Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: coollx On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:12 pm

I'm new to this forum and to the idea of burning coal to heat my house.

One of the primary issues I'm trying to sort out right now is how to vent an add on coal boiler if I buy one. I must confess that I've read alot of threads about direct venting, indirect venting, power venting and I'm not entirely sure I understand it very well.

Here's my situation. I presently have a stand alone oil fired hot water heater for dhw and a stand alone oil fired boiler for heat. They are side by side in a corner of my basement and vent to a common masonry chimney.

If a buy a coal boiler as a add on to my present boiler I plan to keep my stand alone hot water heater to continue satisying my dhw needs. (I don't want to run my coal boiler year round if I don't have to plus the present stand alone runs very little and heat water fast)

The Keystoker dealer I'm talking with about a coal boiler said I can't vent the coal boiler to the same chimney that the oil burners vent to. He said all I need to do is direct vent the coal boiler through my basement cement block wall and put a T pipe on the outside. I toward him the vent will only be a foot above the ground where it exits my basement wall...He said that's fine.

Is he right? Is this all I have to do? Or is it more complicated?


Dom
coollx
 

Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:07 pm

This is what a lot of people are doing in your situation, and is what I would do.

  • Hook the coal boiler to the chimney instead, this needs a constant draft so the venter will need to run constantly if you vent it. Plus it puts a beating on power venters. I'll also add AFAIK Keystoker is the only manufacturer recommending venting a larger boiler and I believe that is only on their smallest model.
  • Keep the oil boiler as a backup, assuming you have the room. This will provide a way to keep heat in the house if you need to leave the house for an extended period of time in the winter or in the unlikely event something breaks on the stoker. There's a few threads describing how to hook them up in tandem and it how to go about this really depends on your situation. Other option are to simply make it easy to disconnect the coal boiler and hook up the oil boiler to the chimney.
  • Power vent the DHW heater and/or the oil boiler, this doesn't need to be constantly on. You'll save on the electricity and not beat the crap out of the venter.
  • Use a thermal siphon loop in conjunction with the DHW, that link goes into detail. The oil fired DHW heater becomes a glorified storage tank and will rarely run. In addition if you need/want to turn the coal boiler off in the summer you still have DHW.
  • Burn year round, you'll use about 1 ton in 3 or 4 months. The cost benefit will vary depending on how much coal you're burning. The other benefit is that you'll extend the life of the boiler, flue pipe etc... considerably. The boilers are insulated so you won't have any significant amount of heat in the basement.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: coollx On: Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:05 pm

Obviously I need to read up on venting to better understand it.

However, if I wanted to leave the existing oil boiler and oil hot water heater vented as they are into the chimney, could I vent the new coal boiler by going directly through the outside cement block wall? Keeping in mind that where that vent exits on the outside is only 6"-12" above the ground. I really would like to know if this is a viable option as well.

Thanks

Dom
coollx
 


Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:17 pm

I don't know about the height, the only regulation I'm aware of is the distance from a window or other opening. If the height is factor you could add a length outside going up.

Some other things to bear in mind about venting the coal, the exhaust is not really bad but it does have a slight odor. Any vegetation by it is going to die....

You really should consider hooking the coal to the chimney. You'll save money and lot headache in the future.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:15 pm

Remember, a coal stove/furnace/boiler will have a fire in it 24/7, once the heating season is here,, that means the powervent unit will have to run 24/7 as well. The oil boiler is not going to be running much at all, and if powervented, the venter needs to run only when the oil burner is running,, just wire the two to come on together.. and you probably will not have it run more than a few times for the whole season.

With the coal boiler vented to the masonry chimney, you will have ZERO concerns about a powerventer needing cleaning, maintenance, electricity, wearing out, etc etc.. It just makes sense to use the full-time, naturally reliable, simple masonry chimney for the full time fire in the coal stove, and use the powerventer for the part time oil burner.

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: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:35 pm

Agreed, vent the coal boiler to the chimney, power vent the oil appliances. Use the coal boiler for domestic hot water. Oil prices are still going up, if you go with a coal boiler you'll end up setting it up this way anyway, once you realize that you can spend zero $$$ on oil for heat and hot water. :D
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:47 pm

LsFarm wrote: the venter needs to run only when the oil burner is running,, just wire the two to come on together..
.


Power venters have a fail safe circuit. When the boiler calls for heat, the power venter starts, after the fail safe determines that it is running peoperly, it allows the oil burner to come on. The fail safe is an intergral part of the powerventer.
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: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: e.alleg On: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:09 am

I would disconnect both of your current oil burners. Hook the coal boiler to the chimney and you are done. While the boiler is less efficient at heating DHW in the summer than your oil fired hot water tank, it is still far cheaper to burn coal than oil and you get the benefit of longevity and never having to relight your coal boiler.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:02 am

Thanks Freddy,, I didn't know that,, I'm a masonry chimney guy.

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: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:43 pm

good catch Freddy

No need for a PV is you disable the safety controls
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: whitespa On: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:32 pm

can i hook up a coal stove to my chimney with a oil furnace vented in the same chimney ? is there stove pipe that i can install to block the exhaust of the oil unit ?the oil uniy will not be used while the coal unit is being used .i am new to coal so i need help . i know you cant vent 2 units threw the same chimney.but i will use the oil as a backup only .if that happens i dont want to disconnect all the stove pipe and reinstall each time i switch untis .
whitespa
 

Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:54 am

Whitespa, it's not legal to vent both into the same chimney. You'd have to have some switches & valves & a 20 min stove pipe project to switch from one to the other.
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: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:40 pm

Whitespa,

We too have to "share" the chimney between the coal and oil burner. We had a "Y" installed at the thimble in the basement. Coal has been the only use of the chimney for 2 + years straight so far. (And will probably be that way for some time now that oil prices are where they are) When we wanted to use the oil burner, we just unhooked the coal stove (after all coal was extinguished) and capped off that leg of the "Y" and hooked up the oil burner to the other leg.

When hooking up the coal heater, we just reversed the procedure but we used metal tape to seal the joint when installing the cap on the oil burner leg.

We have both heating appliances have their own pipe make up to the "T" joint. Makes switching easy as cake.

Hope this helps.


Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: ray in ma On: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:44 pm

Caution to all who want to run multiple fuels into a single chimney,
1) Check your local and state building codes, most do not allow more than 1 fuel in the chimney.
2) if allowed (or you are going to ignore codes) put the lighter / cooler exhaust fumes above the denser hotter fumes or they will get trapped below and CO2 will build up in the space below the flues.
I am new to the coal forums so I haven't researched vapor density of coal flue gases v/s oil, (I do have a second chimney which will hold the coal stove) but my propane hot water heater is above the oil furnace in the other chimney.
I've been a call firefighter for 20+ years and seen houses burned to the ground because the wood stove was on the 1st floor and oil hot water was left in the same chimney in the basement, oil fumes built up in the basement and in 2 cases the flue gasses were actually hot enough to back up and ignite the floor around the thimble.
Don't mean to scare you but please don't screw around with venting
ray in ma
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak

Re: Is The Dealer's Venting Advice Correct?

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:24 pm

I don't know of any building code that permits a solid fuel chimney to be shared with any other fuel. The International Code Council's International Mechanical Code doesn't. It's the basic document that is adopted by many state and local governments.

The only way a multi-fueled coal appliance can share the same flue and meet current codes is for the manufacture of that appliance to say it is a permitted and tested use. If it's not in the manufactures installation instructions you can't do it.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea