Still considering a boiler input welcome

Still considering a boiler input welcome

PostBy: ColdHouse On: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:13 am

This winter I heated solely with coal stoves. On the main floor is a Hitzer 503 insert. In the finished walkout basement/lower level a Glacier Bay hand fired stove. My son was responsible for the Glacier bay and I would venture to say that it was out at least 45 days due to him not tending to it as needed. The Hitzer was a workhorse. At most was loaded twice daily. We had a very cold winter here in Bristol CT. I bought my first coal Oct 27th and have enough to get me thru the heating season. Most days were plenty warm but when it was near zero for low and teens for high the upper level where the bedrooms are were frigid. Probably around 60*. I purchased 12,720# of coal. Our domestic Hot water runs off of the oil boiler and has a very large domestic hot water tank for storage. I put my boiler on a timer switch so there would be hot water in the morning for showers and we would manually flick the switch if we needed hot water at other times. In the last 6 months we have used 250 gallons of oil to heat our hot water. The house is set up for hydro air. There are air handlers in the basement and the crawl space attic. I shut off all water to those so there was never hot water from the boiler going to those air handlers. I used the blower from the crawl space attic handler to pull air out of the room where the hitzer sits and distribute it to the upper floor. Realistically it would have been nice to have the house warmer on those very cold days.

The oil boiler I have is in very good shape and is located in the garage raised off the floor. I called the city last fall and they told me that a coal boiler could be installed in the garage. I understand that loading a boiler that is elevated will be more difficult but this winter we hauled bags to 2 hand fired stoves. I think a system can be devised to make the task as easy as possible and would probably be less effort than maintaining 2 stoves and provide more comfort.

I would not necessarily want to get rid of the current boiler because I would not want to discourage a possible buyer in the event we ever sell the home. I want to explore all options. It would be nice if I could simply put in an add on coal fired unit and plumb it into the existing boiler with some Ball valves or whatever and if I moved simply cap them off. I could even just save the boiler and hook it back up if I moved. Regardless from my calculations of clearances and size of coal fired boilers I am pretty sure that I would have to put a coal boiler in a different place in the garage in order to accommodate parking. Presently one vehicle must be backed in the garage because of where the oil boiler is placed leaves & there is the little room to exit the vehicle from the passenger side. The garage is long enough to put the coal unit at the end.

Thank you in advance for your input.
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Current Oil Boiler
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Domestic Hot Water Tank
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Lower Level Basement Air Handler
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Attic crawl Space air handler distributes heat and AC to main floor and upper level.

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Re: Still considering a boiler input welcome

PostBy: McGiever On: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:30 am

Irregardless of what coal boiler you would choose, your install costs will be small with what already exists in the system.
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Still considering a boiler input welcome

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:39 pm

Most of the coal boilers use a 8" chimney. Your situation doesn't appear to require a huge boiler. The smallest size will work for you. A Ka-2 would probably directly change out with your existing boiler. to make use of your existing chimney. For the oil backup, the smartest thing to do would be to put the oil boiler on a direct vent at the end of your garage.
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520, 700, Van Wert 800 GJ 61,53
Baseburners & Antiques: Magic Stewart 16, times 2!
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck
Other Heating: Slant Fin electric boiler backup

Re: Still considering a boiler input welcome

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:46 am

First off - lets consider if your going to continue parking the car next to the planed installation of a coal boiler
- This could be similar to planning the building of a bomb in the garage .

Maybe - It depends

I wouldn't do it but some here think my advice and two dollars wouldn't buy you coffee :D

So lets move forward and plan a boiler room to isolate the bomb from the boiler - consider a primary secondary piping system - That would give you all the parts you desire from your first post and not be too difficult to retrofit it.

A basic understanding of systems would be your first step to help us advise you
maybe start here ... /Hot-Water

be sure to catch this one ... er-Heating

some of these threads would be good to read - some not - ... mit=Search

another good place to read about these systems is ... ers.11837/
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Still considering a boiler input welcome

PostBy: franco b On: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:26 am

If there is no boiler room, then the safest way is to pipe the air intake of burners to outside air, both oil burner and stoker.
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: Still considering a boiler input welcome

PostBy: ColdHouse On: Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:10 pm

I think I already have the best of everything buy had not realized it. Instead of trying to heat only with coal, next year I will heat lower walkout basement with Glacier bay I will shut that zone off with ball valve as I did this past winter. The main floor I will run the Hitzer as I did this past winter. Some heat will go to the upper level but thermostat demand on main level will easily be satisfied by Hitzer. Upper level will get heat off oil boiler via air handler in attic crawlspace. I won't need to change anything and will have a warmer house with very little oil consumption.

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