs me.

Here is it - sit down - strap in - hang on ;)

Why did you only use 3/4 piping to the return tapings' of the boiler? Not just the parallel runs from the balancing tee to the ports - but back from there the branch input of that tee) and back to the manifold? 3/4 will not move the potential energy output of this boiler.

yes I see the use of 3/4 to your house HX in the air handler -- and I assume that will give you enough energy for your light load - but .... don't I see other loops? DHW perhaps? A garage?
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:44 am

Sting wrote:Why did you only use 3/4 piping to the return tapings' of the boiler? Not just the parallel runs from the balancing tee to the ports - but back from there the branch input of that tee) and back to the manifold? 3/4 will not move the potential energy output of this boiler.

yes I see the use of 3/4 to your house HX in the air handler -- and I assume that will give you enough energy for your light load - but .... don't I see other loops? DHW perhaps? A garage?


Nah, you're not annoying....just persistent! :P

I have 1-1/4" galv. out of the boiler to the circulator. After the circ. I go to 1" copper, then to 1" pex, back to 1" copper to the HX in the furnace. The return is the same all the way back to about 6" before the boiler where it splits from 1" copper to TWO 3/4" lines, one to each boiler return tap. I also have a 3/4" bypass line from the boiler outlet to the midpoint between the two returns.

Area of one 1" copper line = .785 sq.in.
Area of two 3/4" copper lines = .883 sq.in.

The pex is my limiting factor in pumping heat to the house, and comprises over 80% of the head resistance of the circuit. The only way I can get more heat thru the pex is to use a larger pump, i.e. Taco 011, or if I wanted to run a Modine in the main garage I'd have to make the house a priority zone (and run a glycol loop/plate exch. setup). I've planned ahead for future additions (DHW, basement radiant zone, etc) as needed.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Sting On: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:03 am

europachris wrote: The return is the same all the way back to about 6" before the boiler where it splits from 1" copper to TWO 3/4" lines, one to each boiler return tap.


Thats what I couldn't "see"

ok -- Ill go lay by my dish again.
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:19 am

Evidently I was getting sloppy and/or lazy when I was sweating in the heat exchanger.

There's no excuse for laziness!!! :D :D
That said you probably know I had 2 leaks when I plumbed my boiler, one I forgot to sweat and the other was at the return on the boiler, where the reducer was screwed in. That leak stopped as soon as the boiler got up to temperature.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:28 pm

Ran another leak test tonight, found several more leaks.... :( :oops: Two were on the copper - again, cold joints on the backside of vertical connections and the rest were threaded connections on and around the boiler. A couple just needed some more cranking on the 1-1/4", the rest I cleaned, used RTV, and re-installed (boiler plugs). The boiler tappings are old and abused - not helped at all by me drilling, sawing, and chiseling to remove the old plugs. I cleaned all the 1/2" and 3/4" threads with pipe taps, but some just need a little extra help from the RTV.

I would not have found any of these leaks if I had not walked around with a squirt bottle of soapy water and shot each joint. Glad I did. Easy fix on a cool, dry boiler and I don't trust old pipe threads nor Chinese threaded anything.

All set to make my coal run down-state tomorrow and on target to fill the system and light this sucker Saturday morning. Giggle-giggle.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:29 am

What are you using for a torch/fuel, solder, and flux?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: EFM = Electric Fireman (new project alert)

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:00 am

markviii wrote:What are you using for a torch/fuel, solder, and flux?


I've got a Bernz-O-Matic swirl torch. I don't recall the model but it's a "hose torch" - the tank is separate from the torch head. I just run propane and it's PLENTY hot. Compared to my father's old Bernz-O-Matic pencil torch, mine is nuclear reactor. Solder is "Oatey" brand lead free plumbing solder and matching flux.

I'm kicking myself for not going through the extra bit of effort to get "regular" 50/50 solder, but the leaks I've found in the copper were all due to either my (lack) of skill and/or being vertical joints or very close to something else that will burn and being too light on the torch action to get the joint up to proper temp all the way around. I've still got blisters healing from having hot gobs of solder land on my hands..... :oops:
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Visit Lehigh Anthracite