question from newby on EFM 520

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:55 pm

mooseman100 wrote:So back to my original question, am I ahead to look at a refurb EFM 520, preferably a highboy, or go with a new Keystoker KA-6. Again, there is no EFM dealer within 3 hours, but there is a Keystoker dealer here in Winchester.


If your the type of person that calls a repairman to fix stuff in your house then go with the keystoker. If you do just about everything yourself then go with the EFM. That seems to be your concern of not having any support or parts.

That being said. Don't be afraid of the EFM. They are bullet proof.
cArNaGe
 

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:24 pm

I probably should recuse myself because I currently have a Highboy for sale, but even if you buy somebody else's I thought the following should be considered:

1. If I read the Keystoker website correctly, an EFM 520 is way more powerful than a KA-6. With the losses you'd have over the 150' run and to heat the shed, you might be able to use the extra power.

2. I'm guessing a new KA-6 sells for maybe 50% more than a refurbed Highboy.

3. I don't think you can assume that a properly refurbed EFM will necessarily require more maintenance than some other manufacturer's new product. I don't know anything in particular about Keystoker's new products, but there are multiple threads on the forum that describe maintenance hassles stemming from manufacturer attempts to introduce plastic parts in stoker mechanisms, new electronic controls, etc. With the EFM, it would be surprising if you needed anything more than cleaning, lubrication and maybe a couple of shear pins over a long period of time.

OK, so I'm biased.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: scrapper_23jr On: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:29 pm

i can ship you any part you need overnight delivery, no problem. that along with the fact of all the help you will recieve from fellow forum members. these units are built to be used and virtually indestructable, E.F.M. would be my choice SCRAPPER.
scrapper_23jr
 

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: whistlenut On: Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:14 pm

Mooseman: don't know where you live, but it is important to note that scrapper is in Pine Grove/Ravine, PA and rebuilds EFM boilers and sells them. If you are close to him, stop by and see what rebuilding is all about.
Up country in NY, Pacony has a few boilers refurbed for sale, so ask a question if you like.
You probably won't ever use a dual fuel option, but read more about it first.

It is nice to update your profile to let others know where you hail from.
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: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: mooseman100 On: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:18 pm

Thanks guys for your input. So scrapper you are about 2-21/2 hour drive from me. Do you have any rebuilds or anything I could drive up and look at?
mooseman100
 
Stove/Furnace Model: EFM 520

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: smtm On: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:17 pm

If your interested I can send you a couple of photos of a 520 high boy that I purchased from scrapper two weeks ago.

Install took about 10 hours start to finish
smtm
 
Stove/Furnace Model: EFM 520 Highboy

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: coal berner On: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:36 pm

mooseman100 wrote:Thanks guys for your input. So scrapper you are about 2-21/2 hour drive from me. Do you have any rebuilds or anything I could drive up and look at?

There are always efm boiler's at scrapper to look at PM him and arrange a visit
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: hophead On: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:04 pm

Bear in mind you are buying a USED unit with an unknown history. While some people have had great luck with a used unit there's always a chance for a boiler failure. These boilers may have been sitting a long time with no water leading to interior rust. Sure they tell you they're pressure tested but that only covers that point in time. Having been in the repair of boilers and furnaces for over 30 yrs I would not plunk down 3 or 4 thousand for a used unit, period. Too chancy. Anyone wants wants to argue that point, bring it on.
hophead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: efm520

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:58 am

hophead wrote: Having been in the repair of boilers and furnaces for over 30 yrs I would not plunk down 3 or 4 thousand for a used unit, period. Too chancy. Anyone wants wants to argue that point, bring it on.


I've heated my last 2 houses with used EFM coal stoker equipment. The one we moved from is heated with a refurbed EFM 900 originally from 1962. I would certainly agree if you were saying that most of the home heating equipment made today - or even in recent decades - probably won't last 49+ years. However, that's different from saying that older equipment, even if properly maintained, is unreliable.

The basic design of EFM stokers hasn't changed a lot over a period of many decades, and they don't have that many moving parts, so to me it seems reasonable to believe that a properly refurbed stoker is likely to be pretty reliable. I'd even go further, and say it's pretty far-fetched to believe, for example, that a properly refurbed older S-20 functions much differently from a new one. I've had no problems running a refurbed 700 stoker, the refurbed 900 or a refurbed 85-R. From my own experience, as well as the experiences many others have shared on this forum, I'm not aware of any reliability issues associated with refurbed EFM equipment.

Your position also seems to make a couple of value judgments with which I am uncomfortable. To get a new unit comparable to the used unit that would cost "3 to 4 thousand" you might spend 2.5-3 times that amount. Maybe having something be "new" is worth that to you, but for a lot of people refurbed used equipment is an affordable and cost-effective alternative to new equipment. You also are implicitly assuming that people who sell used equipment will leave you high and dry in the hypothetical event of a problem. I can't give a blanket endorsement of all used equipment suppliers, but I personally know of at least 4 people who have refurbed used EFM equipment over a period of decades and relied primarily or entirely on the word-of-mouth of their customers to stay in business. I don't think that would happen if this was as "chancy" as you assert.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:37 am

If a boiler was laying in a treeline for a few years, I probably wouldn't touch it, unless it's internal surfaces were protected from the weather. But remember, the steel is 5/16" thick. But if it was in use and removed from a house, you could probably make a good value judgment by looking it over. Most of the time, the damage is from a leaking coil while in service, and that can be repaired.

The stokers themselves are almost bulletproof. They are covered with oil and could lay outside for quite awhile before becoming useless. Even then, they could clean up easily.

Another thing. These units are being gotten for cheap and one selling for $3K has been gone over and parts replaced, if the seller is reputable.
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: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:21 am

I also have a few issues with your post. A properly rebuilt and tested EFM placed back in service will outlast all of us. I bought my 350 from Scrapper, I haven't found any faults with it. It came with a 1 year warranty. I could never have been able to afford a new EFM, I was able to get one at a reasonable price from a good source. If you look at the photos of my boiler in this thread EFM 350 you can see exactly what I bought. I have inspected this boiler inside and out, Scrapper doesn't sell any boiler vessels that are questionable. By the way it was built in 1959.
As with anything else if you are buying used or rebuilt equipment it's up to the buyer to find a rebuilder that is reliable and know a little about what you are buying.
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: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: coal berner On: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:00 am

hophead wrote:Bear in mind you are buying a USED unit with an unknown history. While some people have had great luck with a used unit there's always a chance for a boiler failure. These boilers may have been sitting a long time with no water leading to interior rust. Sure they tell you they're pressure tested but that only covers that point in time. Having been in the repair of boilers and furnaces for over 30 yrs I would not plunk down 3 or 4 thousand for a used unit, period. Too chancy. Anyone wants wants to argue that point, bring it on.

How do you know he is buying a used unit He could be buying a New one are you a mind reader .
I guarantee there are more Refurb & used units in service today then there are New EFM units .
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: blrman07 On: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:15 am

Post like this upset me.

I recently retired as an NBIC/ASME code qualified boiler inspector and I am here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a properly refurbished unit. I was a boiler inspector licensed in 5 states for over 27 years. I spent several years in the factories ensuring that the boilers and vessels were built according to the applicable ASME code. In the field I found hundreds of pressure vessels that were still in service after 75+ years of continuous service. Over the years I have inspected thousands of new boilers, used boilers, and repaired boilers, some also being riveted construction.... still in service, and safe to operate.

If a pressure vessel, whether it is a boiler or a tank, develops a problem and is properly repaired according to the applicable code requirements, it can meet or even in most cases exceed the original manufacturers specifications for thousands less than a replacement boiler. Also due to code changes over the years, an older boiler or vessel was probably built with steel that is thicker than current code requires.

It sounds like this person is a boiler replaceman rather than a boiler repairman.

Recent experience.... oil fired boiler with a dhw coil, flange mounted in the boiler. All the owner knew was the "boiler" was leaking because they had water on the floor. They called the local "boiler guy" who came in a declared it had a bad leak, was unsafe to operate, and they needed to replace it right away. They didn't have the 7k the guy told them for a replacement and asked me to look at it to see what options they had.

The "boiler leak" turned out to be a leaking flange gasket where the dhw coil bolts up. The only thing necessary is to replace the flange gasket which we will do at spring shutdown.

Beware....Any one can be a replaceman, but not everyone can be a qualified repairman.
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Econo 1 stove
Coal Size/Type: Rice in the LL and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:03 am

I recently retired as an NBIC/ASME code qualified boiler inspector and I am here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a properly refurbished unit.

Thank you.
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: question from newby on EFM 520

PostBy: AA130FIREMAN On: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:36 pm

hophead wrote: Having been in the repair of boilers and furnaces for over 30 yrs I would not plunk down 3 or 4 thousand for a used unit, period. Too chancy. Anyone wants wants to argue that point, bring it on.

I had installed an axeman with a 1948 date stamp in my house in sept 2008 and it has not leaked/needed makeup water yet. Years ago I had a oil steam boiler replaced with a new Utica cast iron oil fire steam unit. In 2 years it started to take alot of water, by the 3 rd year it was replaced under warranty, it was a new unit in 4 cast iron sections(casting flaw in 1 section), and the labor was not free under warranty. NOW I would be a little more leary on an older steam boiler, hot water shouldn't have the rust issues.
AA130FIREMAN
 
Stove/Furnace Make: axeman anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 anthratube