Things to look at when buying a used coal furnace?

Things to look at when buying a used coal furnace?

PostBy: jghent On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:53 pm

I've been following some of the threads on this site and it looks like you are all hooked on burning coal. That and rising fuel oil prices have me convinced: It's time to convert.

I'm looking to pick up a used forced air coal furnace to save some cash. I'd like to hook the coal furnace up in tandem with my existing oil furnace, as I've seen some people on these forums do. I've seen a couple of ads in local papers for various models that I think would work for my home. What sorts of things should I look at when determining what kind of shape a used furnace is in? How should I expect to pay for a second hand unit?

Thanks!

Jonathan G.
jghent
 
Stove/Furnace Make: none
Stove/Furnace Model: none

Re: Things to look at when buying a used coal furnace?

PostBy: billw On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:28 pm

Welcome jghent,
I can't answer much about what to look for in a hot air furnace. Someone with some experience can help you there. Typically a used furnace is paid for with cash. There may be exceptions such as buying it from a store but mostly they are individuals selling them.
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: Things to look at when buying a used coal furnace?

PostBy: Trimmer On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:45 pm

I would be extremely cautious buying a used hot air furnace. Look at all the welds in the fire box and heat exchange system. This is coming from someone who went through this a couple of years ago. I went and looked at a used furnace, looked good to me I didn't know a thing about a coal furnace. Got it home and in the basement. Took it apart to clean it up and learn how it operated. Looked good to me, not knowing at this point what to be looking for. Burnt it for two years and put the shop vac nozzle through the fire box cleaning it out. After being around several stoves during this time I have learned that the previous owner Didn't do any cleaning or maintenance on this stove allowing it to rust out at the welded seams. With this said I would recommend you buy a new or used boiler and put a heat exchanger in your duct work.
I will be picking up my New boiler [harman VF 3000] tomorrow !!!!
Trimmer
 

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Re: Things to look at when buying a used coal furnace?

PostBy: jghent On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:29 pm

Thanks for the advice. I hadn't considered putting in a boiler with a heat exchanger. Actually, I wasn't even aware that such a thing existed. Can anyone recommend a dealer for a boiler-to-air heat exchanger?
jghent
 
Stove/Furnace Make: none
Stove/Furnace Model: none

Re: Things to look at when buying a used coal furnace?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:51 pm

The boiler to water/air heat exchanger is the way the outdoor wood boiler folks use their boilers. if you search on ebay for heat exchanger you will find several dealers that sell them.. they need to be the right dimensions for your hot air plenum..

The neat think about a boiler is that you then can easily heat your domestic hot water with the boiler,, eliminating any oil use during the winter months..

For boilers.. Keystoker, EFM, Harman, AHS, Axeman Anderson, and a few others I can't think of right now..

There are dozens of threads on the forum on this very same subject.. sit down and so some searches.. read several pages back there is a wealth of information available for reading..

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

Re: Things to look at when buying a used coal furnace?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:40 am

I would take a welder's picking hammer to the heat exchanger and work it over inside and out. If it is solid and not flakey you should be fine, you will always have some flake, just make sure it is thin and light. Thick flakes are not a good sign. It should ring a little (away from corners and welds), dull thuds will tell you she is going soft.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

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