Anyone Built Your Own Coal Outdoor Boiler?

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Post Wed. Jan. 16, 2008 8:13 pm

Hello,

I'm new to this forum, and I'm looking to learn about outdoor coal fired boilers. I really want to build my own, and I wonder if anybody has done that, and knows of any good plans. I am also collecting "sage advice" about embarking on such a project. I'm looking forward to your input!

Thanks in advance... MR


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e.alleg
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Post Wed. Jan. 16, 2008 11:41 pm

sounds like a great idea, I think the best way is to get a coal stoker boiler from any reputable company and put it outside and build a shed around it. A regular wood boiler can burn bituminous coal ok but it's not going to do well with anthracite.
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
"Good enough" is not good enough.

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Post Wed. Jan. 16, 2008 11:51 pm

I know Greg ( Lsfarm) built his own indoor coal boiler. It was/is quite impressive. I would imagine the only difference would be the outer insulated shell.

OWB's won't burn bituminous coal very well. I tried it for 2 years in mine. then, I got sick of trying ( And failing) so I went and bought a indoor boiler designed for burning coal. it was much easier..
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mufwapo
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2008 12:44 am

I'm just curious but what is the advantage of having an "Outdoor" boiler? I don't see how that makes anything any better. Unless you don't have a basement what makes them so popular?

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coaledsweat
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2008 8:27 am

mufwapo wrote:I'm just curious but what is the advantage of having an "Outdoor" boiler? I don't see how that makes anything any better. Unless you don't have a basement what makes them so popular?
I wouldn't say they are popular, especially with the neighbors. They aren't very efficient and consume a lot more than they are worth. If you have troubles, your going to be out there freezing too. A homes heat source should be in it, the losses will heat your house, not the neighborhood. They are also pretty expensive for what you wind up with if you ask me.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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LsFarm
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2008 8:33 pm

The size and water capacity of the OWB's pretty much dictate that it has to be outside. They are often advertised to burn just about anything. Green wood, branches, hay, straw, tree trimmings sawmill slabs, pallets etc.

The theory is that you build a big, hot fire, heat a lot of water to store the heat and pipe the heat into the house. With the OWB away from the house, the threat of a creosote chimney fire is eliminated, your homeowners insurance won't go up, and the mess from the bark, dirt, wood chips, bugs etc remains outside.

Here's a photo of my 'Big Bertha' boiler when I was installing it through the door of it's new 'home'
backhoeboiler.jpg
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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Wardner
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2008 11:40 pm

Image

Sorry, but I don't have any plans. Maybe this picture is worth a thousand words. OK, maybe only three or four words.

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JiminBucks
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 1:46 am

"The theory is that you build a big, hot fire, heat a lot of water to store the heat and pipe the heat into the house. With the OWB away from the house, the threat of a creosote chimney fire is eliminated, your homeowners insurance won't go up, and the mess from the bark, dirt, wood chips, bugs etc remains outside."

I don't see the need for an outdoor coal furnace! No creosote fire danger. Your just burning more coal then you need. Ever hear of the KISS solution! :P


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CoalHeat
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 8:51 am

Can I use the Redneck Furnace to heat my Redneck Penthouse?
Last edited by CoalHeat on Sat. Apr. 01, 2017 12:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Removed image
Heating a circa 1832 farmhouse with a Harman Magnafire Mark I & a 1959 EFM 350 (heating DHW).
100% Oil Free!
"It's what we learn after we think we know it all that counts."

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Yanche
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 12:21 pm

Wardner wrote:Image

Sorry, but I don't have any plans. Maybe this picture is worth a thousand words. OK, maybe only three or four words.
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Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Stoker Boiler burning Anthracite Pea Coal

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mikeandgerry
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 6:57 pm

Wardner wrote:Image

Sorry, but I don't have any plans. Maybe this picture is worth a thousand words. OK, maybe only three or four words.
LOL I think that pic is every wife's nightmare.

IMHO I think anthracite was invented by God to heat the homes of the northeast using an indoor unit! The beauty of anthracite over wood is threefold: ability to control the fire from very low to very high (via a stoker), relative convenience of fuel storage(it flows, doesn't rot, deteriorate or spontaneously combust) and the smokelessly "clean" burn.

Wood is more expensive if you analyze your input of time to tend your fire, your fuel preparation and storage, and how it controls your time away from the house. Wood is also a nuisance to any downwind neighbor closer than 300'
The essence of freedom is the proper limitation of government.

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LsFarm
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 8:30 pm

Personally I like the outdoor features of my boiler.. I keeps all the noise, dust, smell, potential CO, outside..

And with this drafty house, there is no vacuum or negative pressure on the inside of the house from a chimney drawing air from the house. When the propane boiler was up and running, you could really tell that the house had a draft on it. And I do have an outside air source for the boiler..

Anyway there are some reasons that an outside location is a good thing.. I'd prefer it to be in the adjacent garage so it was closer, but my insurance company is happy that it is 50' away from the house.

Greg L.
2005_0410Woodstove70008.JPG
IMG_0037.jpg
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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CoalHeat
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 10:19 pm

Greg your BB isn't an outside boiler, though. It's inside. I wouldn't want an outside coal boiler, I would think the losses due to the cold air around it would be hugh.

What's the MSF stand for?

That looks like on old foundation with newer construction.
Heating a circa 1832 farmhouse with a Harman Magnafire Mark I & a 1959 EFM 350 (heating DHW).
100% Oil Free!
"It's what we learn after we think we know it all that counts."

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LsFarm
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Location: Michigan

Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 10:48 pm

MSF stands for Michigan Steel Fabricators, my buddy's business. He welded up my design and water tested it for me.

Big Bertha could have a insulated jacket installed and be outside, I designed it to be able to go outdoors if I decide to sell it.

The building is an old 'cold cellar' or ice house or ??? Stone foundation, had a cedar-shake roof that was falling in. Rather than bull-doze it, I decided to remove the old roof and build a new one. a few years later it became my boiler room.

In the photo below, which is the only photo I have of the building with the old roof, it is behind the car on the right. The car is my '33 Pierce Arrow, the fat guy is me when I was eating too well. and shaving too little.. :lol: :lol:

Greg L
33 Pierce.jpg
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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CoalHeat
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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Baseburners & Antiques: Sears Signal Oak 15 & Andes Kitchen Range
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert
Location: Stillwater, New Jersey

Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2008 11:13 pm

I did give the building a look, I was too interested in the P. A.
All I can say is ..Wow.
Makes my little collection pale in comparison.
DSCN0697.jpg
Heating a circa 1832 farmhouse with a Harman Magnafire Mark I & a 1959 EFM 350 (heating DHW).
100% Oil Free!
"It's what we learn after we think we know it all that counts."


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