Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: dchartt On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:44 pm

o my! ahs has come out of hibernation...ben what are the real numbers for what a s130 will heat square footage wise because it will no way heat 3000 and you claim 4000 i believe
dchartt
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glacier Bay

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: titleist1 On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:49 pm

dchartt wrote:o my! ahs has come out of hibernation


Maybe they think that the puff back thread is forgotten and it's safe?! :lol: :blowup:

I didn't notice that they had any input in the multiple pages there, although I may have missed it in the volumes that were written trying to solve the problem quite a few have.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: Brentski On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:38 pm

dchartt wrote:o my! ahs has come out of hibernation...ben what are the real numbers for what a s130 will heat square footage wise because it will no way heat 3000 and you claim 4000 i believe

This is interesting..... And from a AHS owner and the puff back thing has got me thinking??? :?:
Brentski
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:59 pm

Brent,

Every manufacturer has equipment where negative results can be found. Do not shy away from the AHS S130 because of this. I am not belittling the puff-back issue, but every stove, furnace and boiler operates differently depending on the operator and the environment the equipment operates in.
EarthWindandFire
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer model 75.
Other Heating: Oil and Natural Gas.

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:00 pm

dchartt wrote:...what are the real numbers for what a s130 will heat square footage wise because it will no way heat 3000 and you claim 4000 i believe


The S130 will heat a 10,000 sq. ft house in Miami, and a 100 sq. ft army tent in Fairbanks. :lol:

All jokes aside, every house is different and it is your responsibility to size the boiler properly. If you hire a "pro" to size and install it, make your expectations of system performance clear up front...don't be surprised if some of them don't want the job.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: Pacowy On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:07 pm

My $0.02 is that even the "pros" may tend to undersize boilers by following "the book" too closely. A common problem is that people don't account adequately for their DHW load - it takes about 40k btu/hour of boiler output to sustain each gpm of DHW flow for an hour. Also, coal has lots of quirky features that can cause the actual output of a coal boiler to fall short of its listed capability at any given time - a batch of crappy coal being burned in a boiler that needs cleaning, etc. Then there's the fact that bigger boilers tend to have larger heat exchange areas, so letting a bigger boiler loaf along may well use less fuel than running a smaller boiler flat out.

The Dead Men, who installed coal boilers before most of us were born, tended to apply a lot of overkill when if came to specifying boiler capacity. To be fair, most of those systems were steam, which has its own capacity issues, but I'll vote with them. Go big.

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

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: Brentski On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:19 pm

Pacowy wrote:My $0.02 is that even the "pros" may tend to undersize boilers by following "the book" too closely. A common problem is that people don't account adequately for their DHW load - it takes about 40k btu/hour of boiler output to sustain each gpm of DHW flow for an hour. Also, coal has lots of quirky features that can cause the actual output of a coal boiler to fall short of its listed capability at any given time - a batch of crappy coal being burned in a boiler that needs cleaning, etc. Then there's the fact that bigger boilers tend to have larger heat exchange areas, so letting a bigger boiler loaf along may well use less fuel than running a smaller boiler flat out.

The Dead Men, who installed coal boilers before most of us were born, tended to apply a lot of overkill when if came to specifying boiler capacity. To be fair, most of those systems were steam, which has its own capacity issues, but I'll vote with them. Go big.

Mike

I agree mike .. I would rather have to much boiler rather than not enough so it labours constantly we the weather turns real cold.
Brentski
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: Brentski On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:21 pm

What about the Keystoker Ka-6 ... Does anybody have any input here ... I know they are cheaper in price and maybe a little more user friendly!???
Brentski
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: lsayre On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:23 pm

That is a lot of old house to be heating with an S130. The S260 would likely be a better choice, and it doesn't cost all that much more than the S130 as I recall.

There is no more user friendly boiler in my opinion than the AA's and AHS's. The more traditional stoker boilers require adjustments every time the weather changes. Not so for the AA or AHS boilers.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: Pacowy On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:41 pm

lsayre wrote:The more traditional stoker boilers require adjustments every time the weather changes. Not so for the AA or AHS boilers.


Not sure what you're referring to. I've run a few EFM's and have rarely needed to make adjustments.

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

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: lsayre On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:43 pm

Doesn't the coal feed need to be altered to match the anticipated weather conditions? Perhaps I'm mistaken. It wouldn't be the first time.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:45 pm

Brentski wrote:What about the Keystoker Ka-6 ... Does anybody have any input here ... I know they are cheaper in price and maybe a little more user friendly!???


Keystoker makes a fine unit, but you still haven't done your homework to see what size boiler you need. How much coal and fuel did you burn last winter?

lsayre wrote:The more traditional stoker boilers require adjustments every time the weather changes. Not so for the AA or AHS boilers.


Trying to be polite here, but that is a pretty extreme statement that is.....completely wrong.

The AA/AHS crowd tends to point out that they don't have to (can't) change the feed rate or air settings. That is certainly true, and overheating and unburned coal in the ashes during light loads is part of the compromise. Those that do decide to run through the summer often change their ashing temperature & aquastat settings to increase efficiency, so I don't see what the big deal if someone with an inclined bed or underfed stoker decides to "tune" the unit to the load twice per year. My stoker has been running without adjustment since October, and my dad hasn't adjusted his since he lit the first fire in November of 2010.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: lsayre On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:01 pm

I will admit that if there are a string of several consecutive warm days I do get partially burned to unburned coal in my ash pan. I doubt that it would be economical to run my AHS Coal Gun year round. Seems to need to burn at least 25 lbs. per day. With experience and some fine tweeking Yanche has been able to get his down to about 17 lbs. per day.

That said, if it only takes about 3 or perhaps 4 lbs. of coal per day to provide for DHW, then burning 17 to 25 lbs. of coal per day is not going to be very economical.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: whistlenut On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:23 pm

Well.................Ben is alive and well at AHS! I know they are very busy, and it is good to hear from them. Ben also knows that I have two of the earliest S130's ever made......and an older 260 (one actually was configured with the gearbox and auger just like an AA) EACH is running just fine today, and providing all the hot water for each household they now reside in. They are burning BUCK, so for all you waffle-heads: it works just fine....no puff backs, no clinkers, no issues. I also burn it in AHS and AA 260's, along with EFM's, Van Wert, Yellow-flames and a GJ too! CoalJacks, LL's, Keystokers....(all Keystoker boilers and radiant units, too). It is a PITA to stock rice, buck, pea, nut and stove coal, so how about converting folks to a single fuel (except nut). Works great for me. Less Bullship, less aggravation, cost effective, too. Try it, you might like it. If you live close to NEPA, then you are lucky, if not, we burn what we get...it's 500 miles to the source, so we know how to say "Please, and Thank You" and feel lucky to be a part of the Coal Society, so remember your manners when dealing with our fine friends in PA. Tip the truck drivers, flowers for their wives, local things from your area( Pure Maple Syrup from my area.....yes we have seafood also...short coast, but access to a BIG ocean).

I never mention Harmon products, because the company support is off in the Toolie-weeds, looking for a reason to survive. HOWEVER, I do know of a dealer in southern, NH named Romeo Croteau, and most folks near the mass border know him and his wife very well. They are the consummate professions who started with Dean, and are the guys I absolutely trust and respect in my area with Harmon Products. Pelham, NH is their location.....call them if you need anything.

Oh, here is another news flash for you, Keystoker currently sells more new boilers that anyone else. You mentioned the K-6...ask Rob about a few folks in his area that went that route AND are VERY happy with their choice. Personally, I'd be looking for a K8 to be safe. If you are some sort of bean-counter guy, for once in your life, don't go cheap on the sizing. If you have not looked at the new LL 220K boiler, I think you might check that out. I assume you have looked at the EFM line of excellent equipment, and while you are looking at underfed units, certainly do not overlook Van Wert, Gentleman Janitor or YellowFlame inclined stokers. Yah, they may not be as 'tunable' as the new products, but I can assure you that you will not come up short on btu's. Some of us LOVE the KISS principal..... 'keep it simple stupid!'

There is/are used and rebuilt equipment available on the forum right now, so pick you favorite, AND get to know the guys and gals behind the scenes before you get suckered by some slick dude in a polo shirt who probably burns oil or propane at his own place. Look at the hands of a true coal person...they are not afraid to step forward and be a friend, however they won't push you into something you may regret. Try to ask the right questions, and do yourself a favor.....do a heat loss, know about your chimney or venting system, and don't believe everything you read or see on TV,

I've had Axeman Products since 1977, AND still have the same ones, so I can recommend them without any hesitation. Here is another news flash for you, AA prices are the same or less than AHS for a comparably equipped boiler with an auger system. Talking Apples and Giraffes won't impress anyone. AHS feeds through a gravity hopper and no auger. It is high to dump 5 gallon buckets into and I'm 6'2". An auger for the AHS isn't a low budget thing. No mention of price, but lets just say, Pete Axeman and the team DID NOT JUST FALL OFF THE TURNIP TRUCK! Ask around, call Ben, Steve, Arnie, Tom at Keystoker, Jay.....Then Matt or Dave at LL......( call LL and Matt or Dave will answer.....call AA and some days Pete will answer............try that elsewhere...good luck! Heck you can even call Harmon, unfortunately, Dean won't be there to help you. Good luck, and good huntin'! If you think you have it all figured out already, then this is my last post to you and others...we all learn more every day.....keep both eyes open, and LISTEN before you sound off.

Once again.....it is helpful to give some general area where you reside...hint, hint, hint!!!!!!!!
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Can't decide ... Ahs coal gun or Harmon vf3000 please help!

PostBy: Brentski On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:33 pm

Rob R. wrote:
Brentski wrote:What about the Keystoker Ka-6 ... Does anybody have any input here ... I know they are cheaper in price and maybe a little more user friendly!???


Keystoker makes a fine unit, but you still haven't done your homework to see what size boiler you need. How much coal and fuel did you burn last winter?

lsayre wrote:The more traditional stoker boilers require adjustments every time the weather changes. Not so for the AA or AHS boilers.


Trying to be polite here, but that is a pretty extreme statement that is.....completely wrong.

The AA/AHS crowd tends to point out that they don't have to (can't) change the feed rate or air settings. That is certainly true, and overheating and unburned coal in the ashes during light loads is part of the compromise. Those that do decide to run through the summer often change their ashing temperature & aquastat settings to increase efficiency, so I don't see what the big deal if someone with an inclined bed or underfed stoker decides to "tune" the unit to the load twice per year. My stoker has been running without adjustment since October, and my dad hasn't adjusted his since he lit the first fire in November of 2010.

When I burned oil 6 years ago I would go through about 800 gal a year.. (My old oil boiler was rated for 131000 btus/hr.Then I changed to coal and burn about 5 to 7 tons depending on the year, this being a good year maybe the best. I live just outside of Syracuse, N.Y. My house is not located on a hill exposed to the wind but rather set low in valley. It is a rather old house but the wind doesn't blow through it by any means. It just has that old house cold feeling that I'm looking get rid of along with getting some even heat going.
Brentski
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6