Who burns year-round?

Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:19 am

It is that time of year when the hand-fired guys start shutting down. This thread is for the forced induction crowd that runs (or wants to run) a boiler through the summer for hot water, pool heating, whatever.

I intend to run my DF520 through the summer for hot water and pool heating, but it will a first for me. The 520 is still providing occasional heat, but it is mostly idling and providing domestic hot water. Between my timer and the low limit it usually hangs out between 160-170 degrees. So far so good.

Edit: For those of you that have burned into the warm months, feel free to post what worked for you, what didn't, and certainly have your aquastat/timer/feed/anthrastat/etc settings handy. The idea of this thread is just to hear what works, what doesn't, and maybe make some suggestions to those having trouble.
Last edited by Rob R. on Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:32 am

I also intend to run all summer, at least for DHW, and eventually maybe pool water. This decision is made easier by the fact that I currently have no other way to make DHW. :gee: The members of the "minimize the size of the boiler" crowd might be horrified at the prospect of having to keep a big boiler going for such a comparatively small load, but to me the jury is still out. The boiler is running without a timer, is pretty efficient and makes DHW via an indirect. And if I tried to shut it off, cleaning it for a summer shutdown would be a PITA, and, besides, I don't have enough light bulbs to keep the inside of it warm. :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea:

If the coal consumption turns out to be unreasonably high, I may try to do something with a smaller stoker boiler for off-season loads, but I think Rob has raised some important questions. What do the hand-fired people do in the warm weather? Are they such "manly men" (apologies women running hand-fired equipment) that they take cold showers all summer? Without actually trying to answer such questions, I'm happy that a stoker boiler (generally) provides the opportunity to run year-round.

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

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Short Bus On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:05 am

Summer is short here, snowed last night, in the 20s' this morning, DHW and I'm going to try going though the summer.
Short Bus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Highlander On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:43 am

I burn year round, have for about 4 years now. I use about 12# per day during the summer months. I find that by keeping the boiler going all year, I have no summer time corrosion issues to deal with.

My coal usage for the year is about 5 ton. I have to empty the ash pan about once every two weeks in the summer.
Highlander
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000 Sold
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000 Stoker Boiler

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Dirty Steve On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:15 am

1st season with a boiler. Hoping to run all summer. Interested to hear from the KEYSTOKER boiler guys about pin settings and such. Running a standard KA-6 with tall masonary chimney. Right now pin time is 2 sets of pins at 15 seconds appart. 2 pins on one side and 3 on the other. Triple is set at 150/170- forgot what Diff setting is. Just put 8.25 ton of rice in the bin. :D

Steve
Dirty Steve
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Oil- Off line
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: qbwebb On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:14 pm

I intend to burn yr round as well, this was my first winter with the VF3000. I made the combustion blower mod that Highlander and coalkirk + others have made (thanks to both of you for posting how to do it). I hope to get usage to the 10-15lb range as highlander has. The fire now in idle mode is almost invisible under the ash, 1 min on and 15 min off with reduced blower speed.

A quick question for either of you, do you also shorten up the stroke of the pusher block in summer as well, or does your fire go out?

My unit is in a detached insulated shed so heat won't be added to the house, and I have an indirect with electric backup I can switch on.

Once I stopped the electric DHW I noticed anywhere from a $50-$70 monthly drop in the bill or roughly $1.75/day in electric vs. maybe $1-$1.25/ day in coal. I really like the added benefit of rust prevention even if the cost savings isn't that great. Currently only 2 adults using DHW/daily.
qbwebb
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Machinist On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:12 pm

I burn year round. I use about 60 lbs a week for domestic hot water in the summer.
Machinist
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-2
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: None

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: oliver power On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:29 pm

I'm going to try it this summer again. Last year I shut it down. Actually, I ran it too low, and it went out. What a mess on the inside!!! After cleaning it all out, I never re-started till fall. Corrosion, as well as rust set in on the door handles, etc.. Better to keep it going........
oliver power
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II)
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Stove/Furnace Make: HITZER / KEYSTOKER
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93 & 30-95 , Kaa-2

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: bellboy On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:19 pm

This is the first summer the axeman might be shut down for a "brake". It's only coasting to make DHW for one person and the fire has gone out twice so far in the last two warm spells. It seems like it might be better to use a small hot water heater through the summer. Any thoughts or comments are welcome.
bellboy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: axeman anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:19 pm

I've been kind of curious to hear people's experiences with the way different stoker designs do/don't hold the fire in warm weather. I've never had a problem holding the fire in summer with an assortment of EFM's (700, 900, 85R).

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

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: steevesj On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:42 pm

I would like to but I have such a weak draft 1-2 and it become weaker in the warm months. I get some fumes at times when the large fan kicks on. It really doesn't make sense since a have a 28' chimney. Any ideas how to improve the draft?
Jon
steevesj
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA6 dual fuel using rice

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:59 pm

I'm running the EFM all year as well. I don't want to buy any oil and I don't want corrosion and rust.

I had an outfire on a unusually warm late winter day, after relighting I lowered the settings from 200° HI/170° LO to 180°/150° (15° differential) and changed the timer from 2 minutes per hour to 2 minutes per 1/2 hour. The outfire was due to a loss of draft in my big stone chimney. I thought I had it set correctly, but I had another outfire yesterday. In thinking about what had happened I realized that 2 minutes every 1/2 hour at 4 teeth on the feed was heating the boiler too much, I have been seeing temps over 180°. What happened was the boiler hit 180° (the high limit setting) and when the timer called for the stoker to run (since the high limit had been exceeded) the aquastat prevented the stoker from running and the fire went out.
I raised the high limit back to 200° and lowered the feed 1 tooth-to 3. Yesterday's morning low was 53°, the high was 75°. Today the low was 58°, the high was 80°, perfect for a loss of chimney draft, but today there was no outfire. :D :D
Boiler water temperature when I arrived home around 6 PM was 165°. :D
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: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Barnzy On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:01 pm

For 22 years running EFM520 year round with the exception of a week or so of shut down
for annual maintenence, chimney cleaning, etc.

During shut down DHW from electric hot water heater that doubles as a tempering tank.
When boiler is back in operation, hot water heater circuit breaker gets shut off.

RB
Barnzy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM AP-520-1
Coal Size/Type: Rice -- Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: AP-520-1

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:37 pm

steevesj wrote:I would like to but I have such a weak draft 1-2 and it become weaker in the warm months. I get some fumes at times when the large fan kicks on. It really doesn't make sense since a have a 28' chimney. Any ideas how to improve the draft?
Jon


How tall is the chimney compared to the roof? What size is the flue? Are you using the recommended 8" pipe? How many elbows and tee's are installed between the boiler and the thimble?

Wood'nCoal wrote: I raised the high limit back to 200° and lowered the feed 1 tooth-to 3. Yesterday's morning low was 53°, the high was 75°. Today the low was 58°, the high was 80°, perfect for a loss of chimney draft, but today there was no outfire. :D :D
Boiler water temperature when I arrived home around 6 PM was 165°. :D


Are you happy with the hot water production with 3 teeth and 150 for the low limit? Also, do you have a bypass installed between the supply and return on the boiler?

I am running 10/160/200, 5teeth/4.75air, and 2 minutes every 30 on the timer. The boiler seems to hang out around 165-170 degrees.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Who burns year-round?

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:46 pm

Are you happy with the hot water production with 3 teeth and 150 for the low limit? Also, do you have a bypass installed between the supply and return on the boiler?


So far, so good, but I just made the change yesterday. I'm just happy I was able to figure out why I lost the fire. The incoming cold water tends to warm up some in the Summer as opposed to the dead of Winter. Yesterday after relighting the boiler the water temperature hit 210° :shock: , it was running on the timer, I guess that second little shovel full of coal I placed on top of the wood fire was a tad too much!
Yes, there is a bypass, ball valve is open about 1/4.
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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite