Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:22 am

In the winter months, I always keep a few hundred pounds of rice in the back of the truck for weight. It helps offset the weight of the plow on the front and gives traction to the rear wheels. IF I get stuck on ice, a few handfulls of rice under the tires and instant traction.

I keep it there all season. If the bin gets a little low and the delivery is questionable, no problem it's already on my truck.

If it snows on top of it, no problem.

At the end of the season, it gets dumped into the bin for spring time burning.

NEVER HAPPEN WITH PELLETS !!!!




Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: WessWackos On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:40 am

Rick 386 wrote:In the winter months, I always keep a few hundred pounds of rice in the back of the truck for weight. It helps offset the weight of the plow on the front and gives traction to the rear wheels. IF I get stuck on ice, a few handfulls of rice under the tires and instant traction.

I keep it there all season. If the bin gets a little low and the delivery is questionable, no problem it's already on my truck.

If it snows on top of it, no problem.

At the end of the season, it gets dumped into the bin for spring time burning.

NEVER HAPPEN WITH PELLETS !!!!




Rick


But Rick, I don't have a pickup truck or a plow, and I never get stuck. :)
WessWackos
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono Back Vent

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:45 am

Its Just a grin to read this thread and watch the bias

Mostly true but the dispersions to alternative fuel ( this is a coal site after all ) is so closed minded

Ant-tracks Coal for me is NINE bucks a bag Good residential Bit is 6 to 16 hours away. That trip would add at least 50 bucks a ton to bulk delivery if the stars and moon could align.

Its all about what you got and what you can get and then you just deal with it.

Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: WessWackos On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:50 am

It really sounds like coal heat is warmer compared to pellet heat.

The biggest issue is ease of use for us. It isn't that I'm lazy, it's that oftentimes I have a sporadic day at work and cannot get home to tend the fire. Sometimes I'm at work for 14 hours, leaving the weight of tending the stove completely on my wife (full time blogger and full time Mom of two energetic boys).

Tending the stove once a day or even once every other day is very doable...it's this old bucket of bolts that is killing me.

Here is what I'm working on right now.

1. My Uncle has the software to do an energy audit (using the size of rooms, windows, insulation, siding, etc) to determine the needed btu's. I just need to run around and measure everything.
2. I'm thinking the stoker might be the way to go at this point, but I don't know what a good price is. I found a Leisure Line Pioneer for around $2000 that was used for one season. Is that a good price? It pumps out 90btu. I won't run out and buy it now, just trying to see what used stuff is out there. Does anyone know what a new LL Pioneer costs NEW?

3. I'm not too worried about pellets getting wet as I have a dedicated area in the basement, however it would be nice to NEVER have to worry about it.
4. I don't need coal to help me plow or get unstuck. I COULD use coal's help with putting up a basement wall and mowing the lawn however.
5. I was thinking that if I did a stoker, maybe I could hook it up to help heat our hot water.
WessWackos
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono Back Vent

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:59 am

living in north eastern pennsylvania it is very foolish to not burn hard coal for heat

but maybe if one rolls logs out of junk mail flyers and make pellets from them they can "heat the press" leftovers

pellets are to heating as is the 12 dollar a gallon " K1" kero is at the hardware store... ;)
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:12 am

Stoker is the way to go for minimal tending...
Stoker boiler is the way to go for DHW...
And heating the house, pool, hot tub, greenhouse, driveway melt...
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:16 am

WessWackos wrote:
But Rick, I don't have a pickup truck or a plow, and I never get stuck. :)




Yep, neither did this guy:

Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:19 am

Ant-tracks Coal for me is NINE bucks a bag Good residential Bit is 6 to 16 hours away. That trip would add at least 50 bucks a ton to bulk delivery if the stars and moon could align.
Its all about what you got and what you can get and then you just deal with it.

Agreed.
1. My Uncle has the software to do an energy audit (using the size of rooms, windows, insulation, siding, etc) to determine the needed btu's. I just need to run around and measure everything.
2. I'm thinking the stoker might be the way to go at this point,

Don't get mired in "over-thinking". I forget, what type of central heat do you have? You already know Anthracite is the best way to heat, you just need to figure out what appliance best fits your needs.
IF I get stuck on ice, a few handfulls of rice under the tires and instant traction.

Save that rice coal! :shock: Carry some ash in the back of that truck as well and use that for traction.
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: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:22 am

Rick 386 wrote:Yep, neither did this guy:


Seen that before. It amazes me how lazy and stupid some people are. :roll:
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: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:22 am

medukonis wrote:Good afternoon:
I can only speak from my experience. I run both, a harman pellet stove upstairs and a harman hand fed coal stove down in the basement. Both are inserts. The pellet stove is very easy to use but it requires electricity to run the fans and other moving parts. The pellet stove at 40,000 BTU output can keep about 1200 of our 1750 sq/ft first floor warm. It will not heat all rooms. The coal stove at 80,000 BTUs easily heats the finished basement which is also 1750 sq/ft. The pellet stove is definitely easier to operate. I fill with 40lbs and it goes 24 hours plus. Shut it down once a week to vacuum it out and empty the ash pan. You could easily go longer between cleanings it's just a habit of mine. There is also a nice tax rebate if you can get it before the end of the year.

Our coal stove requires twice per day feeding, shakedown, and empty but compared to the wood insert we used to have which required feeding every hour or so,. the coal stove is an absolute blessing and the best investment we made. Last year I was not able to do anything in the basement because it was so cold. The only way to heat it would be to start a wood fire or run the propane forced air furnace $$$. Now the entire basement is 74 degrees. The coal has almost double the energy. I will be the first to admit that I do not know anything about stokers but I firmly believe you can not go wrong with coal especially if you have a source withing a reasonable distance. I am suspect of your friend's claim that he heats 2100 sq/ft with a pellet stove unless it is a very large one and his home is extremely well insulated. Or he lives in Florida ;-) Good luck!



cntbill wrote:I had a pellet stove a few years ago installed in our basement, while I don't remember what the BTU rating was on it, it was rated to heat 1500 sq.ft.. In the middle of the second season with it pellets were hard to find in my area, and the places that did have them were limiting the amount of bags you could purchase at one time. I happen to be checking pellet prices on line of the one place that did sell me some previously and I noticed they were also selling bags of coal. So I got wondering "why are they selling 50 lbs bags of coal?" and then thinking "well I am somewhat in the coal region" and then started checking out information on coal and coal stoves, and stumbled on this site. Got to say one of the best places I ever came across on the internet!

So I when I went to get some pellets I was looking at some of the coal stoves they had and was quite impressed, they carry Leisure Line. So not wanting to abandon my pellet stove right away I went and found a VC Vigilant for a good price and installed that in the other side of the basement just to see how I would like it. OK the Vigilant was a little more of a learning curve, and a little more work than the pellet stove, But WoW what a difference in heat ! The pellet stove never got our house over 68* at full bore, the Vigilant on the low setting kept the house at 72*-74* and the heat was nice, felt more even. Another thing I liked about the Vigilant (and one of the reasons I picked up the Resolute) is that the size coal it uses is easy to find and lots of times you can find people selling pea and nut cheep or giving it away.

Now we have a Keystoker, 70,000 btu's, thermostat controlled, just as simple to run as a pellet stove, but this Keystoker puts out just as much heat and a bit more then the Vigilant and really only requires tending every other day, but I do it once a day just in case, ashes go the same place, the trash and like the above post I have no worries if I leave the coal out in truck and it rains ;)

Plan and simple - I will never go back to a pellet stove as long as coal is available ;)


It is not often that we get a testimonial from folks that have heated their home with pellets and coal. thanks

-Rob
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: SuperBeetle On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:44 am

I have a neighbor who has 2 pellet inserts heating around 2000 sq. ft.(well insulated) 1 in the basement and the other in his living room. He burns 7-8 tons of pellets per year to maintain a 68-70 degree temp in his house. I burn 3-4 tons of coal in a Mark II to maintain 72 or so (upstairs) and am heating a little over 1900 sq. ft. My Mark II is in the basement and it heats both floors of my house pretty easily. Downstairs where the stove is runs 80 or a little better.
SuperBeetle
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark II
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut, & Stove Anthracite

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:44 am

Sting wrote:Ant-tracks Coal for me is NINE bucks a bag Good residential Bit is 6 to 16 hours away. That trip would add at least 50 bucks a ton to bulk delivery if the stars and moon could align.


Well Sting the obvious solution here is get a tractor trailer load. :D
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:49 am

I have a neighbor who has 2 pellet inserts heating around 2000 sq. ft.(well insulated) 1 in the basement and the other in his living room. He burns 7-8 tons of pellets per year to maintain a 68-70 degree temp in his house.


Does he insist that pellets are "Great" or has he seen the light :?: :idea:

Well Sting the obvious solution here is get a tractor trailer load. :D


What a good idea! Why didn't I think of that. :nana:
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: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: SuperBeetle On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:02 am

Wood'nCoal wrote:
Does he insist that pellets are "Great" or has he seen the light :?: :idea:

He likes his pellets and spent a small fortune on his inserts several years ago. He had problems getting pellets a couple years back. I never had any trouble getting coal.
SuperBeetle
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark II
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut, & Stove Anthracite

Re: Coal (stoker) -vs- Pellet stove----advantages/disadvantages

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:10 am

WessWackos wrote:. Does anyone know what a new LL Pioneer costs NEW?


Well you're in luck. LL is only manufactuere with factory outlet I'm aware of that lists prices. They have the Pioneer listed at $2575.00.

http://valleystoveandfireplace.com/products/


5. I was thinking that if I did a stoker, maybe I could hook it up to help heat our hot water.


You can do that but need to place the hot water heater/storage tank near the stove and use a thermosiphon loop. They have kits for it, there is short SS tube that goes into the stove. The water slowly heats up and is forced into the hot water heater and colder water is pulled into the stove. It's not instant hot water hence the need for the hot water heater or storage tank. This is something you can always do afterward, there 's a lot of topics on this with some homemade methods like people attaching finned copper tubing to the top of the stove. The biggest issue is maximizing the hot water generated by the stove, for example if you take a shower in the morning and don't need any hot water afterward it would be ideal if the hot water heater doesn't come on.

On the boilers they have hot water loop that can do X amount of gallons per minute, pretty much instant hot water.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Visit Lehigh Anthracite