Wondering about a coal boiler!!

Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: CNY Farmer On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:18 am

Hello,I'm interested in maybe replacing my woodmaster 546 with a coal boiler... was wondering what would be the best size for my needs.. A little info on what we heat..We heat two houses that had forced air furnaces in them..We also heat the hot water in both houses and the water in the milk house.We heat the water all year with the woodmaster..Is that possible with a coal boiler?? Also would I need to change much to hook up the lines from the woodmaster to a coal boiler??? I live in upstate NY!! Thank You for any help you can provide!!
CNY Farmer
Stoker Coal Boiler: Soon to be Keystoker K-8

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: ntp71 On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:32 am


Welcome to the forum. You may want to check out the Leisure Line Products. The owner MAtthaus is a regular here and provides very helpful information.


Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Reading Foundry Water Heater
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Old Mill Mini Stoker with Keystoker Feed System
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Gibraltar SCR
Baseburners & Antiques: Caloric UltraMatic Coal-Gas Range
Coal Size/Type: Chervy Nut

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:35 am

It's possible to do all of that with a coal boiler. Is the Woodmaster 546 a freestanding outdoor unit? If you're looking to replace it with a coal stoker boiler most/all of them work better if they have some protection from the elements so the coal doesn't freeze together and prevent proper feed. You might need to consider a small shelter, or to position the coal boiler in one of the buildings being heated.

For starters on sizing, what is the btu/hr capacity of the Woodmaster 546?

Last edited by Pacowy on Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:10 pm

More details on what you are trying to heat are required, but for heating two homes plus providing DHW for both an 'AHS S260 Coal Gun' might just fit the bill.
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:41 pm

If you are on a farm, that sounds like the perfect place for a coal stoker!!!!!!

You can get bulk delivered to your HUGE bin, never load or shovel anything!!
Just change out ash bin, unless you set that up automatic.

Lay out your specs as for square footage of two houses, HW demand (esp for milk house) and also if
it is new house with good insulation, or houses are drafty like a convertible driving down the highway going 50mph (like my house, lol)

Might have to put in your basement, unless your current unit is out side
Is it hot air or radiators?

Boiler= hot water radiators
Furnace+ forced hot air registers/duct work
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: CNY Farmer On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:10 pm

I for the life of me can't find the specs for the 546... I think the woodmaster 4400 is what the 546 used to be?? these are the specs from woodmasters website..
4400 specifications
The WoodMaster 4400 heavy duty furnace is double-plumbed to heat larger homes or home-garage combinations. It offers a larger firebox, larger fuel door and higher Btu output.
Fire Box. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38” x 44” DoorSize .........................................24”x24” Thickness ........................1/4”FireDrum&WaterJacket DraftControl .......................................... Fan OverallSize.................................. 5’2”x5’9”x8’1” TotalWaterCapacity ..............................117gallons HeatingArea ....................................5,000sq.ft. Heating Rate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125,000 btu/hr on a 12 hr burn LimitedWarranty................................... 10years ShippingWeight ...................................1,809lbs.

The one house is a smaller double wide and then an older farmhouse that has been insulated and had vinyl siding put on it...It's pretty airtight for an older house!! Shouldn't be more than 3000 square feet???? As for the milkhouse I'm not sure how much hot water that takes daily..It would only use hot water for a short period of time each end of the day..Probably the same for the houses!! We have forced hot air registers!!! Thanks for any help...
CNY Farmer
Stoker Coal Boiler: Soon to be Keystoker K-8

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: waldo lemieux On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:32 pm


I have a farmer buddy that heats his uninsulated farmhouse and a Quonset shop and his milk house water with a keystoker. He is in Caroline near Ithaca and if you wanted to see it I can arrange it. Seems to me if you went with a refurbed efm 700 or maybe 900 you couldn't go far wrong. Sees like Ive seen a few advertised here for reasonable money.... So the answer to your question is yes you could and should(imo) wood sucks the life outa ya and if your burning one of those outdoor units your screwing yourself and that's not an opinion! :P Buy a stoker and put up a small building w/ coal storage right where your current wood burning contraption is and you'll be on easy street :D Pm me if you want to see my buddies operation.

waldo lemieux
Stove/Furnace Make: efm
Stove/Furnace Model: s-20

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: Kungur On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:10 pm

I see you mentioned forced air registers. You would just need to install the proper size coil in the furnace plenum. You would be set up for water to air heat exchanger.
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: K-2

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: Matthaus On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:22 pm

Sizing and selecting a stoker boiler is the topic of many many threads on this great forum. If your current unit's wood consumption is over 20 cords you will need at least a 200 btuh stoker. If the load you are serving with the new unit is larger than with existing consider spending the effort to do a full analysis. Find a friend or neighbor who is a plumber and spend some time documenting what you have.
There are lots of good folks on here who can help.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:36 pm

BTU ratings on outdoor wood units tend to be bogus due to the terrible creosote buildup inside the units. Do you know what size the water to air heat exchangers are in the houses?

The hot water load of the milk house is probably something that needs a close look.
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: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: agcowvet On: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:03 pm

Don't forget recovery time between milking system wash and bulk tank wash, if borderline that might push ya over the edge to next size up...tracking down and fixing PI and bacteria count problems is no fun, especially if it makes you lose your quality premium for the month.

Does your current setup heat all hot water for milkhouse to 180 or do you have a booster heater there?
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: efm AF150
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Newmac NL-2 (oil)

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: nuthcuntrynut On: Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:44 pm

cny you'll hate a coal boiler, there's no fussing over it there's no late nite refueling, no fun what so ever. i sit and look at my coal boiler very boring you put coal in take ash out. them there's all that extra time on yourhands.
i just sold my 4400 woodmaster to help pay for my coal boiler. from what I've gathered you may want a 200k boiler, and i dunno what your underground piping is? but upgrade it at any cost to the newer insulated stuff, no sense in heating the ground. i was using the triple insulated Pex , i ended up putting mynew coal boiler in my basement and repipe everything as there just isn't much sense in heating a building, when that heat could be in your basement heating your feet.
Stoker Coal Boiler: wl110 leisure line
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: ussc pellet stove
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: WL 110

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: oilman On: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:09 pm

Welcome. I would say 90% of all the coal units I've installed this year (and I do alot) have been ex-wood burners, either OWB or indoor units.
So, you are on the right track.

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: CNY Farmer On: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:14 pm

I'm back :shock: I don't know why I wait until the fall to start thinking about changing over heating systems :P :P Maybe it's when we start hauling wood??
Anyways I'm thinking about just installing a coal boiler in the main house.. I've been looking at the Keystokers.. I was thinking a KA-6 would be big enough?? I called a local dealer today and told him what I wanted to do he suggested the KA-8?? I thought that would be to big??/
The furnace thats in the cellar is a 126,000 BTU.. The house is an old farmhouse that measures roughly 40x40.. It's has plank boards but has been wrapped with foil insulation and sided..Also the heat exchanger in the plenum is 20x20..
My question would the KA-6 be big enough??? I also would like to heat the hot water for at least the winter months with the boiler..I'm not sure it would be feasible to run the boiler in the summer?? There is only 2 of us that live in the house..Thanks for any help you can provide.. I've been reading quite a bit on the forum...
CNY Farmer
Stoker Coal Boiler: Soon to be Keystoker K-8

Re: Wondering about a coal boiler!!

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:29 pm

Why not put in a big coal boiler that will handle all the heating needs of both houses & do the DHW for the 2 houses + the milk house water ? With the hot water demand of 2 houses & the milk house it should pay to run a coal boiler yr around.
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both

Visit Lehigh Anthracite