Newbie Question

dlimanov
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 2:45 pm

Gentlemen,
Heard an ad on the radio while driving to work and called the local company (**Broken Link(s) Removed**) to see what the anthracite heating was all about. Really liked what I've heard so I decided to investigate further. We have a house in Western Massachusetts, about 2,200 square feet, oil-heated via water heat/baseboard and with addition of a newborn and oil prices skyrocketing, I really am on the hunt for alternative heating methods for the winter of '09.
Unfortunately, Taxachusetts is not the friendliest states of all, making waste/combination oil heating (which I have plenty, I work as a mechanic and have almost unlimited access to waste crankcase oils) not possible in residential applications, leaving me very little options.
After talking to Mike at Complete Heat, it appears I only have one option to go with: Axeman-Anderson unit since it's the only one they sell that is certified by ASME. I looked on A-A website but their unit looks awfully complex with conveyor-style feed, leave alone it costs close to $3k more then simpler Keystroker unit.
My plan is to have a unit installed in the basement in parallel with my regular oil heater and run it in "switch-over" mode with oil heater being a backup heating source. I can vent directly to the chimney since it's right next to the boiler in the basement and it looks like I should be able to use existing piping to heat water also.
I'm looking for suggestions on other brands/models that would fit the bill. I need something relatively simple that my wife or mother in law can load/check/clean if I'm not around, yet something that can be thermostat-controlled work in parallel with oil burner.
Any pointers for a beginner? Anyone in Mass who has something similar accomplished?
Thank you in advance!

Dimitri


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LsFarm
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 3:38 pm

Hello Dimitri, welcome to the forum...

Why is a waste oil boiler not a viable option?? with virtually free fuel available. [waste oil and ATF] if I were you I'd seriously consider installing a waste oil burning boiler.. and burn free fuel.. just do the work yourself, and service it yourself.. Find a boiler that will be easy enough to clean and operate so you can train the wife to do it,, then sit back and enjoy free fuel..

Don't get me wrong.. I love coal, and Axeman Anderson boilers.. but since you are a mechanic,, why not do the work your self and thumb your nose at the tax man, Look at the various waste-oil burning boilers.. I'm sure there are rated ones that are 'legal'.

The above all said,, I think that there is a thread about the approval of the keystoker boilers... call Keystoker directtly and get the info right from them,, get them to be willing to give you a copy of their certification of their design.. and see if this will 'pass' in Mass. :D

Have you looked into a supplier for coal in your area??

Greg L

dlimanov
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 3:49 pm

Greg,
Unfortunately, per Massachusetts EPA branch, waste oil burners are not allowed to be used in residential applications. Local fire department and town officials will never sign off of it, and if something ever goes wrong (God forbid), home insurance company will tell me to take a hike..
I know the chances of that are slim, but I'd prefer not to test my luck, if it all possible.
Haven't looked for a supplier of anthracite yet, still pretty new to the entire idea. Are suppliers of anthracite hard to find?

Dimitri

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Devil505
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 4:08 pm

dlimanov wrote:Haven't looked for a supplier of anthracite yet, still pretty new to the entire idea. Are suppliers of anthracite hard to find?
Welcome dimanov. Aubuchon Hardware is where I buy my coal & they are located all over Massachusetts. http://www.hardwarestore.com/
They carry Blaschak nut coal in 40 lb bags & it's good quality coal. (make sure you buy good coal no matter what coal burner you get)

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Freddy
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Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 4:35 pm

I'm up in Maine and have made a commitment to install an AA (Axeman Anderson). The AA should be here in a few weeks. Coal is coming next tue!
I think the EMF's are ASME approved, but they are even more money than the AA. The AA isn't that complicated. They are somewhere near bulletproof and go many years, even decades before things start wearing out. The AA and EMF's are physically larger than some of the others if that's a concideration.
Can you run two things in the same chimney in MA? Can't in Maine.
You best get on the ball too. I ordered my AA 7 or 8 weeks ago & they had a10 week wait. I think some outfits are booking into Oct for deliveries.

dlimanov
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 5:04 pm

Fred, where did you buy yours and which model? Space is somewhat of an issue, I can't have something gigantic that occupies my entire basement.
:)

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Freddy
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Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 6:24 pm

The AA is 42 tall by 44 by 24". Go to Axeman-anderson.com and download the brouchure. Warning!: The AA does not look like on the website. It does not have a jacket on it. (for good reason). I got the impression that they did not build the website & don't know much about computers. "At least we have a website"

I phoned AA, they told me list price was $6,600 and kicked me to a dealer. They did mention that if the delaer wanted more than that price they would sell me one direct, and that's how it went.

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beatle78
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 9:34 pm

dlimanov,

Not to steer you away from coal, but what if you put a waste oil boiler in a shed in your yard then ran underground pipes for heating. Similar to what they do with outdoor wood boilers or what some of the guys here did with their coal boilers. I think that would be little risk to your home (not that it would be a risk to put it in your home), but would give you peace of mind that if something went wrong, it's the shed that burnt down, not the house.

I don't allow local gov't to tell me I can and cannot use for FREE fuel. :mad:


CapeCoaler
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 9:46 pm

Recent post regarding ASME stamps in MA. You may have more choices.
ASME Boilers
Talk to your local inspectors they have final say.

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coaledsweat
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 10:28 pm

beatle78 wrote:dlimanov, Not to steer you away from coal, but what if you put a waste oil boiler in a shed in your yard then ran underground pipes for heating.
Don't do that.

You can't buy a better boiler than the A-A.

dlimanov
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 10:33 pm

beatle78: as much as I'd like to do it, consequences if things get ugly may outweigh the benefits. EPA is nasty and last thing I want to do is deal with them in case something happens or if there's an oil spill.. I talked to them about it, they're dead set on not allowing waste oil heaters in residential applications, period. Bastards!!

I guess I need to talk to the town inspector and see if he'll even talk to Keystroker folks about certification and design. Can't afford A-A just yet, unfortunately..

dlimanov
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Post Thu. Jun. 12, 2008 10:41 pm

Question for A-A users/fans: are you all using Anthratube unit? Do they sell anything that doesn't have the coal tube/ribbon drive as a delivery method? It looks ridiculously large in the pictures and I doubt will fit in my basement.. Is there anything that uses simpler hopper-style delivery method?

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Freddy
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Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Fri. Jun. 13, 2008 5:27 am

The AA was designed in 1944 and basically hasn't channged since. It has no hand feed option. People that want to do that sometimes take a 55 gallon drum, put the auger into it and keep the drum full of coal. I'm not sure how well that works. I've seen pics of it done with the EMF, but they use rice coal I think. Maybe thats better for the 55 gal drum trick?

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LsFarm
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Post Fri. Jun. 13, 2008 6:40 am

I used a 55 gallon drum to feed my AA260 for a few weeks.. untill I built my 1500# hopper.. The drum worked fine.. it would probably hold about a week's worth of coal for a 130 size boiler in average winter weather.. it held about 300# above the auger entrance..

The AA is not huge.. get the measurements off the website.. the AHS is smaller,, it is the same boiler with a gravity feed hopper, and not auger.. take a look at them at http://www.alternateheatingsystems.com

Greg L

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beatle78
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Post Fri. Jun. 13, 2008 8:20 am

dlimanov wrote:Question for A-A users/fans: are you all using Anthratube unit? Do they sell anything that doesn't have the coal tube/ribbon drive as a delivery method? It looks ridiculously large in the pictures and I doubt will fit in my basement.. Is there anything that uses simpler hopper-style delivery method?
yah, it's called the AHS-S130 :)

http://www.alternateheatingsystems.com/coalboilers.htm

And it's VERY small, but so is the AA-130. It's MUCH smaller in person. The pic on the AA website is not the AA boiler. Look on here for pics of the real AA boiler.

I also saw a post here once where someone made a hopper like the one for the AHS-S130 and put it on the AA-130.


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