Stove for elderly mother

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: freetown fred On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:36 am

I'm to understand that the 2, not mechanicaly inclined, teens, are on site--big difference. Good post CF.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:00 am

freetown fred wrote:I hate to be the Grimm Reaper here, but, contrair, contrair, a lot of variables even in coal units--wives calling hubby at work, hoppers all of a sudden catching fire, etc, etc. My Mom is 98 & I personally would be looking into something furnace wise, more efficient. I think that sometimes as avid coal burners, we might get a little stupid, sorry dlj, but how available is that Angel of yours, should a serious situation arise. And they do, sometimes arise. :( I'd probably feel pretty bad if I burnt my mother up in the middle of the night--my only suggestion would be a Coal-Jack with it's safety features. Come on Jim D help me out here. ;)


I'm with Fred on this one. It would be different if she lived next door or even down the road, but if there isn't someone around that could quickly help her if a problem arises with the stove...I wouldn't be comfortable installing a stove.

I would take a look at the current heating system. Is the house heated with forced air or a hot water?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:10 am

due to the age in question here i also would concider keeping the status quo and research aid for fuel oil i.e. the govt aid for heat.

but as to the 5k investment , it's a no brainer if you ask me....

currently it costs what 2500-3000 per year on oil? figure the coal fuel to cost 700-1k per year?


would be too long to return the investment. use the money for a huge 100 yr birthday party! 8-)
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: blrman07 On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:36 am

some things to consider

1. she is 90 years old
2. likes it warmer than you do
3. limited income
4. burning about 100 gallons a month in fuel oil
5. rice coal weighs about 30-34 lbs per 5 gallon bucket
6. one full ash pan a day
7. Around 3-5k in expenses to just get going from scratch

Questions:
Forget power outages, generators, and battery backup for now. First there are very important questions you have to answer.

1. where is she going to store either bulk or bagged coal?
2. can she lift 35 pounds of coal per day into a stoker stove hopper Even if it was broken up into smaller 5-10 pound containers can she do that every day without fail throughout the day?
3. can she bend over or squat down to pull the one full ash pan a day?
4. Are these other family members going to be available EVERY day from now on, sometimes twice a day in the bitter cold to do the above items?


As a pastor I have one 90 year old lady and one 88 year old with two more in the low 80's that all live alone that attend my church. Two of the three have family members that live within a ten minute radius but they don't always get by to see mom every day. My 90 year old is spry but there are days where due to the simple fact of being 90 she doesn't even want to fix a meal.

I believe that asking "mom" to switch to coal with all the work associated with tending coal would be asking too much. As a younger person we don't even think twice about some of these items but when you cross the 3/4 quarter point of your life, the items to be considered just to get through one day becomes the elephant in the corner.

My opinion is that coal is not the way to go in this instance, hand fed, stoker, or auger.

Save everyone a future of finger pointing and accusations and just chip in $25-50 a month and send a check to the oil man. It sounds good now to say that someone will be there every day but what if they get sick, catch the flu, break a leg, you get the point.
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: LoschStoker On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:06 am

Save everyone a future of finger pointing and accusations and just chip in $25-50 a month and send a check to the oil man. It sounds good now to say that someone will be there every day but what if they get sick, catch the flu, break a leg, you get the point.[quote][/quote]

Well said, spend the time sealing up the house, cleaning and adj. the furnace. Shut the heat off in the rooms not used, a little electric space heater
where she sits.
LoschStoker
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: (New) Warm Morning 400A
Stove/Furnace Make: Losch 350 130k BTU's

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:02 am

I am also of the opinion that oil is the best option for your mother.

In many cases however, there are many things you could do to improve the operation and efficiency of the furnace.

For example, if the existing furnace is in poor condition, I see a nearly new Thermo Pride furnace on craigslist located in Albany. They are considered the BEST furnace by industry professionals.

This would also be a good time to determine if the existing furnace is over-sized which is often the case.
EarthWindandFire
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer model 75.
Other Heating: Oil and Natural Gas.

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: beemerboy On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:28 am

My mother is 90 (soon to be 91) and she has a hand fired Crane 404 . Every so often I put five fifty pound bags on a dolly and park it in in her kitchen/family room and most of the time she will fill the hod and shovel it into the stove with a small camp shovel. My mother will take about a half or less of a hod at a time.

As far as asking for government help paying for the oil - good luck. Not because it is hard to get approved if your eligible, but the feds cut the low income heating assistance by 60% and the money is just not there.

Here in Connecticut, last year my mom got about $650 worth of oil. This year the benefit is about $250. And these are one time deals, not per month.
beemerboy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: SAEY
Stove/Furnace Model: Hannover 1

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:39 am

I also would not install a coal appliance at your mom's place.

I'm in a similar situation with my mother, who is 88 years old. 3 1/2 years ago we sold the house and bought a condo, she's only 9 miles away now. Unfortunately all the units in the development have heat pumps with resistance elements for a heating system. My immediate thought was a stoker stove with a power vent. I even read the condo bylaws, they allow pellet stoves but they must be professionally installed. I seriously thought about installing a brand new stoker stove and then I decided against it.
Like it or not, "approaching 90" is very old. Time does take it's toll, even if your mom enjoys reasonable good health, as my mom does, old is old. They have good days and bad, the ability to follow instructions and understand things diminishes. Last year I installed a digital thermostat at my mom's, I figured it would control the heat pump better then the old manual unit. Well, a few months later I ended up reinstalling the old tstat, my mom just couldn't get the hang of the digital one. Now she has a lever to push around again.

Even if you have people going there to take care of the stove every day, even though you have the best intentions, bad things can and do happen.

Look into Low Income Heating Assistance from the state.
http://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/
My mother only receives Social Security and a small pension, I recently found out she qualifies for LIHeap here in NJ. The application is still being processed so I don't know how much the assistance will be, but it will help out...the electric bill for last January was over $600.

As far as asking for government help paying for the oil - good luck. Not because it is hard to get approved if your eligible, but the feds cut the low income heating assistance by 60% and the money is just not there.


Just what I need to hear!!! :mad:
Anything is better then nothing!
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: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: dlj On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:45 am

A lot of really good input in this thread, thanks. I think this one covers most of the points, so I'll use it as a "template" to answer and add in thoughts...

blrman07 wrote:some things to consider

1. she is 90 years old
2. likes it warmer than you do
3. limited income
4. burning about 100 gallons a month in fuel oil
5. rice coal weighs about 30-34 lbs per 5 gallon bucket
6. one full ash pan a day
7. Around 3-5k in expenses to just get going from scratch


Points 1 through 3 are true. She's a spry one, but age has definitely taken it's toll. One problem is the fact at that age they do need it warmer. Then you've got the limited income problem.There's nothing that can be changed on that front, as far as her options are concerned. Now, if us kids pitch in that's another story...

I'm guessing she is on budget billing so her fuel oil usage is actually higher than 100 gallons a month in the winter, but yes, over a 12 month period that's about what it would average out to be. A problem here is that as fuel oil prices go up, that $350 a month will also.

Points 5 and 6, yea, she isn't going to be handling those. No way, she needs to just focus on getting around and not falling down... She doesn't need to be carrying heavy buckets around - ah, no, she CAN'T carry heavy buckets around...

Point 7 - It does add up - install chimney, buy stove etc. etc.

blrman07 wrote:Questions:
Forget power outages, generators, and battery backup for now. First there are very important questions you have to answer.

1. where is she going to store either bulk or bagged coal?


This is actually the least of the problems. She lives in the country, has lots of space. She wouldn't be moving it anyway, lots of options here...

blrman07 wrote: 2. can she lift 35 pounds of coal per day into a stoker stove hopper Even if it was broken up into smaller 5-10 pound containers can she do that every day without fail throughout the day?


No, this was never even considered as an option in my first question. The question was really, can stokers do what hand feds can't meaning can they run unattended for a couple days reliably. I think I now have the answer to that question from all the responses here...

blrman07 wrote:3. can she bend over or squat down to pull the one full ash pan a day?


See answer to point two above... nope.

blrman07 wrote:
4. Are these other family members going to be available EVERY day from now on, sometimes twice a day in the bitter cold to do the above items?


Actually, in this respect the answer is yes. She basically shares a driveway with my sister and her husband. She has dinner with them every night. This is pretty unique and is actually the only reason I even have entertained the idea for coal there. Now, the twice a day in the bitter cold is a problem. Once a day would be reasonable, but not twice a day...

blrman07 wrote:As a pastor I have one 90 year old lady and one 88 year old with two more in the low 80's that all live alone that attend my church. Two of the three have family members that live within a ten minute radius but they don't always get by to see mom every day. My 90 year old is spry but there are days where due to the simple fact of being 90 she doesn't even want to fix a meal.


This is very true. Mom has dinner with my sister every night basically because she doesn't cook anymore. She never was much of a cook, and now she doesn't have to/want to/able to. I actually think if I were to ask her about this point, she would probably like the fact she doesn't have to cook anymore, one of the few things about getting old that she would like :D

blrman07 wrote:I believe that asking "mom" to switch to coal with all the work associated with tending coal would be asking too much. As a younger person we don't even think twice about some of these items but when you cross the 3/4 quarter point of your life, the items to be considered just to get through one day becomes the elephant in the corner.

My opinion is that coal is not the way to go in this instance, hand fed, stoker, or auger.

Save everyone a future of finger pointing and accusations and just chip in $25-50 a month and send a check to the oil man. It sounds good now to say that someone will be there every day but what if they get sick, catch the flu, break a leg, you get the point.


Well, I see your point about the finger pointing, but honestly, the three of us should never have that problem. My sister (with lots of help from her husband) have been caring for her on a daily basis. My brother, who lives in Western PA, actually drives up to pick her up and take her to his house where she sees her doctor. He found her an excellent doc near him and he has been doing 16 hour round trips to pick her up and bring her back home for years now. I go up and fix her house, and take care of all the technical aspects she needs. All three of us have been pretty active in keeping her in good stead. You might be right on the monthly $ addition. But I'm not done looking yet at all the alternatives. The $ addition may be in the installation of different heating systems....

I'd say at this point, if we do decide to add in a coal stove, I'd probably go with a hand fed that has a magazine feed. No electric needed, 24 hour burn times super solid in the coldest of weather, easy to handle (given someone that can take out the ash and add in the coal that is not mom). My mother knows how to handle a fire, we grew up burning coal... If she doesn't have to take out ash or worry about putting in the coal, she can run the stove.

I have to say, thanks a bunch for all the thoughts and feedback. This has been really excellent information and well thought out responses. It has certainly served me to have a much clearer idea on the side of stokers - I am very familiar with the hand fed side...

dj
dlj
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Baseheater #6
Coal Size/Type: Stove coal
Other Heating: Oil Furnace, electric space heaters

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:53 am

Two points that have me thinking it might be OK:
The fact that your sister is right next door and that your mom is an experienced coal burner.

When my mom was young she lived on buildings heated with coal stoves, but that was many years ago. Plopping a coal stove in her living room now would cause a huge amount of problems for me, I just know it. :o

Look into the heating assistance anyway, on the app I filled out type of fuel used was requested. coal and firewood were actually listed. If you can get a benefit for oil it would help out.
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: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: dlj On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:26 pm

Wood'nCoal wrote:Two points that have me thinking it might be OK:
The fact that your sister is right next door and that your mom is an experienced coal burner.

When my mom was young she lived on buildings heated with coal stoves, but that was many years ago. Plopping a coal stove in her living room now would cause a huge amount of problems for me, I just know it. :o

Look into the heating assistance anyway, on the app I filled out type of fuel used was requested. coal and firewood were actually listed. If you can get a benefit for oil it would help out.


Looking into the assistance is a really good idea. Definitely a must do.

Yes, Moms situation is pretty unique in that she lives next to my sister. The real asset on that front is my brother-in-law! He is truly golden! But I'll have to sit down and talk to them all once I finish all the research on the different possibilities. Not an easy one for sure...

dj
dlj
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Baseheater #6
Coal Size/Type: Stove coal
Other Heating: Oil Furnace, electric space heaters

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:34 pm

:idea: Install Stoker boiler in sister's house, pipe the heat under the driveway...brother-in-law handles coal & ashes, mom enjoys 75 degree house.

Ok, it was just an idea.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:47 pm

Rob R. wrote::idea: Install Stoker boiler in sister's house, pipe the heat under the driveway...brother-in-law handles coal & ashes, mom enjoys 75 degree house.

Ok, it was just an idea.


Depends how close...
I was thinking the same thing...
But 'country driveway' could be the deal killer...
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: freetown fred On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Son of a bitch :mad: at myself---dumped my friggin fire for the 1st time in 3 yrs--figured I'd just wait for chunk to burn up--I don't think so--oh yea, hoppers are good--BUT :P Anyway, old Native American trick--I've got a big ash thingy. Sooo, I took a shovel full of red ash & put them in it--then cleaned out stove---got grates freed up--10 lbs of Wally World self light- dumped red coals on top- now, shovel at a time up to top of fire bricks & then top off hopper. Won't do that again. Think your brother in law or sister would have fun with all that dlj? musta been an omen or some such nonsense. :o Still in the one match club, but, damn, I took one shower this month, looks like I'll have to do another one today. :mad3: toothy
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freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Stove for elderly mother

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:56 pm

Ya made me go check my stove...
Been too warm outside and christmas and all...
Had not put coal in it since Sunday afternoon...
Still got fire...
But will need to add coal slow...
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Visit Lehigh Anthracite