More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: berriesandnuts On: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:49 pm

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Well, after another year of my eyes popping out of my head and then sighing as I looked over my oil bill. I'm saying to my wife, somethings gotta give. My wife says, well there's no money in the budget for any of your big ideas.
Then I'm remembering my visit to a home improvement convention where a vendor was trying to sell me on a wood boiler. I like to do my research so I told him I'd take his info and think about it.

Anyway, I combed through the internet, looking at one of the wood boiler sites, then found a link leading me here.

Again, reading and reading. I know similar questions have been asked of course, but I'm still confused on many things, but based on what I've read in other posts, here is my situation:

2-story colonial style home about 3100 sq ft.
Unfinished basement, NOT a walkout, but I have bilko doors.
I have an oil boiler, indirect water tank. Burned through about 1400 gallons oil in the last 12 months.
Boiler squeezed into a corner nook below the living room underneath where there is a propane fireplace.

I've been pacing back and forth in my basement trying to figure out the logistics after talking to the wood boiler guy, but I'm thinking that I'm just about convinced to go coal after finding this site. But after I described what I have to the wood guy, he thinks I should setup his boiler (an inside gassifier) in a small shed attached the house since NY has been cracking down on regulations.

My understanding is that a power-vent is NOT advisable for a coal boiler. I'm not liking the idea of attempting to use the existing chimney since I've also read that coal will deteriorate the chimney. I'm not seeing where I can place another boiler inside though where another chimney could be erected (I understand masonry is the way to go).

I've attached some pics, maybe someone can advise me on a good approach. I was anticipating that I'm at least 2 years out, but at what i'm paying now, I may have to work a summer job to spring for it.
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berriesandnuts
 
Other Heating: Burnham PV84-WT oil boiler

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: berriesandnuts On: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:58 pm

I didn't know if the post should have gone into the general forum or not.

I'm in the process of contacting a mason guy for pricing on a chimney. I'm trying to figure out what the best cost option would be given that I've read the ideal is to put it (a coal boiler) inside. But I understand that you shouldn't have much of a horizontal run of piping? I'm thinking about the possibility of clearing out some of the junk and shelving I have in the basement along the left side of the present boiler, then having someone move everything out from that nook so as to have everything along the wall if there is space?

Unfortunately, the opposite side of the house has a slab attached garage and the driveway.
The front has a porch, the back has a deck. It looks like the side where the boiler is currently is the only practical side.

Would putting a small shed outside with the coal boiler be close in cost? I've seen some pictures of similar setups (wood boilers though).
berriesandnuts
 
Other Heating: Burnham PV84-WT oil boiler

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:05 pm

So you are interested in a boiler? Good news - it would be very simple to tie a coal unit into your existing system. Leave the oil boiler right where it is, move the "stuff" away from the basement wall, add a coal boiler...power vent is an option if a chimney is not possible or practical. The coal unit would pay for itself in about two years.
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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:23 pm

i am assuming the presnt boiler is in a notch in basement foundation, the chimney is a double or triple wall insulated SS chimney, contained within the boxed section runnig up side of house. If so... i would take present boiler out of that location, get a masonary chimney bult right on that notch foot print, 2 flues(tiled). AS far as what type coal burner, obviously it will need to be a boiler, house is all set up and running hydronic heats sytems.
Boiler choices, EFM , AHS, LL stokers. Will need a bin to contain bulk coal for unit, this is where you need to consider, delivery access to bin, and your access to supplying stoker unit. if doing masonry chimney, a half sunk bin beside chimney, so its half the depth of foundation with access door/feed system in basement would be ideal. also masonary built base to ground level, and wood above ground level to side and match house exterior. the physical hook up and keeping indirect system wouldn't be a terribly complicated job, more the moving components, locating foot print for coal stoker boiler, and reconnecting to exsisting plumbing and such. Wether you keep oil as back up or not depends on you and keeping it a multi fuel house for heating no matter what comes down the road later is a wise idea. thats why i said dual flue chimney.
wilder11354
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260
Coal Size/Type: nut or pea, anthracite
Other Heating: crown oil boiler, backup.if needed

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:36 pm

1400 gallons is equal to almost 8 ton of coal. 1400 x $3.85 = $5390 8 ton x $260 = $2080 Difference of $3310.

BTW Thats a lot of oil.
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: berriesandnuts On: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:43 pm

Flyer5 wrote:1400 gallons is equal to almost 8 ton of coal. 1400 x $3.85 = $5390 8 ton x $260 = $2080 Difference of $3310.

BTW Thats a lot of oil.


FlyerS. This 8 ton & $2080 you mention. Does that mean I'll likely be using close to that based on my oil use?
I agree it's a lot of oil. I do have a problem with my upstairs zone occasionally blowing "lukewarm" air. I hope to get that issue resolved because I think it's contributing to excess oil use. Unfortunately I've had two different techs out and the problem remains.


To: Wilder11254,
Yes, the boiler and water tank are in that recess. And the present boiler exhausts up the chimney which is metal (what kind I don't know). Let me see if I understand. You are saying a masonry chimney could be built in that spot if I move the oil boiler and water heater?
That would mean tearing down what is there and erecting the masonry chimney (two flues)?
There is a vent coming out of that chimney on the outside on the first floor level from the propane fireplace (which I've only used one season anyway).
I'm wondering if that will be a complication?
Then I just have to find floor space for both boilers? And the water tank? I suppose the cost won't be much different than placing a unit outdoors?
berriesandnuts
 
Other Heating: Burnham PV84-WT oil boiler

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:31 am

berriesandnuts wrote:I'm in the process of contacting a mason guy for pricing on a chimney. I'm trying to figure out what the best cost option would be given that I've read the ideal is to put it (a coal boiler) inside. But I understand that you shouldn't have much of a horizontal run of piping?


Putting the coal boiler in the basement is usually the most cost effective option, and you get the benefit of radiant heat in the basement...which is VERY nice. You have an outside basement entrance, so getting the ashes out won't be a problem. Moving your existing oil boiler and water heater will dramatically increase the cost of the install, if it were my house I wouldn't even consider moving the existing system. Regarding your question about horizontal piping runs, I have almost 12 feet on mine with a low pitch...works fine for me.

1400 gallons per year is plenty in a modern house...especially in your location. Lots of recessed lighting on the second floor? Start checking for air leaks into the attic.
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: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:32 am

berriesandnuts wrote:
Flyer5 wrote:1400 gallons is equal to almost 8 ton of coal. 1400 x $3.85 = $5390 8 ton x $260 = $2080 Difference of $3310.

BTW Thats a lot of oil.


FlyerS. This 8 ton & $2080 you mention. Does that mean I'll likely be using close to that based on my oil use?
I agree it's a lot of oil. I do have a problem with my upstairs zone occasionally blowing "lukewarm" air. I hope to get that issue resolved because I think it's contributing to excess oil use. Unfortunately I've had two different techs out and the problem remains.





The formula is 1 ton of coal is equal to between 150-180gal HO . With the new heating oil I would guess closer to the 180 side. Also as I and someone else said 1400 seems like a lot of oil for a newer home. I would also be looking at where it could be lost. Most of the stokers can be powervented but I do always recommend a chimney if possible.
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:15 am

Welcome to the forum!!!

We are good at spending other peoples money when it comes to coal installs!!! :lol:

I like Rob's suggestions which minimize initial cost so you can start saving money right away. Put the coal boiler close to the oil boiler and pipe to it. Power vents are used on boilers often, however a block chimney would be less maintenance since it would be less cleaning.

Regarding coal delivery & storage there are a lot of ways to go, but the less you handle it the more you'll like it. If inside storage space is an issue, you could have an outside bin along the wall where the coal boiler is located if the delivery truck has easy access to that spot. Then auger it from the outside bin into the inside barrel or hopper for the boiler to pull from. There are a few good examples of this as well as other clever solutions for you to consider.

You don't have to do this all the first year if money / time is an issue. You could get the boiler installed initially to start saving over burning oil and feed the coal boiler via bag or bucket until you get 'stage 2' in place.

What size doorway do you have through the Bilco door access?
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: waldo lemieux On: Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:33 pm

N&B

So am I correct in assuming you have forced hot air delivery. In other words heating coils in your ac ducts? In any event you should go coal boiler as close to your oil unit as you can get it. you could open up the existing chase/chimney and have a block chimney laid up and then close the chase back up adding insulation to make the chimney perform better. No matter which way you go you'll be way better off with coal even if you have" free" wood. Remember it wont ever get any more economically viable than right now! The sooner you do it the longer you will have saved money in the end.

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

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: berriesandnuts On: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:51 pm

waldo lemieux wrote:N&B

So am I correct in assuming you have forced hot air delivery. In other words heating coils in your ac ducts? In any event you should go coal boiler as close to your oil unit as you can get it. you could open up the existing chase/chimney and have a block chimney laid up and then close the chase back up adding insulation to make the chimney perform better.
Waldo



Waldo, I don't think there are heating coils in the air ducts themselves. There is an air handler in the basement and also one in the attic. With ducting running from them, one large duct running to each of them. They handle the AC/& heat.

I suppose a boiler could be put next to the oil tank and piping running between the water heater and oil boiler if they are not moved from their present location? It seems that existing piping would have to be moved out of the way?
I'm a little concerned that if the existing water heater tank needed servicing, a lot of stuff would have to be moved to get to it. And there's also that propane line and vent going to the gas fireplace.

I'm trying to get all this terminology and stuff down so that when I speak to a masonry guy, I at least have a clue as to suggesting alternatives.

I've read that delivery guys like to have a convenient spot to deliver coal. The bilko doors are on the opposite side of the driveway (if you're facing the house from the front), but I'd be willing to do some walking in the meantime up and down the short bilko door stairs.
berriesandnuts
 
Other Heating: Burnham PV84-WT oil boiler

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: Lu47Dan On: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:32 pm

Space in your basement is not a problem, by the look of the photos, but the exterior of the house is finished.
So to install the new chimney the siding on the end of the house would have to be removed, the chimney laid up, the siding installed and the finish work done.
Now if you have the room (acreage) to build one, a smallish building with the boiler and coal bin in it might be a good idea.
If the building is sized right, you would have room for the boiler and a coal bin of adequate size to store your years supply of coal.
My design ends up being 18' X 20' with a bin sized to hold ten tons of coal. The bin will have an outside door that will allow me to install a grain elevator conveyor into the door to load the coal into the bin's loading screw hopper. The screw will carry the coal across the bin, dropping it through windows in the pipe into the bin. Once the bin is full the conveyor will be removed, the hopper door closed, and than the outside door closed. Ten ton of coal should run the boiler all winter. I will feed the conveyor with a small front end loader from the coal pile. I am looking at buying 22ton of coal at a time.
The only piping running to the house will be the supply and return lines to the boiler in the house.
Dan.
Lu47Dan
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Sears circulator air tight stove.
Other Heating: Crown 115,000 BTU oil fired boiler(house) Weil Mclain 150,000BTU oil fired boiler(Shop)

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: oilman On: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:11 pm

Something is very wrong with the house or heating system if you are using 1400 gallons. Very wrong. Those are more like propane gallonage figures,not oil.
You need to fix the system first. Or you will be blowing thru tons of coal, too.

As an add-on, you should be able to put the boiler anywhere in the basement- just run the copper over to the system center at the oil unit. Is there a good end wall where a chimney could be put up?

Yes, you could put the unit in a building, but with your hydro-air system having the boiler in the basement radiating heat would be invaluable to your comfort.
oilman
 

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: franco b On: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:30 pm

oilman wrote:Something is very wrong with the house or heating system if you are using 1400 gallons

I agree with oilman. There seems to be no way to get at the boiler to clean the flue passages or smoke pipe.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: More newbie ?? re: what to get, where to put it?

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:49 pm

He said 1400 gallons in the last 12 months. That's half of last winter and all of this winter so far. 1400 gallons doesn't really seem that unreasonable when that is considered. 3100 square foot house, also.
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Visit Lehigh Anthracite