Neglected DF 520

Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:29 am

Well it looks like I may become involved in a DF 520 project.

My nephew is looking at possibly renting a house that has a DF 520 in the basement. I went to look at the place last night. The tag says that it was built in 1981.

The basement has water issues and with this past 2-3 months, it really got wet in there. However the DF does sit on a 2" raised pad so the base never saw any water. However the bin is pretty rotted around the bottom 6" of the plywood. That won't be a real issue. Looking at the bin, someone built a smaller insert in the bin to concentrate the coal over the auger when the bin got low. The smaller box is about a 3' x 4' x 4' high. It just has a "u" shaped slot to fit it over the auger tube. That smaller box is also rotted a bit but no big issue. HOWEVER some idiot dumped the ashes in this little box covering the auger. Due to the water issues, it appears that now there is just a big pile of mush covering the end of the auger tube. I don't know how long this has been like this.

What should I be doing to make sure we will not have any issues with the auger ??

It appears that there must have been an outfire situation. The ash pan is full and when opening the door, ashes and unburnt coal falls out on the floor. So needlesss to say, they just switched it over to oil. And has probably been on oil for a while. The realtor doesn't know much about the heater. All he said was that he remembered coal useage as a youth and really was not fond of it. Little does he know about modern day coal appliances.

The repair log tags say that they must have been servicing the oil burner yearly with fuel strainers and adjusting the oil burner only. Last service was in 2008.

Any advice ??


Rick

If they do indeed rent this place, they want to be on coal. Seeing 2 oil tanks in the basement tells me that this place must leak heat like crazy.
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am

It sounds like the first order of business is a thorough cleaning of the boiler, base, burn pot, and auger. I wouldn't be surprised if the bin tube is rotted out from sitting in damp ashes; but even if it is, it is a straightforward job to replace it. If the auger flights are sharp (especially at the burn pot end), the auger, gooseneck bushing, and worm bushing should be replaced. Check the burn plates for cracks & damage, and give the stoker a short run to see how it operates.

If the boiler holds water and the base isn't rotted out, it is only a matter of time before you have them fired on coal.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:55 am

markviii wrote:

If the boiler holds water and the base isn't rotted out, it is only a matter of time before you have them fired on coal.



The boiler has been running on oil as far as I know. It did fire up on oil last night when I hit the switch. But at $ 3.30/gallon, that ain't gonna cut it !!!


The realtor is supposed to be removing the ashes from the boiler and the coal bin. Then we can take a good hard look at it. I really don't think they want to be using oil at all. And I certainly don't blame them. Worst part is that it looks like there is no way to get a bulk delivery directly into the bin. Oh well, they are young and it shouldn't be an issue for them. Me ..........that's a different story. :down: But the bin is large enough that they should only have to fill it once a year. Good fall project for them.



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: 009to090 On: Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:03 pm

If its a rental, all the repair $$ will be paid by the landlord. Thats tax deductable for him, so he shouldn't have any issue with repairing it..
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:10 pm

I agree Chris.

I just don't think these people know what they have. For me, that is a big plus in this deal. However as we all know, most people don't understand or don't appreciate coal the way we all here do.

Verbal agreement last night stated that the landlord would reimburse them for the repairs to the bin. Now as soon as they clean it out, we can address the rest of the coal side of the boiler. If push comes to shove, we'll repair the DF so they can use the coal side and keep the old parts to reinstall them if they would move out.



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: 009to090 On: Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:15 pm

Rick 386 wrote: If push comes to shove, we'll repair the DF so they can use the coal side and keep the old parts to reinstall them if they would move out.

Excellent idea :idea: :idea: :idea:
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:49 pm

fun stuff....

How is the new shop working out?
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:27 pm

Sting wrote:fun stuff....

How is the new shop working out?



Actually pretty good. This new location has brought a lot of business my way. I'm on a busy road where there isn't a lot of competition nearby. I still get some of the old customers from the old location, but the locals here are coming out in force. They just don't have too many local garages around here anymore.

Busy as hell right now. But since I want to go hunting and take off 2 days next week, it always gets busy. So I deal with the mad rush trying to get the cars out of here so I can go away and relax. Then I come back to play catch up since I wasn't here. Ahhhhh, the life of a shop owner.

I did have to hire help. That's a good thing right ??


How are the fingers ??



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:19 pm

9 still work well
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:32 pm

So we got this unit fired up finally.

Not really sure how it is set up. It appears that it has a triple aquastat on the rear with the low set at 150* the high at 190* and the diff at 10*

So how long should it take to recover from stoker start up to stoker shut off once the system is stabilized. I realize that with these temps it is difficult but my only experience is with an AA 260. Tonight it ran for over an hour once it started stoking with the thermostats turned back to 50*

I'm suspecting that we may have to disassemble the stoker mechanism to do a thorough cleaning.


Any thoughts ???


Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: stoker-man On: Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:14 am

If the water was cold and it ran for an hour to bring it up to low limit, that might be normal. Otherwise, check flue temps and draft. Could also be that the interior is coated with oil soot, affecting heat transfer. Start at 4/4 feed/air.
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: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:54 am

Stoker man,

This thing ran for hours and hours to get it up to temp..........

Sounds like a thorough cleaning is in order. Supposedly it was already cleaned by a plumbing contractor. At least he vacuumed out the accumulated ash from the ash pan area. But I suspect the plumber knew nothing about coal fired appliances.

So since we now know that it will in fact run, we'll shut it down this weekend and wire brush the interior surfaces. Any other suggestions ?? Should the fan be disassembled to clean the fins? I don't know if we are getting the proper airflow up through the pot. It seemed a little light to me. We had the air up to 6-8 to get the ladies dancing and there was a pretty large dark center. The only red burning coal was the outer 2-3" of the ring.



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:17 pm

You have the right idea, a complete cleaning is in order. Let the fire go out, pull the baffles out (top one sits on two brackets welded to firebox sides, bottom two sit on hooks), and then thoroughly brush down the inside of the boiler and all crevices in the heat exchanger. Vacuum out the pot and make sure the air holes are open, remove the flue pipe and vacuum out the ash chamber, the pipe...check the chimney, you get the idea. As you suggested, I would also pull the motor & fan out of the blower housing; inspect and clean as necessary.

Rick 386 wrote:I don't know if we are getting the proper airflow up through the pot. It seemed a little light to me. We had the air up to 6-8 to get the ladies dancing and there was a pretty large dark center. The only red burning coal was the outer 2-3" of the ring.


What was the feed rate at during this time?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:39 pm

Rob,

We were only running it at about 3 teeth. We pulled the fines lever last night and got a whole lot in the ash tub. I don't think it had been done in quite a while.

Still trying to get this thing up and running the way it should be. I know with our AA 260 from cold start to full temp only takes me about 1- 1.5 hours max. This thing took several hours to get up to temp. Then once the circulator came on and took some heat off the boiler, it took quite a while to bring it back up to temp.

Since neither me nor my nephew or his crew are living in the house right now, we can only play with it at night. Since I finally got them to buy a case of beer, maybe I can spend a little more time there at night........... We are all learning how to run this fine piece of equipment. For now we are only feeding it through a barrel. They will rebuild the bin and then get several tons in it. But at least for now we can monitor how much coal is being used as we learn the different settings. It is in an old farmhouse which I suspect may be a real heat loser. But at least it will be cheaper heating it with coal compared to oil.


I'll post more as we proceed along. And I'll include some pics as well.



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Neglected DF 520

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:49 pm

Based on your description, there is a serious lack of air entering the fire. You may have to hold the fines cleanout open and brush out the inside of the air chamber; packed fines in that area would cause airflow problems. Also, make sure the cleanout door is closing tightly.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy