Outdoor Wood/Coal Boilers

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anthony7812
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Posts: 4851
Joined: Sat. Mar. 12, 2011 2:04 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: VanWert VA 400
Coal Size/Type: Buck/Anthracite
Location: Colley,Pennsylvania

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 11:49 am

Anybody using a Heatmor model 100css with the coal grate option? If so my area is northeastern/central pennsylvania and I'd like to know about rough estimate how much coal I would use a season to heat 2000sqft along with dhw. I know their is many variables but I don't want to buy a burner that will take 20 years to break a saving. I have recently bought my new home in jan and have burned easily $1000 in oil and about 2 cords of wood in my tiny insert fireplace. :cry:


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WNY
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Posts: 5864
Joined: Mon. Nov. 14, 2005 8:40 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
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Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 2:27 pm

every heating situation is different, what works for one, may not for another.

What type of heating do you have currently? What is its rating? etc...How's your windows, insulation, etc...?

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david78
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Posts: 247
Joined: Sun. Aug. 08, 2010 9:50 pm
Baseburners & Antiques: Fuller & Warren Splendid Oak 27
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Location: Durbin WV

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 3:11 pm

This may not be helpful because, as you said, there are many variables. I have a Shaver 165 OWB, technically able to burn wood or coal, but grates that are really better for wood. I mix coal and wood. I heat a 1600sf house to 75 degrees , DWH, and a 400sf garage to 40-45 degrees. This winter (colder than average here) I burned 6 cords of wood and 3 ton of bit coal. The wood cost $20 for a permit, gas and oil for chainsaw and truck, and my labor. Coal was $105 a ton, plus gas to go get it. I also burned about 1500 pounds of anthracite in my antique coal stove in the house just for fun. OWB setup was around $5000. I would probably use $1500-$2000 in propane, so I'm looking at around 5 years for payback. If I had to buy wood, or didn't enjoy cutting it, I'd probably just buy coal and burn it in the stove in the house.

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anthony7812
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Posts: 4851
Joined: Sat. Mar. 12, 2011 2:04 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: VanWert VA 400
Coal Size/Type: Buck/Anthracite
Location: Colley,Pennsylvania

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 3:48 pm

Well insulation isnt bad, wife wanted drywall as soon as we moved in so I got to take a good look at my ceiling and outside wall. Security guys through it all around in ceiling areas but put all back in place. Walls (exterior) are well insulated. I do have a decent size picture window that should be replaced but thats it, all others are less than 5 year old anderson replacements. I have a forced hot air oil furnace located on the opposite side of the house that my fireplace(s) chimney is. Dual chimney liner in large stone chimney. Small earthstove woodstove insert basement that keeps basement area somewhat warm and just an open brick fireplace upstairs that pulls all the hot air out of the house. My wife is very big advocate to have a outside boiler just because I work 12hr swing and with a 2 year old we get very nervous about fires and what not. The peace of mind of having the fire outside is almost worth the cost to me but I do have a budget and I don't want to put myself in a worse situation. BUT I definitly want to burn coal instead of wood. I've cut split and burned wood all my life and I'm ready to take it a lil easier. Plus my stepfather's parents are the local coal sales/delivery company. 8-)

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Short Bus
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Posts: 510
Joined: Sun. Jan. 10, 2010 12:22 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only
Location: Cantwell Alaska

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 3:53 pm

If you are going to use an outdoor boiler you have or are planning a hydronic system for the house, or a plan to put a radiator in your duct work.

Some basic information is needed.

1. Where are you just a nearby town and state. Coal availabity and type is important, and we will not drop by and steel you, I promise.
2. How is your house heated now, oil, gas, boiler, furnace.
3. Basic house layout, basment, attached garage, detached garage, several out buildings, city setting on 1/4 acre lot.
4. How much time are you away from the house, because coal needs tending, at least on average once a day for stokers and more often for hand fed in the winter.
5. How big is your current heating unit.
6. Posibly information about room you have to store a solid fuel

Almost any solid fuel system you choose and be found used in the classifieds here or the paper or cragslist, some people just don't get the right system for them.

Yes coal may save you some money but the installation, can cost you and if it's wrong for you, it will just be a big loser.

Insulation will help your resale value, and improve the comfort in the house today, it's doubtfull that your wife and people on your street will have any concerns about new insulation, and there are several excellent systems are avialable.

Demand for burners could skyrocket soon, and while you are waiting for one, insulate, insulate, insulate. Just my opinon.

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cArNaGe
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Location: Montrose, PA
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Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 4:02 pm

anthony7812 wrote:I have a forced hot air oil furnace located on the opposite side of the house that my fireplace(s) chimney is. Dual chimney liner in large stone chimney. Small earthstove woodstove insert basement that keeps basement area somewhat warm and just an open brick fireplace upstairs that pulls all the hot air out of the house.
What BTU rating is your current furnace? That should get you in the ball park of what size boiler to get. If you aren't using that open brick fireplace then close the flue. I would stay away from a OWB. Had one and burned 20 to 24 full cord a year. Now I'm burning about 9-11 tons/year of coal. If you must have it outside and must burn coal then go with a stoker in a shed. But you have to watch out for your coal freezing.

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whistlenut
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Posts: 3548
Joined: Sat. Mar. 17, 2007 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ & V-Wert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks,Itasca 415,Jensen, NYer 130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska, EFM, Keystoker, Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska, Keystoker-2,Leisure Line
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska, Gibraltar, Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Ford, Jensen, NYer, Van Wert,
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwoods
Coal Size/Type: Barley, Buck, Rice ,Nut, Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB
Location: Central NH, Concord area

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 4:06 pm

I'd do more research on heating sites and this forum about outdoor boilers burning coal effectively. Absolutely do NOT believe any salesman unless you can go to his shop, home or another installation and SEE it work. Talk is cheap, and after you dump 9K into the install and find out it won't meet your expectations, you are out a lot of cash. Reselling an outdoor boiler is even less exciting that a 'prostate exam', especially when the sales literature is embedded there also!

Please do the necessary work to research your BTU device, and almost anyone on this forum will offer you a 'look-see' before you purchase anything. Just ask the dealer/salespeople to show you ONE OWB that is operating burning coal. :idea: :shock:

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Short Bus
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Posts: 510
Joined: Sun. Jan. 10, 2010 12:22 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only
Location: Cantwell Alaska

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 4:10 pm

You answered most of my questions in your second post while I was typing.
If you want the fire outside the house I would use a stoker boiler to cut down on tending the fire, and signifiganly less smoke, and easier to tend, just throw coal in and remove ash, most days. I think all the stoker boilers could be put in outbuildings, or a new detached garage.
I would look into a UL rated stoker in your basment, on the earth stove chiminy, if fire is a concern hang a fire extingisure over the stoker with a sprinkler head on it instead of a pin and trigger.
Smoke alarms are also stronly recomended.
At the fire hall in our town we installed a plumbed in fire extinquisure system that blows powder inside and the combustion chamer and inside the ductwork on our oil furnace. :)
Last edited by Short Bus on Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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cArNaGe
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Location: Montrose, PA
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Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 4:11 pm

I also forgot that I had a Heatmor 200SS. It was about 49% efficient. I know they are better now but not sure by how much.

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anthony7812
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Posts: 4851
Joined: Sat. Mar. 12, 2011 2:04 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: VanWert VA 400
Coal Size/Type: Buck/Anthracite
Location: Colley,Pennsylvania

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 4:14 pm

Trust me the flue/damper on the open fireplace was closed in a hurry once I started heating the house. Bees came flying out in january not fun. :mad: . I apreciate you letting me know about 9 to 11 tons of coal. I've been in contact with Heatmore dealer in the area and of course they are the greatest and cannot steer me wrong. So I will most def ask to see a coal unit in operation and the ins and outs on how its operated and maintained.

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whistlenut
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Posts: 3548
Joined: Sat. Mar. 17, 2007 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ & V-Wert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks,Itasca 415,Jensen, NYer 130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska, EFM, Keystoker, Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska, Keystoker-2,Leisure Line
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska, Gibraltar, Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Ford, Jensen, NYer, Van Wert,
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwoods
Coal Size/Type: Barley, Buck, Rice ,Nut, Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB
Location: Central NH, Concord area

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 4:21 pm

You sure want to see the 'coal (OW/CB) boiler' fired up. I can bet you won't EVER see one working that the owner of it will admit it is 'wonderful'. I don't know how old you are, but you sure don't need to abuse your body for 50 years slinging wood around, ...or trying to find a 'sweet spot' for coal burning in an OW/CB. It is NOT TO BE FOUND!!
How does that 40's% efficiency number work in your equation? That is the reality of an OWB. :shock: :shock: :shock: :roll: :oops:

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cArNaGe
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Location: Montrose, PA
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Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 4:25 pm


User avatar
anthony7812
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Posts: 4851
Joined: Sat. Mar. 12, 2011 2:04 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: VanWert VA 400
Coal Size/Type: Buck/Anthracite
Location: Colley,Pennsylvania

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 4:55 pm

I want to definitly stay away from a stand alone indoor stove. What I mean is I hate to have one room be 90 degrees and the rest of the house at 60.I understand their are methods to resolve this but after all cost. I do not like the low efficiency but in all honesty the only way to maximize efficiency is electric which is 100%. Thats efficiency.... not cost, still I don't want to burn any fuel and only get 40% of total max because of burner/stove capabilty. Still please understand I will do all that I can to eliminate the fire in my house. But 9-11 tons of coal at the price I could get it is still way way way lower than what oil and god forbid what electric would cost me.

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LsFarm
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Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 9:56 pm

Outdoor wood boilers burn wood well, and will burn Bituminous coal when mixed with wood.

The heatmor firebox is NOT designed to burn Anthracite well. You will not be happy with burning anthracite in this boiler. The 'coal grate' option still does not address the fact that the boiler is not shaped or designed to burn anthracite.. It will burn wood or Bit coal mixed with wood.

If you want to burn anthracite with a remote located boiler, build a remote building, or shed, and install an EFM, Axeman Anderson, Keystoker, Harman, or one of the other stoker anthracite boilers in the shed.. This method works well.

This is the voice of experience speaking..

Greg L

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11501
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 10:08 pm

I think it is a waste to install a boiler outside when you have room in the basement and an extra chimney flue. I understand you are worried about fire, but a stoker boiler is no more likely to cause a fire than your current furnace. A boiler in the basement and a water to air heat exchanger in the ductwork is my recommendation. You will enjoy the radiant heat in the basement.


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