Recommended setup for my house

Re: Recommended setup for my house

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:03 pm

The length of time untended depends on the time of year and the BTU load on the boiler..

This time of year,, my AA260 boiler only uses 20# of coal a day, and the ashpan goes 7-9 days before it's full.
In the dead of winter, with the temps in the teens or single digits, the boiler uses 200# or more per day, and the ashpan is full after one or two days..

Usually the ashpan is more limiting than the amount of coal available in the hopper.. so if you need to, you can just let the ashpan overflow,, and just clean up the spillage when you get home..

Greg L

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

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Re: Recommended setup for my house

PostBy: speerstra On: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:14 pm

LsFarm, thanks. So your only concern is running out of coal. No fear of leaving it unattended and coming home to a major problem of some kind?
Also, Currently my oil water heater and furnace share the same chimney. Why can't the coal boiler share it too?

Re: Recommended setup for my house

PostBy: traderfjp On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:03 am

Believe it or not coal is very clean. I have a rug with white in it and a vanilla ceiling and there is no marks to be found. There is minimal dust when you dump the coal in the hopper if u take your time. I would use a mask to be safe. The worst part is the ash pan. If you're careful all the ash will stay in the pan and none of it will become airborne. I have a small dustbuster that I use to clean up after emptying the ash pan. A little ash does get out by the door. You also have to clean out the appliance so often. I would think a boiler also requires a good cleaning once in a while too. My advice is before you go hog wild. Buy a stove 2nd hand if you can find one and get yourself a few tons of bagged coal and see how you like heating with coal. You can always sell the stove and not loose too much. Right now there is a backlog of stoves. The boiler is a huge investment and does burn lots more than a stove. When the temps get into the single digits I only burn about 50# a day.
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: Recommended setup for my house

PostBy: speerstra On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:45 pm

traderfjp, I hear you. I guess I am convinced that I will have to make this move to coal sooner or later. Everything I've read is how limited the oil production levels are and how they aren't discovering new wells as often. With India and China coming online they are just consuming more and more driving prices up. I just don't see oil making a comeback. It may drop from the $4.36 a gallon it is now for me but I don't believe I will ever see sub $3 a gallon again. Could be wrong. If coal is inevitable why not get the boiler? Granted if I am wrong I just burned $7k+ but it should not be too many years to get the cash back. By my calculations, even if oil drops in half I should get my money back in 7 years.

Re: Recommended setup for my house

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:04 pm

As mentioned the big limiting factor is the ashes, I've suggested in other threads raising the boiler up on blocks providing a space underneath for overflow from the ash tub. This will greatly increase the ash capacity.

As far as the saving go it really depends on your usage and the cost you are paying for the coal. I'm assuming for a 2000 square foot house you're going through about 900 gallons a year in oil? I get to that figure because the average 2000 Sq. foot home requires about 5 tons of coal a year and 1 ton comes out to about 180 gallons of oil.

Assuming $4.36 a gallon for oil that's almost $4K a year. The coal locally will cost you about $800 delivered but you'll have to factor your own costs into that. you'll pay for the boiler in 1.5 years minimum. There are some assumptions there such as the oil staying at that price and how much it costs you for the coal.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

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