Prices to pay for a Used or New Stoker Furnace?

Prices to pay for a Used or New Stoker Furnace?

PostBy: HeresPaco On: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:26 pm

Hi all,
I JUST discovered the great forum you have here, Very cool!.. err..I mean... Hot!

The price of oil is freakin killin me this year and I have to do something about it. I burnt wood for 22 years then moved and have just used oil for the last 11. I don't have the time or the energy to do the wood thing again so coal is going to be the savior for me.

I'm wondering if you guys could give me some idea of fair prices to pay for used and new stoker forced air furnaces. What would be a decent price to pay for a new and a used Alaska Model 140 or a Reading RSDB-06 for example?

I'm leaning towards the Alaska and Reading simply because they look like decent units and will fit the space I have in the cellar next to my oil furnace in my old farm house. I'd duct it in series with my oil furnace.

Also, are there other brands that are similar to the Alaska and Reading that you'd recommend and what would you pay for those?

Thanks a ton (or four...) for all your expertise, experiences and any advice you can offer to my sorry, tired, old, cold and broke at the moment Fingerlakes NY butt!

Cheers, and thanks for this forum!
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Console

Visit Leisure Line

PostBy: coalstoves On: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:39 pm

Purchasing a used stove is much like buying a used car, the price can be between $400 and $1800 depending on the condition and age not to mention many of the stove builders have added innovations to their units so a used one may be old school technologies . There is also no way to guarantee you wont have to start doing some work to it in a couple a months, Cleaning , motors and grates plus maybe a new glass, most used stoves always seem to need a bit of TLC .
Most of the stoves I have owned I have burned for 10-15 years its not the type of thing you buy all the time and once you use one your hooked so take some time and really decide if used is for you .
There is a learning curve with a coal fire and stove and some support from a stove dealer might come in handy also .
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman and Liberty
Stove/Furnace Model: Magnum and Victory 700

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:13 pm

Hello HeresPaco, welcome to the forum.

Usually used items are around 50% of new, this will vary with age. If a furnace was used just one season, and it looks new, then maybe 75% of new price. It it is several decades old, and looks it, then maybe 30% of new. Don't forget that an item that is 20 years old selling at 30% of todays price may have a dollar value [the number not the buying power] greater than it cost when new.

You may want to consider a stoker boiler as well as a stoker furnace. The hot water from a boiler would be piped to a heat exchanger that would install in your ductwork just like an A/C evaporator does. The advantage of a boiler is that the water stores a fair amount of heat, so there is less lag for increased heat output, the heat ouput temperature is more even, and you can use another heat exhanger to heat your domestic hot water.

We have several forum members that have boilers heating their homes with a heat exhanger [sometimes called an air-handler].

I use a coal boiler in an outside building, pipe this water into the house and shop and use water-to-water heat exchangers to heat the house's hot-water baseboard heat and domestic hot water. In the shop I use a water-to-water heat exchanger to heat the hot water floor heat system.

I think the most difficult thing for you will be to find a good used furnace or boiler. They are not all that common to see for sale used. I'd keep an eye on and on eBay. They do ocassionally show up.

Another idea would be to install a Leisure Line Hyfire 2 with the duct top. This stove is a large unit with lots of heat output. But it is not a furnace with a formal cold air in-box and a ductwork heat outlet. This may not work for you at all, but another idea.

Tell us the layout of your house, finished basement, one or two story, well insulated or not, good or poor windows, and the size of your current furnace. This information will help us help you.

I'm sure several forum members will add their recommendations to this thread.

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: HeresPaco On: Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:18 pm

Thanks Greg and coalstoves,

As a kid our family burned coal exclusively until I was 18 and gone from home. I was the primary "furnace tender, coal shoveler boy" since I'd turned 10 years old or so. We didn't have a stoker though, just a hand fired gravity octopus furnace, ha!

My home is an old Greek Revival style, 2 story farm house built in 1841.
I'm in the process of restoring it. There is not a lot of good insulation in it yet and I've only replaced some of the single pain w/storms windows. It certainly isn't remotely air tight. This old house has a stone foundation. I've concreted the floor and screed the walls with mortor over the rock. I'm able to heat it okay with my oil furnace currently fired at 143k input rate and a 82% combustion efficiency. The thing is blowing air 90% of the time when it's below zero out. Over the years it's taken 1000-1500 gal. fuel oil a year to keep the place at 68 degrees or less! This year my average F.O. cost is $2.55/gal. I've burn through 800 gallons and it was really mild weather till February.

As for using a boiler with a plenun heat exchanger coil: It's a good question I'd like to know more about.
I really don't know what exchangers are available. I'd need to know the heat output at given water temperatures vs the exchanger dimensions. I need to know if I'd even have the room to adapt an exchanger to the furnace's supply air plenum and my ductwork. I only have 6ft of height from the floor to the floor joists/beams in the cellar.

If I found a used furnace or boiler it no doubt would have to be in good condition. I haven't been shopping the dealers near me yet nor do I know what the normal selling prices are compared to the MSRP's.
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Console

PostBy: jpen1 On: Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:43 pm

I think Alaska sets the price that there products can be sold for. For instance I bought my channing at Alaska's factory store and I paid the same price as members that are 400 to 500 miles away. For instance since I live very close to Alaska's plant I had to buy it there. I talked to another dealer and he said he wasn't allowed to sell ot me based on where I live. I don't know if this is true elsewhere other than Alaska's home area. The boiler idea will provide the least amount of thermostat hunting. As for the hot air Keystoker, Alaska , and leisure line all have something you can make work. Talk to Jerry from leisure line he will be able to provide help on his products. The leisure hyfire II has a 12" duct fan option and you can fabricate a cold air return from the upstairs to the intake on the back of the stove. They also offer a hot air jacket to really collect the heat of the sides of the stove, plus the coal trol comes standard on the hyfire which will really help to keep your heat more even. Alaska offers a cold air return plenum as an option, but you would still have to duct it upstairs or get real elaborate and try to tie into your existing cold air return. On the Alaska a thermostat is a $200 option and it is a high low setup which may have more over shoot of the setpoint. You can put a coal trol on the 140 but as per Alaska it will void your warranty. Bottom line you need to figure out which unit most closely fit your btu and spacial needs.
Stoker Coal Boiler: LL110
Coal Size/Type: Rice/ Buck
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:09 pm

Your place sounds like mine, a fieldstone foundation, still with dirt floor, drafty windows and doors, and few updated windows.

Take a look on these sites for heat exhangers:
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

They all sell heat exchangers, pumps, valves etc.

Once you find what you are looking for try to find the items on Ebay, often there is a lot of savings by buying off eBay.

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: Yanche On: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:49 pm

LsFarm wrote:I think the most difficult thing for you will be to find a good used furnace or boiler. They are not all that common to see for sale used. I'd keep an eye on and on eBay. They do ocassionally show up.
There was a Axeman Andersen boiler on the Leigh Valley, PA craig list recently for $600. By the time I saw it I was number four on the back up list. It now has a new home in Lebanon, PA. Mike if you joined this forum you got a hell of a deal. I talked to the original owner. He said people were calling from all over the east coast and mid west. He suggested I call his coal dealer. I did so and was told used coal boilers are hard to find. The coal dealer has an arrangement with a local plumber that buys them from his former customers and refurbishes them for re-sale.

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

herepaco - reply

PostBy: jimbo970 On: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:51 am

Hey man I read your post and see that you are venting your oil\coal setup through same flue? Can you do this?

I was told is wasnt code and went with a Power vent for my oil burner and used my chimney for the coal

Visit Leisure Line

PostBy: Jerry & Karen On: Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:39 pm

Hi Jimbo,
Code and insurance co. don't like the one flue idea. I believe the code calls for only having one type of fuel per chimney. When installing a stove one must follow all the UL specs and local codes. Insurance companies would just love to pick things apart, we don't need to give them a reason.
Jerry :!:
Jerry & Karen

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:34 pm

LL is right, but I was looking at an old BURNHAM BOILER WOODLANDER coal/wood instruction manual and it shows the proper way to pipe gas/oil/solid appliances togeather. IIRC the AXEMAN instructions may have it too. It is all done in stovepipe prior to the chimney. The solid fuel is connected direct to the chimney and the gas/oil is plumbed to the center of the solid fuel pipe. I don't recall if it requires a stack damper on the latter. I'll check when I get home, maybe I can scan it for you (somehow I doubt it with my computer skills).
I would only recomend this if you have a very good (tall), interior chimney.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:02 pm

Yes, my AHS coal boiler and my oil fired boiler are both vented to a single class A tile lined chimney. It DOES NOT meet NFPA 211 requirements. But I only use one at a time by season. During winter the oil burner is locked out and can not fire. During summer the coal boiler can not fire, it doesn't have coal in it :-). NFPA says all solid fuel appliances must have their own chimney vent flue. This means a living space coal fired stove could not be vented to the same chimney as say a basement coal boiler or furnace. I believe all this is because of wood chimney fires and the analysis of the reasons by state fire marshals. They looked at safety first and exclusive single flues are the safest. NFPA lumps all solid fuels as one, coal, wood, pellets etc. The fact that coal does not produce creosote is not considered. In industry with large industrial sized smokestacks it is common to vent multiple combustion products produced by different fuels into a single smokestack. It just has multiple thimbles. In fact multiple boilers of the same fuel type are often vented into a manifolded stovepipe. Obviously it's an engineered solution with special attention paid to the draft at each boiler.

The bottom line is it can be done, but do your engineering analysis and verify with draft gauge measurements. PM me if you want the flow equations on how to do it. Good luck at getting it past any local residential building inspector. Better show him your state professional engineer license first. :-)

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