huntingteacher wrote:One guy who used to install the EFM's says that the keystoker boilers cost half as much as an EFM, and he thought they were a well built affordable unit. Keystoker makes the K-2 85,000 btu unit (which is likely too small) and the KA-6 144,000 btu unit (which is likely too big) A referbished EFM cost as much as a new other boiler and you can't be sure of the internal structure of a refab boiler. Many people rave about their Harman boiler and I like my Mag stoker, but...price of a new VF-3000? Forget the EFM and AA as new units. I might as well go with the gasification system if I was going to spend that much money.
I agree that Keystoker makes a good boiler for the money, but I think the guy you talked to was referring to the retail price on a new EFM...not a refurbished one. As for the integrity of a used boiler, there is a big difference between getting a unit out of someone's basement "as-is" and one from someone with years of experience that will warranty the pressure vessel.
How did you determine that a KA-6 was too big?
As for a gassification boiler, a friend of mine has a Wood Gun from Alternate Heating Systems. It is a nice unit, and it does burn clean...but it still has its share of issues and it isn't as "hands-off" as a stoker boiler. You still have to put in all the labor to get the firewood ready, and it better be DRY if you want good performance out of the gasser. If the wood isn't dry enough be prepared for condensation dripping out of the chimney and poor performance. Also, if you don't like getting up at 2 am to reload the boiler in cold weather, you better put up a couple grand for a storage system. By the time you get all that paid for, you could have bought a new EFM or AA and had money left over. In my opinion, if you want to cut wood, go ahead...but sell it to someone else and burn coal at home.
huntingteacher wrote:So.....All this back ground to get to my question.....Can anyone tell me why the Leisure Line WL-110 is so much more affordable than other types of boilers? It is $2k less than a VF-3000 by Harman and it includes the dual fuel oil burner?
The LL-110 is an Axeman Anderson oil boiler that has been modified to accept a coal stoker. Compared to something like an EFM or an Axeman Anderson Anthratube, it requires considerably less materials and labor to build.
Is the dual-fuel feature important to you? Seems like your existing propane boiler would make a great backup system.