Masonry or power vent?

Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: billw On: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:14 pm

I'm getting ready to put up a chimney. I'm going to run the coal boiler in series with my existing oil unit. Which is better, cheaper for the oil unit, a masonry chimney or a power vent? I haven't priced anything out yet but I'm doing the work myself. I figure it would be just as easy to run a double flue chimney as a single. I've heard power vents for an oil burner can run upwards of 500. Just curious as to what you guys think would be the smarter move for the long term. I don't think the oil burner will get much use but I want to keep it in case we go away during the winter. Thanks
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:27 pm

I put up my own masonry chimney. It is a bit of work, but with scaffolding, and patience,, it is a 'forever' chimney.. it will outlast you and your kids.

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: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:47 pm

I'm looking to put up a new double flue two story masonry chimney. Even with the slow down in new house construction, I'm having a difficult time finding anyone to do the job. It's hell just to get masonry contractors to come out a look at the job. I've called a half dozen and only three came to look. One bid $4000 estimate on a time and materials contract, the second $7621, the third no bid. BTY I'm suppling the bricks, left over from previous job. Ridiculous prices! It's less that $900 worth of materials and only two or three days work. I'm going to do the job myself!
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea


Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: Freddy On: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:14 pm

Let's put it this way.... if you get a powerventer, eventually you will replace it with a chimney. $500? Sounds cheap! 14 yrs ago I paid $400 & that was dealer cost. By the way, 3 yrs ago it got replaced with a masonry chimney.

The power venter was a pain from day one. Well, OK, not day one, for the first few months it was OK, but after a while it started to vibrate. The fins of the blower pick up soot & dust & need to be cleaned. Twice a year I cleaned that miserable thing & it was pain to do so! Also, after it was removed, my electric bill droped $10 a month.

Ouch! Those prices do seem awfully high. 3 yrs ago I paid $2,200 total for a 22 foot single flue. One piece cement block, clay tiles lined, nice brick above the roofline.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: billw On: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:19 pm

Thanks guys,
Sounds like it's a double flued masonry chimney. I'm doing the work myself so the only expense will be the additional material.
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: syncmaster On: Fri May 02, 2008 8:49 pm

You didn't say what size chimney you have now, and if you didn't buy your coal boiler yet, you should look into the K6 keystoker. you can get the K6 with a oil burner option and you only need 1 chimney as long as it is 8".
Or you could buy the harman VF3000 with the oil burner option and that would be a 6 or 7" chimney.
That would solve your problem.

I know alot of people say you don't get the same efficency, but keep in mind if you have you oil boiler inline with you coal boiler your oil boiler will be sitting there off most of the time and all it's plates sending the heat right up the chimeny.
syncmaster
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: harmanVF3000 Coal/oil option
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: VF3000
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman VF3000

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: Steve.N On: Fri May 02, 2008 10:35 pm

I drive by a church on the way home each day that has a power vent and the whole side of the building around the vent is black with soot.
Steve.N
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman mkII
Stove/Furnace Model: Axeman Anderson 260 at store

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: Freddy On: Sat May 03, 2008 4:10 am

Power venters won't soot the side of a building as the exhaust is moving at a pretty high speed. They blow the exhaust well away. Direct vent boilers will. The exhast is only driven by the little fan on the burner and the exhaust just wafts out the vent and rolls up the building. If/when the boiler needs cleaning, it can make an awful mess. Also with a direct vent, exhaust will get in through soffet vents and into unheated spaces. I've known of one complaint of smelling it in the house. The cure was to block 10 feet of soffet and make "dams" so the exhaust would roll up over the eve.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: Matthaus On: Sat May 03, 2008 9:34 am

Steve.N wrote:I drive by a church on the way home each day that has a power vent and the whole side of the building around the vent is black with soot.


Sounds like one of those stinky oil guns that has been mal-adjusted. Just remember, Anthracite doesn't make soot! :D
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: billw On: Sat May 03, 2008 9:50 am

syncmaster wrote:You didn't say what size chimney you have now, and if you didn't buy your coal boiler yet, you should look into the K6 keystoker. you can get the K6 with a oil burner option and you only need 1 chimney as long as it is 8".
Or you could buy the harman VF3000 with the oil burner option and that would be a 6 or 7" chimney.
That would solve your problem.

I know alot of people say you don't get the same efficency, but keep in mind if you have you oil boiler inline with you coal boiler your oil boiler will be sitting there off most of the time and all it's plates sending the heat right up the chimeny.


I have an 8" chimney now. The problem is it's location. In order to get coal I have to move my system to the other side of the house. I want to keep my existing boiler as a backup in case we want to go away for a week in the winter or the coal unit fails. I already own it so there is no additional expense. If I set the low limit on the oil unit lower than the coal it should come on automatically if the coal unit has a problem.

In the late 70's when we bought our first house I installed a bi-metal flue damper on our gas unit. Do these still exist? An automatic damper on the oil unit should help keep the cold air coming down the chimney from cooling the oil unit.
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Sat May 03, 2008 11:09 am

There is a kind of hybrid chimney system that combines the ‘easy’ construction of metal insulated pipe with the longevity of masonry. Isokern makes it out of pumice and designed as a modular stacking system. There are several diameters available and even a double flue design. I talked to the US reps and they are fairly DIY friendly. Here is a good link that will take you to links to most of the stove type systems.
Last edited by Richard S. on Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: <removed dead link>
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: Hollyfeld On: Fri May 23, 2008 8:31 pm

syncmaster wrote:You didn't say what size chimney you have now, and if you didn't buy your coal boiler yet, you should look into the K6 keystoker. you can get the K6 with a oil burner option and you only need 1 chimney as long as it is 8".
Or you could buy the harman VF3000 with the oil burner option and that would be a 6 or 7" chimney.
That would solve your problem.

I know alot of people say you don't get the same efficency, but keep in mind if you have you oil boiler inline with you coal boiler your oil boiler will be sitting there off most of the time and all it's plates sending the heat right up the chimeny.


I just need to make sure i read this correctly. Instead of having two boilers in my mechanical room and worrying about separate chimneys and such, I can get rid of my old oil boiler and replace it with a coal stoker boiler with an oil burner option for backup?
Hollyfeld
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri May 23, 2008 8:47 pm

Hollyfeld wrote:I just need to make sure i read this correctly. Instead of having two boilers in my mechanical room and worrying about separate chimneys and such, I can get rid of my old oil boiler and replace it with a coal stoker boiler with an oil burner option for backup?


I would keep the old oil burner and tag in the stoker for a few reasons. The first is it will save you a ton of money, second is you will have 100% backup and thirdly, oil burner options on coal boilers are notoriously inefficient. They generally need to be changed over manually from one fuel to another, not so if you run two separate boilers together, the oil will jump in if you lose your fire.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: Hollyfeld On: Fri May 23, 2008 9:02 pm

Those are all very good reasons why not to get one with the built in oil burner. The problem I see happening with me is that I already have a masonry chimney for the oil boiler. I don't think I have any other places where I could put a chimney for a separate coal boiler. I did read the post on here about using the same chimney for both and the code issue.

What if you hook up the coal stoker to the existing chimney. The oil boiler flue would simply be pulled out of the chimney. The power to the oil burner would be off and it would be closed off from the circuit of hot water. When you decide that you are going away for an extended period of time and you want to run the oil boiler, you connect the flue back up, open the water circuit (close off the coal one) and then turn on the power. Is this a feasible option?
Hollyfeld
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: Masonry or power vent?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri May 23, 2008 9:07 pm

Hollyfeld wrote:What if you hook up the coal stoker to the existing chimney.


That is best, then just power vent the oil burner and it can run when necessary automatically, nothing to change or hook/unhook.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea