Looking for Advice

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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ray in ma
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Posts: 123
Joined: Wed. Jul. 23, 2008 9:21 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak
Location: Oakham, MA (North of Worcester don't blink)

Post Sun. Nov. 11, 2012 5:05 pm

Starting to do research now to replace our furnace in about a year.
Have an older farmhouse with oil fired steam heat (no hot water).
Looking for advice on dual fuel (required in MA) furnace that would run the steam system.
Horror stories welcome also so I know what to avoid.
Thanks

Ray

Pacowy
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Posts: 2732
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 Mon. Nov. 12, 2012 12:30 am

How much installed radiation do you have? What GPH is the nozzle in your oil burner?

Mike

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Townsend
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Posts: 567
Joined: Tue. Nov. 21, 2006 7:38 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea / Buck
Location: Connecticut

Post Thu. Nov. 15, 2012 7:52 am

Hello Ray,

I'm just south of you in Connecticut and my home is heated by a steam system as well. Steam is a very unique heat delivery system so you need to calculate your home's BTU needs differently than a hot water or hot air system. Like Mike above mentioned, you should calculate your home's radiation needs. Essentially that means you determine the size of all your radiators in your home and count them. To this figure you will add a "pick-up factor" to account for the radiation requirments of the steam delivery pipes in your home. Don't be intimidated, it's not as difficult as it may appear. The radiator figures are dependent on their size in terms of width, height, length and number of columns. The calculations for the radiators have actually already been done and in a specific book, of which I can assist you with.

One of the best resources for learning about steam is a book by Dan Holohan called "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". I can't say enough good about the book. Steam heating profesionals are few and far between. The book will really help you with any of your steam heating questions and problems.

Don't be tempted to guess your BTU requirements by looking at your current oil fired boilers BTU output. You'd be much better served by calculating your radiation needs.

Is your home a 'one pipe' or 'two pipe' system? How many radiators do you have in your entire house? Do you have any banging sounds or hissing sounds? Can you post pics of your boiler and the steam pipes near it?

Ray, steam, when done correctly, is one of the best heating methods. The 'Deadmen' knew what they were doing. Coal is what initially fired these steam systems. Go back to it and you'll be amazed at the efficiency and warmth.
Last edited by Townsend on Thu. Nov. 15, 2012 10:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Townsend
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Posts: 567
Joined: Tue. Nov. 21, 2006 7:38 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea / Buck
Location: Connecticut

Post Thu. Nov. 15, 2012 7:59 am

Here is a link to Holohan's book. Best forty bucks you'll spend on your steam heated home.

http://www.heatinghelp.com/products/Steam-Heating ... am-Heating

The site is also a wealth of knowledge for heating help.


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Rob R.
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Posts: 11346
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 Thu. Nov. 15, 2012 8:58 am

ray in ma wrote:Starting to do research now to replace our furnace in about a year.
Have an older farmhouse with oil fired steam heat (no hot water).
Looking for advice on dual fuel (required in MA) furnace that would run the steam system.
Horror stories welcome also so I know what to avoid.
Thanks

Ray
This the first I have heard that MA mandates a dual fuel boiler...and it doesn't make sense.
Townsend wrote:Here is a link to Holohan's book. Best forty bucks you'll spend on your steam heated home.

http://www.heatinghelp.com/products/Steam-Heating ... am-Heating

The site is also a wealth of knowledge for heating help.
Excellent advice.

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Townsend
Member
Posts: 567
Joined: Tue. Nov. 21, 2006 7:38 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea / Buck
Location: Connecticut

Post Thu. Nov. 15, 2012 10:27 am

I agree with Rob on the mandate. Sounds like a hard sell from a dealer.

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Townsend
Member
Posts: 567
Joined: Tue. Nov. 21, 2006 7:38 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea / Buck
Location: Connecticut

Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 10:12 am

Any updates Ray?

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