Converting From Oil Back to Coal?

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
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NewWilOrder
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Posts: 2
Joined: Mon. Jul. 09, 2012 11:39 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Burnham
Stove/Furnace Model: 1930

Post Mon. Jul. 09, 2012 11:58 pm

A house I'm interested in buying has an old Burnham boiler in it. After doing some research, it appears to be a hand fed coal boiler that was converted to oil. The house was built around 1930 and the boiler looks original. I'm considering converting it back to coal. Does anyone know if it's possible and, if so, is there anyone you can recommend to do it? I'm located in northern NJ.

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stovepipemike
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Joined: Sun. Jun. 15, 2008 11:53 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KAA-2
Location: Morgantown ,Penna

Post Tue. Jul. 10, 2012 7:02 am

A place to start might be to determine exactly the age of that Burnham.How many years will it take to return your possible investment? Then there is the question as to the availability of grates and things such as what was removed from the boiler to do the conversion that may be needed.Mechanical achievement is generally a function of the length and strength of our wallets.There are so many complete and ready to heat boilers out there both new and used that you need to proceed with this endeavor by weighing all the facts carefully.Generally speaking,coal will be begin returning your investment starting with the first cool day in October. Please keep us informed.Good luck. Mike

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11354
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 Tue. Jul. 10, 2012 7:08 am

Before you do anything else you need to decide if this boiler is still serviceable and worth keeping.

It is possible to convert the boiler back to coal, but you will need to find a set of shaker grates for the boiler. If you are lucky the grates might still be in the basement, if not...it might be tough to find some. There may be other parts missing like a draft control or linkage to run the grates, but I don't know how this particular boiler is supposed to be setup.

Looks like a gravity hot water system in the house.


Pacowy
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Posts: 2739
Joined: Tue. Sep. 04, 2007 10:14 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite
Location: Dalton, MA

Post Wed. Jul. 11, 2012 12:36 am

If the boiler is sound, you also could consider use of a conversion stoker. OK, so I'm biased.

Mike

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I'm On Fire
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Joined: Thu. Jun. 10, 2010 9:34 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator
Location: Vernon, New Jersey

Post Wed. Jul. 11, 2012 9:25 am

I did an inspection in a Bank of America recently that had one of these units in it's basement. It was out of service but had been converted to NG.

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Scottscoaled
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Posts: 2597
Joined: Tue. Jan. 08, 2008 9:51 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520, 700, Van Wert 800 GJ 61,53
Baseburners & Antiques: Magic Stewart 16, times 2!
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck
Other Heating: Slant Fin electric boiler backup
Location: Malta N.Y.

Post Wed. Jul. 11, 2012 6:24 pm

I wouldn't consider that as a primary heat source. You will be married to the house and never be able to leave during the winter for an extended period of time. I would take that one out and get as much as you could for it. Replace it with a good used stoker boiler and enjoy a more regulated heating system. :) If you are stuck on using your Burnham as a handfed the way it was originally intended, and you need parts for it such as shaker grates, there is a forum member in Towanda Pa that probly has everything you need.
I think a man does what he can, untill his destiny is revealed. Right now that is trying to sell my EFM plate boilers in 520 and 700 sizes.


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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 Wed. Jul. 11, 2012 7:04 pm

Scottscoaled wrote: there is a forum member in Towanda Pa that probly has everything you need.
I believe the towanda member may have things posted on craigslist if you look hard enough.
Anthony

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carlherrnstein
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Posts: 970
Joined: Tue. Feb. 07, 2012 8:49 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous
Location: Clarksburg, ohio

Post Wed. Jul. 18, 2012 9:18 am

Check around the house its hard to tell, the grates might be hiding somewhere. Or go with a stoker if you cant find them. 80 is old for a boiler I don't know if id put a lot of money into it.
Now thank god for the media, for saving the day,
Putting it all into perspective in a responsible way

From the Offspring song "Stuff Is Messed Up"

NewWilOrder
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Posts: 2
Joined: Mon. Jul. 09, 2012 11:39 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Burnham
Stove/Furnace Model: 1930

Post Sat. Jul. 28, 2012 10:17 pm

Thanks everybody! The boiler has been well maintained and is working well. I haven't had a chance to look around for the shaker grates, etc., but I wouldn't be surprised if they're there. I didn't know these old boilers could be converted to NG, that's good to know as their is a NG line in the street that I could hook up to. I realize this is a coal board but does anyone know where I might research NG conversion for this boiler?

Thanks again!

- Wil

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Scottscoaled
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Posts: 2597
Joined: Tue. Jan. 08, 2008 9:51 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520, 700, Van Wert 800 GJ 61,53
Baseburners & Antiques: Magic Stewart 16, times 2!
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck
Other Heating: Slant Fin electric boiler backup
Location: Malta N.Y.

Post Sat. Jul. 28, 2012 11:29 pm

It's an efficiency thing guy. There are probably several ways to convert it up to gas, but the fact is, its not an efficient design. Is there tubes that the heat passes thru on the top side of the boiler. If there is, I stand corrected. If there isn't then, the basic design isn't efficient. Doesn't matter what supplies the heat, oil, coal, gas, or wood.
I think a man does what he can, untill his destiny is revealed. Right now that is trying to sell my EFM plate boilers in 520 and 700 sizes.

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