New to Coal

New to Coal

PostBy: JamesDeanMartin On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:37 pm

Hi I've just joined this forum because I'm converting to coal this year. I've been burning wood for many years and decided this year to try coal. I have several questions. My main question is how much coal do I need?
My house is about 2500 sq feet, build in 1986. I use about 3 to4 cords of wood per year. However when I burn wood I start and stop my burner depending on the outside temp because I don’t want it to blow off if the boiler temp gets too high.
I live in central Ma, getting coal cheap enough in Ma is a nightmare. I've resorted to Craigslist and peoples dark basements to haul it out for almost free. So far I’ve gotten about 3 tons this way
JamesDeanMartin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Royall
Stove/Furnace Model: Indoor Wood Boiler 6150NS

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: freetown fred On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:16 pm

Welcome to the FORUM. What stove do you plan to use for the coal?
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:19 pm

Welcome to the forum. Do you have a dump zone setup on your boiler? If not, I suggest you add that to your list before you start burning coal. Coal likes a deep bed to burn properly, and when you get a healthy coal fire burning...it will take much longer than wood to go out if there is no load on the boiler.

Most of the time if you allow 1 ton of coal for every cord of wood you burned, you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of coal you left in the spring...but in your case, if you go from start/stop wood burning to full time coal burning you might burn 4 tons or more. Get all you can get from the basement mines!

Your Royall boiler looks like a well-built unit, does the firebox have vertical or slanted firebrick?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: JamesDeanMartin On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:44 pm

freetown fred wrote:Welcome to the FORUM. What stove do you plan to use for the coal?

I have a Royall Stove/Furnace Model: Indoor Wood Boiler 6150NS
and 3 tons of basment nut coal , looks like good stuff front the forties
JamesDeanMartin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Royall
Stove/Furnace Model: Indoor Wood Boiler 6150NS

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: JamesDeanMartin On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:57 pm

Rob R. wrote:Welcome to the forum. Do you have a dump zone setup on your boiler? If not, I suggest you add that to your list before you start burning coal. Coal likes a deep bed to burn properly, and when you get a healthy coal fire burning...it will take much longer than wood to go out if there is no load on the boiler.

Most of the time if you allow 1 ton of coal for every cord of wood you burned, you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of coal you left in the spring...but in your case, if you go from start/stop wood burning to full time coal burning you might burn 4 tons or more. Get all you can get from the basement mines!

Your Royall boiler looks like a well-built unit, does the firebox have vertical or slanted firebrick?

:lol: Basement Mines , I like that!! Firebox brick are vertical with slight angle. According to my manual it takes coal as well . My dump zone is the largest zone which is my first floor. I've never had it blow off , I have a acqusat that kicks on the circulator when the temp get to 200 degree's.
I don't like the idea of starting and stopping , I was hoping coal would be more controllable that I could start burning eailer in the season. I was hoping for Nov. vs Dec.
JamesDeanMartin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Royall
Stove/Furnace Model: Indoor Wood Boiler 6150NS

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:01 pm

JamesDeanMartin wrote:I was hoping coal would be more controllable that I could start burning eailer in the season. I was hoping for Nov. vs Dec.


Coal is more controllable, but you need to make sure the ash door gaskets are tight-fitting...any air leaks will make the boiler idle hotter than necessary. I would also add a barometric draft control like you see on oil units...keeping the draft consistent will also help keep the temperature stable.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: JamesDeanMartin On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:20 pm

Coal is more controllable, but you need to make sure the ash door gaskets are tight-fitting...any air leaks will make the boiler idle hotter than necessary. I would also add a barometric draft control like you see on oil units...keeping the draft consistent will also help keep the temperature

I did add barometric damper which I never had before . One other thing I should mention is that I have 8 inch stove pipe. That's what the manufacturer recommends . On cold days in the "teens and twenties" wood barely keeps up with the heat demands. This unit is looped through my oil burner.
Last edited by JamesDeanMartin on Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JamesDeanMartin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Royall
Stove/Furnace Model: Indoor Wood Boiler 6150NS

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: nortcan On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:08 pm

Welcome to the forum JamesDeanMartin. You will appreciate the long burning time from ant. No comparaison with wood.
Good luck :!:
nortcan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: SteveZee On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:24 pm

As long as it has good aggressive shaker grates and no way for the air from below to bypass around the coal bed/grates it will probably burn coal just fine. If you get the chance, post a pix of the inside of your firebox and the grates. This will help us help you for considering your boiler and coal.
SteveZee
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Modern Oak 116 & Glenwood 208 C Range

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: Vinmaker On: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:31 pm

Welcome to the forum James.

I too live in central MA and have not yet started looking for coal this year. You have me thinking that prices have gone up.

If your Cellar mines ever run dry. There are coal dealers in Worcester, Oxford and Monson to name a few. I bought last year from Squire Lumber in Monson I believe. You can also order online. The price now is $299 a ton. Must buy a full pallet at $358.

I second the request for pictures. It will help us help you more.

Vin.
Vinmaker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: HARMAN
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: JamesDeanMartin On: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:24 pm

SteveZee wrote:As long as it has good aggressive shaker grates and no way for the air from below to bypass around the coal bed/grates it will probably burn coal just fine. If you get the chance, post a pix of the inside of your firebox and the grates. This will help us help you for considering your boiler and coal.

I'll work on getting some pics of my burner. I have real good shaker system, everything is pointing to my Royall being a good coal burner
JamesDeanMartin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Royall
Stove/Furnace Model: Indoor Wood Boiler 6150NS

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: JamesDeanMartin On: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:26 pm

Vinmaker wrote:Welcome to the forum James.

I too live in central MA and have not yet started looking for coal this year. You have me thinking that prices have gone up.

If your Cellar mines ever run dry. There are coal dealers in Worcester, Oxford and Monson to name a few. I bought last year from Squire Lumber in Monson I believe. You can also order online. The price now is $299 a ton. Must buy a full pallet at $358.

I second the request for pictures. It will help us help you more.

Vin.

Hi Vin
I'm sure the mines will dry up,infact I bet next year I'll have to buy it from a dealer. How many tons do you burn a year? What size coal?
One other thing, that's really not me in the photo to the right, I'm not a H-mo, I just thought it would funny to put the "Old Urban Cowboy" there.
JamesDeanMartin
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Royall
Stove/Furnace Model: Indoor Wood Boiler 6150NS

Re: New to Coal

PostBy: Vinmaker On: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:33 pm

JamesDeanMartin wrote:
Vinmaker wrote:Welcome to the forum James.

I too live in central MA and have not yet started looking for coal this year. You have me thinking that prices have gone up.

If your Cellar mines ever run dry. There are coal dealers in Worcester, Oxford and Monson to name a few. I bought last year from Squire Lumber in Monson I believe. You can also order online. The price now is $299 a ton. Must buy a full pallet at $358.

I second the request for pictures. It will help us help you more.

Vin.

Hi Vin
I'm sure the mines will dry up,infact I bet next year I'll have to buy it from a dealer. How many tons do you burn a year? What size coal?
One other thing, that's really not me in the photo to the right, I'm not a H-mo, I just thought it would funny to put the "Old Urban Cowboy" there.



I burned about 2 ton last year. This was fairly normal in my smaller Russo stove. But last year I got a larger Harman SF-250 as an addition I put on increased my heating needs. Last winter was actually very warm so I have yet to really determine how much I will need.

My plan each year is to get 2 tons (or 2 pallets) delivered and then buy individual bags if needed. I store it in the cellar and I like the extra space when it is gone. ( Shhhh. I do keep a secret stash for the most dire of circumstances. hehehe).
Vinmaker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: HARMAN
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

Visit Hitzer Stoves