Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: BPatrick On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:01 pm

Hello everyone. I currently heat an old farmhouse with a hand-fired antique coal stove. It works great and I love the stove but it's location cannot reach the entire house and I'd like to heat both the house and outbuilding/shop (small 10'x20') at the same time. I have a propane furnace and all the duct work is there for furnace/central air but don't like the propane bill so I switched a while ago to coal heating. I originally thought about an OWB/Coal burner and from what I've read on here, they aren't very efficient and OWB don't do coal well. I've read a few responses where members said that you should put an indoor coal boiler in an out building and then run water lines into the house to a heat exchanger just like an OWB but indoor coal boilers are much more efficient. The shop already is built and has power (220v) and water is run to it as well (an old manual well handle that works if I pull up on it). It has a cement floor as well.

I am not familiar with Coal Boilers, if I'm using the term incorrectly, after reading my post, please tell me. Anyway, can you recommend some Coal boilers for me. The house was built in the mid 1800's, 1' thick walls with no insulation, apx. 3,500 sq'. Also, I understand that I will burn coal to heat water that's piped into the house to the furnace to a heat exchanger, but how exactly does the water get there. Is a 1/2 hp well pump used? Is it automated or is it always running?

I've searched for a topic on here for quite a while now and haven't found anything. If you don't type the search exactly right it won't pull up what your looking for. Can anyone help me out with this. I would have thought there would be a sticky thread for this as it seems to be a popular alternative to OWB's. Thanks, in advance, for any help you can provide.

BPatrick
BPatrick
 
Baseburners & Antiques: 2 Crawford 40 Baseheaters
Coal Size/Type: Stove Coal
Other Heating: Herald Oak No. 18

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Pacowy On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:57 pm

My suggestion would be to put the coal boiler in your basement if possible, and run the water lines to heat the outbuilding. Or, if the outbuilding doesn't have running water, put a small stove in it. With the boiler in the outbuilding, you'd be incurring a fair amount of heat loss on all of the btu's that need to be moved to the house (which makes up almost 95% of the sf you're trying to heat), and not getting much use from the btu's radiated by the boiler. You also would have a problem if anything bad happened to the water lines in the dead of winter.

We used to live in a big, drafty 1890 Victorian and the entire feel of the house changed when we installed a large coal boiler (EFM 900) in the basement. The otherwise-unheated basement became usable year-round, and the floors on the first floor were warmed from underneath. A big coal boiler in the house also makes it easy to produce abundant DHW in real time. When we switched to the coil in the 900 we saved $100/month off our natural gas bill.

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

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: BPatrick On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:11 pm

Thanks for the reply. The water in this outbuilding is an old hand pump and the out building has never been heated. If there is no heat in the outbuilding the water pipe on the hand pump doesn't freeze. I've heard that lots of people are building sheds or out buildings and running lines like OWB to a heat exchanger in the house. I thought this was efficient and would be able to heat the house. I'd have to run a liner down an old chimney and probably have to rebuild part of it. Then we'd have up and down stairs with coal and ashes. We are trying to avoid this. We have an air dump off the furnace/AC to heat or cool the downstairs. Doesn't the insulated line keep the water hot?
BPatrick
 
Baseburners & Antiques: 2 Crawford 40 Baseheaters
Coal Size/Type: Stove Coal
Other Heating: Herald Oak No. 18

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Pacowy On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:00 pm

AFAIK the water generally stays hot enough to use but a measurable amount of heat is lost into the ground. Plus, all the heat that the boiler would radiate would go into an outbuilding that doesn't need to be heated when not in use. Those are both losses of efficiency relative to putting the boiler in the house.

If you have an accessible basement window it's not hard to get the coal into the basement, whether bulk or bagged. You're correct that ash can be a bother; if you check around the forum you'll find everything from trash bags to vacuum and auger systems for ash removal. At our old house we carried out the ash from the basement bulkhead door each day and used it as a traction agent and to build up the unpaved driveway. It wasn't a significant problem.

I'll defer to others on the chimney issue. It seems like you'd need some form of chimney in the outbuilding, so from a distance it's not clear how that would be a disadvantage for the house. How is the antique hand-fired coal stove vented?

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

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Pacowy On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:14 pm

BPatrick please check your private messages.

Thanks.

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

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Penn507 On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:03 pm

I did just what you are asking, when I moved into my 3400 sq ft brick home twelve years ago it came with a outdoor wood boiler. After ten years of burning wood I switched to coal. The "radiator" was already installed in my duct work, the Logstor pipe is buried below frost line outside and only loses a couple of degrees in a hundred feet (check there website) .I moved the lines to my shop , a 22 x 28 block building, and installed a EFM 520 . That's just a quick overview and I wouldn't change a thing
Penn507
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Wiz On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:20 pm

Keystoker Ka-6 Journey begins setup is in workshop that's 35 ft away from house. Insulated underground pipe was purchase from Central Boiler. I wouldn't change it at all, no coal mess in house. Keep in mind if you plan on putting boiler in basement it'll be very warm in summer if using it for dhw. Check link on my set up. .
Wiz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker Ka 6
Coal Size/Type: Casey Junk Coal :(

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:32 pm

My boiler was just relocated from my barn to the house. The underground developed problems and I was heating the ground. Properly insulated, the boiler in the basement has very little effect on basement temperature at all. It does help to keep the basement dry.
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x3, 700 Van Wert 800
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:38 pm

There is one thing maybe you should think about. If you all ready have the duct work installed, and you have a good working coal stove, why don't you turn the air furnace on to circulate the heat? in fan mode? There are a few options available with that.
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x3, 700 Van Wert 800
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: BPatrick On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:10 pm

Guys. Thanks for the replies. Indoor isnt an option. Our add on room has coal stove replaced a wood stove and chimney already there. Again I cannot do in house basement. I have to make the existing out building work. I don't undestand why I will lose so heat if I use well insulated lines. Also I will be using the outbuilding. I don't want to do a owb and burn up money.
BPatrick
 
Baseburners & Antiques: 2 Crawford 40 Baseheaters
Coal Size/Type: Stove Coal
Other Heating: Herald Oak No. 18

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Penn507 On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:33 pm

It has been done, no reason you can't . I like all mess out side and the work at ground level. I load my hopper twice a year with my utility tractor ( front end loader ) and enjoy a tempered shop ,40 to 50 degrees all winter by choice. I could put the insulated jacked on but haven't
Penn507
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:35 pm

?? why not add an addition,deck 10x10 to put stoker boiler in, off an exsisting deck, and put it in that? access from other porch with a door. shouldn't be too hard to run lines into house thru basement wall or house rim plate to whatever is already in house. As far as outbuilding... if not used a lot in winter, run apex to it, keep its temp set low....50* or so, won't demand as much heat, and what lil negligible loss there might be won't matter. if stoker has auger feed setup can build coal bin next to that outside room and feed directly out of bin.
wilder11354
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260
Coal Size/Type: nut or pea, anthracite
Other Heating: crown oil boiler, backup.if needed

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:45 pm

BPatrick wrote:Guys. Thanks for the replies. Indoor isnt an option. Our add on room has coal stove replaced a wood stove and chimney already there. Again I cannot do in house basement. I have to make the existing out building work. I don't undestand why I will lose so heat if I use well insulated lines. Also I will be using the outbuilding. I don't want to do a owb and burn up money.



First off, since you are from MI, do you have access to anthracite ??

You will lose some heat just due to the fact that there is a distance between the heat applied to the water in the outbuilding and then having to transfer the heat inside the house itself. You can mitigate this loss with some insulation but there will still be some loss.

Do you have access to a backhoe or trenching machine ?? These pipes will need to be buried deep up your way. Depending on the soil type and conditions, you may need to install some sort of drainage to keep any ground water away from the underground piping.

It can be done. But it also may cost some cash to get this up to your liking.

Then we will have to discuss the controls. Some run a pump from the boiler 24/7, some run it on demand. There are various ways to do this.


Keep asking away. You will eventually get the answers you need.




Rick
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: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:50 pm

It's not that it's a bad idea to put the boiler in the out building. The problem is trying to get the massive amount of btu's you will need into the house. Old, uninsulated, 3500 square foot house. Not the place to use 1" insulated pex. More like 2 or 3 inch pex-al-pex, with 011 or larger circulator. If the outbuilding is any considerable distance, the cost of the pex will be huge. First thing you should do is a heat loss calculation to find out what you really are going to need. There is an attached one on the site.
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x3, 700 Van Wert 800
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Indoor Coal Boiler in Out Building 50' away to heat house

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:05 pm

Good call Scott, the heat load of that house is probably larger than what most people are accustomed to.

How much coal & propane does it take the heat the house currently?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Visit Lehigh Anthracite