My DF520 is up and running (new install)

My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:28 pm

FINALLY!!!!

After battling last winter with the 100 year old green oil boiler (literally burns all your greenbacks!),
we got the EFM DF 520 installed wednesday thru friday and it was completed and fired up afternoon yesterday on friday.

I spent a few hours...well quite a few hours playing with it last night.

The first start up of its life!

So a few questions now and probably more later.

Before I begin, I wanted to again say thanks to Rob (Rob R) for helping me out determining the 520 was up for the job
(lets just hope it is) haha
Also wanted to again say thanks to Eric (coalfire) to pointing out the 520 and getting me on the right path.

The installer Les Weaver H&A in Ephrata had his installer do the work and although everything seems fine or so,
I still have to talk with them to see if everything is ok.
They said they have done 3 installs in the last month alone, but I think they overlooked a few things....more about that later.

I didnt get any video or pics of the install since it was pretty tight and they actually did all steps very quickly.

The installer left it at 3 teeth and 3.5 or so air, then left after the circ pumps cycled a few times but did not get up to stat temp.
I guess since it was friday and about 3:30, they wanted to go home. hmmm ok.

So since they set it at 150 low 170 high dump at 195 to zone 2
Each time the water got to 150, both zones circ and shot down to 130 or so and took a bit on/off to get it up.
I put it up a bit 6 hours after the start to 7 teeth and 5 air to help it along its way.
It finally got both zones up to temp late in the evening.

I turned the stats down a bit because it was hot in our BR
The Tstats are in the dumbest places and although I got them set right last year, I think it would be best to move them to better the temps

I figured I would have to wait it out to see results, so I went to sleep almost 2 am.
I woke up to a bit on the cold side.
Out side temp was 28-30 but it must have been from turning the tstats down and their funky locations.
So I turned up a degree or two.

I have to dial this sucker in but right now it has been sitting idle at 180f and not calling for heat since it is 60 or so out today.

There was smoke pouring off the front and back of the new unit and it smelled up the whole house.
I cant see that anymore 24 hours later.
I am hoping that was fresh paint and oils and such.
I got the CO detector and last night was showing 24 in basement, so I will reset it today and check again.

Is there any type of tstat that is wireless that we can put in our bedroom? possibly we can run the wire, but thought it might be easier with wireless nowadays.

I know 4 and 4 settings work for for alot, but if it does, do you ever need to increase feed/air during cold snaps or heavy winds?

I will be taking video to show the plumbing since i am not sure I got the primary/secondary I was promised...however it might be that way.
Also, I was promised a tempering valve for the DHW and again, I actually do not think that was their, since install guy said it would be the temp of the boiler
BUT then again, he said the cleanout lever did matter if the stoker was running or not and also set it to 3/3 and said job was complete.

I also need to video some fire to see if the burn is correct.

So far, the heat seems like it can do the job, but I was shocked at how much coal it was using but hope that was from start up.
200 lbs for startup and last night, but 0 lbs today, except a little cracking I did to check out.

The timer is 2.1min every 30.1 min
Now, with the high set at 170, and it is idling at 180, that timer/relay is lighting up but not cycling.
IS this normal? Or should worry about fire going to worm tube> that is why I hand cranked it a bit
First 4 inches of tube off boiler is pretty warm, but pass that is not. About the same as when running, or a bit warmer.

I got bagged local coal claiming 9.1 ash 270 ton or 219 ton delivered loose. 11 cents/pound picked up or min 3 ton delivered.
I picked up 1000lbs and it is burning with almost no unburnt coal. Ash pan is about half full from 200lbs I will have to weigh it.
I want to ask owner what brand, but have to wait till I see him, since worker doesnt know. It may not matter if it burns nice.
They have been selling coal for many many years...an they claim the best huh, we will see.

Thanks
Rob
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:21 pm

Lets start with the smoke and funny smells...that is normal for a new boiler with fresh paint. It will quickly subside.

As I recall, your house has a large amount of cast iron radiation, with large diameter piping. This type of system takes time to get up to temperature, and once it does...it is best to tweak the thermostats and leave them alone. You can buy wireless thermostats, I installed one in the nursery in our house so I could properly control the temperature of the bedrooms. Previously the thermostat was in the hallway and always got influenced by the heat coming up the stairwell. Pulling wire through two stories of plaster and lathe didn't sound like fun, so I spent the $200 on a wireless Honeywell thermostat system.

Because of the large amount of water in your radiation, the boiler needs to be piped with either a bypass, or a primary/secondary arrangement so the boiler doesn't get flooded with cold water. If they installed a bypass, you may need to adjust the valves slightly so the boiler doesn't get "slammed" when a circulator kicks on.

GoodProphets wrote:I know 4 and 4 settings work for for alot, but if it does, do you ever need to increase feed/air during cold snaps or heavy winds?


4/4 does work for a lot of people, but don't worry about being in that club...adjust the feed as your needs require. I run my 520 at 5 teeth, and it gets a good workout in January. 3 teeth is barely adequate for just domestic hot water production for a family.

GoodProphets wrote:Now, with the high set at 170, and it is idling at 180, that timer/relay is lighting up but not cycling.
IS this normal? Or should worry about fire going to worm tube>


Yes, that is normal. When the boiler temperature exceeds the high limit setting the timer will not be able to operate the stoker. That in itself will not make the fire burn into the tube, that usually results from too much air and not enough coal.

EFM's recommend settings in the manual work pretty good for most applications...I would start there. 160 low, 200 high, 10 differential. 2 minutes/30 for the timer might be a little much, but if your chimney drafts well it won't matter if a few timer cycles get skipped.

It takes a lot of coal to get a system like that up to temperature, just like getting a train up to speed. Try 5 teeth and 4.5 air, and force the stoker to run for 30-40 minutes straight...at that point the fire should be the same size as the burner plates (about 2" of ash around the orange spot). If the burning coal is creeping on the ring around the plates, bump the air up by 0.25 and repeat the test. If after a few days you think the boiler output is lacking, try 6 teeth and 5.25 air.

Pictures of your boiler piping and fire appearance would be great.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:32 pm

Hey Rob, thanks.

Funny thing you say, daughter took a shower, and towards the end, Zone 1 called for heat.

the 520 sat idle about 8 hours, give or take and ran down to check it out.
The bed of coal was insane! I thought it was a bit too much with glowing near the edge, so I backed it down.
5 teeth and 4.5 air.

I will leave that there and see what happens. 48 out now, but no wind...we will be running a bit now tonight.

I will snap pics right now, as I was charging camera battery.
I will take video too, as the piping is a lil wacky since they tied it into the mess that was already here.
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:04 pm

Here is a video with audio if you want to listen.
I will also get a video up with it stoking shortly.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/q0L9PRDDyXM[/youtube]

http://youtu.be/q0L9PRDDyXM
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:26 pm

Went with the simple 55 gal drum set up.

This is how it is going to be for now, and as long as I dont get sick of bagged, or the price isnt too high.
Attachments
stoker 001.JPG
(93.24 KiB) Viewed 76 times
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55gal with auger/worm thru the wall
[nepathumb]37105[/nepathumb]
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:30 am

Hi Good Prophet

Welcome to the Club... So to speak.

I have been using my EFM for 5 years now. Also use a barrel setup. Although have a bin right next to it instead of using bags.

You'll love the unit.

As Rob answered most of your questions.... Not much to add.

other than maybe keep an eye on the CO detector. I myself have 2 in my basement where the EFM is and it has been a rare day when either shows more than 0 ppm. Keep an eye on the 24...
Maybe its from opening the door to peer in too often!


Good Luck and enjoy saving some Money!
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:42 am

Thanks Mark

Yeah the CO I reset yesterday, and it read 16, but I will reset it again to hopefully see it drop.
From all the new paint and the soldering going on, I would imagine the smells will get even better.
Not much smell left now.

For once I have never wanted it to get cold outside! haha
Bring it on, I want to test this puppy out!

Right now it is like test driving a car in a parking spot...maybe a spin around the parking lot.
I want to go out on the road!



Thanks
Rob
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: JeepinPete On: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:27 pm

I found that running the air higher than recommended pushes fumes down the feed tube and out your barrel. If have a lid, try putting it in place for a day and see what your CO readings are.
JeepinPete
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Highboy

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:35 pm

Mark (PA) wrote: Maybe its from opening the door to peer in too often!


:lol: Good point, the only time my CO detector has gone off was when I was trying to tune the fire and opening the door a lot. I would also look for any obvious gaps in the flue pipe and check the over-fire draft.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: ryan20strohl On: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:22 pm

hi welcome to the form your piping looks to be correct for the supply and return, except for your problem with the leaking tee. The smoke pipe is ok but you should fix your bara. damper, the thing with the gap. how is you air and feed so far, i run my 520 at 3 feed 4 to 4.5 air, summer and 4 feed 4.5 to 5 air for winter im only heating 1400 sq feet, my house, and 900 square feet in my garage. keep us posted. ryan
ryan20strohl
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: efm stoker and allen stoker
Coal Size/Type: rice and buck
Other Heating: allen stoker
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:15 am

I am running 5 feed 4.5 air

We are in the mid 60s daytime and high 40s the next 10 days.

Last night I tripped both zones to get a nice burn and turned them back down before going to bed.

So I wake up this morning and I barely have hot bed showing, as nothing I am sure called all night.
Just the timer at 2 min every 1/2 hour....BUT only if temp was under that low, so not sure if timer went off at all.
I did hand crank a few turns before leaving for work.

I do have what looks like a lil bit of unburnt coal on the bed, but not much ashes in the pan since switching out before the burn last night.


Now, I am heating so so much standups and baseboard so we will have less problems once we get a dip in outside temps,
but until then it is just DHW.

Questions:

1. If timer is running the stoker during idles, should I bring it down even more for a bit higher eff say, 4 teeth 3.75 or 4 air?
Thinking that would give more chance to burn the pot verses unburned since the feed is greater at 5 now.

2. I read another thread in the boiler subforum saying that best scenario would be running constant on the coldest day.
When calling for heat, so I want to feed at lower rates, but take more cycles to supply the tstat calling?

I know it is truly a hard thing for me to tinker or adjust, since it is idle
best would be to wait a week or few until we get some wind and dip in outside temps to test it out.

Also, I am unsure why they set the limits to 150 low, 170 high ( 10 or 15 diff, i think)
When I should be at 160/200
3. Will my system 100% be ok at those temps? Would that be too hot or high for any system?
I think I want to wait before adjusting to 160/200 until it gets cold out.?? Leave it at 150/170 as in summer DHW mode for now?

Thoughts?

Oh, I will have a bit more load on the 520 once it gets cold... just over 4000 sq ft with two zones and a 3rd floor empty over most of zone one.
Absolutely no insulation on my house, with wood siding (no brick) and original windows.
And in the newer baseboard addition, we have a family room with about 65% windows and our MBR on second floor above it with cath ceilings.
Addition all zone 2 including foyer.
* this is where i would like to move the thermostat to our BR, to get a bit more eff in our comfort.

Thanks
Rob
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: ryan20strohl On: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:52 pm

it will be trial and error with the feed rate try 4 and 4, i run at 140 low 200 high in summer time because of the timer, fire was going out, you need a spread in between the low limit and high or else if it hits the high limit to soon the fire will go out in summer. i run 160/200 for winter, you can run any combination you want just make sure u have atleast 20 to 40 deg between the low and high limit if running a domestic hot water coil 10 deg is good
ryan20strohl
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: efm stoker and allen stoker
Coal Size/Type: rice and buck
Other Heating: allen stoker
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:16 pm

GoodProphets wrote:1. If timer is running the stoker during idles, should I bring it down even more for a bit higher eff say, 4 teeth 3.75 or 4 air?
Thinking that would give more chance to burn the pot verses unburned since the feed is greater at 5 now.


5 teeth is a good all-around setting for DHW and a moderate amount of radiation. 4 teeth might work fine for summer DHW, but I wouldn't run less than 5 until you know how the system behaves in cold weather.

GoodProphets wrote:IAlso, I am unsure why they set the limits to 150 low, 170 high ( 10 or 15 diff, i think)
When I should be at 160/200


Because they probably don't understand why EFM recommends 160/200 in the first place. The low limit of 160 is to allow sufficient DHW production via the tankless coil. The high limit should be about 40 degrees above that to allow proper operation of the timer. 200F is not a concern for the boiler itself.

I watched your video. Get the draft control screwed tight to the pipe. I would also open that valve on the bypass (it is really an "equalizer" the way they have it piped...no valve to force water around the boiler). 20 psi in the system? Why so high?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:05 pm

20 psi is when it is idling.
When it calls for heat it gets to 30 psi and slowly drifts to around 25 and then if idling it drops to 20

I think earlier in the thread, the expansion tank was mentioned...might be undersized.

I still have to talk with the install company to ask quite a few questions.
The expansion tank they removed was probably double or more in size to this new one.

I will see if I should remove some water from the system, and then watch what happens, but again
I am not sure if the installer was correct on what he said...the main water supply valve is 20 psi,
so if it drops below 20 psi, it will refill from the main.

Whether this is true or he got his numbers mixed up, who knows. I sure dont, so that is why I still have
all these questions lingering.

Of course I am getting more help here than what I got from the installer so far.
Installer also said if there are any problems to call and a repair man would come out to fix, HA!
Everything should be fine when they left.
Well it is not.
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: My DF520 is up and running (new install)

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:41 am

Your boiler Auto Fill Valve should be 12 PSI in most cases.

If the system is setup and free of air you shouldn't need more than 12 PSI as a base.

Most systems get up to 15 to 17 PSi while heating to high temp.

Your boiler relief "pop off" valve should be 30 PSI... So if you are getting nto 30 PSI your pop off valve should pop also?
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler