Hot Water From Stove & Other Questions

Hot Water From Stove & Other Questions

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:13 pm

I live in the Northeast and am ready to buy a coal stove. I'm considering the Alaska Channing or Keystroker 90. They booth look very similar. Keystroker claims to have a flat grate system that will burn the coal more efficently then the Alaskan stove. I was wondering if there is any truth to this? Does one have a better heat exchange or other advantages? Any advice between which one to get would be helpful.

I was also interested in using my stove to make domestic hot water. Is anyone doing this? If so how well does it work? How did you do the actual install? I was thinking of diverting the cold water line into a coil that would sit inside the stove (no solder joints) and back into the cold water line that feeds the tank. THe tank would sit directly below the stove in the basement. The pressure from the water line would eliminate a pump. When hot water is called for the tank would be replenished with heated water from the stove vs. cold water. I would also pipe out the relief valve to the outside incase the pressure inside the tank becomes to great. I'm trying to make this work with my existing Bock oil fired heater tank.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

PostBy: stokerstove On: Sat Apr 22, 2006 9:59 pm

I don't know about the differences in the 2 stoves but I do heat my domestic hot water with my old Alaska Stokerstove using a coil inside the stove. I use my existing elec. water heater tank and a small pump to circ. the water thru the sys. This setup works well for me. If your tank is within 10' of your stove you shouldn't need a pump as the hot water will circ. on its own. Sounds like you have some pretty good ideas on a set up. Check out this site: http://www.hilkoil.com/
stokerstove
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Kodiak Stokerstove 1

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:15 pm

Thanks for the URL. Can you explain how the water flows from your hotwater heater to the coils and back into the tank Thanks
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3


PostBy: stokerstove On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:02 am

The link I gave you has a good diagram of the sys. I installed, but I'll try to give you an idea how I did mine. Remove the drain on the bot. of the tank and run a line from there to the bottom of the coil. I installed my pump in this line, close to the tank. From the top of the coil run a line to the top of the tank where the press. relief valve is. Remove the valve and install a T with the valve re-positioned on top of the T and the pipe from the coil in the side of the T. I added another press. relief valve in the upper line at the coil, an auto air vent at the highest point in the line. and a tempering valve between the cold inlet and the hot outlet to prevent scalding as the water can get very hot. I also used ball valves to isolate the pump and the coil and used unions so the coil could be easily removed. I used 3/4" copper for all the lines.
stokerstove
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Kodiak Stokerstove 1

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:05 am

Thanks for the information. I went back to the site and found the diagram that you were talking about. A couple of questions.

1. Why would you need a pump? The tank is pressurized from the water pressure going into the tank.
2. What temperature is the water being maintained in your tank when the stove is on during the winter?
3. Have you had the relief valve blow on you yet? If so does it happen often?
4. I'm getting a 90k BTU coal stove. Is there any danger of the coil melting inside the stove? Is that why many of the coils are made of stainless?

Thanks in advance.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

PostBy: stokerstove On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 4:42 pm

I'm way far from being an expert but I'll give my opinion. Hopefully there is someone else that can back up or refute my thoughts. I believe that since it is a closed system, when there is no call for domestic water ( faucets, shower, etc. ) the water doesn't flow on it's own, just sits there. Here's where the location of your tank comes in. If the tank is within 10' of the stove the water WILL circulate on its own due to a phenomenom known as Thermo-siphon. This is also limited by the elevation of the tank vs. the stove, but I think if they are on the same level you'd be ok. I didn't research the Thermo-siphon method because my tank is 20' from my stove and thats why I use a pump. I obtained alot of this info from the coil mfg.
Water temp depends on usage and stove regulation. When the stove is fired up and no water is being used, say overnight, the water temps are very hot - sometimes enough to pop the valve, but this hasn't happened too often. You also have the option of adding an aquastat that will turn the pump on when the water gets to a set temp at the coil and off when it cools to lower set temp ( I run my pump cont. and it uses only a small amt. of elec.)
I've called Alaska about running the stove w/o water in the coil and they said it would be ok. Maybe the coil mfg. would be able to answer this question better than I. When I did run the coil dry I made sure I had it disconnected at the stove so it could have some ventilation.
If you are getting your stove from a dealer they should be able to help you set it up.
Hope that helps some
stokerstove
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Kodiak Stokerstove 1

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:00 pm

Thanks stokerstove. I would think that the coil would rob some of the stoves effeciency to a degree. I'm looking at a 100 btu stove so I should have plenty of reserve BTU's. I'm going to talk to the MFG of the coils too. I have a basement that is used all the time and needs to be heated. With oil so expensive I may use the coils in the stove to send hot water to the boiler so the oil burner doesn't have to turn on as much. The other alternative is send the hot water from the stove to my basement's heating zone and use a reostat and thermostat. I'll have to give this more thought. Are you in love with your stove or do you find it a hassle?
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

PostBy: stokerstove On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:27 pm

I'm sure the coil robs some btu's but it still keeps my basement and most of the house warm - mine is rated at 50,000 btu's. In fact the basement is too hot much of the time and my workshop is down there so I spend the winter in shorts!
I wouldn't say I'm in love w/ my stove but in an all elec. house anything that saves me from going broke paying the bills, I guess I probably have some affection for. I wouldn't call it a hassle but I have a choice - sit on my butt and pay insane elec. bills or try to do something about it
Any sys. requires maint., some more than others. I used to burn wood and that got old pretty quick - high maint., creosote, dirty, bugs, etc.
Nothing like the steady heat from anthracite. Once my sys. is set up in the fall all it takes is about 5-10 min. a day to change ash pans and fill w/ coal. I still have mine running and only have to do ashes and fill every 3 days or longer. The part I consider a hassle is cleaning the stove and chimney at the end of the season.
I figured I save at least $20/month just by adding the coil cause I turn off the elec. to the water heater once the stove is running plus that isn't counting $ saved on heating costs. My elec. bill actually goes down when the cold weather hits.
I would be careful about using the stove for the basement heating zone cause I hooked my coil into a hydronic baseboard heater in an unheated room and only get decent results when the stove is up high, but mine is only a 50,000 btu.
If your stove is going to be in the basement why would you hook the stove to the basement's heating zone - unless the stove is isolated from the rest of the basement, it should heat the area radiantly?
Sounds like your well on your way and that 100,000 btu's should be plenty - good luck
stokerstove
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Kodiak Stokerstove 1

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:39 pm

I agree with wood being messy. I hate it when I had my wood burning insert. Right now I use about 1200 gallons a year of oil and with prices close to 2.60 that adds up to some serious dollas plus it could double again next winter. My stove is going in my dining room which is off the kitchen and next to the livingroom. It mostly is an open floor plan. Since heat rises I don't expect to get any heat in the basement. I don't really use a lot of hot water so I thought it might make more sense to try running the hot water to the baseboard heat. But doing hot water with the stove might be more reasonable if you only got so so results. This connecticut I will rent a truck and take a trip to bpellets to buy my coal bagged. I can get it for 180 a ton (I hope). I also found a place in PA that sells coal Antracite for 100 a ton loose but trucking is a problem with loose coal. Do you buy it loose or in bags?
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

PostBy: stokerstove On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:55 pm

I'd do more research on the baseboard heat thing if I were you. With a 100,000 btu stove and the right coil it might work, it just didn't work for me like I had hoped. I thought you were putting the stove in your basement by the way I read your first post but now I understand you were talking about a tank in the basement, beneath the stove on the floor above.
I'm in NE PA, pretty much in the heart of the Anthracite region. I get rice coal delivered for $110/ton - at least that's what it was the last delivery. I usually buy 2 ton at a time and have a coal bin I built in the basement. I burn approx. 4 ton a year
stokerstove
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Kodiak Stokerstove 1

PostBy: Coal Dust On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:55 pm

traderfjp wrote: I also found a place in PA that sells coal Antracite for 100 a ton loose but trucking is a problem with loose coal. Do you buy it loose or in bags?


I get it delivered $170 a ton.

I live in Pa. and $100 a ton loose is a great price. Best price I could find was $150 a ton. picked up, loose. Here in North East Pa.

How many tons do you need to purchase for that low price???


Coal Dust
Coal Dust
 

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:10 pm

The lady said that I could get as little as a bucket full. Email me and I'll give you the contact info. traderfjp@yahoo.com They don't deliver. I found out about this from Keystroker.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

PostBy: Complete Heat On: Tue May 02, 2006 6:17 pm

Traderfp,

If you already have forced hot water, why don't you look at replacing your oil fired boiler with a coal or a coal/oil fired boiler? Keystoker makes great units. The KA-6 is their most popular unit and with the dual fuel option, going away on vacation is no big deal. In the summer, if all the boiler is doing is domestic hot water, it will burn one hopper every 2-3 weeks. The other alternative is to run a coal fired boiler in series with the oil fired unit(provided the oil unit is not about to give up the ghost), having the coal unit do all the work, and the oil unit as a back up system only. The plumbing is not too difficult(it is rather easy, just time consuming), and then you have the best of both worlds. The Keystoker boilers put out 200 gph of hot water, and are built like a tank. The KA-6 weighs 1000 pounds. I just installed one for a customer last week and he is loving it.

I have an Alaska Model 140 auger feed at my house(I have forced hot air), and it is tied into the existing ductwork, and my propane furnace is now the back-up. I also installed a hot water coil into the stove, with a circulator pump, and it works great. When the 140 is under load, you can run cold water in, and it comes out real warm after one pass. I have a 50 gallon hot water tank, and it is childs play for that coil. Stokerstove is right on the money with everything he said. I don't think that a hot water coil will do anything significant with a baseboard system. The KA-6 unit holds 55 gallons of hot water for the baseboard system, so it has plenty of oomph to get things done. Inside of the hot water storage is the domestic hot water coil which gives off endless hot water year round.


Mike
Complete Heat
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: AA-130/FHA

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue May 02, 2006 8:26 pm

Coal Dust wrote:
How many tons do you need to purchase for that low price???


Most of the breakers are going to be in that price range if they will sell it to you. Some will...some won't. Just remeber you have to pick it up yourself and put it where you want it. It's going to require a few trips unless you have access to a truck and once you get it to where you want you still have to unload it. :shock: Unless you have a very easy delivery spot like a very low basement window that you can back right up too you're going to be in for a long afternoon.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite