EFM 520 Worth Fixing?

EFM 520 Worth Fixing?

PostBy: mikterkris On: Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:40 pm

Hello. I am new to this forum and have never burned coal;however,several of my employees from Schuylkill Co., Pa, own EFM 520s. Well, I picked one up about a year ago. It was a working unit and a BEAR to get out of the previous owner's basement. The stoker unit is in fantastic shape for its age. The main problem with the unit is that the seal leaked around the domestic hot-water coil. The area appears to have been "repaired" in the past. The threaded holes for the bolts look very jerry rigged--they don't line up. I was told that I could purchase a patch plate to repair this area. Does that patch have studs to connect the coil to (nuts/washers) or are there holes for bolts? If I decide to repair it, can any pro welder repair it? The date on the boiler is 1957; so, is it even worth fixing a boiler this old or should I find a newer model? It has been sitting in my barn until I decide what to do with it. Plus, my wife is TOTALLY against me installing it! Thanks!
mikterkris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Florin; Orr & Painter
Stove/Furnace Model: Chubby; Daisy Sunshine 316

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:51 pm

If you don't need to use the hot water coil for heating your potable water simply have a welder weld a steel plate over where the coil opening is covering up the bolt holes and everything. I bought a new gasket for mine and it's about 3" wide and made of neoprene or something, I'm guessing they make the gasket oversize to make up for repairs. The old one was thin. I'm pretty sure a brand new EFM520 uses the same stoker mechanism as the one in your 1957 model so no worries about the age. P.S. if you do decide not to use it I might be interested in buying the stoker and auger for spare parts for mine.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

PostBy: gaw On: Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:11 am

The patch plate is a ring of 1/4 or 3/8 steel with all new studs on it. The old studs are cut off and the area cleaned up with a grinder, then this ring of studs is welded on top of the area. This gives you a new mating surface to seal the water coil gasket. Any good welder can probably so it.
gaw
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

PostBy: Matthaus On: Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:09 am

Keep those old boilers up and running! =D>

If you are not too far from Carbondale PA and can get it on the truck or trailer easily bring it on over, I can weld it up for you once you purchase the patch plate. Another thing to do since it is an older unit is put everything together, plug the various water ports. Then fill it with water and hydrostat it to 30 psig and check for leaks It's much easier to fix it while out of the basement.

Caution: Do not pressurize with compressed air only, any failure could seriously ruin your day! :shock:
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:19 am

Fix it and give your wife 1/2 of the savings when installed, she won't mind so much then. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:45 am

If you are going to use a domestic hot water heating coil I would consider changing to one that screws into a 4 inch pipe fitting. If you have to weld on a patch plate, the plate could just as easily include a welded on 4 inch treaded pipe coupling. This would allow use of the screw in style of domestic coil. This style is much easier to seal because you are sealing a thread rather than a much larger area with a flat gasket. The switch to a treaded style coil is one of the improvements made by Eschland on the Axeman-Andersen boiler design.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:55 am

But then Mikterkris would have to buy a new coil as well. Spending more money won't make the Miss's happy.

BTW: welcome to the forum!!

I would certainly fix the boiler, other than ocassional leaks like you have, they can last just about forever.

Leaks can occur in any boiler, coal, oil, propane or natural gas. I think once you get it fixed and installed and see the savings you will be very happy with the boiler.

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: coaledsweat On: Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:11 am

A footnote for Yanche's fix, the screw in coils are cheaper and much easier to obtain too. Flanged coils are usually application specific and you know what that does to price and availability.
If your coil is good, I would use the patch.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: mikterkris On: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:25 am

Wow. Thanks to all for a response and advice! I'm very excited to find folks with the desire to burn a cheaper fuel harvested by American miners from our land (in my case PA) instead of buying fuel from the ayatollah!
I will need a new coil since the one I removed was bad (got recycled now). I currently have a Burnham RV6 boiler (4 years old) and a high efficiency gas hot water tank. With balanced billing, we pay almost $3000 a year for natural gas (heat and hot water) with the thermostat set at 69 from Nov to May. That's as low as the Boss, I mean my lovely wife will let me set it. I can get rice coal for $125 or so a ton in Pottsville, but I'd have to go get it which wouldn't be a problem since I have a truck and access to a dump trailer. Plus, I go up there fairly regularly due working fairly close and having a rental property up there. So gentlemen, here's some questions that I'm sure you can help me with: Approx how many tons would it take to heat our old 3500 sq ft 107 year old brick house? I know there are a lot of variables, but it does have replacement windows. Also, could you tell me a good source for the patch plate for the coil? Could you please tell me where I can get more info on the round 4" coils? Finally, I want to keep my gas boiler as a ready back-up in case I am away or if I deploy and my wife refuses to learn how to maintain the stoker. Your thoughts?

Finally, I suggested Coaledsweat's comment on passing 1/2 of the savings to my wife. I think she might go for it! :)
mikterkris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Florin; Orr & Painter
Stove/Furnace Model: Chubby; Daisy Sunshine 316

PostBy: e.alleg On: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:40 am

If you can post how many cubic feet or therms of natural gas you used per year, take an average of the last few years (the more years the better), we can figure out how much coal you can expect to use assuming you will use the same amount of heat as the previous years. I'll go out on a limb and say that if you were spending $3000 a year for gas last year you should plan on using 8-10 tons of coal. No matter how you figure it $1200 is better than $3000, that leaves enough left for a trip to Jamaica with the wife! When carrying out the ashes you can smile knowing that each pound of ash is $1 in your pocket assuming 10% ash content. $20 for 10 minutes of work...I can live with that chore! :twisted:
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

PostBy: coal berner On: Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:37 am

Hi Mikterkris I see that you said You can buy coal in Pottsville Pa 125 a ton I am very interested where in or who in Potts You see I grew up in pottsville and still live in the area 4 miles outside And I know of no one or no where that you can buy coal for 125.00 a ton in Pottsville The closest Breaker to potts is 4 miles west And that stuff is stripping coal Bad strip at that the last i heard they were selling it for 135.00 a ton Maybe it is not the same place but that is the only one close to potts there is one Hardware store that sell bag coal for 6.50 a bag so that can't be either if you would PM with the name Now as for you EFM 520 have you been to there web site http://www.efmheating.com look on there dealer list and see if there is one close to you there should be but if there is not There is one right in Pottsville 500 W Arch ST. Give them a call or stop buy when you are coming up I know the owners all of my life I grew up 6 houses away very good People They may have what you need right there New or used if you need any more info PM Me I will help you to get good deep red ash very low ash content About half of what you mentioned for less as well I can help you with the Parts for EFM also Buy the way if you can make it up for the 20th for the deep mine coal tour There are Several members getting together for the no.9 mine tour And some will be getting coal at the breakers As well Iam the unofficial coal breaker / Local area tour guide so if you can make it up for the tour you can get good deep mine coal and maybe your EFM 520 Parts to We will be meeting in the Parking lot of the Quality inn suites in Pottsville PA The morning of Octorber 20th if you would like to get coal Please be there for 7:00 AM no later then 7:30 AM we must go early so we can get back for the No.9 Mine tour the first one starts at 11:15Am Then every hour until 3:15pm Or 4:15pm we will have lunch and Dinner Also Then The Business meeting Hope you can make it Sorry for the long one :occasion5:
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:25 am

e.alleg wrote:I'll go out on a limb and say that if you were spending $3000 a year for gas last year you should plan on using 8-10 tons of coal. No matter how you figure it $1200 is better than $3000, that leaves enough left for a trip to Jamaica with the wife!


Your gas boiler is a very high efficiency unit but I'll agree with e. here. 8-10 tons including hot water. And no one will care what the thermostat is set at when you start running coal.

The local boiler/plumbing supply can furnish a screw in coil and a weld-o-let (threaded ring) to install it. Be sure the coil has similar dimensions as your original.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:48 am

Hi Mikterkris, since you will have to buy a new domestic coil, check the prices on them, then compare to a water/water heat exchanger. The plate style exchangers are very effecient and are plumbed externally, it may be a better or easier and /or less expensive way to go than a new internal coil.

Greg L

Here are are few on ebay, you can use a 20 plate size or larger usually, I'm using a 40 for the baseboard heat, adn a 20 plate for domestic hot water

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dl ... category0=
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Visit Lehigh Anthracite