Advice Needed

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:50 pm

Gary in Pennsylvania wrote:
NEPAForum Admin wrote:If you have the money for a stoker by all means purchase one, they are much easier to operate.


Granted....I'm just being silly. But I wouldn't go so far as claiming stokers are MUCH easier to operate!


I make a distinction in central heating vs. space heaters. In central heating the heat distribution system, hydronic radiators or supply and return ducts are already in place. The central heating coal boiler or furnace is installed in parallel. Since it sized to heat your entire house it uses more coal than a local heating stove or fireplace insert. While hand firing is possible it's much more work than with a stoker. Those that have hand fired central heating systems do so usually because the coal they burn does lend itself to unattended stoker operation. Shoveling 3-5 tons a heating season is not fun.

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

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:15 pm

[/quote]I make a distinction in central heating vs. space heaters. In central heating the heat distribution system, hydronic radiators or supply and return ducts are already in place. The central heating coal boiler or furnace is installed in parallel. Since it sized to heat your entire house it uses more coal than a local heating stove or fireplace insert. While hand firing is possible it's much more work than with a stoker. Those that have hand fired central heating systems do so usually because the coal they burn does lend itself to unattended stoker operation. Shoveling 3-5 tons a heating season is not fun.

Yanche[/quote]

If you can afford this, it is without a doubt the best way to go. You will be more comfortable, do less work and be a lot happier. I don't believe it's possible to find a bad stoker, they are typically much more reliable than the technologies that have "replaced" them.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: jpen1 On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:05 pm

dixie,


I think I can give you some perspective. I have burned both hand fired coal unit, a coal stoker, and wood pellets. I have a stoker now and I like it the best probably because it comes with the least amount of work involved out of the bunch. Mine is pretty much set it and forget it. I have it running on a thermostat and can keep the house +/- 1.5 * of the setpoint, and I can run it even with the temps. in the sixties with out over heating the house. You can't do that with a hand fired appliance With wood or handfired coal I could never keep the heat that well regulated. Also since you don't have a chimney you could power vent a stoker with more ease. If you are going to the trouble and expense of a chimney put up an insulated class A masonary chimney and this is a must for a hand fired appliance as far as I am concerned. You will have a much harder time maintaining the draft with a metal chimney, plus a masonary chimney will last much longer. The only benefit to a hand fired appliance is the ability to use it in a power outage. Just remember with a hand fired unit you gahve to be home twice a day to tend it. Since you have hot air heat you can easily tie into your duct work with a top mounted ring which is an option on most stokers. As for what manufacturer to go with You need to match the stove with your heating needs as well as space availiable to put the stove. Also think about the dealer's ability to give you service if you have a problem with your stove. This especially true if you get a Harman. Thier factory customer service is very poor, and not very friendly based on my experiences with them. Just remember to reasearch what you intend to buy and ask the manufacturer and dealer about any questions you may have
Last edited by jpen1 on Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

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PostBy: dixie On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:38 pm

Wanted: Used Harman Magnum Stoker Stove Also if anyone knows of any websites that there are listings for used stoves. I already checked e-bay and a few others. No luck...I would appreciate any info.
I live in Western Penna. Thanks...
dixie
 

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:03 am

You can put a wanted ad under the calssifieds if you want: NEPA Crossroads Free Classifieds
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: dixie On: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:14 pm

Can anyone tell me about a Harman DVC 500. Are they a good choice if you don't want the expense of a chimney? If anyone has one please tell me how you like it, how long you have had it, approx want they are selling for. Thanks....Dixie
dixie
 

PostBy: Rick On: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:58 pm

I have a harman mark 3 in my basement. trying to heat basement and 1st floor.attic door always closed. attic insulatd. all block walls, basement and 1st floor walls not insulated. new replacement windows. on a day like today 26 degrees 7-20 mph winds cant even keep basement 70. 1st floor it cant even keep the thermostat satisfied for the oil burner. use about 6 to 8 ton a year.
Rick
 

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:13 pm

Dixie, you really want a coal fired stoker furnace with ductwork tyeing into your existing heating system. It will make you comfortable and happy and you'll still save a ton of money in the end. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: dutch On: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:12 pm

Rick,
How long have had this stove?
Do you have any temp or other
guages to help see how the
stove is performing?

I heat a 1700 sq ft main floor of a home
with my mark III in the basement, and
have no problem even below 0,, keeping the
whole house comfortable.. I probably do have
a well insulated home, and fairly well protected
from wind, but from thanksgiving thru easter
I normally won't burn any oil with the boiler unless
I have a problem and the stove gets
too low.
dutch
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:43 pm

Hello Rick, welcome to the forum.

In a word: INSULATE !!

Depending on how much of the basement block wall is above grade, and how airtight the siding and sheathing on the main floor exterior walls, you could need as much as 300K BTU to keep that house comfortable.

Buy styrofoam board, 1.5"-2" and cover the basement walls, fill the end-pockets of the floor joists with fiberglass insulation. This will significantly reduce the heat loss to the basement, allowing much more heat to the main floor level.

Make sure you have a good passageway for hot air to get up to the main floor, and cold air to return to the basement. There are several threads on this forum about members getting better heat circulation for their home.

With a bit of work, you could greatly improve your comfort [ home temperature], but you really need wall insulation and a tight house to try to heat the whole place with only 90K btu.

I know, I live in an old farmhouse that had no wall insulation and in 80% of the ceilings no insulation, poor siding, leaky doors etc. You could watch a candle flame dance all over on a breezy night. My 150K propane boiler could not keep the place at 60* on a 10* night!! Was pretty bad... now is much better.

Hope this helps!!

Greg L

.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: coal nut On: Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:45 pm

dixie wrote:Wanted: Used Harman Magnum Stoker Stove Also if anyone knows of any websites that there are listings for used stoves. I already checked e-bay and a few others. No luck...I would appreciate any info.
I live in Western Penna. Thanks...


Didnt Lime 4x4 say he wanted to get rid of his?
coal nut
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing

PostBy: Rick On: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:44 am

Dutch, I have had this stove going on 2 yrs now. Stove top runs around 450-500. I have a temp guage on stove pipe about a foot up and a foot over before exiting the house I try to keep it around 180 to 200.

LsFarm, I have installed floor registers in every room, and all there doing is sucking cold air down into the basement. Proably what there supposed to do. The basement ceiling was insulated when I bought the house. The basement was always 76 degrees. Nice and warm. Brother and coal man told me take insulation out so the heat would warm floor and rise upstairs. No such luck, now basement cold and floor upstairs still cold. I am at a loss here my bro tells me to sell the house and build new one. I can put stove upstairs but then I will really die with the heat because of small house. I have a barometric dampner on stove now. I am thinking about putting my stack heater on it. Any feedback on installing a stack heater? Lost here in PA. And tired of being cold. This size house I’m told I should only use a couple of ton of coal a year. I thank the both of you for your input and you’re time.
Rick
 

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:01 am

Rick wrote: ... SNIP I am at a loss here my bro tells me to sell the house and build new one. ... SNIP... Lost here in PA. And tired of being cold. This size house I’m told I should only use a couple of ton of coal a year. I thank the both of you for your input and you’re time. SNIP...


Rick, Assuming your stove is operating correctly, it's likely your house is not very well insulated or the stove is too small for your needs. I suggest you do heat loss calculation on your home. It will tell you what your total heat loss is and where you need to add or upgrade insulation.

A detailed heat loss calculation can be done using the Air Conditioning Contractors of America Manual J Residential Load Calculation Procedure. You can download the spreadsheet program from their web site:
http://www.acca.org/tech/manualj/
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
. You will need to buy the abridged version of the manual for data needed to actually do a calculation. You make measurements of your house, room, wall, etc then look up the insulation factor in the manual for the your actual construction. The data is all entered in a spreadsheet format resulting in a total heat loss. This total loss is what you use to size the stove. By looking at the heat loss of each room, area or wall you can tell where it is most effective to add insulation. Doing a lot of "what if" improvements will tell you where to spend your money. I'm not suggesting it will be easy because there is a significant learning curve but it will be cheaper than selling the house and moving.

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

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:45 am

Rick what type of construction are the walls?? if they are regular 2x4s with sheetrock or drywall, then you can get an insulation contractor to blow in wall insulation without a huge mess.

How much insulation is in the ceiling of the main floor separating it from the attic?? If you don't have any insulation under the floor of the attic, you are loosing 95% of your heat through the main floor ceiling.

What is the size of the house? Length x width?? I understand a basement and a closed off attic .

The money return on insulation is pretty quick, and it works in the summer to keep the house cool as well. And if you sell as it is, then any smart buyer will know that it needs insulation, and the price will go down accordingly.

If all the floor registers are drawing cold air down, the hot air has to be going up somewhere. Is it possible that where you removed basement ceiling insulation you opened up a passageway to a 2x4 wall upstairs, that now is acting like a chimney and letting all the hot air from the basement up inside the wall cavity all the way up to the attic?? The 2x4x16' wall cavity then is acting like a hot air duct from the hot basement to the attic, bypassing the main floor.

I have seen this in some houses, the heat just bypasses the main floor and goes out the attic roof vents. Take a lit cigarette and follow the smoke and see where the air is going. You may find something simple that will cure the problem.

Hope this helps. Greg L

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

PostBy: Cap On: Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:23 am

Rickk--

I had a MARK III in a larger home than what you have and managed ok but not great. How hot are you burning?

I installed 3 large registers ( 14x24 ) 2 directly above the heater within 10' and the other 14 x 14 register 20' toward the other side of the basement. I discovered I had too many registers as I originally installed 5 throughtout the 1st floor. I also installed a cheap box fan inside of the basement rafter under the register simply hanging it on metal wire. This really helps.

Try hanging strips of toilet paper on the ceilings in your basement & 1st floor and track the flow of your air. You may discover some interesting results. I discovered I had 2 too many registers.
Cap
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

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