The Van Wert VA600 Project

The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:26 pm

I went up to coal country today and picked up a real nice Van Wert VA600, well almost. I have to do a return trip after I figure out how to get the boiler out of the basement!

I got the stoker, controls and all the other bits. I left the boiler and covers for later.
GJtoEFM-VA600 004.JPG
(141.99 KiB) Viewed 36 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71125[/nepathumb]

GJtoEFM-VA600 005.JPG
(151.73 KiB) Viewed 32 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71126[/nepathumb]


Yes, that is a bag of shear pins attached to the air control.
GJtoEFM-VA600 006.JPG
(134.81 KiB) Viewed 31 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71127[/nepathumb]


Pot and rings are in excellent shape.
GJtoEFM-VA600 007.JPG
(138.92 KiB) Viewed 20 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71128[/nepathumb]


The gears have no viable wear, the paint is just rubbed off. The oil guy that removed this Van Wert bashed up the end of the bin auger a bit, then cut most of it off. Not only that, somehow he bent the heck out of the auger to!
GJtoEFM-VA600 008.JPG
(142.57 KiB) Viewed 16 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71133[/nepathumb]


Even the door, and controls are nice and clean on this one.
GJtoEFM-VA600 010.JPG
(126.88 KiB) Viewed 14 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71130[/nepathumb]


Nice Dayton motor.
GJtoEFM-VA600 011.JPG
(123.01 KiB) Viewed 8 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71131[/nepathumb]


That is a Beckett oil burner so, Yes, this one is dual fuel!!!
GJtoEFM-VA600 009.JPG
(140.35 KiB) Viewed 8 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71132[/nepathumb]


Sorry, no pics of the boiler yet. The boiler and jackets are in excellent shape to. This Van Wert was replaced with an oil boiler. The strange thing is, the owner, instead of using oil as a backup for running out of coal, he used coal as a backup for his wallet when oil would get to expensive! That's why the stoker is in excellent shape, it was hardly used, the oil burner might need some work.

This one was installed New in 1988. Probably one of the newest Van Werts around. Now I just need to figure out how to get it out of the basement!

The reason it was removed is the PRV kept opening. The PRV was replaced and it still kept opening. The DHW coil was diagnosed as leaking into the boiler. The coil gasket area looks good, no leaks, no rust.

This will be a future project, I don't know when I will get back up there to pull the boiler. More later.

-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: Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:18 am

Nice find Don. It doesn't get much better than finding a boiler that was used year-round, unless it was also fired on oil...which is what you have discovered. I am looking forward to seeing the progress on this one.

For those that are not familiar, this is not some "toy stoker". Factory set for 18 lbs per hour on buck.

p.s. DON'T BREAK THE FIREDOOR!
Attachments
VA600.jpg
(195.98 KiB) Viewed 27 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71146[/nepathumb]
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: Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:32 am

Thanks' Rob,

This one is so nice, I don't think I am even going to paint it. Well, the stoker needs to be painted but not the boiler or jacket. I did get a spare fire door from Scott, guess what I'm going to do with that!
GJfireViewDoor 009.JPG
(75.9 KiB) Viewed 6 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]71147[/nepathumb]


I have never worked on a oil fired boiler/furnace before. I was totally unprepared for the amount of just plain old oily FILTH!!! I ruined a work shirt, so bad the home owner gave me one of his to ware home.

You can see the black coating on the pot/air chamber and inside the doors. I think I will stop at the car wash with the boiler before I bring it home.

-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: Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:38 pm

Well after six months or so, I finally got the VA 600 boiler!

Lucky for me my friend Joe from Gouldsboro was available to help out, it would have been hell with out him.
IMG_0086.JPG
(93.92 KiB) Viewed 16 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74267[/nepathumb]


Looks like this one had a leak on top somewhere.
IMG_0088.JPG
(113.22 KiB) Viewed 19 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74268[/nepathumb]

IMG_0087.JPG
(103.56 KiB) Viewed 6 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74269[/nepathumb]

IMG_0089.JPG
(95.05 KiB) Viewed 16 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74270[/nepathumb]


More tomorrow, I'm to exhausted to type anymore. I'm glad I had help this time.

Thank you Joe!

-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: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:42 am

Looks like a really nice unit. I hope you put it into service and get to see what it can do. The Van Wert Heat exchanger design is quite a bit different than the other boilers you are running.
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: Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:46 pm

Rob R. wrote:The Van Wert Heat exchanger design is quite a bit different than the other boilers you are running.

Yea, it's kind of like a Swiss Roll standing on end. If you could cut the top off of the boiler, you could see that the hot gasses go through a top to bottom slot in the left front and travel between walls counterclockwise until they reach the outlet in the back. This brings the hot gasses into contact with a lot of boiler walls.

-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: Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:14 pm

I took it outside and rigged it up for a pressure test.

IMG_0093.JPG
(99.55 KiB) Viewed 1 time
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74285[/nepathumb]

IMG_0095.JPG
(114.81 KiB) Viewed 2 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74286[/nepathumb]


I also wanted to test the DHW coil. This boiler was diagnosed with a leaking coil causing the PRV to lift. To test this I just left the coil connections opened. If there's a leak, boiler water will come out of the coil.
IMG_0094.JPG
(108.19 KiB) Viewed 2 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74287[/nepathumb]


After filling it for a few minutes I started to hear the coil hissing and then water came out of it. Well they were right, the DHW coil is bad. I decided to plug the coil and continue with the pressure test.
IMG_0104.JPG
(107.24 KiB) Viewed 6 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74288[/nepathumb]


Once it got the boiler filled and pressured up, the pressure started to drop. I looked at the coil and I could see water weeping out from the coil nuts.
IMG_0103.JPG
(160.38 KiB) Viewed 3 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74289[/nepathumb]


So now I have that same old classic coal boiler dilemma. Replace the leaking coil which is expensive and time consuming or just weld a plate over it so it never leaks again, cheap and easy.

Here's a shot of the "H" stamped data plate. It states "HEAT SURF 24.5" and "YR 87". I think these mean that the surface area inside the boiler is 24.5 sq ft and it was built in 1987.
IMG_0099.JPG
(154.5 KiB) Viewed 4 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74290[/nepathumb]


I have 3 videos of the pressure test. Here is the first one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DveXh4- ... e=youtu.be

-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: Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:20 pm

I posted the other 2 pressure test videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axZnFqALdGw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q8OqZ0-c3E

I got the DHW coil out of the boiler. 8 of the 10 nuts came off easy, 2 were a bit more stuck. After working them back an forth and hitting them with PB Blaster, one came off, the other broke the stud.
IMG_0109.JPG
(130.21 KiB) Viewed 6 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74295[/nepathumb]


After pulling the coil out, I noticed a lot of the other studs are very thin at the bottom. I wouldn't feel to good about leaving them in there. I guess this will be a drill and tap job OR weld a plate over it.
IMG_0111.JPG
(84.74 KiB) Viewed 4 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74296[/nepathumb]


I took a quick look at the coil. It's not obvious where it's leaking.
IMG_0113.JPG
(125.77 KiB) Viewed 13 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
[nepathumb]74297[/nepathumb]


It's a tough decision weather or not to weld a plate over the DHW hole. I have not decided what I'm going to heat with this one so that makes it even tougher.

-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 18, 2016 6:15 pm

I made a Youtube Playlist of the pressure test videos. I added one about the DHW coil to.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 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: nepacoal On: Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:39 pm

Thanks for these summertime posts and videos SD. It helps with the coal withdrawals I'm having. On a side note, my new KAA-4 is purring along making DHW and only uses 17 lbs per day. I am actually looking forward to winter this year!
nepacoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-4-1
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF-260
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Buck/Nut

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: StokerDon On: Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:46 pm

nepacoal wrote:Thanks for these summertime posts and videos SD. It helps with the coal withdrawals I'm having. On a side note, my new KAA-4 is purring along making DHW and only uses 17 lbs per day. I am actually looking forward to winter this year!

Thank you for watching them!

That is a nice side note. This is my first Summer running a boiler. So far, no problems. My coal usage is between 19 and 22 pounds per day, I wish I could get it a little lower.

-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: nepacoal On: Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:56 pm

My keystoker is insulated which I'm sure helps with coal usage. I added insulation to the top last month to reduce basement temps and my water temp at idle jumped from 170 to 190+. And, it has not had a call for hot water since insulating the top. It just idles along and provides tons of hot water using the mixing valve set at 125
nepacoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-4-1
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF-260
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Buck/Nut

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: McGiever On: Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:21 pm

StokerDon wrote:I posted the other 2 pressure test videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axZnFqALdGw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q8OqZ0-c3E

I got the DHW coil out of the boiler. 8 of the 10 nuts came off easy, 2 were a bit more stuck. After working them back an forth and hitting them with PB Blaster, one came off, the other broke the stud.
IMG_0109.JPG


After pulling the coil out, I noticed a lot of the other studs are very thin at the bottom. I wouldn't feel to good about leaving them in there. I guess this will be a drill and tap job OR weld a plate over it.
IMG_0111.JPG


I took a quick look at the coil. It's not obvious where it's leaking.
IMG_0113.JPG


It's a tough decision weather or not to weld a plate over the DHW hole. I have not decided what I'm going to heat with this one so that makes it even tougher.

-Don


Food for thought... Here's what is done on the AA Stoker water coils...

Image
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: The Van Wert VA600 Project

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:36 pm

A&B Van Wert has the extended coil mounts available.
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: McGiever On: Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:55 pm

:idea: And even if one wasn't wanting to do a coil immediately the extended flange could be blanked off just the same until such a time that a coil was decided on. :idea:
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Visit Leisure Line