Would like to go coal

Would like to go coal

PostBy: rossco17 On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:27 pm

Hi - just stumbled upon this forum searching for info. I am soon moving into a house in Scarborough, Maine that uses an oil-fired boiler. Because of oil costs, i think i want to move to a coal boiler. but i have questions as i'm a total newbie and have no idea who does this kind of work.

1) probably best if i make a phone call to have someone come out and assess the costs of the installation. would this be an HVAC contractor?
2) i'd like to install the coal boiler in line with my oil one so i can leave for a couple weeks without worry. However, i'd have to install a 2nd flue. is that a huge expense?
3) how do i know what brand/model of coal boiler to look at? 3000 sqft house and current owners burn about 1200 gallons/year.
4) is coal readily available? i have no idea....
rossco17
 

Re: Would like to go coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:10 pm

1. Not sure as this would be something I would do myself. However I guess anyone that could install any type of boiler would be able to get you up and running. As far as purchasing one you'd probably have to do that yourself and have it shipped there or pick it up. I'm pretty sure there won't be any dealers in your area except for the Harman's.

2. You could do that or get a power vent for the oil burner, it will be rarely used and probably the easiest option. Other options include making it manually shut on or or off for both and make it so you easily disconnect and reconnect either one. I believe someone posted a permanent system that connected both to the same chimney but still had a manual way of isolating them, if you connect both you should only run one or the other and have no way for gas to escape into the other unit.

3.There's only a few manufacturers, EFM, Keystoker, Axemane-Anderson, AHS and Harman. All are very good units and make a unit to fit your needs. The Harman might not but I'm saying that because I don't what the specs are. Everyone of them make outstanding products. Make sure they meet your building codes.

4.There's plenty of people here from Maine so I guess the answer is yes, many are resorting to getting it delivered in bulk via tri-axle or tractor trailer. It's much cheaper but you'd need the room to store it. By your estimate of 1200 gallons of oil a year you're probably looking at about 7 tons of coal a year, with a tri-axle that's more that three years supply.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Would like to go coal

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:25 pm

Hey Mainer! Welcome to the forum. I'm in your boat, just a few tides ahead. This coal thing is all new to me, but I'm jumping in with both feet. As Richard said I'd think amy boiler person could do the installation. One thing, they are going to say "we can't do it unless we put a stainless steel liner in your chimney" I don't know, but I've heard that can be two or three grand. In my opinion it's a completely stupid new law. Thank you Maine from trying to save me from myself and making me pay for it. Grrrrr
You can't have two things in the same chimney so I'm making mine so it's a 20 minute project to change from coal to oil. A few valves & hook & unhook chimney pipes. If you want it automatic you'll have to powervent the oil, or build another chimney. You might concider Metalbestus or something to avoid the line the chimney law.
I'll let you know mext Tue if you can get coal as I'm scheduled for 24 ton on that day.
All coal burners spend some labor. It can be fairly automated, but someone has to empty the ashes!
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

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Re: Would like to go coal

PostBy: thoule On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:32 pm

Look at the major manufacturers and ask them for local dealers. Harmon, Keystoker, EMS, AA... Dealers should also be able to help you find installers. Also read the posts on this site - even old ones. I've learned a lot that way ; there's a lot of great info.

Many of us are in the same situation. I've an oil setup now and burned through 1150 gal oil since June of '07. I've 3000 sq ft house in central CT. I decided on the keystoker ka6 with the oil burner option for $5500 including tax & shipping for reasons described elsewhere in this forum. Installation will be about $4000, I think. Coal for the year will be about $1500. I was going to run them in series, but it looks like cost is going to force me to disable the oil.

Lastly, put your order in soon. My keystoker order was filed today and is 12 weeks backordered. The orders are coming in way faster than these things can be made.

Coal is certainly available. 180 gallons of oil = 1 ton of coal. Again, local dealers and google should be able to help you find what you need. People on this forum are in Maine so I'm sure you've got company...

Todd
thoule
 
Stove/Furnace Make: nothing...
Stove/Furnace Model: How Sad!

Re: Would like to go coal

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:11 pm

$4.000 to install a boiler? That sounds like a lot! Geepers, two guys, one day, how much can they get an hour? Unless that includes building a chimney it seems quite high. You have the oil setup now, they won't be installing or wiring pumps or piping out an oil tank or nonstalling baseboard. Gosh, when I was plumbing two of us would do an "electric change out" in a 16 hour day during the winter. The day before we would get all the parts onsite. We'd start at 6AM and would remove the electric baseboard, install hot water basboard, install & plumb the boiler and have the thing up and running before the house froze. Usually 14 hours, sometimes 16. That was 12 yrs ago, but even now two plumbers one day should not get over $1,200. Maybe $3 or $400 for parts. I'd be getting a second opinion!
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: Would like to go coal

PostBy: rossco17 On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:18 pm

wow - $4000 sounds like a lot for installation.

what's a power vent?
rossco17
 

Re: Would like to go coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:35 pm

Scroll down near the bottom of the page for power vent information:

http://www.leisurelinestoves.com/

I'd have to agree with the above, $4000 seems pretty stepp for install unless you have some peculiar circumstances.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Would like to go coal

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:34 am

thoule wrote:Installation will be about $4000, I think. I was going to run them in series, but it looks like cost is going to force me to disable the oil.


$4,000? I don't think so.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Visit Lehigh Anthracite