God bless you Jay and Thank-you for your service to our country. What ever I can do to help – you get it. My son is deploying again in Feb. Old threads are like potato salad – always around and the left overs are great . Plus it shows you know how to use the search.
stelradCoal wrote:Sorry to reinvigorate an old thread, but it seems to fit my current situation well.
I bought a coal-o-matic back in the winter of 08/09 from Dave D and brought it home. Due to my being overseas for a year I didn't get it installed and now its in my basement and I am trying to plan its installation.
My situation is a follows. This boiler is for my house, a 1918ish appx 4000sf, with the plan that it will provide the majority of the heat. It is replacing a hand-fired Stelrad coal boiler rated for 120k and the Coal-o-Matic is 130k. The main boiler did have to occasionally help the Stelrad when we had sub zero weather.
The main boiler (gas) is a hot water gravity boiler. The system still works as a gravity system, and the Stelrad was operating as a gravity boiler as well. The down side was the Stelrad had been plumbed so it pushed hot water into one of the risers coming off the boiler - there are two (8" I think) risers that come off the main boiler. This left half of the house cool. The Stelrad sits right next to the main boiler.
The coal-o-matic is going to be on the other side of the basement in order to be able to get the coal direct from the bin (I used to haul ti across the basement in wheelbarrow).
The old system was more or less automatic with a low temp aquastat on the inbound pipe from the coal boiler which doesn't allow the main boiler to fire unless the water coming from the coal boiler went below the set level.
First off – The simplest thing to do is to reverse the damage ( read that bad installation of the Seelrad) to your wonderful gravity flow hot water system. For all the world – finding a mechanic who knows even how to add to a system like yours much less ever build on again – well figure that IMPOSSIBLE!
So many modern pipe wrench draggers want to pump these systems and have no clue how to. A gravity flow system like yours will heat the house on a cool evening with just a small amount of energy flow out of the boiler – and it will heat your house on the coldest night as these systems can produce a great deal of flow when put to task. All you should upgrade is a modern (digital) outdoor reset temperature control for your boiler. More on this later if you want. Restore the system!
stelradCoal wrote:My current plan - is to hook up and wire up the coal-o-matic. Plumbing the two boilers together more or less the same as the Stelrad was. I am planning on adding a circulator between the two boilers. Based on my research on the heatinghelp site I think a Taco 010 will fit the bill. I'm looking at plumbing the two together with pex-al-pex. I know many dont like pex for these applications, but I think because I am so unsure of how this will end up that it is a relatively inexpensive opportunity for me to put it together and test it out.
OK - suggestions - advice etc???
Well maybe. You need to give us all a little better picture of what we have to work with. Hummm Pictures – yes that’s it – take lots of pictures so we can be voyeurs in your basement. No really. Spider webs – junk and all – all sides of the boiler – the debacle that is messing the flow of the system – everything.
At this point Ill suggest that you build a series system so the coal boiler heats the legacy boiler but we are going to have to be sure that we do it so as not to screw up the stratification of the gravity flow system. NOT EZ!!! But it can be done and it will provide you with a super comfortable house and a very reasonably economical system operation.
BUT—Let me get back to you on this when we have more info
Another thing you should do is read everything you can about gravity heating.http://www.heatinghelp.com/search/results/gravity/1