coal boiler help

coal boiler help

PostBy: drzbob On: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:51 pm

Hi all read some post and have pulled the trigger on a Keystroker coal furnace to heat my house. I have a barn 20x20 that's 60feet from the house to store the boiler in and I installed the pex tubing this weekend to the house from the barn. Now my plumber says he can't help me till mid-Feb. Yes I'm screwed. My old propane boiler is died and i have no heat besides some small heaters.
My questions are how does the inside thermostats tell the boiler to circulate water without some computer board or whatever? Dealer says its a easy install and I can do the electric connection but where does the circulator pump get installed, inside the house or at the barn with the boiler? I need to install a oil backup and have a burner, how hard is this to install?
I a'm really handy with pex and such so I think i get thru this but I have a steep learning curve, anyone got some install tricks and such. thanks drzbob,
Stove/Furnace Make: none
Stove/Furnace Model: none

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:01 pm

Tell us where you live and we may be able to recommend a replacement plumber to get this done.

We promise not to come to your house and steal your coal !!!!!! :nana:

Welcome to the forum.

Rick 386
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: drzbob On: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:45 pm

Hi Rick 386, upstate ny like cooperstown area.
Stove/Furnace Make: none
Stove/Furnace Model: none

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: Wiz On: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:39 am

What keystoker do you have? Are you planning using keystoker for DHW? The more info you share the better answers you'll get.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker Ka 6
Coal Size/Type: Casey Junk Coal :(

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: steveyrock On: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:43 am

Honeywell R8845U relay wired in between the t stat and your circulator will control it when the thermostat calls for heat.

I think keystoker boilers do have a stat relay as standard equipment,some one else can confirm that who has one.

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: stovepipemike On: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:06 am

drzbob, For what it is worth,it may be time to hunt down a new plumber to get you over the hump. It is just starting to turn cold now and time is getting short.Find a plumber to do the parts where you don't feel comfortable and complete as much as you can yourself to get the job wrapped before things go really south.Mike
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KAA-2

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: katman On: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:28 am

Rob will probably chime in soon and he knows his stuff so pay close attention. Couple of questions: you said you bought a furnace, but also that the "boiler" will be in the barn. You ran some pex so I would guess you have a boiler. You also plan on putting in an olil burner as a backup: what type of heat do you have?

I'm not an expert, but here's my system: I have a pellet boiler (long story why I am using a pellet boiler. I have an efm sitting next to it) in my barn about 100 feet from the house and a oil boiler in a sub-basement utility room. My house has hot water baseboard and four zones controled by taco zone vales. The oil boiler has one taco 007 circulator pump. The pellet boiler and oil boiler are set up to run independently. I did this because I frequently travel, on short notice, and rarely know how long I will be away. So, when I get a travel call I have to make a decision. The house also has heat pumps, so the decision is whether to run on oil or heat pumps. I don't want to have to rely on somone else to replenish the fuel in the pellet boiler. So, the wiring is pretty simple. The four thermostats go to a switch, which is used to select pellet boiler or oil boiler. If I select oil boiler, the thermostats send the call for heat to the oil boiler and it uses its own circulator. If I want to use the pellet boiler, I switch the oil boiler thermostat signal off and switch on the pellet boiler. The thermostat signal is relayed to the pellet boiler, which has its own circulator. Call for heat turns the pellet boiler's circulator on and it sends hot water to the house. Of course, if I don't expect temps to be much below 40 I leave the heat pumps on when I travel and shut both the pellet boiler and oil boiler off.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Magnum
Other Heating: Harman PB 105 Pellet Boiler

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: whistlenut On: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:56 am

Back to the original question: What size boiler(we can give you all the necessary parts list, and places to purchase) I'm assuming a KA-6 or KA 8. The Keystoker manual gives you a basic piping and wiring diagram, and in your situation, I'm thinking you may have a heat exchanger inside the house to isolate the two systems. However considering the time-frame, that could wait for a WARMER TIME OF THE YEAR. ANY supply house will set you up with the parts, and you can do a layout on the floor while right there! I like black iron manifolds and they are off the expansion tank, not a 30 but a 60 or 90..... I don't know who said it is getting cold where you's HEATING season, pal!!
I'd be there today if I weren't buried myself. Plumbers can be mega a-holes, and this guy might be a leading candidate! This sucks when you HAVE to have safe central heating. It's Wed AM, take your manual to the supply house.....or outdoor boiler guys and they wil set you up. The wiring is straightforward, but you need it piped and filled (leak tested, too) with water, ready to fire. Have you assembled the stoker and installed the gauges, etc? Are you ready on your end to make it happen?
Don't forget to have a small bucket of furnace cement for the stoker install......and make damned sure you have have the stoker bottom in where it is suppose to be (SEEN TOOOO MANY WITH THE LITTLE ROUND KEEPER OUTSIDE THE FRAME)
Do you have the stack piped and the Baro-damper in yet? 3 screws in EACH joint..... Get off your butt and make it to the supply house. (BIG BOX stores are NOT a supply house)

Don't waste a minute, get yourself into 'launch mode'......keep it safe, no injury you know, Shark Bite fitting can be used, so install time is minimal.. They are safe for Hydronic work to 200 degrees.

PS: This is a long one day install, and NO plumber should make it a career....and trust me, there are many excellent plumbers who would be totally ashamed of your guy. Good luck....and welcome to the forum. :!: :!: :shock: :idea:

Forgot the obvious: did you install any extra conduits for power and/or control wiring? Hope need a thermostat wire for low voltage control to the triple aquastat......
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ & V-Wert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks,Itasca 415,Jensen, NYer 130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska, EFM, Keystoker, Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska, Keystoker-2,Leisure Line
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska, Gibraltar, Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Ford, Jensen, NYer, Van Wert,
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwoods
Coal Size/Type: Barley, Buck, Rice ,Nut, Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: drzbob On: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:44 pm

Hi all thanks for the reply's...
First of all, we have ordered a K-8 unit, but have delayed the order to fix our barn it will live in. I was told, with the boiler in my barn, all I needed was the dealers special 4" black pipe that has 2 pex lines I think 3/4 or 1" in size and the space is filled with Polystyrene solid foam insulation. They talked it up that its super insulating but pricey $13- foot. We buried this with a electric line but no T-stat wiring (they said no need) and no domestic hot/cold water pex lines, which would have needed some form of insulation also.

The house is hot water baseboard with 2 zones, the current propane boiler was the only house heat is now dead.

I understand that a relay between my T-stat's and the circulator pump would "turn on" the boiler as the cold water returning to the unit would drop the temps.
I also need the Oil burner option as the Keystroker is the only heat source for the house etc.
hope this helps, we really nice weather to continue over the next few weeks so we can get this installed and If I'm lucky running. thanks bob
Stove/Furnace Make: none
Stove/Furnace Model: none

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:38 pm

A few quick thoughts: Your dealer gave you bad advice on skipping the thermostat wire between the buildings. Without it you will have to keep the Keystoker at a high temperature all the time via the low limit setting on the aquastat. It will work, but it will burn more coal doing so. Also, a length of 1" pex like you have installed can handle around 70,000 btu's per hour with typical supply/return temperatures. No big deal as long as that is enough for your house.

You are correct about the circulators, it is simple to run them off a standard switching relay.

Regarding the oil kit, if you are worried about the stoker "failing", just get a spare blower motor to have on hand...because that is about the only thing that ever goes wrong with those units. Personally I'd skip the oil kit and plan on adding a second boiler in the basement sometime down the road.

Last thought - if there the house is cold and you aren't comfortable with the install, look up forum member Scottscoaled. He lives about an hour from you and has a lot of experience with stoker boiler installs - he also heats his house with a stoker boiler in a detached barn...just like you want to do.
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: coal boiler help

PostBy: 331camaro On: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:13 pm

fixing the propane boiler for now sounds like a must. im with rob, skip the oil kit, either fix the propane boiler or buy a new one to stick in its place. a k-8 and 3/4 or 1'' lines going to your house? sounds like either someone gave you bad info or theres more your trying to do? im confused. also, i think this late in the game you would be better off getting the keystoker into your basement for now, hooking it up with what you have available and save the barn install until spring.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker k6
Coal Size/Type: rice

Re: coal boiler help

PostBy: katman On: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:04 am

Shame you didn't run an extra conduit while you had the trench open but maybe there is a wireless thermostat that has the range you need. I think Honeywell makes one but I have no idea whether it would be suitable. Based on the pricve it sounds like your pipe is thermopex. You should be happy with the small heat loss. I used thermopex in 1 1/4. Works well and in my area and it priced competitively with any of the good options I looked at that were much more labor intensive.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Magnum
Other Heating: Harman PB 105 Pellet Boiler

Visit Lehigh Anthracite