Takin`the plunge

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: qbwebb On: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:21 pm

Kevin,

Ever thought about plumbing in an indirect DHW heater and setting it to low priority? If you got a large enough one (maybe 80 gal) you could wire it to only call for DHW charging when the VF3000 is hot enough and there isn't a heat call present. Some companies make them with electric elements so you can go electric for the summer. This might give you more BTU's when you need them out of the VF3000. I have the same problem with the unit being undersized and am considering installing a hot water storage tank that can be charged during the no heat call times.
qbwebb
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: lsayre On: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:31 pm

I agree with Whistlenut that you may discover that you need more boiler than the Kaa-2, and with Rob that it will not be economical to run it in the warmer months just to provide DHW.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:07 pm

Sorry I mixed up the boiler name...too many boiler threads going on at once.

Anyhow, how much fuel oil & wood do you normally burn per winter.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: KLook On: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:09 pm

evin,

Ever thought about plumbing in an indirect DHW heater and setting it to low priority? If you got a large enough one (maybe 80 gal) you could wire it to only call for DHW charging when the VF3000 is hot enough and there isn't a heat call present. Some companies make them with electric elements so you can go electric for the summer. This might give you more BTU's when you need them out of the VF3000. I have the same problem with the unit being undersized and am considering installing a hot water storage tank that can be charged during the no heat call times.

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qbwebb
Member

Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:37 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000

I have not considered changing my DHW. I have considered adding an insulated tank to "double" the amount of heated water in the supply loop. Starting over again, I would have the Keystoker I could not get 2 years ago, and I would not be worrying about this problem. Fortunately I can fix things and this forum is full of smarts, but I would rather be writing about how trouble free and boring my boiler is. :lol:
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman (Back In Maine)
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: whistlenut On: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:43 pm

A new boiler...new to you, is like a new girlfriend......lots to learn from and about each other, and a period of time to get comfortable enough to tell her you don't make enough hot water.....or enough heat! Boilers I mean, not the girlfriend.
For those of you who don't have anyone new in your life (like the happily married set) this is a family adventure you both can share. My wife came home from a school meeting where a local, well respected, and well read woman suggested that they remove the oil burners from 2-1 million btu Clever-Brooks boilers( 2 years old, mind you) and replace/retrofit them to burn PROPANE. Now you have to understand my wife is from Maine, and they take no prisoners up there, and common sense is above all else, even the damned Lobsters. She was furious that anyone with even a small brain could not know propane is the most expensive fuel to use for anything!!! So, the point is to be educated about all fuels, and pick the best unit for your needs, but make it big enough to last for 30 years.
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: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: mope#2 On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:17 am

Rob, Last year we burned about a cord of firewood,300 gallons of oil, and also use propane for hotwater, living room fireplace and heat in the garage.Not sure the total on that but would estimate some where around $600 worth. The hot air furnace for the firewood also jacks up our electric power bill by about $50 a month, it has 2 large blower fans....
mope#2
 
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: kaa-2

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:40 am

mope#2 wrote:Rob, Last year we burned about a cord of firewood,300 gallons of oil, and also use propane for hotwater, living room fireplace and heat in the garage.Not sure the total on that but would estimate some where around $600 worth. The hot air furnace for the firewood also jacks up our electric power bill by about $50 a month, it has 2 large blower fans....


I don't know how much propane you use, but based on the fuel & wood consumption you provided...it sounds like the heating load for your house is very low. I used to burn that much wood & fuel by mid December!

If your "Pensotti" boiler isn't taxed on cold days, I think the KAA2 is a fine choice. It is easy enough to install the coal boiler so that the oil unit can be brought online to "assist" on a freakishly cold day...but that would be a rare event. A friend of mine is finishing up his first winter with a KAA-2 in a small house that used to burn 450-500 gallons of fuel oil per year. He is very happy with it, but he did discover that he had to keep the boiler at a high temperature to get enough hot water from the tankless coil. Since you already have a Rannai water heater, I would do like the solar guys do...send preheated water (from the KAA2 tankless coil) to the Rannai. The Rannai will run as needed to keep the water temperature up, so if the KAA-2 lags for a bit you shouldn't notice.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: oliver power On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:51 am

qbwebb wrote:Kevin,

Ever thought about plumbing in an indirect DHW heater and setting it to low priority? If you got a large enough one (maybe 80 gal) you could wire it to only call for DHW charging when the VF3000 is hot enough and there isn't a heat call present. Some companies make them with electric elements so you can go electric for the summer. This might give you more BTU's when you need them out of the VF3000. I have the same problem with the unit being undersized and am considering installing a hot water storage tank that can be charged during the no heat call times.

I have no doubt that the Kaa-2 will keep your house warm, providing it is properly insulated. Your house is smaller than mine, and I have no problems what so ever heating my place. I also know that if I were to try heating the hot water useing the coil that came with the boiler, it'd drag the boiler down real quick. Like others have said, "it's too small". The Kaa-2 doesn't have enough hot water reservor to heat cold water passing through. My system is plumbed as qbwebb suggested (for an indirect hot water tank). The indirect hot water tank would work. My electric hot water tank works just fine, and doesn't cost much to run.
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: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: mope#2 On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:35 am

The dealer I`ve been talking to has the kaa-2 in stock so I am going to check it out Monday,its about an hour and a half from home.Getting away from the oil and propane for heat is really my biggest goal,dmh is secondary as the tankless hotwater is very efficient and the cost is reasonable for the amount of hotwater we use.
mope#2
 
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: kaa-2

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:39 am

By removing DHW from the equation you should be fine with the KAA-2 boiler. If you choose to go with DHW from the boiler, go the indirect tank rout as has already been discussed here.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: tsb On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:49 am

I just read your original post. I don't know where " down east " is but
with a 1500 sq ft rancher, the KAA-2 Keystoker will more than fill the bill.
You can play with the DHW set up later. You have to remember that a coal
boiler is making heat 24 / 7. Most of the problem is trying to figure out
how to keep the fire low enough so as not to activate the dump zone.

This winter was unusual, but I heated about 4000 sq ft with my homemade
boiler. It's a single 70,000 flat bed burner. I used about 6 tons of rice and
had DHW out the bazzoo. Like anything else, the project is more fun than
the results.

Sounded easy at first

Good luck with your project.
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: mope#2 On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:21 am

I spent a couple of years working at housing complex and one of our jobs was to replace boilers as well as clean them yearly.Cleaning wasn`t much fun,but I do enjoy the soldering and piping.Not too sure that I can pull the complete install off but hoping the members here can help along the way.Wiring controls is not my greatest strength,hopefully instructions are well written 0n whatever boiler I end up buying.
I did get a quote on the Harmon sf160 and the installation was about $3k .Jumps the cost up considerably so I think it will be worth a shot even if I have to hire someone to bail me out!!
mope#2
 
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: kaa-2

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:45 am

mope#2 wrote:I did get a quote on the Harmon sf160 and the installation was about $3k


You really do not want a hand-fired boiler...a stoker is the way to go.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: whistlenut On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:47 am

TSB: 'Downeast' means as far to the northeast in the continental United States as you can go...albeit it is a northeast direction from where you sit. Look at a map of Maine or the US and make a pinprick at the extreme upper right corner where New Brunswick, Canada meets the USA. For those who haven't ever visited that part of the US, you are in for a treat. Beautiful rocky shores, and although you can't see Ireland for there, it lets you know where you are looking. Cool ocean air in the summer....damned cool ocean air in the' winta'! Bob in Ft Kent sends down ice cubes on the hot days in July, and don't forget, you are at a border point with a foreign nation, so bring the passport if you want to come back stateside.

I would not worry about installing the unit to your existing boiler, it is a simple operation that can be all drawn up so that you have the materials on site before you start. Plenty of advice available on the forum, so welcome to the world of those who burn without creosote. :D

Goggle 'Calais, ME' look upward (North) on the map and you will see Limestone Air base that was closed many years back(Houlton, ME). Look upward more and you will see FT Kent! Now you have some degree of measure when Bob says it's -41 this AM, just where he lives. :idea:
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: Takin`the plunge

PostBy: mope#2 On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:55 am

I also am from Aroostook County originally,been downeast for 10 years.Island Falls was in southern Aroostook and we even called Fort Kent"up north"!!
mope#2
 
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: kaa-2

Visit Lehigh Anthracite