EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:19 pm

I have the autodialer mounted next to a smoke detector and CO detector and it will call on loud noises.

The autodialer is an old Heath unit from the 80's that I had. I don't beleive it is made anymore. It came out for a short time. It was a really sweet unit. For $120 it would monitor for power loss, low temperature, high temperature, loud noise and if a n/o or n/c contact was disrupted. It has battery backup and will call up to 3 numbers until it reaches someone and you call it back. It tells you in a synthesised voice what the problem is. You can also call it at any time and get a status report and listen to your house.

Had it stayed on the market, it would have cut into the professional alarm companies, maybe they bought it out?

Maybe someone knows of a similar unit now available? Our local hardware store has a unit from Reliance Home Protector for $99 that has some of the features, but not the loud noise option.

Again, I have the autodialer setup to call my cell phone if any of the following boiler problems happen (which they haven't);
1. Power loss
2. 165 F ceiling temperature
3. Under 110 F water temp (outfire aquastat)
4. 165 F auger temp
5. Under 60 F room temp
6. Over 75 F room temp
7. High CO alarm
8. Smoke alarm
9. High noise level

Hope that helps.
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:30 pm

The boiler was started on the skid/bulk bag Feb 28, attached are pictures of it then and two weeks, later today, March 13. Keep in mind that we have a 4,200 sq ft house with 3 teenage girls, before we switched off oil, we used to burn 2,100 gal/yr.

Also I want to mention that I am no machinist. The discharge shutters are just two pieces of 3/16" thick steel, each 14" x 24" that I had our local steel supplier cut to order. The just set loose into the angle iron guides, yet completely seal. I drilled bolt holes in the ends of each one as a handle to pull on as I didn't know how hard they would be to pull with a load on them. As it turned out, they slide easily.

The 35" x 35" x 51" bulk bags have a full open top with closure skirt and a 12" opening spout bottom. I cut the foot long bottom spout to flush, set it on the skid plywood, climbed in the bag and secured the bag to the skid by screwing down four 2 x 4's inside the bag to the plywood underneath. The skid/ bulk bag is a unit. I plan on building 3 more skid/bulk bag units.
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Feb 28
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March 13, still half full, no auger tunneling yet.
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March 13, back view. Notice discharge gates.
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Discharge gates are just two steel plates laying in angle iron channel.
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vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:21 pm

Very nice installation, well thought out and excellent photo documentation. Congratulations. The bulk coal handling idea is excellent. I'm sure others will be adapting it to their needs.

I can't quite tell from the piping but is it a primary secondary piping system? If your coal fire goes out can the system automatically switch to the oil backup?
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:30 pm

I only have one flue. I can only use one boiler at a time. I actually remove 6 screw and change exhaust ducts. I can be back on oil in under 20 minutes if I need to.

I was nervous about this when I first put the EFM in. However, it has been bullet proof for dependability. We only switched once to oil to go on vacation for a week.

If you already have an oil boiler, this is the way to go. You don't waste energy keeping the oil boiler at temperature. Also if you get the oil gun option on the EFM (which I don't have), you have to run it once a month or so and keep it insulated to keep the oil from jelling in the nozzle. It is less work just to use your old oil boiler.

Thanks
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:51 am

Again I say that I love your installation.

If you get tired of switching flues, you can install the oil kit on the 520. It would be about 60% of the cost if you use your existing oil burner.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: Sting On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:02 am

What a wonderful, simple, and functional design 8-)

My plan has a similar stationary bin set a big higher - but the shut off under it and the ability to clear the feed system to the boiler with a minimal amount of fuel to deal with was the goal - Why is that important??? Because I have shoveled 5 ton of coal off the pickup point to clear an issue - more than once.. Using a pallet jack can accomplish that and several other issues.

I speculate on how long the 2x10's set on edge to space the skids off the floor will hold up? The wood used for them is so soft It may split and they could fold. Sandwiching a piece of plywood in-between two2x10's and spacing the gauge boards on the floor for the new, wider footprint may make a longer lasting (stronger) skid

I can envision stacking the mt skids in the corner because they collapse and with your smooth basement floor how nice it will be to fill / stage and move in full ones - Can you see an electric pallet jack in your future?

There is going to be a considerable amount of fuel that sill not fall out without your intervention - and for that I might build sloped bottom skid bins - maybe then set the sack on or maybe just build sides --

Still a great plan to store and move fuel.

Thanks for sharing this idea.
Sting
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:28 pm

You are right to be concerned with the single 2 x 10 side boards. I mentioned to my wife the other day that the only things I might do different on the skids is double the side boards for safety. When I first sketched the skid plan on paper, I had double side boards. However, when I mocked up the skid pieces in the garage, it looked like overkill, and being the frugal vermonter I am, I went with one.

However, later when you look at in the celler with the full bag on it, you start to wonder......

Some other things I would like to mention are;
I found my booklet for the auto dialer. It is a Heath SD-6230 house sitter security monitor/dialer. I believe it is no longer made.

I forget to mention that I ground knife edges on the leading edge of each discharge gate plate, in order to hammer them and cut the coal if I had to to get it to seal. However, the gates close gently and even trapping the width of one coal rice, it still stops all flow with no spillage when you pull it out. So I don't think it is necessary to grind the leading edges.

I found the bulk bag info, it was 35 x 35 x 54, not 51. It is rated at 45 cu ft when used normally, ie: filled flat and not to the top so it can be swung with cranes and sometimes stacked. As we were filling it by hand and not slinging it, we overfilled it, using the top skirt as additional bag volume. We will not be able to do this when the coal truck fills it as my 59" window ledge is the same as the top of the squated fill bag. We should get the rated 45 cu ft and maybe a little more. The 45 cu ft x 40 lbs per cu ft for coal = 2,250 lbs (equivalent to 45 fifty lb bags).

Thanks
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:46 pm

A couple more things;

We are lucky in that our cellar floor was power troweled to an almost glass like finish. Very easy for my wife to roll a pallet jack with full bag on. If your floor is uneven or uphill, you may have to have two people push the pallet jack, or use a small pry bar to get it started.

I got the bag idea when I saw stoker-mans 3d perfect hopper print. It looked like a bulk bag that I use at work. I also liked his advice not to kill yourself building fancy angled coal bins to slide every bit of coal to the auger. Instead just let the extra volume that would be wasted on sloped angles be coal itself. I suppose then if you were ever in a jam, this extra volume could be shoveled to the auger (smart guy)!

In the bulk bag concept, you do have some unused coal in the bottom sides, but by just pushing the bag in you knock over most of it. And since you don't have to have all the coal out to close the gates and remove the skid at any time, who cares if there is some left? Again, it's there if you ever really need it like the reserve on a motorcycle tank.

Thanks
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:02 pm

Whoops, made a mistake writing up the note above, it should be 45 cu ft per bulk bag x 50 lbs/cu ft. for rice coal = 2,250 lbs.

Thanks
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: whistlenut On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:17 pm

You sure have jolted a few cobwebs from the minds of many long time users....'change occurs when someone sees the next step'.....
If the 2 by 10's aren't strong enough, either plywood or steel to reinforce....perhaps 2 small pieces of I-beam.
It's well thought out, and is a model to work from.
Perhaps we might need "Intellectual Rights" to re-engineer or copy your brainstorm!
....... I can see small scale train tracks, with steel wheeled cars and hydraulic dumps, lifts, and vibrators mounted to the carts.....
Robots running the whole thing in white smock conditions.............

If you see 'Stroker Stoker Scott' fly by with the A-dust Dirigible, just close the doors and windows, turn out the lights......
He is probably fabbing-up one for the A-dust powered Ciggy Boat right now!! No more of the brigade of plastic bags lugged onto the sleek craft. An overhead crane.....one super sack, and off he goes to make a huge wake, and search for 'Nessie" :discuss: :eek2: :notsure: :woot: :rofl:
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:36 pm

Still thinking of more things;

Jumbo Bag may not sell individual bulk bags, their saleman may have made an exception with me because I order them by the hundred for work. I will call him Monday to see if anyone can order small quanities. If not, there are others on the internet (perhaps U Line?) that will, although the price goes up. It is nice to have the open top with closure skirt as you can seal the coal, but I guess it isn't a must. We push down on the top skirt to feel the coal level. The 12" bottom spout isn't a must either, as you can cut a round 12" hole yourself.

Another thing I was thinking of when building it was to instead of screwing the bag to the skid with inside 2 x 4's, to use a 2nd peice of plywood (34x34x1/2"?) also with a 14" center hole to "laminate" the bottom of the woven bag between it. This would prevent the cut woven bag threads from coming loose at the discharge hole and clogging the auger.

Thanks
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: whistlenut On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:49 pm

Your idea got me thinking about using hard sided 250 gallon glycol containers that aircraft deicer comes in. I can get them for about 75 each, with the steel pipe frame.....cut the top, a hole in the bottom...hmmmmm. The super sacks aren't cheap are they? They sure would be clean, however with a top set of flaps.
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:12 pm

Your steel reinforced tote is a good idea. I couldn't use them because I only have an inside cellar stairs and I could just fit the boiler down them. I had to assemble the skid in the cellar because it would not have fit down the stairs.

A little more info on bulk bags;
When I buy the supersacks 100 at a time, they are about $18 ea. I see U-Line wants $40 ea when buying small quanities. All bulk bags are made to handle very heavy wieghts and as such are made with heavy woven nylon or polyster(?). They are very rugged and in this application should last a long time.
If you completely empty them I suppose you could tip the skids up and lean them against a side wall to reduce storage space.
The top skirt is a vertical lighter wieght extension of the side walls. You take and bunch it up and tie it with a flat woven cotton strap supplied with the skirt.

Thanks
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:47 pm

Simply Beautiful ! You are part of what still makes us tick ! Nice pics,too!! Well Done ! Can You tell I'm loving this idea? :)
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: EFM 520 Install with skid/bulk bags feed

PostBy: vermontday On: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:59 pm

Thanks!
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520