Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:51 pm

Hey! Look what followed me home :) I answered an ad for a Van Wert 600 and this little beauty was there instead.
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For a little background infoMy house is just shy of 4000 square feet,very well insulated. I currently have an EFM 520 DF installed in the barn and supplying the house with a bad situation of Pex. Leaking Pex has me dumping the heat right into the ground. Decided to move the boiler into the basement and save the cost of new pex. I've been hesitant because of the extra heat and the additional mess involved. The mess I can deal with. After emptying many pans and filling the bin, I think I got it under control. The heat is an extra issue. After visiting Robb Roy's boiler, and seeing that with the right insulation, there isn't a problem. I decided to move mine inside. His basement was surprisingly cool and clean. Thanks Robb :D.
So here this little Van Wert is riding home in back, and I start thinking of the same unit that Joe Migillicutty stole from me last year. Nice compact little unit. Burns coal at a rate of 10 lbs per hour. Which, by the way, is the same feed rate as a EFM 520 set on 4 teeth feed rate. Burning it at an 87% efficiency at that. So the lightbulb goes on and bang, the 400 is going to get a going over and changed out with the barely used oil burner. It will fit in nice. There isn't so much outer boiler to act like a big radiator and heat up the basement. All the good features of a VanWert. Burns buck nicely. Has a deep fire pot so outfires are rare. Can set the timer cycle at a minimal setting for summertime Domestic water. Deep fire pot so it will burn most any coal well.
EFM is a real tough act to follow. If it doesn't work out then the 520 will get jammed in there in a heartbeat. The unit itself is pretty clean. The skins dont need any work to speak of. I might paint the front cover just to fresh it up but other than than, we will see what it needs on a teardown and rebuild. I'll post pictures as I go. I don't think any one has posted a Van Wert rebuild yet. I have a bunch of Van Wert parts that have taking up space so maybe it's time to rebuild a couple stokers.
Heres what we are starting with. Can't get the pictures to stand up right. Sorry.
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Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 350, 700. Van Wert 400 x 2, 800, 1200.
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:29 am

Nice find! There is very little information on Van Werts on the forum, a story and pictures of the rebuild would be great.

With the benefit of modern controls and your indirect water heater, this unit will use surprisingly little coal.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:17 am

It's set to burn 10 lbs/hr right from the factory. The 600 is set to burn 17, the 800, set to burn 24. With the EFM, I never had to set the feed higher than 10 lbs/hr. Newer needed more than that even in the coldest weather. You're right. Moving it inside and using the modern controls, I should use a fraction of what I did last year. :)
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 350, 700. Van Wert 400 x 2, 800, 1200.
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:20 am

I see the water IN/OUT, I see the motor with gearing that looks like is right off the titanic, I think I see one combustion fan, what the heck are those knockouts for on the side?
You should take some pics as you rebuild it and explain how this beast works :cry:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: whistlenut On: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:41 am

This will be a fine addition to your basement. I don't think the heat loss will be an issue from the boiler if insulated as Rob has done. Glad to see you found one AND will keep us in the loop as the retrofit continues. What will do out in the shop for heat? A 700 will be too much for that alone. :idea: :?:
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: k9 Bara On: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:05 pm

Very nice. I will enjoy watching your progress. Let me know where you were driving, I would like one of those to follow me home .
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Last edited by k9 Bara on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
k9 Bara
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice Anthricite

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: lsayre On: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:22 pm

Great boiler! If you need advice or spare parts, this is the guy you want to contact:

http://abvanwert.com/
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:38 pm

lsayre wrote:Great boiler! If you need advice or spare parts, this is the guy you want to contact:

http://abvanwert.com/


They are already on a first name basis. :)
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:42 pm

dcrane wrote:I see the water IN/OUT, I see the motor with gearing that looks like is right off the titanic, I think I see one combustion fan, what the heck are those knockouts for on the side?
You should take some pics as you rebuild it and explain how this beast works :cry:


I thought you were in "a stove is all you need" club? Or was it the LL stoker club? :P
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:17 pm

These boilers are a little "out of the box" type of thinking. I guess to explain how they are self cleaning and highly efficient, might as well start with the heat flow path. The stoker flame hits the roof of the fire box then exhausts out a vertical slot in the side. The gases wrap around the the boiler sandwiched between two boiler shells. The slot is in the back left. The gases turn and come toward the front left. Then across the front left to right. Then from front right to back right and to the left and out the exhaust. The space between the two boiler shells is about an inch. On the very top of the path is the only place that is horizontal plate. The only place that fly ash sticks. The rest of the transfer area is all vertical and the ash drops right off down into the ash pan. I will try to draw something to give you a better look. For a little boiler, there is a bunch of steel there. The ports that you see on the side? Three are important. There is a supply on top and a return on the bottom. The third port is for a bypass loop to reduce thermal stratification. When the pumps are circulating, it acts as a double tap for the return. Remember the transfer areas are all thin vertical sections. When the pumps are running, the water path is in a circle the same as the exhaust gas. It is hard to understand but to put it in perspective, the other boilers flows, like an EFM or Gentleman Janitor or most of the others, are in a verticle circle. The Van Wert"s boiler flow paths are in a horizontal circle.
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 350, 700. Van Wert 400 x 2, 800, 1200.
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: dcrane On: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:05 am

Rob R. wrote:
dcrane wrote:I see the water IN/OUT, I see the motor with gearing that looks like is right off the titanic, I think I see one combustion fan, what the heck are those knockouts for on the side?
You should take some pics as you rebuild it and explain how this beast works :cry:


I thought you were in "a stove is all you need" club? Or was it the LL stoker club? :P


didn't you hear Rob... I'm a free wheelin' "enjoy em' all" kinda guy now :lol:
I will say that if my next house has oil heat again and no N/Gas available I WILL be putting in coal boiler with a 1 ton stainless hopper w/ built in coal shoot to the driveway side of house.

Thanks for the overview Scott (Pics as you can please!)
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: RAYJAY On: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:32 am

good find I'm been burning one myself for years , you know it burns buckwheat not rice like the efm any help you need pm me did a lot of work on mine

Jeff
RAYJAY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: VAN WERT - 600 VA HOT WATER
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN- MAGUM STOKER
Coal Size/Type: BUCKWHEAT ON BOTH
Other Heating: NG BOILER

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:40 pm

Had a little time tonight. Stayed in the garage out of the heat.YEAH RIGHT! Was able to take out the domestic coil with a little help from my friend "La torch". The area isn't too bad. New age sealants will work nicely in that area. The stoker has a ring or two that is cracked. Time to change it out. The thing with these is, the first set has heated up and "melted" together. Putting one straight ring in the middle of a stack of warped ones is not the way to go. Have to take a trip out to South Otselic and see Arnie. Get a stack of new plates.
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Have no clue why my pictures won't stand straight. :x
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 350, 700. Van Wert 400 x 2, 800, 1200.
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:39 pm

This one even has a clinker shaker. :)
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Restoration and installation of a Van Wert 400

PostBy: Pacowy On: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:30 am

Hmmm, with that clinker shaker maybe Scott will be wishing he had more of that Newport coal...or maybe not. :lol:

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Visit Lehigh Anthracite