Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:49 pm

Hi, I am buying a 3300 sq. ft. home with electric heating in PA!! I'd like to put a coal burning furnace in the basement and heat the home by tapping into the forced air (heat pump) system.

The home has 2 retro-fitted (I assume) wood burning fireplaces with separate metal chimneys up to the roof. One fireplace is directly over the other on the 2nd floor, so the 1st floor metal chimney passes inside the wall right next to the 2nd floor chimney/firebox. These are huge vents, like 15 inches or something.

1.) If I install a coal burning furnace in the basement, is it OK to connect into the 1st floor fireplace's metal chimney in the wall?

2.) If that's not possible, I could also decommission the 1st floor fireplace and tie into that perhaps? (and add a propane log set in the firebox).

Any advice is appreciated! -Tony

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tony17112acst
 

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: Cyber36 On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:59 pm

I don't know how the code reads in Pa. but, in NY you can only use 1 solid fuel burning device per chimney........
Cyber36
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Marathon/Logwood

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: WNYRob On: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:14 pm

For comparison sake : I had an existing 8" steel chimney (within a 12"), in our house, that was used for wood years and years ago and most recently used to vent the propane furnace and water heater prior to us purchasing the house. It starts in our basement and runs about 17' through an inside wall and then attic space. As part of the house purchase negotiations, we upgraded the furnace and water tank to high efficiency, so the chimney was no longer used. When we put in our coal stove last fall, I lined the chimney with 6" and back filled around it with perlite for insulation. No problems with drafts so far, it is dead on .02 measured over the fire, even in windy conditions, and there is even a build up of fly ash on the bottom side of the chimney cap. It is fairly windy around our house, so my stove dealer had a local Amish gentleman build me a metal chimney cap that rotates like a wind vane and is angled as such to force the wind around the chimney rather than directly over it. Without that cap, I may have needed two barometric dampers to control my draft during gusty days.
WNYRob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker Koker controlled with CoalTrol


Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:22 pm

I don't know what to do. I'd love to go with coal, but the chimney may be a problem. I measured the chimney pipe today and found that it's 15 inch outside diameter. When I look online for a "T" to connect into it, it's $1000!!!! HOLY #$^!@$#!! And that's only for the "T" ...it's probably another $1000 just to get from the furnace to the existing chimney. I can't believe a piece of metal with no moving parts or electronics costs $1000.
tony17112acst
 

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:33 pm

forget about the pos metal chimney. for less than $1000 in materials you can throw up a block chimney with a tile liner. Many on this site have done just that in a weekend or two. A masonry chimney is safer, will last longer, will look better, and will cost less than a metal one.

Btw, those probably aren't stainless chimneys and I would bet that the sheet steel inner wall is rotted out already. Those types of stacks don't last long.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:49 pm

But block chimneys need concrete footings 3 feet into the ground don't they?

Do you mean add a chimney to the exterior of the home? ...these two 15" metal chimneys are in the interior of the home. I also need to go up 2 stories.
tony17112acst
 

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:39 pm

It takes me 2-1/2 to 3 days to throw up a block exterior two story chimney including digging the footer and doing everything myself start to finish. allowing for someone that hasn't done it before, it shouldn't take more than two weekends and a few weeknights. If you don't have too much large rock, it shouldn't take more than a few hours to dig a 5'x5' hole next to the house 3 or so feet deep. Get yourself 15 80lb bags of 5000psi mix with some re-bar and pour the footer about 3x3', once it sets up, start on the stack. There's a lot of good posts on here of DIY chimney building, do a search. buy a few bags of vermiculite and fill between the block and the tile liner and you'll have a good performing chimney. you'll also need to rent some scaffold. it can be a fun project and you'll know it's done right and you've saved lots of money. of course if you don't want to do it yourself, price the materials and find a mason that's looking for a side job. he might do it cheap.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:22 am

That's encouraging; I'd also have to cut into the roof's eaves however.

I made a HUGE discovery. After reading for 5 hours till 3:00am last night on these forums, apparently there is a such thing as a direct vent coal boiler/furnace!! WoooHooo!!! No $1000 for a chimney + time to install! So I'm guessing my problem is totally solved ...right?

Am I missing anything if I just got one of those?
tony17112acst
 

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: jjs777_fzr On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:06 pm

tony17112acst wrote:That's encouraging; I'd also have to cut into the roof's eaves however.

I made a HUGE discovery. After reading for 5 hours till 3:00am last night on these forums, apparently there is a such thing as a direct vent coal boiler/furnace!! WoooHooo!!! No $1000 for a chimney + time to install! So I'm guessing my problem is totally solved ...right?

Am I missing anything if I just got one of those?


I believe only certain coal appliances are rated for using the 'direct vent' through the wall setup.
But if you choose wisely - yes its very straight forward.

Looks like a great house btw - well except for the electric heat part.

You are going to find a wealth of information on this site with a heck of alot of nice fellas willing to help.
jjs777_fzr
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Penn Coal Stove & Chubby
Other Heating: CFM Wood Stove & Englander 25-PDVC Pellet Stove

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:39 pm

Thank you. The house is actually a POS. I just got it for $90,000 (bank owned) and it has 2 acres and a stream in Harrisburg, PA no less, BUT it is totally a mess inside. It's normally a $250,000 house; it's 3300 square feet. I have my work cut out for me; I've rehabbed a few homes in the past, so I got it to get some exercise, lose 10-20 pounds and make hopefully $40,000 profit doing all the work myself.

I just discovered a Leisure Line that can be power vented (direct vented) along with an optional oil burner. I'd reluctantly need to run thousands of $$ of baseboard throughout this behemoth, but only if the wife and I decide to live there. If I sell for a profit only, then I guess I'd just leave the electric forced air in. I spent 6-7 hours on these forums yesterday and already have spent 7-8 today.

I found a 180,000 BTU coal furnace at TSC on clearance for only $1200 and they give you the return filter box with it, but I don't know how I'd get into the chimney, on the 2nd floor. If I only knew venting and piping, I'd grab that thing tonight for $1200 and save thousands.
tony17112acst
 

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: Stephen in Soky On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:56 pm

Granted my appliance is in my living space on the first floor, but, I tore out the original ZC fireplace and ran Simpson DuraPlus up the chase formerly occupied by the zc double wall vent. IIRC, the Duraplus would have fit inside the outer layer of the double wall, but for me it was easier to demo and just install the class A using a ceiling support box. Could you demo the downstairs FP, use a ceiling support box in the basement/first floor (Base of existing FP) and install a Class A up through where the double wall is? No additional holes in the roof, interior chimney, pretty easy install if you can.

ETA: I'd do a serious search on the USSC furnace at TSC here before purchasing. They serve many people well, but they're not without their issues.
Stephen in Soky
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: 500

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:24 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'm new to the forums and to coal, so I don't know some abbreviations in the posts: "ZC" "IIRC" "class A" "up the chase." (sorry!)

Here are photos of the downstairs and upstairs FP's. I was hoping to save the downstairs FP for a coal insert with a hopper (the Hitzer perhaps). But I think I know what you mean, send the basement chimney up into the 1st floor fireplace. IT's an option but I'm looking at $1000 of stove pipe whereas, I could get a direct vented model, like the Keystoker Koker or the Leisure Line 110. I'm still reading these forums since I got up this morning ...10 hours straight with a lunch and dinner break only!

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The 1st floor pipe is slightly off to the left and behind the 2nd floor chimney pipe. The 2nd floor fireplace (the brick one) sits out 6 feet from the back wall, so the other chimney pipe is behind it to the left a little. It is 15" outer diameter and 10" inner (I just measured it).

Could I run new pipe from the basement up to the beginning of the existing (10" inner diameter) and not go all the way to the roof? I can see spending $800 more to go up one more floor. I have read a few manuals to some furnaces/boilers, and some say that the flue must not have curves in it ...so I wonder if they mean I can't go from 8" to 10"? I don't know. If I had a venting expert, I could figure out what to do; I have to make a decision in the next few days since roofers will start the job.
tony17112acst
 

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: Stephen in Soky On: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:10 am

Sorry, ZC = zero clearance fireplace (FP). Class A chimney is a designation for triple wall insulated chimney such as the Simpson DuraPlus that's carried by TSC. There are other brands as well. Class A can be generally (Check each manufacturer) placed within 2 inches of combustibles. No, it isn't cheap, $90/3' section (for 6") plus transitions/supports/flashing collars as needed. But, it's accepted by virtually every insurance company and codes. It's generally a self install option as well which keeps cost contained. Looks to me like it would work beautifully in your case. I can't testify as to how it will hold up to coal except to say I brought mine with me to this house after using it for about 9 years on wood and it has 5 years on at least partial coal now with no issues yet. No, it probably won't last like a clay lined masonry chimney, but instalation is so simple I can replace it when needed and there was no good place for a masonry chimney in my case.
Stephen in Soky
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: 500

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: jjs777_fzr On: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:52 am

Watching this thread - here's what I'd do - which incurs minimal costs as I see it.
Run a SS flex liner through the existing flu pipes. Given the size you stated I doubt there'd be an issue.

Here a vid on youtube that shows a Stainless Steel Flex Liner install.
You do NOT need to do the wrap piece that they show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OIcxRdb6Rs

You can find the SS Flex Liner in kit form where they include necessary clamps and tops/flashing etc on ebay.
I did one at my parents house - through an old brick fireplace - and attached a wood insert (a wood stove not free standing).
The 25 foot kit cost under $400 including shipping.

You could of course stick with a stove that utilizes a Electric Power Vent - but then - well - its using electricity any time you are using the stove. It's great for certain circumstances. In your case...if it were me I'd throw a wood stove on the upper level and a coal stove on the lower level. I run wood,coal and in the past pellet stoves - all in a single heating season - as it gave me options and flexibility depending on what I had and what the current prices were for the fuel.

Another vid - this shows a coal stoker - lots of electrical gadgets !
But then thats the cost of convenience.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54HXhXv9 ... re=related

-John
jjs777_fzr
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Penn Coal Stove & Chubby
Other Heating: CFM Wood Stove & Englander 25-PDVC Pellet Stove

Re: Venting a New Coal Furnace into Existing Metal Chimney

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:42 am

Unable to Power Vent one of these!
More of a wood unit plus maybe soft coal design, some members have struggled trying to get them to burn hard coal effectively. I have also noticed that USSC units are flooding the *used* stove markets...as maybe they are not all that well liked sometime after that great price feeling goes away. ;)

tony17112acst wrote:I found a 180,000 BTU coal furnace at TSC on clearance for only $1200 and they give you the return filter box with it, but I don't know how I'd get into the chimney, on the 2nd floor. If I only knew venting and piping, I'd grab that thing tonight for $1200 and save thousands.
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek