found a 20 year old Harmon stoker

found a 20 year old Harmon stoker

PostBy: ron54 On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:07 am

A dealer near me wants $1000 for a 20 year old harmon stoker, its big, and in very nice shape.

Is this a good price, and is ist something that would last another 20 years?
ron54
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:23 am

Hi Ron, I thought you were trying to stay away from a stove needing electricity??

If the stoker was maintained well, then yes it could last another 20 years, the fan motors and stoker mechanism will eventually need repair or replacement, or allready have.

A stoker's fire will go out within an hour without electricity. If the fire goes out, and the electricity comes back on, it will start feeding coal to a non-existant fire, dumping good coal into the ash pan. A real mess. So if you have frequent power outages, and want something that is reliable all day long, I'd stay with a gravity feed stove.

Either Alaska or Hitzer come to mine.

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: ron54 On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:38 am

true I would prefer a hand fired model, but they are expensive, and I need a chimney, hearth, & installation. Altogether, my budget is $3000
ron54
 

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PostBy: coal berner On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:32 pm

ron54 you will be sorry when that power goes out you will come home to a big mess as Greg L. mentioned for a 1000$ or less you could find a nice newer used handfeed or Garvity feed stove it would be a lot nicer looking then a 20 year old stoker especially when you said you did not like the looks of the new kodiak gravityfeed stove did you look on ebay or the free classifieds on this Forum that harman is a real good deal it will give you all of the heat you need plus it will work when your power goes out looks nicer to I would think long and hard before I would buy that 20 year old stoker up to you good luck
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

PostBy: ron54 On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:47 pm

coal berner wrote:ron54 you will be sorry when that power goes out you will come home to a big mess as Greg L. mentioned for a 1000$ or less you could find a nice newer used handfeed or Garvity feed stove it would be a lot nicer looking then a 20 year old stoker especially when you said you did not like the looks of the new kodiak gravityfeed stove did you look on ebay or the free classifieds on this Forum that harman is a real good deal it will give you all of the heat you need plus it will work when your power goes out looks nicer to I would think long and hard before I would buy that 20 year old stoker up to you good luck


I agree, and am mainly focussing on a hand fired.
ron54
 

PostBy: pret On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:07 pm

Are power outages a problem for the AHS S-130 unit as well? I remember reading that it took 24 hours for the coal fire to burn out at the end of season in Yanche's S-130..., and it is gravity fed... does anyone know? Pret.
pret
 

PostBy: coal berner On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:47 pm

yes pret you need power to run any stoker / boiler to feed air into it plus coal feed into it However Yanche also has a full Generator Back up system for his whole house so power outage is not a problem for him I will leave Mr Yanche fill in the details :)
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:47 pm

Hi Pret, the AHS130 or the AxemanAnderson 130 design boilers will continue to burn without electricity. The AHS with the gravity feed hopper to the firepot will burn for days without electricity.
But the heat output of the boiler will be much lower than normal without the draft fan running and pulling extra air through the coalbed and tranfering that heat to the water.

If you have a strong draft from you chimney, you could prop something against the inspection port cover, letting natural draft pull through the coal bed instead of being relieved by the inspection cover's airgap.

Without electricity you won't have circulating pumps for the hot water either. If properly setup, an AHS could gravity feed the hot water to the house and produce some heat, probably enough to prevent any freezing in the house, but probably not up to normal comfort temperatures.

The AHS and AA design is sort of like an auto-feed, auto-shake firepot with hand feed burn characteristics. Tough to explain or visualize.

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: Yanche On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:51 pm

All stokers have motors that require electrical power to operate normally. The AHS S-130 has two motors, a combustion motor and grate motor. It feeds coal by gravity weight from the 300-400 lb of pea coal atop the boiler. It controls the amount of feed by slicing away ash. Think of a stack ... ash, burning coal and fresh coal. Heat is produced when the combustion blower internal to the boiler is running. Coal will not be feed or heat produced without electric power. As JC (coalberner) has said I have a whole house sized diesel generator. Having the utility company power go off is not a problem for me.

The AHS 130 coal fire will continue to burn for many hours without electric power. I've not tried but I suspect if power returns within 24 hours and the combustion blower runs, the boiler would be producing full output in 20-30 minutes. If you are especially concerned about having heat without utility supplied power the simplest solution is a generator, sized to the boiler motors and circulator motor(s). If your hydronic baseboards, radiators and/or blower coil are piped with large diameter pipes you could have some heat flow by gravity. But you would still need to have the combustion blower to run. If you were truly desperate and had the belt drive combustion blower option you could rig up some bicycle peddle power to turn the combustion blower. Similarly the cam the drives the grate could be removed and the ashes shaken manually. A lot of things are possible, but remember MOST of the time you DO have electric power and MOST of the time when it does go out it returns in a reasonable time. Coal fired stoker boilers are for central heating use and give you most of the advantages of other fuel boilers at much lower operating cost. If you want a no power solution get, a hand fired stove.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: Bob On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:10 pm

In addition to the comments by LSFarm and Yanche about electric power with the AHS/Axeman Anderson boiler I would note that maintaining a fire in either unit requires more than draft--it also requires operation of the grate to remove ash. If either draft to supply air or grate action is lacking then the fire will go out. Further, the design of the grate is such that it is quite difficult to operate the grate without electric power.

I don't have actual data about how long a fire will be maintained without power, but I doubt that it is days as suggested by LSFarm because of lack of grate action will gradually cause the fire to be smothered even if there is draft.
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

PostBy: jpen1 On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:13 pm

Ron
I think asking $1000 for a 20 year old harman stoker is way out of line. You can buy a new Harman mark I for $250 to $300 more. I haven't priced the top load Keystoker for about a year and a half but it was going for about $1350 plus tax and options like a brass door. If you go the fair at Bloomsburg and visit the stove dealers they usually are giving pretty decent specials usually about $100 to $200 of the normal prices, and every major coal stove brand is represented there. Stolz's stove sales ( Keystoker and Harman) especially seem to have some good deals at the fair. I don't think you would be sorry about making the trip, as I know of no where else you can talk a dealer of every stove make in one spot. Your going to need a chimney to use that stoker as powervents are loud unreliable and just about as expensive as putting up a chimney.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

PostBy: bksaun On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:21 pm

When and where is the Fair?

BK
bksaun
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid, Gentleman Janitor GJ-6RSU/ EFM 700
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Coal Size/Type: Pea Stoker/Bit, Pea or Nut Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer/ EFM-Gentleman Janitor
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert/ 700/GJ-62

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:31 pm

I was thinking of my AA boiler where there is a handle to manualy run the grate to shave off the bottom layer of ash. Without moving the grate to shave off the ash, the fire would eventually starve for air. But I think it would be over 24 hours.

I'm sure that with a little thought an AA boiler could produce around 20-30% of it's capacity without the combustion blower running. It would require gravity water-feed to the baseboards and back to the boiler. It would require a good chimney draft and closing the inspection plate so all draft pulls air through the coal bed. It would require hand feeding coal since the AA uses an auger feed. And it would require some manual grate movement with the grate lever to keep the ash from restricting airflow from below.

There is a mention of operating the AA without electricity in one of the items I've read on the boiler. It will function like a hand feed if attended to, but not very high output without the combustion fan.

In one of the problem/cause/solution lists it mentions the problem of too high coal use and too high water temps and the cause and solution being to reduce draft [baro damper] and increase the air gap at the inspection cover. The strong natural draft is pulling the cover closed and pulling too much heat through the fire by natural draft without the benefit of the combustion fan.

I'll experiment with mine when I get it hooked up. But I would not be concerned about the fire going out unless the boiler is ignored for over 24 hours during a power outage.

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: jpen1 On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:31 pm

The Bloomsburg fair runs Sept. 22 thru Sept. 30. It is located at the Bloomsburg fairgrounds Bloomsburg, PA about 3 mi from the I 80 exit from Bloomsburg. If you do a mapquest search I'm sure it will come up. It is one of the top ten largest fairs in the country. It draws over a half million visitors every year. From Kentucky it's only about a 10 or 11 hour drive BK.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

PostBy: ron54 On: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:36 pm

jpen1 wrote:Ron
If you go the fair at Bloomsburg and visit the stove dealers they usually are giving pretty decent specials usually about $100 to $200 of the normal prices, and every major coal stove brand is represented there.


If I get a deal at the fair, which is 2 hours away, how do I get stove delivered & setup with all the inside piping, dampers, etc.? Assuming I have chimney, which I found someone to do for $1600.
ron54
 

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