Help with coal burner set up

Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: pa coal cracker On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:19 am

First time user, I'm from the hard coal region of Schulkyll Co. Pa. I need help in choosing a burner set up. I live in an old farm house, I heat my house with an oil burner,that has hot water baseboard heat, and would like to install a coal burner in the basement to help with high cost of heating oil. I live close to coal breakers, and 30 minutes away from the Harman Stove manufacturing plant. Some of my friends work at these places.
I know a little bit about heating with coal, but I want to make sure everything is right when I install the set up. I need help in choosing a burner. I would like to get one with a hot water coil to heat my domestic hot water, also is it possible to run the hot water baseboard return lines through the coalburner to help heat the house. I don't know maybe its not even necessary.
I am planning to do the installation this summer so I have plenty of time to get everything figured out. I just found this web site I hope you guys can help me out. Thanks in advance Craig.
pa coal cracker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: MarkII and Mag Stoker

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:25 pm

Your going to lose a lot of heat that radiates off the stove. I would suggest a coal boiler. It'll make yor hot water and heat your house using your baseboard heat. It's setup to do what you want. If you buy a stoker you'll have to modify it to make domestic and you'll be working hard to get the heat from the stove to other parts of your house. If you are set on a stoker then I would install it on the first floor. I have a 2000 sq. ft. colonial and it does my house fine and I never have to push the stove. It really is clean and looks nice in the house. Is there a reason you don't want it on the 1st floor?
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: pa coal cracker On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:52 pm

Thanks for the reply, it would be easer and much cheaper for me to install in the basement. I am just getting ideas at this point, as to what I can do.
pa coal cracker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: MarkII and Mag Stoker

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Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:00 pm

You'll be running it much harder to heat the top levels of your house if it's in your basement so I'm not sure what you mean by cheaper. If you have a dealer in your area you should go down there and check it out. Coal has gotten a bad rap. My stove is a 100x cleaner than the old wood stove I had, it gives a nice steady heat, burns for days without any fiddling (stokers), and the coal burns very clean. If you look at my vent you will not see any smoke. I'm sure there are pollutants but I would bet it runs cleaner than my oil fired boiler.
Last edited by traderfjp on Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: pa coal cracker On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:42 pm

The first floor of my house is not set up for anything, I would have to take out an entire wall. My basement is all one big room that's what I ment by easier and cheaper. The thought I had about running the return lines through a boiler, was just a thought to get input from guys like you who know. I don't have to do it that way.
I grew up in this house, it was heated by coal that was hand fired with a big vent type grate in the middle of the house that let the heat come up. I do remember it was cold upstairs. I mean I would be happy with heating my domestic water and getting the heat from the burner itself, I'm sure it would heat the first floor easily and maybe a little upstairs. Any thoughts, and thanks for your help. Craig
pa coal cracker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: MarkII and Mag Stoker

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:20 pm

If you're set on the basement then I would look into a coal boiler. It'll do everything you want and more. You already have a baseboard hot water system so it wouldn't make sense to buy a stoker and try to retrofit it to do what you want. A stoker goes for about 2500-3000. I have no idea what a boiler costs but it shouldn't be too bad. Just bite the bullet and do it right the first time. It will certainly pay for itself quickly with the price of oil/propane. You could even leave in your old system as a backup. if you only have one floor on your house and the boiler is too expensive then i guess you could put in power floor vents and pull the hot air into the first floor. A lot of the heat will travel up the starwell too.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: pa coal cracker On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:05 pm

Thanks, traderfjp I will go to a dealer to see what they have.
pa coal cracker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: MarkII and Mag Stoker

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: George On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:03 pm

Welcome Pa coal cracker:
A coal fired boiler in the basement is the way to go. You can pipe it in with your existing oil boiler which will heat your house and also hot water. Some manufactures are EFM, Keystoker, Harmon, and Alternative heating systems to name a few. Look them over and decide which one best suits your needs. They are all good units, and made in pa! :)
George
George
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Cast Consol 3 w/ coaltrol

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: pa coal cracker On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:26 pm

Thanks George, that's what I was thinking. Do you have any recomendations or should I just go to the dealer?
pa coal cracker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: MarkII and Mag Stoker

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:35 pm

If you want to buy new, and have it installed then a dealer or a boiler serviceman would be the guy to call. You may find a boiler serviceman that has a few used 'take-out' boilers available... Don't be afraid of a used boiler, these units are very well made, from all the above mentioned companies..
A lot of perfectly good boilers get removed and replaced by new gas and oil boilers when a new homeowner buys the house and doesn't look into the realities of coal heat... but just arbitrarily buys a new boiler. these 'take-out' boiler s are often resold and reinstalled in someone's house that no longer wants to pay the price for oil or gas.

A hand fired or stoker stove with a water 'coil' will not create enough heat to heat a baseboard system, they recover enough heat to heat a tank of domestic hot water overnight, or aid in raising the water temp in the inlet line to a waterheater, but they just don't have enough surface area to absorb enough heat to heat a house with hot water.

Hope this helps, read through the forum, there are several EFM owners, and and EFM company representative, there is also an AHS rep, and several AHS owners, and Several Axeman Anderson boiler owners, and also Kestoker boiler, and Harman boiler owners..

If you want to stay with a hand load instead of an stoker boiler, Harman makes a good hand load boiler too.

hope this helps... Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: Mike Van On: Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:13 pm

It sounds like you want to do what I did 10+ years ago - I bought a Harman SF 260 wood/coal add on boiler, it's plumbed to the oil boiler with 1 1/4" pipe. There's a circulator on this pipe, when the water in the Harman gets to 140F, an aquastat turns that circulator on, it pumps hot water between the two units. We have 3 zones on thermostats, plus free hot water from the coil in the oil boiler. About 2000.00 10 years ago. I burn mostly wood, but if I lived where you do, I'd use a lot more coal. Other than dumping the ash pan & cleaning the chimney, this setup has been maintenance free.
Mike Van
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman dual fuel add on boiler
Stove/Furnace Model: SF 260

Re: Help with coal burner set up

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:08 am

pa coal cracker wrote:First time user, I'm from the hard coal region of Schulkyll Co. Pa. I need help in choosing a burner set up. I live in an old farm house, I heat my house with an oil burner,that has hot water baseboard heat, and would like to install a coal burner in the basement to help with high cost of heating oil. I live close to coal breakers, and 30 minutes away from the Harman Stove manufacturing plant. Some of my friends work at these places.
I know a little bit about heating with coal, but I want to make sure everything is right when I install the set up. I need help in choosing a burner. I would like to get one with a hot water coil to heat my domestic hot water, also is it possible to run the hot water baseboard return lines through the coalburner to help heat the house. I don't know maybe its not even necessary.
I am planning to do the installation this summer so I have plenty of time to get everything figured out. I just found this web site I hope you guys can help me out. Thanks in advance Craig.


If you install a coal boiler in the basement, you can tell the oil man to buzz off. You will need a class A chimney for it however. With the present cost of oil, you should be able to recover your initial costs in a couple of years. I like the Harman boilers (I'm prejudiced since I have one) but there are alot of good qualitiy boilers out there. Take some time to read through the many posts here on this forum regarding boilers. There is a wealth of information here.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

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