Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:32 am

I'm very much a fan of steam room and sauna and the idea of using coal for the heating/steam generation of these 2 rooms seems like a good idea. Anyone do something like this?

1. Sauna requires dry heat. I'm sure a small free-standing coal stove in a small room could easily create the dry heat needed for sauna like conditions. A hand fed stove would be the minimum although a stove with a stoker mechanism would be the most ideal so I can keep the room hot without much attendance. Can anyone foresee anything going wrong about the entire stove being located in a room with sauna like temps? (around 200 degrees Fahrenheit with minimal humidity). Also, the other thing that makes the sauna authentic are the hot rocks that can be splashed with water. I suppose I could place a metal tray on top of the stove filled with these rocks and accomplish the same effect this way. One more consideration, I am planning on running a central coal stoker for my home heating, but for some reason, instinct feels that the sauna would need its own dedicated heat source. I don't think I will be able to get sauna like conditions using hot water/air from the stoker, a stove fire located directly in the room is what I think will provide those conditions.

2. Steam room needs a steam generator. So far, all of the do-it-yourself kits I've found incorporate a dedicated steam generator for the room only. Is their any way I could tie this into an existing coal central heat setup?
NJJoe
 

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: beemerboy On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:58 am

Wouldn't it require the room heavily insulated and relatively sealed to keep a sauna up to temperature?

How would you provide for proper ventilation for your safety and operation of the stove if it was in the same room?
beemerboy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: SAEY
Stove/Furnace Model: Hannover 1

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:04 am

beemerboy wrote:Wouldn't it require the room heavily insulated and relatively sealed to keep a sauna up to temperature?

How would you provide for proper ventilation for your safety and operation of the stove if it was in the same room?



I'm sure the insulation or construction of the room could be done identically as other saunas. The difference between my proposed steam room and others in the choice of fuel, being coal.

The idea of lighting an actual fire in a sauna is not new, its how nearly all of them were heated before electric heaters came out. The room is not airtight, and if I had to, the stove could be direct-vented. See this pic: My question is mainly about the feasibility of a conventional free-standing stove in a sauna environment and whether the temps and dryness would be a factor. Also, if a stoker mechanism could be used and if the electronics would survive.
Last edited by Richard S. on Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: <removed dead link>
NJJoe
 

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Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:06 am

The Romans and Greeks had heated pools (large public bath houses), and saunas a few thousand years ago. How did they heat them?
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: ValterBorges On: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:01 am

Sounds like any heater source will do.
http://www.ehow.com/how_2050444_build-home-sauna.html

Im guessing you would want a stoker boiler and either radiant or hot air.

Wondering if radiant zone circulating thru floor would work as well as electric.
ValterBorges
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: S260

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:24 am

When I was a kid, the neighbor up the street was Finnish and had a sauna. Just a cement block house with a massive built in stove covered with rocks. They poured water on the heated rocks and got all the steam they wanted. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:04 am

coaledsweat wrote:When I was a kid, the neighbor up the street was Finnish and had a sauna. Just a cement block house with a massive built in stove covered with rocks. They poured water on the heated rocks and got all the steam they wanted. :)



This sounds like the direction I was considering. Maybe some custom masonry work to semi-enclose a stove seems like the best thing. I just don't think a hot water radiator, forced air or even radiant floor heating can mimic the sauna experience the way a stove in the room can.

Next thing I need to work out is a steam room. Can a stoker boiler providing central heat for a house have a zone off of it that can be used to generate steam for the steam room?
NJJoe
 

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: rockwood On: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:20 am

If you use a stove in the sauna you would probably have to design it so the combustion air is supplied from outside otherwise you would have to allow air leakage into the sauna to supply combustion air to the stove.
Maybe it wouldn't make that much of a difference but it's something to consider.
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:27 am

rockwood wrote:If you use a stove in the sauna you would probably have to design it so the combustion air is supplied from outside otherwise you would have to allow air leakage into the sauna to supply combustion air to the stove.
Maybe it wouldn't make that much of a difference but it's something to consider.


I think a direct-vented stove would be a good idea, pulling combustion air from the outside and venting outside a chimney. Elimination of draft and keeping the heat inside the room. Now I just need to check with manufacturers to see if they find any faults with the proposed setup.
NJJoe
 

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: Dennis On: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:41 am

what about all the extra moisture and sulfuric acid. Won't that eat the stove and pipes out much quicker or do damage to equipt.
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:00 pm

Dennis wrote:what about all the extra moisture and sulfuric acid. Won't that eat the stove and pipes out much quicker or do damage to equipt.


Well the environment in the room will be very hot and dry, with the exception of when water is splashed on the rocks to increase the humidity for the benefit of the user, but even that humidity wont be substantial and will leave the room eventually. Otherwise, most of the time the room will be very dry. I intend to keep the fire going for days at a time, maybe even all winter since coal is relatively cheap and I like the idea of having my own sauna readily available.

As I understand coal and its operation, sulfuric acid comes from the natural sulfur in the coal combining with humidity in the air and creating acid which then attacks the pipes and metalwork of the stove. Firing the stove and keeping the room hot, I hope will prevent this problem.
NJJoe
 

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: stoker_RI On: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:02 pm

lsayre wrote:The Romans and Greeks had heated pools (large public bath houses), and saunas a few thousand years ago. How did they heat them?


Interestingly, they had huge sub-floors with many fires going tended by slaves...many exhaust stacks were used in a way that they transfered the heat into the water as they made their vericle rise...massive amounts of wood were constantly being hauled in..

Those Romans..they had it nice!..well..not the slaves.! :P
stoker_RI
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: WL 110 Boiler

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:58 pm

NJJoe wrote:Can a stoker boiler providing central heat for a house have a zone off of it that can be used to generate steam for the steam room?
A hot water boiler no, a steam boiler possibly.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:18 am

I think zoning a steam system would face major challenges, as would converting the boiler steam to sauna steam.

I kind of like the idea of a stoker stove in the sauna, drawing combustion air from outside the sauna. I don't think direct venting is necessary. Many of the stoves wash air over the top of the combustion chamber - I think you'd need something with a removable top (like many of the Alaskas) or plan to hang the rock container against the side of the body of the stove so the rocks would get hot enough to make steam. With a little practice you'd know how long it needs to run to get up to temp, and the rest of the time it could idle quietly.

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

Re: Steam room & Sauna question. Coal usage possible?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:39 am

Pacowy wrote:I think zoning a steam system would face major challenges, as would converting the boiler steam to sauna steam.

I kind of like the idea of a stoker stove in the sauna, drawing combustion air from outside the sauna. I don't think direct venting is necessary. Many of the stoves wash air over the top of the combustion chamber - I think you'd need something with a removable top (like many of the Alaskas) or plan to hang the rock container against the side of the body of the stove so the rocks would get hot enough to make steam. With a little practice you'd know how long it needs to run to get up to temp, and the rest of the time it could idle quietly.

Mike


I'm seriously doubting my abilities to properly maintain and tune a steam system. I'd probably feel more comfortable with a forced hot water central system providing heat for my entire house. I cant really see converting the entire house heating system over to steam just for the purpose of being able to run a steam room. Plus, your point of converting boiler steam to steam for a steam room also presents challenges. I'm thinking that I may just bite the bullet and get a purpose installed steam generator for the steam room. I just wanted to be able to utilize coal instead of electric power for reasons of economy.

Regarding the sauna: Interesting, you say the Alaskas have a removable top? I'm on Alaska's site right now and checking out the models, but none of the pics show them with the tops off. Did you have a stove model you were thinking about? Perhaps something could be fashioned that allows the combustion flames/temps to directly touch the rocks, a tray or rock cradle of some sorts that would fit over the stove on top. Is this what you were referring to?
NJJoe
 

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