KA-6 installed in an out-building.

KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: Rookie On: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:59 pm

With great interest I have been reading all the questions and replys, but I have not read of anyone installing a stoker in an out-building. I have a finished basement and wood working shop that do not lend themselves easily to an 'in the house' install and was wondering if anyone has experimented with installing the boiler in an out-building, such as a tool shed etc. I have a few small out-buildings that I could retrofit and insulate, but I'm concerned with heat loss during underground passage, even if I insulate well. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Rookie
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: beatle78 On: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:29 pm

I'm sure LSFARM will be along shortly.

His boiler is in an outbuilding. From what I've read it's very similar to how you would plumb an outdoor wood boiler w/ insulated underground pipes.
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: Bob On: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:58 pm

I have my AHS 130 installed in an outbuilding. The piping run between the coal boiler in the outbuilding and the oil boiler in the house is 130 ft each way. I have minimal insulation on the underground portion between the two buildings--about 75 ft. It is difficult to estimate losses between the buildings but based on one year of experience I did not find the losses to be unacceptable. There are several factors that tend to make losses acceptable even in a minimally insulated line. First, insulation only slows the flow of heat--it does not stop it completely. Second ground temperature several feet down tends to be around 55 degrees year round so the temperature differential is not as great as it would be with an above ground pipe run. Third, my installation, as most installations, is run in conduit and the air space in the conduit reduces heat loss as compared to direct burial of the pipes.

There are insulated piping systems available that will reduce heat loss. All will work best if buried well below the frost line.
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: Rookie On: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:48 pm

Thanks for the reply Bob. You bring up another point that seems to be somewhat controvercial on the web among various boiler manufacturers, which is the depth of burial of the water lines. Some sites say no more than 18" to stay away from ground water and others say(as you do), stay below the frost line. I guess a little commen sense needs to be used here. I suppose if you have high ground water, it would make sense to stay out of it. In my case, I had to drill 550 feet to find water of any kind, so I will not have a problem getting below our 30" frost line for the North East.

In my case, I will have a set-up almost exactly as you described your own as my home sits 75' from the out-building I want to use. You said your lines passed through conduit, which by itself provides some form of insulation. Did you run both lines through the same tube and if so do they touch within the conduit? Sorry for all the questions, but as you can imagine, I don't want to do this twice!
Rookie
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: sweeper On: Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:09 pm

Rookie I have a K6 in an outbuilding that is about 60ft. from my home. I put mine in around 1990 with no experience in plumbing at all. I have four polybutalyne lines inside of 4" corragated plastic that is buried about 32"down and never had any trouble with ground water until recently. Now on occasion I will get some water when the conditions are very very wet. As far as heat loss I would say it is minimal,I burn approx. 6 ton to heat 1500 sq. ft. with domestic and the boiler runs all year.
sweeper
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: k6 in outbuilding
Other Heating: napoleon woodstove
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker/LeisureLine/Napoleon
Stove/Furnace Model: K6 in outbuilding/1150 wood

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: Bob On: Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:32 pm

Rookie wrote:Did you run both lines through the same tube and if so do they touch within the conduit? Sorry for all the questions, but as you can imagine, I don't want to do this twice!


Yes I ran both pipes through the same conduit. I used 1" Pex al pex and 4" sewer and drain PVC concuit. I planned to insulate the pipes but found I couldn't pull the pipe with insulation. The end result is that I pulled the pipes and then blew in a pouring insulation so piping touches and also touchs the conduit. If you plan to insulate and have anything but a straight run I would recommend at least 6" conduit to allow space to pull the piping with insulation installed or buy preinsulated pipe in conduit--it is available on ebay and other places.
http://cgi.ebay.com/150-Pex-Al-Pex-Insulated-Outdoor-Wood-Furnace-Pipe_W0QQitemZ190231735630QQihZ009QQcategoryZ20598QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: 218Bee On: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:24 pm

I rolled my own this weekend. I had a much shorter run of 20'.

1" pex al pex both wrapped in 1 1/2" foam pipe insulation. I had to cut a sliver off one of the foam sheaths where it touched the other pipe. I folded some fiberglass insulation in the crease created between the pipes. Wrapped the whole shootin match in foil tape and feed it in a 4" solid corrugated plastic pipe.

Cost was just under $3 per foot. I don't know if it's right..but its what I did :P
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218Bee
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:31 pm

Hello Rookie, welcome to the forum.. Installing a boiler in an outbuilding is a very common practice in the wood boiler crowd.. They want to keep the mess, stink and wood piles away from the house.. If you do a search for OWB , Outdoor Wood Boiler, you will find lots of info about using a remote boiler..

My coal boiler's building is halfway between my house and my shop,, I heat both with the coal boiler.. the underground insulated pipe runs are each 150' I use 1" pex-al-pex inside a 3" seamless corrugated pipe, around this is a layer of 1" foam and the outer layer is a seamless 6" corrugatted plastic drain pipe..

Water is what you want to keep away from your burried pipes.. dry sand is a fairly good insulator. but wet sand will suck the heat away from the pipes.. This is why I use two seamless pipes to keep the water away from the pipes and insulation.

I see only a 3* F loss in 150' of burried pipe,, this was measured with 150* water and frozen ground,, my pipes are about 20" below grade.

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: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: Rookie On: Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:51 am

Thanks everyone for some great tips. I am starting to get a good picture of how this is going to work and I'm excited.

It's great to hear all the success stories and I will no doubt continue to monitor this Forum for more great tips.

Two more question before I slip back into obscurity. The KA-6 is not designed to be an outdoor unit and therefore is not insulated very well from what I can see. Obviously I wouldn't even think about standing it on a slab unprotected from the elements, but was wondering to what degree I need to insulate the out-building to further control energy loss? I notice that several of you have your boilers in out-buildings and pay very close attenton to how the hot water is insulated as it passes to the home, but I didn't really hear anything about the environment in the out-buildings. Big issue or no? Secondly, I noticed some of you used pex-al-pex lines. Any special reason vs. using regular O2 barrier pex?

An additional note: My son, who lives 2 miles from me, has also caught the bug and has ordered a KA-6 for installation in his un-attached (but well insulated) garage. He oredered his boiler 2 weeks after I did and was told the lead time was out a month longer than mine! If anyone is fairly sure they will be using a KA-6 (or I suspect any other manufacturer)this winter, they should get one on order PDQ before the lead times go out to Summer 09!

Thanks again for all the valuable tips, this is a great forum.
Ron - North Brookfield, Massachusetts.
Rookie
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:14 am

I don't insulate my boiler building at all,, I may be loosing some heat to the building,, but it is enclosed, no wind, etc.. If you want, just insulate it like an average room,, R13 walls,, R19-30 ceiling... But provide windows for fall/spring ventilation. it will get hot in the room otherwise..

In the garage,, the small amount of heat lost to the garage will make your vehicles happy! :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: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: Bob On: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:53 am

I find that my boiler--which has insulation and a cover--has significant heat loss. I have a 40 x 40 x12 outbuilding with insulation and on all but the coldest days the boiler heat losses keep the building above 50. Before I insulated the 25 feet of piping that is exposed in the building the temperature was closer to 60.

I personally think pex al pex is superior to pex with an oxygen barrier and if you buy piping with similar INSIDE diameter the pricing is not as great as it looks of you simply compare the same nominal size pipe (1" pex al pex has approximately the same inside diamter as 1.25" pex). Pex al pex is very dimensionally stable with temperature change while pex will elongate significantly--and because the oxygen barrier is a coating on the exterior of most pex pipe it is suseptible to abrasion and degradation with the heating and cooling cycles. On the other hand the oxygen barrier with pex al pex is aluminum and is interior to the wall of the pipe. Pex al pex is much easier to work with--like soft copper--while pex has qualities more like a spring--you continually have to fight it.
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: Rookie On: Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:08 am

Thanks for the suggestion Bob. I've been researching the pex-al-pex idea and am having 'angina' pains over the fitting prices. Do you have a reasonable source for the pipe and fittings?

As an aside, I'm an avid woodworker and am experimenting with 2" foam board of the type you can buy at your local Home Depot. I'm using the board to insulate the undergound pipe. I've seen examples of the classic buriied foam board box, but I'd like to take that idea a step further. There's a little trick you can do with a table saw that will produce a radiused half-hole in the foam into which I will lay the pipe, followed by the other half of the foam board which in the end will form a 4" square sandwich 8' or 12' long (depending on the board I can find). The 4" square sandwich should feed fairly easily into a 6" flex drain tube. I know the key operative word here is 'should', so if I am successful, I will post pictures of the contraption. If it is a bust, I will also post the result.

Ron...
Rookie
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: Bob On: Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:08 pm

As to a source for pipe and fittings--The lowest prices I have seen are on ebay with the lowest there for non-name brand pipe and fittings. I chose to go with Kitec and purchased from . I purchased a 300 ft coil so I only needed 4 compression fittings.


I offer the following observation about your idea for insulation--2" rigid foam board around 2 1" pex al pex pipes will have approximately the flexibility of a 4 x 4 post--none. That means that the conduit will have to be very straight and will have to be inserted through the walls at each end before you begin to put the insulated pipe inside the conduit. I know that I could not have used such an approach in my installation --the conduit was neither straight or level.
Last edited by Richard S. on Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: biggreen1 On: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:20 am

I see most installs do not separate the two pipes and let them touch each other. I guess the overall efficiency would not change much. The hot pipe would tend to be a little colder being next to the cold return. But the cold return would be a little bit hotter when it gets back to the boiler so the water will not have to be heated as much. Any thoughts?
biggreen1
 

Re: KA-6 installed in an out-building.

PostBy: Yanche On: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:43 pm

If you are trying to deliver the boilers Btu's to the home each pipe should be insulated separately. Allowing heat transfer between the pipes reduces that capability. The amount of reduction may be small and it would make for an interesting analytical analysis. I do know that the heat loss from uninsulated copper pipes in a unheated room or craw space is significant. That's not case here because the greatest heat transfer is likely conduction through the touching pipes.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Visit Lehigh Anthracite