need coal fired steam heat boiler

need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: coldguy On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:46 pm

HI, I want to add onto and utilize (most of the time) a coal boiler instead of the natural gas one in my 3 story, 1925 bldg, about 5,000 sq. feet. It was once heated by a coal boiler, which is still sitting there with an iron fireman coal hopper/auger unit, but how long ago that was deactivated I have no idea. No one around knows how to even check it to see if the old boiler would fire up and work either. Steam heat, going to radiators throughout the bldg. one pipe into each radiator. Cant find any manf. to get back to me. Was looking at the CoalGun boilers, but no one gets back to me on inquiries. Any suggestions appreciated, thanks.
coldguy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ashley wood stove

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:59 pm

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

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:07 pm

Hello coldguy, you mentioned the natural gas boiler, is it providing steam to the building's radiators right now??
You described a single pipe steam system, is this what is heating the 5000sqft building?? This would mean the steam piping is intact, and the radiators and their valves are functioning correctly.

We need a little more info about what you have, what is currently working and functioning.

The iron fireman is a very simple system, read the name plate on the end of the gearbox, and take a photo of the setup. I have an Iron Fireman underfeed stoker in one of my boilers. Unless it is badly rusted, or had been badly abused it should still function with a little service work.
As for the steam boiler, is it still holding water?? Who has been servicing the existing heat system?? Has the system ever frozen??
Give us some more information and we'll see if we can't help.

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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:40 pm

coldguy wrote:No one around knows how to even check it to see if the old boiler would fire up and work either. Steam heat, going to radiators throughout the bldg. one pipe into each radiator.


Those systems are about as reliable as a bucket of rocks. If its all there it should be workable. Get some pics up and where you are. If your close, I would be delighted to come over and fire that puppy up.

All you need to do is fill it with water and put about 10-15# pressure on it. If any valves/gauges/sight glass leaks drain and repair said part. Several times drain the water level to make sure the feed and low water controls operate properly and boiler water maintains its level. Check the rope seals in the door ash door if applicable. Lubricate any manual draft controls, blower and stoker. If the stoker works, fire it up.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:33 pm

Any efm DF520 or older efm coal boiler, new or used, can be used with either a hot water OR a steam system. The boilers are the same; only the controls are different.
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: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: coldguy On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:23 pm

sorry, forgot to mention, location = upstate, central new york, near syracuse.
coldguy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ashley wood stove

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: coldguy On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:29 pm

to answer the additional questions:

yep, single pipe to the radiators all run off the natural gas boiler, they all work well, heats real good if I turn the thermostat up to 70 or whatever want, just the gas is extremely expensive these days. The gas boiler thats there is 500,000 btu/hr...a Utica boiler.

The coal boiler appears as if it was just left to sit after someone installed the natural gas boiler. It looks like they just walked away from it and left it, the hopper in the iron fireman was still full of coal and about a ton of coal was left in the coalroom. There's still electrical power running to the iron fireman hopper, but the boiler, I just can't tell if it blew up and THEN they installed the gas boiler, or if they just decided to install gas when it became available because it was more convenient.

If I could simply start up the old one (even with repairs) and start using it, that would be great. Otherwise, I would consider buying a new coal unit. spending thousands of dollars to NYSEG for gas now and I dont even keep the place warm!
coldguy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ashley wood stove

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:43 pm

Call around, there are people who still work on the older equipement. I'll try to find a number of a guy who is halfway between Rochester and Syracuse... goes by 'oilman' on this forum I think.... I'll look up his number, I might still have it somewhere..

Is there still water in the old boiler??? you should have a site glass in a steam unit..
If you turn on the iron fireman does the motor run and the auger turn?? Remove the cap off the center of the iron fireman gearbox, it looks like a greascap on a wheel bearing on a vehicle, It unscrews normal direction, counter clockwise. You can watch the auger turn. There is a shear pin under a circular clip. if the shear pin is sheared, the outer ring willturn, but the inner won't.
There is a coal cleanout just in front of the hopper in the center tube, you can remove the semicircular cover and inspect it for rust and jams from stones in the coal.
Scoop out the old coal in the burn pot and vacuum out the air holes in the sides of the burnpot. see if you get lots of air out of the holes when the motor is running. inspect the burnpot for cracks or heat damage...

Do you have any parts for the iron fireman around?? member 'berlin' needs some parts/pieces for his iron fireman.

Take some photos, so we can get you pointed in the right direction.

This should be fun... with photos, we can maybe resurect the old unit...
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:54 pm

I forgot to mention, most Iron Fireman instalations are for burning Bituminous coal, so you may have soft coal, not hard coal or anthracite in this unit.. It takes a slightly different set of 'rules' and skills to operate a bituminous stoker than an anthracite-burning stoker...

Can you look in the firebox, and tell me if the burn pot is surrounded by a fairly flat shelf make of something like 'cement' or plaster, or similar material?? This is where the ash/clinker/coke from a bituminous fire would end up after the combustion process in the firepot, and you have to remove the clinker and ash from around the fire. this has to be done daily, sometimes more often depending on the coal and the amount of heat being used..

Send me a PM with your email address and I'll send you a piece of literature on the Iron Fireman.

does it look like this: ??
Iron fireman.jpg

ironfireman1.jpg
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: coldguy On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:55 pm

yep, theres a sight glass but it looks to be dry as a bone, as if it as been for years---the iron fireman unit last i threw the switch started up and coal started moving inside, so i turned it back off. Tmw, I will try turning a valve and see if water comes in and will take some pics and post them up. The old boiler is huge, at least 5 feet tall, maybe 3.5 feet diameter or so. No spare parts for the iron fireman, its just the whole unit sitting there hooked into the old, hibernating boiler. If you could find the number of a guy to work on it that would be great, this is actually in Cortland, about 30 miles south of syracuse straight down 81.
coldguy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ashley wood stove

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:25 pm

We should all be so lucky to have the entire coal-fired unit still in place and intact. I guess the previous owners didn't want to bother having it removed. In many instances there is not enough room, the new boiler must be placed where the old one sits. What a find!
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

pics of the boiler and iron fireman

PostBy: coldguy On: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:35 am

Allrite, you guys got me excited so i ran out and took some pics tonight, the controls, the iron fireman and the boiler. There is STILL water in the sightglass. You can see the blue square gas boiler in the background of some of the pics. It appears they share a common water feed line, with some valves in between. common steam feed line too. Looks like a timer mechanism over by the power fusebox for the iron fireman. Well, you guys tell me what you think...would love to fire it up and tell NYSEG gas company where to go!
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coldguy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ashley wood stove

more pics

PostBy: coldguy On: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:39 am

more pics
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coldguy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ashley wood stove

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: coldguy On: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:42 am

a few more
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coldguy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ashley wood stove

Re: need coal fired steam heat boiler

PostBy: coldguy On: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:44 am

another one
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coldguy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ashley wood stove

Visit Lehigh Anthracite