Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: biggreen1 On: Thu May 15, 2008 10:03 pm

I'm considering installing a boiler in a garage that is about 50ft from the house. I'm not looking forward to it because of digging the trench and getting holes through the foundations. The house foundation is stone about 18-20" thick at the depth I need to go to. My wife is really concerned about the dust and the smell. Coal had been used in the house sometime in its past and my wife has spent a lot of time cleaning the basement over the past 9 years. We are using a DHWcoil in the oil fired boiler now. What are the options available for domestic hot water with a remote coal boiler???
biggreen1
 

Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu May 15, 2008 10:22 pm

Hello biggreen, welcome.. you can plumb the remote boiler to keep the oil boiler and it's DHW coil hot, and turn down the oil boiler's aquastat to keep it from burning oil..

Or, you can get an indirect water heater and use the remote boiler to keep it heated.

Either way will heat your Domestic hot water.. Are you planning on burning coal all year for heat and DHW ??

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: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Thu May 15, 2008 10:22 pm

No worries guy! welcome to the forum. you'll have your answers in short order. What you are asking is a widely discussed topic. There are several ways to get domestic hot water from a remote coal boiler. Piping the boiler in series with your existing boiler would be one solution as long as your flow path in the boiler passes the domestic coil. Installing an indirect water heater, a boilermate, on a new zone and piping your boilers in series is another option. Piping your boilers in series and using an heat exchanger in parallel to directly supply domestic as needed or feed a boiler mate is a good method. Your best bet would be to post pictures and let some more knowledgeable members have a look. Every situation is different and most have a simple vs. complex solution. You won't have trouble with a shortage of professional advise. Good luck! :) 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

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Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu May 15, 2008 10:34 pm

There are the usual but the tankless coil option would be out. The best way would be with a boiler mate tank and pull another zone. This eliminates the chance of scalding when using solid fuel devices.

I would just build a wall in the basement and make yourself a boiler/playroom, a lot cheaper and easier than the remote thingy and your basement is gonna be warm as toast (no sense giving up all that nice heat to an outhouse). If it is a damp basement, you can kiss that goodbye too. It will change the whole character of the home. No trudging outside through snow and ice to service or worse yet for repairs. Put your coal bin in the boiler room and one of those DANGER equipment starts automatically signs on the door and tell her keep out, the rest of the house is yours. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: biggreen1 On: Thu May 15, 2008 11:22 pm

I really, really, really, don't want to go through all thats needed to put it out in the garage. A well (very well) sealed area in the basement is a possibility (the sign idea is a real good one). I can try and post some pictures (never done that) but our system is pretty simple. Our old house is about 3400sf 2 story brick built in 1882. We use about 1200-1300 gal of oil a year so something has to be done before next heating season. We only have 1 centrally located thermostat so does that mean we have only 1 zone? There is 1 circulator pump and 4 pipes branching out. We just adjust the valves on each radiator so each room is about the same temp as the others and the heat travels through the 1st floor cieling so well we don't use the upstairs radiators and the hot air tends to go up the front stairs and the cold comes down the back stairs. I'm not sure how it sounds but it works just fine. We are blending the output of the DHW coil on the oil boiler with some cold water to keep the temp down. The cold water for the DHW coil comes from the old electric water heater(turned off) that is used as a tempering tank. So, a "boilermate" would be a possibility. What do they cost?
biggreen1
 

Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: biggreen1 On: Thu May 15, 2008 11:27 pm

Yes, I would like to use coal year round for DHW
biggreen1
 

Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri May 16, 2008 5:33 am

Day one: I mention we should burn coal and stop paying the high price of oil. The wife: "No way will I allow coal, it's so dirrrty!"
Day two: I tell her I could put it in the garage and pipe the heat in. : "It's such a mess, but you're going to do what you want, I know".
Day three: I say that anthracite burns clean and if done right, we only mess with coal one day a year. It's auto feed from a large bin. I can move the apple trees and put a giant coal bin on the back of the garage. Mention digging up the driveway. "That's a lot of work"
Day four: I read her a couple of Forum posts from happy people. Maybe I'll build you a new sheep shed and steal the little barn for the coal boiler. "But you still need to pipe it to the house"
Day five: Read more happy people posts, take her outside, describe how the boiler might work, from the garage, from the barn, from a new out building, from an addition to the house. Each one messes with her flower garden. "Why don't you make a seperate room and put it in the cellar?"

YES!
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: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: stoker-man On: Fri May 16, 2008 5:47 am

I never regretted having my wood/coal boiler in the garage.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: Sting On: Fri May 16, 2008 8:59 am

There is nothing that can replace the warmth on your face - as trotting down to the boiler room in your "bunny slippers" with a hot cup of coffee in one hand - and feeling that working boiler radiate in the room - knowing its heating the floor above.
Image
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri May 16, 2008 10:02 am

Freddy wrote: "Why don't you make a seperate room and put it in the cellar?"


It is obvious you are married to a very smart woman. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri May 16, 2008 11:06 am

Hi Biggreen, it sounds like you have a nicely set up system, and the knowledge and experience to operate it. The simple way to set up your coal boiler is to have the cold water return be routed through the coal boiler then to the oil boiler.. This way the oil boiler, and it's DHW coil stay as hot as the coal boiler, when the circulator is running.. This is the simple system,, it does have some drawbacks.. one being that if there is no call for heat from the house, but there is a call for hot water, the water temp in the oil boiler will drop, and you may have tepid DHW instead of hot. And if the water temp in the oil boiler drops enough it will fire the oil burner. So this may not work for your situation.

The next plumbing method is a little more complicated, but will give you constant hot water.. You plumb the coal boiler to the oil boiler with it's own supply and return lines.. Hopefully you can fine unused ports on the oil boiler, otherwise adding a 'TEE' to the existing supply and return will be needed. In the loop that is created between the coal and oil boiler, you install a small circulator, like a Taco 007. I would run the circulator 24/7, they burn .78 amps.. costs about $10/month in electricity.. But you can add an aquastat to control this pump if you wish. The aquastat on the oil boiler should be set about 20-30* lower than the coal boiler's aquastat. Or some folks just put a switch on the oil burner to turn it off..

The system can get really 'cosmic' if you want to buy and add lots of electric controls.. but your system is the basic simple one pump, manual valve system that works very well, and has no zone valves to go bad and you know how to use it.

Hope the above makes sense. Greg L.

Check your PM's
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri May 16, 2008 11:09 am

Sting wrote:There is nothing that can replace the warmth on your face - as trotting down to the boiler room in your "bunny slippers" with a hot cup of coffee in one hand - and feeling that working boiler radiate in the room - knowing its heating the floor above.
Image


OK Sting,, I'm confused,, I thought your avitar was a self portrait,, now you add this second self portrait... I'm confused.. How will I recognize you at the meet and greet in a few weeks ??? :shock: :lol: :lol: :D :)

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: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: biggreen1 On: Fri May 16, 2008 12:42 pm

This site is fantastic, you all are very helpful. thank you.

Lsfarm,
So it makes more sense to let the DHW continue to come from the oil boiler coil. What is the problem with using the DHW coil on the coal boiler and tempering the outlet temp by mixing in some cold like I do now with the oil boiler? Then I would not need another circ pump (and save that electricity) and I could just plumb the boilers in series. Do the DHW coils in coal boilers not work as good as coils in oil boilers?

I've also got another issue that I just discovered. The liner in the existing flue is only 6" and it stops about 1 foot from where the boiler flue pipe enters the chimney. When the chimney guy put the liner in he said it got stuck there and he couldn't get it past a slightly skinny area in the flue (it is fairly wide but skinny), so he stoped it there and packed it with fiberglass insulation. I think I can chip away the little bit of brick that looks to be holding it up but it is still only 6"in diameter. Keystoker says 8" for the KA 6, EFM says 8", Harman says 7", but the AHS says 5". Is the AHS power vented or something?

Thank you all for the help
biggreen1
 

Re: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri May 16, 2008 12:58 pm

Hi BG, There is nothing wrong with using a coil in the coal boiler,, but they do cost money,, and you will have to replumb the pipes with shut-offs to keep the oil burner's coil separate,, you don't want to have the coil transfering heat into the oil boiler. Price out the coil option. It isn't available on some of the smaller boilers.. so that may be an issue. or just plumb it like I said..

The reason I suggested adding the coal boiler the way I did is that for me,, personally I hate disturbing old plumbing.. It never seems to come apart easily, I end up having more problems,, I just want to interfer with the old, functioning plumbing as little as possible.. but this may not be possible, or practical.. Since I'm not there, looking at your setup.. I'm just making general suggestions..

For the chimney,, if you use a smaller boiler,, like a Harman VF3000, or a Keystoker Kaa2, or even an AHS S130 or Axeman Anderson 130M, your chimney will be fine.. a larger Keystoker Ka6, or EFM, yes, they need the 8"... But I'm not sure you need a really big boiler.. The AHS and AA 130's are very capable units and the smaller Harman and Keystokers may be enough as well.

EDIT: I just re-read some of the earlier posts on this topic,, I see that the house is 3400 sqft, and poorly insulated,, the Kaa2 and probably the Harman VF3000 are too small...

If you are not adverse to a lot of replumbing,, you can set up your system to completely bypass the oil boiler,, just use ball valves, and divert the systems to the coal boiler,, and let the oil boiler sit,, It is better for a boiler to stay warm,, prevents corrosion. And many people want the automatic backup of the oil boiler in series with the coal.. that way they can go away for a week, and have the oil system keep the place warm with the coal system shut down.

You have lots of options and decisions.. I assume you are going to do the plumbing yourself?? If not, get a few professional plumbers in to look at it, and give you ideas and quotes.. and get your chimney inspected, just to make sure it is in good shape..

Take care,, 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: Domestic hot water options with remote boiler

PostBy: Sting On: Fri May 16, 2008 1:53 pm

LsFarm wrote:OK Sting,, I'm confused,, I thought your avitar was a self portrait,, now you add this second self portrait... I'm confused.. How will I recognize you at the meet and greet in a few weeks ??? :shock: :lol: :lol: :D :)

Greg L


Since I will have to go to upstate New York in November - my travel credits need to be saved for that

Image



Sorry - I will not be able to annoy all the kind folks at the event

Now If we can come up with a screaming deal on a used stoker/matching boiler that I can score on the return trip - well you might just see the whites on my eyes and a really big smile regarding my new toy!
Image
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

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