I don't have a DF520 stoker. I have an efm WCB-24 wood-coal-boiler. I grew up with coal and have heated with wood since then. We had an efm conversion stoker. As a kid, I didn't like taking out the ashes. As an adult, what's NOT to like about it? It's economical, low maintenance, and will probably be there when you retire.
Both boilers are built to last. The wood boiler is no longer produced. They use uncomplicated controls
and parts and many homeowners maintain their own equipment.
By far, the most replaced items are the burner worm and the burner plates. Their lifespan has alot to do with how well you control the air/coal burning mixture and the quality of your coal. One of our dealers is still servicing one of our first 520s in Lansford, which has been in since 1951. He claims that almost everything is still original equipment.
I would suggest that you look at our website: efmheating.com and look on the dealer list. Give a handful of dealers a call and ask them for an honest opinion about our stokers. Off the top of my head, some of our coal dealers are: Padfield, J and O, Advanced Energy, RD Fuel, Kondertavage, Joe Anczarski (Mark's in Shenendoah), Carpinet. The best bet is to call us for a more complete list of coal dealers.
You'll also have to call Rich and find out about pricing, in conjunction with our sales policy.