using too much coal?

using too much coal?

PostBy: billmcb On: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:26 pm

I have been reading about coal usage and compared to what you guys are using I think I must not have something adjusted right. I fired up my rebuilt EFM 520 Dec 6th and by tomorrow will have gone through at least 2600 lbs coal heating 1800 sq ft log home, which did cost me 4000.00 in propane last year, but with as warm as it was I thought it was a bit much, wasn't it? is there anyone in north central pa who could help me make sure I've got this set up right I just outside of Millerton Pa. Here are a few pics of our addition and setup.
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billmcb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:15 pm

First thing I noticed is that you are using the wrong tapping on the boiler for an outlet. You should be using the 3" outlet on top, so the water flows through the entire heat exchanger.
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: using too much coal?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:29 pm

Could you please provide a pic of the fire (through the round door) after the unit has been running continuously for 30+ minutes?

Thanks.

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

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: billmcb On: Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:40 pm

1st pic within 2min 2nd pic after 20 min
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billmcb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:30 pm

Is it an optical illusion or is the exhaust 8" coming out of the stove & then reduced to 6" & then back to 8" ?
windyhill4.2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: Lightning On: Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:36 pm

Rob R. wrote:First thing I noticed is that you are using the wrong tapping on the boiler for an outlet. You should be using the 3" outlet on top, so the water flows through the entire heat exchanger.


I'm gonna say that would be a huge bingo.. :o
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:13 am

billmcb wrote:1st pic within 2min 2nd pic after 20 min


After a lengthy burn there should be about a 2" ring of dead ash around the outside of the hot coals, and corresponding fairly closely to the outer ring on the top of the burn pot. If you have hot coals close to or going over the edge you're getting an incomplete burn. In that situation you need to increase the air setting (in small increments) so that you have the 2" ash ring after a long burn.

Also, are you pulling the cleanout lever regularly and is the cleanout cover sealing properly when closed?

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

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:57 am

windyhill4.2 wrote:Is it an optical illusion or is the exhaust 8" coming out of the stove & then reduced to 6" & then back to 8" ?


That's what it looks like to me. Also looks like the flue outlet was moved from the rear of the base to the side.

I'm still stuck on the copper piping. The way it is now there will be little to no flow around the combustion chamber, and half of the heat exchanger probably isn't doing its job. I would fix that, and bump the air to 4 or 4.25 like Mike suggested.
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: using too much coal?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:00 am

Bill, since your EFM is in addition it makes sense that it is burning more coal that what you expected based on the propane. I see that there is a little insulation on the boiler, but none on the copper piping. The EFM is heating the house + the addition. I always push people to put the boiler in the basement, but I understand that isn't always possible. Plus having it on ground level saves some labor with coal & ash.
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: using too much coal?

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:07 am

2600 pounds seems excessive for a 1800 sq ft volume. But maybe its at 90 F..but I doubt it...and insulation is always a question.

But it does seem a month of burning for a 1800 sq ft house is about 30% too much, given the early warm temps in DEC.
davidmcbeth3
 
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:56 pm

I think the Mayor's rule of thumb would say if you're heating 1800 sf you should expect to burn about 4.5 tons (= (1800/2000) x 5) for the year. I agree with davidmcbeth3 that the consumption for Dec looks somewhat high. I also agree with Rob that if the addition isn't included in the 1800 sf, that may account for at least some of the difference.

In addition to the things already mentioned, I would suggest you check for sources of air infiltration to the combustion chamber. Is the boiler head sealed to the base, and are the side panels properly sealed/gasketed? Is the ash door gasketed and does it seat properly?

Also, what is your draft reading or baro setting? Have the heat exchange surfaces been cleaned properly? Is the unit supposed to have a hanging baffle in the combustion chamber and if so has it been installed?

I agree with the piping comments; I think that causes some efficiency loss but mainly limits the boiler's ability to generate usable output (i.e., the btu's will tend to stay in the boiler and cause the stoker to run in short cycles).

And then there's the old standby question, are you sure it's decent coal?

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

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:30 pm

Since i am used to looking in a round door EFM,i will say that the baffle is in. It can be seen at the top of the fire door in the fire pics.
windyhill4.2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:34 pm

Thanks. Scratch that one off the list.

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

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: billmcb On: Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:28 pm

Thanks guys,

I'll get the out put pipe moved to the top. the boiler has 1 inch duck board wrapped around it and the boiler is sealed to the base with high temp caulk and we make a new base and moved the smoke pipe to the side and yes it is a six inch pipe, the thimble in the chimney was only 6 inch so I was trying to see if it burned ok as far as the burn it is burning well do get a ash ring at top of burner and it looks like it is all burned, the ash is cool when it drops and the baffle is hanging at the rear of the fire box. as far as the baro i don't have a way to test it. Thats one of the reasons I was asking if anyone who is familiar with efm 520 is up my way just south of Elmira NY.
billmcb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: using too much coal?

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:09 pm

When you sealed the boiler to base , did you seal the middle partition edge too ? If not that would certainly affect coal usage.
windyhill4.2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both