Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: L-Bow On: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:25 pm

Hello Forum:
I'm rather new to the list and to coal. I curently very happilty heating with a Keystoker 70k. The house is very comfortable , but as is tipical of forced hot air, very dry, even with 3 humidifiers running 24/7. The house is a 100 year old log cabin with multiple well insulated additions. Also, I pay too much for domestic hot water, and soon will pay much more; PPL customer. I'm sold on coal, sold on stokers, but due to the above concerns am interested in going to a boiler or at least a stove with a domestic loop. I have installed a very good duct system with cold air returns run off the 265 cfm convection blower, but I have, due to a current remodle project, 90% of the copper zone lines run for baseboard hot water.
I'm going possibly today to look at an EFM boiler, mostly to get educated about boilers, and would like the forums opinions on the AA130, or 260 versus EFM versus other manufactures. I have a well insulated basement that stays at 75* and 2 well insulated floors above that hold at 72*., for a total of about 2000 sq ft. Mostly I'd like to know where and when I could see a AA in operation so I could get a handle on how big they are relative to my Keystoker and how much Btu output I need.
Would appreciate your opinions.
Larry Bowen
L-Bow
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Ketstoker 70,000
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 70,000

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:04 pm

It would be helpful if you edit your profile and tell us where you live. I've got at AHS S130 you can come look at.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:08 pm

Hello Larry, with the apparent size of your house, an AA130, AHS130, or one of the Keystoker boilers or a Harman boiler will be more than enough. An EFM would be overkill as would an AA260/AHS260.

You are currently keeping the house comfortable on 70K, and when you add in the btu load from your domestic hot water you are just nudging 100K. So with the added efficiency of a boiler over a stove moving air through ducts I would say that 100K-130K would be plenty.

Of course the correct way to figure this out is to do a full heat analysis on the house, I think it is called a 'schedule J ' . There are a couple of threads on the forum about this, try the search feature, or PM Yanche, he can point you in the right direction.

Personally I would probably go with an AHS 130, or the Keystoker Kaa2 or the Harman Stoker boiler. Unless you can find a good used AA 130. You should try to see/hear an AHS and AA boiler in opperation. They are not silent. A good used EFM would do the job as well, you can turn them down and not loose too much efficiency.

Add your location to your signature, maybe someone lives nearby and will offer a visit to see their boiler in operation

Hope this helps.. Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

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Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: L-Bow On: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:53 pm

Yanche, Greg,et al

Thanks for your prompt reply. First I have to say upon reviewing my post I typoed or misquoted the sq footage of my house
at 2000 ft. It is 3000 sq ft including the basement which is insulated , walls not ceiling. I am located in south central Pa. in Enola 17025 zip. I would really appreciate someone knowledgable willing to let me see their boiler.
Larry Bowen
Enola,Pa.
L-Bow
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Ketstoker 70,000
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 70,000

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: stoker-man On: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:54 pm

With the variable rate of feed, the efm boiler wouldn't be an overkill.

Larry, if you look in the manufacturers section of this forum, you can see the entire efm stoker/boiler unit.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:26 pm

Gotta put in a plug for the Harman VF3000. It's very trouble free. Variable heat output easily adjusts to changing requirements. I could be wrong but I don't think you'll find a negative comment about the boiler from anyone on this forum that has one.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:10 pm

The reason I said the EFM would be an overkill is that in the original first statement it was said that he was very comfortable with a 70k stoker stove. Putting in a 220K boiler in that situation is overkill if there are 120-160K boilers available.
The variable feed rate on the EFM helps, but you would still have a large heat exchanger trying to be heated buy a fire that is not automaticaly variable. You have to manually adjust the feed rate pawl on the notched wheel for the auger. Using that large of a boiler at only 1/4 to 1/3 capacity is the definition of overkill.

However, now that we have some extra information, that the house is using the heat from the 70K stoker AND 200 gallons of oil each month, then the EFM is right in the ballpark.

Greg L

.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: lincolnmania On: Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:43 am

you dont have to crank the efm.....i dunno about boilers, my my efm hot air furnace is invaluable......since i do not have a timer, i keep the feed rate at 3 clicks.....right now it's 62 degrees in the garage and 29 outside.....3200 sq ft block garage with a large wooden garage door, a small wooden garage door, 4 leaky windows, and a 18' celing only the rafters are covered with this foil/bubble wrap looking insulation.....i never even finished the hot air ducts for the shop.....i have a 10" going to my office (72 back here) and a 10" elbow on the top of the plenum pointed at a 15 dollar celing fan......when it gets down to below zero then i'm in end of the world mode to keep the shop above 60 but a whole hell of alot better than the two hand fed stove setup i used to have out here.....i kept the warm morning for backup but we scrapped the sunbeam......an efm 520 with the proper timers i bet would be a coal miser and keep your house toasty warm.....heck if it is too much heat, good opportunity to build a garage and heat with the same unit if you ask me
lincolnmania
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: efm af-150 1982
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: alaska kodiak stoker 1986
Hand Fed Coal Stove: warm morning 1980 kenmore

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: coal berner On: Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:33 am

LsFarm wrote:The reason I said the EFM would be an overkill is that in the original first statement it was said that he was very comfortable with a 70k stoker stove. Putting in a 220K boiler in that situation is overkill if there are 120-160K boilers available.
The variable feed rate on the EFM helps, but you would still have a large heat exchanger trying to be heated buy a fire that is not automaticaly variable. You have to manually adjust the feed rate pawl on the notched wheel for the auger. Using that large of a boiler at only 1/4 to 1/3 capacity is the definition of overkill.

However, now that we have some extra information, that the house is using the heat from the 70K stoker AND 200 gallons of oil each month, then the EFM is right in the ballpark.

Greg L

.
The Firing rate for the E.F.M 520 Is at 2 1/2 Pounds Per Hour 21.470 At 25 Pounds Per Hour is 214.690 and There is lots of room for adjustments any where in between To change the feed rate is nothing more the turning the screw
a 1/2 of turn and move the dog leg to the next notch and turn the air knob to the next number very easy to do I would have to say much more adjustments then a A-A 130 or a 260 Now With that said The A-A has the efficiency over The E.F.M :)
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: 1975gt750 On: Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:47 pm

i have a keystoker kaa-2 and i am very happy. i am heating 2000 sqaure foot ranch with forced hotwater runs me about 40# a day pretty cheap compared to oil. i f i was you and are very happy with your keystoker70 i would stick with tham plus they have good customer service unlike harman who seem to suck. had a bad run in with my harman dealer
1975gt750
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: keystoker kaa-2
Coal Size/Type: rice coal / blaschak
Other Heating: pensotti oil boiler with riello 40 burner
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: kaa-2

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: beatle78 On: Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:12 pm

1975gt750 wrote:i have a keystoker kaa-2 and i am very happy. i am heating 2000 sqaure foot ranch with forced hotwater runs me about 40# a day pretty cheap compared to oil. i f i was you and are very happy with your keystoker70 i would stick with tham plus they have good customer service unlike harman who seem to suck. had a bad run in with my harman dealer



The only thing I don't like about the KAA-2 is the small hopper size :(

My Magnum Stoker has a 100 lbs hopper and during the cold snaps I have to fill it once a day. I like the idea of a 200+ lbs hopper :)
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: 1975gt750 On: Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:31 pm

i got the extend hopper on mine holds 160 pounds or four bags coal and goes four days. now only if it had an ash pan that held 4 bags of coal the stove would be maintence free for four days
1975gt750
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: keystoker kaa-2
Coal Size/Type: rice coal / blaschak
Other Heating: pensotti oil boiler with riello 40 burner
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: kaa-2

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: e.alleg On: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:48 am

+1 for the EFM 520, I guess you can't go wrong with any of the boilers.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: beatle78 On: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:45 pm

1975gt750 wrote:i got the extend hopper on mine holds 160 pounds or four bags coal and goes four days. now only if it had an ash pan that held 4 bags of coal the stove would be maintence free for four days


oh nice. I didn't realize that was an option. How often do you have to empty the ash bin?

I called my local Keystoker dealer here in RI and he said he was dying to see a stoker boiler :?: :?: Not a good first step....
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: Purchasing a Boiler, Opinions and Experiences please

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:57 pm

FYI, The Harman hopper holds 250# and the ash pan gets emptied once per hopper load. Harman dealers in many areas do not seem to have alot of coal burning device knowledge. But the unit works so well , you really don't need them. Any questions you would need answered, there's more knowledge on this forum than in all of the Harman dealers combined. And probably many of the other manufacturers as well.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Visit Lehigh Anthracite