Newbie Saying Hi

Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: 11B2P On: Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:39 pm

Just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. Long time lurker to this site in general, fantastic folks here. Moving to south central NH (east Cheshire Co.) next month. Born and raised in MA, but this state has gotten much too "blue" for my liking. Have always been yearning for life in the free state to the north, finally made it happen. I realize I'm out of season a bit, but I'll probably have some questions regarding a good wood/coal boiler dealer/installer, so looking forward to learning from you all.
11B2P
 

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: 009to090 On: Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:27 pm

Hi Newbie! Welcome, from North Carolina! What coal stove/boiler are you planning on using, or are you still searching? This is the perfect time of year to do your research, so you get it installed before the cold weather arrives.
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:27 pm

Welcome to the FORUM my friend. Yep, a lot of info here for the asking. :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix


Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:33 pm

Yes what Feetown Fred said. Intelligent answers are hear not like forums where people have no clue seem to have all the answers or is it opinions :?: :x We have real experience, and remember experience come from bad judgement.
2001Sierra
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90 Chimney vent
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Buderus Oil Boiler 3115-34
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 90 Chimney Vent

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: windago On: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:46 pm

2001Sierra wrote:Yes what Feetown Fred said. Intelligent answers are hear not like forums where people have no clue seem to have all the answers or is it opinions :?: :x We have real experience, and remember experience come from bad judgement.



Wisdom...... comes from making mistakes. doing it again is a choice. :stretcher:

:clap: Welcome to the forum. Remember the dumb question is the one you don't ask.
windago
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman/EFM/losch
Stove/Furnace Model: mark III/?350 round nose/ 475

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: 11B2P On: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:13 pm

experience comes from bad judgement.
LOL, yes, I'm hoping to benefit a little from the learning curves of others here. Thanks very much for the warm welcome! I should probably give some quick background on my task at hand since some have asked. I'm moving into a well insulated 3000 sf ranch. It has a decent oil boiler (Utica, 12 years old) that runs a half dozen FHW baseboard zones, plus a DHW loop to a superstore (about 100 gal I think). There is a concrete masonry block chimney with three flues right next to it, all have cleanouts. The flue nearest the boiler services that unit, the other two are not being used. Seems like there is plenty of space here in the basement for a second boiler unit to serve as the primary, with the existing oil boiler serving as inline backup during the colder months and DHW only in summer.

I have access to plenty of wood on the property, several cords already seasoned ready to go and a sustainable supply growing. I also know coal sems to be the more higly recommended option ;) and is doable here in New England. I'd like the flexibility to use both. I've been reasearching (mostly this site), and it seems like either a Harman SF260 or EFM WCB-24 might fit the bill. I'm looking for as solid, reliable "Chevy" type of solution, no need for an expensive/finicky "Cadillac" in order to gain a bit more efficiency.

I need to confirm the chimney flue size to make sure I can get a good liner in there. From what I hear so far, 6" may be too small, so gotta check that out. I'm a jack of many trades, but plumbing/HVAC is not one of them. In addition to boiler comments, I'd appreciate any recommendations for a good dealer/installer. As I mentioned before, I'm not quite moved in yet but starting my homework now while the time seems right.

Wow, just re-read this.. didn't mean to gush on my second post, thanks for bearing with me :oops:
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3 concrete masonry block flues, existing oil boiler behind
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Existing oil boiler
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Last edited by 11B2P on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
11B2P
 

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: whistlenut On: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:23 pm

Welcome from within the state.....I look forward to helping in any way we can here on the forum, and in person. I see you are down in the corner....nice area. I you need equipment, you are in a good spot to get free advice on what to look for AND what NOT to look for. Questions already: Do you burn now? Do you have a hand fed stove or boiler? What kind of shape is your chimney in?(if you have one) Height and flue size if you can provide that info......how big a house to heat? How many people to provide hot water for? Smoke and CO2 detectors in place ....and tested.

That may seem too personal, but if you share that info, hundreds of members will be able to think about your situation before you NEED those answers to your questions. Do you have a need for coal? If so, bagged or bulk? Size needed? There are trucks going right up I-91 every day with bulk and bagged, so you only need to get on the list.

Also, I might add that your timing is EXCELLENT. This is the time to lock in the coal supply if you can, and a perfect time to research or order a furnace, boiler or radiant unit. You will be way ahead of the 'horse' by building the barn before your fingers are frozen solid! 52 degrees out tonight...suppose to go to 83 on Tuesday and 93 on Wed......and yes I burn 24/7-365'.
Don't be a stranger...... :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: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: whistlenut On: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:27 pm

Just saw that you had a new post as I submitted my comments. Soooooo, it looks like the flue situation is a no-brainer.......hot water baseboard.....and you want a hand fed boiler to add on. I'll PM you tomorrow, and we need to talk. You HAVE to seee a stoker in operation before you say:' No way, Jose'. I'm fading....ZZZzZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........
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: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: 11B2P On: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:34 pm

Whistlenut, yes our posts must've crossed. Thanks very much for the warm welcome. Never fired coal before, but I'm all for jumping into this with both feet (but I too am fading this eve, I typically start my day at 0500). I'm looking forward to discussing further with you and all of the other great folks here!
11B2P
 

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:32 am

11B2P wrote:...... I'm looking for as solid, reliable "Chevy" type of solution, ....

As long as your not talking about today's Chevy, you'll be alright. They are neither cheap, nor reliable anymore ....... you want the PRE-'72 Chevy. :D :P toothy
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:58 am

That oil boiler install is pretty serious, looks like a buffer tank or heat exchanger is hanging in front of that 2nd chimney flue? I'm curious about the load served by that tank... It looks like it should be fairly simple to tie in a second boiler, and it is great that you have extra chimney(s).

I hope you don't mind if I suggest option B - :idea: Skip the wood boiler, skip the chimney liner, skip the bugs, skip the smoke, skip the creosote...install a stoker boiler. If you want to burn some wood occasionally or have it for an electric-free option, install a wood stove on flue #3. Sell the firewood to your neighbors that will be wondering how come there is no smoke coming from your house.

I hate to sound so anti-firewood, but I have been down the wood boiler path, twice. For years we burned a tractor trailer load of wood per winter, sometimes more. It is very difficult to burn firewood in a steel box with so many cool (180F or less) surfaces for the wood gasses to condense on and not get serious creosote buildup. A woodstove is different because the firebox can run at much higher temperatures.

3000 sq. ft is a big camp, and I'd sure love to know what the fuel oil consumption has been in the past. Any big showers or soaker tubs? If it has a Superstor as large as you suggest, the install must have been accounting for something.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: 11B2P On: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:40 am

Smitty, you're right. Compared to any auto these days, the older Chevy's are just so much more user friendly and built like a tank! My best friend growing up had a '75 Chevelle he inherited in high school. That thing had sat out in a yard for years. He didn't even have his drivers license yet, but became a bondo expert and did a complete tear-down and rebuild of that 350 over the course of a winter (with lots of guidance of course). Got that thing running like a top, just in time for gas prices to jump from less than a buck all the way up to $1.50 (outrageous! :roll: ) I had the opportunity to help out here and there.. great experience for a couple of 16 year olds! 8-)
11B2P
 

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: 11B2P On: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:42 am

Rob, thanks for the response. You are correct. There's a buffer tank hanging in the front there, but that's about all I know at the moment. I was guessing it's serving the superstore DHW? I'm not in the house yet, but will check next time I'm there.

It's definately a larger sized house, but very well insulated. The previous owner is a contractor and built it himself with the intent to live there a long time (lots of attention to detail). It has somewhere around R30+ (10-12" blown) in attic, styro insulation in foundation walls and under the basement slab, triple pane windows, etc. I realize that having as much insulataion as possible from the get-go far outweighs having the most efficient boiler possible. It may be that the oil boiler is actually a bit oversized. My understanding is that they went through roughly 800 gal of no. 2 last year (mild), but then again DWH is a loop off the boiler so it's fired year-round. I might have been off on the superstore size, it may be an 80 (not 100) gal tank. I just know it looked huge to me coming from a 40 ;) :oops:

I've heard of the creosote issues with wood in such boilers, but was thinking that buring coal in the coldest months would help dry out what had built up. I liked the flexibility of fuel also. In addition to wood, I have access to a fair amount of stove/lump sized antracite AND bit (old industrial site cleaned up by a contractor friend years ago, has big piles but no use for it). I have no illusions that there won't be more boiler and flue cleaning required vs. a stoker or oil unit, but I'm ok with that part of it. Still, you and others are making a good argument for a stoker. I'm all ears.
11B2P
 

Re: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: whistlenut On: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:00 am

Your new home sounds like the builder got it right from day one. If you are young enough to work the wood, that is terrific, however as you age, you may not want to continue that path. Finding a boiler to do wood and coal is not that difficult, but doing so efficiently may be another question. You mentioned two very good boilers in your initial comments, and there a dozen more....plus OWB's.
A few of those offer wood, coal and everything else that will burn.....but if you want to go with an inside unit, the creosote issue will not go away. Not because this is a Coal Forum, but many of us used to burn a lot of wood prior to going to coal. Some still do. I was an 18 cord a year guy and stopped in 1972 when the first Arab Oil Embargo got our attention. Went to a hand-fed wood/coal Itaska 415. It worked great on wood or coal, but the creosote problem quickly drove me to coal only. No creosote ever again, uniform heat, only filled the boiler once a day.....bulletproof. That boiler is still in use, no leaks, same domestic hot water coil...and burns 4 tons a year in an older home, not well insulated with older windows. Heat and hot water for under $1000.00 a year vs 90K to retrofit all the updates.....hmmmm, no brainer.

I could show you a 300K OWB that heats 8000+ sq ft that is bulletproof. Uses a lot of wood, but that too has a cost of operation. A No-brainer stoker (all are good units) eliminates all those concerns.....just my $.02 after 42 years burning black rocks from NEPA. We'll chat later. With triple digit heat coming....you might wonder about those of us who burn 24/7-365. No over-temps, no out-fires.....just reliable comfort knowing all systems are normal. :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: Newbie Saying Hi

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:16 am

I have access to plenty of wood on the property, several cords already seasoned ready to go and a sustainable supply growing.


How many acres of forest do you have? 15-20 acres?

According to the "Managing Small Woodlands For Firewood" (Cornell Cooperative Extension Publication):

"On an average site in New York State, about 5 (full) cords of wood will be removed from each acre every 10 years, an average of 1/2-cord/acre/year."

"Poor sites produce only about 1/4 to 1/3/(full)cord/acre/year."

This document is also a good read: http://cce.cornell.edu/Environment/Docu ... 20Coal.pdf

11B2P wrote:I've heard of the creosote issues with wood in such boilers, but was thinking that buring coal in the coldest months would help dry out what had built up.


Burning coal will help dry out the creosote, but the most challenging months are usually in the spring and fall. When the heating load is low, the boiler will idle a lot...burning wood in an idling boiler = creosote, and burning coal in an idling hand-fed boiler often requires a dump zone to get rid of the excess heat.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy