general questions

general questions

PostBy: tuck57 On: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:20 pm

Lots of good information here, I'm looking at getting a coal stoker before the next heating season. One thing that I noticed is it doesn't seem to be a good idea to burn coal in 50 - 60 degree weather because of draft problems. Is this true? If so, what about days that are 30 degrees when I leave for work and get up to 65 in the afternoon while I'm at work? People talk about how long a hopper of coal last, but hoppers vary greatly in size and sometimes that seem confusing on how much coal is being used in total.
tuck57
 

Re: general questions

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:26 pm

Hello tuck, if you have a good tall chimney, and the house is in a good location with no wind downdrafts, then you should have no problem burning coal in 50-60* weather.

How much coal a stoker stove or boiler will use will depend on the BTU load on the unit.. if you have a too-small stoker in a big, leaky, poorly insulated house, the coal use will be double or tripple what the same stoker will burn in a smaller tight, well insulated home..

You can make some comparrisons with how much oil or gas you use..

Give us a description of your house, it's size, insulation, type of construction, floorplan layout etc.. and the stoker stoves/boilers you are considering...and we'll try to 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

Re: general questions

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:32 pm

We burn ours year round, it's a big furnace and also supplies domestic hot water which more than makes up for the cost of running it during the summer. Will also add considerable life to the unit.

As far as the hopper size goes there are other considerations too, for the most part you're not limited by the hopper but by the amount of ash the unit can hold. Either way the hopper size is no indication as to what amount of coal you're going to use. That will depend on your personal habits, size of the unit, how much space you're trying to heat, how well insulated your house is etc. etc.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: general questions

PostBy: WNY On: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:35 pm

Depends on Natural draft chimney or power/direct vent option.

I have run mine at 50-60 degree days without any problem or the fire going out, it's an internal brick chimney about 35-40' tall thru the middle of the house from the basement and above the roof line 6'.

Also, on my other stove I have a direct/power vent, that can pretty much run any time/any temp, it is a constant draw on the stove and not temperature dependent. So, that's another consideration.

Hopper size - Depends on the design. Most of the hoppers hold 80-100#, some larger stoves will hold more (150-200#'s) and It depends on how hot you are running it. I would think most small-med stoves on here are running the 40-60#/day when really cold (0-25 degrees), so depending on your set temperatures, you can go 1-3 days without filling the stove. Some of the larger stoves/Boilers, people are using 80-120#+/day.

On Idle/Pilot mode when no heat is required, you can back it down to about 1#/hr, so 24#/day, you could get 3-4+ days without refueling.

You still have to empty the ashes. Figure about 8-10% ash. So, 100# of coal will produce 10lbs of ash. Each stove has different size ash pans also.

Hope that helps.
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: general questions

PostBy: beatle78 On: Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:23 pm

Richard S. wrote:We burn ours year round, it's a big furnace and also supplies domestic hot water which more than makes up for the cost of running it during the summer. Will also add considerable life to the unit.

As far as the hopper size goes there are other considerations too, for the most part you're not limited by the hopper but by the amount of ash the unit can hold. Either way the hopper size is no indication as to what amount of coal you're going to use. That will depend on your personal habits, size of the unit, how much space you're trying to heat, how well insulated your house is etc. etc.



How will running your furnace year around add life to the boiler :?:
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: general questions

PostBy: OILEYMAN8 On: Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:45 pm

it keeps the water hot and prevent rust in the water containing portion of the boiler. and keeps gaskets from failing early
OILEYMAN8
 
Stove/Furnace Make: E.F.M. 520

Re: general questions

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:12 pm

beatle78 wrote:How will running your furnace year around add life to the boiler :?:


The temperatures that a boiler operates at, the high and low is called its thermal cycle. Once started the boiler will run at about 150-180* (or whatever). That is a very narrow cycle. When you start turning the boiler off, allow it to cool and then restart it, it changes that thermal cycle considerably, perhaps 100* or more. The amount of movement the steel or casting makes during the cycle increases as the band gets wider. This reduces the life expectancy as the steel/cast moves a lot more. A sectional boiler can be prone to developing leaks as are gaskets.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: general questions

PostBy: tuck57 On: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:22 pm

thanks for the replies, My house is very small about 900 sq ft, very poorly insulated, and built in the shape of an H which gives a lot of exterior wall area for the square footage. I heat it now with an ventless propane unit. but if its below freezing and windy it can be petty cold. The price of propane is going thru the roof and I need to do something. I have a dirt floor basement that use to have oil furnace so I have some old duct work, but years ago (1972) the house was flooded and I believe I will need to take down the duct work and pressure work wash it before I blow dust thruout the house. Also I may consider an unit on the main floor instead but I would need to build a hearth and flue for that area. I 'm petty much set on leisure line at this point unless a used unit falls on my lap cheap but the coaltrol looks to be what I looking for

Tuck
tuck57
 

Re: general questions

PostBy: pvolcko On: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:58 am

Power venting eliminates this draft issue. There are also draft inducers which can benefit low draft chimneys in warmer weather. They're basically a motor spinning a paddle wheel, attached to the flue pipe through a rectangular hole to help push exhaust up the chimney.

Talk to the dealer you plan to buy the stove from and they should be able to help you chose the best option for your installation.
pvolcko
 

Re: general questions

PostBy: beatle78 On: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:30 am

OILEYMAN8 wrote:it keeps the water hot and prevent rust in the water containing portion of the boiler. and keeps gaskets from failing early


coaledsweat wrote:
beatle78 wrote:How will running your furnace year around add life to the boiler :?:


The temperatures that a boiler operates at, the high and low is called its thermal cycle. Once started the boiler will run at about 150-180* (or whatever). That is a very narrow cycle. When you start turning the boiler off, allow it to cool and then restart it, it changes that thermal cycle considerably, perhaps 100* or more. The amount of movement the steel or casting makes during the cycle increases as the band gets wider. This reduces the life expectancy as the steel/cast moves a lot more. A sectional boiler can be prone to developing leaks as are gaskets.


OK, thanks guys. I never really thought of that before. I guess there's another reason to burn coal year around :)
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: general questions

PostBy: e.alleg On: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:49 am

Mine uses about 30-40 pounds a day during the warm weather to heat the hot water, about the same price as propane but with the benefits Richard said. No problems with draft. In the summer the ashes and hopper only need to be tended to once a week, and when I go away on vacation the thing runs on the timer and uses basically no coal, 15-20 pounds a day maybe. .
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: general questions

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:07 am

Just to add to the above benefits of burning year round you'll also slow down corrosion. ;) Granted if you're running a small stoker this isn't feasible but if you have furnace with water coil not only is beneficial but will save you money.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: general questions

PostBy: beatle78 On: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:34 am

Richard S. wrote:Just to add to the above benefits of burning year round you'll also slow down corrosion. ;) Granted if you're running a small stoker this isn't feasible but if you have furnace with water coil not only is beneficial but will save you money.


Rich, what isn't feasible about running a small stoker boiler? Or did you mean running a stoker stove isn't feasible in the summer?
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: general questions

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:57 am

beatle78 wrote: Or did you mean running a stoker stove isn't feasible in the summer?


In the summer of course. :D The smaller ones generally don't have coils, plus they don't cost nearly as much as a boiler so the savings are negligible, if anything you're losing money and just making the house hot becuse they aren't insulated either.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: general questions

PostBy: beatle78 On: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:43 pm

gotcha, yah hopefully by the end of this summer I'll have found the right used boiler and I will be off the petrol for good :)
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Visit Lehigh Anthracite