The Van Wert VA600 Project

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:40 pm

lsayre wrote:Based solely upon past history, I speculate that you will eventually grow bored with the VA600 at some juncture and feel the urge to replace it. :lol:

Larry, that would never happen! :lol:

lsayre wrote:What will you be doing with that second Van Wert?

It's a little early to tell. Let me get finished with this one first. Most likely, the other one will need to visit the welder before we do anything.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Visit Leisure Line

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:59 pm

This morning I un-plumbed the BairMatic, got it on a dolly and moved it out.

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I moved the VA-600 in and lined it up with the coal bin and chimney as best as I could.
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Mounted the oil burner plate.
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I trimmed a water heater blanket to fit and taped it in place. I stuffed some RoxWool insulation in the gaps.
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Then it was time to see how the covers fit. I will need to trim some of the insulation to get the covers to fit right.
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Someday, I will get better at measuring pipe. The cross over came up 3/4" short. Tomorrow I'm going to try a 2" nipple in place of that close nipple on the left.
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I must be getting old and slow, I fully intended to have this thing plumbed and fired by this evening! Still have a ways to go. I bit the bullet late this afternoon and fired up the electric water heater. The last time I ran that was a year and a half ago.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:07 am

Nothing wrong with exercising the other equipment. Take your time and get it right.

Getting that thread pipe the right length on the first try is tough. I have an old book somewhere with the dimensions based on the amount of expected engagement of the threads.
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: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:28 am

Ahh, there is a book about expected length after thread engagement. I just figured the guys that do this every day get it right the first time because of experience.

On this one I figured it would be easy. With the two pipes sticking out 18" from the boiler, there is quite a bit of wiggle room, not 3/4" though.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:46 am

What size is that pipe?
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: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: hotblast1357 On: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:02 am

I did a 1/2" when i cut and threaded all my black iron for the New Yorker, so add a 1/2" to whatever length u need, which would give you a 1/4" thread protrusion on each end into whatever your threading.

This is what the guy told me to do that I borrowed the equipment from.
hotblast1357
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1984 Eshland S260
Coal Size/Type: anthracite pea
Other Heating: oil furnace

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: BunkerdCaddis On: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:10 am

StokerDon wrote:I just figured the guys that do this every day get it right the first time because of experience.

-Don


I used to do pipework, set your die up right and just measure and cut. As much pipe work as you have been doing lately it might be time to get a Vise and a die... :D
BunkerdCaddis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yorker WC-90 or more likely a Van Wert VW85H [to be installed (soon, very soon)(well not as soon as I had anticipated]
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Waterford 105 pulling duty, Saey Hanover II getting dressed for the party
Coal Size/Type: pea/nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydronic

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:13 am

Rob R. wrote:What size is that pipe?

It's 1.25"

hotblast1357 wrote:I did a 1/2" when i cut and threaded all my black iron for the New Yorker, so add a 1/2" to whatever length u need, which would give you a 1/4" thread protrusion on each end into whatever your threading.

1/2" per connection sounds about right. I just have to remember to add them all up.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Visit Leisure Line

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:09 pm

For 1.25" black iron pipe, 11/16" of threads should engage the fitting when tight. Your mileage may vary depending on how the threads were cut.
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: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:39 pm

11/16ths, I was thinking 1/2". I guess that's why I was coming up short.

I made a good bit of progress today.

When I first installed the coil block off it wasn't seating right. It turns out that on the inside there are these big rings that the coil was attached to. They were hanging up on the new flange so I trimmed them down to fit. I hope that doesn't cause a leak!
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When I was refinishing the rear cover I had to hammer out and flatten the area around the top of the flue hole. It turns out it didn't fit right so the original installer just hammered it until it fit!
I marked it and removed enough metal so it fits nice.
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On the crossover, I replaced the close nipple on the left with a 2" nipple. That was close enough, I hope!
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Most of the plumbing is done. I ran out of tape right at the end. Just the PRV and the gauges need to be sealed up. I put the covers and doors on it to.
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Tomorrow we will pressure test it and pray for no leaks. Then it will be time to install the stoker.

I shot a couple videos. I will get them posted as soon as I can.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:12 pm

This is the end of day 3 of this install. Still no fire.

The first thing to do this morning was seal up the PRV and the gauges. After that, it was time to fill it up to see if we have any leaks. Right after I started filling it, the bottom pump gasket started leaking. I replaced the gasket, started filling it again. The nipple going into the bottom pump flange started leaking!
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It turned out that I forgot to put tape and sealer on that joint. It wasn't a big deal since the pump flange and that union provided a convenient way to remove the whole thing and chuck it up in the vise.

After fixing the leaks, it was time to install the stoker.
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I got the pot, stoker plate and blower housing in. then it was time to put together the transfer head and get the bin auger ready.
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Note that on the pot auger there is a flat for the big gear set screw. There are also 2 flats on the end. You can fit a 1/2" wrench on these flats if you need to turn the auger. These can be a problem to get apart because people hit them with hammers, that bashes up the ends and they won't fit through the gear or the bearing without filing or grinding.
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The bin auger is a little bashed up in the end. This is the auger I used on the BairMatic so I needed to get the gear and the bearing off for it to go in the new transfer head.
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Filed the end down and the gear came right off.
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I installed the other parts of the stoker. Except the bin auger and pipe. The VA-600 is oriented differently than the BairMatic. This means I can move the coal bin back to the wall by the doorway. I need to do this before drilling another bin pipe hole in the bin.
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Strangely enough, the hardest thing for me to install or remove from one of these Van Werts is the rear ash diverter plate. There is just plain no easy way to get all the way back in there and move your arms to get a wrench on the nuts. It looks easy, but gets me every time!
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Because this is one of those boilers that has a big hole in the bottom, I slid 8 more blocks under it. I will need to seal these up so we don't loose draft through the block seams.
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I didn't take a picture of it but the DHW coil that I am using as a block off plate sprung a slow leak. I am going to add some boiler sealer when we are ready to fire it up. That should take care of it.

I put up a few videos of today's progress and problems.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meJdKTM ... g1_hcLDsHI

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:17 pm

Well, it's the end of day 4 and still no fire. That's a shame, it was cool, dark and rainy all day, would have been perfect day for a coal fire!

Today I finished the wiring.
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It took 3 tries to get the hole for the bin auger in the right place. Later I will make a 3/4" plywood patch to cover it up.
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The stoker runs and coal is in the pot.
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I drained the boiler down some and installed some 3/4" pipe and a valve in the old DHW coil plate. When we are ready to fire, I will open the valve, pour in the Boiler Liquid sealer, fill the boiler up and turn the pump on. The thing that stopped me tonight was after the third time I cut the stove pipe wrong, I decided to call it a night.
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I hope to have a coal fire tomorrow morning.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:06 pm

FIRST FIRE!!!

I got the stove pipe cut and put together this morning. Then I started a small wood fire in the pot, poured in the Boiler Liquid sealer, filled the boiler back up with water. Then it was time to turn the stoker and pump on.
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It's running it a series loop with no load for right now. The LO limit on the aquastat is set to 170 and the pressure is set at 28 PSI, the pump is forced ON. This will allow the sealer to get to where it needs to be and do its job.

It's been running for about 3 hours now. It came up to 170 and turned off, there was a little bit of an overshoot to about 200 degrees because there is no heat load on the boiler. This evening I will valve in the water heater.

One thing I found out right away is you can't run one of these Van Wert's without the fire door firmly in place. The double boiler wall in the front and the fire door opening is all part of the exhaust gas path!
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If you open the fire door, or even look through the little peep hole, you get a face full of hot gas!

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: lsayre On: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:11 pm

StokerDon wrote:If you open the fire door, or even look through the little peep hole, you get a face full of hot gas!

-Don


Is that normal?
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:12 pm

Maybe on a cold start with no draft, but certainly not at operating temperature.
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

Visit Leisure Line

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