Question from new member about boilers

Question from new member about boilers

PostBy: sean b On: Fri May 09, 2008 9:22 am

Hi all,

I found this forum while searching listings for coal/wood stoves. I recently paid $4.14 per gallon for oil and realize I need to do something about it.

I'm considering installing a coal/wood stove (boiler) in the attached garage and piping it about 30 feet into the basement and tying it into my hot water baseboard system. I'm generally interested in two things: Are there any brands should I stay away from and about how much should I expect to spend?
The house is a 1500 sq. ft. two story. (No HWBB piping or units in basement but I might add some.) Located in south central PA.

My other option would be to install a much less expensive, basic coal/wood stove in the basement but then I work harder to get the fuel to it and my wife nags about the mess.

In either case, I will need to install a chimney stack.

Thanks for any input that can be offered.

Great site! Lots of good info.
sean b
 

Re: Question from new member about boilers

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri May 09, 2008 10:03 am

The lager stoker boilers are only manufactured by a few companies and all of them have been making these units for a very long time, EFM, Keystoker, AHS, Axeman-Anderson.... If you buy one these and maintain it well chances are you'll have it for lifetime. I think Keystoker offers a small one starting in the $4k range, not sure about the others.

Lots of people use the smaller hot air stokers like Leisure line's especially in situation like yours with a smaller house. The mess is not too bad, I never burned wood myself but the consensus I get is coal is less of a mess. If you're careful you can eliminate most of it. It's much less work that wood too, a typical stoker can burn 1 to 2 days in cold weather.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Question from new member about boilers

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri May 09, 2008 1:40 pm

Hello sean b. Welcome to the forum..

From a cost standpoint,, a supplemental stoker-stove in the basement, will be the least expensive, and much easier to get hooked up. But from the longterm view, if you are planning on being in that house for a long time, then a coal boiler hooked into your system will be the best way to go.

For your size home,, the Harman VF3000, and the Keystoker Kaa2 boilers would be plenty big enough.. If you send a PM to member 'scrapper 23', he rebuilds EFM stoker boilers, and he may have an EFM 350, that would also be very good for your instalation. There are no stoker boilers to 'stay away from'.. they all work very well.

From a long term view.. minimize the work of storing coal, loading the hopper, and emptying the ashpan.. these chores are what will be with you for as long as you burn coal. So your remote boiler location may be best for makeing the chores easier.

I'd keep an eye on local papers.. contact local heating contractors, tell them you want a 'take-out' boiler.. there are many good, functioning boilers removed and scrapped by new unit installers.. they usually welcome an opportunity to sell the old boiler for something more than scrap price.

Hope this helps.. keep reading the forum,, your questions have been asked and answered here many times.. but ask if you can't find what you need.

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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Question from new member about boilers

PostBy: sean b On: Fri May 09, 2008 2:36 pm

Thank you sirs. I appreciate the info.
sean b
 

Re: Question from new member about boilers

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri May 09, 2008 2:59 pm

I forgot to try to answer your questions about prices.. There is a very wide variation because of new vs. used and instalation differences.

A new VF3000 or Kaa2 are around $4500-5500, pipeing, valves and a circulator pump, maybe anoter $300-500. A chimney will vary greatly.. I prefer a masonry chimney,, I put up my own, It wasn't difficult,, just work.. I borrowed scaffolding, and used my tractor front-end loader. The height will determine material costs.. Stainless steel chimneys are less labor intesive,, but are not 'forever',, a masonry chimney will last a century or more. SS about 15-25 years,, depends on climate and maintenance.

A new stoker stove will be at least $1500, up to $3000+,, I prefer LeisureLine stoves,, I like the electronic coal-trol stoker/thermostaiic controller. But all the stoker stoves available are very good, Keystoker, Harman, Leisurline, Alaska etc..

If you shop around you should be able to save about half on the actual coal burning appliance.. I bought my stoker boiler off of Ebay, and with the help of forum members got it extracted from it's former home and I came and got it, rebuilt it, and used it last season,, for about 1/3-1/2 the cost of new.

If you find a larger stoker boiler locally,, you could add heat to your basement, or do underfloor radiant, and even add heat to the garage,,, if you have excess capacity.

Hope this helps... 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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite