refurb efm 700

refurb efm 700

PostBy: kinnscience On: Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:18 pm

Just had my guys install a refurb efm 700. Had some trouble, and still not getting the heat I should. I'm currently burning rice coal ... they did not have any buckwheat ... on Sat ... so got a half ton of rice to get me through till monday. Got it lit, the coal is burning .. airway all the way open ... but still seemed to be pushing too much coal. had a pile about 4 inches high on top and dropping a lot of lit/unburned coal in the ash pan. Adjusted the shaft for smaller amount of motion .. and backed it all the way down to about 20 clicks for a full turn of gear and seems to be starting to drop mostly ash now. boiler still not getting hot enough to where the worm will stop. It is running constantly for about 6 hours now. I was told that maybe all the coal getting pushed too fast sort of smothered the fire and it could not get to optimal burning. Got about 5000 sq foot to heat. I was hoping the 700 would handle it .. I was told that it would with no problem. Radiators seem to be getting hotter. Will I notice a difference when I get the buckwheat? Does it normally take a long time to go from a start/cold until it is burning optimally? Is it possible that all the extra coal on the top is the cause and it is merely taking time for it to cycle through the pile of ash/coal? I"m just concerned that I won't have enough heat for the building. Adding more rooms soon and will probably have about 5500 sq foot total. 30 insulation in attic... storm windows .. gonna put new windows in Spring .. but too cold now. Any help would be appreciated.
kinnscience
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 700
Stove/Furnace Make: efm 700
Stove/Furnace Model: 700

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: whistlenut On: Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:37 pm

You are learning quickly, and it would appear that the air/fuel mixture is not correct. We need to know what drive arrangement is on the gearbox. An adjustable slide is likely, and the air is never wide open, so you were feeding it too much coal, and too much air. It is an easy balance to determine, but you need to get the load(radiation) under control so that you can adjust the boiler correctly. I assume the circs launched and the entire load of the structure can on all at once. If the building was cold, perhaps it would take that long to satisfy, especially with the stoker not correctly set up.. we need more info, and details of what you had there before, and the load on the boiler. If you are bringing the temp up from 34 degrees it will take a while. One word of advise, is to not continually change the air and feed rate.....try to determine a comfortable area to let it run in, and then make adjustments accordingly. The rice will be fine, and buckwheat better, but either way, air and feed rate will need to be optimized for either size coal. Please tell us more, and don't panic.......unless there is a real reason to do so. :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: refurb efm 700

PostBy: Badog On: Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:31 pm

Post a location. There are plenty of people that have plenty of knowledge who would be happy to come over and help you if you are in their area. It might cost you a beer or two. You came to the right place:)
Badog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:31 pm

My "guess" is that the coal feed & air was misadjusted from the start, and the fire was not established properly.

Where do you live?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:02 pm

I tried using a 700 stoker with rice and never was able to get satisfactory high-end output. If you have a hot water system the rice will probably be ok most of the time once you get everything up to temperature and get the proper fuel/air mix. If you have a steam system I would try harder to come up with some buck, or at least some "big" rice that doesn't have much undersized coal in it. To get the fuel/air mix right focus only on the ash ring after the unit has run 45 minutes or so since the last adjustment. It should be about 2" wide, with no red coals going over the side. As long as the ash ring is the correct size, don't worry if there is a small % unburned in the ash.

Was this unit installed with a barometric damper? Were the gaps between the boiler and base, and between the mounting plates and base sealed properly? Is there a fresh gasket on the ash door and does it fit snugly? If not, you could be losing a lot of btu's up the chimney.

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

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: kinnscience On: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:20 pm

Hello new friends,

Thank you all for your timely responses. I will try to answer as much as I can. First, I am in Trevorton, and would be more than happy to buy anyone a beer!

Secondly, let me grab a pinch of Grizzly and I'll see if I can get everyone some more info:

The gear assembly? ... not a clue. Looks about like what I saw on youtube, if that helps (though I doubt it). I took out a New Yorker 300,000 btu max output, 250,000 BTU net, oil burner for this apartment building (good riddance). It is a HW system. The ash ring, currently, is not consistent ... but after the hours since I posted here, I have found the adjustment on the arm that moves the rod (not sure of correct names on everything.. happy to learn). So now the 20 click setting seems to be feeding about the right amount of coal ... but I am sure this is not set up properly ... I have the air setting past the "9" ..

The problem with temp, as I found out, was because the "hi/lo" was set too low. It kept circulating at 120-130.... every time I moved it up ... the boiler temp would follow it (I did not know the Hi/Lo on the ... hmmm aquastat?.... controlled when the circ would kick in .. I thought it controlled the call for heat from the burner assembly. Anyway, I have the Hi Lo set at 150/200 and it seems to be kicking out more heat ... the pile of coal on the stoker assembly is now only about 3 inches. Not much hot ash falling ... but it has 1/2 inch average ash ring.

Barometric damper .. yup. I opened it up a bit ... that also seemed to help as there is a lot of draft. May need to open it more.

Unit is sealed properly ... all new gaskets. The guys I bought this unit from .... they did a fantastic job ... nearly everything is new ... and I paid about 5500. The stoker assembly is all new except for a couple things that you might expect to be refurbed. Brand new base. I know now, from reading your responses, that this is an adjustment thing, so I am not panicking ... but at 4 am .. then 5 am ... I was a bit frazzled. Been up nearly 35 hours at that point. Bottom line is ... I love this unit ... so happy I did it .. even now when I'm still not getting things right. I love that I now live in Trevorton ... so close to all the coal. (I'm originally from Bloomsburg).

Whistlenut, Baddog, Rob, Pacowy, and Mike .... you are all correct in your guesses. It's not set up properly ... the worm/fan runs constantly to keep the temp .. but again, as you said, the house went from a cold start. We had no choice because we had to tear out the old New Yorker first.

I'm afraid to turn the air down ... because I finally got the place tolerably warmer. But if leaving it completely open is a danger to the system please tell me. I'd like to just keep it as it is .. until I can get some buckwheat tomorrow ... and maybe a visit from a friendly neighbor. Vern, the guy I got the coal from, has a 700 .. but since I just met him ... not sure if he would be willing to come over. Though I am about 3 miles from his breaker. My phone number is 570-360-5229 ... if I don't answer .. it probably means I'm in the basement with my new toy ... trying out some of your suggestions.

I do need to find someone with a dumper, though one guy from the area "Kevin" said he would haul me a load, not sure when he can get to it... I think I can hold about 6 ton in my new bin.. maybe more. But can have my crew unload the rice and use the trailer just to get the buckwheat .... and will do that first thing tomorrow. Sure hope to meet some of you nice folk in the coming months. I'd love to see other set ups... share ideas etc. I've always burned coal .. but had a hand fired and small hot air stoker in my house in Bloomsburg. As a kid ... I grew up burning coal .. and always loved it. Best heat source in the world IMHO.

Brian
kinnscience
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 700
Stove/Furnace Make: efm 700
Stove/Furnace Model: 700

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:34 pm

For your next adjustment I would suggest leaving the air alone and reducing the feed by a small amount. That should widen the ash ring a little and stop any hot coals from going over the side.

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

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:06 pm

Hey, you made it back! That piece you found with the slot is the feed adjustment, it is referred to as an adjustable (or slotted) crank.

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There should be a bolt that you can loosen and then move the pivot pin within the slot on the crank. As you look at the drive gear, there is the "drive pawl" that goes back and forth and engages the gear, and there is the "check pawl" on the right of the gear that prevents it from turning backwards. Turn the power off to the boiler/stoker, and turn the shaft between the fan and the gearbox by hand. Make the drive pawl go all the way up and as it goes down count how many times the check pawl clicks. 5 clicks, 5 teeth of feed. I would set it on 5 or 6 teeth of feed, and set the air at the same number. 5 teeth, 5 air....6 teeth, 6 air. This is just a starting point. Turn everything back on, and after the stoker has been running for 30 minutes or so look and see how much ash is around the fire. There should be roughly 2" of ash around the fire. Ideally the fire should be the same size as the plates with the air holes in them. Do not make big changes...half a number on the air adjustment will make a noticeable difference.

Do you have the zone control relay(s) connected to the aquastat on the EFM so it knows when there is a heat call?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: kinnscience On: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:14 am

Rob,

Have the feed adjustment set all the way up .... to the lowest feed and have the air at about 5. Is that about 5 clicks? I was going to redo it ..according to your instructions, but then thought perhaps we were already there. It seems to be working good now .... at that setting ... one of my workers came and set it there. He's learning as we go along as well.

Thanks for the terminology .... it helps. Also, thanks for taking the time to send a picture. It seems to be working better .. but I am sure I will need some adjustments over time. I am in love with this boiler already ... if it could clean house... I'd marry it.

Yes we do have thermostats wired to the aquastat. One question I do have ... where should the hi/lo diff be set at ... one guy said 150-200 and 10. I have it there now ... but again, it does not seem to get much over 150-160 ... wondering if it will always be running ... at this rate .. I'll be burning 20 ton a year ... which still saves me about $7000 a year over the oil I was using... but the tenants had the thermostat turned way up ... I figure I will save about half to two thirds over the oil ....
kinnscience
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 700
Stove/Furnace Make: efm 700
Stove/Furnace Model: 700

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:22 am

Are you using a tankless coil in the boiler for domestic hot water? If you are, I would set at it 160/200 and 10. If you aren't using a coil, 150/200 should be fine.

I am not sure what the minimum feed rate is on your stoker. I have seen smaller ones with the same kind of feed setting, and they wouldn't go any less than 4 teeth. If the stoker runs for hours on end, you might have to increase the feed to get more heat output.

Once you get a load of buck, you will probably have to adjust the air anyway. Buck tends to breath easier and usually doesn't need as high of an air setting as rice.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: Phil May On: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:15 pm

It is a little difficult setting the feed to an exact amount of teeth. Aim for 5 and be happy if you get 4 or 6. It dont really matter that much any way. The absolute #1 thing is feed it good quality coal. When I got mine going last winter I got some crap coal. I worked 3 days and finally went and got different coal problem solved instantly. If it is running non stop you prob need a litle more feed. The air is a little more judgment than science. These things aint rockets dont get to worked up over settings.
Phil May
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 700
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 700

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: kinnscience On: Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:16 am

A big thanks to all of you for your help. Rob, thanks for the phone call. With your help, I have been able to get this running near perfect .... and when I get the buck delivered today ... I am certain it will be spot on perfect. The unit got to idle a couple times in the night .. maybe more but I tried to get some sleep so might have missed a few. Anyway, I can't imagine anyone wanting a different way to heat out here in coal country. I love this boiler already. This apartment building is warmer than it has ever been ... and it looks like I'll be burning between 2-3 ton a month to heat a building that has 5 large units (2 three bedroom/two story units, 2 large 1 bedroom units, and 1 very large 4 bedroom unit)... cost about $10,000 to $12,000 to heat with oil. Ya just gotta love that delta.
kinnscience
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 700
Stove/Furnace Make: efm 700
Stove/Furnace Model: 700

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: Phil May On: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:00 am

Same here I cut wood way to long. This 700 flat out kicks tail. the more load you put to it the better it likes it. Good quality coal is worth the money over crap coal.
Phil May
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 700
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 700

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:16 pm

In coal country the savings compared to heating oil is REALLY impressive. The basement will be warm and dry also. If you find that the basement gets too warm, insulating the boiler will help. I prefer to run them without jackets if the basement is large and/or uninsulated, but that is personal preference.

Phil May wrote:The air is a little more judgment than science. These things aint rockets dont get to worked up over settings.


The biggest thing to remember is that air blown through ashes does nothing but steal heat from the boiler. In my opinion, the fire should be roughly the same size as the burn plates (grates with air holes in them), but only after a long burn that allows the fire to stabilize...this is usually 30 minutes or so depending on how high the feed is set. You should not have burning coal on the solid ring around the pot. If you change suppliers of coal, it is good to check on the fire a few times after the change and see if any adjustments are required. If the fire starts to look lazy or creep onto the ring around the pot, and you haven't changed anything...it is probably time to brush out the boiler and check/clean the flue pipe.

Here are two pictures of a S-20 stoker (little brother to yours, but all I have pictures of) The first one is a good example of not enough air, the second is an example of too much air.

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A few more questions for Brian. Have you checked the draft at the flue outlet? Are side panels on the base sealed? Boiler sealed to the base?

You should have a barometric draft control on the flue pipe, and a ballpark setting is enough to get started...but ideally a draft gauge is used to adjust the draft once you have the feed and air set where you want it. Like Phil said, it isn't rocket science...but having the air and draft set correctly will maximize the efficiency of the unit. 5-10% efficiency isn't a big deal to someone that burns 3 tons per year, but at 20 tons it is noticeable.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: refurb efm 700

PostBy: kinnscience On: Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:54 am

Hi Rob,
Sorry for the delay. I do have a barametric dampener ... it usually sits at about 1/8 open from the draft ... because the draft is strong ... stronger than I have had in any other chimney in any other of my buildings. I played with it a bit .... because whenever I open the door or the ash bin ... the fire pulls back pretty heavy toward the back ... also checked the draft before lighting ... man it was a pretty strong current of air. But the dampener is always open at least about an inch .. sometimes puffs to 3 inches depending on air flow across the top of chimney. I need to replace the top of the chimeny .. the screen or whatever you call it .. I forget. Keeps the debris out and also stops downdrafts and cross drafts .. so that may help. Firemen knocked it off last year because the oil boiler was pissing oil up the chimney .... I had so much service to that boiler ... that is a thing of the past. I doubt I will have any problems with this EFM.

Got the buck fire ring is about 2 inches .. right where you said it should be. Still only using about 4-5 teeth ... lowest setting .. air is set at 4.5... man this thing is a beauty. I gotta take some pics of it ... cuz I am just in love with this unit. It is burning so consistent ... usually shuts off a few times during the night and is only burning about 1/3 of a 55 gallon barrel in a 24 hour period. I am thrilled cuz my estimate of coal use went down by half. Ash pan gets less than half full in a 24 hour period .. and it has been cold. This is a thing of beauty. I can't imagine anyone wanting to heat with anything different. And my concerns about it handling the building ... forget it. This thing makes the radiators hotter than the oil burner did ... and the place is warm warm warm. I'm going to save at least $9,000 a year on this ... maybe more as my oil was $10-$12k per year. I love it ... I really can't express how happy this thing makes me. Sometimes I just stand there and watch it ... hahaa
kinnscience
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 700
Stove/Furnace Make: efm 700
Stove/Furnace Model: 700