which coal boiler to get

which coal boiler to get

PostBy: mwolfie On: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:07 pm

I am looking to get a new coal boiler but dont know which to get any suggestions you may have will be very helpful, I have a oil boiler 151,000 btu I am looking to heat 2000sq ft with two zones
mwolfie
 

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:13 pm

No-brainer in my book. EFM 520 :) Scott
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 700. Van Wert 1200.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: beatle78 On: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:39 pm

What boiler to get?.... What BOILER TO GET???? AHHHHHHhhh......

I'm in the same boat as you! :lol:

how old is your house?

The reason I ask is that the Harman VF3000 Boiler rated @ 95,000+BTU claims to heat 3,000 ft^2.

OK's here's what I've come up with.

There's 2 main types of stoker boilers, Hopper fed, and auger fed.

In the hopper fed design, you fill the hopper and every couple of days you fill it again. The ashes generally need to be emptied every couple of days.

In the auger fed design there is an auger tube than comes out of the side of the boiler and goes to the floor into either a 55 gallon drum or a coal bin. In theory, with a well designed large enough coal bin. You will never have to tend to it the entire heating season. The ashes generally need to be emptied every couple of days.

Hopper Fed:

Keystoker KA-4 (discontinued)
Keystoker KA-6
Harman VF 3000
AHS S130

Auger Fed:

EFM 520
AA 130
AA 260


I'm sure I missed some so feel free to add to my list.
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4


Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:46 pm

I would like to know how much you want to spend?
Can you do the work yourself?
Are there dimensional or site/location issues/restrictions involved in the installation?

I'm sure I'll think of some more. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:27 am

I'm heating 4,000 sq. ft. with the Harman VF3K. As far as how often to tend it, I loaded the hopper on Sunday morning with 250# of coal and I just had to tend it tonight. Granted we did have some warm days this week. The hopper still had probably 30# of coal in it.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: Kifer4 On: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:46 pm

I am trying to decide what boiler to get. The Harmon VF3000 or a Keystoke K6--price is around $1100 difference with the Keystoker being more expensive.

We have a 2500 sqft home in Northwest PA with a propane boiler, way to expensive. Coal will be much more reasonable.

Those of you with the Harmon VF3000--are you happy with it? Any problems? We are probably looking into going with it due to the price difference.

Keystoke owners--why is the Keystoke better than Harmon in your opinion? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Kifer4
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon VF3000
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoke Coal Boiler

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:32 pm

Very happy with mine. Recently convinced my wifes cousin to get one and he is also very pleased. It's easy to operate and control. Lousy manual but with all the help on this forum you won't have any problem getting it set up and running well.
Best money I spent in a long time.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: Sting On: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:15 pm

coalkirk wrote:I'm heating 4,000 sq. ft. with the Harman VF3K. As far as how often to tend it, I loaded the hopper on Sunday morning with 250# of coal and I just had to tend it tonight. Granted we did have some warm days this week. The hopper still had probably 30# of coal in it.


I was just reading again the size of load

4000sq feet? My load is just a bit larger and my 130,000 rated (inflated) appliance struggles with it. The Harmon must be very efficient or is your house well insulated?
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: jackcoyle On: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:55 pm

Hello all,

A neebie weighing in.

I currently hemorrhage money out the chimney via a Weil-McLain LG 5 natural gas boiler. My house is about 2100 square feet. All brick, built about 1929 without much insulation, but storm windows and most drafts taken care of.

My radiator system - is two-pipe steam. Square footage of radiator surface is about 850. The LG-5 is rated at about 280,000 BTU/Hour. It is vintage 1970's.

House was originally heated with coal. I live in Carbondale, PA, at the head of the anthracite belt. There are two enormous indoor coal-bins and two metal doored shutes. Certainly coal is a no brainer.

Questions are: go to a boiler? Keep the gas boiler as back-up and go with a hearth based stoker? The Leisure Line hearth model will fit perfectly. One gentlemen suggested I switch the radiators to hot water and go with the coal-fired stoker. Did I mentioned that I am frugal and not interested in a huge capital outlay.

I have looked at - in a very preliminary way online to Axeman Anderson and Keystoker.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. This is a marvelous and very timely forum. Thanks, in advance for any assistance.

jack coyle
jackcoyle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth Model

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:14 am

jackcoyle wrote:Questions are: go to a boiler? Keep the gas boiler as back-up and go with a hearth based stoker? The Leisure Line hearth model will fit perfectly. One gentlemen suggested I switch the radiators to hot water and go with the coal-fired stoker. Did I mentioned that I am frugal and not interested in a huge capital outlay.


Go with the boiler, keep the gas for backup. Your coal storage is already set up in the basement, why carry it upstairs to feed a hearth stoker? If you have a two pipe, I see no reason to change your radiators. Are they the old stand up iron radiators? Are the plumbed both pipes on the bottom or one on the bottom and one on the top? A used stoker boiler can be cheap.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: jackcoyle On: Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:30 am

They are the old stand up radiators...one pipe going into the top, the valve, the other coming out of the bottom, the trap.

jack
jackcoyle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth Model

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: gaw On: Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:00 am

mwolfie wrote:I am looking to get a new coal boiler but dont know which to get any suggestions you may have will be very helpful, I have a oil boiler 151,000 btu I am looking to heat 2000sq ft with two zones

I think all the boilers mentioned earlier will work for you but the A-A and AHS in the 260 size being overkill for a 2000 square foot house. Price is a tough card to trump. If you can find something used they usually sell for about 25% the cost of new.
The other thing mentioned earlier is what your installation site is like. How much room etc. Don't just look at the footprint size of the boiler. Keystoker recommends 30 inches of clearance to the rear and on the ash door side. This is needed to accommodate the replacement of the domestic coil or gasket and also the stack pipe. On the ash door to permit for easy ash removal. The other manufacturers will require similar clearances for such things also. The AHS hopper is higher than most and could be an issue in a low basement. The auto feed type like EFM and Axeman Anderson are convenient but will not always be practical in some instances where there is no room for a coal bin. Also note what size chimney you have. Most or all of these require an 8x8, when you get into bigger units the chimney requirements get larger also.
gaw
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:43 am

jackcoyle wrote:They are the old stand up radiators...one pipe going into the top, the valve, the other coming out of the bottom, the trap.

jack


They will work with hot water. I would remove the traps.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: Sting On: Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:29 am

coaledsweat wrote:
jackcoyle wrote:They are the old stand up radiators...one pipe going into the top, the valve, the other coming out of the bottom, the trap.

jack


They will work with hot water. I would remove the traps.



Coaledsweat is going to want to fire bomb my house because I agree with him on this but offer a caveat - I really don't mean it like your taking it buddy! Just trying to help. But Steam System radiation was designed to work on energy (steam) I forget the exact parameter but steam runs in a residential system at 260 degrees + - 10 percent. - Some one will have the exact calc or you can find it in these books
http://www.heatinghelp.com/shopcart/product.cfm?category=8-115
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


Be sure you can place a air bleeder in the top of each hi point (radiators) some only have vents on the side and some do not connect across the top but my point is they were sized for hotter energy than the hot water that you plan to re power them with (140 -170 degrees)

Use the heat loss software at

http://slantfin.com/heat-loss-software.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

and calculate teh amount of radiation now in place and the heat loss of the load - That will tell you if you have enough because sm old dead plumber over designed your steam system - or you need to add radiators to stay warm on hot water.
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: which coal boiler to get

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:53 am

Sting wrote:Use the heat loss software at

http://slantfin.com/heat-loss-software.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

and calculate teh amount of radiation now in place and the heat loss of the load - That will tell you if you have enough because sm old dead plumber over designed your steam system - or you need to add radiators to stay warm on hot water.


Most old steam systems are grossly oversized, they could heat the home with the front door opened. Your call for study on radiation area is warranted but not the crisis as was implied by a contractor looking to make a fortune that wanted to tear up his house and replace the radiators with probably baseboard units. It is a cost he doesn't need. Worst case scenario is that he has to tap in to the existing radiator and add a few feet in a room that needs it. He most likely doesn't need it, I would suggest that the boilers operating temperature can be increased considerably to make up for a small shortage of radiation area. That is a lot cheaper than replacing the heating system he has. I would have no problem running at hot water boiler at 200*+ if it saved me $5-10K. It looks to me like he has already spent enough money, that is why he is looking at coal.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea