OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:12 am

In last weeks newspaper was a front page article saying Maine is instituting an outdoor wood boiler buy back program. Don't call them, they'll call you. If you have one that has been the root of many neighborhood complaints the state will step in and try to get you to clean up your act. If your outdoor boiler cannot be made to run without disturbing the neighbors with smoke & smell, they will buy your boiler, up to $10,000 and force you to get a cleaner burning one, or none at all.


If I lived in Maine, I would be burning nothing but paper in mine. Reason being is the fire doesn't get enough air to burn the paper. It chugs thick white smoke out the stack. THICK I actually made traffic almost stop once. I didn't realize it was going to do that. Loaded it up with cardboard from something.
If I burn seasoned hardwood mine smokes less that most in house stoves around here.
cArNaGe
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: sarge On: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:12 pm

Let me see if i am hearing everybody right because i have my heart set on burning anthracite coal this year so i have an outdoor boiler for coal or wood it will have to be hand fed but if i am going to lose more heat and burn more coal mayby this is not the way to go . now these coal boilers you guys talk about that go in your garage are they boilers that heat the water and circulate through a pex tubing to the heat exchanger in the house if so i may be able to sell my owb and put a coal burner in the shed i built for the owb . coal is 350.00 a ton bagged here in wisconsin so if i start burning 50 to 90 lbs a day that can get expensive at 6 dollar a bag i was really hoping to get by on 2 ton a year can anyone advise me here i have never burned coal so i am still learning wiscon can get up tp 30 below for days at a time so we go through some fuel them 30 below nights the furnace dont shut off amd we like it about70degree but you guys are rioght about wood i am tired of the mess the work and time it takes
sarge
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:33 am

What make is your OWB?? some can burn coal reasonably well, most do not. Do you have a photo of the firebox and grates,, are they shaker grates..

Two tons sounds very opimistic to me.. I burn 10 tons a year in central Michigan, and it seldom gets below -5*. How big is your house, how well insulated, and how much wood do you usually burn ?

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: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: sarge On: Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:52 am

I built the boiler myself and did put shaker grates in its built out of lp cylinders and its huge this will be my first year with it I have been gurning with and indoor wood stove and it takes about 6 full cord but i wanted mess outside so we built the owb i have a 4 bedroom farm house two story with basement at your rate 10 ton of coal would cost me 3500 dollars i guess i could buy a lot of wood for that i am starting to think coal may not be the way to go i built 3 of these stoves for other guys strictly for wood they go through 10 cord a year and get burn times up to 17 hours on mild days the stoves were built off a aqua therm design they closed boilers i will see if i can get pic up
sarge
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:53 am

Sarge, if you have an idea of how much of a different type of fuel you used, you might compare it to coal. Just because someone else used 10 tons means nothing to you. Here's some numbers to play with: Wood at $250 a cord is about the same price as coal at $325 a ton.
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: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:53 am

Sorry Sarge, you told us this info before.. about your boiler.

Freddy, actually Sarge's fuel use should be similar or more than mine.. My 4000sqft farmhouse in a milder climate is going to be burning less than Sarge in his much colder climate.

Sarge, didn't we have a thread going somewhere else about your boiler? or was it via Private Message? If you can get a photo or two, start a new thread in the boiler forum, And add the info about your house and previous fuel used. That way we can stay on your topic.

Did you every determine if your boiler will burn coal well? I think you said you haven't used your wood/coal boiler yet for your house, so what did you use to heat the house over the last few seasons, and how much of that fuel did you use.. ?? There are several fuel calculators posted on the forum so we can use past fuel use to compare to probably future coal use.. but your boiler will have an unknown efficiency.

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: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: sarge On: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:02 pm

yes we did have a discussion before and you explained that my homemade boiler probably wont burn coal without proper firebox. So i look at this sight more and i see people talking about coal boilers in sheds that are auto feed which i think will probably burn less coal than hand fed .My owb/coal is not even hooked up yet but will be soon but i have the out building and the pex all ready to go but after looking at this sight i am wondering if i should just sell what i thought was going to be agood idea and buy the coal boiler before winter the owb will sell fast since everyone burns wood here .Some of my figures her are about 6 to 7 log cords of wood a year my main source of heat is wood last year we had bad weather here in northern wi and the farmers almanac is calling for worse this year im talking 30 below at night for 2 weeks . My old stove was in house so i saved a lot of radiant heat .No matter what i have to heat throuh my furnace plenum to heat all rooms i have a heat exchanger in place and the hot water coil . I got the idea for coal out of the blue last year and thats when i found blashak and they led me to a dealer in minnesota so before i come to pa to buy anthracite i want to see what happens this year i can buy 10 cord load of logs i cut for 700 dollars but if i can save me the work i would love coal . I am sorry for repeating myself ls I guess i would like to know if i should look into this keystoker boiler before i waste my time putting in my owb i really like the idea of coal and would gladly pay 1000 a year for coal instead of uneven heat that wood produces some of these guys on here are saying that canadians are the only ones with an outdoor coal boiler so what are these coal boilers in sheds are they hot water.
sarge
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:22 pm

OK, the coal boilers that you are reading about are meant to be installed in a house or basement. Many forum members, myself included ,installed the coal boiler in an outbuilding and following the common OWB practice, used insulated pex piping to bring the hot water into the house..

This year all the manufacturers of coal burning appliances are sold out for the year, and are backordered untill springtime.. Meaning , if you order a new boiler today, you may see in next March.. This would vary from company to company, but nobody right now will be delivering a product ordered today untill the end of winter.

So if you have a line on a used stoker boiler, put a deposit on it.. to hold it..

I really don't know what to recommend, you have wood available at a reasonable price, coal is quite expensive for you because of your distance to the mines in Pa. If your boiler could burn coal I'd recommend trying both this winter, but I'm hesitant to recommend buying and committing to a coal only boiler when your access to coal supplies is so limited.. even for me, I can get coal within a few hours drive.. but it sound like you have one source..

Do you have access to a used stoker boiler?? maybe that would be the way to go..

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: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: sarge On: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:46 pm

THANKS LS THAT CLEARS IT OP SO WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMED FOR A STOVE TO PUT IN MY SHED I WANT A BIG ONE I AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT GETTING COAL BECAUSE IF IT WORKS MY NEIGHBOR IS A TRUCK DRIVER AND HE WII HAUL BACK 25 TONS WHEN HE COMES OUT OF PENN EMPTY BUT BEFORE I COMMIT I WILL HAVE TO SEE HOW THIS WINTER GOES WITH ANTHRACITE MAYBY I CAN JUDGE IT SOMEWHAT IN MY OWB THIS WINTER I WILL GET SOME PICS UP FOR YOU GUYS I DID MAKE MY GRATES SO THEY SHAKE BUT THERE MADE OUT OF 2 IN SCHEDULE 40 STAINLESS PIPE I HOPE THEY TAKE THE HEAT THATS MY MAIN CONCERN I KNOW WOOD DOES NOT PHASE THEM BUT I WENT WITH ROUND SO ASH COULD FALL DOWN EASILY
sarge
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: sarge On: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:15 pm

ls here are some pictures of what i have the yellow stuff is spray foam on the exterior of the lp tank the air comes in from back of stove under grates and is controlled by aquastat
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sarge
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:16 am

Sarge that's a big stove. I wouldn't know but there doesn't seem to be enough holes in the grate to get a nice even burn from the bed of coals?
Adamiscold
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Sr. Old School

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: sarge On: Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:02 pm

them grates are actually out of a 400 ton shear you cant see but they have a half inch space between them the holes are from where the bolts were used to hold it on shear them grates are like tool stool are big table plasma at work could barely cut them to length i was hoping they would take the heat of anthracite tke rest of th firebox is 3/16 plate i am just considering putting the anthracite one bag at a time on the hardended grates to heat up the water in the boiler but on another site people are saying plate steel only last a couple years when burning coal some does any one know onle one person commented that the axeman was solid steel and last 40 years is that a special steel i only have regular checker plate in my stove and of course tho 3/8 thick propane tank jacket
sarge
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: Freddy On: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:21 pm

The Axeman Anderson and AHS are a unique breed. The steel lasts a long time because it never get's very hot. Most of it is water jacket so that never gets above 230*. The bed, the part that holds the fire, always has a layer of ash on it. The fire sits on a thick layer of ash, so that floor doesn't see much heat either. When it "shakes" it does not literally shake. The floor of the fire pit has steps on it. When it's asked to "shake:, the floor moves back and forth 2" cutting a 1/2" of ash off the bottom. That half inch dumps into the ash pan. It stops shaking long before glowing coal gets to that piece of steel.
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: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: sarge On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:47 pm

thanks for that info freddy i have never seen a coal stove up close only in pics .The only reason i am on this coal so much is because i have a feeling anthracite will be hitting the midwest after this winter we have a lot of small towns already banning outdoor wood burners and those in rural areas are finding firewood prices on the rise pellets are getting expensive so even a lot of are heating sales companys are talking about introducing coal next year and right now people here wont even look at coal but once they see how much heat and how clean anthracite is they will be hooked just like i was i could not believe it until i seen it i could actually put my hand on the exhaust all day ,and the heat was unbelievable my wife was even impressed . Thats why i was hoping myowb would burn the anthracite ,you say the axeman is solid steel and the coal is on a bed of ash and since the stove is water jacketed , how is that different than my owb if i only put the anthracite in the center of grates the worst case is i burn out the grates my stove is water jacket all the way around but i suppose there is a catch so could you tell me why .
sarge
 

Re: OUTDOOR Wood/Coal Furnaces...Seeking advice before we buy??

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:24 pm

I guess you can give it a try. Two things that coal burners have, one is air coming from under the coal, and the other is shaker grates. Coal makes a bunch of ash and the ash is not like wood ash. If the grates do not have fingers that intertwine and shake I'm not sure how you'll deal with the ash.
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